A big deficiency in sampled guitars right now is their rhythm guitar capabilities. Strumming guitar usually takes a lot of sequencing work--you first have to find the notes equivalent to the voicing on a real guitar. The notes then need to be staggered in the order of the pick direction to create a realistic strum, since all the notes in the chord are not played at exactly the same time. Also, when strumming, depending on where the accents in the pattern are, not all the strings are strummed.

Generally strummed guitar libraries (loop libraries aside) take one of two methods. The first is to sample full guitar chords in upstroke and downstroke strum directions. While they sound realistic, they limit you to specific chord voicings, strum speeds and many other details that are constantly varying to create a realistically dynamic strum sequence. The other route libraries take is to power single notes with an arpeggiator, which automatically creates strum patterns. This gives you more flexibility at the sake of realism.

One of the Orange Tree Samples libraries we're working on right now is a rhythm guitar version of the Strawberry Electric Guitar for Kontakt. This library encompasses all rhythm guitar, from simple strumming patterns to funk rhythm guitar, powerchords, and much more. It combines a powerful, guitar-specific arpeggiator with specifically recorded samples for strumming.

While the product is still in the early stages of development, we thought we'd share some of the cool features of this upcoming guitar library:

1. Finger placement

Not only is the fretting position modeled, but the placement of each finger automatically on the fretboard as well! That means that when you change from one chord to another, you will hear a realistic transition from the fingers moving to their new positions. This transition noise is essential for realistic strumming sequences.

2. Chord voicing definitions

Although the library includes preset chord definitions, you can create your own voicings within the interface.

3. Fretting pressure

When rhythm guitarists play, the pressure with which they fret the chord accompanies the strumming pattern. This is a big factor in all styles of rhythm guitar, and is particularly noticeable in reggae and funk guitar.

4. Barre chords and capo

Barre chords are automatically accounted for, and you can capo the guitar as well (which allows for different chord possibilities).


If you have any comments or suggestions, we'd love to hear them!

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