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It used to be that synthesizers did not really do a great job trying to sound like a Trumpet, Trombone, or French Horn.
That has all changed with the software synthesizer breakthroughs from samplemodeling. Their stuff is light years ahead of what you had from Roland, Yamaha, and others.
Not only do they have more fidelty but are far more responsive. Although far, far more expressive than traditional synthesizers, they still fall short of the real thing.

People make all sorts of claims, but you can judge for yourself:

Look for sound demos but keep in mind that many of the demo's were made with a keyboard controller:
http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/products.php

Look in the forum for demo's made with Wind Controllers


My demos were done with EWI-USB or EWI-4000s Wind Controller (the clarinet is a real one recorded with a mike, everything else is synth)
http://soundcloud.com/dstong

Many of you are far better at playing your instruments, so please try to overlook the mistakes etc. and focus on the quality of the sounds, rather than the playing itself. Imagine what you could do with your chops : )

Best news of course is anyone who plays the Sax, flute etc. already knows the fingering. As for blowing air, hot or otherwise -you guys know all about that. And for those of you who are adept at keyboard and already have one, this is the way to play brasses.

The only drawback is that you will need to use a computer, only insofar as reliability may be a problem.

So, what do you think?

Thanks,

Dan
 

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Well, a computer and a fairly low or zero latency sound output, which means you need to get like a USB audio/midi interface.

I'm not really for that "lets pretend to play real instruments" sort thing. It just sounds fake unless you are going to spend a couple of grand on a really good, detailed sample library.

I'm all for EWI stuff, but more towards using it for creative sounds like what Brecker did or what someone like Masado Honda does with it. Not to pretend I play trumpet on it.

Heck, I did a show with a guy who played EWI and used a Bass Clarinet patch. It was horrible, and all the gear he had to bring in. You could buy a cheap, plastic bass clarinet for like $1000 and it would have been cheaper, better and more fool-proof than what this guy had. One night he had some sorta outage or something and could get it to work for a song, and another night he somehow changed the patch to a violin......*sigh*
 

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I tend to agree with ericdano. I play alto/tenor sax, keys, guitar, violin, harmonica and a windsynth in my group. Over time I've largely phased out the windsynth because getting anything that sounds "legit" is very difficult. I currently use it only on one tune as a trumpet and it is decent but not great. To me what kills it is that even the best players are not always 100% in tune and any synth instrument is going to be locked into a particular tuning which makes it sound fake (even if you adjust the module to be slightly flat or sharp).
 

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I build (and get away with it) full horn sections using a VL70m (patchman modified) and alto, tenor, and Bari saxes. I've done it a bunch for advertising, and also multiple tracks on two CD's. The trick is to carefully mix the modeled (and sampled) instruments with real ones. I try and seat the acoustic instruments a little hotter in the mix and add more reverb than usual on the sampled stuff....I'd post an example but a) no time and b) as soon as you tell people you're using samples they can suddenly hear it.... ;)
 

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as soon as you tell people you're using samples they can suddenly hear it.... ;)
This seems to be the primary issue people have with synthesized horns...it all sounds great until they learn the truth.

Which isn't to say it always sounds good...but there are plenty of times that it sounds just fine.
 

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This seems to be the primary issue people have with synthesized horns...it all sounds great until they learn the truth.

Which isn't to say it always sounds good...but there are plenty of times that it sounds just fine.
In my experience the best way of 'faking' sections is have one real horn in the mix and that really masks the synth-iness of the others, works even better with string sections- one live violin or viola really is great for tricknig the ear re the fact the rest are good fakes....
 

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I build (and get away with it) full horn sections using a VL70m (patchman modified) and alto, tenor, and Bari saxes. I've done it a bunch for advertising, and also multiple tracks on two CD's. The trick is to carefully mix the modeled (and sampled) instruments with real ones. I try and seat the acoustic instruments a little hotter in the mix and add more reverb than usual on the sampled stuff....I'd post an example but a) no time and b) as soon as you tell people you're using samples they can suddenly hear it.... ;)
I've been toying with the idea of getting the Patchman chip for my VL70. Would you recommend it? Wonder if they're still available. I was going to try the same thing you're doing, ie, use it for brass.
 
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