"Legends say that sometimes, when
the moon shines just right, a saxophone starts to
change under its influence. It grows extra reeds,
bellows, and turns into a beastly accordion. Some
legends even claim that saxophones can transform
into subtractive synthesizers with horrifying
unnatural features like resonant filters and unison.
Of course, those are just legends.
That kind of thing can't really happen. But we have
sampled an alto saxophone and made the legends come
true virtually. Behold - the Weresax! Seemingly an
innocuous alto saxophone sample library, sampled
chromatically across the entire standard range of
the instrument with two velocity layers and two
round robins. It can even seem sophisticated and
smoothly expressive with its vibrato controlled by
nine parameters and three low-frequency oscillators.
But we thought that as long as we've
got all these notes sampled, and we've got them
looped for infinite sustain, why not layer them
together and see if we can make them sound like an
accordion. After all accordions, like saxes and
harmonicas, use vibrating reeds to produce sound.
And, well, it worked. It's not a completely
realistic accordion, of course, but it can pass for
one in a crowd.
Keeping the momentum going, we added
more layered voices and more controls, and also made
a sxnth - a polyphonic subtractive synthesizer using
looped sax samples for oscillators. With polyphony,
up to five unison voices, AHDSR envelope, vibrato,
resonant highpass filter and a resonant lowpass
filter with envelope and LFO, it's capable of
organic variations of many classic synthesizer
And if all that seems too scary,
here's a bit of Edvard Grieg's "Morning" played by
the sax with a bit of saxcordion chords during the
second half, and SM Drums providing the minimal
beat. A bit of automation on the two vibrato depths
and speed, a pitch bend into the last note and...
isn't it nice and relaxing?"
Weresax contains a total of 256
24-bit WAV samples, three SFZ instrument mappings, a
GUI (thanks to Plogue), and 20 presets. The total
download size is 188 MB. Plogue Sforzando version
1.845 or newer is required for all features to work.
Free download, open source and royalty-free for all
commercial and non-commercial use - we especially
encourage reuse and adaptation of the saxophone's
vibrato sfz opcodes.