Guitar "Expression" & those missing notes

Hi Folks,

I have seen a few threads from time to time on issues with certain guitar instrument sample presets causing a failure to play subsequent notes.

I spent a bit of time recently looking at why this happens and what I have found there is a class of instruments that have a fairly basic set of expressions and they play note for note , the more full of colour instruments with more comprehensive sample and play emulation, these programs need to have some more consideration on what you need to do when expressing your music to achieve all the sonic approximations they can do, especially when parsing expression from a MIDI source that is derived from music sheet notation and not from live articulation of the music notation. The automation does a fairly good job however you have to do a few things at times to improve the emulation.

With guitar emulation, if the note “missing” is same note value, the note preceding what I have been finding is if it does not have a rest between the two notes played the guitar emulator re trigger of the sample does not happen repeatably every time, it often does a muted note instead which can be most annoying if that was not intended …

Altering any release is not the answer as this impacts other emulations for the given instrument and things stop being as realistic as is practicable.

I hope this helps someone else in the future.


Mate this is not the only instrument that I have found to be the case I get it with Pianos, Pads, etc I thought at the time that it may be the notes are on a round-robin so the note doesn’t sound the same every time you play it but when I go into Halion 6 to reverse engineer certain instruments it is not the case which left me baffled.

Hi As Always there are a range of issues that can cause notes to not be played which is why I put a “fence” around the topic where the only issue is actually with re-triggering of the note with the likes of the more complex guitar expression emulations.

What you are experiencing, from my experience sounds like it is something completely different to this topic sadly. I will give you some stuff to think about, hopefully.

Diagnosing faults and issues can be quite complex at times.
A lot of issues stem from the computing platform the minimum specifications for any software platform always have too much “hope” that is a big issue in the recording industry generally with suppliers of hardware and especially software. I am a grumpy old engineer these days and long forgotten as a target demographic for utilising these tools. I waste a lot of time because things have some jazzy name assigned to a preset instead of just saying Stratocaster emulator for example of an exception.

If you are looking for a production tool then you need to have a computer with plenty of ram I have found Most software suites don’t utilise 64GB so the machines with 32GB are adequate and a fast hard drive and the fastest SSD drive you can get and beefy processors are a must. If your machine is less than this it will have problems regardless of anything these guys try to tell you. One computer really limits how much you can do. A friend has a server room full in his studio which is as big as my studio area in my home studio and he still has many issues.

Those glossy pictures that you see with the bearded and tattooed tough looking millennials (they look like iron on water tattoos on a snow flake tough) using a Cubase studio and a single laptop - don’t believe it.

That studio they are using uses multiple computers (and software licenses) that laptop is probably only handling an instance of HALion6 and that suite in total they are all smiling using it is worth many many may hundred’s of thousands of dollars especially when you consider the acoustic treatment of the room. I have a huge investment in this studio here I have for instance and it is hybrid (i.e. I use an English designed 40 channel analog mixer with a DAW recording suite / DAW I am always shelling out for more software. I buck the trend and only upgrade hardware when it is basically burnt out.

There are plenty of synth emulations (programs in HALion6 speak) that HALion6 has for utilisation that you need to be running only one of these and nothing else on your computer and at no more than 41.4 kHz and 16 bit sample rates and CPU embrace happens on even my top range computer I have here for my studio suite and it is a 20,000 AUD Mac Pro last of breed intel silicone with all the options… ! (That hope in specifications ) I have found the software simply won’t operate at 192/24 I push it to 96k/24 and it has problems frequently.

This then brings us to the next issue in configuration and selection of the software “programs” you are utilising on your production machine.

I find CPU utilisation limits daily on my beast of a machine, so a lot of time has to be invested into any software you are using so you can produce content of the quality you are looking for in the style and with the number of instruments you are hoping to utilise in a single take. Yeah I get that folks are time poor but this is what we have to do to get the best out of these tools we buy. Steinberg Cubase Pro and the allied VST’s and there other products are some of the better ones you can find actually despite this balanced view I am presenting and to re-iterate these are indeed full of hope in the specifications (if you can find detailed and fully descriptive technical specifications these days it is all about colours and not substance or quality).

Good luck with your issues

I would look at more multi session recording and do single instrument takes and multiple audio track stems as this is what I do so a free production tip for you and another is to get a sound recording engineering book heaps of freebie pdf’s with a quick google search.

I am old enough to have done this sound stuff with using 2 inch tape decks for recording and splicing tape stems by hand so this new stuff just takes a lot of your time up but no more cut fingers


This could be the MegaTrig bug I’d been trying to tell Steinberg about quite a few years ago, they even fixed it in one of the version as far as I remember but then the bug got back and it’s annoying as heck. Here’s the topic - MegaTrig bug - #15 by jovemprogramador
Not sure what’s the problem to fix it once and for all.

As I say “the ring fence” on the topic is with respect in particular to guitar expression and the issues that come from re-triggering with the more fully featured emulation & synthesis of those instruments as it is logical and repeatable when you think about the way that the emulation goes about creating the musicality the automation is doing precisely what it is designed to do. So you do need to understand how the emulation functions in order to maximise its utility. that applies with all the more fancy emulation / automation features of every instrument that you have in your library.

I think this is not well imparted and is another value add stream of revenue for various people so it is a self serving interest I think it is just enough way to get dollars out of folks pockets. Either way you have to invest to get a return.

With respect, things “not triggering” or a mega triggering issue? I am not seeing that at all, honestly I have been using Cubase for a very long time and there have from time to time been various bugs that have stayed with the product through the development cycles for certain but…

My experience has been that since Version 9 had some major patches those long standing bugs have mostly disappeared.

A real lot has to do with the computing platform and the method of analogue to digital conversion ( the hardware buffering and latency) and sound drivers and then how you configure the project and the Synthesis and what you are trying to produce. Sometimes you simply have to break down the project into multiple takes ore outlay some serious money on hardware and software.

As I have also said there is a lot of “hope” in the specifications of all software available in the music Industry landscape.

There is also an over utilisation of plugins of all sorts most of which if folks took the time to read a sound engineering book or two and understand it they would not need about 99.9 percent of what they do use. Compression is way way too much utilised generally as is under sampling something produced in the studio.

Plugins are absurdly and inherently buggy in nature by en-large especially with third party plugins.

I write my own code for plug in’s for that very reason, but then I only do so when I do need something exotic, honestly most of the time the Synthesis has the effects already built in you just need to unlock it by using something like HALion6 if your using Cubase and spending some time to know your toolbox. Learning some more music theory also does not go astray. After all the difference between one performance and the other is how well polished it is. that comes down to knowing your limits and practice practice practice and more practice.

Not everyone has the luxury of being a real engineer, but it helps a real lot in working out what is really happening. I don’t think the issue is related to a Megga bug at all.