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An Inside Look Into How Master Violinist Jason Yang Uses SWAM 1024 576 audio modeling

An Inside Look Into How Master Violinist Jason Yang Uses SWAM

Imagine doing your first professional tour as a musician with one of the most influential pop icons of our time. That’s the incredible story of music composer and violinist extraordinaire Jason Yang.

At only 23 years-old, Jason was hired to play violin on a world tour with none other than Madonna. With 29 countries, 65 cities, and 88 shows in 10 months, the MDNA tour is now known as one of the top-grossing tours of all time. 

And that was just the beginning.

Since then, he made appearances in acclaimed TV series and shows such as The Colbert Report, Glee, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and collaborated with international brands like Panasonic, Adidas, Hilton, and Ford. 

But now, in these COVID times, live performances are at a halt. And like so many other musicians, Jason is now focusing on composing while he is social distancing at home in Los Angeles, California. And can you guess what’s his latest passion these days? Playing with Audio Modeling’s very own SWAM instruments!

In an interview for the ILIO Artist Spotlight, Jason talks about how he grew up to become a violinist, his experience playing on stage with Madonna, and gives us unique insights on how he uses SWAM instruments and why he fell in love with them.

Taking All Your Experience of an Instrument and Placing It Into the Computer

When asked how he encountered Audio Modeling and SWAM instruments, Jason explains that like pretty much everyone else, he first started by exploring traditional sample libraries.

“It was really hard to find good-sounding sample libraries for instruments like the violin. It’s because of all the tiny details… That’s what makes the difference in the sound. With sample libraries, I couldn’t get anywhere similar to how I express myself on my instrument. That’s when I heard about Audio Modeling… because that’s pretty much exactly what their mission is.”

“So I tried out SWAM instruments and got them to be more expressive by thinking inwardly about all the little nuances I do in my violin playing to be expressive. The main parameters I control are expression, vibrato, and a bit of pitch bend.”

Jason goes on demonstrating this by using the SWAM Clarinets to play the famous opening solo of Rapsody In Blue on his Nord Stage 2. 

“Transitioning notes are crazy in SWAM! That last line with the glissando at the end is extremely important. The glissando sounds great just by playing with the velocity, even before adding any pitch bend or expression. The softer I play the subsequent note, the more drawn out the glissando will be. It’s not just a slow or fast glissando, it’s a bunch of values in between depending on all those MIDI values for velocity.”

If you’re wondering how technically difficult it is to reach this level of quality with SWAM, Jason offers great insight.

“In a way, it’s kind of technical, but in another way, it really clicked intuitively because it feels like what I’ve been doing on my own instrument this entire time. For example, with the SWAM violin, you can hear the placement of the bow, whether it’s close or far from the bridge. That’s just crazy! So if I can control these things with ease, I can just take all my experience with the instrument and put it into the computer, just like that.”

Admittedly, Jason is baffled by SWAM’s technology.

“When I’m playing each note, it’s creating it live as opposed to drawing on a sample and manipulating it that way. I mean… I don’t understand it, but I love it!”

And we love you too, Jason! Thank you for giving us such a great inside look into your past and present reality as a musician, and for showing us how you like to configure and play with our SWAM instruments. And thank you to Michael and all the team from ILIO for sharing this with us!

Click below to watch the full interview if you’d like to see (and hear) firsthand all of Jason’s stories, tips, and advice on music and SWAM.

 

A New Milestone Is Reached! 1024 576 audio modeling

A New Milestone Is Reached!

After much anticipation, we are finally ready to share with you the big news: SWAM Solo Brass for iPad is now available! 

Here’s why we are so excited about this:

SWAM Solo Brass for iPad

The incredibly powerful Physical Modeling technology is going MOBILE. 

With our SWAM Solo Brass for iPad, you now have the unique ability to recreate all the expressiveness and subtleties of a natural trumpet sound, played by a real player, in any style—from classical to jazz, passing through Balkan and even microtonal music. 

