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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » Nord Modular G2 Discussion
Weak MIDI OUT velocity from G2
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martin



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:49 pm    Post subject: Weak MIDI OUT velocity from G2 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have the standard small G2 but the MIDI velocity from the keyboard is quite underscaled compared to other MIDI keyboards. The keys has to be slammed if I want to play a piano on a sampler for example. I can't see any velocity scaling parameters in the system menu. I can compensate on the MIDI input in Logic but I'd rather like to trim the G2 instead. Is it possible? Is there a trim-pot inside or something?

m
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Weak MIDI OUT velocity from G2 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

martin wrote:
Is there a trim-pot inside or something?

m


No, but you can make a patch using a MIDI out module preceded by some scaling.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a wish list item that I put in myself. This and aftertouch sensitivity should be a synth global setting, not something to kludge in each patch.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

More speciffically; a simple waveshaping module such as a overdrive or a saturartion will give you a user definable velocity curve. With some extra effort you could make a virtually identical copy of the functionality of Ableton Live´s velocity scaler (for example). With some more thought you could also make the exact curve depend on where on the keyboard you are playing in order to make -say- the higher notes more sensitive but with a lower maxinum velocity or something along those lines. Simply modulating the waveshaper with some treated version of the pitch signal should do the trick.

This is more work then taking some standard solution but you do get to define your own feel in detail, that´s worth something too!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I sent Calvia a request. Who knows, if they get enough of them..
Hope they get the e-m wishlist as well. Thanks for the scaling tips, I'm already using a velocity scaler (Transformer) in Logic that affects only the MIDI coming from the G2.

Perhaps the reason for low velocity scaling is to make the G2 compatible with FM patches? DX7 maxed at MIDI velocity 118, some odd idea that Yamaha had. Hm.. hope not..

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
This is a wish list item that I put in myself. This and aftertouch sensitivity should be a synth global setting, not something to kludge in each patch.


I had missed this comment previously for some reason, I disagree. First of all I don´t think the ideas sugested by Jan and me are "kludges", I think it´s very do-able to build something that is at least as advanced as the most elaborate ready-made implementations.

Second I think the structure of such settings belong with the structure of the algorithems they are affecting. Note I am talking about *structure* not about values.

Thirdly I think this would be another step on the slippery slope-route the G2 has taken, we should turn back while we still can, not cover ourselves deeper. Taking things like this and previously matters like vibrato, the arpegiator and the pitch bend range out of the patch and intot he hardware obfuscates the border of the patch and so makes it less clear what can be done and which way to go about it. Possibly worse; moves like that, the "names" of parameter pages and the implication that "pianos" constitute a certain percentage of all patches move the G2 towards a culture of substractive synthesis for keyboard players. There are already enough of those synths in the world, if that was what people wanted they would have bought a second hand Virus and been done with it.

Moving velocity curves to the "synth settings" is Bad and Wrong, both technically and culturally.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

Moving velocity curves to the "synth settings" is Bad and Wrong, both technically and culturally.


I wouldn't go that far, I'd rather say that Howard is a bit lazy sometimes. Note the sometimes, as at other times he aint.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think Howard works realy hard, that´s not the issue to me. You could be lazy and use the "building blocks" if anybody realy is lazy.

I realy think we should take the arpegiator and such functions out of the hardware and make those into building bloks too. Making Arpegiators isn´t as hard as it used to be anymore thanks to the busses that we now have as a way of getting signal around the polyphony-mess through a modem that can be depended on to remain digitally stable.

It is beyond me why vibrato and such functions have been taken out of the patch level. Making vibrato or portamento is a matter of (litterally) one module; It´s like Clavia either doesn´t understand the synth themselves or (more probably) asumes the users don´t. I´m quite bothered by this because it´s adversely affecting users who do.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
This is a wish list item that I put in myself. This and aftertouch sensitivity should be a synth global setting, not something to kludge in each patch.

I do agree a lot with the above...

So i disagree with this...
kassen wrote:
Moving velocity curves to the "synth settings" is Bad and Wrong, both technically and culturally.


I don't see why it is Bad and Wrong at all to make the G2 a bit more convenient by suplying velocity curves as a system option, especially when two of the models has a keyboard build in. It doesn't take away the potential to overrule the system level velocity curves and patch in a user defined curve based on whatever esoteric structure. It does make it easier to use the g2 keyboard to drive other gear that has a different response to the velocity. Something i experience often.

