After many frustrating months trying to get Custom Rules to work reliably with various VSTi, I present here a different method that is guaranteed to work every time.
Some of you may already be using something like this but I have not seen any posts explaining to nubies how to set it up. I had many successes with using my own prules but many more failures. Still cannot seem to get a repeatability on 'note-before-note' and ''note after-note'' etc. Every VSTi is different in how they respond to CC, keyswitch control information. The built in Notion instruments are optimised for best response to articulation changes but its very hard to get external VSTi's to do the same.
Anyway, I hope this info is of use to those who have tried all they can with Custom Rules and just want it to work.
STEP by STEP
1. For simplicity, open a String Quartet Template.
2. Four staffs setup for Notion instruments will be shown. We will ignore the Notion instruments.
3. In Tools/Change Instrument, select ''new instrument'', for this example we are using Kontakt. (make sure Kontakt is enabled in File/Plug-in-Manager).
4. Set the midi channel to 1 and press OK.
5. Drag the new instrument to the first bar of staff 1 and edit the name to Violins I (1) where the MIDI channel is in brackets.
6. Repeat process for remaining staffs
7. In Tools/Plug-in-Interface, open Kontakt and open the four Instruments Violin I, Violin II, Viola and Cello. These instruments must be multi's so that all articulations are available.
8. Open Score Setup and from the ''Basic'' menu, select Treble Clef Staff and when the staff appears at the bottom of the page, select it and move to beneath the Violin I staff.
9. Rename this new staff, Keyswitch (1)
10. Exit Score Setup
11. Now here's the magic, if the time signature is for example 3/4 then enter 3 quarter rests in the Keyswitch staff. From the floating palette select ''grace eight note'' and drag it to just before the first rest. Then drag it down till its way off the note range and into keyswitch territory. Choose the articulation you want for the note in the Violin staff.
12. Open Score Setup
13. Now select the eye icon to the left of the Keyswitch staff for violin and make it grey.
14. Exit Score Setup
15. The score will play with all the articulations and the keyswitches will be hidden.
Just repeat for all remaining staffs and articulations. You may need to play with the Grace note lengths and the rest durations to get the trigger to occur in exactly the right spot.
Thats it, it now becomes similar to adding keyswitches in normal sequencers or Cubase Articulation tracks. Now you can still write the score in notation, which Notion is fantastic at, and the beauty is, it will work EVERY time.
Rereading my post I noticed steps 9 and 10 should be swapped and I forgot to mention that the Midi channel of the Keyswitch staff must be the same as for its associated instrument. So for example, violin 1 staff is midi ch 1 and its keyswitch track is also midi ch 1. Violin 2 is midi ch 2 and its keyswitch track is midi ch 2, etc.
It is also possible to use this method at the same time as using Custom Rules. So a prules script that is generally working, but has a problem with particular articulations not responding properly, can have a keyswitch track setup to fix just that articulation alone.
Will give this a go with PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra!!
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