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Viewing topic "How to increase the volume (intensity) of an instrument? In Cubase"

     
Posted on: April 20, 2018 @ 03:32 PM
Ed S
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Joined  02-16-2018
status: Regular

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to figure out how to increase the “swell” (volume-intensity) of an instrument within the editor. I’ve seen many tutorials on YT but I just don’t seem to get the result I wish. I use Cubase 9.5 Elements btw. Therefor two questions I hope you can help me with.

1: Witch controller must I use to swell an instrument? From soft to loud or the other way around. I don’t mean the volume but the amount of force blown into a French-horn (for example).

2: How can I limit this setting to a single bar? If I increase the volume now (I got this far) the change reaches out to the end of the track, so it also effects the next keystroke ánd the previous ones when I playback a track. If I end the keystroke with the volume ad 90%, the next keystroke (normally played at 34%) will play at 90%. I hope this makes sense to you.

When I look at the tutorials there’s a nice curve in the ‘adjustment-line’ people are using. Also the sound is gradually adjusted. When I try this I hear the adjustment as a “Car using ABS” even if I set quantize to 64.
I hope the screenshot will make my question more clear.
Thanks in advance for your reply.

Greetz,

Ed

Image Attachments
ScreenHunter_002.jpg
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Posted on: April 20, 2018 @ 07:24 PM
philwoodmusic
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Hi Ed S.

First of all, are you using a sound or voice which can actually swell?

Secondly, is it a sound from your MOXF or something else like a sample from a sample library, or virtual instrument?

Regarding curves, are you absolutely sure that you aren’t confusing MIDI expression controller data with the Line Tool in Parabola Mode for creating curves in Cubase track volume automation?

Looking at your screen shot, the ascending expression controller data that you have drawn in, appears to be before the visible F Sharp note sounds, instead of when it sounds.  That would give you a crescendo if used when the note sounds.  There looks to a be another note out of shot when the expression data starts, but because I can’t see it, I’m unclear if it matches the duration of your crescendo expression data.

Changing the subject a little…

This might not be relevant to you at all, but using your french horn example, and in general among a wide range of brass samples and their libraries, a swell or other articulation is often brought in using key switching, where what you are hearing isn’t the original sound being modified, it’s actually a really slick transition to an entirely new sample, featuring the articulation you want to hear.

It’s called key switching because the different possible articulations are mapped across different keys on the keyboard.  For example, for brass, there might be swells, rips, staccato, legato, doits and fall articulations all mapped separately across one of the lower octaves.  The idea is that if you press one of those notes at the same time you play any other note, you get the articulation switching in for the note you are playing, until you do the same thing again, but switch back to the default articulation.

It allows you to momentarily switch in another articulation, adding a lot of realism to your sound.

If you relate that to Motif, or MOXF, key switching is often done using the assignable function buttons 1 and 2, and you might have already noticed that on certain voices, you get brass falls, or guitar slides etc.

The most important thing, first, is that the sound you want to modify must be modifiable, and not all sounds are modifiable in the way you would like.

You mentioned volume early on in your post, but you also mention force with your french horn example.  They are not the same things.  Force could be a change of character and volume, whereas volume is just louder or quieter.

You could also be talking about a filter sweep, which could fit “intensity”, again, that’s something totally different.

It might also be useful for you to link us to the you tube videos you’ve been watching, and that way, we might be able to get a better handle on what you’re trying to accomplish.

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Posted on: April 20, 2018 @ 09:29 PM
Ed S
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Hi Phil, thanks for replying,

I’ll try to answer your questions as good as I can.
First of all the video-tutorial seems to have disappeared on YT. I’ve searched through my favorites and even my YT-history, but nope. Although there are lost of good tutorials (Alex Moukala for example) this was a short video that nailed my question. But okay.

I try to use different instruments like Brass, Violins and other (orchestral) instruments. Although I know there are various techniques (articulations) in playing an instrument, like staccato, legato etc.  at this moment I’m trying to give a brass- and a violin (cello) section more body.

In one of his video’s Alex Moukala made a clear point, saying a French Horn is played by a human being and therefor he needs to breath. A keyboard can play a note forever but that will not give the emotion intended. Also adjusting (increasing or decreasing) the volume will not have the effect I’m looking for.
A classic mistake I made was indeed to play a long (brass) note for 40 seconds if needed. I learned to let my brass-section breath now and then. This alone gave my music a more ‘live’ feeling.

I’m aware that not all instruments are able to use a steady increase of ‘power’. A simple example would be a drumkit. The harder you hit it the louder it will sound. So I’m mainly talking about Brass instruments and snare ensembles.

I know the Moxf has some instruments that are controlled by the sliders. It would be a step forward to know how I can get these to control the volume (Crescendo?) of an instrument in Cubase. Like can see in the screenshot, I can increase the volume of an instrument but that just increases the amount of decibels and not the force of the instrument.

I hope I answered your questions clearly, so please let me know if I need to clarify something else.
Thanks in advance for your reply.

Greetz,

Ed

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Posted on: April 20, 2018 @ 09:49 PM
philwoodmusic
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If you are less interested in volume changes and more interested in changing character, then have you tried editing controller 74 Frequency Cutoff?

Start with it lower, maybe not too low and then bring it up.

There should be a controller lane in Cubase for it, just like the expression one. 

Relating that to brass instruments, commonly, when the player blows harder, the instrument brightens up in terms of frequency.

