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Topic: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

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  1. #1

    VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    I\'m trying to decide between the John Rekevics sax library and the VSL saxes.

    I\'m very impressed by the VSL legato tool and general smoothness and realism of sound. But the demos and patch lists suggest to me that they can\'t quite go the extra mile into real hardcore jazz territory - growls, falls, bends, with plenty of variety going right over the top. I get the impression they will always sound a bit \"polite\" in this respect, whereas the Rekevics won\'t have this problem so much.

    Would this be an accurate assessment, according to those that have used them?

    Also, the VSL sop & tenor set is just slighty more expensive than the Rekeviks set that contains all four saxes. So presuming I would then get the VSL alto and bari when they come out to complete the picture, I\'d be looking at nearly twice the price. Do they really have enough going for them, above the Rekevics, to justify that?

    Quantum Leap Brass is very cheap now and I want it for the brass anyway, so one solution might be to get VSL for standard uses and add a touch of QLB to rough it up when necessary.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    I think the VSL Saxes are way cool. Honest thought? The most hardcore thing you can do with them is \"cheat\" the portamento patches to get the sound of really on-the-edge kinds of playing. I have had some success with this.

    But there is not a sax library in existence that can really support a jazz lead. Aside from the rather serendipitous successes of the above method, I would not for one second consider putting it on anything I would call jazz in the true sense of the word, which I think is what you\'re getting at. Jazz is too fleeting. To me, it would be like trying to have a good spirited screw, only you have to stop and program the angle and speed for every move. Kind of takes the jazz right out of it.

    I guess my position would be that yes, you can make something that sounds jazzy with VSL, Rekevics, QLB, et. al. But it would be exceedingly difficult to make actual jazz with them.

  3. #3

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    The VSL saxes are probably too clean for any hard jazz although the legato as always is great,

    The BG set have the growls, honks, and flutters so are probably more suited for what you are after, but no legato tool.

    Neither are overly dirty or squeak or scream, so you would either need to augment them with another layer of samples from another library.

    So we are still not quite there yet.

    Ben H

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    I hope that doesn\'t sound negative towards the VSL saxes, because I think they\'re phenomenal. I just don\'t think you\'re going to get a jazz horn performance from ANY sample library, even one that\'s best of class like VSL. With sampled keyboards, yes, you can play jazz on those. You could play jazz on sampled drums with pads. But I don\'t see how you\'re going to get jazz out of horn samples. The palette is 90% missing in the best ones...more so in the more limited collections.

  5. #5

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Hi,

    the VSL Sax Demos done by Sharmy are excellent in that there are so many articulations to be assembled if one wants to dedicate the time to doing this. As a real time player I would rely on instant keying rather than assembling patches.
    My limited Demos for both libraries only selects IMHO the strongest patches and whatever I can get out of that patch using my Motif 8 and all it\'s keyboard sensistivites is evident in both of my demos.

    VSL Demo:

    \"A Leaf\'s Journey\"

    http://www.alanrussellmusic.com/A%20Leaf\'s%20Journey.MP3

    \" A Leaf\'s Journey\" is an original ballad composition I wrote in the fall o0f 2003. I\'ve always admired how the leaves change throughout our 4 seasons in New York. This ballad feature the New VSL Soprano Sax in the Performance Legato patch (SXS_perf-leg_p) using the Performance Tools in the Hor-Legato setting. Since I enjoy playing my scores in real time, this solo sax performance was created by many takes using no additional keying. I have always felt that a great sampled instrument can be played as a stand alone in any of its supportive patches.

    and Bigga Giggas Demo:

    Sweet Soprano:

    http://www.glasstrax.com/download/demo/JohnRekevicsSax/SweetSoprano.mp3

    Alan Russell

  6. #6

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Apart from the more \"jazz\" articuloations you will find that the BG saxes stack really nicely with each other. And they also stretch pretty well.

    I am in the process of stacking some brass patches together for sections.

    Even just the Alto and Tenor is a good combi but I will need to buy something else for trombone and trumpets.

    Ben H

  7. #7

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Originally posted by Sharmy:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\"> Sharmy,

    you mentioned Roland Brass..isn\'t this synthy.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Alan,

    Actually it is quite useful for section writing.....not solos though. I\'ll have to look through my archives but i have some stuff. I think i have posted a couple of pieces before.
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Craig,

    thanks a bunch..looking forward to a listen.

    Alan Russell

  8. #8

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Thanks a lot everyone.

    Bruce, I take your point, but the question still remains which library gets closest. If the Rekevics gets closer than VSL to the sound I\'m after, then I\'m better off buying it.

    I\'m not really so fussed about \"playing jazz\" in the sense of completely realistic solo lines - I know this is pretty much unobtainable. It\'s more for 3-sax sections within funk/RnB contexts, but bordering on jazz and, as I said, with lots of rough noist effects. Kind of like a punk version of Blood Sweat and Tears, I suppose (!!!)

    (Don\'t ya just love trying to describe music in words!)

    I\'ve done some work at a studio where they have QLB, and I found I got some pretty musical stuff out of it. It\'s highly imperfect, but I reckon with it and a few other libraries to compensate for it\'s weaknesses I could do things I find musically satisfying. This is my goal rather than total exact realism.

  9. #9

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Sharmy,

    you mentioned Roland Brass..isn\'t this synthy.

    I\'m only guessing..

    Do you have a link for the Roland Brass Demos?

    TIA

    Alan Russell

  10. #10

    Re: VSL saxes for hardcore rough jazz?

    Originally posted by Ouch that hurts:
    I\'m trying to decide between the John Rekevics sax library and the VSL saxes.


    Thanks for any thoughts.

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The Rekevics sound \"dirtier\", and I mean that in a good way. Rekevic\'s has a lot of articulations...the downside is that they are somewhat time consuming to use (for me anyhow). Also, the vibrato is extremely realisitc. It is an actual vibrato sample, not an LFO\'d version.

    I like using UAD-1\'s Pultec on the sax sound...here\'s a snippet:

    http://www.sportersstudio.com/Songs/LPTs.mp3

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