"Is there a good jazz library?"

Good catch!!! I had transcribed the Fort Apache version as well and my student ensemble played it on their recital last fall. Love all those Fort Apache guys! I only got to play with Jerry a couple of times, but I played with Andy hundreds of times, and made 3 tours of Spain with Steve, among other gigs. Joe Ford is still playing, but hard to believe all those other guys are gone. I hadn’t heard of that Q-Up Arts library before, but I’ll check it out. Looks very affordable too!

I’ve been really fortunate to play and record with some of the greatest Latin percussionists, which still seems wild as I sort of fell into that scene before I knew enough to really appreciate who I was getting to play with. Never got to play with Tito or Barretto, but Ray used to come to my regular Monday gig so his son Chris (who also played alto) could check me out, LOL. Just recorded with Little Johnny (Eddie’s conguero) last Wednesday in fact.

Are you in the NYC scene? LA? If you are in NYC I wonder if we’ve met … (FredGUnn = phrygian, so obviously not my actual name)

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How cool that you toured with Steve (Berrios, I assume) and played with Jerry!

I’d love to see how you transcribed Jerry’s percussion break - I found it tricky because he really pushes the beat.

During a visit to NYC in the 90s, I recall seeing Andy Gonzalez with Papo Vazquez and Steve Berrios at a little club whose name I don’t recall. I don’t think I ever saw Fort Apache, sadly.

I’m in the Bay Area (web site)… I worked on the Latin scene here for many years, performing and recording with some of the top Latin percussionists on the west coast, including Mike Spiro, who played the percussion on Latin Groove Factory (we worked on several projects together), Karl Perazzo of Santana, the Escovedos, etc.

LGF was recorded in the late 90s, but IMO it’s still excellent.

Here’s a little sample of a salsa practice track I made in Digital Performer for a piano student. The percussion is all from LGF: the congas are audio loops and the rest I programmed.

I stumbled onto one of your Facebook posts a while back, so I know your real name! :grinning:

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I actually didn’t, heh, I had the kids play the first chorus rubato like the Tito version, then the bass came in and the drummer just played a fill. (No percussionist that semester.) Pianist could not play that offbeat rhythm correctly without messing up the time, so I just gave her a 3-2 montuno to play. After that it was pretty much straight down the Fort Apache version then rubato and fermatas at the very end like Tito’s version.

Had a little west coast tour in 2019 and played at SFJazz but haven’t been to the Bay Area since COVID. Great you worked with the Escovedos! I got to play with Sheila at NJPAC a few years ago and she was super cool. Just listened to some of your Orquesta La Moderna Tradición clips. Y’all sound great!!! I’m always in awe of charanga flute players! Dang, now I need to go practice, LOL! Years ago I transcribed a few Richard Egues solos from his Aragón days, but that upper register stuff is tricky for me.

With that LGF library, can you play it in Dorico at all? The website states “loops only, no single hits” so I was assuming it wouldn’t really work. Maybe if they have MIDI loops they can be imported. I obviously don’t know how it’s formatted, so just wondering if you figured out a way to use it with notation software, had expression maps, etc.

(My real name is sort of an open secret around here :grinning:)

First: thank you for posting this. I just have a new laptop with more power so I was considering to buy Swam saxes. But I’m so afraid the day after there will be a post here with the annoucement of Jazz Noteperformer. :slight_smile:

Second: I’m really curious to the combination of Noteperformer brass with Swam saxes. Do you have good expression maps for Swam?

Third: Do you think the noteperformer version gives a better representation of the energy level of BigBandForum. What I mean, to my ears the first sample with the swam sounds more relaxed, when I see the score (BTW I really like it) and hear the NP version it sounds for sure not good, but more dense and exciting. So I’m quite a novice to big band arranging I’m curious what you think.

VSL SYNCHRON is that the same as: SAXOPHONES - Vienna Symphonic Library

Here are the saxes from Project Sam Swing! More. Curiously, the Bari doesn’t include a fp patch as the others do. So, that is pretty flat, I could mimic it with faders or course, but I wanted to show more “out of the box”. I did nothing other than do a bit os slight panning in the mixer to move them all from center and adjust a bit of levels.

I’ll have more to say/ask about expression maps going forward. This is my first attempt at creating an expression map.

Sort of. Every instrument needs to be set up quite differently with SWAM, otherwise they are really synthetic sounding. I have 6 expression maps (SAATTB) set up, but I also host SWAM in Vienna Ensemble Pro + MIR 24 instead of in Dorico, and many things that can’t be modified through expression maps are already set up in my VEPro template for them.

The jazz articulations are exciting certainly, and I wish I could find a way to have those playback with some other libraries without resorting to manual editing. The NP phrasing is atrocious though and completely uncharacteristic of the style. Here’s YouTube link to one big band that I play in if you aren’t really familiar with modern big band phrasing.

No, I’m using the SYNCHRON-ized SPECIAL EDITION BUNDLE. I just spent about an hour or so fiddling with the expression maps and they are much improved now! I’ll post some audio in another hour or so.

Thanks for this! The tone of the saxes is decent on these. Are there other articulations available? Is there a way to have it default to something more legato?

The Swing More trumpets are a bit limited I am finding. Strangely enough, they don’t have as many options as the Saxes. I will continue to work with them and do the entire piece, but they are not going to come close the AudioModeling (which I think is the gold standard, at lest for jazz)

There are more options available. I can continue to play around with them and see if I can offer some different versions. Still learning how to best utilize the expression map.

Curious thing, I have to have a separate instance of Kontakt for each of the instruments. I can’t just point the altos to the same Kontakt instance, even if turning on IRV - they don’t seem to play well. Not a big deal, but surprising. Perhaps I am doing something wrong?

Also, I thought there was a way to extend the note in the Midi Editor and not have it effect the notation? On some of the falls the eight notes are too short to trigger the correct patch, so you just end up with a short note, where if you held it out for a bit, it would trigger the fall - this is mostly in the trumpets.

FWIW, I’m using an older library, Chris Hein Horns, which runs in Kontakt.
The samples are played by the WDR Bigband, the most famous and best radio Bigband in Germany.
The UI is rather complex, but has tons of articulations and variations.
The price is reasonable, I think.
Here is a sample I made ages ago, which is just a loop from EZKeys split up into different voices and sent to a Sax section, no manual tweaking involved, except for the shake in the end.

I do not have an expression map for this, the sample was made in Cubase…


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That might be an error. Email Douglas to check.

When I got it back in 2020, the Logic EXS version had all the content of the original release, including instrument “Menus”, which are definitely single hits. The screen grab shows the menus for timbales and cymbals in Kontakt 6.

I opened the EXS version in Kontakt 5 (version 6 dropped EXS support) and saved as .nki, which work fine in Kontakt 6.

I imagine this would be usable in Dorico, but I haven’t tried.

Thanks for the kind words about OLMT!

Yes, Richard’s playing is iconic, and he was a very sweet guy. My first charanga experience was playing in his ensemble class at the ¡Afrocubanismo! workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1996, shortly before I moved to the Bay Area. He invited me to accompany his flute class, which was quite an honor. (He’d been playing piano; this freed him up to play the flute, and it was cool to watch him teach charanga flute licks.) A few years later, OLMT brought him to the Bay Area for a concert.

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Here is the entire chart realized in Project Sam Swing More. Nothing has changed in the saxes from before, I didn’t have time to adjust those maps. A bit of panning and leveling in the mixer again, but otherwise, right out of the box


The samples sound great for sure. I mean, that big band is crazy amazing. But how well do the samples handle legato? That seems to be the problem. Everything detached is ok, and here, they’re great! But the second the saxes smooth out it sounds like a reed organ or accordion.

So I finally got around to making some improvements to the VSL expression maps included with the SYNCHRON-ized SE bundle. I got stuck on the accented fp (see this thread) so for some of them I removed accents and some others removed the fp until I can figure that out. Nothing was added though and no MIDI editing was done. Reverb and panning in VEP, everything else is just with the Dorico expression maps. I haven’t been able to work out jazz articulations yet, but can draw in pitch bends which I did not do for these samples.

Full band (no drums)



Since a lot of people have this library, I’ll post the maps once I get some of these issues resolved.

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Because of time restraints or else?
I’m asking because it took me quite a while to understand how Dorico’s jazz articulations are implemented… :wink:


Mostly else I think, LOL! For VSL SE, there aren’t any built in. I can draw a pitch bend, but don’t know if there’s a way to automate that in any way as it has to deal with both pitch and time. I did post a thread over on VSL’s site but if you know how to do this I’d welcome any advice! If VSL came out with a jazz library containing jazz articulations and brass mute changes I’d buy it instantly!

For SWAM, I think they just have to be drawn in. They have to be triggered while the note is playing and D4 only has on and off events. Again, if you know how to do this please let me know!

For Samplemodeling Brass, I’m sort of confused I guess. It looks like the note-on and note-off switches should be fairly simple to program but they just aren’t working. This one could definitely be user error.

I have them working with VHorns and OT Duplex Saxes IIRC.

Switch to this mode (can’t remember what it’s called and the pop-up descriptions don’t work) and then you should be able to adjust the length:

You can also just type in the playback end offset (in ticks I think) too as they are doing the exact same thing:

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This a known bug and should be solved next update, see here: Still scared to save in 4.0.30 - Playback breaking bug - #5 by dspreadbury

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I read the manual again for the CHH Pro 2.0 package again yesterday, and I must say, I’ve only scratched the surface of what this can do…
I’m in no way affiliated with the brand, but I think this might fit your requirements pretty nicely:

It’s a little over the top maybe, but the config page here is for a single keyswitch… :astonished:
And there are a ton of articulations to work with, each trigger type configurable in Direction/Attribute style, without even using Dorico’s built-in functionality.

I’m not sure if they have trial versions, but you could ask them.