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Expression Control & Art of the Alto

Our newest New Standard library was released a couple of weeks ago. Art of the Alto is our super soulful alto saxophone library that channels west-coast jazz on the one end and ultra-expressive film noire sax solo on the other. To aid in that goal of being more expressive, we added a new control: expression.

Mapped to CC11 by default, expression is another layer of volume control on top of the modwheel dynamic control our libraries already have. For a long time I was resistant to including expression in our libraries. Looking back, I'm not exactly sure why. But when we started making demos for AotA, we starting feeling like it might help shape things and give some more dynamic options for the end user. I made a demo of Bernard Herrmann's Theme from Taxi Driver in which I ended up using the new expression control all over the track. That cinched it for us. (note: in the video for this Taxi Driver demo, we had not yet added the graphics for the expression, so while you're not seeing it, rest assured, you're hearing it)

This new expression control works in both Real-Time and Smart Delay modes. Try using it to exaggerate or minimize the effect of the crescendos and hairpins, or tapering the releases of long notes.

So we've not only added it to this new alto sax library, but we're going back and adding it to all our previous New Standard libraries. Starting with Atomic Big Band!, which as of the writing of this blogpost, is available now as a free update. We've already added to a handful of others that are in the queue for some bug-fixes along with this new feature.

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