A-List Acoustic Guitarist Fingerpicking Nylon Operation Manual

A-List Acoustic Guitarist Fingerpicking Nylon Operation Manual
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
OPERATION MANUAL
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the
part of Propellerhead Software AB. The software described herein is subject to a License Agreement and may not be
copied to any other media except as specifically allowed in the License Agreement. No part of this publication may be
copied, reproduced or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose, without prior written permission by
Propellerhead Software AB.
©2017 Propellerhead Software and its licensors. All specifications subject to change without notice. Reason,
Reason Essentials and Rack Extension are trademarks of Propellerhead Software. All other commercial symbols
are protected trademarks and trade names of their respective holders. All rights reserved.
A-List Acoustic Guitarist Fingerpicking Nylon
Introduction
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon is the fourth Rack Extension instrument in the A-List series for
Propellerhead Reason and Reason Essentials. Think of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon as a professional
session guitarist offering all kinds of broken chords, arpeggiated figures and beautiful ornaments, performed on a
top-notch nylon string guitar, performing exactly as you wish while giving you extensive control over sound character,
musical performance and mix. Whether you want to add realistic picking guitar tracks to your productions, use it as an
inspiration for writing songs on a train or plane, or as source material for creative sound design - it will get you from
idea to result as fast as possible.
At the core of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon - and all instruments in the Propellerhead A-List series - is the
idea that you can create professional sounding instrument tracks exactly the way you would get them from an A-List
player in the studio. There, you'd give them a lead sheet, adjust sound character and mix, and tell your session
guitarist what kind of musical style and performance you're expecting - and a great player would deliver exactly that.
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon does the same thing for you: the lead sheet is represented by the MIDI notes
you record or insert into your Reason tracks (or play live on a MIDI controller), there are controls for sound and mix,
you load styles and select phrases in real-time, and there are performance controls to vary the performance.
Whatever Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon does, it does it extremely well, fast, and asking absolute minimal
effort of you.
Try it now - it's easy and fun!
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon is designed for creating stunning, dynamic performances using very simple
MIDI commands. The perfectly played phrases and styles all come built in. All you need to do is press chords and
optionally bass notes, select phrases and make adjustments where useful. You can even dynamically control palm
muting of the strings and the intensity of the picking for extra dynamic expression and creation of your own
performances.
Here's how it basically works - and we encourage you to try it now.
1. Create an Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon device in the rack.
It will load a default style that's all you need for now.
4
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
2. Start playing on your connected MIDI keyboard or the built-in Interactive Keyboard.
D
Hit a key or chord from the note C4 and upwards and Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon will start playing.
D
Activate the Latch switch so it keeps playing.
D
Hit the note B2 when you want to stop the playback in Latch Mode.
D
Set a different Bass note by hitting a key from between C3 and B3.
D
Move the Pitch Wheel to change the picking intensity.
By turning the Pitch Wheel up or down, you can ask your guitar player to play softer or harder. Use this to great
effect e.g. for more expressivity and distinct intros, verses or choruses.
D
Move the Mod Wheel to apply palm muting.
You can live-control palm muting using the Mod Wheel. Turning up the Mod Wheel gradually increases the
pressure of the palm.
D
Vary the phrasing.
Pressing keys (or generally: sending MIDI notes) between C1 and Bb2 selects phrases. The lowest octave selects
a set of standard phrases, the C2-Bb2 octave selects phrases of the currently loaded style.
D
Change the sound character.
Use the Mics selector and the Character control to vary the overall tone of the guitar. Turn the Animate control
clockwise and notice how overtones and modulation are added to the sound.
D
Add a second guitar player.
Activate the Doubling button in the performance section to activate a second player (similar to overdubbing in the
studio), with the players panned left and right in the stereo image.
Background
It is important to know that Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon does not emulate a guitar. It does not let you edit
individual notes, but it also does not require you to know how to play a guitar on a keyboard, or to think about how to
emulate realistic picking or typical guitar voicings. It has all that intelligence built in and will always play real guitar
voicings no matter what notes you input.
!
That also means that the notes you play on the keyboard are not always necessarily the notes you will hear
back from Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon. This may need a little while to get used to, but it's a built-in
guarantee that your performances are indistinguishable from a real guitar performance.
What Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon emulates is therefore a studio guitarist who already knows how to play.
Because when you have an idea in your head and want to get it to "tape", the last thing you want to do is having to
struggle with MIDI editing and trying to make a MIDI performance sound realistic. What you need is a professional
player recording your idea the way you want it. That's exactly what Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon does.
The foundation of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon is a top-notch nylon-string guitar, played by a professional
guitar player and recorded with high-end studio microphones.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
5
These recordings are embedded into a custom intelligent voicing and phrasing engine, turning Acoustic Guitarist Fingerpicking Nylon into a Rack Extension that can virtually play any guitar phrase at any tempo and always sound
like an original performance.
Panel overview
The Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon front panel contains the following sections:
1
2
3
4
5
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon front panel sections.
• 1. Source section (for selecting guitar and amp character, adjusting Crunch and choosing drop tuning).
• 2. Performance section (for telling the "virtual player" which Style to play and for tweaking a few performance
parameters).
• 3. Mix section (for adjusting Animate, Attack, Reverb and Volume of the audio output).
• 4. Patch selector (for browsing, loading and saving patches).
• 5. Interactive keyboard (for telling the "virtual player" which Phrases, Bass Notes and Chords to play).
Loading and saving patches
Loading and saving patches is done in the same way as with any other internal Reason/Reason Essentials device see the “Sounds and Patches” chapter in the Reason/Reason Essentials Operation Manual pdf for details.
You'll find a small selection of patches in the root level. These will give you an overview of the sound capabilities of
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon. A lot more patches can be found in subfolders, sorted by categories and
genres.
!
6
On instantiating Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon, or when loading Combinator Patches featuring Acoustic
Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon, it can take a few seconds until all content is loaded into RAM.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
Panel controls
Source section
In this section you set the basic sound character of the Guitar.
Mics
The source material of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon has been recorded using two different high-end
small-diaphragm condenser microphones. The Mics selector lets you choose between five different selections of
those two signals:
• A
This is the mono output of Microphone A, which has a nice neutral sound, slightly on the crisp side.
• B
Microphone B provides a somewhat fatter sound than Microphone A. Select this option to get pure B played in
mono.
• A+B
This option mixes A and B into a mono signal.
• A/B
This is one of two stereo output options: Mic A on the left channel and B on the right. You can use this to route and
treat each signal individually in Reason's mixer, or to create a stereo effect without using Doubling or a second
instance of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon.
• B/A
Same as A/B but with channels swapped. Try both options in a mix to find out which one sits better in the stereo
image.
Character
The Character knob adjusts the recorded signal before it gets fed into sound processors inside Acoustic Guitarist Fingerpicking Nylon. It offers five distinct settings:
Knob position
Character
Rich
Accentuated root note, slightly boosted ... if you want the guitar to be one of the dominant instruments in your mix or to
low and high ends.
have it support your chord progression.
Use...
Full
Slightly boosted low and high ends.
... for a modern, warm sound that fits most arrangements.
Original
Untreated signal, straight from the
microphone(s).
... for a straight acoustic guitar character, or if you plan to do all sonic treatment in
the mixer or using studio processors.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
7
Knob position
Character
Use...
Bright
Pronounced high mids.
... for a guitar track that blends well with other harmonic/chord tracks, especially
in bigger arrangements. Allows you to bring down the level and still keep the
picking "recognizable".
Sheen
Boosted and slightly compressed treble. ... add high end animation to any mix, often as a complement or replacement for
Hi-hat or percussion, without interfering with other chord sounds. Works
particularly well with Doubling activated.
Fret Noise
When changing from one chord to another, the fingers sliding on the fretboard create characteristic noises that are
essential for the authentic character of an acoustic guitar. Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon has an algorithm
that produces these noises dynamically exactly where they would occur on a real guitar. Sometimes you may want a
totally clean signal - for example in electronic music - in this case you can deactivate any Fret Noise with this button.
Position
The Position knob emulates moving the picking hand between bridge and neck.
• The center position represents the recording position - the fingers picking over the sound hole - and is therefore neutral.
D
Turn the knob to the left (moving the virtual hand towards the bridge) for a thinner sound with more attack.
D
Turn the knob to the right (moving the virtual hand towards the neck) for a more full-bodied, hollow sound.
