Oooh, oooh, oooh. The cat's out of the bag!
I won't make it to NAMM, but I spent some enjoyable time with Gary and Jeff at CES, and Gary was kind enough to show me a video preview of the "Stradivari Solo Violin (with groundbreaking 'Sonic Morphing' technology)".
As I understand it, it's somewhere between sample playback and physical modeling.
As you know, if you mix between a piano solo violin and a forte solo violin, you don't get a smooth transition. You get one piano violin, then two violins (one piano, one forte), then one forte violin - even if they're playing the same melody.
But what if the waveforms of the two violins were in phase on every single zero crossing of the waveform? Then you would hear one violin that morphs from one voice to the next. Listen to Pink Floyd's Animals for an example of what I'm talking about. They morph between voice and instruments. (How'd thay do that in the analog days????) I don't know the details, but Gary's Sonic Morphing works along these lines.
The video showed a guy playing keyboard, using the mod-wheel and aftertouch (and maybe the sustain pedal?) in real time. He played single lines, legato, portamento, staccato and double-stops - with expression. He made it look easy. And it sounded killer. We're talking real-time virtuoso violin.
I'm not sure about all of the controls, options and programming. I don't know when it will ship, or what the final pricing will be. But I know that this is a huge breakthrough for solo instruments.
If you make it to NAMM, don't miss the Garritan booths, nor the demo of Gary's new violin.
And be careful to cushion your jaw as it hits the floor.