Hey folks - this is something I've just *got* to share. This weekend was supposed to be about completing a few odds and ends in the studio - mainly tooling up for the next project. But then I got a bit side-tracked by the delivery in Saturday's mail - Garritan's Stradivari Solo Violin.
I have to admit, I actually went the manual cover-to-cover before I started to play the instrument. Yes - I'm one of *those* geeks that actually digs into the documentation before taking a crack at something new. Boring, but true. So, that was Saturday afternoon. I didn't catch everything on first read, but I figured that I'd "get it" after I had a chance to play around with it for a bit.
So today, after a bit of lunch and some time wasted watching football, I got back to the studio and sat down with the Stradivari. I had already set up a few buttons and sliders on my MIDIBoard to drive expression and other continuous and switched controls. First I wanted to experiment with the dynamics and vibrato control through some longer sustains. Garritan has set up vibrato where intensity is controlled by the mod wheel (as you'd expect) *and* speed/rate is controlled with aftertouch. Couple those two controls with a bit of swell through expression and the effect is pretty stunning. By "stunning" I mean stand-up-and-go-outside-to-the-front-porch-for-a-minute-and-collect-yourself type of "stunning". Legato and portamento switch for you automatically with Kontakt 2's scripting engine (along with a host of other functions depending upon your actions and/or the keyswitch selected) and the entire phrase comes across as dynamic, immediate, musically meaningful - and dare I say - real. It was truly amazing to hear some of the things I could pull off almost immediately. I'm not going to be putting Itzhak Perlman out of business or anything, but this is absolutely a "showcase" voice.
I've got a lot more practicing to do - but the cool thing is that it's for honing *my* technical ability and creative options - *not* to circumvent any limitation of this virtual instrument. The Garritan Stradivari can take anything I can throw at it and them some. This is a miracle of technology in the service of art - and Giorgio, Stefano and Gary should be "right proud" of themselves.