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Topic: Alto Sax demo

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  1. #1

    Alto Sax demo

    At the request of a few of you I decided to actually spend a little time and put together a better mixed demo using the Alto Sax.....I\'ve also included a link to the midi file because if there\'s a better sax using just the vibrato articulation (no stac\'s in there; just one articulation)...I want to hear it.
    http://www.dssoundware.com/sounds/ASAXJAZZ.mp3

    http://www.dssoundware.com/sounds/ASAXJAZZ.MID

    Instrumentation:

    A Sax...........Big Fish
    Piano...........Kips
    Bass............Dan\'s
    Perc..............Ours
    Vibes.............Ultimate Vibes


    [This message has been edited by donnie (edited 03-12-2002).]

  2. #2

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Thanks, Donnie. Much better. I\'m going, just for the heck of it, to lay this MIDI track against Franz\'s VR alto, just to see what it sounds like. If the drums are GM mapped, so they\'ll track without a lot of extra work, and the musical parts match up reasonably with a GM set or equivalent, I\'ll try to post something for comparison.

    If it doesn\'t work, for some reason, I\'ll post that fact instead. (This would imply MY problems, not something to do with yours...)

    Dasher

  3. #3

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Dasher,

    WOW, your quick man!

    I\'m not sure about that sax though....it was real general midish sounding. Did you add any reverb to it? Just wondering.....

    Donnie

  4. #4

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Listened to Donnie\'s and the VR demos at Dasher\'s site (nice site - nice music).

    The attacks on Donnie\'s sax sound pretty impressive, but in the higher registers it sounds.. well, it kind of lacks some \'character\'. The VR attacks are slightly cheesier but the note evolution sounds more.. jazzy.

    Donnie, did you use a classical player for this? It sounds very \'clean\'. The lower register is real nice.

    The sax is a real toughie. I think if anyone can capture even a subset of a single player that would be an achievement. Best of luck with this. Anyone have any Xsample sax samples to share?

  5. #5

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Z6,

    Thanks for the comments....actually all the players used are legit \"jazzers\" but it really shows up in the softer vibrato patches. Most of the intruments include, NV, V, delayed V (which I love!), and various mutes with and without vibrato.

    The thing I\'ve been struggling with is the attacks. With the \"air\" at the begining of them they sound really good but when you put them in a sequencer they get a bit sluggish which won\'t fly commercially. So I\'ve been having to do a LOT of experimenting to get it just right and preserve those good attacks.

    Donnie

  6. #6

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Donnie, I\'m here with the plumber reinitializing the pipes! Nothing to do-besides, you alreay did the hard part...

    VR saxes have four basic sax sets plus an additional different-sounding set. I find it difficult to characterize because there are composite concepts grouped together in some of the sets.

    The background saxes were done using Franz\'s alto_Ueber set. This is the only set that has looped parts for sustained notes, and only in certain velocity ranges. I added 33 to the original velocities, so each would play in the \'sustain note\' range, then added a CC#7 at 88 to back the volume down for balance.

    This is the VR alto, remember, NOT Donnie\'s. I\'d like to hear his set with THIS sequence, for comparison. (That\'s what I thought I was doing originally.)

    he lead was done with the \'Alto_vel_sel_4\' set, which I tend to find the most useful for lead work. Absolutely no processing except as described above.

    This may be a good illustration of why you can\'t just take sequence X and plug itinto library Y. Minor attack articulations and time, different velocity switch points, and just the general feel change our playing styles. I have dozens of sequences written for the Roland SC-88 that sound like dog waste on GS. Replay the part and voila! It fits. But the timing and moves are slightly different. We compensate without thinking, but the computer cannot.

    Dasher

    [This message has been edited by thesoundsmith (edited 03-12-2002).]

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Alto Sax demo

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by donnie:


    The thing I\'ve been struggling with is the attacks. With the \"air\" at the begining of them they sound really good but when you put them in a sequencer they get a bit sluggish which won\'t fly commercially. So I\'ve been having to do a LOT of experimenting to get it just right and preserve those good attacks.

    Donnie
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Donnie,

    Have you plugged these into a wind controller yet to see how they respond? You might want to leave a set of \"airy\" attacks, because those really work well for wind controller freaks.

    I like the fact that the tone is a bit on the \"straight\" side, because that leaves room for wind expression.

    Are you using the Sample Start Offset (Mix/Layer tab) to eliminate air? That would allow the end user to dial some back in if they wanted it. Unfortunately, it only has a 2000 sample range, which is a really bizarre, arbitrary restriction. But then again, the entire editor is a giant bizarre, arbitrary restriction on many levels.


  8. #8

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    Donnie,

    Waht about keeping the attacks/air you cut off and putting htem into an exptra patch that you can use as a layer in a sequencer. This way you get a great sounding instrument by jsut playing, and then for anyone who wants extra breath you can copy the track in a sequencer and \"bump\" the whole track up a few ticks/milliseconds.

    Thats not a major tweak, so anyone not using it live shouldn\'t have a problem with it.

    ------------------
    Really...I am an Idiot

  9. #9

    Re: Alto Sax demo

    King said what I was about to-sorta. The problem is, of course, that in performance that air delay is a pain. But if you can just change to a different patch and move the part earlier a few ticks, that\'d work for me - assuming the original patch was a solid, playable instrument.

    We\'re counting on you, bud. Let us play.

    Dasher

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Alto Sax demo

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thesoundsmith:
    King said what I was about to-sorta. The problem is, of course, that in performance that air delay is a pain. But if you can just change to a different patch and move the part earlier a few ticks, that\'d work for me - assuming the original patch was a solid, playable instrument.

    We\'re counting on you, bud. Let us play.

    Dasher
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don\'t know if the issue is that simple.

    The player knows the air is a part of the attack, after all, it resulted from a direct physical action. Sax players tend to attack early and to place the point where the note actually \"speaks\" as an expressive gesture. So, anticipating the beat a bit may actually be a very natural-feeling thing.

    If one were to actually performance model this for a wind controller, there would be a breath control dimension of **only** air at the bottom, then the softest \"speaking\" tone, on and on. As velocities got louder, there would be less air in the attack. By combining this layer of air and tone related to velocity, and using CC2 to crossfade from air into tone, one would always get **some** air as the pressure ramped up in the wind controller.

    Not a perfect modeling, but this would be an interesting tangent to follow. I think some of the instrument design enhancements down the line might really open up some possibilities for wind programming. Wind controllers really help, but in some ways GOS responds better to wind controller input than most \"wind\" libraries. Getting a solo instrument to stay phase locked is almost impossible, so it\'s hard to get the timbral expressiveness that acoustic wind players take for granted.

    It\'s interesting to me that one of the very most enjoyable sax samples to play is a little free one from Worra\'s site called \"Soft Tenor.\" It\'s looped, it has only one velocity, it has LFO vibrato, yet it feels really nice on a wind controller. It has a small amount of attack \"air,\" a nice compromise amount.

    I like Nick\'s \"Ben Webster\" patch from QLB, but in terms of attack air, that one is right on the edge of my ability to anticipate the beat and feel like I\'m playing naturally. I\'d say that\'s about the most air-time you\'d want on attacks, otherwise it\'s like swimming in peanut butter. That one is fun to play, though. I wish it had a more extended range, I like it so much.

    Gosh was that off topic or what...Good luck with your saxes Donnie.

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