SWAM Solo Brass for iPad can be used as a standalone instrument for playing in real-time, or as a plugin for mobile music production. Play with your favorite external controller or directly from the iPad through our intuitive interface.

To kick things off—and to celebrate this new achievement—we are offering a limited-time discount. Don’t miss out on this special offer! 

Until February 22, you can buy:

  • each instrument: $29.99 19.99
  • one family instrument (SWAM Trumpets, SWAM Trombones, and SWAM Horns and Tubas): $124.99 84.99

Get a single instrument today and complete the bundle with a one-shot Buy action.

 

NAMM, Believe in Music, Audio Modeling News! 1024 576 audio modeling

NAMM, Believe in Music, Audio Modeling News!

NAMM, Believe in Music Week is starting today so it’s the time to reveal our news!

SWAM Solo Brass – iPad version

Are you in love with SWAM Solo Brass instruments and want to play them on your iPad? Finally, that time has come!
SWAM Solo Brass iOS version will be available after NAMM, just after the final validation from the public beta program that is currently running. 

Register here if you want to test it now!

SWAM Solo Brass – version 1.6

SWAM Solo Brass for macOS and Windows Update v1.6  is almost ready to be shipped with fixes, and some User Experience and Sound improvements.

SWAM Solo Brass v1.6.0 changelog

NEW

– Dedicated Sidebar Menu for Navigation

– General User Experience (UX) improvements and restyling

– Parameter Groups Locking: it’s possible to “freeze” a set of parameter values when selecting different presets

– Improved Preset management

– Improved “Reset” experience. New Sound Engine, MIDI Mappings and Micro Tuning – presets ready to use

– Virtual MIDI Output port for Standalone Application (macOS)

– VU-meters

– Timbral Shaping

– Added Microtuning factory presets

– Added MAQAM support for Microtuning control via MIDI

– Added MIDI Mapping factory presets, especially for Wind Controllers

– Added Root and Steps on Microtuning control surface

– Transpose and Microtuning control by SysEx

– Improved Early Reflection algorithm

– Interactive Slide/Valves and Mute Control

– “Force Hold Compatible Pipe” and “Pipe Selection” key switches

– Improved Hand Mute behavior, especially for French Horns

– Sound behavior improvements

– Extended range for some Trumpet, Trumpet C and Piccolo Trumpet

– Improved license and authorization check

– Added “Options” for handle scroll wheel for horizontal sliders and screen lock

– Improved MIDI Mapping management, especially for learning usability

– Added “bipolar” mode in MIDI remapping curve

FIX

– Windows installer: automatic uninstallation of previous installation

– Dynamic Envelope not working when Pipe Selection is set to Manual

– Erroneous fast slide on very first note

– Sustain off stops held notes

KNOWN ISSUES

– Ableton Live: automated parameters also assigned to a MIDI CC are added to Ableton’s Undo list. This behaviour does not happen with other DAWs

SWAM Solo Strings – version 3.0

 

SWAM Solo Strings version 3.0 will be available from March 2021!
SWAM Solo Strings will have a major upgrade to v3.0
Not only will this update include the new GUI and User Experience introduced with SWAM Solo Brass, but also many Sound Engine Improvements that reach the highest level of realism and control, never before heard from a physical model! 

The Upgrade for existing customers will be available in March with a 75% discount from the full price. The non-sale price of Solo Strings v3 will stay the same as Solo Strings v2.
In addition, new customers that buy any Solo Strings Instruments from January 18 to the day of the release of SWAM Solo Strings v3 will get a FREE Upgrade to the new v3 version when released.

 

Manage your Tracks, Layers and items with Drag & Drop in Edit mode 1024 576 audio modeling

Manage your Tracks, Layers and items with Drag & Drop in Edit mode

Usually, the complexity of a Software is related to the number of available features it has. A common consequence is pain, confusion, and frustration for users. We didn’t sacrifice usability with Camelot 2.0. While we added a huge number of new features to address your requests, we also redesigned its GUI and kept the same intuitiveness and ease of use that version 1.x had.

