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Staffpad Sketches

245

Comments

  • @Schimanski said:
    @McD Thank you so much for your info! But I meant : the stock library doesn‘t have vibrato at all? That‘s why sustained notes
    sound a bit „dead“ sometimes.

    The stock library only covers string sections and sections play non-vibrato. Soloists can use vibrato but in a string section you try to blend into a single pitch that has the benefits of a chorused sound.

    Listening to all the string libraries I grew tired of that surupy string section sound and preferred the more transparent SpitFire Chamber Strings with fewer players and clearly defined ADSR style envelopes.
    I'm not implying you can change the envelope but only that the crisp envelope of the samples attracts me.

    And after multiple install attempts the new library is installed. Yeah... it failed 6 time and with each timeout failure it started over from byte zero. Arg. Time to add this new library to some of my sketches.

  • 👍👍👍

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    I was doing the labeling of articulations incorrectly and it turns out the default library does have the interesting articulations like the "Bartok" pizzicato where the string is snapped hard enough to bounce off the fingerboard (like a snapping action) and it makes a very percussive sound. I've been wanting that to make the music more percussive in contrast to the generic legato tone.

  • I'm trying to test the "genre" limitations with this one. I bought some better drum sets and a collection of e-pianos.

  • Wait for it... the Suspense sketch.

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    OK...this is a "work in progress" but building it was really different than what I usually do. I wrote out rhythms and slide the notes around and added #'s here and there to keep the lines flowing. Then I matched a baseline to support what the melody was doing. It wasn't written so much as discovered.

  • It’s great listening to your discoveries and explorations… favourite so far is Don’t Go in There.

  • I picked up some more instruments:

    Spitfire "Felt Piano"
    Accordion

    Here's a couple sketches to show their tonal qualities. This one shows the Felt Piano prominently:

    and this one shows the accordion in a better mix:

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, I think StaffPad does better with the epic cinematic genre. It would be nice if StaffPad had a swing option like Lumbeats. Precise note values don’t seem to work as well with Middleastern rhythms.

    Actually it has a swing option. Sounds good for Jazz too.

  • Still a "Work in Progress" that unravels at the end: I added inner string parts and woodwinds.

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    A re-orchestration and name change:

  • Very cool. Reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmiths compositions during the late 60's

  • @zedzdeadbaby said:
    Very cool. Reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith's compositions during the late 60's

    Thank you for the comparison. Jerry is a hero in film and TV composition.

  • Seems like you’re channeling your inner Tchaikovsky with Sue’s Tone poem. It’s surprisingly good but loses it around 1:00, as you say. Composition is tough stuff alright.

    I liked the earlier version of the second. It has more energy. This is a bit too mellow for my taste.

    I can only encourage you to keep this direction going. It’s bearing some tasty fruit, More focused and thoughtful than your earlier, somewhat fragmented, explorations, IMO.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Seems like you’re channeling your inner Tchaikovsky with Sue’s Tone poem.

    Thanks... I was trying for a Prokofieff melody similar to the "Romeo and Juliet" Ballet music.
    I started with a rhythm and it now sounds like it's a waltz (3/4 time) but I wrote it using 4/4 and
    everything is a quarter note or 8th triplet.

    It would be a lot easier to notate in 3/4 but once started I just kept copying bars and changing the
    pitches around.

    It’s surprisingly good but loses it around 1:00, as you say. Composition is tough stuff alright.

    It's flow work tho'... small changes and instant playback are key to getting those little feedback
    jolts that make the time pass effortlessly.

    I liked the earlier version of the second. It has more energy. This is a bit too mellow for my taste.

    I can see that... I was watching a YouTube video of the "Succession" composer talking about his process
    where he takes a piano based theme and then uses a string arrangement so I took a pass at a version
    with new instrumentation and no actual note writing. Just cut and paste into new instruments and sometimes going up or down octaves to fit the range of the selected instrument.

    I can only encourage you to keep this direction going. It’s bearing some tasty fruit, More focused and thoughtful than your earlier, somewhat fragmented, explorations, IMO.

    Yes, it's very focused work like sculpting with clay.

    But I can see that entering notes with a pen would be the same entering notes into a Piano Roll
    MIDI editor and I'd get the same sense of "flow" but building up something. I'd also like to
    try arranging with audio sources like @Paulieworld does.

    There's a new version of Staffpad coming soon that allows adding audio tracks so that opens doors
    for using drum apps and all my synths inside staffpad. I can also export audio stems out of staffpad and
    mix in AUM.

  • McDMcD
    edited December 2021

    I tried mixing the synth, drum and orchestra libraries together in this sketch.

    I'm finding that letting Staffpad do the mixing buries the parts that are layed down first. I guess it's time to experiment for exporting stems and do a proper mix in Cubasis or AUM with extra Mastering FX apps:

  • McDMcD
    edited December 2021

    I keep tweaking the instrumentation and tempo on this one... It's sounding like a James Bond action sequence. I think it's the French Horns and the pseudo Latin rhythm making it sound 60's.

  • Very good exploring.

  • @McD said:
    I'm finding that letting Staffpad do the mixing buries the parts that are layed down first. I guess it's time to experiment for exporting stems and do a proper mix in Cubasis or AUM with extra Mastering FX apps

    Have you tried playing with the volume levels in Staffpad?

