no composition here, just technicalities.
I' ve been trying to re-program an old set of samples I had and testing it out. The set belongs to an old NI's package, "Kontakt sax and brass", that I got redeeming one voucher from them. The instruments were running in their Kore player and the samples are indeed special. I assume they should be coming from Chris Hein (a subset of his relevant packages) and were used for Kontakt's native library sax and brass, solos and sections instruments. In their version for Kore, behavior was anyway rather weak. The samples have too much attack and do not "flow" well musically, no vibrato and limited possibilities of customization. But ...open wav format... so re-importing and re-programming for a geek like me was an irresistible step. I did it in my favorite sampler software, Independence.
In this case, I wanted to focus on the tenor sax (but I had roughly the same approach for all the instruments).
Inspired by what Garritan himself or Sample modeling do, the idea was to use the basic samples sets (6 dynamic layers, though, rather good), and simulate the remaining playing styles. Vibrato is controllable by mod wheel and modulated by two LFOs. One controls the frequency and is linked to velocity that controls intensity and width, the second constantly modulates volume within a 2db range, to create "just a bit of movement". Expression has a customizable curve and at the moment is linked to cc20. Growl is also generated by another LFO, the intensity of which is also controlled by velocity with a dramatically steep curve, so that it really shows only at the very top velocities. In combination with expression, I can use the top velocities with a lowered expression control for low volume flutter.
Staccatos are easily achievable by quick-releasing samples at top velocities, with accented attack, and trills by adjusting the attack curve. Volume is controlled by both cc20 and velocity, but the "master" is cc20, the only one that can bottom it out.
I tested it out with a standard midi file, Body and Soul arranged for big band with melody and solo by tenor sax.
The file is basically unedited, exception made for the sax line, completely adapted to the working controllers of my patch, velocities and expression rewritten and heavy "interpretation" of the line involving the notes themselves: things moved, made off beat, made room for staccatos and legatos passages and so on.
I wanted to share to know what you think about it. Do not hide that I'd be very pleased by a word from Rich, who plays the saxophone so can properly evaluate.
Ah.. the rest of the band is a mix of things, all re-programmed by me in Independence. The brush drum set and the jazz guitar are two free samples' sets from Andrea Pettinao (google him, "", he is amazing), the piano is again a free set from Iowa University. The upright is a "Frankenstein" by itself as the plucked samples 2xround robin are.. actually coming from London Solo Strings and have a "classical" feeling, but notwithstanding this I still prefer this set to many other jazz-specifical sets I have. Only.. it is enriched by all kinds of finger, slap and body knocks FX from Dimension Pro's Upright. Most trumpets, trombones and saxes are from the same NI package, but there are one trumpet, one alto and tenor sax from Dimension Pro, one trumpet from GPO (combining trumpet+overlay, won't say how I do re-import from there ) and one rather amazing free but very rich trombone set I do not recall where I found ("Knutsson", try to google it").