Actually I am working on a new song for my main project “heartscore”. During the last section a slow and epic melody is presented by a single horn. As usual I had realised the sound with the VSL Special edition and when I listened to the result I was not satisfied with the long sustained notes, which sounded flat and lifeless. As you know already the VSL Special edition is a stripped down version of the big and expensive VSL library and for the horn I have just the articulations staccato, sustain, sforzato and pLegato available. So for long notes without accent I have just sustain.
A real player is able to vary a long note with the help of many different factors: He can apply vibrato on the whole note-length or just on a part (on long notes it sounds often better to start the vibrato not from the beginning), he can vary the pitch of the note (wind-instruments often start too low or getting slightly lower at the end, or they tend to get too high during a loud section because of too much air-pressure), and at last he can vary the dynamic within the note, subtle or not subtle, creating diminuendo and crescendo within one single note.
In the case of my Solo-horn I decided to try to imitate the pitch-variety of a player. I drew some pitch-bend-curves just on those lifeless long notes and now the horn sounds much more expressive. Because it’s not a classical song I dared to create wider pitch-bends than it would be suitable for pure classical music. You can see in the picture below, that it’s not a lot, but just these few pitch-curves are very effective.
Next time I will post the result of this little sample-manipulation
Photo: „Viennahorn“ von Debianux – Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Viennahorn.jpg#/media/File:Viennahorn.jpg