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Topic: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!!)

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Accordion Fx!!)

    Hi Friends ...

    I noticed an
    interesting thread in the 'Club JaBB'section started by John ‘Sylva’, dealing with JaBB saxes, specifically sub-tone abilities (btw, Tenor Sax 4 comes pretty close to sub-tone). But the thread developed into a generalized lament that there just aren't any decent sax libraries out there, and that some users were disappointed with the use of JaBB saxes, especially when using them in a multi-sax harmonization (a soli) where they can produce the dreaded kazoo or accordion effect.

    In response, I was delighted to see (and hear!) that Jim “jdsnyderii” posted an excellent excerpt of Glen Miller’s “
    Moonlight Serenade”, featuring the classic Miller sax section voicing of two altos and two tenor saxes with a Bb clarinet on top.


    I know the original discourse wasn't meant as an indictment against JaBB, but I felt compelled to also share a brief excerpt from a jazz arrangement I did of one of my original songs several years ago showcasing the JaBB saxes (following a brief trombone section soli) in a very exposed soli setting (I never completed this chart so it is very dry … making it easier to hear the voicings). You be the judge …

    "MADDY'S ADVICE" - (Excerpt) - JaBB Trombone Soli + JaBB Sax Soli

    Here are a couple of additional brief sax solis excerpted from a recent local musical I arranged and orchestrated.


    From the overture: The bridge of “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” (Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer) …

    Sax Soli (T-S-A-T-B) - Overture-2013

    …and the closing chorus of “There’s A Small Hotel” (Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart).

    Sax Soli (S-A-T-T-B) – Small Hotel

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I suspect if you are getting a kazoo or accordion sound when you voice saxes in harmony, you’re simply plugging in a sample and forgetting it … JaBB (or any library for that matter) can’t really help you. To create a realistic soli, the various saxes (or other ‘horns’) need to be input as you would play each of the component instruments (think linearly per instrument, not vertically). This includes …

    1.-Assure that for each instrument, the starting and end times (durations) can’t all be precisely the same; they must be slightly off. Real players may be good, but they are not robots!! There needs to be a subtle imperfection in the phrasing, just like five real sax players would play.

    2-Each line (instrument) must have unique volume data (cc1) … they should be similar, but like the start and end times, the volume data must be subtly different for each instrument. When you listen, note how there are subtle shifts in volume (cc1) that bring the various horns out in the mix. Especially in the sax soli, you can hear how the 1st tenor (middle-left) gets a little louder just here and there. Yes, you can always hear the soprano clearly on top, but there are subtle shifts between all five saxes that I think give this soli a fairly convincing feel.

    3.-Same for vibrato (aftertouch) … subtly different for each instrument (see the pattern? J)

    4.-Pan-Pan-PAN!!! While listening to “Maddy’s Advice”, the Bass Trombone is panned hard-left, and the Baritone Sax is hard-right (listen how they clearly stand out at times). The lead Trombone and Soprano Sax (lead) are panned close to center, with all other trombones and saxes spread throughout the stereo field. Also, since I really like to give the lo-guys (the B-Tb and BS) lot's of aural space (I always want that 'fatness' to cut though my mix), there's no other trombones panned hard right (to interfere w/ the BS), and no other sax panned hard left (to interfere w/ B-Tb).

    When there is a trombone and sax section overlap (which is most of the stereo field), no two are in exactly the same location ... everyone has a clear slot (and if my trumpet section was here too, same thing: ALL reeds, trumpets, and Trombones have a unique position in the stereo field). Not everybody does that , but I always do and I feel it adds to both the clarity of voicing and ‘wideness’ of my ensembles.


    Yes, it takes time to add this polish to your ensembles, but you will become much quicker at it once you have the techniques down. Give it a try!

    And lastly, for a really stellar, good-time solo sax demo using JaBB reeds, search back in the Listening Room a year to 08-14-12 and give Randy Bowser’s production of the Lennon-McCartney tune “HoneyPie” a listen. Unfortunately, I could not get a reference link from this thread to Randy’s thread to work, but it is worth your time! .

    Good luck!

    Frank
    Last edited by Frank D; 08-13-2013 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Title spelling correction

  2. #2

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    "Honey Pie" - an all-JABB production

    Frank!
    I am basically flabbergasted by how great your post is. On top of the great, juicy, much needed advice you've written, - I'm blown away that this is coming from someone who I know has had such a hard time with the Forum's decrepit software, sometimes being unable to post, wrestling with incredibly slow load times et al.

