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Old 09-16-2017, 10:13 AM   #1
viscofisy
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Default How to "dynamically blend" a guitar's signal between two sounds

This comes from something I was asking in the Lounge :

Say I set up 2 Reaper Tracks, each with their own amp sim, and use the same guitar "live" as the input for both.

If I make Track1's amp sim a "normal" setting, and Track2 a more aggressive version of the same :

what would be the best way to set it up so that when I play my guitar softly only Track1 is heard; then when I play harder, Track2 starts to come in?

*Either Track2 could come in as an addition, or Track1 could be gradually faded/attenuated as Track2 comes in.

Any suggestions welcome
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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Maybe put a Gate plugin at the top of the FX chain for both tracks and tweak their levels to get that effect, never tried it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscofisy View Post
This comes from something I was asking in the Lounge :

Say I set up 2 Reaper Tracks, each with their own amp sim, and use the same guitar "live" as the input for both.

If I make Track1's amp sim a "normal" setting, and Track2 a more aggressive version of the same :

what would be the best way to set it up so that when I play my guitar softly only Track1 is heard; then when I play harder, Track2 starts to come in?

*Either Track2 could come in as an addition, or Track1 could be gradually faded/attenuated as Track2 comes in.

Any suggestions welcome
_
Is this for live only, or is it for recording too? If it's for recording too, then you probably don't want to affect the input?

Interesting question, requires some thought.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:43 PM   #4
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@Tod - it's for live really - and recording, but I'd need to be able to monitor it while playing so I suppose that's also effectively "live".

@Edgemeal - cheers. I just tried a gate. The problem is it's too sudden. Is there something that would smooth the transition?

(I tried a gated delay - though using only one input - and that kind of effect works ok when I play harder).

I'm going to try using this (gate) idea for a few different effects.

But the original idea of blending into an altered/hyped version of the original sound is still ... elusive



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Old 09-16-2017, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscofisy View Post
what would be the best way to set it up so that when I play my guitar softly only Track1 is heard
I doubt that you can define "play softly" in a way any software can decently decide from the audio signal which mode is on at any point in time.

-Michael
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #6
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Try Parameter Modulation on the amp sim's output level. You could also try PM on JS Volume Adjustment after the sim, but you'd probably want to route a copy of the input signal around the amp sim for the detector to follow.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:13 PM   #7
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As I said in the other thread:

Ride the faders by hand. That way you get layered performances played with feeling, rather than an automated process.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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As I said in the other thread:

Ride the faders by hand. That way you get layered performances played with feeling, rather than an automated process.
Both my hands are on my guitar!

An expression pedal could be cool.

I'm sure somebody's got a crossfader JS that could be PMed. Then it almost wants to be all on one multichannel track or in a folder.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:37 PM   #9
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I doubt that you can define "play softly" in a way any software can decently decide from the audio signal which mode is on at any point in time.

-Michael
But I can set a level myself, without the software deciding. It "works" with a Gate ... just too suddenly.
I'm looking for a way to taper it, so it blends without a sudden jump.

I'm thinking maybe some kind of sidechain ... maybe a compressor ...

@ashcat_it and @Judders - I need to be able to do it live, and without using any (eg) MIDI pedals or controllers etc - the idea is to add "expressiveness" to the guitar itself just by playing it, ie without any other input.

Maybe there's a route through automation though - by a plugin controlling an automated gain ...,or something controlling the gate or ... something? My brain's a bit twisted thinking about it

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Old 09-16-2017, 04:42 PM   #10
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Parameter Modulation!!!
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:46 PM   #11
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Parameter Modulation!!!
That's what I'm thinking ... I mean, I don't usually mess around with that esoteric stuff ... I tried it out of curiosity ages ago.

But modulate what, exactly? ... I could be there for years guessing ... That's why I'm asking you lot!!!
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:53 PM   #12
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I answered that question too, dude.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
Try Parameter Modulation on the amp sim's output level. You could also try PM on JS Volume Adjustment after the sim, but you'd probably want to route a copy of the input signal around the amp sim for the detector to follow.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscofisy View Post
That's what I'm thinking ... I mean, I don't usually mess around with that esoteric stuff ... I tried it out of curiosity ages ago.

But modulate what, exactly? ... I could be there for years guessing ... That's why I'm asking you lot!!!
_
Parameter modulation can ride the incoming guitar signal's amplitude to modify a parameter, such as a volume control that feeds the second SIM. The harder you hit, the more the second SIM gets compared to the first SIM - IIRC you can tweak the modulation to a non-linear curve. I could probably throw together an example, just a tad busy tracking at the moment.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
Try Parameter Modulation on the amp sim's output level. You could also try PM on JS Volume Adjustment after the sim, but you'd probably want to route a copy of the input signal around the amp sim for the detector to follow.
You've either missed out something essential, or I'm just befuddled ...

