Need experienced Spitfire user willing to help me "massage" my orchestral lines

Discussion in 'JOBS Board' started by kevjazz, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    I am a big Spitfire fan who has all the Symphonic Orchestra and the Studio Orchestra as well as Albion ONE 10th Anniversary Edition. Having come from VSL before discovering Spitfire, I'm sometimes frustrated by the fact that Spitfire's long patches are all velocity insensitive, expecting the user to ride the mod wheel or other automation controls to give expression to various lines.

    I'm in the process of creating music for a new album, my twelfth under my professional name of Kevin Kern, and I wonder if there is anyone who would be willing to help me give my lines greater authenticity and expression by massaging them an adding the MIDI/automation needed to bring my music to the next level. Not sure where I should put this post. I seldom visit this forum. Also, I am legally blind and sometimes struggle to navigate this forum. Are there any users here who have most of the libraries I have and could enliven individual lines along the lines I suggest? Clearly, this would be a paying proposition.

    I use both Reaper and Samplitude. I am a Windows person. I've considered taking up Logic. but I haven't bought the requisite Mac hardware for that undertaking at this time.

    I know it's possible to export MIDi back and forth between multiple DAWs. I don't think it's possible to export automation data between DAWs as I don't think I've ever heard of a common language for automation interchange. If I'm wrong and it's possible to export automation along with MIDi from one DAW to another, let me know.

    If a moderator sees this post and feels it should be moved to some other forum, be my guest.

    Looking forward to hearing from anyone interested in lending a hand.
     
  2. EmmCeeSq

    EmmCeeSq Member

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    Nov 11, 2018
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    Apologies if you know this already, but you know you can draw automation into Reaper after the fact, right?


    Is this something that your disability prevents you from doing? I'm a Cubase user, and even after I've recorded in my automation, I often go back and tweak it. There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's a very small one (as I say, your level of vision might cause some issues here though - I don't know how much sight you have). I think you may get more control of your sound this way, and obviously it will save you money in the long-term.

    Just wanted to mention it. I'm sure plenty of people on this forum use Reaper, so you could share the session files (or whatever Reaper calls them, I don't use it).

    Good luck!

    Mike
     
  3. BlackDorito

    BlackDorito Member

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    When you say 'automation', are you referring to the CC commands (e.g. modwheel) that could add expressivity to your tracks? If so, these can be exchanged between DAWs because they are simply MIDI commands. If you are referring to automation to control mixer levels, VST plug-in parameters, etc. that are dynamically varied in automation tracks/lanes/envelopes within Reaper and other DAWs, then perhaps some Reaper experts here can suggest how to convert automation to MIDI before you export your track. If you have lots of automation controlling parameters within Reaper that depend on complicated configurations of VST plug-ins, it might be hard for a collaborator to replicate the setup & sound of your track even if he/she has Reaper.
     
  4. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    I realize that MIDI is easily transferrable. I suppose it is possible to assign some of the more automation centric commands to MIDI controls in Reaper. I had done this with Omnisphere in both Samplitude and Reaper before I figured out how to capture automation in both DAWs.



    I don’t think I’d bother altering microphone positions in the project. I would simply break out STEMs for each mic position and leave it to the mixing engineer to position the orchestra in the”room.” I could even make sure that the notes were sufficiently close together to not have ugly gaps in a melodic line. I just have a feeling that even my best efforts would leave me short of my expressive goal.



    What I think is needed is someone who has both Reaper or Samplitude and the various Spitfire libraries I have. I use Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol. But I suppose one could achieve the same results simply using these libraries in Kontakt because the parameters would be the same. Only the means of manipulation would change between Kontakt and KK.



    Essentially, I’m looking for help as much because I lack the finesse needed to make my lines breathe when velocity isn’t available as a vehicle for this. It is too bad that automation doesn’t have a common transfer language the way MIDi does. Oh well.



    Hope this makes sense.
     
  5. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    Mixing is completely different from helping your orchestrations "breathe", so stems won't help in that regard. It's the CC data that will achieve this. As others have mentioned, CC automation is just data, and is totally transferable between DAWS. You could do something as simple as recording just the MOD wheel in realtime as you play back each track, I often do this myself.
     
  6. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    I thought I was clear when I said that things like mic position were not part of this discussion and would be left to the mixing engineer. Further, I think I was also pretty clear in stating that things like Expression and Dynamics were already available to the mod wheel as MIDi data. Thing is, Expression and Dynamics are moved simultaneously by the mod wheel. To move them separately takes controls that spit out automation unless you convert them to MIDi independently. Even then, I just think someone else might make this stuff breathe better than I would. So, I was just looking.
     
  7. BlackDorito

    BlackDorito Member

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    Well ... you're confusing us because with Spitfire, we use the modwheel (CC#1) for Dynamics and CC#11 for Expression (essentially Volume), as defined within the Kontakt instruments. We generally use these built-in parameters of the Spitfire instruments to make melodic lines breathe with MIDI controllers, not 'automation'. If you want feedback about automation - give a concrete example of how you use it.
     
  8. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    Apologies for the confusion. Without thoroughly examining it, I assumed that the mod wheel moves both Expression and dynamics simultaneously. I further assumed that simply moving dynamics by itself, which is assigned to a knob on my Komplete Kontrol S61 keyboard, would generate automation and not MIDi. I assumed that the generation of MIDi was unique to the mod wheel. In the case where I wanted to change dynamics but not expression, I assumed it would generate automation and not MIDI. In fact, I just tested recording a pass while moving dynamics only and it is an automation experience and not a MIDi thing when not tied to Expression via the mod wheel. So, if one want to leave Expression untouched and alter Dynamics, one generates automation data, not MIDI data. This is not translatable/transferable between DAWs that I know of. Same deal with Dynamics when recorded by itself and not in conjunction with Dynamics through the mod wheel. Hope this is a little less confusing.
     
