Solo Strings
Difference between Bow Gestures? (Expression, Bipolar, Bowing)

Can you help me understand the bow gestures? Specifically bipolar and bowing modes. The manual is going over my head. Maybe I'm more of an example type of guy.

Right now I have no idea how to:

  1. Play a single, long sustained note, and
  2. have total control of bow changes, like an irregular bowing style.

I have a feeling one of those modes is going to help me. Help?

Can you help me understand the bow gestures? Specifically bipolar and bowing modes. The manual is going over my head. Maybe I'm more of an example type of guy. Right now I have no idea how to: 1. Play a single, long sustained note, and 2. have total control of bow changes, like an irregular bowing style. I have a feeling one of those modes is going to help me. Help?

Hi @Snapeye !

  • Expression: means that Bow SPEED is directly related to the value of the "Expression" parameter. I.e. the higher is the value of Expression, the higher is the speed of the bow
  • Bipolar: it is similar to Expression, but the speed is zero (i.e. bow is not moving) when the Expression is 0.5 (i.e. MIDI CC value = 63). Values below MIDI CC value 63 are interpreted as down-bow, while values above 63 are interpreted as up-bow. The drawback with this is that you need a controller which default (central) position send CC value = 63, usually it is impossible to stop an expression pedal, a slider or a knob to a position that corresponds exactly to 63. Indeed, this gesture is perfect for "Pen2Bow" App (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pen2bow/id1358113198): when the Apple Pencil is not moving, the CC value is 63, when the Pencil moves clockwise the CC value is above 63 and proportional to the speed, when the Pencil moves counterclockwise the CC value is below 63.
  • Bowing: means that Bow DISPLACEMENT is directly related to the value of the "Expression" parameter. I.e. the MIDI CC value controls the position of the bow, so you need to move your CC very fast in order to obtain a louder stroke. The drawback is that you cannot have long sustained notes at high dynamics, as the length of the bow is limited (as in the real life).

The best way to control bow-changes is to set the "Bow Gesture" to "Expression" and the "Manual Trem/BowC KS" parameter to "Bow.Ch". Play a note and hold the Sustain Pedal, then press the Keyswitch C# every time you need a bow change.

Best!

Hi @Snapeye ! - **Expression**: means that Bow **SPEED** is directly related to the value of the "Expression" parameter. I.e. the higher is the value of Expression, the higher is the speed of the bow - **Bipolar**: it is similar to Expression, but the speed is zero (i.e. bow is not moving) when the Expression is 0.5 (i.e. MIDI CC value = 63). Values below MIDI CC value 63 are interpreted as down-bow, while values above 63 are interpreted as up-bow. The drawback with this is that you need a controller which default (central) position send CC value = 63, usually it is impossible to stop an expression pedal, a slider or a knob to a position that corresponds exactly to 63. Indeed, this gesture is perfect for "Pen2Bow" App (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pen2bow/id1358113198): when the Apple Pencil is not moving, the CC value is 63, when the Pencil moves clockwise the CC value is above 63 and proportional to the speed, when the Pencil moves counterclockwise the CC value is below 63. - **Bowing**: means that Bow **DISPLACEMENT** is directly related to the value of the "Expression" parameter. I.e. the MIDI CC value controls the position of the bow, so you need to move your CC very fast in order to obtain a louder stroke. The drawback is that you cannot have long sustained notes at high dynamics, as the length of the bow is limited (as in the real life). The best way to control bow-changes is to set the "Bow Gesture" to "Expression" and the "Manual Trem/BowC KS" parameter to "Bow.Ch". Play a note and hold the Sustain Pedal, then press the Keyswitch C# every time you need a bow change. Best!

Thank you so much for the reply. I've been doing experiments with the different methods and it's making sense.

I find that the Bowing gesture sounds extremely realistic, and really models the either graceful hairpin bow change action or the sffz sound when emphasizing the direction change. Phenomenal. But you're right, it's a short stroke. Did you model the lengths of the average bow for each string instrument and map that to the cc range? Is the contrabass bow range longer than the violin? Are there sonic differences between the tip and frog of the bow and how each interacts with the string; I'm sure those can be modeled separately by the user with bow pressure, actually.

I wish there was a way to switch from my Expression gesture (using a Roli) to the Bowing gesture and have the Bowing gesture accept an alternative cc for expression, only temporarily while I'm in that mode. Right now, I have to go into the settings and manually swith expression from aftertouch to a cc, record a section with a ribbon or pad for bowing, then copy that cc data into the aftertouch data after the fact. Is there something I'm missing, any tip or trick you know of to make it easier? Anyway, it's still worth it in order to get this realism. Thank you.

Thank you so much for the reply. I've been doing experiments with the different methods and it's making sense. I find that the Bowing gesture sounds extremely realistic, and really models the either graceful hairpin bow change action or the sffz sound when emphasizing the direction change. Phenomenal. But you're right, it's a short stroke. Did you model the lengths of the average bow for each string instrument and map that to the cc range? Is the contrabass bow range longer than the violin? Are there sonic differences between the tip and frog of the bow and how each interacts with the string; I'm sure those can be modeled separately by the user with bow pressure, actually. I wish there was a way to switch from my Expression gesture (using a Roli) to the Bowing gesture and have the Bowing gesture accept an alternative cc for expression, only temporarily while I'm in that mode. Right now, I have to go into the settings and manually swith expression from aftertouch to a cc, record a section with a ribbon or pad for bowing, then copy that cc data into the aftertouch data after the fact. Is there something I'm missing, any tip or trick you know of to make it easier? Anyway, it's still worth it in order to get this realism. Thank you.

