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Virtual instruments’ have been with us since , and the phrase is now applied routinely and rather indiscriminately to sample collections as well as individual software instruments. While samples can produce amazingly realistic results, they have marked limitations, succinctly described by Giorgio Tommasini and Peter Siedlaczek of European company Sample Modeling thus: This is particularly true for solo instruments. Synthesizers allow for greater expressiveness, but at the expense of the realism of sound. In this review, we’ll cast an ear over them all.
sample modeling the sax brothers kontakt

[REVIEW] Samplemodeling “The Saxophones”

Alas,I always failed at finding a decent implementation of a virtual sax. Using a sampler rather than a synth — including synths that use physical modeling to replicate the sound characteristics of a real wind instrument,as is the case of the VLm — surely delivers a result closer to a natural sax sound,yet I have always been disappointed by the lack of playability and the inability of achieving the many timbre variations that only a real sax can offer.

When I decided to record music for sax quartet,the choice was between purchasing a real tenor and baritone to be added to my alto and soprano or trying again with a sampled instrument. These price tags make Samplemodeling products more expensive than libraries that offer hundreds instruments for a fraction of a dollar each,but this comparison is misleading,because none of the instruments in these libraries can really compete with Samplemodeling.

The company has been on the market for a while and gained a very high reputation among musicians,especially EWI players. Installation,licensing and required hardware The good news is Samplemodeling software needs no dongle key e. Instead,you get two license keys,which allow you to install their software on two different computers. If you buy a third computer you can have one key deactivated and reactivated on the new hardware.

As is common with most vendors,a valid license gives you the ability to download future minor releases of the same product,without having to pay for a yearly subscription. My review is based on version 2. Interestingly,Samplemodeling virtual instruments are built with the wind player in mind: I scanned the Samplemodeling forum before getting the software,and the satisfaction level among users is impressively high. This surely means something. First impressions Quite opportunely,Samplemodeling provides three configurations to start with: The documentation is short,clear and concise,and just takes a few minutes.

Once I grasped the fundamental concepts,it took less than one hour to tweak the many available parameters until I got the sound and the responsiveness I expected. The parameters are grouped in three distinct sets: In the top half of the window you can set the intonation in Hertz or cents ,the transposition in semitones ,the pitchbend up and down ranges,the volume,and the pan.

A rectangular area in the center of the main window shows a subset of the messages arriving from the MIDI controller,i. It also provides a graph of the dynamic envelope and shows how the software is interpreting the way you articulate the phase e.

The quest for the perfect parameter value In the bottom half of the main window you see more advanced controls that directly affect the resulting sound. After some tests,I found myself focusing on two or three different variations for each sax model.

In some cases I managed to have interesting sound variations by moving a slider,in others I found no audible difference,probably because some controls must be adjusted in groups rather than individually. For example,I found out that lowering the default value of the Dyn. Pitch parameter — which controls random pitch fluctuations in response to different breath intensity — allows me to articulate phases in a way that is closer to my playing style on the real instrument.

A couple of sliders affect the noise produced by breath and keys;when playing at low volume,these two parameters add realism to the sound. You can control them using CC messages,too,but in practice their default value is OK for most circumstances. The SWAM engine also supports microtones and non-tempered tuning. Instead,you have to activate the microtuning feature either in the main window or by sending a specific CC message.

In either case,you can decide which notes use the alternate tuning. Even if I have both these foot controllers,my goal was to achieve good results with the EWI alone,thus I spent some time to configure the software and the EWI for the highest expressiveness.

PitchBend Up: PitchBend Down: Vibrato Rate: Portamento Time: On the EWI: To match the SWAM settings described above,you should map pitchbend up values to the CC1 modulation message,which lets you easily have a variable degree of vibrato by simply sliding your right thumb up the pitchbend plate.

The Glide plate should map to CC5,so that it controls the portamento in legato phrases. The Hold key — i. Pressing it again disables overblow. The Octave auxiliary key should be mapped to CC4 so that you can achieve the growl effect by pressing a single key;in the setup you should specify a value between 30 and ,depending on the amount of growl you desire.

Pressing the key again returns to normal non-growl sound. Alternatively,you can give up to either overblow or growl,and instead use one of the EWI auxiliary keys to activate microtuning. Unfortunately,the only answer I can provide is: More precisely,it depends on why you want to use a virtual instrument in the first place and what are your expectations.

Same consideration applies if you want to record a big band section: In the hands of a good EWI player,a virtual sax can be also used to play ballads and medium-tempo songs,as this video demonstrates. Samplemodeling instruments were accurately recorded in an anechoic room with expensive mics and using first-class instruments played by professional musicians,thus a recording session based on these sampled instruments can often deliver better results that those you typically obtain in your home studio.

The sound of all the instruments provided in the package is equally good,yet I have my preferences. In my opinion,the baritone and the soprano delivers slightly better results,then comes the tenor and finally the alto.

But again,this is my personal opinion and it probably depends on me being an alto sax player,which means that have higher expectations for that specific model.

Playing these virtual instruments in live gigs can be challenging. Just remember that every single detail of how these instruments sound can be controlled via CC messages:

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VIDEO: Saxophone library recommendation | AudioSEX – Professional Audio Forum

Sample Modeling releases The Sax Brothers of new added features, and supplied with the newborn Native Instruments Kontakt Player. When you click the Kontakt virtual keyboard do the instrument meters move If it is samplemodeling’s sax brothers look at the top center of the. After the success of Mr. Sax T. (Tenor), Sample Modeling has announced that it has extended its family of Saxophone virtual instruments with.

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