Key switching. We all struggle with it in various ways, for multiple reasons. Key switching refers to the use of trigger notes, outside the playable range of an instrument, used to alternate between different playing styles, or articulations, common to the instrument in question.
Why do we struggle with them? There are a variety of reasons. Here are a few that come to mind.
We don’t have adequate keyboard technique to perform the necessary part with one hand while triggering different articulations with the other.
We aesthetically aren’t sure when to use specific performance articulations within a performance. Choosing performance articulations becomes a specifically challenging aspect when dealing with sophisticated key switching instruments that contain many subtle playing style variations.
It isn’t straightforward getting key switch notes in place during rapid passages. Placement is a problem even if you are a skilled keyboard player, or an experienced MIDI programmer entering or editing key switch notes within your DAW.
It is challenging to train your muscle memory to work with key switch notes because different sample libraries use different key switch notes for similar articulations.
There is no easy answer to dealing with these workflow problems. There are workarounds, however. Logic, for example, established an articulation ID system to help make these situations uniform through various libraries.
I am writing today to let you know about another new and interesting workaround to the perennial key switch problem, using your voice to switch articulations.
Imagine if you could say the word “staccato” or “spiccato” or “legato,” and have Logic switch articulations for you. I’m here today to tell you, no show you that this is possible with an app called Voice Commander, by a company called Creationauts.
Voice Commander allows for much more than simple key switching. In this first video, done a couple of months ago, we learned how it is used to trigger traditional key command assignments as well as macros (chains of sequential key commands).
In this video, sponsored by Creationauts, learn how to use Voice Commander to deal with key switching in three common scenarios.