A decent DAW (I use Reaper and am sure it can) can "automate" any "DAW parameter" of a plugin by assigning it to a Midi event. Hence switching gesture mode on the fly should be possible.

This said, IMHO it would be very appropriate to allow "expression" to be a high resolution CC, so that 16284 instead of only 128 "steps" (i.e. bow positions in the appropriate mode, bow speeds in the others). (I in fact use the "Flutes" and miss very soft expression, but need to admit that hiRes CC would not help, as my TEC BBC does not support this, either. )

With hiRes CC appropriately long bows would easily be possible.

-Michael

A decent DAW (I use Reaper and am sure it can) can "automate" any "DAW parameter" of a plugin by assigning it to a Midi event. Hence switching gesture mode on the fly should be possible. This said, IMHO it would be **very** appropriate to allow "expression" to be a **high resolution** CC, so that 16284 instead of only 128 "steps" (i.e. bow positions in the appropriate mode, bow speeds in the others). (I in fact use the "Flutes" and miss very soft expression, but need to admit that hiRes CC would not help, as my TEC BBC does not support this, either. ) With hiRes CC appropriately long bows would easily be possible. -Michael

@Snapeye short replies:

  • the length of the bow is limited to MIDI CC resolution. With 128 values, we can model approximatively 8 to 10 cm bow length.
  • to switch between one gesture to another you can use either: key switch D (check the user manual for proper use), MIDI CC assignment (Options -> MIDI mapping) or DAW automations (as @mschnell has pointed out)
  • tip vs frog, as you said can be mimicked with appropriate use of bow pressure

@mschnell HI-RES CC will be introduced with SWAM v3, as we have already done for the Solo Brass.

Best!

@Snapeye short replies: - the length of the bow is limited to MIDI CC resolution. With 128 values, we can model approximatively 8 to 10 cm bow length. - to switch between one gesture to another you can use either: key switch D (check the user manual for proper use), MIDI CC assignment (Options -> MIDI mapping) or DAW automations (as @mschnell has pointed out) - tip vs frog, as you said can be mimicked with appropriate use of bow pressure @mschnell HI-RES CC will be introduced with SWAM v3, as we have already done for the Solo Brass. Best!

HI-RES CC will be introduced with SWAM v3, as we have already done for the Solo Brass.

This is GREAT !!!! I did not know that it's already done for the solo Brass

Will there be an update for the Flutes any time soon ?

It would be rally great if you could contact TEC (TEControl). I already talked to them long ago and they said that they were inclined to implement HiRes CC as soon as there would be a virtual instrument that supports it. So FINALLY here we are....

-Michael

> HI-RES CC will be introduced with SWAM v3, as we have already done for the Solo Brass. This is GREAT !!!! I did not know that it's already done for the solo Brass Will there be an update for the Flutes any time soon ? It would be rally great if you could contact TEC (TEControl). I already talked to them long ago and they said that they were inclined to implement HiRes CC as soon as there would be a virtual instrument that supports it. So FINALLY here we are.... -Michael

This is GREAT !!!! I did not know that it's already done for the solo Brass

@mschnell yes, SWAM Solo Brass support HI-RES MIDI CC (coupled) and NRPN since v1.0.0.

On v1.5.0 we added a parameter to control the threshold level of the note-on attack, please check this:

https://youtu.be/nEzZwkIdEoo?t=168

It would be rally great if you could contact TEC (TEControl). I already talked to them long ago and they said that they were inclined to implement HiRes CC as soon as there would be a virtual instrument that supports it. So FINALLY here we are....

I'm in touch with Tom of TEControl every week or so. I'll solicit him, once again.
Note that SWAM Solo Brass is not the only software instrument that supports HI-RES MIDI. Respiro by IMOPLUX is also supporting it: https://www.imoxplus.com/site/

Will there be an update for the Flutes any time soon ?

You should know better than me :-) Check the (sliding) roadmap: https://community.audiomodeling.com/index.php?u=/topic/24/a-rough-roadmap

SWAM v3 will have all the new features included in Solo Brass: new GUI, extensive MIDI mapping, HI-RES MIDI, remapping curve in addition to the new VST3 and Standalone formats.

Best!

> This is GREAT !!!! I did not know that it's already done for the solo Brass @mschnell yes, SWAM Solo Brass support HI-RES MIDI CC (coupled) and NRPN since v1.0.0. On v1.5.0 we added a parameter to control the threshold level of the note-on attack, please check this: https://youtu.be/nEzZwkIdEoo?t=168 > It would be rally great if you could contact TEC (TEControl). I already talked to them long ago and they said that they were inclined to implement HiRes CC as soon as there would be a virtual instrument that supports it. So FINALLY here we are.... I'm in touch with Tom of TEControl every week or so. I'll solicit him, once again. Note that SWAM Solo Brass is not the only software instrument that supports HI-RES MIDI. Respiro by IMOPLUX is also supporting it: https://www.imoxplus.com/site/ > Will there be an update for the Flutes any time soon ? You should know better than me :-) Check the (sliding) roadmap: https://community.audiomodeling.com/index.php?u=/topic/24/a-rough-roadmap SWAM v3 will have all the new features included in Solo Brass: new GUI, extensive MIDI mapping, HI-RES MIDI, remapping curve in addition to the new VST3 and Standalone formats. Best!
edited Jul 20 at 10:35 am

All this sounds very promising !
Thanks again.
-Michael

All this sounds very promising ! Thanks again. -Michael
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