NotePerformer 4.1 released

Started by krummholz, June 14, 2023, 06:45:00 AM

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Wallander Instruments released NP 4.1 today. From the release notes it seems it's an optional upgrade for users of NotePerformer itself, with only a few fixes and improvements, but a very important one for NPPE users.

One very welcome fix in NP itself though, according to the version history (I have yet to try it): the NP native sul pont intonation issue is reportedly fixed - in 4.0, solo sul pont frequently played out of tune, and as you can imagine the result was truly cringeworthy.

My first impression is that the timings of attacks for solo strings are even less random than in 4.0, and they were MUCH improved over 3.0 even then. This is only a first impression though, from playing back a passage 3 times where I still noticed it under 4.0 three times out of four. That's obviously a very small statistical sample, so take this with a large grain of salt.


Update: as far as I can tell, the solo sul pont problem is indeed fixed - I played back the sul pont passages in my string quartet several times and even created a couple of renderings, and they are as perfectly in tune as my ear can discern. Timings of attacks are still not perfectly precise, but they're within acceptable limits as far as I'm concerned - since Arne's goal is to make the "interpretations" sound as much as possible as if realised by human performers, and there will be slight timing differences even in a closely-knit group like a string quartet, I can't really complain. It's a far cry from NP 3.0, where a typical rendering of my string quartet sounded like an amateur quartet sight reading the score for the first time.


my main interest with this release is NPPE as for most works, the quality of the native NP strings is not good enough for serious use (there are some exceptions but solo strings are particularly problematical). My impressions after going through a few works with 4.1 are that there is even more attempt to provide an expressive musicality than before and there are fewer timing issues. Some balances have been altered as well -- seems that brass have maybe been toned down a bit? One big difference is that the amount of RAM used by the libraries is now correctly shown and I got a huge shock when I saw that the Cinematic Studio orchestral template really does take over 53Gb! My system has only 32Gb and yet by upping the size of the swap file, it appears to work fine so far.

Early days still but the NP4 release is little short of revolutionary in terms of providing an environment to work in for notation software using third party libraries. Not everything quite works and there are times where there is frustration of the relative lack of control which you have using the libraries (in my case BBCSO Core and CSS) natively with your own Expression Maps in Dorico but overall, there are far more gains than losses and I expect the vast majority of my projects using supported libraries will use this technology as first choice in the future.