non vib vocal sounds
March 21, 2008 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I want to remove the vibrato from MIDI playback in Sibelius.

In Sibelius playback of an a cappella choral piece, the default vocal sounds have a strong vibrato that distracts from the rhythmic feel if the piece is slow and sustained (because their vocal sample vibrates at a different rate for each pitch).

I want to EITHER
1) be able to specify "non vib," either in the score or globally, in a way that will affect playback
2) substitute third-party vocal sounds that are naturally non vib.

I have access to Sibelius 3.0 and 5.0, both on Macs.
posted by allterrainbrain to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I don't have a good workaround for this, but what I tend to do is to substitute non-offensive sounds for vocal and indeed string sounds in Sibelius. I normally substitute either piano or vibraphone sounds for these as I can deal with them a lot better. Of course this isn't ideal and I'll be watching this thread though to see if someone has a better answer.
posted by ob at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah... boy... I tried some subs and I may have to just go with that. Vibraphone is a good idea (if ironic, since all I want is "motor off" vocals :)).

Luckily this is not for public use, just an "interim MIDI realization" requested by the non-music-reading board members of the group the piece is for.
posted by allterrainbrain at 7:52 PM on March 21, 2008

Not sure there is a good workaround -- it's not Sibelius's doing; that's what your computer's MIDI voice sample sounds like (for me, Sib defaults to MIDI program 54, "Synth Voice," which, you're right, is totally atrocious for my sound card also). Because Sibelius is just telling your sound card to play sample X for Y millilseconds, there's nothing you can really tell Sibelius to make the vibrato go away other than changing to another sample via the Mixer.

I'm assuming you're using MIDI because you don't want to bother with Kontakt (which I do, also), but that module may have better voices.

When I'm doing copying and arranging, I usually set all my instruments to play back as piano (or sometimes organ, if I need to hear suspensions) for this exact reason.

I remember from way back when finding some software that would create a new MIDI device on your (Windows) computer to play back samples of your choosing, but a quick googling isn't finding it, and it's probably overkill anyway.

Of course, if you'd like the kill-a-pigeon-with-a-cannon approach, you should spring for the Vienna Symphonic Library, home of enough sampling gorgeousness to put most musicians out of work...
posted by range at 7:57 PM on March 21, 2008

Response by poster: I don't need to hear (other people need to hear -- and they're non-musicians who probably wouldn't care about the fakey vibrato nearly as much as I do, if at all).

For a quick fix in this case, and I think you're both right that just subbing in sounds in the Mixer is best. "Flute," for example, is much clearer than any of the three vocal samples I have to choose from, so I'll probably go with that.
posted by allterrainbrain at 12:47 AM on March 22, 2008

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