MPC X, MPC Live, MPC One & MPC Key 61 Forum: Support and discussion for the MPC X, MPC Live, MPC Live II, MPC One & MPC Key 61; Akai's current generation of standalone MPCs.
By jamos Fri May 20, 2022 3:38 pm
Hello, I just purchased and downloaded the pro orchestral expansion. I've only tried to use one program, the orchestral percussion, but I was surprised to see that the multi samples don't seem to be normalized properly. Here's what I mean. The instruments that I'm thinking of have four velocity layers, with one being the quietest, two intermediate, and then one loud sample. However these are also scaled with velocity in the amp envelope, with the result that The Quiet Sounds are inaudible. (Please forgive the bizarre capitalization, that's Google voice recognition.)

Usually, when velocity is modulating amplitude, you want your samples to be a constant volume so that they scale properly with velocity. This would normally mean normalizing The Quiet Sounds to the level of the loud sounds. However that wasn't done in this kit. Why is that?
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By MPC-Tutor Fri May 20, 2022 6:04 pm
Normalisation isn't a requirement, it's a choice and there are other (program-based) ways to compensate for the potential discrepancy found in relative volume when playing soft samples that don't involve changing the relative levels of the raw samples, especially in these kinds of natural sounding acoustic libraries. In fact I find it much more common for commercial libraries to leave the relative sample levels un-normalised.

You only have to examine the raw samples from a Kontakt library like the Abbey Road Drummer series to see this, for example, looking at the snare 'centre' in the Abbey 50s drummer kit, the 'max' velocity snares are at around -6dB, the medium velocity samples are at -20dB and the lowest velocity samples are recorded at around -50dB; they haven't raised the volumes of any of the softer samples here, any velocity compensation is performed in the .nkm file (the kontakt equivalent of the XPM)

I often tweak the 'Velocity > amp' until it sounds acceptable to my ears, this compensates for the 'velocity induced' loudness difference between soft and loud samples, also adjustments are often made to the relative level of each layer in a keygroup (i.e. drop the level of the hardest velocities etc). Sometimes we feel it's not necessary to make any adjustments at all. It's been a few years since we made that expansion so I can't remember what we did specifically for each instrument, never had any negative feedback in this respect but I'm very happy to revisit if you feel the velocity switching could be improved.

Are you saying you've only so far tried one of the instruments? Are you referring to the orchestral drum kit?
By 40Beatz Fri May 20, 2022 7:30 pm
The Good Thing Is..... You can Tweak each Layer inside the Program. Even Normalize each Sample.

To Me... The Expansion Packs are Good Starting Points for the Sound I'm lookin for.
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By MPC-Tutor Fri May 20, 2022 8:27 pm
40Beatz wrote:The Good Thing Is..... You can Tweak each Layer inside the Program. Even Normalize each Sample.

To Me... The Expansion Packs are Good Starting Points for the Sound I'm lookin for.

One of the problems is that the pad sensitivity of your MPC model (or MIDI keyboard etc) really affects the velocity sensitivty performance, there is no one size fits all. For example I find my MPC One has an overall insensitive pad response compared to my MPC Live (even on it's most sensitive hardware settings), and neither are anywhere near as sensitive as my MPK keybed, so a velocity sensitive drum kit isn't going to play the same on those three different units, no matter what pad sensitivity profiles I have set up at a hardware level.

This is a problem no matter what method of 'velocity layer normalisation' you employ (program vs sample level), so it's possible that you might need to tweak acoustic kits and multisampled acoustic instrument programs to your exact taste, but you would typically need to do this in any application (kontakt, Superior drummer, addictive drums etc), and this is usually fairly easy to do just by adjusting the 'velocity > amp' response in the app.

But it should be possible to get a good happy medium 'out of the box', so if I can tweak something further I'm happy to do so.
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By Ultros Sat May 21, 2022 1:42 pm
I try not to normalize i just trigger my events with max velocity when resampling and keep an eye on the level choose a spot whether its 0 db or -3 whatever it may be and stick with it throughout the creation process. It saves me the work of having to fine tune the kits pad levels.

the problem with normalization is it increases *all* the peaks to a set db and sometimes things are meant to go from loud to quiet or viceversa thats partially the human element. What you want to be tweaking is the gain and making sure the max peak in the wave form is below your set threshold.
By jamos Sun May 22, 2022 8:36 pm
MPC-Tutor wrote:Are you saying you've only so far tried one of the instruments? Are you referring to the orchestral drum kit?

The Orchestral Drum Kit is the only one I've used so far, yes. I will try to use the velocity>amplitude setting to fix this rather than normalization.
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By MPC-Tutor Tue May 24, 2022 10:42 am
I have just uploaded an update to MPC Orchestral Pro that includes many tweaks to the expansion, including:

Improvements to velocity switching and velocity sensitive parameters
Update to using Air FX
Mod wheel controllable vibrato added to many more programs
Mod wheel controllable tremolo added to some percussion programs
Randomisation added to the orchestral kit
Plus various other minor tweaks and improvements

You can download the latest version from your MPC Samples account. This is a free update for all existing owners. Please note that the expansion now requires MPC 2.10 or greater.