With the 2.0 version we addressed a few usability issues of version 1.x but also improved the language and organization of its sections…

On the Timeline and Scene views, the screen area is organized in sections with a dedicated + button to add the related content.

You can find the Backing Tracks timeline, the Scenes timeline and Markers on the Timeline screen.

Scene Layers, Song Racks, and Setlist Racks are on the Layer View screen.

Each section has an Edit button (pencil icon) that triggers the new Edit mode. This mode has been created to allow easy drag & drop reordering, labeling, color customization and delete actions. Having a separate area for editing has the advantage of separating potentially dangerous actions if triggered unintentionally during a live performance.

Audio Modeling at NAMM Believe in Music Week, Register Now! 1024 576 audio modeling

Audio Modeling at NAMM Believe in Music Week, Register Now!

The 2021 edition of NAMM, the historic trade show for the music product, will be different.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAMM Show has become “NAMM, Believe in Music”: the global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.
Believe in Music, to be held from 18 to 22 January 2021, will not be the usual NAMM Show or a virtual tradeshow but will feature an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers, trying to offer support for those most deeply affected by COVID.

You can follow the event by visiting believeinmusic.tv, just register for free here: https://attend.believeinmusic.tv/register.

Despite the difficult times, we will also be present at NAMM, Believe in Music, with the Session organized by The MIDI Association.

Our event, “MIDI Polyphonic Expression MPE”, will be on January 18 at 9 am Pacific Time. We are going to illustrate MPE, the universal protocol for electronic music. MPE allows digital instruments to behave more like acoustic instruments in terms of spontaneous, polyphonic sound control. So players can modulate parameters like timbre, pitch, and amplitude — all at the same time.

Our SWAM powered instruments are a must choice if you want to make realistic emulations of acoustic instruments!

With us, they will also be there Keith McMillan Industries, moForte, ROLI, and other MPE companies.

To follow our event, register for free at attend.believeinmusic.tv.

That’s not all… we are going to reveal important news during the NAMM, Believe in Music Week!

When Technology Meets Music – A Coffee With Roger Linn 1024 576 audio modeling

When Technology Meets Music – A Coffee With Roger Linn

We have visited our friend Roger Linn in his home in Los Altos, California, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley.
We spent a nice time together talking about the relation between Music and Technology.

Roger Linn is a designer of electronic music products.
He’s best known for the first digital drum machines that he made starting in 1979: we can mention, for example, the LM-1 , the LinnDrum, and the Linn-9000, that were used on lots of pop records in the 1980s by many artists, like Prince and Madonna, just to mention few of them.

Then, in the 90s, Roger also made the MPC Drum Machines with the company Akai, and those were used very heavily in hip-hop music production and other dance-related styles.

Then, in the 2000s Roger focused on making guitar products: the Adrenaline pedal. These products contributed to transforming electronic music applying to the Guitar World the ideas and tools that people have been using with keyboards or modular synthesizers.

One of the most recent projects is an instrument called Linnstrument, which attempts to bring the expressive performance control of acoustic instruments to electronic sound as an alternative to the MIDI keyboard which is just a bunch of on-off switches.

In your opinion, what’s the role of technology in relation with music?

Well, it’s a great enabler as it is in all other forms of society, in particular in music, MIDI has allowed a dramatic improvement because it’s allowed the separation of the human interface of the musical instrument from the sound generation.

Before MIDI, if you wanted a violin sound, you had to play the violin which is very hard! You’d have to hold up between your chin and your neck and get all kinds of muscle pains just to get a violin sound, and you’d have to spend years just to play it in tune!
If you wanted a saxophone sound you’d have to spend a few more years to learn where the notes are in a saxophone! In other words, the human interface was very much limited by the need for the instrument to make an acoustic sound.

