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Topic: Alto demo

  1. #1

    Alto demo

    I have put up a demo of the VRsound alto sax on my web site. It is pretty large, about 4.1 MB, but I\'ll put up a cut down version this evening.

    This is not a composition, in the film score/orchestral manner, rather it is a 60\'s-ish bossa nova-style piece I wrote for one of our local merchants and turned into a light (NOT smooth) jazz tune.

    The electric piano is my Roland MKS-20 (still my favorite electric piano,) the bass is the Conextant GM500 acoustic bass, the guitar is from SI and the sax is Franz\'s alto.

    I tried to create demos in several other genres to show what this sax can and can\'t do, but I\'m not happy with the results-some because of the way the alto is constructed, some because I don\'t program rock/pop/jazz drums worth a $%#! and some because I just don\'t know enough about GS yet to use it in the composition-oriented mode most of you on the list seem to.

    What I think will work really well are B3 organ-sax grooves and moderate-tempo pop/jazz licks. What I can\'t do with it are long, sustained notes (so ballads are difficult-there is one set with sustained tones, but they\'re played softly-if there are long tones played MF and above I did not find them) and fast bop lines (I think they can be done, but I was unable to get it to work to my satsifaction.)

    My goal, as always, is to be able to use an instrument for live onstage performance rather than multi-edited compositional work. Franz suggested I try some of these methods, breaking up the sequence by velocity and note length and assigning the appropriate set to each part. I tried this, but did not feel it made an appreciable difference (again, I think this is MY problem, not the sax.)

    I have the emails between Franz and I that I will publish here if anyone is interested. I have had some issues with the alto, (apparently, mostly with the GS-composer orientation, NOT with the quality of the library) and Franz has been totally open and gentlemanly about it. I do not want to publish negative comments about the product that cast him or it in a bad light if the problem is my ignorance.

    I intend to make some more demos as I get the skills and rhythm tracks to work with it (I\'m especially interested in a good organ shuffle groove, but as I said, I don\'t write drum grooves very well, and the two drum pattern libraries I have (Erskine and the small Steve Smith CD) don\'t include what I consider a good organ shuffle.

    In the meanwhile, here is the demo, enjoy it. Comments are welcome.


    [This message has been edited by thesoundsmith (edited 01-30-2002).]

  2. #2

    Re: Alto demo

    Hey nice work Dasher! I loved the demo and I love bossanova. Are you a Jobim fan as well?
    I think the sax sounds good except for some of the attacks on the sample. Anyway, you certainly play it very well on your demo .
    I think your drum programming also sounds fine on the demo.
    Good job! Keep posting some more music.

    P.S. Do you have the bossa-brazil CD Rom? Its only 50 bucks and has some great minor 7th and major 7th nylon chord strums that sound real cool and some useful bossa drum loops. It\'s in akai and wave format and converts fine with Giga.

    [This message has been edited by Damon (edited 01-30-2002).]

  3. #3

    Re: Alto demo

    Thanks for the kind words, Damon.

    That\'s Peter Erskine on drums, just a straight loop off of his CD, with some cymbal rolls at the end. My drum programming sound less like Peter Erskine and more like Peter Rabbit-at least till I place then in stereo in the mix-then they sound like Peter Pan!

  4. #4

    Re: Alto demo


    sweet demo. Nice mix on everything as well.

    The alto sounds great.. but like Damon I foudn the attacks kind of \"tiresome\" but listening i hear alot of raw data to make some gig edits to fix that, or even sample edits. The faster legato lines is where it started to sound MIDI to me

    Still much better than alot of the other Sampled sax I\'ve heard.

    Are there \"breathier\" alternatifve samples or breth noises?

    Or am I hinking more alog the lines of a Tenor?

    Anyhow, nice job. I knew the VR sound libraries could sound great in a mix.

    Really...I am an Idiot

  5. #5

    Re: Alto demo


    Thanks for the comment. I agree about the attacks. I\'m still learning how to work with Giga vs. \'standard\' samplers, and notice that if a take the sequence (in Digital Performer) and use the \'extend to next event\' trick it smooths the attacks (or perhaps buries it.)

    There are a lot of layers (figurative) to this sample set I do not yet have control over. Franz and I \'talked\' about the structure of the gigs, and I\'m sure that this could be greatly improved by knowledgable editing of the MIDI track.

    The alto has 5 gig-4 \'sel\' tracks and an \'ueber\' track. The ueber track is quite different from the rest, (it\'s also the only one with long sustained notes.) Each \'sel\' file has multiple layers triggered by the mod wheel, and each of those has velocity switches as well.

    If I had had time or documentation, I could have figured out how each of these work, eventually. I tried making a test file, quarter note chromatic scale played at a constant volume, then looping the playback and editing velocity on the fly, to trigger the various sample sets. The transitions were not at consistent velocities (Franz said he did this deliberately, to introduce a humanizing element) and thus I just \'learned\' the sets by playing many takes until I felt I could get a reasonably realistic feel and sound.

    I think once David G releases his in-depth editing tutorial, I will be able to take apart the set and work it into something really useful for me, by transposing the control concepts around. If I do, and it works, I\'ll send it to Franz so he can publish it, but don\'t hold your breath. I have a day gig, and three current album projects, and a three-nite-a-week nusic gig, and a new shata-tantri veena (Indian version of the santoor, twice as many courses!) that I\'m trying to tune/tighten up/learn to play.

    In the meanwhile, keep on writing.


  6. #6
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    San Jose, Ca, USA

    Re: Alto demo

    Thanks thesoundsmith for an user-library DEMO. It seems be fairly good enough for an available lead-Alto-Sax at the moment.
    I can tell it sounds a lot of better than your Sound-Canvas and GM500, right? Of course to get more realistic Solo-sax, there would be played some MIDI tricks like \"legato-soft-attack\", which can be done in Modulation, Pitch-bent and expression controllers at realtime-MIDI-Event.
    Good works, Dasher, we\'d like to hear more music from you soon.

  7. #7

    Re: Alto demo

    Not bad at all! great composition. Very relaxing. There were some very weird attacks on the sax samples but except that, it sounds great.


  8. #8

    Re: Alto demo

    Thanks for the nice words, folks. Just a simplistic bar tune, really, but as I learn more about GS editing, I can probably resolve a number of the issues with attacks. The phrasing seems to smooth out a lot if I extend the note into the next MIDI note-on, but I can\'t always play that way...


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