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Flexible, expressive and highly performing: an in-depth look to SWAM instruments 800 406 audio modeling

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.

Are you ready to begin?

The importance of user research to build new instruments 800 533 audio modeling

The importance of user research to build new instruments

The importance of user research to build new instruments, by Simone Capitani (UX Designer at Audio Modeling)

User Experience Design and User Research are widely applied to Web Development, field that has a very fast pace in finding new tools and development techniques.

Applying and adapting those tools on making any digital product, and in particular musical instruments can improve drastically the quality of the product and the satisfaction for the final end user.

Here at Audio Modeling we have started to perform User interviews to get insights from musicians at all levels. The work of a UX Designer (User experience designer) is to find the sweet spot between the user needs and technical feasibility.

SWAM Instruments are expressive instruments, they have a unique sound engine capable of reproducing a very natural behaviour when played controlling continuously in real time the sound parameters.

So we have interviewed many musicians asking to talk about their story and the importance of playing expressively.

The following video is just a short part of the interview to Dom Sigalas, Film Composer and Music Producer.

Bruce Miller: an incredible journey through music in various media 1000 667 audio modeling

Bruce Miller: an incredible journey through music in various media

Detroit-native Bruce Miller is considered one of the most talented composers, arrangers and conductors of modern times. Starting his career on the local jazz and R&B scene as a guitarist and saxophonist, Miller was completely immersed in the professional music scene at a very early age. The thrill and buzz that accompanied the momentum also helped him develop his talent and inspiration: a lot was happening around town all the time, and from live shows in jazz clubs to commercials, from major acts to records, the Detroit music scene was extremely lively.

During his stay into the Army, Bruce became part of a military jazz band based in Colorado Springs, “The NORAD Commanders” and spent the next three years writing, playing music and performing at various venues throughout the USA and Canada. Obviously, once his military obligation was fulfilled, he went back to music full-time becoming Paul Anka’s musical director and conductor. Another three years passed, turning into a pivotal moment in Miller’s life in terms of experience and musical abilities. Of course, many people noticed his talent and soon Bruce moved to the West Coast, in Los Angeles.

The timeline of this multifaceted, versatile artist is a never-ending string of well-known names:  The Temptations, The Commodores, The Four Tops, Rose Royce, Joss Stone, Rod Steward. Miller’s talent and skill moved flawlessly through time and through different genres, and it’s not surprising to discover that his composer roster became wider, too, as he started working for television music, with credits for worldwide renowned TV shows such as “Frasier,” “Becker,” “Designing Women,” “Wings,” “The (new) Odd Couple,” and two “Bonanza”-

Then, in 1997, through longtime collaborator Thomason, Miller was brought on as a Musical Director for the G8 Summit in Denver, Colorado. As arranger and conductor of the 45-member orchestra, during the event Bruce performed with music legends such as Chuck Berry, Lyle Lovett, Michael Bolton, Amy Grant, Eartha Kitt, Crystal Gayle, Jennifer Holiday, Sounds Of Blackness, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Miller was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1989 for Best Arranger (Music Direction) for the Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration, and then a second time in 1994 for Best Theme for “Frasier.” Throughout his career, he won sixteen BMI TV and Film awards, fourteen SESAC awards, and the prestigious SESAC “Legacy” award (2012). Countless are his gold and platinum records for his tireless and innovative work with many A-listers in the music industry.

Bruce, still very much active both as a composer and arranger, currently works with his son Jason and among the many titles in their carnet are TV shows, commercials, records, and “Shoulders,” the documentary defining the relationship between 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and her mother, Dorothy Rodham.

Bruce Miller is among the artists using and praising Audio Modeling’s solutions, which he defines as instruments able to “save him from stress”. And we are so happy they do! Thank you for being with us, Bruce!

Audio Modeling at NAMM Show 2019 1024 384 audio modeling

Audio Modeling at NAMM Show 2019

Audio Modeling will be present at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California from January 24th to 27th.

At booth #10616, Hall A (see it on the map) you can find both the SWAM virtual instruments and Camelot, the new multi-platform software for live performance management.

Among the artists who will play with SWAM and Camelot are: Dan Radlauer, Fulya Celikel, Gerald Peter, and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater keyboardist).

In addition, SWAM’s inventor, Stefano Lucato, will be available to talk about SWAM’s musical instruments, give advice on how to use them, and listen to feedback / suggestions from SWAM users.

Also, Camelot will be a guest of Yamaha Synth to showcase the power of integration with the Montage and MODX instruments is (Thursday 24th at 3pm, Friday 25th at 2:40pm).

See below for the full schedule of the demos we will offer at the Audio Modeling booth.