For those unfamiliar with the meaning in regards to sampled instruments (it's different to the musical term), legato intervals are the bits in-between the sustained notes. As an instrument/section moves from one note to another, a lot of complicated things are happening that would be missed if we simply played one sustain followed by another. To recreate these subtle effects in a sampled orchestra, developers record the transitions between each and every note and build them into a Legato (or true legato) patch.
Things have progressed quite a lot since the legato technique was initially developed. It's no longer just 'sustains and intervals', but has with some more advanced programming going on under the hood.
The Different Types of Transition
Depending on the instrument sampled, we will often include a few different transitions. There are many ways to transition between two notes, and many developers have take different approaches at providing this kind of functionality within their instruments.
The approach taken by Spitfire is to provide the composer with a polished set of the building blocks that can be used to create a range of playing styles, rather than a big collection of predefined sounds aimed at specific musical situations.
With our dedicated string libraries, we often provide three core ways to transition between notes:
- Slurred legato (fingered). These intervals are the musicians simply fingering to the next note.
- Bowed legato. This transition allows you to recreate the section changing bow direction between notes.
- Portamento legato. A portamento slide provides a smooth glide between notes.
These transitions can often be accessed as individual patches, or you can use our Performance Legato patches.