ShadowRaz

Best realistic virtual solo violin with realistic note modulation possibilities

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Ok, so i have wanted to make cool solo violin leads for a long time with realistic note modulations as in it would sound real when changing notes. Of course some amount of velocity should be changed so any virtual violin would sound real, but what i am looking for is that it would sound as if i were playing the violin myself and recording it. For example basically could make something like Lindsey Stirling plays:

I mean c'mon the possibilities what could be done if there were a plugin that allowed to make such violin leads. Or does it still need to be just an recording for the best violins to have the best violin compositions?

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Embertone's Friedlander Violin is my personal favorite, and an excellent value at $125. It has solo and ensemble options(and you can adjust the size of the ensemble) along with all the articulations you'll need. Here's one of their demo songs:

A real violin will still beat a library any day, and if you have that option it's certainly better. Still, this one strikes a nice balance between quality and cost.

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Hey thank you guys for the response, i shall look into this particular library, seems really cool though from the examples i am listening currently from the website. Apparently it has internal vibrato and all, no need for trying to mess around with pitch control

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Although it has major delay so it should be either recorded while playing with MIDI to fit

OR simply moving the start point of the notes slightly earlier than the "starting line" should be

...so that the violin lead would fit for the composition and timing would be correct. Kind of a surprise that one. You guys know how to adjust attack or something on it so that the delay would be gone?

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The delay in the vibrato coming in is a natural thing; if you're playing shorter notes, chances are you won't need vibrato for those notes. Also, you should know that slurs are like hammer-ons for guitars; that's something you can expect to use often.

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I did not quite catch that first sentence? what i meant was that i have to drag the notes back down around 1 sixteenth of a bar from the point i would want them to play, more or less.. so that the timing would be good when they start playing compared to the beat for example. But yes vibrato is not necessary on really short notes and i just watched a video from youtube how to automate knobs inside kontakt (amazingly never have had to do that before only one time tweaks without modulating them effects on the go..) and now i can control the vibrato easily to rise on long notes for example etc. Let there be realistic violin leads now.  On that video i was just improvising and it truly represents itself when i change from white keys to black keys for example as if i changed the song all of a sudden (by the way i have in my ignorance done that on few of my "published" tracks earlier on also, making too different chords and stuff all of an sudden. I am merely learning tho).

Also i had never heard of these terms slurs nor hammer on, but i looked them up and slurs basically means smooth note modulation as in changing the notes on the go for example with one direction bow movement, is it not? and hammer on, on guitar means playing the string without playing the string with the "playing" hand but rather snapping finger on the string with the chord hand, is it not? I assume in DAW terms, you mean making quick note modulations?

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11 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

I did not quite catch that first sentence? what i meant was that i have to drag the notes back down around 1 sixteenth of a bar from the point i would want them to play, more or less.. so that the timing would be good when they start playing compared to the beat for example. But yes vibrato is not necessary on really short notes and i just watched a video from youtube how to automate knobs inside kontakt (amazingly never have had to do that before only one time tweaks without modulating them effects on the go..) and now i can control the vibrato easily to rise on long notes for example etc. Let there be realistic violin leads now.  On that video i was just improvising and it truly represents itself when i change from white keys to black keys for example as if i changed the song all of a sudden (by the way i have in my ignorance done that on few of my "published" tracks earlier on also, making too different chords and stuff all of an sudden. I am merely learning tho).

Also i had never heard of these terms slurs nor hammer on, but i looked them up and slurs basically means smooth note modulation as in changing the notes on the go for example with one direction bow movement, is it not? and hammer on, on guitar means playing the string without playing the string with the "playing" hand but rather snapping finger on the string with the chord hand, is it not? I assume in DAW terms, you mean making quick note modulations?

Yeah, an easy way to do MIDI CC modulation in Kontakt is to go to the farthest-right tab (called "Auto") on the left browser bar in Kontakt and access all the available CC's. You could drag the CC# of choice from the Kontakt browser onto an automatable knob and that should allow you to then automate that knob via automation clips in the FL browser sidebar under "Generators".

