Sample Modeling French Horn and Tuba v1.03 [KONTAKT]
French Horn and Tuba completes the Samplemodeling Brass series. Horn gestation was a long one. The real French Horn is a difficult instrument. The player must do many simultaneous things like holding appropriate lip tension, raising the soft palette, positioning the tongue, lowering the larynx, blowing air into the instrument, and pressing the valves while holding the other hand in the bell. We wanted our virtual French Horn to be much easier to play. :-) Reaching this aim, at the same time retaining expressiveness and realism, proved to be a most difficult task. The results are however outstanding.
Horn repertoire spaces from classical orchestral, to chamber, jazz, pop and contemporary music, both as a solo instrument and in choir. In the latter case the extended range of the horn provides the composer or arranger with more possibilities, sonically, registrally, contrapuntally. Due to the "heroic" quality of its sound, the French Horn is often used in film music, solo or in ensemble, even playing in unison. Four horns are often used for this purpose.
The Tuba is the largest brass instrument. It is used in symphony orchestras, usually as one instrument. It is the principal bass instrument in symphonic and military bands, and it serves as the bass of a brass section, and as reinforcement for the bass voices of the strings and woodwinds, and is also used even as a solo instrument.
French Horn and Tuba further expand Samplemodeling™ technologies. In addition to the renowned "Harmonic Alignment", yielding continuous transition across virtually infinite dynamics, multi-microphone anechoic recording, coupled to specially devised "early reflections" impulse responses, allow to reproduce the full, rich timbre of the instruments, including its radiation pattern, adding at the same time a virtual space to the anechoic sound. The programming moves further away from conventional libraries, by exploiting physically-oriented modulation of the recorded sound. This yields the characteristic crescendo pattern of French Horns, typical brass flutter on transitions, or even the "watery" sound, knocks, breath noise, and metallic resonances from the bell and the body of the instrument, greatly contributing to realism.
The package includes four different French Horns and a Tuba. The base material of the instruments consists of 260 MB of samples, chromatically performed by professional players over a very wide dynamic range. All samples are unlooped, and have a minimum duration of 9 sec. As in the "The Trumpet" and "The Trombone" the musical engine is structured according to an adaptive model, based on the performance "fingerprints" of the real instrument. The purpose of the model is to minimize the differences between the real phrases and those played by the virtual instrument.
Pseudo-random detuning and natural pitch and dynamics modulation, based on real performance-derived trends, are outstanding features of these new instruments, adding further realism.
Advanced "Artificial Intelligence" MIDI processing techniques are used for real time construction of all articulations and morphing across dynamics, vibrato, legato, portamento, trills, flutter tongue, vibrato-like endings, shakes and so forth.
Special consideration has been given to creation of realistic ensembles from solo instruments, whether driven form separate midi tracks or when playing unison. An advanced "ensemble maker" has been developed, affecting timing, static and dynamic pitch evolution, phase, response to dynamics, pitchbend, velocity, portamento times, in such a way that each instrument of the ensemble sounds as if driven from a different track even if played in unison. Unlike conventional ensemble libraries, any articulation will always sound different, yet real. A ready-to-use Multi, including four specially devised French Horns, suitable for unison playing, along with an appropriate convolution reverb is included in the package.
An entirely new feature of French Horn and Tuba is microtuning, to better cope with other, non-tempered scales – so essential in, for example, Middle Eastern and Asian music. Our approach to microtuning yields maximal flexibility, allowing user-defined scales, where the extent of detuning (range +60/-60 cents) can be precisely set for each note by means of a sliding bar. The scale can be saved and recalled as a preset.
In addition, selective detuning can be applied to individual notes in realtime. by using third-level keyswitches, similar to those used for split portamenti, falls and doits. In this case, all notes are detuned by a predetermined amount (up to +/-60 cents), which may set and modified by the user.
It is well known that midi keyboards have different and uneven velocity response, and this may heavily influence the performance of a virtual instrument. To obviate this problem, the instrument includes automatic detection of any velocity inhomogeneities or non-linearity inherent in the keyboard, and provides automatic remapping to any desired curve.
An outstanding feature, allowing to create real time articulations which are too difficult to perform with the usual interplay of expression pedal, pitchbend and modwheel. Sforzato, crescendo, slide effects, vibrato-like endings and different types of release, can be obtained by hitting one or more keyswitches. The intensity of the effect, and its duration, are under player's control. Please note that these are not just sampled articulations, but they are sample-modeled, indeed. This means that each time each of them will sound slightly different. No machine-gun nor mechanical repetitions.
Breath & Windcontroller mode
Playing The French Horn and The Tuba with either a keyboard plus breath controller, or directly with a windcontroller (Yamaha or Akai) is very easy. Breath & Windcontroller modes automatically load proper CC settings, enable triggering of note-on and off with the expression controller, optimize the pitch response for the individual WC, etc.
All samples in The French Horn and Tuba are mapped according to standard MIDI note numbers. This is very convenient when using a sequencer. On the other hand, keyboard users might run into trouble when playing low notes. Even if using a seven-octave keyboard, transposing the midi flow two octaves down is the only way to make these instruments playable. This is what the Transpose knob does, namely transposing keys and keyswitches at the same time, without the need to bother with keyboard programming.
GUI Knobs /Controller Remapping
All the controllers needed for proper functioning of the instrument are mapped to virtual knobs in three GUI panels, which can be activated by a drop down menu. The function of each controller is indicated by the associated label. The virtual knobs permit to monitor the incoming midi data, but can also be used to directly control the instrument. This allows users of keyboards without physical MIDI controllers or knobs, to explore the expressive capabilities of The French Horn and Tuba. Additionally, all the controllers can be remapped to any existing device.
Split Portamenti, Falls & Doits
A real French Horn or Tuba may play different types of legato/portamento The sound is different, since a different harmonic resonance is excited. This is perfectly reproduced by our adaptive model. One may choose to perform a continuous portamento over two octaves by simply overlapping two notes, to split it manually playing intermediate legato notes, or to split it automatically, exploiting the natural harmonic resonances of the instrument, by a keyswitch. One can also choose to perform chromatically-split portamento or realistic falls and doits.
Mutes and special effects
French Horn and Tuba – like other brass instruments – can be played with mutes. The most common mutes are Brass Stop and Wooden Straight for the French Horn, and Straight mute for the Tuba All these mutes, along with special effects like metallic resonances from the bell and the body of the French Horn, are available for use with these instruments.. We used sophisticated technologies to capture the "fingerprints" of each mute, which were ultimately coded into a suitable impulse response. The latter can be instantly loaded from a drop down menu of the graphical interface, or via MIDI.