More from our good friend Aaron on midi implementation of note articulations. This is all wind-synth centric, but there is stuff to be learned by everyone.
. Here's a bit more on the issue of note articulations for those who may be interested. I talked last time about how sample based synths handled them and the problems that ensue. Akai in one or more of their synths took a different approach and got some very realistic results. Here's what they did: When a legato note followed another note, the synth did a pitch bend of the previous note to the new pitch. And the bend was implemented with a glide of some milliseconds. The effect is quite realistic and is the best of any sample synth I've heard. Again, a legato note is defined by its "note on" coming before the previous note's "note off." After learning about this I wrote some MIDI processing routines to experiment with other synths and found it worked well with any sample synth. The routines are in C and anyone is welcome to them if they want to experiment, if I can find them. One limitation is that if you play a very long legato passage and shift more than a 4th or 5th you start to get a "chipmonk" tone. That is, extreme pitch bends start to make an unrealistic sound. However most phrases in most music are short with new articulations frequently so the result is usually very realistic. A stepwise passage of ta ya ya ya ta ya ya ya for example sounds fine. One interesting thing about processing MIDI is that it takes very little processing power. I could play my WX thru my routines on an original IBM PC and still have it play a combo thru cakewalk without any latency. With a modern PC a MIDI stream takes less than .01% of the processing power. It might even be possible to use CAL in Cakewalk/Sonar to implement this effect and play sequences into a softsynth. I've never used CAL but perhaps someone can comment. I hope at least a few find this topic of interest. Best regards, Aaron