Optimally for violin, you should have to automate:

  • vibrato (modwheel)
  • vibrato rate
  • expression/dynamics (CC11)
  • portamento time if needed
  • something else arbitrary, like turning staccato on/off should be possible.
  • etc.

for better realism.

As for a hammer-on, it's basically hitting a note on the guitar, then pressing down with a second finger onto a new adjacent or nonadjacent fret (on the same string). A hammer-on is the entire action of playing the note, including the fretfinger pressing on the new fret (a pull-off is similar, but with the fretfinger lifting from a second fret).

For a violin slur, it's fairly similar, but instead of a picked/strummed note, you're considering the bowing of a note in only one stroke direction. Essentially it's a way of playing smooth legato without rebowing (rebowing is when you lift the bow and bow again).

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7 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

You guys know how to adjust attack or something on it so that the delay would be gone?

0774993be50cd0ff2ffa98783ee1a9c4.png

In the Configure section there's a knob labeled "Responsiveness"(top right) that controls the attack. It's at 0% by default. Turn it up and notes will be played a bit sooner. Better yet, automate it so you can adjust it as needed throughout the song.

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Thanks guys for all the advice i really appreciate it. Here is one clip i have worked on today for one of my next EPs. I started using it from halfway of this clip as it can be heard.

What y'all think?

 

Note. as i really made that today, all mixing and mastering and other stuff are in the first phase

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Haha, awesome. i love this violin. My production possibilities are much greater now. As in having truly fun with that and making some cool stuff.

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I think the violin sounds too choppy and mechanical; you should vary the velocities to emphasize specific notes that a real violinist would play most strongly, and use MIDI CC 11 on longer notes to add more emotion. If you pay more close attention to Lindsey Stirling's playing, you should be able to recreate it and recognize just how much emotion she puts into her playing. Then, try to get yourself in the mindset of thinking about those kinds of maneuvers to get more realism out of a sample library.

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Adjusting velocities might bring out more realism in it surely. But what on earth is MIDI CC 11..

scratch that just checked the parameters, expression. Was not aware of such knob. Thank you once more, i shall try it.

I did make those yesterday and this next link today in a hour or so just a moment ago, wanted to basically try combining solo guitar and solo violin ha :< the transitions from guitar to violin are not good as i basically played around with volume knobs although it kind fits still.. more or less..  .. and also just made rather quick dubstep beat and sustain chords in the background

 

Yes actually putting even more emotion and time into the work, that would definitely have better results. But for example i was not aware of the expression knob until you said it now so.. Everyday you learn something new with the help of loved ones. You know.. because i love you :wub: thank you. Any more advice?

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Well, it may or may not be obvious, but as you play notes, look at the articulation that is displayed on the Friedlander UI. For instance, if you sequence two overlapping notes, by default it should display "Bow change legato", but if you press down on the C#2 keyswitch (C#4 in FL), it should play a slur.

It helps to double-check by looking at the articulations that result from your sequencing, to see if a particular sequence of notes does what you think it does. Based on your demo, the fast notes don't feel as tight as it would be if a sufficiently-talented violinist were to play it.

For instance, try listening to the live violin in this track:

https://zirconstudios.bandcamp.com/track/unity

Also, here's an example of something I've done to recreate part of a violin song. Didn't turn out too badly. Mainly what I wish I had was a bit of that grit in the tone from the particular bow Lindsey uses.

ViolinExpression.PNG

CC14 is the vibrato rate, and CC11 is the expression controller.

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That's great man. Do you mean portamento by slur? As in the slower note change, so to speak?

Also tried to play around with expression and velocity on this, not only vibrato, what ya think?

I personally always love making my own compositions rather than trying to imitate something that already exists even though there are huge benefits on the learning part when making a remake. Should try to remake Crystallize for example. The entire song.

But improvising for the win still, all the clips i have posted above, i made by just trying stuff until they sound about ok. Composing is fun

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Nope, I mean exactly to say slur, which as I said before, is playing multiple legato notes in a row in one bow stroke. Portamento is more of a slow "pitch slide" technique, and is not the same thing as a slur. This guy explains it pretty well.

