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Here are some videos of Zoot’s designer playing the included virtual clarinet. While I hope they give you a basic sense of the instrument, I look forward to seeing what you can do!
For “Autumn Leaves,” I wanted to show the use of gentle pitch vibrato by swaying the instrument.
“Ver Hot Aza Yingele” is a klezmer piece, and it demonstrates the “air bend” feature to simulate something like the klezmer krekht ornament. In this example, I trigger the ornament on the three repeated notes at 0:10.
Attempting to reproduce the iconic opening to “Rhapsody in Blue” is a stretch, but I couldn’t resist playing around anyway. There’s a lot that’s not right in this performance, but it’s what I’ve been able to do so far.
The stepwise glissando is triggered when I roll the instrument to my left on the bottom note and then finger the top note. Similarly, the continuous glide is triggered when I roll the instrument to my right on the bottom note and finger the top note. I tilt the tail end of the instrument up to engage an octave shift. I am also using sway vibrato, roll pitch bending, and a bit of air bending also.
I had fun with “Bei Mir Bistu Shein”! It shows off vibrato and subtle air bending.
The strumming feature was intended as a way for someone like me who doesn’t play guitar to accompany themselves singing. Between my abilities as a singer and the crudeness of the accompaniment, I wouldn’t say this effect is necessarily “performance worthy,” but I definitely find it satisfying and fun.
The strumming chords are voiced as they would be on a real guitar, but, in “Blow the Candles Out,” I’m playing a sampled piano. Note that the magnitude of the physical strum motion determines the MIDI note velocities sent to the synth.
I like “Christmas in the Trenches” for lots of reasons, but I also think it’s a good one to show off Zoot strumming: with all the chord changes, one strum per chord change actually works pretty well. It also demonstrates being able to play two different chords for the same root note, like A and Asus4 or Bm and Bm/A.
“Eldorado” demonstrates the arpeggio effect of increasing the strum’s stroke time.
Demos with Other Wind Instruments
Zoot can send MIDI output to other virtual instruments, such as those hosted by REAKTOR, a visual programming environment and DSP engine for creating music synthesizers and other audio tools. In this example, I’m running REAKTOR on a MacBook and using members of Chet Singer’s excellent Beauchamp Brass collection of 14 sample-playback brass instruments.