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Sax Sample Player Experiment

Experimental sax using phase-aligned samples

(17 Votes)
3.0 (Updated 10 months ago)
193.2MB
March 07, 2022
Reaktor 6
Instrument Sampler

DESCRIPTION

EDIT: V3.0 now includes a mod matrix, and a keyboard display.

This is an experimental saxophone synthesizer. It’s a sample player and uses phase-aligned samples.

Phase-aligned samples make possible clean morphing across dynamics and pitch. Crescendos, decrescendos, slurs, and pitch bends are all free of sample-playback artifacts. The samples are looped and will play continuously.

The samples were created using the following steps:

• Tones at various pitches and amplitudes were recorded from a discontinued saxophone software product.
• The recordings were then processed by a phase vocoder software package called SNDAN, producing tables of the time-varying pitches, phases, and amplitudes of each harmonic.
• These tables were used by an off-line additive synthesizer program to generate WAV files. The pitch and phase envelopes were forced to zero, producing phase-aligned results.
• The results were subtracted from the original tones, producing WAV files containing residual noise not detected by the phase vocoder.
• The residual noise WAV files were added to the phase-aligned WAV files to produce the final results.
• These results were loaded into a Table Reference Sample Map and are played using a core cell that reads them and interpolates across dynamics and pitch.

This is a monophonic solo instrument. The dynamics are playable by a modulation wheel, wind controller, or breath controller.

When using a mod wheel, the tonguing (hardness of the attack) can be controlled by either the position of the mod wheel or by note-on velocity. When using a wind controller, the tonguing is controlled automatically by the wind controller’s note-on velocity. When using a breath controller, the tonguing is derived by measuring the suddenness of the air increase.

It includes three saxophones, an alto, a tenor, and a baritone.

Features include vibrato, flutter-tonguing, subharmonics, and the speed of slurring (legato note-to-note transitions). The pitch bend goes as wide as 24 semitones so it can be played on a Linnstrument.

There is a simple mod matrix that can route pitch bend, hard air (air between 96 and 127), and the sustain footswitch to various destinations.

Future improvements might include a pretty skin.

It may yet be buggy. Please speak up if there are problems with it.

COMMENTS  (34)