I can hear a little of the expression you're putting in there, but it seems kind of 'forced'; that is, the CC11 seems unnaturally used. A bit hard to describe, but the sudden spike at 0:03 - 0:04, for instance, feels out of place. Overall it's definitely better than before though.

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Yeah it's hard for me to understand what slur is while using this plugin, as it is a virtual violin, so one bow stroke note changes is kind of unfamiliar concept for me.. as i make note modulations in a piano roll :D and also i have no information on real violins whatsoever, all and all, except from listening violins and doing my own stuff by pitch ear with using virtual ones, and now that i am taking lessons from you, i am learning about them. 

What is natural expression use then? I assume that after the note starts, it fades away slightly as in basically the volume goes down a bit? That would require ridiculous amount of automation especially on the really short, fast 1/16 bar notes, if i were to use it for them.

Also it's basically C#4, the red key switch if not tampered with the octaves when it changes into slur legato but did not know that either. Thanks. There is truly a huge difference between bow change legato and slur legato.

also

12 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

emphasize specific notes that a real violinist would play most strongly

and what are those usually?

And although not necessary to know, still do real instrument violinists basically press the bow down harder while moving it on the strings to make them louder? of course.. why am i even asking.. My motor skills would not most likely allow me to play real violin with any talent whatsoever unless i had one, and practiced years, and years, for my muscle memory to perform it right. Well i couldn't most likely play any instruments that good.. Which is one of the reasons i like DAW producing with virtual ones (not just violins as i can basically use any instrument on my compositions and time them easily etc) as i can compose new music fast and effectively.

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9 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

What is natural expression use then? I assume that after the note starts, it fades away slightly as in basically the volume goes down a bit? That would require ridiculous amount of automation especially on the really short, fast 1/16 bar notes, if i were to use it for them.

Also it's basically C#4, the red key switch if not tampered with the octaves when it changes into slur legato but did not know that either. Thanks. There is truly a huge difference between bow change legato and slur legato.

also

and what are those usually?

And although not necessary to know, still do real instrument violinists basically press the bow down harder while moving it on the strings to make them louder?

On short notes, you can let the sample do the work; its natural envelope decay is fast enough that it would be unnecessary to automate CC11 to try to achieve realism. It's more practical on longer notes, as that is more sensibly within the speed range where violinists can capably soften the contact of the bow with the strings in an audible manner. In other words, with fast notes, they are too fast for CC11 to matter, and simply using the fast articulation (like staccato) gets you 99% of the way there.

Bow change legato and slur legato are different as in their names; slur legato is playing two smoothly connected notes in a row without changing the bow direction (forward/backward), and bow change legato involves the change in bow direction. Generally, slur legato is more often heard within a given phrase containing ascending or descending scales, while a bow change tends to be heard after a phrase ends or before a new phrase starts (you would see these "phrases" marked as arced ties spanning several notes in sheet music).

string-skipping-idea-1.jpg

The sheet music above uses the "down-bow" and "up-bow" articulation markings.

And yes, real violinists can press the bow down harder on the strings. It's fairly similar to strumming harder on a guitar string instead of lightly brushing it. These notes tend to be the first note in a new phrase or in a new measure.

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The expression seems to be rising on several notes on some violin leads so got to test and see what would sound about good.. I can only imagine what kind of violin songs i can make with this, from full orchestral and rock like music to dnb, dubstep and other edm. Awesome stuff.

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Man, this is awesome. There will be music. Didn't use slur legato on this either because i liked how the fast notes got more emphasized with bow change legato

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I think you should consider changing the vibrato rate, as it doesn't feel fast enough for that tempo. That is the y-axis on the vibrato XY-pad (the x-axis is the depth). It is also natural for a violinist to not play with a constant-rate vibrato.

As I mentioned earlier, you could go into the "Auto" tab in Kontakt, then click "MIDI automation" to locate a bunch of MIDI CCs that you can use. Then, choose one that is unused, and drag it onto the vibrato rate slider, and you should then be able to automate CC14 via the FL browser and change the vibrato rate.

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Actually it was originally stronger but when i open the project again, those two vertical knobs always jump back down unless i have made automation already for them. Wonder is there another way to keep them up all the time rather than making separate automation. This is with faster vibrato

 

 

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