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  • Synth Brass

    July 17th, 2018
    jammer, music  [html]
    I've been continuing to play around with multitracking using my jammer and breath controller. For an accordion sound I've been fine with a basic free one in fluidsynth and using the breath controller for volume only, but there's a lot more potential for expression if you have a synth that supports it.

    I wrote about how I'd been trying a sax synth from SWAM, and that's continued to be pretty good. Here's a piece from a few days ago using it: far-from-home.mp3.

    There are other places, however, where I'd like more of a trombone or trumpet sound. I do play trumpet and baritone, so I could record myself playing them, and that's what I initially did. There are two tracks of baritone in the background, and one of trumpet:

    Acoustic: mp3

    As you can hear, though, I'm not that great at this. I'm especially having trouble getting punchy notes to start at the right times, but I also have issues hitting the right note and with intonation. These lines arent' all that hard, and I think if I practiced for a week I could probably do them pretty well, but there are also things I'd like to do that are just going to be too hard unless I put in an inordinate amount of effort. So I decided to buy a trombone synth from Sample Modeling. I wasn't that happy with my first version:

    Too brassy: mp3

    Looking back, I was pegging the breath controller to 100% much of the time, and I think this was because I had the synth output too low in the monitoring mix so I was overplaying to hear myself. I redid it with higher monitoring levels and more dynamics:

    About right: mp3

    Here's the whole tune: silver-spear.mp3.

    I'm still learning to play the trombone synth, but I'm pretty happy with it. One benefit I wasn't initially thinking about is that playing with the jammer layout is so much more fluid for me than with the three buttons on a trumpet, so I'm much more able to improvise.

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