alternation tool

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    T he purpose of the Alternation Tool is to manage the keyswitches (pink keys) in such a way as to help you create natural musical articulations and phrasings playable as a single line in one MIDI track. Loading Up An Instrument The Alternation Tool will only work on Instruments that have keyswitch-ing built into them. These are the pink notes that you see in many of the Vienna Symphonic Library instruments that are used to trigger different articulations. If you load up an instrument that does not show any pink keyswitching notes, the Alternation Tool will have no effect. 1. In GigaStudio, open the folder labeled 20Vl-14. 2. Click on the + next to 00Vl-14_BASIC_SET.gig. 3. Drag and drop Vl-14_basic-all into Port 1, Channel 1 on GigaStudio. This will be our demonstration Instrument for the Alternation Tool.

    Using the "Pink Keys" - Keyswitching 4. In GigaStudio, you will see 8 keys highlighted in pink. These are called keyswitches. They range from C1 thru G1 on your keyboard (Middle C = C4).


    There are two different ways for defining a pitch by its MIDI name. The Yamaha method (followed by most manufacturers) defines Middle C as C3. The Roland method defines Middle C as C4. With the Vienna Sym-phonic Library, you'll be using "the Roland" MIDI defini-

    How to Set Up and Use the Alternation Tool.

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    tion of Middle C, which is C4. The Vienna Symphonic Library chose to use the Roland definition to avoid hav-ing negative numbers in the lower register e.g. with the double basses. The Play Range pitch definitions also follow the Roland definition of Middle C as C4.

    5. Press C1 on your MIDI keyboard and play an octave starting on Mid-dle C. You should be hearing staccatto notes. 6. Now press C#1 and play the same octave. You should be hearing short bow strokes. 7. Now press F#1 and play the same octave again. You should be hear-ing sustained tremolos. 8. As you press a different "pink key" you are using keyswitching to change to a different articulation for the instrument you have loaded.

    The Alternation Tool With the Vienna Symphonic Library is the Performance Tool. The Per-formance Tool actually handles five functions: MIDI Thru The Legato Tool The Repetition Tool The Alternation Tool Performance Release Tool On opening, it may say Alternation Tool (as in the screen shot) and an icon will appear on your desktop also labeled Alternation Tool. How-ever, the proper term is the Performance Tool.

    NOTE: For MIDI Setup, please see the separate MIDI Setup Training Guide.

    9. Now, click on the Alternation Tool icon that should already be open in your Task Bar. Go to Port 1, Channel 1 and click on the Down Arrow. Change the setting from Thru to Alternate.

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    10. Click once the > (greater than sign) under Channel 1.

    11. The Alternation Settings screen appears. This is the default tem-plate. Should your template not look like this, be sure to look for the default template on the Vienna Symphonic Library download section.

    12. Look at the screen shot above. In the upper left-hand corner you will see the following: Play Zone: LoNote and HiNote This is where you key in the range of the instrument loaded into Port 1, Channel 1 - the lowest note and the highest note to be played by that instrument on the MIDI keyboard. You can set this for the entire range of the instrument, or restrict it to a smaller range. There are two ways to change the set-tings: Use the mouse to highlight the note and type in the new setting

    using your computer keyboard. Find the lowest note for the instrument on your MIDI keyboard,

    press that note, and click in the LoNote box with your mouse

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    while still holding down the note on your MIDI keyboard. The Play Zone will immediately change to reflect the new setting. Now do the same to set the HiNote. Please note that if you make a mistake inputting a note from the MIDI keyboard you will need to hit the APPLY button before you can correct the note.

    As we have a Violin patch loaded, set the LoNote to G3 and the HiNote to D7.

    WARNING! To repeat, the Alternation Tool is using the Roland defi-nition of Middle C to define ranges so that negative num-bers in the lower range can be avoided. Above, we have the violin range in Roland language from G3 to D7. Mu-sically, this is wrong. The violin range (and the range here is for a virtuoso) is G below Middle C (G2) to D above double high C (D6).

    13. To the right you will see settings for the Base Function Key and the Dimension Start Key. We'll talk about these in detail a little later on. For now, they should both be set to C1. 14. The Polyphony box should remain unchecked.

