Yesterday was my last day. I considered staying one more day, but I unexpectedly ran out of bottled water (Stefan!!!! ) so I came home last night. Anyway, on the 3rd day, I found new stuff I didn't notice before:
Screaming Trumpets Featuring Wayne Borgeron - Remember a thread on this a while back? Well, we may want to rethink our opinions on this one. I was watching a demo presentation at the Native Instruments booth (yeah, I know what I said in "Day 1," but I still need to learn what I can about their stuff) and I hear these big band trumpets from a neighboring booth that sound great. Three of us (all perfect strangers) kind of looked at each other like, "What the heck was that? It sounds pretty cool!" After a few minutes more of hearing these trumpets, we all left the NI booth to check out what was going on. Now, leaving the NI booth mid-demonstation in and of itself doesn't normally mean anything. Most people bail out early with no particular place to go, other than away! But this was different.
The trumpet tone itself sounds fantastic. It's the first library I've heard where I'll say, "That's the sound I'm looking for." Think Maynard or Chase. The guy who put it together is obviously a newbie at this, but he's dedicated. There are a zillion articulations and variations. The preset programming and keyswitching seemed pretty good. Lines played from the keyboard sounded great to me, way better than the other libraries I have. Right now, it's only programmed for Reason, but plans are for Giga, Kontakt and EXS. They'll all be released together in one package for around $300. I have high hopes for this one . . . but this isn't the first time, so . . .
Broadway Big Band - Like "Screaming Trumpets," this is well named. There's brass, winds, and rhythm section instruments. And the tones are Broadway-ish. In other words, tamer than a power big band (that's not meant to be a criticism.) The programming seemed excellent. It won't be out for a few months and the price is expected to be "over a thousand" for the full library with individual sections available separately.
Kirk Hunter Emerald - This was probably already said earlier on this board, but Kirk is developing scripts for Emerald (which is, by the way, dirt cheap and a must-buy IMO) that really sound nice. I heard demos of Strings and French Horns that were very convincing. This whole scripting thing is changing the whole ball game. I don't think it's possible to beat VSL's realism, but things are getting closer. EW needs to consider offering scripts as well, because IMHO, Kirk is already rivalling Q-Legato. Of course, that opinion is after a 20 minute demo on a very noisy floor, so take it (like ALL opinions I give) for what it's worth.
Liquid Brass and Voices 1&2 - From the same company that did Liquid Sax, which I really like. These will be out in a few months for $199 each. Unlike Liquid Sax, they're polyphonic. You can individually alter each instrument or voice in the ensembles. Voices are 8-part (4 male, 4 female) and are a touch less aggressive than I normally like, but for the money, I'll still find plenty of uses. You can also use solo voices, or just males or whatever.
Chris Heins Horns - Apparently this already came out? I must have been asleep, because I was looking forward to it. There was something screwy about the demo keyboard at EW. It's one of those "no computer required, load Kontmpakt instruments right in" things, or maybe not and it's just a custom EW creation for demoing soft synths at NAMM. In any event, it was complicated and the keyswitching with Chris's library was hinky, which was I think was machine, not Chris, error. But the tones were great so I bought it for no other reason than some mp3's Chris posted earlier here sounded so good.
VSL - Yeah, I know . . . I promise to post more details by tomorrow. For now, note my revised statement that the strings (including Solo and Chamber) and one Woodwinds set are to ship in a few weeks (one guy said one or two weeks, though) and the rest will ship over the course of the next few months. Different people in the booth had different answers to this question, by the way, so I wouldn't bank on any of it. I believe that the other libraries will ship as they are ready, rather than in one big clump at the end, but again, don't quote me, especially at the VSL site!!! I'd like to limit my looking like an idiot to just this one site here.
Free iPod Shuffles! - One reason to come to NAMM is some sample companies like Big Fish sell all their stuff for 30% off. I picked the right time to go to their booth because they had a drawing, I tossed in my name, and won an iPod Shuffle.
Saturdays at NAMM - Saturdays are a zoo. It's way more crowded, there more kids, and an unbelievable number of people with nothing better to do stand in really long, slow moving lines to get their Ibanez brochure autographed by Steve Vai or various other guitar heros. Most of the major guitar booths do this. Stay away from the guitar area on Saturday!
Speaking of Kids - There were more than the usual number of kids doing demos for various companies. I guess they figure it's an attention getter to their products, which I suppose it is. One 8-year-old was scratching and cuttin' it up at a DJ booth. A bunch of grammar school age drummers were playing pretty cool grooves on drums at several booths. If only one of the musical instrument companies could benefit from a 9-year-old who can belch the alphabet, I'd be able to cash in on some free gear!
Is that all there is? - Then let's keep dancing (50 points for this one. Hint: the answer is not fretless guitar and eBow!) This was definitely a light year for soft synths at NAMM, but I still had a lot of fun. I'm pretty sad that it's over and I'm already looking forward to next year. Maybe a bunch of us can all bring bikes . . .
Thats good to hear about the screaming trumpets. I think the ihitial negative responses came from the demos the developer provided back then. They didn't work for the samples.Sounded VERY strange. But I'm intrigued and I like you.
Hey Mike, thanks for the update and braving the zoo that a Saturday NAMM defines. The Screaming Trumpets Featuring Wayne Bergeron must have only been there for the weekend. Upon checking the demos, I think this lead trumpet is a step in the right direction and sounds like it may work nicely on top of some existing trumpet libs. I had no idea it even existed.
BTW, sorry to have stepped on your day 1 thread; just overzealousness. It was, after all, MIKE'S Day 1 report.
Scott, step all you like! Heck, I'd be jumping in if it were YOUR thread! It's fun to hear other people's impressions from the show . . . or post production mixers!
Screaming Trumpets was only showing between 10am and noon on Saturday. I don't know what hours, if at all, on the other days, so it was really easy to miss. Kirk Hunter also was only showing part time. Both were at the Chicken Systems booth.
The tones were good as I recall. The demos on the website were .
These demos? http://www.warpiv.com/1050394.html
While not being too organic, I can hear enough to realize how I might use the lib, as narrow as that use may be. I still think it's a step in the right direction. Not a sub for a player by any means, but I can see fitting it in a mix.