Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

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ohernie
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Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby ohernie » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:33 am

FYI. I've been trying to set up a structure where I can use multiple controllers and select VST's independently. You can't have multiple ASIO streams in Win7+ so multiple instances of audio programs, as in Kontakt + Forte is not an option. I just managed to set up a nine scene structure with three instruments on each of three ports being selected independently. At this point the selection is being done via mouse. Because scene select is tied to one port & channel the individual controllers cannot all be the source of their patch changes - one instrument would have to be the patch select for the entire setup.

The basic concept is instruments within a group of scenes that apply to them have configuration data enabled and all other scenes have configuration data disabled. Because mutes cannot be "disconnected" from scenes I had to use the Brainspawn volume control plugin for muting. It's not tied to any midi input, just set to full volume for the instrument in the controller group that should sound with the rest of the instruments in the group turned down. Like the instruments themselves the volume control plugin's configuration data must be enabled within the controller group and disabled everywhere else. Setting this up is a pretty tedious process because you have to edit almost every instrument and it's volume control plugin for each scene. Besides the selection issue there's a startup issue - since this relies on the patch being selected all instruments in a group will sound until a scene that references them is selected. Also, since mutes cannot be used CPU usage can be high. "Notes Off" has to also be turned off for scenes outside the controller group.

I'm still working on this so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm listening.

evilantal
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Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby evilantal » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:34 am

I'm having some trouble understanding what it is you're trying to achieve. Could you maybe give some usage examples?

PS: I *think* forte supports running multiple instances of the program. But that will obviously only work if your soundcard releases unused ASIO ports to be used by other pograms. (known as multi-client).
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ohernie
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby ohernie » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:37 pm

Forte does not support multiple instances and "officially" under Windows 7+ there cannot be multiple ASIO sources. I've seen some workarounds on the net (Multi-ASIO and ASIO4ALL) but haven't tried them. You *can* get away with using different versions of Forte along with a standalone sampler like Kontakt under Windows XP.

The idea is to not use sets but rather emulate multiple independent keyboards. With the current set based system I would have to create a scene for every combination of patches. I usually use a weighted keyboard controller for piano sounds, a split semi-weighted or synth 76 key controller for bass and non-piano sounds and lately I've been bringing along my wireless AX-7 rig, just for the fun of it so effectively, I have four controllers. With the current "global" scene system I would have to create a scene for every possible combination. For four keyboards with 8 sounds apiece, that's 4096 scenes. The structure I described allows me to change a patch on one of the instruments without affecting the other three. Setting up the same 4 keyboard by 8 patch combination would require the minimum 32 scenes.

I should mention that I'm trying to do everything within Forte. I own Bome's Midi Translator Pro, but I'm trying to figure out a way that doesn't require someone else to buy it. I'm also not fond of it's archaic progamming structure.

evilantal
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Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby evilantal » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:14 am

Hmmm...ok I see...

Would controlling instrument mutes via a Control Surface Definition be an option?
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MikeG
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Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby MikeG » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:08 pm

Hi - I'm reading through this and trying to figure out what the missing thing is. Are you trying to build something that doesn't use scenes at all but just patches MIDI ins to VSTs in some sort of matrix?

Mike
----------------
Mike (brainspawn)
www.brainspawn.com/support

PLEASE NOTE that the forum is not monitored as frequently as the support site above. This forum is intended primarily as a way for users to ask other users questions about the use of Forte.

ohernie
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Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby ohernie » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:15 am

I'd say matrix. To simplify, I want to be able to split a keyboard, have multiple vst's available for each half and choose them without affecting the other half. A group of patch change buttons would control the bass instrument and another group of patch change buttons would control the treble instrument.

I think the use of custom control surface functionality might be the answer. Thank you evilantal.

Mike: Is there any limit to the custom control surface XML file size? If the limit is high enough, it should be possible to create an external front end using the control surface midi functionality. Being able to mute instruments is important from a CPU standpoint if you've got, say, four groups of (potentially) 128 instruments but are only playing one instrument in each group.

I'd like to point out that the "sets" paradigm is not universal. There are a lot of us soloacts and lounge lizards that are closer to the "arranger" paradigm. We don't do a fixed show or concert, we decide what we are playing next by what is happening in the room. Sets don't work when you're hauling around fakebooks, creating instant arrangements and medleys or taking requests. If we have to arrange our setup by songs, we need easy instant access to at least 250 of them, and that number is for someone just starting out. Again, if someone is already doing this, I'm listening.

MikeG
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Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby MikeG » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:59 am

Hi,

There is no explicit control surface definition size but I don't know well large files have been tested.

Thanks for the feedback on use cases. I'll save this for guidence in how to support this better in the future.

Mike
----------------
Mike (brainspawn)
www.brainspawn.com/support

PLEASE NOTE that the forum is not monitored as frequently as the support site above. This forum is intended primarily as a way for users to ask other users questions about the use of Forte.

ohernie
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: Controlling multiple sets of instruments independently

Postby ohernie » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:00 am

Ok, my suggestion would be to create a "scenegroups" construct - basically a set of scenes limited to a subset of instrument modules with their own port/channel assignment for scene changes. Scenegroups would be independent of each other so picking a scene in one scenegroup would have no effect on any other scenegroup.


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