I have a question about the trombone instruments in the Kontakt 2 versions of GPO and JABB. According to the manuals, there were several different trombones from different manufacturers sampled. Some sound very brassy (those in GPO, especially) and some very mellow. Trombone #4 in JABB is so mellow that it sounds almost like a euphonium or French Horn.
So, my question is this: are these characteristics inherent in a particular instrument or are they, to some extent, within the player's ability to control. For example, if I have a section where I want the trombone to be loud and brassy (like the GPO trombones) and later on want it to sound soft and mellow (like the fourth trombone in JABB) am I essentially asking the player to bring two instruments (a brassy sounding trombone and a mellow one)?
Going purely by the sound of my samples, I want to use one of the GPO trombones in my overture and JABB trombone #4 in a softer number (where it blends nicely in duets with JABB flugelhorn #1 and with my Westgate French Horn samples). JABB trombone #3 is best for most of the rest of the score with JABB trombone #1 a better choice for phrases that need to be a little punchier (but not as strident as the GPO trombones).
I realize, of course, that a live player will not be able to get EXACTLY this sound, because different instruments were sampled for the Garritan libraries. But they also reflect how the player played those instruments and what I am trying to determine is how much that affected the overall sound. I did one version of my score using JABB trombone #3 for everything, as that seems to be the middle of the spectrum (between maximum brassiness and maximum mellowness) and it sounds rather flat and rather unexpressive when compared to the version where I use the virtual trombone instrument that best fits the character of each number. I know I once asked whether brass players could control the amount of mellowness and the answer I got wasn't quite enough for me to decide whether to go with JABB trombone #3 alone or not. I'd be grateful if a real trombone player could weigh in on this.
Thanks. I want my demo to sound detailed and expressive. But I didn't want to do something that was impossible for a live musician to play, or that would require an additional instrument and/or player. Nor did I want to assign a trombone part to the French Horn or another instument when the sound that I am really after is a mellow trombone.
Hi, ejr - It's an interesting and thoughtful question you bring up. For me, basically, the point is that there is and will always be a wide difference between sampled instruments and what they're capable of, and their real-life counterparts.
There are indeed big differences between the various trombones in GPO and JABB. I think the best thing to do is use them alternately, in combination, separately, back and forth, as the passages in question call for - because those different sampled instruments are providing you with a broader palette. And that palette of sounds is actually available to one real-life trombonist- He/she will play more softly for you, he'll BLAT it out if you want to - When you make the virtual orchestra renderings of your material, at best, you're giving an abstract, reduced suggestion of how the music could be played out there in The Real World.
So - I would suggest to not make a science, but to use your gut and instinct - use whatever samples seem right to you at the time when you're putting your projects together. No matter how hard and long you work on your tracks, they'll still be only a suggestion of how a live band/orchestra could sound playing the same music. Don't worry about it - Proceed with using all the virtual instruments and power available to you.