As for the pointer to the secondhand access virus, the G2 is attractive to me because it has a keyboard integrated with a modular synth. No Virus model has that. Or any other hardware synth...as far as i know.

So yes please, give the G2 velocity response curves (say 8 of them) on a system level Exclamation

And yes, i guess i am lazy too, indeed

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Let´s have a Demo knob too then. It would be much more convenient then playing yourself which couldn´t possibly harm. If you´d realy want to play you could bypass it using a internal jumper so nobody would be adversely affected by it.

Much better even would be to simply suply the output of that "demo" function on a cd. This would bring tremendoes savings because all of those electrical parts and interface bits are quite expensive. The G2 could cost roughly a euro then, excluding shipping and handeling!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Let´s have a Demo knob too then.


Yeah right!
I want a demo button. But with every press a different noodle must be heard, or else it wouldn't be a G2 anymore, wouldn't it?

And Jan must have a lot of royalties then from clavia, who else would supply the noodles...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen, they put a knob on the G2 and G2X for controlling the gain on the mic amp didn't they? You could control this inside each patch couldn't you? Of course it makes more sense to do it at the system level. The same goes for adjustments for the touch of the keyboard; set it once for all patches. It's not about being lazy, it's about being smart. Laughing

I am lazy - I admit it. Sometimes I work long hours on some things to avoid doing things I'd rather not do.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Kassen, they put a knob on the G2 and G2X for controlling the gain on the mic amp didn't they? You could control this inside each patch couldn't you? Of course it makes more sense to do it at the system level. The same goes for adjustments for the touch of the keyboard; set it once for all patches. It's not about being lazy, it's about being smart. Laughing


Sigh.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd agree with putting it in the system level as well, for several reasons: *I* play differently than someone else might. I tune the keyboard to *my* playing style once, and all patches are effected thereafter. I can save myself the DSP resources for better uses, since a feature like this would end up in the central processor, which doesn't deal with patches aside from knob assignments, midi routing, and other I/O tasks.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes a simple global velocity response is a good idea. That said, good patches most likely should have multiple independent interaction with velocity. I don’t see the two things as being mutually exclusive.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't think Kassen is attacking anyone. I relate to the keyboard pretty much as Tim, Soshin, does, but I'm sure I'm nowhere nearly as good a keyboardist. I don't feel attacked. I'm confident that when Kassen gets back he'll clear up that misunderstanding.

At any rate, the designers of the G2 took a bold step in merging a modular synth and an a keyboard, especially with the G2X. I think they have done a marvelous job, but there are compromises. If the G2 were to be the ultimate modular, I guess the keyboard would be sacrificed and there would be more knobs than just the 8 we have now. If the keyboard was the focus, then there would be weighted action, even more keys, and some better tuning for velocity and aftertouch.

I think the compromises that were chosen are just fine, but there could be improvements. System level adjustments of velosity and aftertouch wouldn't take anything away from those of us that aren't keyboardist, but it would make the instrument much more playable for those of us that are.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wan wrote:
Kassen wrote:
Let´s have a Demo knob too then.


Yeah right!
I want a demo button. But with every press a different noodle must be heard, or else it wouldn't be a G2 anymore, wouldn't it?

And Jan must have a lot of royalties then from clavia, who else would supply the noodles...


Actually this is an idea that once lived for a certain person then within the Clavia company ... it is called the "Bengt knob" (after the person). You turn it and the synth makes a beautifull sound.

I was never asked by Clavia to patch for this though, instead I did get complaints on some of the bug demonstration patches I sent in. I could not expect people to listen to such patches I was told .... ah well even you Wan used the "noise" word in the past when speaking about my noodles (and indeed sometimes they are just that).

Some of the patches took hours BTW before the bug would manifest itself, can't really blame them.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
I was never asked by Clavia to patch for this though,

They are missing something then, your patches are one-of-a-kind and sure they should pick a few from them.
Blue Hell wrote:
ah well even you Wan used the "noise" word in the past when speaking about my noodles (and indeed sometimes they are just that).
yes i did, but not all of them are noise to me either, just with some of them i haven't reached the level yet to appreciate them...yet, it may still come. And you still have a special category in my G2 patch system now, just as with the G1. And i actually listen to some noodles more than once Shocked

Now back to the topic. I've tried to patch a velocity curve for the midi out, but here it becomes very annoying that there is no way to send the pitchbend out by a midi module, as is mentioned in another thread. This means that, when you make your own velocity curve, you have to sacrafice your pitchbend. Something i never will do.