  • McDMcD
    edited December 2021

    @MrFromage said:

    @McD said:
    I'm finding that letting Staffpad do the mixing buries the parts that are layed down first. I guess it's time to experiment for exporting stems and do a proper mix in Cubasis or AUM with extra Mastering FX apps

    Have you tried playing with the volume levels in Staffpad?

    Yes. It's a clumsy UI for changing volumes and I've decided to err on the side of NOT having more than a few active instruments at any given time to... too many and it gets hard to hear
    everything. I also will be selecting instruments and articulations (i.e. pizz) if the rhythmic contribution is important. I'll also create drum parts that will only have 2 notes active at any single point in time to improve clarity of the drum kit. It's a drumming style that many modern drummers use called "Linear Drumming".

    NOTE: a new version of Staffpad dropped today that adds audio tracks and "elements" which are audio segments with loop semantics in the UI. Staffpad is also on sale for $40 and the IAP libraries are 30-50% off. Hippo Holy Days!

  • @McD said:
    Yes. It's a clumsy UI for changing volumes and I've decided to err on the side of NOT having more than a few active instruments at any given time to... too many and it gets hard to hear
    everything. I also will be selecting instruments and articulations (i.e. pizz) if the rhythmic contribution is important. I'll also create drum parts that will only have 2 notes active at any single point in time to improve clarity of the drum kit. It's a drumming style that many modern drummers use called "Linear Drumming".

    That’s cool. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of its existence. Still early days in my own playing with it. :)

  • Staffpad added Audio tracks and a selection of Audio Segments it calls "Elements". I created a quick sketch using some real instruments and a bunch of "Elements". All the drums, guitar and percussion sounds are Element audio segments. The Horns and Strings are Staffpad Libraries with the new added "Triplet Delay" FX feature.

  • McDMcD
    edited December 2021

    Crystal Mobiles... playing with the new reverbs and FX. Then imported into AUM to add Roli Noise, Continua with a spacey @Spidericemidas Pad all summed into FAC Alteza to place it into an astral orbital plane.

  • McDMcD
    edited January 1

    If you have ever been the proud trainer of a Racing Chihauhua, this theme will resonate with you.

    The drum part is an 8-bar audio loop created by @Lumbeats Funk Drummer and imported into a Staffpad audio track. I added Cowbell and congas using CinePerc instruments.

  • How do you line up the audio with the StaffPad timeline? Simply bpm?

  • McDMcD
    edited January 1

    @LinearLineman said:
    How do you line up the audio with the StaffPad timeline? Simply bpm?

    BPM in this case... 100.

    But they have an new "Adaptive Audio" capability to align audio with a click. It manages minor time stretches to sync up an improvised track. I tried it on one of your performances and gave up after a couple bars of effort. It's a bit fiddly and doing a whole piece would take a lot of time.

    Here's a demo/tutorial by DHW:

    I might try again after I finish playing with more simple routes to sketch something. This was an experiment in writing out about 8 bars of a motif and then using cut and paste to stagger entrances across a Chamber Orchestra.
    Then I tweaked notes (sliding them to new positions) when I heard something I wanted to change.

  • McDMcD
    edited January 1

    Staffpad Libraries are 30% off until 1/3 so I picked up the coveted Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings and tested in on "Tone Poem for Sue" replacing the Spitfire Chamber Strings:

    Contrast that with the Spitfire Chamber Strings version:

    and the Staffpad default string section (with fewer notes)... I'll put up the same arrangement after my battery re-charges.

    They all sound good and the major differences beyond the tone is the attention to more articulations. Tho' they say the Spitfire Strings have the most complete offering... I just wanted to hear the Berlin tone since it's claimed to be the most realistic orchestra.

  • The Berlin wins it for me. Clear, and open strings sounding by quite a bit better than the others.

  • @Ailerom said:
    The Berlin wins it for me. Clear, and open strings sounding by quite a bit better than the others.

    Is it $70 (or $99 when the sale ends on 1/3) better? I'm hoping to dig into the possible articulations and avoid buyer's remorse. I saw a post about a spreadsheet that lists all the possible articulations. Learning to articulate these libraries is unlike anything you do on IOS to make music. MIDI 2.0 needs these concepts but it doesn't have it. Imagine making 1 out of ten notes "staccato" using iSymphonic in Cubasis or AUM. No sequencer supports these ideas but it would be trivial to do it. But soon... you'd have 8 copies and iSymphonic and the DAW would crash on the RAM limitation.

    M1's can fix this but only in 5 years when everyone upgrades.

    People keep writing that Apple is holding back Logic Pro but the reality is IOS users won't pay $199 for a DAW. And all the Logic competitors are $399.

  • @McD did you see this https://vi-control.net/community/threads/custom-playback-rules-in-staffpad-mini-crash-course.119333/ ? Some interesting detail there into what goes on behind the curtain.

    If soundfont players were extended to support user defined articulations to select presets from one or more soundfonts then I can see how some of the StaffPad workflow could be brought to other DAWs, maybe even using its own soundfont files. MTS supports per-note articulations but I can’t think of other iOS DAWs that let you do this without the need to draw in extra notes/CCs to trigger articulation changes.

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