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Denny Jaeger Master Violin Library

Sample CD Buyer's Guide By Dave Stewart
Published January 2000

Rating: ****** 6/6 Stars

Disc 1: Loud Violins

Vns: sus (ff <2>, mf <2>), att (f <4>), + solo Vn sus vb (designed to be used to apparently increase the overall vibrato of a violin section).

Disc 2: Soft Violins

Vns: sus (mp <2>, pp), att (mp <3>).

Disc 3: Tremolos, Trills & Pizzicatos

Vns: trem <2>, trll <2>, piz <2>, random up & down gls <2>, random col <2>.

Comments: Nothing but violin sections, painstakingly recorded at semitone intervals, compiled and seamlessly looped by an apparent obsessive (I mean that as a compliment, but if you meet Denny Jaeger at a party, don't get him started on violins). By layering short‑attack samples with matching sustains, very realistic performances of anything from soft legato chords to fierce staccato melodies can be programmed.

Of course, sampling instruments at every semitone is great for sonic realism, but heavy on sampler memory. Mr Jaeger's compromise is to divide the sustained sounds into three alternative volumes, each sampled at minor thirds. If you have sufficient memory, these can be layered to provide further lushness. The attacks, being a lot shorter, are presented with all semitones present.

It's also worth pointing out that a violin's bottom note is G below middle C, so you will have to look elsewhere for real low‑end strings. However, some artfully detuned violin section samples are provided in a valiant attempt to fill the gap.

Standouts: Purely a question of musical aptitude, as the quality is excellent throughout. For a classic legato string sound, layer the '2MP' and '5MP' programs from the second disc.

Quibbles: With so many options and non‑descriptive volume names like 'FN+A1V', it's sometimes a little difficult to keep track of all the different violin types!

Contact: Time & Space.

£ Akai/Roland/Kurzweil/Samplecell CD‑ROMs (3‑disc set) £329.