View Full Version : Keyswitch questions...

04-05-2009, 07:14 AM
Hello all
I'm using Play SO Gold and taking my first quiver-toed steps into the world of keyswitches, and I just have a couple of little queries.
I work mainly within the score editor of Cubase and if I want to select a phrase from one instrument stave and drag it to another (for doubling or if I simply decide another instrument should perform the phrase), I find that it hits keyswitch triggers on its voyage. So I return my attention to the original stave to find the articulation has changed, often to silence due to the keyswitching to an unloaded patch. Is there anything I can do about this, or will I just have to get out of the habit of dragging?
Also, for 1st and 2nd violins I use the same 18 violins master keyswitch patch, (not really proper I know, but I have to compromise for memory reasons.) If I for example want a simultaneous legato articulation for the 1sts and tremolo for the 2nds, is there anyway to do this? Because obviously any keyswitch trigger will effectively switch both tacks, won't it?

Thankle for any help. :)

04-05-2009, 08:47 AM
Don't know if this will help as I use Logic 7.2.
(I'm a new user also, but am pretty used to detailed midi files)
I've found it it sometimes useful to put my keyswitches on a different track.
I just copy the sequence and delete keyswitches from one and notes from the other.
This works for me but is not always necessary.

You won't be able to use more than one one keyswitch at a time in a patch.
So to use a legato and tremolo articulation for the same sound (18 vio) would require you to load the patch to a separate channel.

Have you become acquainted w/ the Sample Purge function?
Go to MainMenu > Current Instrument >Advanced Properties > purge
It removes all the unused samples (both articulations and vel layers from the patch.)
Just hit reload if you need to re-do something.
Although this might be a pain in the butt, it serves to keep memory low.
I use an iMac and this little feature has become a Godsend.

Hope this helps


04-08-2009, 03:52 AM
Thanks for the reply KenK.
Your suggestion for putting keyswitches notes onto a different track is certainly an idea to consider, though I don't know if it particularly helps with the problem I (poorly) described.
Say for example I want to drag a phrase (just the musical notes - there are no keyswitch notes entered) from flutes down to trumpets. I will select the notes, then click and hold probably the first note while dragging the phrase downwards, this movement will produce the chromatic gliss as the note sounds every pitch it passes through on its way down. Obviously at some point it's going to travel through the keyswitch trigger range of notes - whether I choose to eventually have keyswitch triggers notated on a different track or not. This causes a keyswitch even though the note is just 'passing through'; even though it's not actually placed on a keyswitch note.
Thanks for confirming what I already thought about using more than one keyswitch at a time.
Also, I have not explored the sample purge function, it sounds very, very useful! (Although unpleasantly biological.)

04-13-2009, 10:31 AM
Has anyone else got any ideas on this?

04-13-2009, 05:14 PM
I create most all of my scores in Sibelius and have the option of either using a dedicated soundset (in which case I can just enter the appropriate technique or expression in Sibelius and it will automatically trigger the appropriate instrument, eg 'pizz.' will trigger pizzicato and 'arco' will revert back to arco / legato for strings).

Alternatively when I use a manual soundset I enter the keyswitch note in the same staff which will then trigger the appropriate instrument. This looks kind of weird in Sibelius and an alternative would be to create a second staff, assign it to the same midi channel, and enter the key notes on that staff and then hide it. If the weird looking score is an ssue, e.g. when the score is to be performed by live player, I clean up the score by removing all keynotes. That is pretty easy to do.

04-13-2009, 06:17 PM
Copy/cut and paste, rather than drag and drop?

In SONAR, you can copy MIDI data in staff or piano roll view and drag it into place. OR, in the master tracks view, you just click and drag the MIDI track just like you would a WAV file. It doesn't produce any sound or trigger anything, so you won't have the keyswitch problem.

04-13-2009, 07:35 PM
Dear Ken,
I only use my sequencer to mixing. As Peter, I compose and orchestrate my full score with a notator (Finale for me) which it can translate all many expression like pizz, ff, slurs, dynamic hairpins and others to corresponding midi CC or keyswitch. Then, I transfert my score in Sonar via midi 1 format.
Francois, Montreal

04-14-2009, 01:26 AM
Thanks for the answers folks. The only reason I use Cubase rather than Sibelius is because when entering notes on the stave (by mouse) I like to have all notes chromatically available to me; I place notes by ear so I need to hear the pitches as I hover the note before finally positioning it. In Sibelius when entering a note the pitches/positions on the stave seem to diatonically snap to whatever key signature is specified - I do not hear the full chromatic availability. So after entering a note it's often necessary to sharpen or flatten it. I haven't found a way to deactivate this.
It's just a silly little thing I know, but for me it makes Cubase preferable. I don't know if Finale is the same?
Anyway, as for my original issue, I guess I'll just have to copy/cut and paste rather than drag and drop.

04-14-2009, 06:47 AM
Dear Ken,
You can also use a notator in association with a midi controllet (or any midi keyboard). It is easy with Finale and probably with Sibelius too. With that, you can use your keyboard to select the pitch that you want to enter in your staff. Moreover, you can record your track in real time, following the metronome. After that, you can fix little errors, add expressions like mf, pizz, sfz, even staccato or accent marks on particular notes.
As I said, all depend what kind of music you make. Sequencer is faster for pop music and I use Sonar while I record many real-time tracks like bass, guitar, piano, rhodes, drum and all... But for symphonic music, Finale greatly helped me to understand how orchestrate. It is a very different manner as most of your instruments are monophonics. It also help me as I enter some section of scores form masters (like Tchaikovsky or J.Williams, and others...). I can ear, track by track, WHY the sound is so good.
Francois, Montreal