So, actually there must be 2 features added to the G2, pitchbend midi module and global velocity curves.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I'd agree with putting it in the system level as well, for several reasons: *I* play differently than someone else might. I tune the keyboard to *my* playing style once, and all patches are effected thereafter.


This is a facinating point of view and not at all without merrits. I think it´s akin to how html was meant; you set your own fonts and colours, somebody else supplies the content and so you get to read what interests you in the way that best suits you, resulting in a more comfortable reading experience (of cource this failed horribly with many designers forcing purple gothic fonts on neon green backgrounds down your throad and most users being unable to find where to change these settings, but that´s not my fault). I think this holds a lot of merrits and I would advocate this system for prepatched synths where the meaning of velocity is static.

However, velocity´s meaning isn´t static in systems like the G2; to many people velocity means how forcibly a keyboard is pressed, to others it´s one of the only parameters that´s independantly controllable for each voice (note number and polyfonic aftertouch are the others). I have argued in the past that the start time of a note might perhaps also be seen as one of those. What is happening currently is that Clavia is reserving those chanels of information for certain purposes. Note number gets hardwirered to osc pitch, start time gets linked to triggering envelopes and now volocity would be claimed too, we did not get polyphonic aftertouch; it was explained to me that most keyboard players couldn´t effectively use that. It is beyond me how that is a reason not to implement it on the midi input, except when you are asuming all of your customers are keyboard players.

[side note]
This is clearly what is happening and though you can turn these "hard links" off, they do give non-keyboardists the feeling that they are "not welcome here". This gives me personally a very uncomfortable feeling using the G2 and it´s the main reason I have decided to give my engine back to Rob. Actually, if I may side track for a moment, this was ruining my enjoyment of my NM rack too by asociation. I´m considdering going back to OS2.1, painting it blue and reskinning the editor in order to "reclaim" my instrument emotionally.
[/side note]

To get back to the use of velocity; I think the velocity curve, though it is clearly desireable to have it be compattible with the build and way of moving of the instrumentalist, is also a large clue as to the internal structure of the instrument the patch is supposed to represent and as such I feel it belongs in the patch. In fact I feel all control signals that are related to user input benefit from well considdered use of waveshaping for this very reason. In my experience this makes for more physically believable instruments that are more enjoyable to play.

For a new generation of synths I would be very musch in favour of having adjustable feel to the physical keyboard, this would create settings for both the user and the patch-builder to express their ideas on velocity in clear ways.

You also seem to asume a lot of patches will be used by multiple users, many of whom are unable or unwilling to change the configuration of a velocity curve themselves. I think many of my comments to the current thread about the meaning of patches in the composition forum hold true on that topic, but your ideas may well differ.


Quote:

I can save myself the DSP resources for better uses, since a feature like this would end up in the central processor, which doesn't deal with patches aside from knob assignments, midi routing, and other I/O tasks.


Yes, perhaps so for *you* but there are no free lunches. The control processor is not some infinite resouce. If you keep stuffing it with things you would rather not spend resources on then it´s other fuctions will start to suffer, I´m thinkign in particular about the resolution of CC´s. If we look at the implementations of such things as the arpegiator, the prtamento or the vibrato then we can see those are realy very simple, barebones versions. I imagine that people seriously interested in the use of those effects will "roll their own" for that reason. I know I make my own portamentos and spend a lot of time and care on those. This means that everybody who does not fall with the narow scope of what Clavia feels these effects are about, either because they don´t use those effects, or because they use them in a more serious, more personalised way is paying for the lunch that apears to be free to you.

I´m still firmly behind my previous comments on these structures blurring the border of what is and what isn´t the patch. To make matters worse; those settings and their exact interaction with the patch, in particular polyphony, are hardly documented at all which makes many things insanely hard to do because you need to reverse engineer half the system. The combination between this additude, not documening what´s going on and keeping the source closed so I can´t figure out what´s going on myself makes the way the G2 relates to midi input very hostile to me.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wan wrote:

Now back to the topic. I've tried to patch a velocity curve for the midi out, but here it becomes very annoying that there is no way to send the pitchbend out by a midi module, as is mentioned in another thread. This means that, when you make your own velocity curve, you have to sacrafice your pitchbend.


