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sjm
KVRian
 
1491 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:04 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

donkey tugger wrote:Honest answer, I would probably have been slightly dubious - the musician in me would have been listening to things like the vibrato, bends, chugging etc.

I would not notice on a casual listen. For me, the release sometimes gives it away if you listen really closely. You can tell that the fingers are not moving quite right. Or put it this way, I am not feeling my fingers doing what the guitarist is doing, which does happen with "real" guitar. This is all on a very subconscious level, but essentially the connection with my motor cortex is not quite there. That's something I feel, rather than hear. I can't hear it in any obvious sense until I go looking for what it is that is irking me. And furthermore, does it matter? No! Is it well programmed? Goddam yes.

The point made earlier about being able to edit the audio takes in your DAW is also a good one (and why I put quotes around impossible in the context of "impossible parts"). There are tracks where the guitar solo is sped up, for example, and played live at a slower pace. And once or twice, I've thought a live guitar was programmed, when it was actually due to the way the audio takes were cut, edited and processed.

donkey tugger wrote:The second assertion is interesting. I think you can get close, particularly with electric guitar where amplification and effects can hide a multitude of sins (I've been relying on that for over 30 years... :hihi: ), but I've not yet heard anything convincing such as indie/folkie strummed (picked is probably easier) acoustic where you'd have the guitar upfront with only a vocal so can hear all the minor human choices and errors, plus the interactions with the instrument.


I would tend to agree with that. The raw honesty of just an acoustic guitar and vocals involves a lot more than just the sound of the guitar strings being hit. My personal take is that solo lead is relatively easy to fudge through programming, especially with the FX that lead guitar divas like to use. It's just "weeeeee" after all. The strumming sound of a guitar is much more complex and nuanced. It's not just about having two samples of each string playing at once, it's about the interaction of those strings and the soundbox/body etc. A bit like how no sample library I've tried has ever captured the nuances of a piano's resonance as it changes with each additional note. Pianoteq is the only instrument that gave me the feeling of actually playing an instrument rather than a sample library in this regard.


TL;DR: Real instruments sound warm and more analog; sample libraries have that cold digital edge. :lol:
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)
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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
 
4408 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from the grimness of yorkshire

Postby donkey tugger; Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:35 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

sjm wrote:
I would tend to agree with that. The raw honesty of just an acoustic guitar and vocals involves a lot more than just the sound of the guitar strings being hit. My personal take is that solo lead is relatively easy to fudge through programming, especially with the FX that lead guitar divas like to use. It's just "weeeeee" after all. The strumming sound of a guitar is much more complex and nuanced. It's not just about having two samples of each string playing at once, it's about the interaction of those strings and the soundbox/body etc. A bit like how no sample library I've tried has ever captured the nuances of a piano's resonance as it changes with each additional note. Pianoteq is the only instrument that gave me the feeling of actually playing an instrument rather than a sample library in this regard.


TL;DR: Real instruments sound warm and more analog; sample libraries have that cold digital edge. :lol:


As a man who when he had a keyboard used to have stickers with the note names on, I couldn't comment on piano really. :hihi: For acoustic upfront or solo guitar though it is always the problem of the resonance and interaction as you say. If I strum identical things on my acoustic and on the midi guitar with a sample library, the latter always sounds too 'separated' and the notes too distinct want of better terms. With electrics the amp sim will do some 'smearing' (another technical term... :scared: ) and cover a lot of this up, with acoustic it's always obvious. Fine for backing and incidental stuff and I do it loads. If I want something to be the main part though, it has to be the real thing mic'ed up.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
35408 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:32 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

sjm wrote: especially with the FX that lead guitar divas like to use.


oi! :x
sjm
KVRian
 
1491 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

vurt wrote:
sjm wrote: especially with the FX that lead guitar divas like to use.


oi! :x


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWLU76o5rEI

Reckon the guitars are real?
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
35408 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:05 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

you've heard my playing, what the hell do i know? :lol:
Straight2Vinyl
KVRist
 
129 posts since 9 Mar, 2017

Postby Straight2Vinyl; Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:20 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

Long story short, with a lot of variations in the articulations, including number of strings used, mutes, fretting noise as well as subtle shifts in timing and use of natural/human chord voicings you can likely get close enough for just about anything other than a naked guitar, or guitar accompanying a vocal track.
To do all this though, you need to learn a lot about guitar playing anyway. I've started learning more to get something more convincing out of my Orange Tree guitar libraries and I'm already thinking I'll likely want to take up guitar again eventually(I tried to learn for a couple months years ago).
Perhaps it is possible to get a 100% perfect performance, but the amount of work that would go into it would be rather painful.
zzz00m
KVRian
 
947 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Postby zzz00m; Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:04 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

I imagine that if Mozart had a computer with a Spitfire string sample library, he might have been even more productive as far as composing.