MIDI changed all that 34/35 years ago because you could choose your human interface, usually, people use the standard MIDI piano keyboard, and then you can separately choose your sound.
Of course, the problem we found out is that MIDI keyboards on-off switches are not very well suited to creating the wonderful performance gestures of a violin, of a guitar, or a saxophone, and that’s what’s changing these studies now.
The main important thing is is that the technology has allowed us to do not only that separation of the human interface from the sound generation of musical instruments but also has allowed us to record information as you would on a tape recorder, things like change the sound of the performance after you’ve recorded it and many other things as we’re all aware of. So technology has been a wonderful boon for music in general and clearly, if you listen to music today it’s influenced just about everything in music.

What’s the relationship between SWAM and LinnStrument?

I would say that they’re tremendously important!
One thing that’s so interesting is that certain instrument sounds stand the test of time, and over the centuries we’ve learned that while many instruments died away, the sound of the violin, and the cello, and the saxophone, and the clarinet, and so many other instruments that in the Darwinism of musical instruments survived in the current orchestra or in the current band.
Guitar and Piano are others, this is because people have agreed these are great sounds. And so in synthesis, we were exploring new sounds, but sometimes we’re forgetting that there are sounds that have wonderful qualities and by the way, we’ve all heard the violin and performances for many years and when we hear it again whether it’s a real violin or a SWAM instrument there’s an emotion that happens.

Not only is it a good sound that has survived the test of time but we’ve heard so many beautiful performances with it.
So all that power is packed into each SWAM instrument, and when I play the smaller instruments with my instrument and I’m able to do those same violin gestures like vibrato, or portamento, or glissando, it raises emotion in me that I could not have because I don’t know how to play the violin.

So I think the SWAM instruments are tremendously important, and nobody else has done what Audio Modeling is done it’s so much better for expressive control than samples because samples are just snapshots but it is so wonderful to get a sound that is better than any sampling instrument but to have it be so malleable and to be able to change timbre, and expression, and pitch, and all be so accurate. So I think it’s just wonderful and SWAM instruments have really shown the power of the instrument to my users and so many of them play this one instrument so I have nothing but gratitude for Audio Modeling.

How about the near future in technology and musical instruments?

Well, one thing I’m seeing which is very gratifying is the increasing popularity of expressive instruments like mine Linnstrument, or ROLI Seaboard, or other instruments… and it is so wonderful to see this because I’ve missed expressive solos in popular music.

I’ve missed expressive solo performances in music for pictures, in music for dance. It seems like this because everyone’s playing music with on-off switches, which is what a MIDI keyboard is. It seems that music has gotten more boring.

And most importantly, if you listen to all electronic music these days it’s being used for the background. Music background for singers and pop songs, background for a picture in music, for picture background for dance, in electronic dance music…
I think what is so exciting is to see this adoption of expressive instruments and expressive sound generators, like the SWAM instruments, and so what I see, also what I’d love to see on top of that the SWAM instruments are wonderful for perfectly emulating the original orchestral instrument and there’s nothing better than nothing that comes close what I’d love to see is because Audio Modeling’s SWAM technology is so incredible!
I’d love to see a physical modeling synthesizer come out of the Audio Modeling Company that would use your technology but for creating new sounds that have a hint of a violin or a hint of a saxophone but allow the user to take it and create a new instrument.
Maybe a hybrid between a woodwind and a bowed string, or something that has a hybrid between a violin and an analog synthesizer sound, or something like that.
But allow someone to create their own sounds but not be so limited by the standard oscillator filter model to be able to break that you know and physical
modeling.

I think no one’s created a good human interface an user experience for that and I think the Audio Modeling Company is perfectly positioned to do that!

Do you think that AI could have a role in music in the future?

