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The Tenor Saxophone
Mr. Sax T. v1.02
A realistic, expressive, real time playable Saxophone? Sample-based?
Yes, it's true, sample-based, but relying on a completely new technology, developed and patent-pending by Stefano Lucato. The saxophone is probably the most difficult instrument to emulate. Despite several attempts, using different technologies ranging from traditional sampling to sophisticated physical modeling, the results obtained so far fell short of the expectations. This is particularly true if real time use is concerned.
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Audio demos
Mr. Sax T. employs an entirely new technology, conceived by Stefano Lucato when it became clear that all the previously applied approaches simply could not do. The technical name is Synchronous Wave Triggering. It uses samples as a base material, chromatically performed by a professional sax player over a very wide dynamic range, and recorded with state-of-the-art technology. The resulting timbre is therefore that of the real instrument. But the analogy with a sample based library ends here. The underlying, proprietary technology allows continuous interpolation among different vectors like time, dynamics, pitch and formants. Advanced real time processing techniques yield realistic legato/portamento, vibrato, ornamentations & trills with phase continuity, constant-formant pitchbends, subharmonics, growl and flutter tongue to be performed in real time.

Like the Trumpet, Mr. Sax T is not a library, and no additional sampler or player is needed. Mr. Sax T. is a Kontakt Player 2 Virtual Instrument, working either standalone, or as a plugin (VST or RTAS for the PC, and VSR, RTAS or AU for Mac). It employs (and requires) state-of-the-art technology. The instrument has been developed and thoroughly tested on a PC with IntelCore2 6600 & 2.40 Ghz, 2GB RAM, Windows XP, 2 SATA drives, a 24 bit audio card with low latency (<7 msec) ASIO drivers, with a CPU load of approximately 5-7%. It also works satisfactorily on less powerful systems. More detailed information about tested systems can be found under benchmarks.

A master keyboard with some configurable MIDI controllers, pitchwheel, modwheel, and an expression pedal (or breath controller) is required for real time playing. Virtually any type of windcontroller can also be used to play this instrument.

If real time playing is not contemplated (you will miss a great fun though) :, using a sequencer may obviate the need for several physical midi controllers, while maintaining full control of the instrument's expressiveness. Mr. Sax T. has been thoroughly tested on most common sequencers, like Cubase, Logic and Sonar.

Stefano's idea was to create a musical instrument. The timbral properties should be indistinguishable from a real saxophone. It must be played as a real instrument, using a keyboard or a windcontroller, plus three or four midi controllers, including an expression pedal or breathcontroller. All articulations are easily shaped by the player, even in real time, using just velocity, pitchwheel, modwheel, an expression pedal or breath controller, a sustain pedal, plus some optional CCs to control subharmonics & growl. Virtually any windcontroller can be used to play this instrument.
Here one can both check what is going on, and set the appropriate values for each parameter. You may vary the amount of random expressiveness, pitch response to dynamic changes, intensity of key noise, overall resonance of the pipe, subharmonic intensity on transitions, sensitivity of the pitchbend to cope with different types of windcontrollers. You may also set the master tune, enable keyboard mode, or keyboard + breathcontroller, or windcontroller mode, choose among various attack setups, link portamento time to either velocity or CC5, set the instrument sample rate, assign the sustain pedal to different functions, such as soft velocity control, subharmonic or growl.
Mr. Sax T. exploits several midi controllers for optimal performance. The basic controllers are the Pitchwheel, CC11 (or CC7 or CC2) for the dynamics, CC1 (modwheel) for vibrato intensity, CC19 for vibrato rate. As in "The Trumpet" v. 2.01, portamento time can be assigned either to the velocity of the overlapped note or to CC5. Special effects are key noise (CC9), Subharmonic intensity (CC20), Growl (CC21), Flutter Tongue (CC23).

The packed size is approximately 280 MB, corresponding to a download time of about 5 to 15 minutes on a fast Internet connection. A CD package will also be delivered upon request.

The retail price is EUR 119 (+ VAT, if applicable).

To purchase it, please click on the "buy" link on top of the page.

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