An idiot's guide to changing articulations and layering instruments

Can anyone recommend any YouTube material that might help an idiot better understand how to change articulations in Iconic Strings (core)?

I'm trying to understand how to not only change the articulation in the middle of a part but also how to change that articulation over to an articulation from a different category, so for example from long to a short or a pizz for example. As I see it, when I load a set of articulations it only loads up one category, either long, short etc.

I'm new to using libraries like this and as I look at it now, unless I'm playing ensemble with every instrument playing the same articulation my instinct is to create new instrument tracks in the DAW to get those different voices and I'm sure that must be the wrong way to go about it.

Thanks in advance


  • Hello! This doesn't directly answer your questions, but most (or some) of us actually load up each track for each articulation. Personnally I do that because it helps me mix better.

    As for racks, I used to do them with BBCSO, but I don't know if it applies much to iconic strings. You can check out an image posted in the discussion below. Look for the 'strings' section for a rough reference if you'd like.

    Anyone use BBCSO for orchestral sketches? — Spitfire Audio

  • Thanks for this, hearing that others do set up other tracks helps.

    I found my issue with the changing of articulations, in Pro Tools I have to drop the trigger down an octave. So when it says C-1, put a trigger in C-2 instead, now I am using different tracks for each instrument with triggers to change articulations.

  • I was actually wondering about this. I thought about setting up my tracks this way, but how do you go about writing midi? For example, if I write a violin line that uses multiple articulations, would I have to put each of the midi notes on the separate, corresponding tracks? That seems tedious to me. I use Logic, so is there a way one track can have the entire line but each note be assigned to a certain articulation?

  • It may not be the answer you are looking for but I use "all-in_one" patches where they exist and change articulation on the fly with key switching (using a StreamDeck 32). I can then tidy them up later - often using Art Conductor.

  • That's a great question. What I'd do is I would record it in one take in any articulation, then I would cut them and drag them to the articulations they were meant to be in. Personally I do the one take on the long note/legato articulation since the length of the note needs to be considered (unlike the shorts and pizz.)

    As for tedious, I can see why some would consider that tedious, it's just how some people do it.😁

    However, there is an alternative. I know some libraries (Not sure about spitfire) can use the CC faders to control articulation. So when the faders are at a certain range of values, they would change articulations. I have done so using other libraries, so that might be worth checking out if your instruments have that function. Then, what you'd do is you would just record on one track while switching with the faders - or you can do the faders afterwards 😊

    Hope this helps!