Saxophone has always been one of the holy grails of sampling. The amount of expression and nuances make this a very difficult instrument to make a convincing rendition with samples.
Joaz has undertaken the task of realizing a sampled sax solo. What he has done is to model a solo from a track from the Sirius B album "Casa do Sol" featuring Tenor player is Iain Ballamy, one of the UK's top Jazz musicians. With Iain Ballamy's permission and the help of Markleford Friedman, Joe has mocked up this tenor sax solo demo:
Iain Ballamy Tenor Sax Solo Demo
This demo was make with the third Tenor Sax in the Jazz and Big Band library, as well as the fretted bass, electric piano and fusion drum kit. Because a real sax solo is performance-driven, many different performance controllers were used to shape articulations asnd phrases (velocity, pitch wheel, aftertouch, cc1, 12, 13, 17, 21, 22, 23, 26, 64 legato) and this represents a departure from a brute-force samples approach. If you want to know how its done and see a tutorial go to this thread:
Kudos to Joaz and Markleford for doing an oustanding job!
I don't think we'll ever be able to replace a sax player with samples. But for sketching and providing a tool for playback we may have taken a leap forward.
Do you think we are closer to a decent sax with samples now? Do you think this demo suceeds? And how do you think it can be made better?