Q: I’m using Native Instruments’ Kontakt 2 as an audio instrument insert in a Digital Performer V-Rack with orchestral samples from the Garritan Personal Orchestra. When I opened the sequence to work on it again, the Garritan sounds didn’t play back after I had initially set volume levels. Also, it doesn’t respond to expression curves (CC #11) in DP. What’s up?
A: GPO instruments have their volume controls mapped to the MIDI controller’s mod wheel for expression. In this application, you have to reset the GPO instruments mod wheel setting to 127 in order for the instrument to sound, since they default back to zero when you open your sequence. To hear the instrument, record-enable the MIDI track and move the mod wheel to its top-most position. Do this for each track that you have a GPO instrument assigned to.
It’s a tad inconvenient, but mapping the mod wheel in this way does allow for expressive performances when you perform your parts. Another way is to go into the V-Racks and bring up the Kontakt window and use your mouse to move the virtual keyboard’s mod wheel up to the top-most position. To show the virtual keyboard, click on the Keyboard button in Kontakt’s View Menu. As far as not reading expression commands, recall that GPO has its expression controller mapped to the mod wheel. To use expression with GPO instruments in DP, you need to remap the volume controller (CC #7) to the expression controller (CC #11). To do this, go into the Region dropdown menu and select Reassign Continuous Data. In the pop-up window, select the Change button, and type the number seven in the box after Controller and highlight its button. In the lower portion of the window, underneath the word “to,” type in #11 after Controller and select its button. Hit Apply, and now GPO instruments will read your MIDI expression curves. Rather than simply using Modulation (CC #1) as a continuous controller, doing it this way is a more intuitive way of working since your expression data shows up where you expect it to be.