Last month we ‘faked’ some string‑arrangements. Now it’s time to add a human touch.
Last month, we used Cubase’s Chord Track, Arpache SX and Transformer MIDI plug‑ins to create an almost‑passable five‑part string arrangement. However, we left off with the ‘performance’ sounding a little robotic, and perhaps a little too busy as well. So this month I’ll explore some more ‘fake it’ options that can create a better impression of ‘human’ parts.
As our quest for realism requires us to edit the MIDI performances, you must first render the MIDI note data that’s being created on the fly by the Arpache SX and Transformer. To do this, go though each track in turn: solo the track and action the Merge MIDI In Loop command (in the MIDI menu). As you do this, enable the Include Inserts and Erase Destination options to ensure both that the replacement MIDI clip contains the results of both Arpache SX and Transformer, and that the original sustained notes are deleted. Finally, bypass or remove the instances of Arpache SX and Transformer.
Five arpeggiators can generate lots of notes, so start by thinning out the parts a little. For example, the cello and double‑bass are often played more sparsely than the other strings. Suitable arpeggiator settings (for example, quarter‑note rather than 16th‑note step sizes) may already have helped, but further note muting may be required. It’s more common for the violas and violin parts to be a little busier but, even so, thinning these out a little can work wonders, especially if it helps the...