Performance section
This section is a mixture of selectors, knobs and displays for selecting and adjusting the musical performance.
Styles and Phrases
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon is designed to produce arpeggiated guitar tracks. It doesn't play melodies,
but phrases (or figures). A phrase in this context is a rhythmic sequence of picked or strummed strings matching the
played chord.
A Style in Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon is a collection of phrases of a certain musical context. Styles are
given descriptive names. Phrases, although, are not named but numbered.
• As you move from left to right on the keyboard's phrase ranges (C#1 - Bb2), phrases become more intense - i.e.
denser and more animated.
You can add to the dynamic expression of a song by selecting phrases accordingly: As you progress from intro to
verse to chorus, move right on the phrase selection keys and vice versa.
8
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
!
The Phrase playback is always triggered by the MIDI Note On; it’s not synced to the sequencer’s bar position.
The reason for this is you might not always want the phrase locked to the bar position. This way you can be more
creative with re-triggering the phrases and get more “live feel”. If you want the guitar performance locked to the
bar position in the sequencer, just position the trigger notes accordingly. If you change MIDI notes in a legato
fashion (tied), the new notes will continue the "phrase-sync" from the previous note.
Style
In this menu, you can select one of the 60 included musical styles. Each style features 11 individual phrases (see
“Style Phrases”).
Speed
Choose between regular playback speed, half time and double time to match your song's feel.
Doubling
Use this function to create the impression of two independent players playing at the same time.
When active, Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon will add a second guitar player to the currently selected signal
and place them at opposite stereo positions.
Latch
Use this toggle switch to determine if Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon should always keep playing or only
play when keys are held.
If on, Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon will keep playing after a bass note or chord is pressed, until either
Latch is switched off or the Stop button in the Reason/Reason Essentials sequencer is pressed.
A sustain pedal can be used as a temporary latch (but does not affect the appearance of the Latch switch). Lifting
the sustain pedal unlatches any notes that are no longer held, even if the Latch switch is still on, see “Sustain Pedal”.
Swing
This knob gradually applies a shuffle feel to the guitar performance by delaying the off-beats.
Depending on the selected style, 8th or 16th note off-beats will be affected. At maximum position, the off-beat will
have the same timing as the last note of a triplet.
Not all phrases contain 8th or 16th note off-beats, so in these cases the Swing control has no effect.
Timing
This knob controls the timing accuracy of the virtual player. Turning it to the left will lead to a more machine-like
precision, turning it to the right will add more and more human feel by bringing in small random timing variations.
Feel
With this control you can tell the virtual player to push or play laid back, i.e. it affects the overall timing of the guitar
performance. Right from center, off-beats will be slightly advanced (Push), left from center they will be delayed (Pull).
Variance
Variance lets you control the dynamic variation of the performance. Turn it left, and your guitarist will play with almost
robotic steady dynamics - this is often preferred in electronic music. Turn the control to the right adds more and more
variation in picking intensity between notes, making the performance way more natural and human.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
9
Mix section
The controls in this section allow you to add the Animate effect and Reverb, and adjust the attack transients and
volume of the output signal.
Animate
Animate is a multi-effect specially designed for Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon. A custom combination of
modulating comb filters, saturation and convolution adds rich and vivid harmonics and an airy, spherical feel.
Reverb
Adds the ambience of a studio recording room to the guitar sound. If you're not using external effects, you should
always dial in a little reverb to avoid the guitar sounding dry and artificial.
Attack
When turned left, this control softens the attack transient of the guitar signal and accentuates the sustained portion.
When turned right, it makes the attack transient more pronounced.
Volume
Adjusts the audio output volume of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon for maintaining an optimal input level into
the mixer or subsequent audio processors.
Interactive keyboard
The interactive keyboard is both a display of received MIDI notes and a working on-screen keyboard. The left side of
the keyboard (Standard Phrases, Style Phrases and Bass Notes) doesn't make any sound by itself. Here, you control
the performance of the guitarist by switching between 22 different phrases. The right half of these phrases are set by
the style, the left half is identical for all Styles. The Bass Notes section lets you select the Bass Note to play along
with the chord. The right side of the keyboard (Chords) determines which chord Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking
Nylon plays based on the note(s) you send.
!
