Tam-tam dynamics

I am struggling to achieve realistic Tam-tam playback in my scores. What I am striving for is the sound of that all-powerful climactic tam-tam strike that is audible over an entire marching band belting out the last notes of a show. Even if I give a tam-tam note an accent, a ";fff"; dynamic, and a live playback velocity of 127, I still get a weak dynamic. When I play back the tam-tam staff alone I hear the hit (quietly), but when the full score plays back the tam-tam sound is lost completely.

Is there a way to get the tam-tam audible in this situation? Or is this simply a limitation of VDL?

If it matters I am using the BD/Tam-tam combo instrument, but I assume I would hear the exact same thing if I were using the Tam-tam instrument.
[quote author=Justin Belcher link=topic=3193.msg17120#msg17120 date=1248791313]

Haha I'd actually get a lot of mileage out of that.  Also to that list would be a ";bowel-evacuating concert bass"; instrument for those freeing the beast impact moments.
[/quote]

Just be careful not to play that audio to a band room full of kids.  EEK!
[quote author=Joe link=topic=3193.msg16897#msg16897 date=1246914155]
Thanks for the tips, Jim. I will try them out.

[quote]There are some things I can address in the programming to give this better, more intuitive range in the future. It's on the list.[/quote]How about sampling super-huge tam-tam hits? :) In fact, I think ";super-huge tam-tam"; should be the instrument name...
[/quote]

Haha I'd actually get a lot of mileage out of that.  Also to that list would be a ";bowel-evacuating concert bass"; instrument for those freeing the beast impact moments.
Ok, thanks for clarifying that. The controller change information is still useful, of course, if you want to only increase the level of the instrument during certain parts of a piece.

I had assumed that this controller and the mixer levels were independent because I did not see this controller change make the mixer slider move. As you point out above, it's simply a case of the fact that the mixer sliders don't move. Good to know.
Yes, sir.  The volume sliders control the CC7 MIDI controller, so by entering them into the score, you're essentially overriding the Mixer. For some instruments like Guitar and a few others, you can also control things like distortion and chorus with midi commands as well.

Fun facts to know and tell.
Oh. So, assuming the controller message ";~C7,127"; is placed at the beginning of the score and never changed, the same thing could be accomplished by moving the slider all the way to the right?
Just to avoid confusion, the CC7 midi controller is actually what the sliders in the Mixer affect, so the ~C7,127 command would actually negate putting the slider to the right. 

It would be nice if the sliders were automated in Sibelius like they are in many DAWs, to reflect what the midi values are actually at - effects included), but I'm sure that would steal much-needed CPU processing power.
Jim,

I tried out the controller change last night. While you are correct in assuming that it doesn't magically give a ";super-huge"; tam-tam sound, it does help. Combined with the fact that I yanked the BD/tam-tam instrument volume slider all the way to the right in the mizer, the controller change at least lets me hear the tam-tam over the rest of the ensemble during loud moments.
Thanks for the tips, Jim. I will try them out.

[quote]There are some things I can address in the programming to give this better, more intuitive range in the future. It's on the list.[/quote]How about sampling super-huge tam-tam hits? :) In fact, I think ";super-huge tam-tam"; should be the instrument name...
There are a few limitations on that super-huge tam tam sound you may be looking for due to the way the 34in Zildjian tam was recorded (this is also the tam tam used in the BD/Tam combo).

You might find that the 30in European Tam has a slightly more aggressive sound to its higher velocity single hits. Of course this isn't included in the BD/Tam combo.

There are some things I can address in the programming to give this better, more intuitive range in the future. It's on the list.

For now, as long as you're using VDL 2.5.1, you may squeeze a little extra juice out of the BD/Tam instrument by simply ";turning up the volume"; on that track at the desired times. Do this by entering a MIDI message for controller #7 (volume) at the highest value of 127. In Sibelius, you'd write this in as ~C7,127. You'll get an extra +6db by doing this. If you find you need to return to the instrument's standard volume (for parts of the show that aren't as loud), ~C7,100 should put you back to the default. On the BD/Tam instrument, you may just find that 127 works fine in general though.

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