Playback - senza vibrato

• Feb 2, 2020 - 16:09

Is there any way to direct stringed instruments to play senza vibrato and hear it played back that way? I'm guessing this would require a special mixer channel that is not part of the bundled soundfont, but it seems like vibrato should be relatively easy to disable and I'm wondering if there is some way to "hack" it using the synthesizer.


In reply to by krummholz

The default "synthesizer" in MuseScore doesn't synthesize sound itself, but plays back and manipulates pre-recorded samples (which are stored inside a "SoundFont").
If those samples contain vibrato from when they were recorded, then that is the starting point.

In reply to by jeetee

You raise the interesting question as to whether sound engines which play back samples (including virtual pipe organs) are reasonably called "synthesizers" at all, or what this term ought include at all (e.g., traditional pipe organs, which can provide two-to-the-number-of-stops different "patches").

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

The term certainly fooled me, being new (within the last month) to MuseScore and MIDI playback. I assumed that vibrato, like note duration and (I assume) dynamics, were electronically added and I was marveling at how realistic it sounded. I guess I shouldn't have been so impressed.

So what exactly do these recorded samples consist of? Each pitch of the chromatic scale played on the instrument within its possible range? I assume not, since the "synthesizer" can do glissandi as well, and seems to be capable of playing back notes displayed in red (though even the high "professional" range of the cello sounds unnatural, so maybe those notes are derived from recordings played in the more usual range).

So much here to wrap my head around...

In reply to by krummholz

In normal soundfont technology, there are not samples for every note, but, rather, for a few well-chosen notes, and the sounds (including the possibility of non-equal temperaments) created by squeezing those few as needed (just as you suspect for glissandi above). In virtual pipe organs, that is not so -- every pipe is recorded. In both paradigms, "beginning of sound" and "end of sound" have to be sampled as well as "what the continuous sound is like." The "bite" of a bow on a string must be recorded and connected to a sustained note; it cannot be synthesized readily; ditto every other "beginning". Ziya is an expert in soundfont ways and means; maybe he will contribute. Note that this "linear" approach does not work when the instrument itself (like traditional pipe organ "mixture" stops) creates conflict, and thus the MuseScore pipe organ sound cannot compete with VPO (let alone live) renditions on similar registrations.

In reply to by krummholz

The synthesizers that play sound-fonts uses pre-recorded samples instead of the basic sound waves produced by oscillators (sine-wave, triangle-wave, square wave, etc.).

Therefore, almost real-like sounds (that cannot be created with oscillators and basic sound-waves) are easily used with the help of wavetable-synthesis.

Because each added sample increases the size of the sound font, a sample is usually set to cover more than one note.
Example: A sample recorded for note 60 can also be used for notes in the range 58-62 (or 55-64, etc.).

Maybe the samples at hand are in limited and there is no possibility to find more. In this case, the synthesizer fills in the empty areas according to the given parameters. Of course, the synthesizer cannot process it properly after a certain point, and an unnatural sound begins to form.

Since Musescore software is an non profit organization, it can only use (and distribute) samples from a certain licenses when preparing soundfonts. And in this case, it is not possible to find all instrument samples of excellent and/or good quality. At this point, the work of the expert sound-font artist begins and works to create perfection from the impossible using the soundfont parameters. (Of course, as much as possible.)

About the vibrato issue: If the sample at hand is recorded without vibrato, vibrato can be added and used with and without vibrato. However, it isn't possible to remove the vibrato if the sample is recorded with vibrato.

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