Simple Pop Guitar
Regarding the last sample instrument I built, Micah’s Choir with Sons of Serendip, Christian Henson said that it represented the next chapter of sample instruments where the performance of a musical sound is inserted at a different place in the music creating workflow. With current sampling methods, we make generic and relatively simple samples so that they may be “performed” by the programmer/producer at their DAW.
With Micah’s Choir, the “performance” was captured in samples; so the producer has to work with whatever they are given as would be the case if the actual musician is in front of the producer. In other words, the producer doesn’t get to completely perform each note. This results in more realistic and natural sounding compositions.
It’s a subtle distinction that can have some blurred lines. However, I’ve been experimenting over the past year on how to further clarify the distinction, and I’ve come up with a few sample instruments that do just that. One day, I hope to release them commercially. But here’s one I’ve been experimenting with that I thought I’d share with Pianobook: Simple Pop Guitar. Once perfected, I’ll re-record the samples with more professional recordings. Simple Pop Guitar is very niche, but works decently.
I pulled out my Taylor guitar and a Neuman KMS103 mic and recorded chords, rather than individual notes. However, I didn’t record just chords. Remember, the next chapter is to sample performances. So I recorded rhythmic strums. Now, I’m not a guitarist, and don’t have the best equipment to record guitar, but this is more a proof of concept.
Alright. Some notes:
– Play guitar with left hand. It was recorded in the key of C. Use the tuner knob as a capo to change the key.
– Pads on right. They were created using the guitar itself. I layered it with a pad from another library I’m working on. You can mute the pads if you like. Just click on the pad button.
– Reverb: Just a simple hall reverb.
– Velocity moderates how “full” the guitar strumming is. It also determines the attack of the pads. Play soft for a more pad-like feel. Playing harder allows more subtle melodic soft “synthy” lines.
– At the lowest velocity in the guitar, you get a “final chord” to end the strumming. But you really got to hit the note very lightly.
– ModWheel fades in the guitar and filters the pads.
– Playing the guitar in legato-fashion smooths out chord transitions.
– Playing detache generates round robins and restarts the sample.
– This patch will time sync to your DAW. It is, however, recorded in 4/4. You could play it in 3/4, but you’d have to play in a detached manner, otherwise the samples won’t sync properly. It’s hard to explain, but try it and you’ll see what I mean.
Some final thoughts: This style of sampling also places the samplist in a different place in the workflow; in order to create performance samples that work with each other, you have to think like the producer/composer. But unlike a producer, you can’t focus on the one song in front of you, but on as many songs and song variations as reasonably possible, considering the probabilities of certain chord changes or performance methods in a particular genre. This style of sampling also imposes limits on the end-user/producer. In a sense, the samplist is collaborating with the producer. This tradeoff can be beneficial for the producer in a couple of ways: (1) More realistic mockups and productions, and (2) time saved.
I’ll eventually add more samples in different keys, modes, rhythms, etc. This is just a proof of concept. Enjoy! And leave comments and feedback!
(PS…I included the file as a Kontakt monolith as well, in case you don’t want to fiddle with file paths)
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
A storybook/scene-blending quality
This is fascinating, and, I think, extremely creative. For me it has a real storybook/scene-blending quality the moment you start moving the modwheel; I love how the guitar fades out so softly against the pads – uber-filmic!
Am very interested to see where this goes from here…
Thank you Cordaro. Inspiring.