You know, I am a wind instrument player, sax mainly also former trumpet & cornet flute etc.... and I have played in orchestras and bands big and small, off and on, since a kid.
I have had an interest in midi since the birth of the PC too. Everything orchetral midi that I compose (well almost) everything, seems to my ears to be what I could call "flatly expressed".
Sometimes I have layed in bed thinking Oh god! all I want is just one phrase! Its not that I have trouble creating phrases - I can improvise on the sax for hours no problem. The issue has been that all the technology I have used seemed either to lack the ability to control expression over the single note and this rendered even the most lyrical line of crotchets lifeless. See my post over the years on the Cubase site imploring,.....begging! for this!
OK, so I can improve things using tricks with velocity and pitch to emulate vibrato, and many other tricks too, but until now all orchestral midi sounds even GPO have had a certain woodeness that is hard to disguise (though this can be achieved by those better than me).
Now I have just bought the Strad and I am hardly familiar with its potential, I am still half way through the manual, but as soon as I started to stick a few notes into score and vary the expression and mod wheel the whole of my workmanlike basic cadence just sang into life!
All I did was sweep in a few curves in SX3's midi editor!
I almost started to sob!
Call me a Nerd, but I just listened over and over to two bars and each minor tweak I made to the basic controllers made me yell with delight at the responsiveness of this wonderful VST instrument!
Geez I feel like a man released from a cage!
I wasnt even trying to make something nice!!!..... just tweeking about!
Nope! It just wasn't hard to do at all. I don't even yet have a keyboard that supports multiple pedals or aftertouch!
But the result!!!
......the result was on a new level of realism, its not that I chanced on a good melody line, what I am saying is that anything played through the Strad is a level beyond what you might have used before. The result was (IMO) musical in the sense that the notes had a flexible and sensible vibrato which could easily be crafted, and the variation in volume was on par with that of a real recorded violin (acccording to my ears).
So, I just want to say that anyone out there that has used midi orchestras for a while whether its GPO or VSL, you simply would be foolish not to consider taking a look at what Gary has done here. This is a new level of realism
For The FIRST Time I begin to feel like I have something approaching a real instrument in my hands whilst I am 'really' in the world of midi.
Thank you Gary!
PS [U]One small criticism?
Here it is then......
..........Now...... where are those woodwinds? A new set of challenges for you Gary!! I can't wait!
THANK - YOU