  9. BlackDorito

    BlackDorito Member

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    Ahhh ... I don't use the Komplete Kontrol keyboard and know nothing about it. Sounds like when you move knobs on that keyboard it creates automation within Reaper that controls track or mixer parameters of Reaper itself, not the Spitfire Kontakt instruments.

    Anyone who is a Windows / Reaper / Spitfire user should be able to take your RPP files, together with your Kontakt multis (containing Spitfire instruments) and audio clips and thereby duplicate your configuration. They could then record CC data in real-time into your Reaper project to add additional 'life' to your tracks using the power of the Spitfire instruments. BUT ... if you simply acquired a FaderMaster or similar device, you could do it yourself. Furthermore, if you can record the original MIDI notes with one hand, you can ride the CC#1 or CC#11 (or both) sliders on the FaderMaster with your other hand, and thereby do it yourself all at once.
     
  10. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    Regardless, you are still writing data as a CC (Continuous Controller). It's still MIDI, and is simply a value between 0 and 127. You can assign any CC to any knob or wheel on your controller. And yes, it will show up in any DAW. I'm not sure what you're referring to as "dynamics". Are you talking about specific patches that have some sort of crossfading between samples (vibrato, volume, etc) when you move the MOD Wheel?
     
  11. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    A couple of clarifications for both Blackdoritio and Woolfie 2112. Hope I got that right.

    First, What is Komplete Kontrol and what does it do? KK is a mapping system that maps various parameters of Kontakt instruments to several pages of 8 knobs each on a piece of specific hardware known as a Komplete Kontrol keyboard. The messages these knobs send are DAW agnostic. This runs just the same in Reaper, Samplitude, Logic, Pro Tools, you name it. It even runs in stand alone mode. So, these knobs don't do anything to Reaper specifically. when you turn automation to Write, turning the various knobs will write automation to specific envelopes depending on which knob is being turned at a given time.

    Woolfie,Dynamics is a specific Spitfire parameter which crossfades between sample layers. If you set Automation to Write as above and turn the Dynamics knob, you will get envelope points that, when played back, will give you the crossfades I described. While I seem to be able to activate Volume and Pan and have those respond to a slider and a knob respectively, I'd like to LEARN dynamics to a slider on my control surface instead of turning the corresponding knob on my kk keyboard. hope this makes sense.
     
  12. BlackDorito

    BlackDorito Member

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    Send a message to the member known as EvilDragon - he knows everything about Reaper and Native Instruments - if you are thinking you would like to redirect knobs on your KK keyboard to send CC messages directly to Spitfire instruments. [But perhaps you don't want that ... perhaps you would prefer to have a collaborator to help bring things to the next level by adding CC/automation data to your tracks. I think anyone following this thread could now get a good sense of the situation and could jump in if they are interested in helping.]
     
  13. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    In fact, I'd like to have all options open, from learning all I can from EvilDragon, to collaborating with someone capable of massaging this material directly. How would I reach EvilDragon? I don't navigate this system very well.
     
  14. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    I believe I've found EvilDragon. I may know him from elsewhere. Not sure. Let's see if he responds. thanks for the suggestion.
     
  15. paulthomson

    paulthomson New Member

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    Feb 28, 2019
    Hi Kevjazz -

    These two videos I made may be useful - I hope so! At least you’ll discover how I approach it. I didn’t consider specifically how a legally blind musician might get info from these videos but I hope that my descriptions of what I’m doing are enough?

    All the best,

    Paul



     
  16. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    Understood. I use similar patches in other libraries, such as Hollywood Strings. I often assign different knobs of my NI S88 controller. At the top of the Komplete Kontrol plug-in window there is a knob icon. Click on that, unlock the functions with the padlock icon, and you can modify/add whatever controls you want via that menu. Alternately, load an instance of Kontakt (not Komplete Kontrol) and simply right click on a parameter you want to control, choose MIDI Learn, and move the knob/slider of your choice.
     
  17. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Hi Paul,



    As ever, your videos are extremely informative. I am a huge Spitfire fan, having purchased the complete Symphonic Orchestra and Studio Orchestra among other things.



    If I may have one clarification, I’ve assumed that the Mod Wheel in both the Studio and Symphonic Strings is mapped to a combination of both Expression and dynamics. Is this correct? If it’s mapped to one or the other, which is it?



    A member named Wolfie has responded below your post with alternative suggestions involving possibly using Kontakt itself instead of KK. Perhaps I can compose in KK and map Dynamics and Expression parameters to sliders on my Korg NanoKontrol in Kontakt to give me greater flexibility. I would then simply swap out KK instances for Kontakt instances with the same instruments in each to ride the faders.
     
  18. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Wolfie,
    thanks for the clarification. I'll definitely look into both your suggestions and let you know how I get on.
     
  19. OP
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    kevjazz

    kevjazz New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Wolfie,
    Sorry for being dense. I'm legally blind and sometimes don't understand what I'm seeing. I clicked on a knob icon which exposed graphics of the knobs on the keyboard. I see the padlock. but I don't know whether seeing it lit up or not signifies locked or unlocked status. When lit up, a second icon appears to the left of the padlock. Don't know what it does or how it's used. Also, couldn't find MIDI Learn anywhere. If you could give more specific directions, I can use my limited vision to see what I can do. Failing that, I'll try the Kontakt idea. This is less desirable because KK is optimized for a blind user. Kontakt, itself, is not so much.

    Hope this makes sense.
     

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