It’s hard to say, I think there are some possible cases where machine learning could be used to help, perhaps the user experience, designing the user experience, but at the same time, we’re in a unique position in creating electronic music instruments, because we’re looking for instruments that enhance the experience of someone expressing human creativity, and so in many other areas of the AI we were looking to replace the human but that’s different with musical instruments. We’re looking to augment the uniquely human skills.
So it’s hard to say how all machine learning would help in that regard but I’m sure I will be surprised because I’ve been surprised before!

The reason why Camelot is the Best MIDI Patchbay and router ever created 1024 576 audio modeling

The reason why Camelot is the Best MIDI Patchbay and router ever created

Camelot was created to address the most complex live performance needs with a simple and guided workflow. In the past, what could only be achieved with a complex setup made of connecting different applications and devices together, Camelot combines in one, beautifully designed interface.

Camelot is a Setlist Manager, a Software Instrument & FX Host, a PDF Music Score reader, a Multitrack Audio Player, and the most advanced MIDI Patchbay and Router, all at the same time.

The MIDI engine in Camelot is not limited to sending only basic messages, it delivers you a plug & play experience with your Instruments. Camelot Smart Maps deeply communicate with Hardware devices, allowing you to recall your hardware presets with a minimal knowledge of MIDI. You can switch modes or manage multi-part patches in Camelot without needing to access the panels of your hardware. MIDI routing and processing unlocks endless combinations. Imagine playing your instruments from one controller in one Scene, then switching seamlessly to another configuration that plays different tone generators and audio effects. This is all done without the need to unplug and re-plug MIDI cables on the fly!

The Smart Scene Transition in Camelot is unique because it not only allows you to switch scenes without sound interruptions, it also takes care of smooth MIDI transitions between different routings and configurations. For example, if a MIDI device is not in use in the scene you are transitioning to, you will not get stuck notes because Camelot intelligently keeps the MIDI instances from the previous scene alive until you release the key pressed or the sustain pedal.

The MIDI Port Manager is the best ever created, and it doesn’t rely on aliases or technicalities. When a MIDI port is not detected, a red badge pops up so that you can quickly address that issue. You can either replace the missing port or reconfigure your setlist with different Hardware. And you can do all of this with one button. Easy.

With the 2.0 version of Camelot, MIDI is even better. We introduced a MIDI monitor on each layer so you can easily check your connection and advanced channel routings… Camelot’s Layer Connectors allow cross connection and MIDI bridges between layers. For example, you can have only one sustain pedal connected to one device and use it with all devices that are played by other controllers.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Explore Camelot and discover how easy live performing can be with multiple hardware devices, virtual instruments, and audio effects. While Camelot does all of the heavy lifting, you can keep your focus on giving your best performance yet.

How to perform Live with Backing Tracks! 1024 576 audio modeling

How to perform Live with Backing Tracks!

On October 28 we organized the first Live Webinar focused on Camelot 2.0. 

Gerald Peter illustrated his live performance setup with the newest Camelot 2.0. 

In this webinar, Gerald explains the reason why Camelot is a great software for keyboardists who have a lot of gear (like himself). 

“If you want to bring on stage the specific sound you have created in the studio, you usually need different kinds of gear.” 

Gerald, for example, has the Nord Stage, the Moog Sub37, the Korg Minilogue, the Roli Seaboard, and also he plays with many plugin Instruments and FX. 

“Camelot manages all these different components together so that you can create the sound you’re looking for also when you’re performing because usually, it’s very challenging to put all these different gear in a live setup and combine them smoothly when you’re performing in a show. Camelot offers this possibility and makes it really easy for the artist to perform.”

According to Gerald, other advantages of Camelot are that it is platform-independent: you can perform on a Mac but you can also perform on a Windows notebook which means it runs everywhere, even also on iOS, so you can actually go on stage with a keyboard and an iPad and run your favorite plugins from there.

As a result, Camelot also syncs in between its different devices so if you have two or three computers and you can easily sync your program and setlist in between these different computers.

