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  • No vibrato for Clarinet

     None of the VSL clarinets have a vibrato articulation,  which is a shame as I often would like to give the clarinet a lead solo, but that doesn't work so well without some vibrato. 

    It does seem a classical thing,  that clarinets remain pure,  but I would like to see some vibrato articulations for the clarinet,


  • In orchestral music Clarinets don't use vibrato. I would suggest that if you want a Clarinet with vibrato you look at Clarinets from other developers, such as Sample Modeling.

    DG


  • What is the historic reason for clarinets not using vibrato in classical music?   the oboe, English horn,, flute, soprano sax and trumpets all use vibrato, so I was just wondering why the clarinet is the only instrument left without any vibrato,  it always stops me using the clarinet for expressive solo's. (The Oboe D'Amore works hard for me).

    I appreciate it is not a failing of the VSL library,  as VSL is essentially a classical library, and so see the reasons for not capturing the clarinet with vibrarto,  but it would be interesting to know the historic reason for this lack of vibrato in classical music..


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    @andyjh said:

    What is the historic reason for clarinets not using vibrato in classical music?

    It's an interesting question. I have no idea.

    DG


  • i know from classical musicians that they just get a laugh when asking clarinet players for vibrato. on the other hand benny goodman played mozart with vibrato. alle kletzmer and jazz music is played by clarinets with vibrato. it's just a unwritten law that classical clarinets don't play vibrato. at least in europe.

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    @andyjh said:

    why the clarinet is the only instrument left without any vibrato,  it always stops me using the clarinet for expressive solo's
     

    That is a strange statement.  The clarinet is not expressive without vibrato?  That would be news for Ravel, Debussy, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, a few thousand others.   

    Closer to the film music world, try listening to Bernard Herrmann's Souvenir de Voyage.  That is not expressive clarinet?  Adding vibrato to that beautiful sound would be obscene.


  • I don't record classical music,  I compose music which often has vocals (lyrical solo - not choir),  and so a solo instrument that holds  a long note needs some form of modulation to balance the tonal character of the voice.

    A non vibrato clarinet is not suitable for this type of expressive solo.

    Hermann's Souvenir de Voyage is a clarinet quintet,  so vibrato in such an ensemble is not going to work, I am referring to using a solo clarinet, over a string section.

    Can you imagine Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore without any vibrato,

    It seems that countries such as Germany and Austria are steeped in tradition of no vibrato on clarinet,  so I am not expecting VSL to introduce a vibrato articualtion any time soon.

    What I was asking,  is why this non vibrato tradition exists.


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    @andyjh said:

    music which often has vocals (lyrical solo - not choir),  and so a solo instrument that holds  a long note needs some form of modulation to balance the tonal character of the voice

    That is not true at all.  Non vibrato on a long note could perfectly balance a vocal solo   and in fact could be better as a contrast to the vibrato of the voice.


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    @andyjh said:

    What is the historic reason for clarinets not using vibrato in classical music?


    Historically, vibrato is used to even out the effect of being slightly off-pitch or having tonal flaws or anomalies.  In classical music from the Baroque to Classical eras it was less common to use vibrato and more common to just have good enough tone and pitch to have no need for it.  Here's an interesting (and very strong) opinion from a clarinetist: "As a musician with a European background, I play without vibration. But at times I hear--or feel--a few seconds of vibration as I play. This happens in romantic music, where the expression of a delicate phrase in a love scene takes my mind off other matters. This vibration, however, is entirely different. It is natural and comes from my heart and soul. It disappears as mysteriously as it came."


    And a quote from Michael Rusinek of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: "[My teacher's] feeling about vibrato was that too often, players use vibrato to cover up flaws in their tone," Rusinek says. "So if you have a beautiful tone, it doesn't need vibrato; it's like putting ketchup on a really good steak."  The same article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette mentions that vibrato throughout the whole orchestra was uncommon until the 20th century and points out that clarinets and french horns both kept up the tradition of not using any vibrato for some reason, despite the fact that the rest of the orchestra began to use it.  I think vibrato is more popularized by film music and pop/jazz than any classical music, including Romantic.  But vibrato in general has never been used as liberally as it is in film music.  Even in today's orchestral music, listen to the music of Arvo Part and the choral music of Eric Whitacre and John Tavener.  Vibrato is nearly absent in so much of it.