10
The interactive keyboard does not get recorded. Use a MIDI keyboard or the Reason/Reason Essentials Onscreen Piano Keys for this purpose.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
Standard Phrases
The lowest octave of the MIDI keyboard (C#1 - B1) is reserved for a collection of so-called "Standard Phrases".
These phrases are "hard-wired" and won't change with the Style selection.
Standard Phrases complement the Style Phrases by phrasings that are more generic and applicable to multiple
contexts. Combine them with the Style Phrases for a large variety of figures.
Five of the Standard Phrases are one-shot phrases that don't loop: C#1, D1, D#1, Bb1, and B1.
!
Phrases are what you make of them. Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon lets you switch phrases in real-time
without interrupting the performance. That's a great way to create dynamic and interesting phrasings of your
own.
Style Phrases
Keys in this area select phrases of the currently selected Style (see “Style”).
Phrases in the Style range start with the lowest density/intensity on C2 and get more complex as you move towards
Bb2.
You could generally work your way through a song going from left (intro, verse) to right (chorus), but of course this
greatly depends on the style and your song. Just know you always have 11 different arpeggios plus the Standard
Phrases at your immediate disposal.
The highest key of the Style Range - B2 - is the Stop key. In Latch mode, pressing this key will stop playback
whereas the Silent key (C1) will keep playback going, just with an empty phrase.
Bass Notes
Keys in the Bass Notes section allow you to play a bass note that's different from the currently played chord. The
occurrence of played bass notes depends on the selected Style and Phrase, some combinations play bass notes very
frequently, some don't at all.
Chords
Keys in the Chords range function almost like a regular musical keyboard: you start and stop the guitarist's
performance and you determine the chords played. It's like playing keyboard, except that instead of playing notes you
select the chord the guitarist will perform as a phrase.
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon recognizes and plays 14 chord types. More on chords and how to make best
use of them in “Chord Fingerings”.
Key
This control sets a key for the song, forcing all chord input to the most useful chords in the selected key. Please be
aware that selecting a key does not affect which bass notes are played.
• In the “Off” position, all chords in all keys are available:
Played Note:
C
C#
Played back Chord:
Cmaj
C#maj Dmaj
D
Eb
E
F
F#
Ebmaj
Emaj
Fmaj
F#maj Gmaj
G
Ab
A
Bb
B
Abmaj
Amaj
Bbmaj
Bmaj
• In any other position (C, C#, D, Eb etc.), only the chords matching the set scale are available (see below).
Using the Key parameter has a potential benefit: It's a handy helper if your keyboard or musical skills are basic, or
if you want to simplify chord input in general, as it will "quantize" all chord input to chords that aren't entirely wrong
for the given key.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
11
When a key is set, these are the chords Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon will play depending on the actual
input - shown in the key of C:
Played Note:
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
Ab
A
Played back Chord:
Cmaj
Csus4
Dmin
Ebmaj
Emin
Fmaj
Fsus4
Gmaj
Gsus4 Amin
Bb
B
Bbmaj
G7
The currently played back chord and bass note is always displayed in the interactive keyboard display.
Building Custom Phrases
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon comes with more than 670 built-in phrases. If you need even more creative
freedom you can create your own phrases by triggering single pickings of any guitar string at any time.
There are two ways to do so:
Using the “Manual Picking Mode” Combinator Patch
The simple way is to load the Combinator patch "Manual Picking Mode". This Combi is all set up to let you select
chords between C1 and B2 and play individual strings above C3.
In this Combinator, the received notes are velocity sensitive which gives you full dynamic flexibility.
Here's how to trigger individual slices in this Combi:
MIDI Note ranges
Function
C3 octave
Play long notes.
C4 octave
Play right hand mutes.
C5 octave
Play notes with a left hand mute when released.
C6 octave
Play notes with a right hand mute when released.
This is what each note in each octave does:
12
MIDI Note
Function
C
Play string 1.
C#
Mute
D
Play string 2.
Eb
Stop
E
Play string 3.
F
Play string 4.
F#
Play fret noise (string 1).
G
Play string 5.
Ab
Play fret noise (string 2).
A
Play string 6.
Bb
Play fret noise (string 3).