    You should have your picture added to that jazz combo picture on JABB's cover. Seriously - along with---

    Jim “jdsnyderii” --who is indeed another champ at shedding light on how absolutely great the JABB Library is. I couldn't be happier that the two of you have now posted threads which should really put to sleep FOREVER the unfortunate image that these instruments have for some folks.

    Your snippets are stellar - How could anyone listen to those and not realize that lurking inside that JABB Library they may have, but may have neglected, is a powerhouse of possibilities. Those tracks are amazing and inspiring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post
    ...I suspect if you are getting a kazoo or accordion sound when you voice saxes in harmony, you’re simply plugging in a sample and forgetting it … JaBB (or any library for that matter) can’t really help you. To create a realistic soli, the various saxes (or other ‘horns’) need to be input as you would play each of the component instruments (think linearly per instrument, not vertically). This includes …
    And there you've nailed it on the head. It's something I've said many times on threads. If people are just triggering samples, stringing notes together, and doing not much else - then they have no idea what the samples they're trying to use could actually sound like. Your post outlines exactly what has to be done, and it all adds up to doing whatever the user can do to PLAY the instruments - something most easily done with a keyboard, but with some imagination and tenacity, they can even do it without keys.

    Notation users are at a disadvantage. Their program Is basically just triggering samples, and doesn't let them dig too deep into the MIDI under the hood where it's actually all happening. Human Playback helps in Finale, of course, but notation users are still stuck with just a small handful of dynamics to apply, and it's just not the same. "p, mp, mf, f, ff"--those are about the only dynamic markings people use--five, compared to the 127 levels actually available in the MIDI spec.

    Hairpins up and down - not the same at all as the constantly fluctuating dynamic volume performance you can get with a mod wheel or expression pedal.

    All your advice and instructions are so spot on here, that they should be part of the JABB manual. If people care enough about their music to make it sound as good as possible, they'll set aside some time to follow your lesson, step-by-step, if they haven't worked this way before. If they did that - They too would end up totally blown away that such a modestly priced set of instruments can sound so excellent. AND they should also be able to easily see how what you've explained can be applied to GPO, CoMB, GIO - any and all sample Libraries people own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post
    ...And lastly, for a really stellar, good-time solo sax demo using JaBB reeds, search back in the Listening Room a year to 08-14-12 and give Randy Bowser’s production of the Lennon-McCartney tune “HoneyPie” a listen. Unfortunately, I could not get a reference link from this thread to Randy’s thread to work, but it is worth your time!...
    My cue to doff my hat in thanks. I'm glad you appreciate my little JABB opus, "Honey Pie." The posting you refer to is from when the "Listening Room Summer Festival" was first conceived, and sinse re-posting was part of the new, looser posting guidelines, I put my version of The Beatles tune up again - I originally recorded and posted the piece back in 2009.

    Here's the link again, since you so magnanimously pointed the track out, and now people don't have to search for it. I took another listen just now - gotta say, I do still like what I did. Sax towards the left has the lead, playing a line based on Paul McCartney's original vocal lead, with some improvs and new bits thrown in here and there.

    "Honey Pie" - an all-JABB production

    NOTE: For the first 30 seconds, I used audio effects to re-create the scratchy record and Victrola sound in the original White Album track. AND at the end there's a loud sound which was found inexplicable by at least one Forum member when I first posted this. If you're old enough to have had a vinyl collection - you'll recognize it.

    Thanks again for an amazing thread, Frank. Superb.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    You kind of hit the nail on the head regarding my problems with these instruments. All my compositions were recorded on a MIDI keyboard, when I was still able to play the piano. Then I plugged in the instruments. The piano dynamics didn't translate very well for most of them, so I replace the cc 7 and cc1 values with 100 for each track, then manually changed them for each passage with each instrument, finally getting down to the note levels with some of them.

    Undoubtedly, if I had recorded each part separately, my compositions would sound realistic. But I was essentially writing the parts as I went along, creating them from the piano score. For example, for a brass section, I'd copy the piano track once for each instrument, then delete all but the notes for that particular instrument. Then I'd correct the voicing, trying to get better voice leading while keeping all the horns in a comfortable range and sounding idiomatic for each instrument. Many times, I would change instruments (a part might start out as a trumpet, then become a flugelhorn or French Horn, or perhaps I decide to give it to the reeds or strings). I realize that this isn't an ideal way to work, but it was the best I could do given my limitations as a musician and the fact that I have been basically trying to teach myself how to orchestrate while doing this. (I was never that good a player and now my arthritis is so bad that the best I can do is edit the score in Sonar's staff view with my stylus.)

