Polyphonic Imprint Setup in Bidule 31 Aug 2016

by Industrial Radio


NOTE: We are now only recommending Imprint setups in Ableton Live without the use of Bidule. We will leave this article online as a reference for users have already implemented it. In future, all new setup information will be on the Articles page of the Support section of the website.

In this post we are going to expand on the previous post Poly.4.L Setup in Bidule by making it an Imprint setup. Polyphonic Imprint setups use the same basic foundation as MIDI-only polyphonic setups.

In short we are going to intercept each synth's output with its own IR Imprint Module (contained within its own instance of Reaktor 6). The Imprint Modules (via Reaktor 6) will each take the piezo signal from its corresponding string and the MIDI signal generated by the bass. By doing this the Imprint Modules can shape each synth's audio output in such a way that the overall MIDI performance will sound, and thus feel, more like the actual audio performance being produced by the strings.

NOTE: This is a performance-oriented setup and is only intended for Bidule running in standalone mode, ie. Bidule isn't running within a third-party DAW/digital recording program. As you will see in this post, polyphonic Imprint setups require the use of a number of audio and MIDI signals from the instrument and are complex by nature. To integrate this kind of setup into a DAW, such as Logic, Ableton Live, etc., is even more challenging and will be different for each application. Do not open this Bidule setup in another DAW or host program and expect it to work. We will be writing posts on implementing Imprint in some of the popular DAW applications shortly but we would encourage everyone to evaluate the Imprint technique in Bidule standalone first. Keep in mind that all Imprint setups require the use of Bidule and Reaktor 6.

Before & After

Below is a screenshot of the previous, MIDI-only Poly.4.L setup followed by the final result of the polyphonic Imprint setup.

You will notice that the basic synth-per-string structure is still there. We still have the MIDI coming in on IR Fretsense Port 1 going into the MIDI Splitter group where it is then being routed to the 4 instances of u-he TyrellN6 but instead of taking the outputs from each synth straight to the mixer we have connected the synth outputs to inputs 1 and 2 on Reaktor 6. Each instance of Reaktor 6 is hosting the IR Imprint Module. We have also connected the MIDI from the MIDI Splitter group to the MIDI input on Reaktor 6.

NOTE: Remember to link the parameters of the Reaktor 6 plugins, like we did for the synths, so that when you change parameters on the [MASTER] plugin these changes will occur across all linked plugins. See the section Linking the Parameters in the 'Poly.4.L Setup in Bidule' post for instructions on the process.

Incorporating the Piezo Signals

We need to get the piezo signals for each string into the Imprint Module (via Reaktor 6). You will see that we have the four piezo outputs from the FSI-1 Fretsense Interface coming in on the 'ASIO Fireface USB (duplex)'. For a PRO-4 setup these represent the outputs 1-4 on the back panel of the FSI-1 with 1 being the highest string, ie. the G-string. Take each piezo audio signal and connect it to input 3 of the corresponding Reaktor 6 plugin.

NOTE: In our example the piezo inputs on 'ASIO Fireface USB (duplex)' are on channels 3,4,5,6 (in order from 1 to 4). This may vary from setup to setup depending on the way you have your audio interface connected.

Bass Settings

MIDI SEND (D2) must be set to either Imprint 2 or Imprint 3.

NOTE: When MIDI SEND (D2) is set to Imprint 3 and the IR Imprint Module's output setting is set to 'SYNTH' you will hear the drone of the synth.

Synth Settings

Each synth must be set to 'legato' mode.

In this post we use the u-he TyrellN6 but you could logically replace this synth with practically any other software synth and it would work as long as the synth supports 'legato'. Bidule actually has a handy 'Replace' function so that you can replace one plugin with another and maintain the existing connections made within the Bidule environment. To do this hover over the plugin you wish to replace, right-click and select 'Replace' (for Mac: Ctrl + click). If the replacing plugin has the same number and type of connections it should maintain the exact same connections as the plugin it replaces. However, after replacing one synth with another you will need to rename the new synths and link their parameters again.