    NOTE: You can use the TAB key to jump forward from one parameter to the next. Use SHIFT plus TAB to jump backwards.

    15. In the bottom half of the screen you will see 12 blue boxes laid out in two columns. In each blue box you will see a row of numbers.

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    16. To the right of each blue box you will see a note name (the first is C1, the second is C#1, etc.). The technical name for that pitch is a Macro Key, however, the word Macro is also used in GSEdit and has a different definition. So to avoid confusion, think of these as trigger notes that act as a trigger to play an alternating pattern of keyswitches set up in the blue box. 17. Press C1 on your MIDI keyboard. Play two octaves on the keyboard starting at Middle C. You should hear the violins alternate between staccato and short bow strokes for each note you play. Look at the blue box containing the combination triggered by C1 and you will see the numbers 1 and 2 alternately highlighted as you play. 18. Now press C#1 on your MIDI keyboard. Play the same two octaves and you will hear the pattern reversed. Look at the blue box containing the combination triggered by C#1 and you will see the numbers 2 and 1 alternately highlighted as you play. 19. Keyswitch number 1 accesses the first pink key for the instrument set you have loaded into Port 1, Channel 1. Keyswitch number 2 ac-cesses the second pink key for that instrument. The chart below shows the keyswitch number and the pink note it triggers for the Vl-14_basic-all set we currently have loaded: Keyswitch No. Pink Note Articulation Played 1 C1 Staccatto 2 C#1 0,3 sec. 3 D1 0,5 sec., vibrato 4 D#1 sustained, vibrato 5 E1 sforzato, vibrato 6 F1 cresc-dim, vibrato 7 F#1 tremolo, sustained 8 G1 pizzicato, vibrato 20. You can have a total of 12 combinations assigned to 12 Macro Keys (trigger notes). Up to 12 keyswitches can be used in any one combina-tion, but the number of different keyswitches available depends on the instrument you have loaded. Our Vl-14_basic-all set only uses 8 key-switches. This means that you only need to use keyswitch numbers 1-8 when setting up your combination.

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    21. Press Macro trigger note A1 on your MIDI keyboard. Repeatedly press Middle C and watch the combination assigned to the A1 trigger note play through keyswitch numbers 1-12. You will hear no change in numbers 8-12 as there are only 8 keyswitches used by this instrument.

    NOTE: As soon as you play a note, the next number in the se-quence is automatically highlighted, so the highlighted note on screen is always one step ahead of the note you've just played.

    22. To quickly familiarize yourself with the tool, press each of the Macro Key "trigger notes" in turn, from C1 to B1 and play the keyboard. Listen to each pattern and watch the Alternation Settings Screen to see which combination of keyswitches is being triggered. Now comes the fun part, creating our own Alternations...

    Creating Your Own Alternations 23. Look at the black box containing the number 2, to the left of the first blue keyswitching row. This is the Variation number that tells you how many keyswitches your combination will be using. Next to the number 2 you will see up and down buttons. Using your mouse, click on the Up Button once so that the number 2 changes to a number 3. You have now specified that three keyswitches will be used by the combination triggered by C1.

    24. You should see the following numbers appear in the blue box: 1:2:1. 25. Using the mouse, click in the blue box so that the first number is highlighted. 26. Press the Up Arrow on your computer keyboard until the number 1 changes into a number 5. Now press the Right Arrow on your com-puter keyboard. The number 2 will be highlighted. Use the Down Arrow to change this to the number 1. Leave the third number 1 as it is. Your combination should look like this:

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    Working With the Alternation Tool

    Vienna Symphonic Library Training Series

    NOTE: You can also press the spacebar on your computer key-board to jump to the next keyswitching number in the combination.

    27. Press Macro trigger note C1 on your MIDI keyboard. Now play the keyboard. You should hear the violins play a pattern of one sforzato short bow followed by two staccato notes. Look at the blue box contain-ing the combination triggered by C1 and you will see the keyswitch numbers alternately highlighted as you play. They will play through the sequence in a continuous loop. 28. To reset


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