I'm mostly just curious. Why did Spitfire go to the trouble of creating the UACC method for articulation switching in Kontakt, but then not implement it in their dedicated plug in. I mean sure you can reproduce it by entering your own MIDI CC #32 values for each articulation and then saving a new preset I guess. But I'm curious why it isn't just implemented by default so you just change the one setting, just like you're able to in Kontakt. I thought this was much better than dealing with key switches personally. Was it just not that popular?
It is largely because at this time we are highly focussed on optimisations and more foundation work for the plugins. We are aware of the demand for UACC and I do expect it to be added in the future however at this time we can not provide ETAs on it.
I've shared my BBCSO Core UACC patches and Logic articulations here.2
What has happened with this 'development'? I'm getting the impression that Spitfire Audio is Cubase focussed and all other DAWs are dealt with as an afterthought, if there's a bit of spare time, as opposed to planned in. The support people are great, but only as good as the resources they are supplied with. Not having an articulation by keyswitch map by patch for things like Solo Strings and Studio Brass means that (a) either the user has to build a spreadsheet of these, by trawling through each and every patch and taking notes, or wing it on the fly and risk complete inconsistency. On the former product, it turned out to be quite simple, on the latter, I gave up. Upon giving up I took Studio Woodwinds out of my wish list. I want to make music. I shouldn't have to compensate for the omissions of the VST supplier. I shouldn't have to spend hours making their products work. And some of the Cubase focus is glaring. Like the ability to select a key switch range not going down to the C-2 start point that several alternative DAWs require. I like Spitfire porducts -when and if they work as their competitors do 'out of the box'.0
Hi @Donkey_Oaty - on the last point, in case it helps: if your DAW goes down to C-2, you can definitely use that octave for key-switches. It's just that the key-switches will appear to be one octave below whatever is set in the Spitfire plugin.
This is because the plug-in and your DAW use different naming conventions for the same notes: the plugin uses the "Roland standard", which refers to middle C as "C4", whereas some DAWs use the "Yamaha standard", which refers to middle C as "C3". Middle C is always MIDI note 60, so the lowest valid note (note 0) is five octaves below. That means that software using the Roland scheme calls the lowest note "C-1"; whereas in the Yamaha scheme it's called "C-2" - importantly, though, it's just two names for the same note!1
Thanks, I've already sussed that out. What's annoying in some products on Spitfire's own interface is that you cannot change the note selector to the correct range, because the available range selected is set at a minimum that does not go down to C-2. So there's no WYSIWYG. Which is pretty unreasonable in 2023. Spitfire is not alone in this. What my beef is about though, is the complete lack of information provided. It's left to the customer to go through each and every patch, notate where things are and make up the sound variation maps. A simple chart or spreadsheet would provide this. But, because it works 'out of the box' in Cubase, nothing seems to happen. It's a time killer with some of the products with multiple patches. In a reasonably documented situation it would be quick and easy to establish that - for example, instrument X had a full set of articulations and could be used as a boilerplate Sound Variation map and that patches Y and Z were single articulation and required no attention. Some competitors work in my DAW 'out of the box', I don't have to go through this time sapper (or give up as I did on Studio Brass) and this is giving them an advantage.0
...but you *can* select the correct range, and it *does* go down to C-2. The plugin just happens to call that note C-1. I don't see why this C-2/C-1 business suggests a bias towards Cubase anyway: Cubase uses the Yamaha standard too, so note names won't match the plugin there either.0
I’m puzzled about the suggestion of bias towards Cubase too. In almost all the Spitfire videos and walkthroughs I’ve seen Logic seems to be the DAW of preference for the Spitfire people. But I do agree about documenting articulations and key switching more comprehensively. And don’t get me onto my current hobby horse about NKS!! But that’s mainly down to Native Instruments getting their Komplete Kontrol sorted out after the last version broke it!!! 🤬1
They're tantalisingly close to documenting the key-switches in the appendix of the user manual, since the keys are assigned in the same order as the techniques are listed in every example I've checked - i.e. for each preset, the first technique in each preset is note 0, the second note 1, etc. But, yes, it would be nice if SA produced articulation sets (or even a CSV of the data) since they're the ones with the authoritative list of the [default] settings.
I've not used it, but Art Director by Babylonwaves looks like a fairly neat solution. I can see why people might object to paying for curated articulations when the library vendors could publish them for free, but as a %age of the cost of the libraries themselves it's a relatively small cost.1
I have Babylon waves and recommend it. But I really like switching articulations as I perform/record.1
Thank you. I've looked at Babylon Waves. But €90 is a bit steep to sort out something that should be made simple to implement by the VST producer. I have libraries by other manufacturers within the portfolio it supplies.
One of these is 8Dio. Some of their stuff is extremely low-cost in their flash sales and some of it is very good. They can offer far more articulations than other companies: the problem with them is each instance of their product seems to support a max of 10 articulations. The utilisable range for CC switching is 0-70.
Meanwhile, back to Spitfire. Some of the products (e.g Appassionata Strings) were easy to sort out. Others, such as Solos Strings, whilst the manual doesn't give too much away, the sales blurb on the web site maps out what's in each patch fairly well. It wasn't a major probem. I bought Studio Brass. The manual was lacking in much information and the blurb on the product sales part of Spitfire's site didn't deobfuscate too much. I've just gone through the upgrade path with the 50% off flash discount on top. I wouldn't have done it if the manual had been the same. However it provides a unified UACC control set using values for CC32. The information is well laid out and it should be able to modify one of the existing UACC template folders. So in that respect, you're correct Aldous. And they really do need to get all the manuals sorted and a bigger, better set of instructions on utilizing UACC. Their demo uses one of the simple Abbey Road libraries: pefect for showing basics, useless at demonstrating how to set up sound variations that can run to 100+
Thanks again! I am trying to get on top of this and also Kontakt multis and you are most helpful.1
I 'bit the bullet' and bought Art Director from Babylon Waves. When I added up the number of products I have that they have prebuilt maps for, and the size of some of the products, that €90 began to look very good value for money. There's a lot of typing involved in inputing these, by hand over the products I have. It took me the best part of a day to spreadsheet the articulations in the various configurations of 8Dio's ' Century French Horn' and 'Century Solo French Horn'. I spent the same amount of time mapping out the major patches in Spitfire's 'Studio Brass' and then gave up. Ideally I want what Babyon provide - some consistency.
So more music making and less spreadsheeting. That has to be good.
Thanks to you and aldous fo your time and comments.1
Hi @Donkey_Oaty - that sounds promising... I may be coming to you for a review before too long :-)1
Glad you are happy with it. I see that there is a 9.1 update. I like the way he continues to add libraries to keep it current.1
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