Finally, to complete the big picture, Gerald mentioned that Camelot can manage sheet music attachments and annotations: “…That means when you load a certain Song in your Setlist the right sheet music shows up, so that’s really useful in case you don’t remember all the parts to play.”

Camelot the Multitrack Audio Player for macOs Windows and iPad 1024 576 audio modeling

Camelot the Multitrack Audio Player for macOs Windows and iPad

Camelot can generate sounds by playing Software instruments and also playback Audio Files for backing tracks. Software Instruments are loaded and controlled on each Scene from the Layer View; while the Audio Files are located in the Timeline, in the Backing Tracks Section.

In both sections, there are local faders that allow direct control for each track’s level, mute or solo option. You can also access the output settings to select the output channels.

By default, any Layer or Backing Track is assigned to the Main Audio Output. You can always change this option in Camelot’s System Settings, on the Audio Menu. But there’s much more to the Main Audio Output: any track can benefit from Master FX consisting of a Compressor, EQ, a Master Delay, and a Master Reverb. Those built-in Master effects process all the audio routed to the Main Audio Output. This has a huge value: the FX chain parameters are applied to the entire Setlist so you can adjust your Mix accounting for different conditions that each show requires, such as different PAs and venues. This ensures your Sound will be the same consistent sound that you have designed in your Studio or during the rehearsals.

If you need more flexibility, bypassing the Main Out FX Chain and selecting different outputs is easily done. You can also load and insert your own FX plug-ins onto any layer.

Finally, to guarantee quick access to the entire Audio Section, you can expand the Mixer Layer View, that’s always accessible from the footer speaker icon. Like the other persistent footer panels, the Audio Section can be displayed from any screen. Again, you don’t need to learn anything new, because you can control anything in Camelot using the same approach, just by expanding and collapsing items.

iLead, the Stage Music Workstation Made in Italy! 1024 576 audio modeling

iLead, the Stage Music Workstation Made in Italy!

We are proud to announce our new partnership between the Italian companies: Audio Modeling and Project Lead.

Project Lead has been a top player in the audio-computer sector for 30 years, designing and building Workstations, thanks to a team of musicians and music business operators.

The Workstation is a real musical instrument generated by a perfect integration between selected hardware and top-level software combined with the utmost attention to detail, reaching the highest performances and full stability with rigid stress & validation tests. 

For this reason, the Project Lead workstations have been on the stages of the most important tours for years, and now are available to everyone.

i-Lead Workstation is now a reality! A dream instrument combining an all-in-one touch screen computer, powered by Camelot 2.0, that allows you to:

  • Select and load your favorite virtual Instruments and FX plugins in real-time
  • manage your MIDI connections and Hardware Instruments presets 
  • Collect and recall instantly all your settings in Scenes, Songs, and Setlists
  • Playback Audio Backing Tracks and automate hardware and software scenes selection

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Display TN LCD TFT 22″ – Full HD 1920×1080 16:9
  • Touch screen (multi-touch 10 points)
  • Connections: 4 USB 2.0 – 2 USB 3.0 – 1 Ethernet / LAN
  • CPU Intel Core 9th Generation i5/i7 up to 4.70GHz
  • Low Latency RAM DDR4 Up to 32 Gb (lifetime warranty)
  • Storage up to 16 Terabyte with SSD/HD or SSD NVMe (transfer rate 3500/3000MBs) for instant sound loading
  • Video card Intel UHD graphics 630 con: 1 HDMI  or 1 DisplayPort for a second 4K screen
  • 2 High-Quality Audio Speakers – SD Card Reader – 2 Mpixel Webcam
  • Windows 10 Professional 64bit OPTIMIZED by Project Lead certified for professional Audio/Video applications, 100% ROCK STABLE, Custom high-performance BIOS
  • CAMELOT PRO  Included
  • 48h stress&certification test before delivering

BUY IT