But in the end, he probably would have just printed the score out and handed it to a real orchestra to perform it...
Windows 10; with instruments from AIR, Ample Sound, AAS, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...
househoppin09
KVRist
 
123 posts since 11 Nov, 2017

Postby househoppin09; Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:13 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

zzz00m wrote:
progtronic wrote:
Here's one of my early tracks ('92): Aliens Among Us



Hey, that's some good sh*t!!! :clap:


Understatement! If all the guitar work on that track is programmed, that'd be impressive even for a brand new track made with modern-day guitar VIs, much less 1992... :o

Thanks for sharing progtronic, it's good to have reminders of what can truly be done with enough skill and patience. One thing you didn't tell us in your otherwise awesome description of how you did it: what'd you use to sequence all of that? A 1040ST running Cubase? The internal sequencer on the EPS? And what was the programming workflow like; for example, how much of what we're hearing was played in on the EPS keyboard in real-time or done with knob or wheel movements, vs. how much was moused or keyed in note by note? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)
DrMEM
KVRist
 
68 posts since 6 Aug, 2017

Postby DrMEM; Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:54 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

progtronic wrote:Honest question.. and I'm not disrespecting your opinion (you're certainly entitled to it), but (regarding the Mortis Metallum album).. if you hadn't known in advance, that what you were hearing was done entirely ITB with VST's.. would you have thought, "this is probably all electronic..."?


For me the drums sound a little too perfect/robotic to be human. I'm not saying it's impossible for a human to create that performance, but the consistency of the bass drum rolls (not just in timing, but also in velocity) and the ride/hi hat hits suggest to me that even if this was a recorded human performance there must have been some sample replacement (or extremely heavy compression/gating) afterward. There are maybe only a handful of people in the world who can do double bass rolls like that, which makes me skeptical, but for me the biggest tell is actually that there are a few patterns where a real drummer would be hitting the hi hat more often than what you programmed.
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progtronic
KVRian
 
510 posts since 27 Jul, 2010

Postby progtronic; Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:58 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

househoppin09 wrote:...One thing you didn't tell us in your otherwise awesome description of how you did it: what'd you use to sequence all of that? A 1040ST running Cubase? The internal sequencer on the EPS? And what was the programming workflow like; for example, how much of what we're hearing was played in on the EPS keyboard in real-time or done with knob or wheel movements, vs. how much was moused or keyed in note by note? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)


Used a Roland MC-50 to record all the midi:

Image

Everything was recorded and sequenced to midi, live (with some quantizing here and there (percussion mostly)), then played back, recorded and mixed live through a Yamaha MR1242 (and a KM802 sub-mixer), and onto a Tascam DA-30:

Image

Image

Image

I used a KORG M1 keyboard (my main board at the time, with factory installed EX (I was all about the KORG joystick controller, for modulation and pitch bend) to record all the sequences into the MC-50. It also provided the bass, lead, pad and organ sounds for that track:

Image

A Roland S-550 for drums, pads and FX. Owned two, one was in the shop at the time.. which meant the one in use for this song, was pulling double duty. You can hear it actually run out of voices near the end of the song, where it ended up dropping a few notes (including the kick drum) in a couple of areas:

Image

A KORG Poly-800 and Poly-800II:

Image

Image

A KORG DW-8000:

Image

And a quad (four) of Alesis Quadraverb's (with "+" expansions):

Image

I think that's everything.. I was a total gearslut at the time. :P

Also.. can't believe I found images for everything. The internet is scary... :lol:
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progtronic
KVRian
 
510 posts since 27 Jul, 2010

Postby progtronic; Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:17 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

DrMEM wrote:
progtronic wrote:Honest question.. and I'm not disrespecting your opinion (you're certainly entitled to it), but (regarding the Mortis Metallum album).. if you hadn't known in advance, that what you were hearing was done entirely ITB with VST's.. would you have thought, "this is probably all electronic..."?


For me the drums sound a little too perfect/robotic to be human. I'm not saying it's impossible for a human to create that performance, but the consistency of the bass drum rolls (not just in timing, but also in velocity) and the ride/hi hat hits suggest to me that even if this was a recorded human performance there must have been some sample replacement (or extremely heavy compression/gating) afterward. There are maybe only a handful of people in the world who can do double bass rolls like that, which makes me skeptical, but for me the biggest tell is actually that there are a few patterns where a real drummer would be hitting the hi hat more often than what you programmed.


That's pretty much Modern Technical Death Metal. Real, recorded instrumentation is massively tweaked after the fact in editing. Drum replacement and/or triggering (initially), sequencing. Various other instrument stem slicing, timing adjustment & quantizing, etc...

It's also, generally, really really progressive. Many notes, themes, etc.. Definitely not for everyone.