Ah, finally something to surpass lazines, good point ( we indeed need pitch bend out ;-)

But seriously, I'd vote in favor of velocity curves when this would be a poll.

I don't have a G2 key version but from the Classic I remember that for kbd patches I most times had to change the velocity response to make the keyboard (or the MIDI sax !) work for me (I'm really a no good on keyboards but I do try a little two or three finger something sometimes)

But also I do think that in general people could try to patch a bit more before jumping into the wish list.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

shoshin wrote:

Some people really appreciate this "slippery slope" -like yours truly.


Clearly, and that was to be expected. After all, many people like the Korg Triton too.


Quote:

Keyboard tracking, Pitch bending, vibrato and arpeggiation are established performance tools in synths since at least 20 years.


This is well estblished. I am in fact greatly in favour of using these things as performance tools which is why I´m sugesting that people build their own so it is *their* performance tool, tailored for *their* performance.

You should know it´s not infrequently that almost all of the cpu time of my laptop goes into calculating custom algorithems for these performance tools. I am increadibly interested in how controlers map to synthesis, discuss this matter at length, interview instrumentalists in order to get a greater understanding and spend long nights doing my own research in addition reading relevant publications. My laptop´s cpu, by the way, is a bit more powerfull then the G2´s controll processor. Those algorithems wouldn´t fit. they hardly fit in a patch.

Quote:

The juxtaposition of modular freedom and these commonpractice components is actually a big part of what makes the G2 unique.


How is the G2 implementation more unique then that of other digital modulars such as Tassman, Reactor or Vaz?


Quote:

I feel attacked by this statement. It somehow implies that keyboard players are mediocre synthesists.


Well, many are. it´s well known that many synths never get their presets changed. I have actually know keyboard players who stressed that they were keyboard players and not synth programers and took pride in this. They explained that thye felt it better to leave programing to "the profesionals". I´m not basing any hard rules on this experience though. I have a friend who takes great pride in his keyboard solo-ing skills and for some time kept the Computer Music Tutorial and the documentation fo the VST libraries for C++ next to his bed. Nescivi who is very close to me performs on the piano and is also bussy inventing and improving ways of synthesis and particularly the way those are controled. I have great respect for them and take their ideas extremely seriously.

I never heard your music and so I can´t say what I think of your skills as a synthesist. I myself considder myself to be far, far below mediocre as a synthesist, none of what I do is ever close to good enough and I know way too litle nor have I read enough. I console myself with the idea that I´m still young and can and will still grow.

Quote:

I'm a professional pianist myself, and do not consider myself mediocre in this field. And no, I'm not primarily interested in VCO-VCF-VCA patches.


I´m delighted to hear this.

Quote:

I AM, however, interested in patches that serve keyboard performance. If keyboard performance is "dated", i.e. not valid anymore, then all music associated with it is also not valid anymore -from Bach to Stockhausen. I don't share the opinion that artistic validity is a function of time or technological progress. But this is getting OT, so I'll stop.


Well, I have a big mouth. There´s lots of room to put words in there. After you´ve done that we can share a nice dance around the burning strawman.
I like keyboard instruments and their music. Lastnight I played a brief DJ set and opened with quite a bit of modern piano pieces, especially Simeon ten Holt and John Cage. I just think we should beware of taking the keyboard as default instrument and limit all other interfaces connected to synthesisers to the limitations of the keyboard like we have done in the past and are now doing some more.

To illustrate, I feel Bach is still extremely relevant but his chello suites are my current favourites of his work and I think those depend on types of intonation not availabele in Keyboards and as a concequence hard to implement through MIDI. This is, however the type of intonation I´m currently trying to get into synths and I am being obstructed and made to feel unwelcome by people who asume "keyboard" and "synthesiser" are closer concepts then they need be.

Amusingly, earlier this year I got a folder in my mail from a retailer of instruments. He explained in a small side bar that the difference between keyboards and synthesisers was the keyboards come with extra percusion presets to play to.

Now, I´m not saying you think like that too, but I do think this folder indicates a cultural link that need not be there and is harming our instruments.

Quote:

I'm sorry that you do not enjoy the G2. But for many of us, the G2 is a godsend and we appreciate many aspects of it you harshly and repeatedly criticise.