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    @Casiquire said:

    But at times I hear--or feel--a few seconds of vibration as I play. This happens in romantic music, where the expression of a delicate phrase in a love scene takes my mind off other matters. This vibration, however, is entirely different. It is natural and comes from my heart and soul. It disappears as mysteriously as it came."

    Now that is exactly what I was looking for,  now there is a challange for VSL to capture that sound.....


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    @Casiquire said:

    But at times I hear--or feel--a few seconds of vibration as I play. This happens in romantic music, where the expression of a delicate phrase in a love scene takes my mind off other matters. This vibration, however, is entirely different. It is natural and comes from my heart and soul. It disappears as mysteriously as it came."

    Now that is exactly what I was looking for,  now there is a challange for VSL to capture that sound.....

    I think some of the samples already have that. However, I'll see if I can come up with a way to fake it, just a as challenge.  [:P]

    DG


  • For this clarinet Bb demo Guy Bacos added some nice subtle vibrato.

    http://www.vsl.co.at/Player2.aspx?Lang=1&DemoID=6006

    And there are also some LFO vibrato presets inside the Humanise settings. (Folder 10 FX)

    where the amplitule amount can be controlled with the humanise sliders. And of course it's also possible to design customised LFO vibrato curves there.

    best

    Herb


  • It is obvious there are many different practices from various times and places concerning vibrato, for example the lack of vibrato in string instruments in the Baroque era.  Or the oboe in Germany/Austria being played with little or no vibrato compared to other countries.  Performance practice varies enormously so you can always find something you like or dislike. 

    My only point was it is wrong to say you must have vibrato to write an expressive woodwind solo!  Expression comes mainly from phrasing and legato and only in some cases the modulation of vibrato. 

    Another example is singers.  One of the worst and LEAST expressive kinds of singing you will ever hear is a bad opera singer who uses too much vibrato.  As if he is standing on a paint shaker.  And one of the most wonderfully expressive kinds of vocal timbre is a boys choir, with no vibrato at all.


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    @herb said:

    For this clarinet Bb demo Guy Bacos added some nice subtle vibrato.

    http://www.vsl.co.at/Player2.aspx?Lang=1&DemoID=6006

    And there are also some LFO vibrato presets inside the Humanise settings. (Folder 10 FX)

    where the amplitule amount can be controlled with the humanise sliders. And of course it's also possible to design customised LFO vibrato curves there.

    best

    Herb

    I'd forgotten that. Thanks Herb for getting me off the hook....!

    DG


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    @andyjh said:

    Now that is exactly what I was looking for,  now there is a challange for VSL to capture that sound.....

    Yep, the challenge is you DO NOT want that to be sampled!  See, "canned expression" never really sounds right.  It hink Herb hit the nail on the head by bringing up the humanization function where this wouldn't be sampled but you'd still get the effect of it, fully controllable and automatable.  VSL went the right way by not trying to sample things like that, in my opinion.  However that quote was not referring to vibrato so it still makes sense that the clarinets are vibrato-free.


  •  Thanks for that Herb,  that will do it.   It was only on the  long notes I wanted it,  so used sparingly this will be good

    thanks  - Andy 


  •  Thanks Herb,

    This trick is good!

    I have made an arrangement for a song about a month ago, and the intro of the piece was piano and clarinet.

    To me, it sounded really nice.

    Then the guy I made the arrangement for came up to me and said: " the music is really nice but we'll have to hire a clarinetist to play it.

    We had a discussion and I finally understood that he could'nt conceive a clarinet without vibrato even if the overall sound was really good.

    He had almost never listened to classical clarinet playing.

    It is funny how our expectations comes from what we are used to hear.

    It is so important to listen to a lot of good music to develop a good ear.

    Jean Roy


  • Hmm, I can not hear any artificial LFO Vibrato - Even with headphones ...