So, if you have Reaktor, there’s a free instrument called Serenade III. Is’s a solo string instrument for Reaktor, but it gives you the weirdest control over how the midi triggers stuff. Rather than using CC1 to control the dynamics, you use it to control the bowing, which means you bow cc1 back and forth to make it make sound. Using this thing on a normal midi controller is almost impossible. There’s just too much stuff to control.
I picked up a leap motion controller and you can use hand gestures to control the midi CC values. which means you actually play the notes on the keyboard with your left hand, and you bow in the air with your right hand.
Here are a couple of quick improv thingies. I’m just pushing buttons and showing some of it’s range. It’s not perfect, but it shows what it sounds like live, and it’s super fun to play for whatever reason. It’s just kind of cool to bow like you would a real violin or cello.
I’ll try to get a video up next week of how this thing works.
you can control the vibrato depth and speed separately, although in this I only had it set up to control the depth. I had it set up early to control the speed as well, but that takes a bit of getting used to.
I guess to add, you have control over bow speed, bow pressure, bow distance from the bridge. If you aren’t careful, you can do the harmonic thing like a real string instrument will do. Learning to play it is not easy, but it’s still way easier than learning to play a real violin. Of course you are still limited compared to a real violin, but it lets you do things that you can’t do with samples.
I haven’t tried stacking them to see how they sound playing together.
I play the violin… kind of. Enough to get by on a recording if it’s simple. But I’m lazy and I hate breaking out the mics and setting up, and if the kids have gone to bed, it’s pretty much off limits, since their bedrooms are right above my room.
It’s not like I’ll be selling my violins any time soon, but this thing lets me play stuff that I wouldn’t be able to play on a real violin, and sometimes I can play on a real violin what I can’t play on this. Also, the nerd factor makes it that much more fun.