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Topic: help: missing just that one instrument

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  1. #1
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    help: missing just that one instrument

    I've just ordered the Finale 2009 upgrade. I do classical music. The GPO sounds it comes with are all great and will suit me fine for some time to come, except for just one instrument.

    I do a bit of writing for saxophones, in the classical style. Alto, tenor and baritone come with Finale 2009, but unfortunately for me soprano does not. I know I could get soprano sax if I pay for the Jazz & Big Band collection, but that's all I would be using in there. (Granted, one could always become inspired to expand, but I'm looking to keep focus right now, as well as keep costs down.)

    The answer's probably no, but can anyone say if there's a way to purchase or find just one instrument? Any other suggestion?

    Secondly, if there is no other route to take other than buying whole libraries, would I be able to write, say, a sax quartet SATB and have the ATB playback on the Garritan instruments and the S playback on some kind of Finale standard sound? What features (markings, etc.) would not work in that last scenario?

    Thanks for the help
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  2. #2

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Several libraries have started selling individual instruments recently. Off-hand, I can't think of one that offers a sax, though. More to the point: I use a sax in exactly the same way that you describe in the score for a musical that I have been orchestrating for ages now and I have to say that I have yet to find one to my liking.

    I think sax libraries in general have been a big disappointment - especially if you need a detailed, exposed solo or one that captures the subtone sound nicely. All too many end up sound like bassoons or kazoos, or get completely lost in the mix.

    The best thing I can recommend at this point is Garritan Jazz and Big Band. Yes, it's a BIG library and the focus is a different sound than you are after, but it has two points in its favor: (1) It's relatively cheap and (2) there are several choices for each sax instrument, so you can pick the one that suits each piece best.

    Equally important to me is that it gives you a variety of brass instruments (each with several types of mute) it uses Bb trumpets (rather than C trumpest like in my other libraries) and it includes flugel horns. This plus Westgate's lovely French Horn, gives me a lot of variety in the brass which helps cover some of its weaknesses.

  3. #3
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Thanks ejr. So the Jazz library doesn't have kazoos? So much for my Concerto in Bm for Kazoo, String Orchestra and Badly-tuned Percussion. Seriously, you're saying the soprano and high saxes sound much better than a kazoo - OK, that's certainly good. I'll have to wait a paycheck or two though.

    Interesting to know that about the trumpet crooks too. Bb in the Jazz and C in the GPO.

    Thanks for all the help. If anyone has anything to add please do, especially if you can tell us about a great individual instrument you've heard.

    -!
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  4. #4

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Hi dm,

    Welcome to the forum.

    The GPO English horn sometimes works as a passable soprano sax in a pinch.

  5. #5

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Welcome,

    Finale 09 loads all VSTs now, correct? There's an excellent soprano saxophone soundfont online which you could load into sfz alongside the GPO stuff. It will respond to dynamics and expression changes differently than GPO stuff (it only responds to velocity, no modwheel)

    SopSax sf2:
    http://www.sf2midi.com/soundfonts/fi...x-sf2-769.html

    Sfz:
    http://www.project5.com/products/ins...er/default.asp

    Simply drop the sfz dll into Finale's vstplugins folder and rescan.

    Hope that helps,
    Reegs

  6. #6

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Chris Hein Horns has a very good soprano sax that was only $35. The catch is that it HAS TO HAVE Kontakt 2.2.4 or Kontakt 3. It doesn't come with a Kontakt player of its own. That's why it's only $35. I've used this instrument for several demos and it's very musical. Like a real soprano, it can be a little pitchy, but that can usually be avoided by adjusting the note velocities so that they call up a different sample. Otherwise, it adds to the realism.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  7. #7

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Yes, that soprano sax does sound pretty good.

    The problem with the Chris Hein single instruments is he only sells them from that web site, which requires entering a charge card number and he doesn't have a distributor here in the U.S. For someone like me, who has been the victim of identity theft before and will only charge by phone or send a check by mail, this is a deal breaker. I've brought this to his attention in the past, but he doesn't want to change, or doesn't believe it is costing him sales.

    I am a developer myself. I use iPortis for my web store. It handles online sales worldwide. If a buyer wants to call in an order, they have someone there to take the call. If someone wants to send a check, they have an address where it can be received and cashed. It cost me nothing to have them set it up. They take only a small % of the sales for commission. I don't understand why some developers would rather lose customers than upgrade their shopping cart services.

    Sorry for the rant. I know I've said all this before, but it warrants repeating. This is a developer's forum. If developers are really interested in knowing what costs them sales (at least as far as I am concerned) it's stuff like this (and buggy installation routines, and intrusive copy protection).

  8. #8

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Reegs' had an excellent suggestion, using that good Sound Font with the free SFZ player. Whenever I come up short of an instrument I'd like to use, I search for a Font and most always find something to use. If I don't find a free one, then I've found very inexpensive ones. Always a good way to attack the dreaded lack-of-instrument problem.

    Randy B.

  9. #9

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    Yes, that soprano sax does sound pretty good.

    The problem with the Chris Hein single instruments is he only sells them from that web site, which requires entering a charge card number and he doesn't have a distributor here in the U.S. For someone like me, who has been the victim of identity theft before and will only charge by phone or send a check by mail, this is a deal breaker. I've brought this to his attention in the past, but he doesn't want to change, or doesn't believe it is costing him sales.
    Hello,

    I realize this is not exactly answering your saxophone question (I think Chris Hein would meet your needs too), but there are several ways to obtain a temporary credit card number. I think a Visa gift card is the easiest, but here is an article that gives several options:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ng.html?cat=15

    If identity theft is your concern, this is certainly safer than charging by phone.

    Hope that helps.
    Mark

  10. #10

    Re: help: missing just that one instrument

    Just wondering if anyone has tried SaxLab. It seems that this approach might be an inherently better one than standard sampling.

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