Parameter modulation via what ?

I'd need to have the guitar input to "something" to be controlling the parameter modulation, (which in turn would be controlling the amp sim) wouldn't I?
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Parameter modulation can ride the incoming guitar signal's amplitude to modify a parameter, such as a volume control that feeds the second SIM. The harder you hit, the more the second SIM gets compared to the first SIM - IIRC you can tweak the modulation to a non-linear curve. I could probably throw together an example, just a tad busy tracking at the moment.
I think either your good self or ashcat (if he's up for it) will have to draw me a diagram ... or when you've time, to suggest an exact signal chain, if poss.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #16
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I'm thinking bracket the zone you wish the transition to occur over using min and max volume in parameter modulation, and affect the wet control the JS 8x stereo to 1x mixer.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #17
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If you change the input to the amp, you'll change the distortion before you change the volume. With really high gain, you won't hear much Volume change til you turn the thing WAY down.

I would find the output level on the amp sim plug. Preferably not the "amp's" Volume knob. PodFarm itself has an output that comes after that. Hopefully yours does too.

Wiggle that. Now click the Param button up near the upper right of the plug window and click Parameter Modulation.

And/or google "Reaper Parameter Modulation YouTube" and watch whatever you can find by Kenny or reapermadness
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:15 PM   #18
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What about side chaining a compressor, I wonder if that could be used to control volume more smoothly then a gate.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscofisy View Post
But I can set a level myself, without the software deciding. It "works" with a Gate ... just too suddenly.
That is bound to happen, as in any type of playing low levels (down to zero) will occur.

It would be rather easy to find a (or do a JSFX-) plugin that additionally provides an integration + threshold based algorithm. This would be a lot better but I am rather sure this will be on error rather often.

Using a (midi) foot pedal (immediate or toggle switch or an "expression" pedal) would be a lot better option. (Search for "LiveConfig" in these forums for similar usage cases of Reaper's).

-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 09-17-2017 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:20 AM   #20
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Sorry for the big image, I made it as small as I could:



It's pretty simple, just play with the settings for taste.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:58 AM   #21
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@foxAsteria - cheers, that man. I'm just about to try this out.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Both my hands are on my guitar!

An expression pedal could be cool.
Ah, I didn't realise this was for live use.

Yeah, I would personally prefer it to be controlled by an expression pedal than an automated process.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:38 PM   #23
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Thanks again ashcat_it - I'm in modulationsville here.

I linked the gain, bass, treble, presence, and volume in just one amp sim - all to the input signal, so they all increase as I play harder

I'm just about to try it with two sims (one with negative gain as playing gets harder, like in your example).

This has lots of possibilities for live playing, like using different effects. I'll try it on a synth too.
_

Yeah, footpedals are an alternative. But they have their drawbacks too. This way you can increase expressiveness just by playing harder/softer. That seems much more a direct dynamic (rather than just an "automated process") ... than using your foot. I'm sure to be still using footpedals too - even MIDI ones in combination with this.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
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It's pretty simple, just play with the settings for taste.
Hi fox, where do you get those controls? I've not seen them before.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:31 PM   #25
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Hi fox, where do you get those controls? I've not seen them before.
Move any parameter, click "Param" button in fx window > Parameter modulation/MIDI link and enable audio control. It says (sidechain), which is perhaps misleading because it's only sidechain if you use 3+4, otherwise it's using the output signal (1+2).

Funny thing is the last time I tried to use this feature, I swear it was an option to use input signal instead of output, which I would prefer. It looks a lot different now than when I used it last and I was also confused. But it works.

Hmm, except now that I think about it, 3+4 would be input from a sidechain, so perhaps 1+2 is still the Input. So why does it say output? I'm a bit confused by all that...
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:20 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
Move any parameter, click "Param" button in fx window > Parameter modulation/MIDI link and enable audio control. It says (sidechain), which is perhaps misleading because it's only sidechain if you use 3+4, otherwise it's using the output signal (1+2).

Funny thing is the last time I tried to use this feature, I swear it was an option to use input signal instead of output, which I would prefer. It looks a lot different now than when I used it last and I was also confused. But it works.

Hmm, except now that I think about it, 3+4 would be input from a sidechain, so perhaps 1+2 is still the Input. So why does it say output? I'm a bit confused by all that...
Thanks fox, this is an area I haven't explored much and good to know.
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:53 PM   #27
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Hmm, except now that I think about it, 3+4 would be input from a sidechain, so perhaps 1+2 is still the Input. So why does it say output? I'm a bit confused by all that...
In your picture where it says "Output", that's showing the current automation level - the output of the Parameter Modulation itself.

The audio detector is quite definitely following the input to the effect. Otherwise, it would create unpredictable feedback effects.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:09 PM   #28
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@ashcat - Ah ok that makes more sense. Still very confusingly presented for me but I get it now.
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