B
Play string 3 with thumb.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
Using CV Inputs
The CV/Gate input on the rear panel of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon interprets notes differently than the
MIDI input. Notes from C1 to B4 don't select phrases and chords, but individual single string notes which are laid out
across the note range.
Connect an RPG-8 and deactivate its arpeggiator function to convert MIDI signals into CV signals. In Acoustic
Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon select the Silence phrase (C1) and activate Latch. Select any chord by clicking the
on-screen keyboard between C4 and E6. Now use your MIDI input device from C1 to B4 to trigger picking of
individual guitar strings while your virtual player holds the selected chord.
q
You could also try the CV functionality using a Matrix pattern sequencer.
!
Note that this just replaces the phrase selection - you will still need to send chord notes via MIDI Input to get
the guitarist picking away!
Note ranges
Function
C1 octave
Play long notes.
C2 octave
Play right hand mutes.
C3 octave
Play notes with a left hand mute when released.
C4 octave
Play notes with a right hand mute when released.
This is what each note in each octave does:
Note CV Input
Function
C
Play string 1.
C#
Mute
D
Play string 2.
Eb
Stop
E
Play string 3.
F
Play string 4.
F#
Play fret noise (string 1).
G
Play string 5.
Ab
Play fret noise (string 2).
A
Play string 6.
Bb
Play fret noise (string 3).
B
Play string 3 with thumb.
See “CV Input”.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
13
Chord Fingerings
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon has a built-in chord detection system that interprets incoming MIDI notes.
The picture shows the fingering schemes for each chord (reference key C):
!
Note that the black and white dots indicate the required notes. Grey dots indicate optional notes.
Chord Fingerings (grey dots indicate optional keys).
14
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
MIDI Controllers
Pitch Bend
Use the Pitch Bend to control the picking intensity (velocity). Turn it down, and your guitarist will play softer, turn it up
for extra intensity. Using the Pitch Bend is a very simply way of greatly enhancing the musical performance across
the song's arc, so we highly recommend using it.
Mod Wheel
Palm Muting is a powerful method for live-controlling the phrasing of Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon.
• The Mod Wheel controls the Palm Muting that your guitarist applies to the performance.
In the Mod Wheel's default position, no Palm Muting is applied. The further you turn it up, the shorter the notes will
become. The maximum position of the Mod Wheel produces almost "tone-less" muted picking.
q
You can add Palm Muting after the fact by adding a lane to your Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon track
and recording a Mod Wheel performance on top of your notes. Experiment with multiple tracks with different
Mod Wheel performances for greatly enhanced live feel and two-player impressions.
Sustain Pedal
The Sustain Pedal replicates the “Latch” button, so you can use it as an additional way of varying phrases in real-time.
Pressing the Sustain Pedal activates latching of chord notes. Releasing the Sustain Pedal releases any latched chord
notes even if the Latch button is on.
Connections
!
Remember that CV connections are NOT stored in the Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon patches! If you
want to store CV connections between devices, put them in a Combinator device and save the Combi patch.
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
15
CV Input
The Note and Gate CV inputs can be used for adding extra phrase creation options by using the CV output from
another CV/Gate device (typically a Matrix or an RPG-8). Note that the Gate input also responds to keyboard
velocity. Please refer to “Building Custom Phrases” above.
Output
On the right are the main audio outputs. When you create a new Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon device,
these outputs are auto-routed to the first available channel in the Reason/Reason Essentials main mixer.
Advanced tips
Optimizing chord recognition
Acoustic Guitarist - Fingerpicking Nylon tries to be as tolerant to sloppy chord input as technically possible, but
particularly when live-recording to a MIDI track, you may end up with it not playing the chords you had in mind. It's
really easy to fix this situation if you keep a few things in mind:
D
Thoughtfully adjust and/or quantize your MIDI notes in the sequencer.
Notes with different starting positions can lead to multiple chords getting recognized one after another, or cut-off
chords.
On the other hand, the rhythmical content of the style "Minnesang" e.g. demands chord switches to be slightly
before the upbeat to sound right.
D
Clean up note lengths to make sure there are no note gaps or overlaps.
In the Legato Adjustments section of Reason’s/Reason Essentials’ Tool Window you can force legato and remove
overlaps.
16
A-LIST ACOUSTIC GUITARIST FINGERPICKING NYLON
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement