Orchestral Tools Duplex Saxophones Expression Maps

So I finally got around to making some Expression Maps for the OT Duplex Saxophones library. I’m not particularly satisfied how these came out, but I’m done fiddling with them for now so thought I’d go ahead and share. To test them out I wrote a brief sax quartet arrangement of a fairly obscure Sahib Shihab tune called Rue de la Harpe.

Here’s the Blue library:

… and here’s the Red:

A few notes:

  1. All CCs are just the default when loaded into SINE. One of the advantages of SINE is that you can customize just about anything, but I left them all at default when making the maps.
  2. For whatever reason, OT decided to not include the low Bb for any saxophone by default. That’s really a terrible decision IMO, especially in the lower instruments. Low Bb is the “money note” for a jazz bari player (low A for pop/commercial) so I have no idea what they were thinking with this. Fortunately it’s easy enough to change, but the low register point needs to be dragged down for each instance in the Articulation List. The upper register can be expanded as needed too.
  3. Mixer levels in Dorico are all flat in the above. The libraries are not particularly well balanced at all, neither within each library, nor between Red and Blue. OT says these are really solo libraries so I guess they didn’t worry about it. CC7 sets the overall rough volume level. Setting it just in the Init didn’t seem to work so they are set for each articulation sample. They vary a lot but hopefully each quartet is reasonably balanced as well as Red vs Blue in the maps. Feel free to modify as needed.
  4. Panning is controlled with CC10. It’s flat in the Dorico mixer in the above audio, but there is some sax quartet panning in the Init in the maps. Obviously this will likely need to be changed for a big band sax section for example.
  5. They aren’t very realistic now, but before some EQ these really sounded like Kazoos, LOL! For the above samples I added some FabFilter Pro-Q EQ to each instrument in the mixer, mostly boosting some low frequencies in the soprano and alto, and cutting some of the nasalness around 1150 Hz. There is some added reverb too.
  6. The accent in the “Sustained Accented” sample is very strong. There is a Playback Override in the maps to set the “Increase dynamics for accents” to 0, but they still are very strong and not well balanced. I would probably use a negative value here if Dorico allowed it. (EDIT: Somewhat improved in revised maps)
  7. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a setting in SINE to control random pitch variation like there is with some libraries. Introducing a bit of pitch variation would probably help, but doesn’t seem possible.
  8. The Legato samples don’t play well with Dorico if you use any glisses, so these Expression Maps don’t use them. When trying to use them with glisses I ended up with overlapping and stuck notes so I gave up.

10/21/2021 update: Adjusted accent and marcato balance, adjusted balance between Red and Blue libraries, adjusted default note lengths, and other minor adjustments.

Anyway, for anyone interested, here 'tis:
Duplex Saxophones.zip (3.7 KB)

Thanks for these examples, they sound quite good!
Out of curiosity, do you know if the samples from the Duplex library are similar to the Glory Days?
I’m planning to buy that library from OT and I’m curious to know if someone used it with Dorico.

Thanks

Sorry, I don’t have that one. Glory Days isn’t that old, but it is for Kontakt though. It seems like their newer releases are all for their own SINE player. I would be curious if they are planning on an update to make it for SINE or if they are just sticking with the Kontakt version.

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OK finally getting around to trying these @FredGUnn, couple questions

  • What is SINE?
  • What is the Red/Blue libraries you refer to?
  • My library has “Poly” and “Legato”, which do I use?

SINE is the Orchestral Tools player. There are some free libraries you can download for it too, sort of comparable to some of the Spitfire LABS libraries, but not as many.

Red/Blue is the essence of the Duplex concept. Pretty corny but one is supposed to be fiery and hot, and the other more mellow and cool. In SINE you have to pick either Red or Blue before you get to the instruments.

Here’s the full articulation list for the Blue Soprano:
leg

The legato sample (+LEG) didn’t work well for me in Dorico as I sometimes was getting weird phasing artifacts and stuck notes, especially with any glisses. I didn’t use those in the Expression Maps I made, but perhaps you can get them working ok.

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