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Re: [fluid-dev] improving musical timekeeping

From: Tom M.
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] improving musical timekeeping
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2020 15:41:35 +0100

Here are some thoughts of a software engineer. Not sure what a musician
would say.

First of all, you are right. A "meaningfully long" attack phase will
"delay" note on and thus shorten it. My question: what would be
the use-case of such a "meaningfully long" attack? The only use-case I
can think of is to play a crescendo. And for this, one should use the
Expression CC instead.

Why samplers/synthesizers don't compensate for that? I think because
it doesn't work for real-time performance. One would need to delay all
notes by the length of the attack phase. But what if the musician
suddenly switches to another instrument which has an even longer
attack? Even worse: what if the musician uses a custom CC that extends
the attack phase even more? The only way to correct this would be to
figure out the longest attack phase that can ever be produced and
delay all notes and all sound accordingly. But most musicians use
monitors. They want to hear what they play, when they play it. I think
they would be very confused if what they're playing is delayed by a
few seconds.

It is (a) well known (problem), that MIDI sheets only work well with
the soundbank they have been designed for. This is due to various
degrees of freedom a soundbank provides (volume, ADSR env, cut-off
filters, custom CC automation). So, if you really have instruments
with "meaningfully long" attacks, I'm afraid you're required to adjust
your MIDI sheet(s) manually.


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