How to use VSL's Horizon Samples...

From a MIDI-file to a VSL-Track

Dear VSL-user

This Tutorial is optimized for using with VSL's First- and Pro Edition and for all the Horizon Products.

The following pictures, texts and sound examples will show you the way.
Take into account that you use a Sample Player such as HALion from Steinberg, Gigasampler or the Sample Player of Logic for playing the samples of Horizon.
You also need to use the so called "Performance-Tool" (VSL) for the legato samples. How to use those Performance Tool?
Please take it from the manual of it.

Beat Kaufmann


The Midi-file

All the next steps are based on this Midi-file: Midi tempo 120 Vel 64 . If you want load it down and import it into your sequencer, do it. It contains just the notes you see in the score below.
The tempo is: 120 (over all)
The velocity: 64 (all notes)

Tempo = 120 Velocity = 64
VELOCITY - Information:  

Basic-Set-notes have normally 2 levels:
V1 (mf) level 0 - 88
V2 (ff) level 89 - 127

Short and long notes have up to 4 levels:
V1 (p) 0 - 55
V2 (mf) 56 - 88
V3 (f) 89 - 108
V4 (ff) 109 - 127

Dyn-/Trem-/Trills- and Pizz- notes
have 1-2 -(3) levels:
1 Level V1 0 - 127
2 Levels V1 (mf) 0 - 88, V2 (f) 89 - 127
3 Levels V1 0 -55/ V2 56 - 108/ V3 109 - 127

This is always the "Note-Level" itself !
(Do not mix it up with midi-controller 7)

Step 1: Adjust tempo / Velocity 88 over all?

Tempo adjusted

I adjust at this time the coarse tempo values. I also set the velocity level for all notes on level 88 (one count before VSL-ff). This is comfortable later on. Then you have only to increase the velocity +1 step and you will have the forte sound. (Click on the picture if you want to enlarge it)

Step 2: Loading first samples

Now you are prepared to load the first samples with your sampler. I have decided to make a track for the solo violin.
Let us take for the first impression the Sustain-Sample. Load up this sample type in midi-channel 1. As you know, I use HALion and Cubase. So when I say "midi-channel 1" then I mean the "adress" of the VL-mV-sus samples in your sample player. Perhaps you have to make settings like "instrument 1 = Ch1" ...

CH1 VL_mV_sus

A flat and "samply" sound, isn't it? And in reality? No tone sounds like the next one. If you want to come close to this natural sound you need to have hundreds of variations. This isn’t possible. But VSL offers plenty of different tone variations. Example?
Take the short notes: stac-1/-2.. 0.3s-1/-2.. 0.5s-1/-2

It is up to you to decide how close to the reality you want to be. A rule for practice: The more instruments you have the less different samples per instrument you need… So if you want to play a solo violin sonata you will need probably all available samples. You have to decide whether you want to come to a compromise or not... > More different samples or less.

Channel Setting

Here we go. Let us take for the first short notes "stac-samples". It is not really necessary to take stac-1 and stac-2 because the following notes change always its tone-value. But I always take stac-1 and stac-2 with strings (basically). The real violin player does it as well...
With the string instruments stac-1 means up-bow and stac-2 down-bow. For woodwinds and brass instruments stac-2 is "only" an other stac-tone.

So load now the stac-1 and stac-2 samples. Important: The channel-setting of the sequencer should now set to ALL! (not Ch1 or an other single Ch). So your sampler is able to play the samples which are laid on CH2 and Ch3 too.

See to this subject the picture rihgt to this text. Clicking on it will enlarge it.
CH1 VL_mV_sus
CH2 VL_stac-1
CH3 VL_stac-2


Loading short samples

As you can see in the score we take for d in the second bar the 0,5s-sample. It has a nice sound. You will see it later on in a better way (when this sample will be played with ff). You have to load up the 0,3s–sample too. Both sample-types you will also find under "soloViolin_Short_Notes".
CH1 VL_mV_sus
CH2 VL_stac-1
CH3 VL_stac-2
CH4 VL_mV_0,3s
CH5 VL_mV_0,5s

Step 3: Loading special samples

sfz- and dim- samples

To get the real violin sound we have now to load up more samples. Most time it is a good thing to combine the sfz-sample with stac-samples. Example: You have a quartet of 4 1/8 - notes. Usually the real violinist plays these four notes in different ways. One possibility: He plays the first note with more "weight". So in VSL-language means this: “sfz - stac-2 - stac-1 - stac-2 ... “ try it out.
We will play in our example the very first note with sfz. The end of our track we play with to different dim-samples: ohne Vibrato (without) / mit Vibrato (with).
Attention: There are dim-samples with one velocity-level and those with two levels. Dims with 2 levels have the following letters _dim2_3s. The 2-level-dims are good for p - ends.
Tip: Longer dim-samples are also good for longer notes because they have in its first second a “sweller”. This fact takes a very natural course with the velocity. “Dims” with long notes are nearly a must in baroque music. > The dim-time should be longer then the tone-time in this case.

