VI TIPS & TRICKS 1


Contents


1. Optimize the processor performance (only Win)

You can optimize your computer for making music and for the use of the VIs and other audio applications.
Please follow the picture on the right even if it is a German screen-shot. Setting this option Windows will support the CPU's calculations with a higher priority. It is a tip which is written in Cubase's Instructions too.


2. Choose the ASIO 2.0 driver

It is important to choose the ASIO-driver which comes with your soundcard. If the soundcard is installed in a proper way you can select it in Cubase ("Devices > Device Setup>VST Audiobay > Master ASIO driver"), Logic (Audio > Driver 2...). Choose the driver of your soundcard now. If it is not possible for your host program to change the driver try to restart it or restart your computer. Try then once more without playing or doing anything before.

Don't install or set:

  • ASIO DirectX Full-Duplex-Driver
  • ASIO Multimedia Driver

They are not efficient and optimally adapted for your soundcard. If you don't have an ASIO 2.0 driver for your soundcard try http://www.asio4all.com/ . Perhaps you are not happy with the original driver - also try ASIO4ALL.

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3. Set the Sample/Buffer Value (Latency)

Theory
What does this parameter mean? When you play the keyboard, the computer "tells" the harddisk which corresponding datas it has to send back to the computer. The software (VI) now gives the instructions to the CPU what to do. When all is done the CPU sends the treated datas to the soundcard.
The computer gets/sends these datas in packages: Samples/Buffer. As you know the music is digitalized for being used with a computer. So for example 1 second of music is chopped 44100 times - that means: 44100 pieces of information are necessary for 1 second of music.

A musical signal A little magnified More magnified.
Please notice that the signal
is chopped.


What happens now? Compare it with a restaurant:

* 48kHz and 96kHz are customary as well
Like in the kitchen it is easy to read and calculate 1 sample/to roast 1 burger. But the computer has to calculate 44100 samples into music every second. For example it is much better to calculate 256samples at once than only one. In that case the CPU has to do the whole process (getting samples, calculating them and sending them to the soundcard) only 172 times every second (instead of 44100 times). Another advantage: The soundcard always has "some sound" in reserve. > no / less DROP OUTS. For our restaurant it is better to have some burgers in reserve too.
But don't forget: Some customers want to have a drink, some French fries, a salad - sorry they want some effects like reverb, limiter, compressor, EQs and so on. Perhaps they want more than one VI... dark times for the CPU.

So it could be necessary that you have to increase the Sample/Buffer value up to 512 or 1024!

Latency means the time (delay) which is necessary for the process of the sound's calculating. Amongst other things it depends on the Samples/Buffer value:
128 >> 3ms / 256 >> 6ms / 512 >> 12ms / 1024 >> 24ms / 2048 >> 48ms /...
Higher values need more time for the process but there is less danger for "drop outs". Lower values need less time for the process but the danger for "drop outs" increases. So it is pleasant to have low latency-times for playing the VI but you have to make a compromise perhaps.




4. Internet Connection

I recommend to have a connection to the Internet. When I was beta tester I noticed that the loading up of the VI triggers the contact to the net. I also do not know what the program of Synchrosoft does. My experience is that all together works in a safer way than without the connection to the net. Disadvantage: The running Firewall/Antivir - software needs RAM and CPU-power.

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5.1. Dithering (Theory)

Theory I
You heard about the term 16Bit/44.1kHz or 24Bit/96kHz. What does it mean? Every computer "understands" only the two states 1 and 0. So the audio signals have to be prepared for computers. One standard is to chop the signal 44100 times per second and to measure the amplitude of every chop. If you do this with a resolution of 8 Bit you are able to put 256 steps at the computer's disposal. With a resolution of 16 Bit (CD) you have 65'536 possibilities. So the computer measures 44100 times per second the amplitude level of the audio signal and assign one of the 65536 values to the corresponding amplitude. 24 Bit resolution means that the computer is able to differentiate the signal's level in 16'777'216 steps! Quite a lot, isn't it?

The samples' resolution of the Vienna Instrument is 24Bit. Unfortunately a reduction from this 24Bit- to 16 Bit- resolution happens in case of burning a CD (example). This reduction produces some artefacts. True, they are minimal but in piano and pianissimo parts of music they could be disturbing. In this case it is important to use a dither-effect.

To show this effect I faded out a signal to a level of 0. After that I (re)amplified the very last part of this signal. So you can listen to the really quiet part of the fading-out-signal.


Listen to this example
vi220hz24bit24bit.mp3 [116 KB]

or click below to play:
    Tone = 220Hz, Resolution = 24Bit (not with this mp3 file)

For download: 220Hz 24bit.mp3 [116 KB]

Let us focus now on this very last quiet part. Have a look at the graphics below. What happens with the signal while reducing the resolution from 24 Bits to 16 Bits?
Original (24 Bit resolution)


The same signal reduced from a resolution of 24 Bits to 16 Bits...


