Flexible, expressive and highly performing: an in-depth look to SWAM instruments
Apart from their uncanny ability to perfectly replicate the sound and dynamics of traditional musical instruments, SWAM instruments are also playable “out of the box”. Launched with a default keyboard setting, they allow the musician to play these virtual instruments by only using a keyboard and, as they do that, they manage to show good articulation and legato with a reasonable degree of smoothness.
Reducing SWAM instruments to this, though, would be fallacious, since what we just listed is just the beginning. With the use of other types of controllers, such as expression pedals, new expressive instruments like ROLI Seaboard or LinnStrument, or wind or breath controllers, the level of expressiveness of these virtual instruments expands to an even higher level. The SWAM engine provides settings for these different types of controllers, therefore making the initial setup of the basic functions much easier for the performer.
There are also additional settings for each instrument on the main page of the GUI: they can modify timbre, tone color, sound behavior and transposition of the instrument, just to name a few of their options.
Many of these control parameters can be mapped to the controller: for example, the harmonic structure parameter can be mapped to CC2 Breath so that breath input will alter the harmonic structure of the instrument in much the same way the tonal quality of a real wind instrument changes in character as breath pressure increases.
There are several other similar adjustments and mappings available and, with experimentation, any performer can very easily create instrument variations that are utterly personal to their specific style and tonal aesthetics.
Additional performance effects such as Growl and Flutter Tongue can too be mapped to any control (e.g. slider, knob, etc.), along with overblow and fall-down that can be used with Key Switches. SWAM instruments also have micro-tuning capabilities that can be set up in the options page of the GUI. This gives SWAM instruments the ability to perform on different scales or tunings, as required in experimental compositions or ethnic musical genres.
Thanks for their unique flexibility, expressiveness and quality, these virtual instruments can be used during live performances in a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to jazz, from popular to ethnic. At the same time, SWAM instruments are just as valuable in terms of recording and music production.
SWAM instruments are provided as plugins that will run on virtually any host, both on PC and Mac. They have been tested extensively on the most common DAWs, like Cubase, Logic, Digital Performer, ProTools GarageBand, etc, and work perfectly in live performance hosts such as Camelot – our revolutionary live performance software – and Cantabile, MainStage, Plogue Bidule, Gig Performer, and many more.
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