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What is the most appropriate way to invoke crescendo and/or decrescendo changes on sustained MIDI notes via a modern DAW? Will some types of changes show up in the score editor while others only show up in the KeyEditor/PianoRoll View?

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What is the most appropriate way to invoke crescendo and/or decrescendo changes on sustained MIDI notes via a modern DAW?

The most common way is using amplitude envelopes. Long attack times for crescendo, long decay and/or release times for diminuendo. You don't do this in the DAW, but in the synth or sampler you are using. Something similar can be done through the timber, rather than the amplitude, using envelopes on filters, modulation amounts, distortion amount, etc.

Here the features of the synth/sampler are very important. The envelope time ranges will vary, some will let you input an arbitrary number of breakpoints and times, others have max and minimum ranges with a pre-set number of breakpoints. Some will let you choose between exponential, logarithmic, and linear curves, some will let you carve your curves, some don't have curve options.

Another option is to use amplitude automation in the DAW. This is essentially the same thing as an amplitude envelope. Increase volume over time for crescendo and decrease amplitude over time for diminuendo.

How to implement these depend on your DAW and synths. Google envelopes or automation for the specific details.

Will some types of changes show up in the score editor while others only show up in the KeyEditor/PianoRoll View?

Probably. That will depend on each DAW's implementation of the score editor. If the changes are not reflected, you should be able to add them manually.

  • I think recording amplitude automation events will work, but I noticed in my Key Editor that I can draw cc7 (Main Volume) events onto the channel I'm interested in. Are there any drawbacks to using the cc7 method? – Shawn Eary Mar 24 '15 at 2:06
  • @ShawnEary I have no idea. – Lyd Mar 24 '15 at 2:40

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