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I’m trying out EastWest/Quantum Leap’s Hollywood Orchestra series for the first time, specifically the Strings, Brass and Woodwinds libraries (all Gold). I use them in Sibelius using these sound set integrations, and for the most part everything works well. However, I’ve run into one issue:

When playing back two repeated legato (slurred) notes, the second note’s attack volume drops to almost zero and takes almost a full second to return to full volume. In faster passages this can make the note essentially inaudible.

Here’s a screenshot of the sort of notation I’m talking about:

Screenshot of a slurred passage over two bars

Note the highlighted C6 eighth notes. The first plays back normally; the second starts off almost silent before the volume finally returns.

I was willing to chalk it up to a glitch, but with more testing I’ve found the exact same thing happens in all three libraries – Orchestral Woodwinds, Brass, and Strings. It happens no matter what legato patch I load (fast or normal, “rep”, accent, etc.). The moment a “true legato” patch is loaded, this happens.

Does anyone know what causes this, and how to stop it from happening?

  • You would probably get better answers on the Sibelius forum sibelius.com/cgi-bin/helpcenter/chat/chat.pl?groupid=3. I would guess it's something to do with the the way Sibelius is trying to tell EWHO play two consecutive "legato" notes with the same pitch, which is sort of impossible to do literally for most orchestral instruments. But I don't use Sibelius any more, and I don't have the EW libraries either. – user19146 Aug 5 '18 at 15:23
  • I’ve already posted on the EastWest (Soundsonline) support forum and I’ve opened a ticket on the Sound Set Project website (though I have no idea whether that still works; if I don’t get a reply by Monday night I’ll send an email to Jonathan directly, as I know he answers those). I’ve also applied to join the Sibelius Facebook group, which is where Sibelius emails actually refer me to for support now. – Walter Aug 5 '18 at 19:43
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I eventually found the cause for this glitch, as well as a workaround. The way the EWQL Hollywood instruments handle legato for each note is by starting with a sampled legato transition before continuing with the sustain sample. The legato transition is chosen depending on what the preceding note is. So if it's the same note played twice, then there is no legato transition to insert, and thus the second note's attack sounds silent before the sustain sample kicks in.

Someone at another forum clued me into a fix: By shortening the first note's Live Duration value by 20 ticks or so (e.g., a quarter-note whose default length is 256 ticks is shortened to 236 ticks), a tiny, inaudible (especially with reverb) gap is created between the notes that skips legato playback for the second note, resulting in two repeated notes that sound as they should.

Hope this may be of some use to someone.

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