Velocity Cross Fade and Expression


I am using Vienna Saxophones to produce a number of rehearsal audio files for a Saxophone Orchestra I’m a member of. Up to now I have been using expression (CC11) as the volume control and velocity as the secondary and getting pretty good, if fairly basic results. Certainly good enough for a rehearsal piece. However I have a little time on my hands before I get stuck into the next piece so have been experimenting with velocity crossfade with the aim of getting smoother, more realistic dynamics. So I have ditched the secondary volume control and am just using Velocity crossfade (CC2) as my primary means of control.

I have two notes on a soprano sax which start at mf (velocity 89-108 on my VI map) rise to f (109 -127) before falling away to nothing. I have drawn a nice curve starting at 100 rising to 120 then falling to zero and I really like the effect of fading between the sample patches. However, the note does not go entirely silent. Although it is very quiet, it’s still there, you can hear when it stops.

Should I be using a secondary volume control as well?



Hi Peter, I think CC11 can help here to do the ultimate fading out. I always set the starting value for CC11 on 127. You can make a little downwards curve with the last notes, just to your taste.

Thanks for that. I’ve set CC11 to 127 at the start and used it as you suggested - it works great. Thanks for the help.

you should always use two controllers CC11 in VSL and most other libraries for that matter to be able to control both crossfades and overall volume. With VSL, I generally prefer to use a CC for both controllers but are different opinions on this. I myself often scale CC11 to somewhere between 35 and 60 to 127 of CC1 (or often CC2 in SE libraries) otherwise quiet notes are too quiet. I prefer this in general to setting a general fixed level of 127 for CC11 with only fading down for silence or very low dynamics having tried both approaches. So I’m not really with @mmka here though it’s a perfectly valid approach which will work for some. Just test away!

Thank you @dko22, you’ve put your finger on why I stopped using the second controller - the two controllers seemed to fight each other making the dynamic changes very abrupt. As you say, the quite notes are way too quiet. I never thought of setting the range to stop CC11 from dropping all the way to zero. More experimentation …

I just ran across an excellent example where CC11 (in addition to vel-xf) turned out to offer the best solution to a problem. Using Synchron Strings Pro, I hada dickens of a time with a line of spiccatos interrupted by longs at the end of phrases. All together had to keep the same brisk feel of spiccato, but the initial loudness of the long marcato was too much. I lowered the CC11 value for each long note, and the result was satisfying. I had tried modifying the envelope of the standard long, layering spiccato with long, etc. None of those worked, but CC11 did the trick.

and I’ll be interested in hearing how you get on… There are no real shortcuts with this but the general principles I use do seem to apply with other libraries as well. A higher floor with CC11 is definitely necessary with most VSL libraries but that doesn’t always apply elsewhere.

yes, this was one of the sorts of situation which lead me onto trying to get the most out of CC11 with VSL in particular. With my Cinematic Studio and BBC libraries among others, you can always use velocity as a supplementary controller as well but VSL ignores velocity unless specifically mapped (at least in the VSL libraries I have)

Thanks for the help. Setting the primary volume control to the XFade (CC2) and the secondary to Expression (C11) with a lower limit makes sense, however the lower limit doesn’t seem to transfer across to the levels. When the music called for a dim from mp to zero for instance, CC2 starts at 70 or so and pretty rapidly curves down to zero - however, so does CC11. The result is a sudden drop to silence. Setting CC11 to 127 as suggested by @mmka works but I think is a little too loud, easily remedied by setting CC11 to a lower level of course, but I am intrigued as to why your suggestion of limiting CC11 doesn’t seem to work as expected.

( fwiw, the sensitivity level for all controllers can be adjusted in both the VI and SYnchron player. Play with those squares…! :wink: )

I’m not quite sure which post(s) you’re referring to here but just to make it clear, my position is that CC2 should have the full range 1-127 and CC11 typically 40-127, depending on the library (solo strings often have a higher starting point). This is precisely because if they are in synch, the quieter dynamics become almost inaudible. It sounds as if you possibly haven’t ticked “use secondary dynamic”?