Chet Singer
8 months ago
Excuse me, I said "Modal Bank" when I should have been saying "Sine Bank".
Chet Singer
8 months ago
Hello Wiola. You're very welcome. There's no room to post the details here, but I'll start a thread on NI's Building With Reaktor forum where I'll share the method and the scripts (Linux and Python). I should be able to begin tomorrow, Monday at the latest. Using the Modal Bank is feasible, and I've tried it. The Modal Bank results sound superior, imo, but low-pitched instruments like trombones and baritone saxophones require many harmonics, meaning a lot of CPU. This ensemble's method, using samples, sacrifices some of the quality but requires less CPU, regardless of the instrument being modeled.
Wiola Thoms
8 months ago
Chet, all your work is miles ahead of most other stuff and with this it just keeps getting farther out there. Sounds realistic and it's really playable too. I'd love to get my own wavetables like this. Can you share your workflow with Sndan? What about making wavetables with regular Additive synths or Modal Bank?
bindlestiff
9 months ago
Hey Chet, thanks for responding. But, Hey, don't change your flow for a minor gripe. I can still use the older ens for those textures, etc. I can use the new one with breath control, it has it's own dynamics and all. I like diversity, the sampletastic textures to, tho', I'm so impure I keymash what I coulda played on the real thing, but this kinda stuff is hilarious fun too https://youtu.be/EuggcDJOED8 ! Thanks for your time.
Chet Singer
10 months ago
"Growl" on the Silverwood Sax corresponds to "Subharmonics" on this one. Each effect modulates the amplitude by the bore pitch. I think it sounds a little better on the physical model than here, but this is the best I can do.
windplayer
10 months ago
At your other sax, you integrated a growl-effect. Is it possible to use it also in this ensemble?
Chet Singer
10 months ago
Skevos, thanks for your kind words. I like the idea of a Soft Air modulation source. I'll get to work on it.
Chet Singer
10 months ago
Skevos, I didn't snapshot-enable the Air Input control, meaning that once you set it, it will remain fixed from snapshot to snapshot. If that's a problem, check the "Include in Snapshots" box in that control's settings. Then, I believe it will save it in presets, too.
Skevos Mavros
10 months ago
Oh, I just noticed that when I save a Reaktor Preset File with my preferred Matrix settings etc, it doesn't seem to include the Air Input setting - I have to select Wind Controller CC#2 each time. Is that a Reaktor issue or a bug? A pretty minor one to be sure. :-)
Skevos Mavros
10 months ago
The changes made to v3 are stunning! Using it in Wind Controller CC#2 mode with my Yamaha WX5 is a terrific experience. Aligned Sax is fast, responsive, and flexible - and the mod matrix gives me so much flexibility! Almost every feature request that I had in mind is doable with the matrix. After a bit of playing around, I've added Flutter and Subharmonic effects to both Pitchbend Down and Hard Air, and it's enormous fun (and thanks for making pitchbend Up and Down as separate items in the matrix - Every wind-capable instrument should do this!). About the only thing I'd like to see added (yes, I'm greedy) is a (user-definable?) "Soft Air" line in the matrix - I'd love to attach that to the slur time so that quiet notes can have slow lazy slurs. Again, thanks for this wonderful instrument!
Chet Singer
10 months ago
bindlestiff, I'll compare this version and the previous one and look for unintended changes.
sy lion
10 months ago
great works, thank you. Would you add soprano saxophone ? I like Kenny G style soprano SAX.
sy lion
10 months ago
great works, thank you. Would you add soprano saxophone ? I like Kenny G style soprano SAX.
bindlestiff
10 months ago
This update doesn't have the same controllability as the earlier builds. I am very much enjoying experimenting with my DIY breath control, but I am far from adept, coming from a string background originally. I've also enjoyed laying down tracks with a touch controller and a simple keyboard with your first eg.'s. I've been rewarded by messing with the interesting textures as finger moves slightly across the same note range, as well as the incredibly smooth transition between notes; I thought you had brilliantly programmed it this way, for a realistic noodly lead feel? Only the - now the notes punch out at once, even with sustain and release, the next note must be triggered key mash-style, without smoothly transitioning into the note through sliding across the pad. No more cool gritty texture to dwell upon/milk etc. This doesn't just happen with hardware, even UI interfaces like the hex keyboard can do smooth slide scale transitions with your earlier builds, but not this latest. Well, at least I have those early folder uploads... until NI decides they are no longer "valid", another lovely little UI boid flown far beyond the paywall... I can't seem to tweak it into workability in this manner through the mod matrix, glide, etc. I guess I'm dumb. Appreciate your work.
Chet Singer
10 months ago
Skevos, the mod matrix will now let you modulate flutter when the breath velocity / breath amount rises above 96. Also, the reason the subharmonics sound like vibrato on low notes is that they still vibrate in the first saxophone register, and even below. Maybe I should change that.
mv audioware (mvshmusik)
10 months ago
This reminds me of SampleModeling's trumpets and strings for Kontakt, but this is a free alternative. Nice work Chet!
Softyman123
10 months ago
A few minutes with this so far, sounding great and highly playable. Thanks again for adding to the free Sax library with your excellent experiments. You've knocked it out the park again. All three sampled models sound fine, as do your physical modelled wind instruments. The only one that doesn't come up to your best standard to me is the ironically highly popular download Blocks Dannenberg Wind Oscillator. Not that it's bad or anything.
Chet Singer
10 months ago
Hello Ariel and thank you for your kind words. I learned physical modeling by reading the works of university professors who developed PM techniques in the 1990s. Names include Drs. Perry Cook, Gary Scavone, Julius Smith, Vesa Välimäki, Stefania Serafin, and Toshifumi Kunimoto. That being said, there's no PM in this instrument. This instrument plays phase-aligned samples, such as some commercial products like Chris Hein's orchestral sample libraries.
Ari
10 months ago
Bindlestiff, that is a great idea for a project, cheers! Chet this sounds unreal. The subharmonics are a great touch. How did you learn so much about DSP and physical modelling? I read some SOS articles and stuff, but they didn't go much beyond modelling using subtractive synthesis, and it was hard enough to understand that lol.
windplayer
10 months ago
Yeah, Chet, then I think I had the impression because using earphones at your first version. It is fine, you integrated some effects to add some dirt. I like to have some punch at the lower register of the baritone.
Paule
10 months ago
Reaktor and Monark are testing Chet Singer's Aligned Sax 2 Reaqktor ensemble: https://archive.org/details/aumm-nostra-11-lost-worlds
Chet Singer
10 months ago
No, the tenor sax is unchanged.
windplayer
10 months ago
Thank you! Did you also change the tenor sax? - I think, there is an improvement in sound and playability.
bindlestiff
10 months ago
Great! I was already pulling fat sounds out of this, but the updated addition of baritone has freed my inner Sandman and finds me laying down GOF-inspired grooves. Very expressive. Thanks!
Paule
10 months ago
Thank you, Chet.
Chet Singer
11 months ago
Bindlestiff, that's a really neat project!
Chet Singer
11 months ago
Hello windplayer, I'm always looking around for new synthesis methods. I studied phase-aligned samples and decided to try and make a sax. Now that the sample-generating programs are finished it's actually a lot less work to do this than to do physical modeling. I plan to add a baritone sax and then maybe try some brass.
bindlestiff
11 months ago
@Ariel Kenan Yes. I went with the dirt-cheap "AIRduino" build, which I believe was originally demoed by Timothy Anderson from U of Montana. There's a ton of resources online on how to, but I've been having fun with my own variant of this - https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/costis/arduino-breath-controller-for-cheap-usb-midi-fe3a8f?ref=search&ref_id=breath%20pressure%20sensor&offset=0 Open Source. Costs about 90 bux in fiat currency, but you can shave that down with a little innovation. Cheers.
windplayer
11 months ago
Thank you, Chet. This new experiment sounds promising! Is it your idea to create sounds with different systems? (I ask because you already created a great windcontroller-sax at the library)
Skevos Mavros
11 months ago
Sounds really good! I'm going to dig out my dusty Wind Controller and give it a whirl tomorrow. Suggestion - It would be great if the flutter could be set to engage after a certain level of Mod Wheel/Breath Velocity. Possible Bug - Below a certain note the Subharmonics start to sound like Vibrato - even if the vibrato is off.
Ari
11 months ago
@bindlestiff Cool. I get it, I've also been inspired a lot by Chet. Is there a tutorial for how you built the wind controller?
bindlestiff
11 months ago
Not only filling a UI instrument gap but with wonderfully expressive, lovely warm sound quality. Gotta love the dedication and exactitude to a pro level shared w/ the UI! This creator inspired me to DIY a wind controller and continually pushes the possibilities forward. This progression has been kinda fascinating. ty bigs
Ari
11 months ago
User library superhero
lilpil
11 months ago
This is very nice. Great sound. Can only get better. Thanks for sharing!
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