Muted Notes and Harmonics

FingerpickPro includes muted bass notes and harmonics. The Chromatic Keys section of the keyboard (C5-G8) includes sustained, muted and harmonic notes in velocity layers.

What is a velocity layer?

  • In case you are new to this, let's begin with some background. Sampled instruments are typically made by 'mapping' audio files (samples) on to a virtual keyboard. In the simplest case each key would trigger one sample. So by pressing say, a C3 note, the sample of a sound with a pitch of C3 would sound.
  • Most sample players are not restricted to one sample per key, but may have several more 'stacked' on top of each other. For example, you could map four or five samples onto one key, each sample being a different note in a chord. Then when you pressed that key all the notes would play at once to produce a chord.
  • However, there is a specialised way of 'stacking' multiple samples onto one key so that they do not all play at once but only if a further condition is met. In the case of velocity layered samples a different sample will be triggered depending on the midi velocity of the note.

Velocity Layers in FingerpickPro

  • This brings us to the case of FingerpickPro. The keys in the Chromatic Keys section have three types of samples 'stacked' on them, the normal sustained note, a muted note, and a harmonic note. There is a sustained note on every key, but the muted notes and harmonic notes do not sound on every key. This is explained below.
  • The three kinds of sounds are velocity-layered, so that when you trigger a key it will only play one or other of these three sounds. They will not play simultaneously. So how do you get the particular sound you want?

Sustained Notes will sound at midi velocity range 80 - 127 (i.e. 80 and above)

Muted Notes will sound at midi velocity range 40 - 79 (from 40 to 79 inclusive)

Harmonic Notes will sound at midi velocity range 0 - 39 (i.e. 39 and below)

  • So when you are creating a midi track, you simply need to adjust the midi velocity to the required level to get one of these sounds to play. Obviously the sustained notes are the most commonly used and you don't really need to worry about setting levels, because the default midi velocity in most DAWs would be around 100. It's really only when you want to use a muted or harmonic note that you would need to pay attention to this.

MIDI Velocity vs. Volume

  • You also need to be aware that midi velocity is not the same thing as volume. This might not be immediately apparent in normal use because in most cases there will be a close correlation between them. However, the presence of different velocity layered samples brings this issue to the fore.
  • The volume of the sound played within each velocity layer will vary with change in velocity, but not as much as it would if there was only one sound mapped to that key. You just need to adjust the levels depending on the circumstance.

The Range of the Muted and Harmonic Notes

  • In the Chromatic Keys section the different sample types are arranged as follows:

The Sustained notes cover the full range from key C5 - G8 (midi notes 84 - 127).

The Muted notes go from key C5 - C7 (midi notes 84 - 108).

The Harmonic notes go from key E6 - G8 (midi notes 100 - 127).

  • The muted notes are provided mainly for use in the bass range. It would be fairly obvious why the harmonic notes are in the upper section.

Muted Auto-Bass Notes

  • The Muted notes are also available in the Auto-Bass Keys section. The velocity layer arrangement here is the same as in the Chromatic Keys section. Muted notes are triggered when the midi velocity is from 40 to 79 inclusive.


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