I guess not really. I’ve just always used bad sax samples before replacing them. And yea, now that I think about it even AM’s saxes aren’t going to satisfy a sax player I guess their ability to do things like bends, accents and dynamic nuances would make replacing each part one at a time much easier.
This is exactly my opinion too.
I’ve worked with top shelf players and sections, I was blessed, learned how to avoid certain voicings because Guitars and Horns tend to make you listen and or follow the arrangement.
I’ve got great Bari Bullfrogs I proudly use, and my Sections work if hidden properly amongst Brass.
My instruments are good enough to use in small ensembles with a Bari Tenor only.
But I refuse to do solo work and would never insult guys like Wayne Shorter or Marsalis by trying to riff through some KennyG-ish Snake Charmer solo.
Obviously by your Avatar you’re a ReedMan.
I wish I could gig with former Reed Men I worked with.
My fusion group is still inspiring and allows me to get through the Bruno Mars/Timberlake Tribute thing I do, but I miss the thick sound of reeds played by someone with Reeds Galore.
Won’t drop any names, but the last guy I worked with is a monster.
Once or so every night I would get a nod from him.
I practiced my ass off for those nods. They made everything worthwhile.
Sorry I get a trifle excited about Reeds and Synths (Shorter / Zawinul)
I use BBB, CHein, Session Pro and PLAY to get my Sounds.
It took 20 years but I’m not squinting from the embarrassing tones anymore.
I’m quite pleased and doing Bruno Mars stuff is challenging enough as I also cover the synths and EPS at the same time.
That was easy because I did lots of Stevie Wonders Sections and had to make sure the left hand played the Horner D6 parts.
You know there’s so many talented developers now, I bet we could get a solo sax sometime soon, but you would need so many different articulations and Reed attacks.
I’d pay 1 large for such a magnificent instrument.
The problem comes from the fact that the instrument is such a compromise, mechanically. It's inherently out of tune with itself. Each player learns to compensate for the particular instrument/mouthpiece combination and everyone is a little different in how they do it. The shape of your throat opening and position of your tongue inside the mouth has a massive effect on the sound you produce, along with the level of support your wind column provides. And that's just basic tone production - we haven't even gotten to the zillion things that provide nuance to the playing!
The number of things good players do intuitively is so large that I think we're a long way from a truly convincing VI. I think modeling and a second generation wind controller that responds to the subtleties I've listed will be necessary to get close. And at that point, how many will be willing to do the work necessary to use it properly?
I'm a big proponent of Audio Moding/SWAM and look forward to their next generation but I think good saxophonists still have a few years of irreplacibility left.
From what I've heard of the SWAM Sax, it sounds quite good (in context). However, I usually opt for a live musician for sax parts (for obvious reasons). I personally tend to find that I get the best results (in an orchestral context) by using Glory Days, especially with a live performer over the top.
Oh hell even as a die-hard VST/MIDI guy I hope they have many more years than that. At least with live performances! It'll be a cold day in hell when I go watch someone live who's sitting there "playing" sax or guitar (etc) through a MIDI keyboard and his freaking cell phone or whatever (ie leads and solos; doing it for a little background with a band is tolerable). Even if (or likely when) the tech gets so good it's indistinguishable from the real thing, there's still nothing like watching a performer wail away on a "real" instrument.