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GeoShred 5 - The SWAM Update!

GeoShred, from Wizdom Music LLC, was updated with world-class instruments from Audio Modeling's SWAM. Each instrument is $15, or you can purchase all 6 for $75. Before anyone even thinks to bitch about the price; these are in the hundreds of dollars on desktops. The sax alone is $250! $75 for 6 is a bargain.

What's new in GeoShred v5.7.1:

GeoSWAM instruments are now available as In-App-Purchases (IAPs)

Developer moForte has a couple of videos to introduce the new instruments. There's a detailed overview, and embedded here is a short promo from Jordan Rudess.

Reader Comments 10

Been having a blast with these sounds during betatesting. On my experience, they respond more appropriately than the Audio Modeling versions (the difference coming from the control model).

Keep in mind that it’s restricted to MPE controllers.
I like that the violin demo was not the usual European classical business. It shows that people are able to take these sounds in many different directions.

The SWAM instruments do seem like a pretty nice price compared to their desktop counterparts.

A little bird told me that there is very likely to be another very cool woodwind/brass type instrument for iOS on the horizon. I've already said too much.
October 21, 2020  | favorite_border stub
My deepest conviction is: Jazz is music's erotica. Naked body, human skin, color stream of pure emotions (optional) of music. Any electronic attempts to imitate it, including this one by Jordan, are cute and funny, but not realistic, like robots that making love trying to imitate humans. I don't like this sax instrument; of course it could be my personal aberration, because I've spent so much time playing with saxophonists (and still, sometimes). All in all, those instruments are big advancement for iOS, let's rejoice! I personally enjoying this sounds of _other_ woodwinds, they're sounds astounding. I guess it's also could be the best sounds because of touchscreen nature if iOS; the instruments those built to be "played" by hands should be actually "played" by hands, not just "played back with automations" like usual samples.
October 21, 2020  | favorite_border eVr
Now all we need is Geotalent to be able to play these ;)
October 21, 2020  | person_outline Chris Strobel
Wind instruments are always going to be the holy grail. The articulation on a real instrument is so complicated to recreate.
October 21, 2020  | person Charlie
The fact that you can now play the opening clarinet part from Rhapsody in Blue this accurately on a touchscreen is priceless. I would love to see a demo of how that was done.
October 21, 2020  | person SodaMountain
On October 21, 2020 - @stub said:
I like that the violin demo was not the usual European classical business. It shows that people are able to take these sounds in many different directions.
Yep! And several South Asian musicians have been adopting GeoShred with the original guitar-based sounds. With such a huge population, a deep tradition of musical scholarship, and an increase in income, it sounds like a larger niche than it’d be in Europe (especially since practitioners of “Western Art Music” turn their nose at apps like these).

On October 21, 2020 - @Charlie said:
Wind instruments are always going to be the holy grail. The articulation on a real instrument is so complicated to recreate.
Indeed!
This is something which gets lost in conversations with staunch advocates of sample-based methods of instrumental emulation.
Sure, it’s fairly easy to get convincing-sounding instrumental sounds by sampling them. You might even get some variability by multisampling, layers, roundrobin, processing, etc. For many instruments, it’s fine. And if you sample whole phrases, you do have something which sounds good without being really playable.
The point of Physical Modelling (PM) is much more about articulations and versatility. It may not sound exactly like this one oboe. It does play much more like an oboe than sample-based would.
In some cases, PM can produce something which sounds like an unknown acoustic instrument. There’s something deeply satisfying in this. Yamaha’s VL/VP series was great for this, even though their goal was mostly about instrumental mimicry. On macOS/Windows, IMOXplus’s Respiro goes further in the instrumental feel, whether or not it sounds like a specific instrument.

To this day, Audio Modeling is exclusively about instrument emulation and these SWAM Engine sounds are really meant to be convincing. Sometimes, playing a GeoSWAM sound can feel like falling in the Uncanny Valley. The advantages are more about these instruments feeling like instruments. You can focus on the effect of the sound instead of wondering how close it sounds to typical practice on the acoustic instrument.

As a sax player playing windcontrollers, there aren’t many woodwind sounds I enjoy playing. Some other players do enjoy sample-based sounds. All the more power to them. I guess I’ve simply tuned my ear to the articulations and transitions and I just have a hard time when an instrument doesn’t respond the way I want. It’s even the case with fully synthetic sounds, like a sawtooth waveform. I might be playing a patch on an analog synth or a software emulation of such and the “illusion” is dropped because transition between notes isn’t smooth enough.

In this case, because moForte fine-tuned the GeoSWAM control model, playing those sounds directly just feels good to me. It’s very hard to describe because it’s not just about the sounds produced. It’s about the interaction: a gesture is meant to provoke a certain change in the sound. When your ear expects a certain type of articulation, it’s quite jarring when it gets a different result. That’s been the case for me with Audio Modeling’s own SWAM Engine sounds, as it “decides” the kind of articulation you might want. They feel like instruments which have a mind of their own. It might be great for scoring. Not as much fun to play.
Sample-based sounds can work well for percussive sounds that don't change between attack & release. For struck and plucked sounds like piano, percussion, and plucked stringed instruments, a good sample library can get you pretty close to the real thing; provided there are enough velocity ranges, round-robins (when necessary), and sufficient attention is given to release sounds.

With wind and bowed instruments there can be so many different attack articulations, intense control throughout the sustain, and very specific shapes of release. Because sample-based instruments usually don't allow you to cross-fade to different samples after the attack, you are left with a pretty disappointing realtime-control experience. Physical Modeling has more capability in this regard.

Respiro's use of Breath Pressure to control the sound is what makes it immediately feel connected to the player as an expressive instrument. The forthcoming Photon controller will add an essential 2nd element which is lip pressure, and a very useful 3rd element which is tongue position. Even with these elements in place, I don't think we'll ever have a perfect substitution for a real wind instrument. But we already have very expressive instruments that are super fun to play.

That tenor sax demo was ..."difficult" to listen to. The clarinet sounded pretty good until that one moment (you know the one I mean). The only trick with oboe seems to be getting the vibrato to sound right.

With strings, you have both bow pressure and bow speed. Those things could probably be done pretty effectively with breath controller. Photon could easily do breath pressure as bow speed and lip pressure as bow pressure. As for the left hand, you have pitch vibrato-- but it also has an effect on amplitude, as well. And you have glissando-- which this app seems to handle quite well.
October 22, 2020  | favorite_border stub
Found this on the website:

In the near future, Audio Modeling will release native SWAM as iOS Apps. These Apps will offer the most suitable interface for full MIDI control and have been designed specifically to guide the user for correct use and control.
Maybe better wait for that to use with wind controllers or play them with geoshred:)
October 27, 2020  | person_outline Kees
Thanks for letting us know. That's really helpful.
October 27, 2020  | favorite_border stub
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