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Topic: Decent sax library?

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  1. #1

    Decent sax library?

    I'm looking for sections and solo saxes, hoping there is a better answer out there in the sampling world than my Yamaha S90 and Kurzweil PC2R. The Garritan Jazz set looks great but I have a big project due that requires saxes - good ones.

    Any thoghts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Decent sax library?

    There is no such thing as a decent sax library. Oxymoron.

    There are several mediocre ones. Sampling a saxophone is rather like inventing a machine to have for you. You could invent the best one ever conceived, and still, what would be the point? Hire a sax player if you need something that sounds like a saxophone. I have not heard a sax library to date that sounds remotely like one, unless your part is static half notes.

  3. #3

    Re: Decent sax library?

    What Bruce is saying is... if you want ...get a hooker

    hmmm...

    Bruce has a fair point, but that being said the medicore ones are fine for hammering out some ideas and basic melodies which the sax player can improvise to and/or get an idea of what you have in mind.

    VSL has some saxes... They are basically like other samples-

    Then there are Liquid Sax which I beleive are phrases which you can rearange using melodyne technology

  4. #4

    Re: Decent sax library?

    Saxlab... Dont kill me now

  5. #5

    Re: Decent sax library?

    Quote Originally Posted by ELP71
    I'm looking for sections and solo saxes, hoping there is a better answer out there in the sampling world than my Yamaha S90 and Kurzweil PC2R. The Garritan Jazz set looks great but I have a big project due that requires saxes - good ones.

    Any thoghts?
    I like the John Rekevics. It's been around a while but none of the newer ones seem much of an improvement. The Rekevics has a natural sounding vibrato with enough expression to sound quite realistic.

    As with any discussion about sax samples, people will point out how hard sax is to emulate. It goes without saying I suppose. But I have found that while you can't put a sax sample out front with a nice jazz solo improv and fool anyone, good sax sample (like the Rekevics) in a mix can get the point across pretty accurately.

  6. #6

    Re: Decent sax library?

    Well everyone's in a fine mood this morning!

    I figured as much. I've played saxes for about twenty years and have yet to hear a convincing sample. They're usually either so synthy or ridiculously strident. Its always interesting to hear a programmer's idea of what a saxophone sounds like. Usually - way off or of the 'Yakkity Sax' variation.

    I thought there may be something I was missing - evidently not. Mr. Garritan - release your library!

  7. #7

    Re: Decent sax library?

    I believe Yellow Tools' "Candy" and Liquid Instruments Sax are both options.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  8. #8

    Re: Decent sax library?

    If you own GS (or Halion, or Kontakt),
    I would say that the Rekevik's sax bundle is a very good deal : 4 saxes for $340.... and good ones IMO (as long as we talk about sampled sax of course). They have a very pleasing tone, and enough articulations to work with.
    If you can wait, there should be other contenders soon : Fablesounds are developing a "big band" library with all saxes too, and there seems to be a guy who's in the process to make a "custom" jazz brass library, too (the demos he provided were impressive)...
    As for Candy, the price is quite steep, and this virtual instrument does not even stream (7 Gb library)...
    You'll have to "upgrade" with an additional $150 to the upcoming YT Independance workstation just in order to stream your samples (when it is released) .
    And frankly, the demos I heard do not show anything superior to Rekevik's that justify the price difference.
    Liquid saxes seem to be only loop, and it does not seem to be what you look for

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Decent sax library?

    Well, I didn't mean to sound cranky about it, haha.

    I'm just being very frank from my perspective. To me, it moves somewhat even beyond whether sax samples are mediocre or not.

    It would be one thing to put a sax sample to work buried in a section, or contributing to a mix in a way that covers its deficiencies. In essence, to reduce its role to the point of a minor supporting player. In that case, a sample works for me. Or as a mockup...sure.

    But to put a sax sample up front as the hero part? To me, this just isn't anything. Why not put a synth part up front, if it's going to be a synth doing the playing? At least it is authentically trying to be exactly what it is. It wouldn't be pretending to be something else. That's the core issue in my mind. The hero part should be actually saying something musically, something artistically meaningful. Not struggling just to sound remotely plausible. And the very best sax samples I have ever heard do not even begin to meet the basic result of plausibility, much less artistic excellence in the final musical product. They sound fake, each and every one, no matter what. So, if your hero part's best possible expression is to sound fake, where is the artistic excellence in that?

    I struggle a little with it, even in supporting roles, or in samples which better convey an instrument's essence. But at least in those cases, say a piano, one can effectively enough produce a track that there is nothing so severely lacking that it calls attention to the deceit. The effectiveness of the writing is not spoiled by a sample which cannot help but draw attention to its core deficiencies.

    But with any sax sample I've heard, this basic quality is not met--not so much due to the skill of the user, or even the skill of the samplist. But more to the fact that a sax is such a vocal instrument, so expressively sensitive to air and articulation input, that a line rendered with a sampler bears almost no spiritual resemblance to a line played on a saxophone.

    So, I arrive back at, "what's the point?" It is almost as if it is more important for the saxophone to be played via a sample than it is to have a good sounding part. I can't understand that as an artistic priority. It has no merit. Isn't the point for the music to be the best possible? And if that is the case, I would call it a faulty decision on the producer's part to settle for a technological solution which has no chance of producing an artistically viable result.

  10. #10

    Re: Decent sax library?

    If you're on a MAc you can use the ones that come with Garageband for sketching but ultimately go with this guy

    Jeffrey Scott Wills. He plays all the main 4 saxes really really well. He toured with Take 6. Great guy. Price is very reasonable (contact him for that).

    jscotwills@tds.net

    You'll never think about a library again...rightfully so after you hear him.
    Steve Hanlon, guitarist/composer
    Logic 7, PowerMac DP 2.0 (8- RAM slot model), 4GB RAM, OS 10.4.11
    UAD-1 Ultra Pak
    Lots of V.I. and sound effects
    Apogee Rosetta 200
    Great River ME-1NV
    Blue Sky Monitors

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