I love the mechanical nature of it all.. I'm weird like that. :P
househoppin09
KVRist
 
123 posts since 11 Nov, 2017

Postby househoppin09; Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:42 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

Wow, thanks once again progtronic for that follow-up! Knowing that you didn't use a computer to sequence/edit anything makes it seem even more amazing. So for the guitars, any tweaking, editing, adding of different articulations or "humanization" aspects, etc. needed to be done with endless painstaking button presses on the MC-50? Or were you able to use keyswitches/modwheel/etc. to get the sampled material set up on the EPS in such a way that you were able to lay down something close to the final guitars right away with the initial real-time performance?
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progtronic
KVRian
 
510 posts since 27 Jul, 2010

Postby progtronic; Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:40 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

househoppin09 wrote:Wow, thanks once again progtronic for that follow-up! Knowing that you didn't use a computer to sequence/edit anything makes it seem even more amazing. So for the guitars, any tweaking, editing, adding of different articulations or "humanization" aspects, etc. needed to be done with endless painstaking button presses on the MC-50? Or were you able to use keyswitches/modwheel/etc. to get the sampled material set up on the EPS in such a way that you were able to lay down something close to the final guitars right away with the initial real-time performance?


The MC-50 was surprisingly intuitive, despite all the button pressing.. but, it was pretty much all in the performance anyway, thanks to the velocity layered nature of the patch.

There's was no key-switching function on an EPS (that I'm aware of).

Here's a rough example of what the velocity set-up of the multi-sampled layers in the patch looked like:

velocity: articulation:

000-126 feedback
-
000-079 mutes-01
080-089 mutes-02
090-099 mutes-03
-
100-109 picks-01
110-119 picks-02
120-126 picks-03
-
127-127 harmonics

Three levels each, of increasingly harder picked guitar notes were sampled.. for the mute and pick articulation layers.

The "feedback" effect layer, was constructed from the looped portion of the harmonics layer samples. A slow attack on the amplitude envelope, let it slowly seep in under the other layers.. as you held a note.

Mod-wheel controlled the vibrato.

And, regarding vibrato.. I didn't even really think at the time, of how guitar vibrato actually worked. Standard guitar string vibrato bends up, then back down to center.

There were no LFO "style" settings tweaks on the EPS (that I can remember.. or any other synths I used before that) to achieve a more realistic, finger vibrato. So, the basic auto-bend up and under center LFO.. was used. Which sounded more like a whammy bar. There were no real-time LFO speeds programmed in either.. so all the vibrato happened at a steady rate.

These days I use the stick on my Roland A-500S, to input a more proper sounding (upbend) vibrato, in real time.. along with playing in an altering rate, to better follow the rhythmic parts I'm putting the effect on. A lot more realistic than how I used to do it.

If you have Propellerheads Reason, and check out the stock combinator patch section.. they might still have my old "Hellspawn Guitar" patch I programmed for them (years ago). It's a sort of "lite" version of the patch I described above.. and works very similarly.

Also, just googled.. and found this (scary..): http://tyberium.com/downloads/index.html

...under "Progtronic 'Tronic' combinater patches". I think the "Tronicshred" might be the same (or very similar) patch. All my "clean" guitar patches are there as well.
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jancivil
KVRAF
 
14460 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:20 pm Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

househoppin09 wrote:
zzz00m wrote:
progtronic wrote:
Here's one of my early tracks ('92): Aliens Among Us



Hey, that's some good sh*t!!! :clap:


Understatement! If all the guitar work on that track is programmed, that'd be impressive even for a brand new track made with modern-day guitar VIs, much less 1992... :o

I agree.
househoppin09
KVRist
 
123 posts since 11 Nov, 2017

Postby househoppin09; Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:58 am Re: Is there a Guitar VST that can do actually decent rhythm guitar?

progtronic wrote:Also, just googled.. and found this (scary..): http://tyberium.com/downloads/index.html

...under "Progtronic 'Tronic' combinater patches". I think the "Tronicshred" might be the same (or very similar) patch. All my "clean" guitar patches are there as well.


Oh wow, I'm pretty sure I used some of your patches years ago! Great stuff, if they're the ones I remember. The idea of cramming multiple different sets of articulations into the standard velocity space is really interesting, I'll definitely have to experiment further with that. I can imagine it would take some real getting used to, but could add a fair amount of playability. I wonder why more VI devs don't do that sort of thing.

Bringing it back a bit more to 2018, I'd be interested to know if you've discovered any performance or programming tricks that help with realism and humanization when using the current generation of VIs. Technical death metal and ultra-surgical prog is one thing, but with slower/looser styles it's easy to start falling into the uncanny valley of "that sounds a bit too fake and plastic-y but I'm not really sure why", even with the best plugins. Do you have any preferred approach for minimizing that with the current crop of VSTs?
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