I'm New to StringWerk. Could use some help

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Mistro17
Posts: 70
Joined: 04 Jul 2017
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post 13 Jul 2019

First let me say, I'm still very new to many things in Reason so please bare with me if some questions I ask are super basic.

I went ahead and bought StringWerk because I like the potential creativity with strings from it. I did not find any in depth tutorials for this rack extension, only one video about the interface and what it can do. As I was reading the manual, in the early sections it says we can change articulation using white keys in C-1 (or whatever is assigned). Quote from the manual- "If you happen to use a large MIDI keyboard, you can press one of the white keys in the C-1 octave to select an articulation. To find out which key you must press, look up the field next to the desired articulation’s selector switch."

I have no idea what that means. From what I see, the different instruments are mapped across the keyboard in octaves (bass, cello, viola, violin) I have a 49 key midi controller so that's 4 octaves with an extra C key at the top. On a standard 49 key controller, where is C-1 usually? Is it at the first octave or middle C? And what does it mean to switch articulation using a key and how does this happen? As far as I can tell, I'm just hearing the different instruments within the octaves. BTW I'm using an Akai MPK49 keyboard if that helps.

I will continue to read the manual and experiment. if I have any more questions i will ask here. Thanks in advance.

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 630
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 13 Jul 2019

Mistro17 wrote:
13 Jul 2019
First let me say, I'm still very new to many things in Reason so please bare with me if some questions I ask are super basic.

I went ahead and bought StringWerk because I like the potential creativity with strings from it. I did not find any in depth tutorials for this rack extension, only one video about the interface and what it can do. As I was reading the manual, in the early sections it says we can change articulation using white keys in C-1 (or whatever is assigned). Quote from the manual- "If you happen to use a large MIDI keyboard, you can press one of the white keys in the C-1 octave to select an articulation. To find out which key you must press, look up the field next to the desired articulation’s selector switch."

I have no idea what that means. From what I see, the different instruments are mapped across the keyboard in octaves (bass, cello, viola, violin) I have a 49 key midi controller so that's 4 octaves with an extra C key at the top. On a standard 49 key controller, where is C-1 usually? Is it at the first octave or middle C? And what does it mean to switch articulation using a key and how does this happen? As far as I can tell, I'm just hearing the different instruments within the octaves. BTW I'm using an Akai MPK49 keyboard if that helps.

I will continue to read the manual and experiment. if I have any more questions i will ask here. Thanks in advance.
C-1 is 4 octaves below middle C.

Adam W
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Oct 2017

Post 13 Jul 2019

Hi, Mistro - and congrats on getting Stringwerk. It's one of my favorite Reason devices.

In order to access the key switches on a 49-key controller, you'll likely have to bump the controller's key range down by a few octaves. I'm not familiar with the MPK, but the button to do that is probably to left of the lowest key. Once you do that, you'll be able to switch through the articulations as you play. This means (for instance) if you had the "Short" patch open in Stringwerk, hitting the C would set it to Staccato, the D would switch it to Spiccato, and the E would switch it to Pizzicato. Doing this in real time with a 49-key controller would mean that you don't have access to the highest notes on the keyboard, and it also occupies your left hand, so you wouldn't be able to play as much (or, if you're as clumsy as I am, AT ALL) with your left hand.

If you're really keen on switching articulations, another workaround would be to record your phrase into the sequencer using only one articulation, then draw the keyswitches into the sequencer with your mouse. That's actually how I prefer to do it - simply playing the notes correctly is enough to keep my mind busy. Once it's in, I create an additional note lane in the sequencer (where the C-1 octave is helpfully labeled) and switch through the articulations that way.

Hope that helps!

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Mistro17
Posts: 70
Joined: 04 Jul 2017
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post 13 Jul 2019

Adam W wrote:
13 Jul 2019

If you're really keen on switching articulations, another workaround would be to record your phrase into the sequencer using only one articulation, then draw the keyswitches into the sequencer with your mouse. That's actually how I prefer to do it - simply playing the notes correctly is enough to keep my mind busy. Once it's in, I create an additional note lane in the sequencer (where the C-1 octave is helpfully labeled) and switch through the articulations that way.

Hope that helps!
Thanks PhillipOrdonez and Adam.

Adam, That solution to use the sequencer sounds like the way to go for me. I like playing in my left hand too and having the bass in that first octave. I spend so much time practicing songs only using the keyboard. Sometimes I have to remember I'm using Reason with so many devices and ways to make music and not just practicing for a piano concert :D

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