Going back to you mentioning seeing curves, the only curve I know of in Cubase is the Parabola mode for the Line Tool.

I haven’t used Cubase for years and do not have a copy to check with, but I’ve seen that tool used on track volume automation, so is there a chance you can use the same tool to curve your controller data?

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Posted on: April 21, 2018 @ 07:55 AM
5pinDIN
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Another possible approach is to edit Voices so that a swell can be controlled in real time while recording.

To demonstrate, I’ve created a Voice that uses the Mod Wheel to increase volume level and cutoff frequencies as it’s advanced. The original Voice was PRE4 D09 F.Horn + Strings. I reduced the Element levels and cutoff frequencies, lowered the AEG Decay 2 levels slightly, increased the common Volume, and programmed the Controller set so that the MW can increase Element Level and Cutoff. The Voice has been named F.Horns+StrsMW.

I’ve attached a Zipped XF “All Voice” file. All Voices in it are initialized except for USER1 A01. That Voice can be loaded to any User location in an XF or MOXF if you’re interested.

File Attachments
SwellDemo-5pinDIN.n3.X3V.zip  (File Size: 5KB - Downloads: 54)
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Posted on: April 21, 2018 @ 04:31 PM
Ed S
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Thanks for your replies,

@Phil: I found the video on Yt. It’s a tutorial made by “Liam Bradbury” called “How to compose Epic Orchestral Music in Cubase 9!”. When you would scroll to 9.55 you can see the problem I had.
I saw a curved line witch he used to add “modulation”. This was the effect I was looking for. Here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsKJvDicjDQ

When I looked carefully I also noticed a small triangle in the menu bar he choose. When I moved over this bar with my mouse the triangle appeared and there was a roll-out menu in witch the curved line could be chosen. So that problem is solved. I’ll have to experiment with ‘modulation?” to hear if this results in the effect I’m looking for.

Thinking about what you said in your previous answer (and other topics) another problem is expected. Namely, to find the right balance between volume (attacked velocity) of a note and the amount of modulation. If I press a key very soft it will send this information to the instrument witch will sound soft. Adding modulation will (in my opinion) not alter the color of the note to an epic volume, but I think I’ll be able to find the right balance.

@ 5pinDIN: Thanks for attaching the Voice file. To be honest I’ll rather not alter anything on my Moxf at this time. It took me a long time to get my Moxf connected to Cubase. I hope your not disappointed therefor a little background info. My first Synthesizer was a Yamaha V-50 (still works). I could ‘read and write’ with it. I never needed a tutorial because the programming made sense. Because it was programmed In a unique “language” it wasn’t compatible with any Daw. And because it was limited to 8 tracks I bought the Moxf. Also the V-50 needed floppy’s to store the compositions and as these were losing data my compositions were lost.

When I finally discovered this forum and read the topics on how to connect the Moxf with Cubase I could start-over again. But like I said, it took me quite a while.

Now it’s time to make some music and see if I’m able to use the effect I was looking for. Of course every extra advice is more than welcome but I think I got this covered (or not?).

Thanks again for your replies and see you around.
Greetz,
Ed S

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Posted on: April 21, 2018 @ 04:52 PM
philwoodmusic
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Ed S - 21 April 2018 04:31 PM

@Phil: I found the video on Yt. It’s a tutorial made by “Liam Bradbury” called “How to compose Epic Orchestral Music in Cubase 9!”. When you would scroll to 9.55 you can see the problem I had.
I saw a curved line witch he used to add “modulation”. This was the effect I was looking for. Here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsKJvDicjDQ

He’s using Native Instruments Symphony Essentials in Kontakt Player, which you probably already know is a sample library in a sample play back virtual instrument.

When he draws in modulation data, it isn’t actually modulating the sound like the mod wheel does on (for example) a poly synth, or lead synth sound on a synth.

The product designers have allowed you to use the mod wheel as a tactile way of switching that articulation in, but he is drawing in data for it in its controller lane instead of physically moving the wheel, to get better, more accurate control over it.

So unless you own Native Instruments Symphony Essentials, or a library very much like it with similar features, of which there are many, you won’t be able to do that on just any sound or voice by drawing in modulation data.

If you do have something like Native Instruments Symphony Essentials then the fun now begins!

Ed S - 21 April 2018 04:31 PM

When I looked carefully I also noticed a small triangle in the menu bar he choose. When I moved over this bar with my mouse the triangle appeared and there was a roll-out menu in witch the curved line could be chosen.

I was right, he is using the Parabola mode for the Line Tool.  That’s what you’ve found.

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Posted on: April 23, 2018 @ 07:16 PM
Ed S
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You were right (twice),

I found the parabola mode in the menu like you had mentioned. Although it was kind of hidden. As I tried to experiment with increasing the swell of an instrument it only increases the volume.

I don’t have Symphony Essentials (yet) but last week I bought SoundIron’s Micro-Chior witch also has a feature to assign the controls with the sliders on my Moxf. With a little help from Nathan (Soundiron) I got it installed and it sounds impressive.

Yesterday my Pc broke down, so I’m currently re-installing and reactivating all my licenses and of course my Moxf.

So, thanks again for your advices and we’ll meet again somewhere on this forum ;-)

Ed

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Posted on: April 24, 2018 @ 03:39 PM
philwoodmusic
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Yes, it’s in a pull down menu from the Line Tool.

Sorry to hear your PC broke and all the best in doing the things you want to be able to do.

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