Theory II
The Dither-effect adds a low noise which is not disturbing the listening process later on. Please have a look at the average of the the signal's wave. The steps are replaced by the noise, and the original shape of the signal's sinus is given back (...be a little generous).

Please listen now to the different signals:


    Tone = 220Hz, Resolution = 24Bit reduced to 16Bit without Dithering Effect
    Tone = 220Hz, Resolution = 24Bit reduced to 16Bit with Dithering Effect
    Once more: Resolution = 24Bit reduced to 16Bit > 2x with and 2x without Dithering Effect




6. Dither Effect: Yes > or < No

If your project setup is set to a resolution of 24 Bit: It is not necessary to dither the VI's output signal.

If your project setup is set to a resolution of 16 Bit: Dither the VI's output signal.

While making an audiomixdown (bounce/Logic) from 24Bit tracks without changing the Bit-resolution: You don't need the Dither Effect. While making an audiomixdown (bounce/Logic) of 24Bit tracks to a 16Bit audio signal: Use the Dither Effect.


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7. Order of keyswitches

It is important for the Vienna Instrument to receive the keyswitches in a correct order. Take the example on the right. It shows the selection of a "Crescendo".

(1) Matrix line (C-1)
(2) D0 = Diminuendo/Crescendo 3s
(D0)
(3) A#0 = The choice of crescendo (A#0)
(4) Crescendo

You agree that it is not possible for the VI to select "Crescendo" before it got the keyswitch "Matrix Line" with the dim/cres samples. Even if you give the VI the keyswitches at once, it could be that it can't do a proper selection. So it is a good advice to set the keyswitches in a logical order.

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8.1. Pitch Bend

It is possible to use the "Pitch Bend - function" with the Vienna Instrument as we did in the good old "midi-days". The following settings are necessary:

1. Set the range of "PitchBend"
With 100(%) you will be able to change the sound a half tone up and down and with 200(%) you set it for a whole tone up and down.

2. Then select the bar "Map Control"
The VI opens a new frame. Select now "Pitch". After that you have to assign a controller. In our case it makes sense to choose the controller "PitchBend" > below at "Source". If you do it correctly you will notice "Weel" beside "Pitch".


It depends on your sequencer, but with most of them you can draw a "pitch course" beside the tones now.

Finally you have the tones - the pitch bend course - the keyswitches...
And it sounds like this:

    Pitch - Bend - Demo (violin + band)

For download: VI PitchBend Demo.mp3 [867 KB]

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8.2. Pitch Bend - Baroque Tuning

No Problem: Choose the same settings as in 8.1. But then the difference is, that you draw a course to minus a half tone (and not back to zero) at the beginning of each instrument's miditrack.




9. Learn & Optimize

This function has nothing to do with the sound of our little melody. It only helps to save RAM above all you are short of RAM. It's an easy process. Activate "LEARN" on your VI-Instrument, then play the Midi track. After the the piece has ended press "OPTIMIZE". The VI removes all the samples exept those used while playing the Midi-track. You will notice that the value decreases quite a lot at "MEMORY USED". If you want to get al the unused samples back press "RESET"
Tip: It is not necessary to play the Midi track in real time it also works with the function "Audio Mixdown" in Cubase. I'm not able to test it in LOGIC with the function "BOUNCE" but it should work as well.




10. Short Notes Full Length?

With the First- /Pro- / Horizon- versions we where able to select stac-1 and stac-2. The advantage was that we could play sounds into each other...(two different midi-channels)
I mean two equal notes like c3 stac-1 into c3 stac-2. Now the VI automaticlly selects the stac-2 but it isn't possible to release stac-1 by lenthen the midi note into the following one because the midi order "note off" from the first c3 also stops the just started second c3.
So what to do? >>> You have two possibilities:

1. Use the damper pedal while playing the short notes.
2. Choose a higher Release Time Value with the Vienna Instrument.

1. Use the damper pedal while playing the short notes. If you set the keyswitches in the Piano-Editor or in an other Midi editor use the Midicontroller...
CC64 000 (Damper not presseed > Samples stop with the end of the note)
CC64 127 (Damper pressed > Samples fade out till their end)

Listen to the following example - detache short samples are used - and compare the image below.

    Strings long detache with and without release till the end of the samples

2. Choose a higher Release Time Value with the Vienna Instrument. Please check the picture on the right.
It seems to be that a value of 100 corresponds to the upper solution "CC64 127".

Putting together:
The solution 1 (CC64) makes it easy for you to select the release of samples (yes or no).
The solution 2 (Releas Time Value) is for releasing samples in general till their end.

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