CH1 VL_mV_sus
CH2 VL_stac-1
CH3 VL_stac-2
CH4 VL_mV_0,3s
CH5 VL_mV_0,5s
CH6 VL_mV_sfz
CH7 VL_mV_dim2_1,5s
CH8 VL-oV_dim2_3s


Step 4: Loading performance samples


For using the Performance-Tool you have to contact VSL. An other good link for HALion users is Tim Kiels home page

We will come much closer to the reality with this performance samples. Unfortunately they use a lot of RAM space. ...OK - We will now load perf_leg_f on midi-ch9 and perf_leg_porta
on midi-ch10.
Important: Performance Tool CH 1 – CH 8 and CH 11 – CH 16 should be switched "thru". So the signals for all our other (non perf) samples can pass through.

CH1 VL_mV_sus
CH2 VL_stac-1
CH3 VL_stac-2
CH4 VL_mV_0,3s
CH5 VL_mV_0,5s
CH6 VL_mV_sfz
CH7 VL_mV_dim2_1,5s
CH8 VL-oV_dim2_3s
CH9 VL_perf_leg_f

(This sample is already "velocity-adjusted" > no more level 64. Please read more about this subject in step 5.)

I created different types of VSL-sample-instrument-sets for all instruments with HALion. So you have a fast sample-uploading with always the same sample-configuration.
Further on I created a useful standard (which channel / which sample) for every type of “instrument set”.
Advantage: If you arrange a midi file for the soloVioline, you can load up the instrument set "solo Trumpet" and the arrangement will work with this instrument as well. The VSL-sample quality offers that you can do this with really less
adjustments. (Every instrument / every sample-type / same midi chanal)

The instrument-set below includes all samples which are often used. This "Instrument-Sample-Set" I use quit often with small orchestra formations:

MIDI-CH SAMPLE (XX = Instrument > VI-14 > KB-6...)
1 XX_Perf_Leg_Porta
2 XX_Perf_Leg_f
3 XX_sfz
4 for other needed samples
5 XX_stac-1
6 XX_stac-2
7 XX_0.3s-1
8 XX_0.3s-2
9 XX_0.5s-1
10 XX_0.5s-2
11 XX_tr_GS
12 XX_tr_HS
13 XX_mV_dim2_1.5s
14 XX_mV_dim2_3s
15 for other needed samples
16 XX_pz_mV-1

Step 5: Adjust the velocities


A very important thing is the adjusting of the velocities. There are no rules for the velocity "calibration". On the one hand you have the composer’s fortatos and pianos and on the other hand you have the limitations of the VSL-samples. So try, turn, trim, increase, decrease, check, change... until you have the best result(s).

You can do this work only by hearing...

The examples in step 3 and 4 are already “velocity adjusted”!

Different velocities
The 1/16 and 0,3s notes have got little
overhang. So they can fade away
> this sounds more natural.
Score with Midi-Chanels

Step 6: Adding a room effect

Our solo violin sounds even more realistic in a natural room. If you have no Reverb check up this home page:
SIR (free VST-Convolution-PlugIn) and Noisevault (free impulses for Convolution-Reverbs)

And now... The solo violin with some reverb


Last word

This completes the first introduction in "How to use VSL (Midi)". Without batting an eyelid you will use 10 different samples for creating a real sound of an instrument. As a composer you want to have perhaps up to 10 instruments in the meantime beside you. I think this situation uses more than one PC / MAC. With a "0,7s preload into ram" I used 300MB - space (for all samples Ch1 - Ch10). That means: For a string quartet = 4 x 300 MB = 1200 MB - ram space. This means also four instanstances of your sample player with its loaded samples for violin 1, violin 2, viola and cello ... Because I produce mostly mock-ups I prefer to create instrument by instrument... just I've showed it now.

Beat Kaufmann

Back > TOP

Zugriffe heute: 1 - gesamt: 6614.