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Concept

DYNAMICS


It is impossible for a real violin player to hold the tone static at a given dynamic level, simply because dynamics are controlled by both the speed of the bow, and the pressure it applies on the string,


The pressure the bow applies on the string depends on the pressure applied by the player on the bow, but even if the player manages to maintain a constant pressure, the pressure exerted on the string will change as shown in the next diagram.


dynamics

 

This results in the dynamics slightly varying as the bow slides on the string, even if the player tries to maintain a constant pressure (which is rarely the case!).

In our instrument, minute changes are automatically generated in real time if you leave the controls alone, but in order to provide the user with complete bowing freedom, the change in dynamics due to the motion of the bow has to be created with the dynamics fader (following a path like the one suggested in the previous diagram, plus some manually added instability).

This means that if you don't move the dynamics fader, you will get a result similar to that of the bow maintaining constant speed and pressure, which will sound completely unnatural, so keeping the sound alive and natural is left in your hands.



ATTACK TRANSIENTS


The way in which the bow approaches the string accounts for the different spectrum of attack transients. These depend on the way the speed of the bow changes (acceleration) at the beginning of the note, and on whether the speed of the bow relative to the string is zero or not at the moment of the first contact, having certain harmonic content if the bow simply slides over the string, and a somewhat different attack if the bow hits and/or bounces over the string.


In our instrument, they are controlled by the midi velocity of the key (how fast is the key on the keyboard pressed, being 0 the minimum speed and 127 the maximum), as shown in the next diagram.


attacks

 

The volume of these attack transients is controlled by the 4th fader on the “Main” tab of the Graphical User Interface.



POST PRODUCTION


The sound of the violin is brought to you completely dry. This means that you have complete freedom on what to do with the sound. However, in this section you will find certain guidelines that will help you to achieve the best possible results.


Equalization
We recommend to apply equalization after deciding and adjusting your reverberation parameters. Although a violin contains resonant frequencies that can be upsetting, these are in many occasions controlled by the room if it doesn't resonate in the same frequency as the violin. However, there is also the possibility of a resonant frequency in the violin to match a resonant frequency of the room.

In this case, we would suggest you to first attempt to control the frequency with an equalizer AFTER the reverberation effect, and if you still need attenuation, then applying an equalizer Before the reverberation effect.

Reverberation
The violin is an instrument that when heard at a short distance, is usually very harsh on the ears. For this reason it is customary to record violin in big spaces with long reverberation times, either for solo or orchestral works.


Although with other instruments it is advisable to keep the mix of the reverberation effect at a point at which you can barely hear it, in the case of the violin it is usually mixed/recorded very loud in order to tame the inherent harshness of the instrument, so we recommend to keep this in mind when setting up your reverberation parameters. In case this decreases the definition of the violin phrases, you can compensate by increasing the “pre-delay” parameter of your reverberation effect.


For your convenience, we have also included a convolution-based reverberation effect measured in a German concert hall.

It is also a well established fact that violins radiation of different frequencies is extremely directional, meaning that different frequencies are emitted in different directions, and thus a special effort has been made to capture the whole radiation spectrum for each one of the violins contained in this instrument.


Other effects
The traditional approach in recording and post-producing classical instruments is to keep the processing at a minimum, and to obtain the sound you are looking for during the recording stage by means of carefully selecting the following elements (in order of importance):

1.  Instrument
2.  Room
3.  Microphone type, brand, model, position and orientation
     (there is a whole world of decisions that can be made here, that would dramatically change the
     sound. Learning and mastering them takes years of study and practice)
4.  Microphone preamps / Mixing desk.
5.  Recording interface.

During Mastering stage, subtle equalizer might be applied and the volume modified to enhance the dynamics of the recording.

If you are looking for a classical type of sound, eq and reverb should suffice. However, if you are working out a pop kind of sound, don't be afraid of experimenting with other effects.



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Required Platform

Our Virtual Instrument works with Microsoft Windows™ , MacOs™ and NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Kontakt Player 5