I find this unusual. Most pianists I know frown on synthesiser keyboards for being too light. Nescivi in fact refuses to use keyboards to controll synths despite studying the piano for a long time and performing her own compositions for it on stage. One of the main things I have protested against int he G2 is the light feel of it´s keyboard. I would expect to find somebody like you in my corner there. I would also expect profesional pianists to play their own arpegios manually and care about intonation enough not to trust on off-the shelf protamentos. You may like the sound of the dac´s, that´s a matter of taste. I´m fine with all of this, go your own way, just realise your way is not some absolute truth that aplies to everybody.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I don't think Kassen is attacking anyone.


Well, I am, I´m just not attacking anyone here in the sense that was taken. I am attacking commercial synth manifacturers for making assumtions that limit the usefullness of the instruments they build. Not only do I think that the choices made limit the instruments in a practical sense, I also think more limitations are being implied by how they (the designers) cause the instrument to be preceived.

This is bad, IMHO, for the vectors of emotional expresion that we´d like instruments to be I think that´s unacceptable.

Quote:

I relate to the keyboard pretty much as Tim, Soshin, does, but I'm sure I'm nowhere nearly as good a keyboardist. I don't feel attacked.


Well, no, but I heard you used to be linked to Buchla, one of the first and only companies that spend a lot of time on thinking about and experimenting with interfaces for synths. I have a huge amount of respect fro that company for that reason, not only for the actual work done but also for the stance taken.


Quote:

At any rate, the designers of the G2 took a bold step in merging a modular synth and an a keyboard, especially with the G2X.


more so then for example the way ARP dealt with the question in the design on the 2500? I´m not sure I understand the speciffics of what makes the G2 a better merge then alternatives but I´m very interested in where your opinion comes from.

Quote:

I think they have done a marvelous job, but there are compromises. If the G2 were to be the ultimate modular, I guess the keyboard would be sacrificed and there would be more knobs than just the 8 we have now. If the keyboard was the focus, then there would be weighted action, even more keys, and some better tuning for velocity and aftertouch.


Depending on how you see the keyboard I think those concerns need not be oposite at all. I think people who realy care about keyboard performance will want to define how their keyboard relates to their sound in ways that are suited to the internal structure of their sound, their way of playing and how they see those connecting. The features needed for that are exactly the same ones I need for my own ideas.

Of cource I would prefer to see them implemented in a way that invites you to connect your own controler so you can use a keyboard that has the righ feel for your style or some other controler of your choice (and perhaps design!)

Quote:

I think the compromises that were chosen are just fine, but there could be improvements. System level adjustments of velosity and aftertouch wouldn't take anything away from those of us that aren't keyboardist, but it would make the instrument much more playable for those of us that are.


Well, such a setting would need to be in some layer *above* the performance level since people have indicated the desire to aply their ideas on velocity curves to patches made by others. This means there would be three layers; this level, the "performance" and the "patch" that would all effect the sound and it´s controll. I think this would lead to extra, unnesicary complexity and further blur what is the patch and what is the synth which, as I feel I should stress again, is making some things realy, realy hard to do.

This is no longer my battle, I don´t have anything to gain or lose anymore. I hope my ideas will be of use to some other people, possibly other companies that might read this board and feel called to take a different stance. I also hope people who feel insulted by my ideas will be able to realise at some point my intentions were good, if not I hope they will at least be able to find confirmation and perhaps even enjoyment in the fact that the musical world alread offers exactly what they desire and that I´m a lone, raving madman who has to build everything himself.

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Kassen
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Joined: Jul 06, 2004
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Location: The Hague, NL
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
instead I did get complaints on some of the bug demonstration patches I sent in. I could not expect people to listen to such patches I was told .... ah well even you Wan used the "noise" word in the past when speaking about my noodles (and indeed sometimes they are just that).

Some of the patches took hours BTW before the bug would manifest itself, can't really blame them.


Good story. My own infamous "harpsichord with breaking strings" was reportedly making people who tried it fall off chairs with it´s tendency to work perfectly well for some time of keyboard playing, then suddenly make a insanely loud "twang" as a string broke. I think I made something that was supposed to be in the range of 0-1 into a five or six figure amount to get it to behave correctly.

I think they like me for finding bugs :¬).

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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