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Topic: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

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  1. #1

    Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    I was listening to \"The Perfect Storm\" the other day, and I was noticing the distinct sound of a solo clarinet playing a legato descending line, as opposed to not playing legato - I think it\'s the sound of the pad slapping shut that I was hearing, but it could be something else. At any rate, that got me thinking about how one could capture that legato sound in samples and I came up with an idea....

    If you were to sample your typical long tones (chromatically), then also record each note sluring up and down a minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, etc, etc, on up to about a 12th. If you were to trim those slurs down just to the very last instant of the first note, and only the attack (or a portion of it) of the 2nd note, then program them as a release trigger in combination with an ever so slight delay in the 2nd note\'s attack, if that would result in a realistic legato sound. Perhaps not so effective for fast legato passages, but maybe. Then you could add keyswitches that would allow you to select the interval (and direction) to the next note, it would automatically select the appropriate release trigger sample to use for the slur. I can further explain how I think the keyswitches would make it very easy to play in realtime, on slower passages at least.

    Think of the possibilities with strings, or solo vocals! You could even record different speeds for the pitch bends between the notes. And french horns, which generally play so high up on the harmonic series, you frequently get hints at those other tones when slurring over large intervals.

    This is something that I really want to try out and see if it will work, but I just don\'t have the equipment to the recording right now. So I suggest this to the rest of you, can someone try this and see how it works? Has this been tried this before and can comment on the results?

    Another thing I was thinking about was the vibrato of solo woodwinds, we could really use some variations here. Most sampled vibratos I\'ve heard start right from the attack of the note, and are steady throughout it\'s duration. A lot of the time when you hear a solo woodwind in a film score it has a vibrato that conjurs up the word \"Dolce\" in my mind. Initial attack, no vibrato.. then about 1 second into it the vibrato comes in, and it\'s a very deep, passionate vibrato. Another frequently heard variation on this is slowly fading the vibrato in, more of an \"espressivo\" type sound.

    My last suggestion/plea is the sound of the flutes. I think there are two general types of tone on a flute, pure tone - you\'re plain old flute sound, and the \"buzzy\" tone - the silvery, warm, sizzling kind of sound that\'s particularly noticable in the lower range of the flute, but you hear entire passages played this way in film scores. I think the alto flute particularly sounds beautiful with this kind of tone, and you hear it a lot.

    Any suggestions/comments on this stuff would be appreciated. Although it\'s probably not going to happen until fall, I want to record my own personal woodwind samples using these ideas -- and so I\'ll have plenty of time to revise my gameplan.

  2. #2

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Hye Look Thomas J

    We have a new club member!!!!

    Aenigma...all I have to say is yah...and I have more ideas [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    btu it takes time to develpe this type of stuff. Waht one needs to do is make an \"addition library that has this stuf for ensembles, and when someone wants to do a solo library, they need to take this into acount.

  3. #3

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Thanks for your reply king! I very much respect your ideas, so it\'s nice to hear I\'m heading in the right direction. Once I get some source material from a recording session or two, dont be surprised if it shows up on your doorstep. ;-)

    I would assume this whole \"slur\" thing would be easier with an ensemble, since it\'s not as noticable if two of the samples overlap just a little bit.

    I\'d be curious to know some of your \"more ideas.\" If they involve winds, I may be able to \"test\" some of your theories or record some things for you to try \'em out. Being a wind player and vocalist myself, I have lots of friends who would quite happily let me record them.

  4. #4

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Hi there. This is what I\'ve been trying to get developers to sample since the beginning of days :=) We\'ll just have to sit tight and wait for people to do it. It\'s the only way to do legato phrases IMO. I use this technique a lot with horns and trumpets because I have a collection of legato samples for those, but not for woodwinds. This is definitely what we need in order to capture the live and breathing sound of any orchestral instrument!

    Thomas

  5. #5

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Thomas,

    Can you comment at all on how it works on fast passages, does it still work or does it muddle things up? Also, is there anything based on your experiences that I should watch for or watch out for when recording the \"slur\" samples? To make sure they are perfecty usable in the context of a legato phrase? Would one velocity of \"slurs\" work over more than one velocity of notes?

  6. #6

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Aenigma,

    Email me

    ashif@musicyouneed.com

  7. #7

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Hi Aenigma,

    Wellcome to the forum. You are right about the legato idea. Actually I have used this technique on my two bass libraries \"J-Slap\" and \"J-Fingered\" and the J2 Expansion pack 2.

    I have samples phrases like Legato, grace note 1/2 notes up, slides, etc and cut away the first attacked part. You can then \"glue\" the Legato-tail to any sustained note - or even another \"tail\".

    So you can go: Sustained + legato-tail - grace note 2-tail + trill-tail, etc.

    You can hear examples of this at: www.scarbee.com

    I use mod-wheel or key-triggers to activate this.

    regards

    Thomas

  8. #8

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Hi!
    SOV includes a set of Gregorian Choir patches, with steps up and down a semitone, and they work fantastically for building legato lines. But I think the idea of the slur being a release sample is a much better one.

    Developers please take note. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Hi!
    SOV includes a set of Gregorian Choir patches, with steps up and down a semitone, and they work fantastically for building legato lines. But I think the idea of the slur being a release sample is a much better one.

    Developers please take note.

  10. #10

    Re: Legato idea, plus some other odds and ends

    Let me pose this question. The working approach some of you speak about where you manipulate a slurred sample then place it between two notes for a legato effect - does this replicate what is physically occurring when, let say, a violin plays legato?

    Imagine this short legato passage in slow motion with one continuous bowing 1) a violin is sounding a note 2) the player begins to depress a the string for the next note 3) the string continues to move towards the fingerboard, 4) the string is firmly held on the fingerboard. Is it this depressing action and its results on the string\'s vibrations that cause this slurring effect? Or, does the slur sample not really imitate the real-world but rather fool our ears/brain?

    From afar it would seem that legato is simply the sound of no space between each note, but if this is true why does the addition of an interim slur reproduce the effect and why don\'t I get a better legato by simply backing one note up aginst the other? The slur would make sense to be if the violinist dragger his finger between notes on the fingerboard but I don\'t think this is the technique (though I\'m a percussionist/pianist and was never thought it appropriate to hang with the string players [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )

    The most obvious technique, to me, for reproducing legato would be to use two samples (different attacks) with different attacks; one for the resting to vibrating transition - first note, and one for the others in the phrase). Join all of those notes at the hip and you should have a legato - right? Alas, I am sure this is not a new idea and probably only gets you close.

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