    From the outset, I decided that this exercise would be aimed at producing a demo that was good enough to interest a theater in staging my show and ultimately give a real orchestrator a starting point that at least captures how I "heard" the music in my head when I composed the songs. All this came about because I felt that the last score I composed was ruined by the amateur orchestrator who, though a better musician than me, lacked any sort of imagination and feel for the work as a whole. Getting involved with arranging my score on the computer was my way of protecting my original ideas for how it should sound. It has also proved to be extremely interesting, and especially insightful regarding what each player has to do to get the sounds I want from his instrument.

    But, getting back to the libraries, it has to be said that some are a lot easier than others to just drop into an existing score. Even among the Garritan products, even in the same product, some instruments seem to be easier for me to work with than others. For example, in JABB, I find that the first and second flugelhorns (the only ones I have used) sounded exactly like what I wanted, right out of the box. I haven't had all that much trouble with the trumpets either, though I tweak them a fair amount. (I use the fourth and fifth trumpets most of the time, when the orchestra is accompanying the singers. I use the first and second in instrumental sections where the trumpets are exposed and featured). But the trombones have always been a problem for me (especially the tenors). And, as previously stated, so are the saxes. Perhaps this is just something that applies to brass instruments and would be equally difficult to achieve in other libraries. I've noticed that it takes a bit of effort to make a decent track with my French Horn and Euphonium libraries -- but not as much as with Garritan's -- which is probably why, after fiddling with the JABB saxes for so long, I began to feel like the sound I was after just wasn't in them.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  4. #4

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    ...All my compositions were recorded on a MIDI keyboard, when I was still able to play the piano. Then I plugged in the instruments. The piano dynamics didn't translate very well for most of them, so I replace the cc 7 and cc1 values with 100 for each track, then manually changed them for each passage with each instrument...

    Undoubtedly, if I had recorded each part separately, my compositions would sound realistic. But I was essentially writing the parts as I went along, creating them from the piano score. For example, for a brass section, I'd copy the piano track once for each instrument, then delete all but the notes for that particular instrument. Then I'd correct the voicing...

    ...it has to be said that some are a lot easier than others to just drop into an existing score...the trombones have always been a problem for me...so are the saxes...which is probably why, after fiddling with the JABB saxes for so long, I began to feel like the sound I was after just wasn't in them.
    That is quite a story, ejr, and one I really appreciated reading. All of us who visit the Forum frequently enough know that you've been working on your musical, and you've come up with interesting questions about various aspects of the project as you go along.

    But I didn't know before this post these what the process has been for you - rescuing work previously done by editing the data that already exists. Complicated and time consuming! And though the details are different, what you're going through is very much like what I went through, involving the adaptation of already existing material:

    --The first recording I did of my musical "Dorian Gray" was done with my old hardware synth set up. I mostly used General MIDI instruments, with a hodge podge of other non-GM sounds and instruments.

    BIG PROBLEM - my keyboard's velocity sensing stopped working when I was part way into the project of producing the 2 hours of music! I had to be content to record everything at the same velocity level, and do as much as I could with recording volume data and editing individual velocity values - NOT a quick task to do with the old Alesis MMT-8 hardware sequencer I used. Without boring you with too many details, all editing was done in this tiny LED window, moving your cursor through the available data, then using the +/- buttons on a keypad to change values.--

    It took a year to produce the soundtrack. THEN I discovered GPO online. I bought it--and,-(this is a tale I've told several times here on the Forum)-- I decided to COMPLETELY RE-DO my soundtrack since the instruments in GPO were far superior to the synth module sounds I used on the first version.

    It took me well over a year, working steadily, practically every day, to adapt all the work for GPO. The going was very slow and often arduous, because I was learning to use Cakewalk/Sonar AND GPO at the same time. I have to laugh at some of the crazy, involved processes I went through, like making all the old CC7 volume data into CC1. I re-recorded some of it, but for the most part, I just edited away at the unsophisticated MIDI data from the first version, not wanting to throw away the months and months of work I'd done on the arranging.

    So - I know somewhat of what you speak. Adapting previous projects is always tricky under the best of circumstances, but when we're taking project files and trying to transform them so completely - it's nothing short of a MAJOR endeavor.

    Back to Frank's JABB topic - He's absolutely right that to get organic sounding performances with the saxes and other instruments in the Library, you really need to use every performance ability and every bit of MIDI knowledge you have. Editing files like we did with our musicals is just not going to ever cut if if we're concerned about the most natural sounding results.

    If you listen to the "Honey Pie" MP3 which I've put on this thread in response to Frank's mention of it, that sax lead was so fun to play because I was controlling everything with my keyboard, I was playing the instrument. It was pieced together for sure from many takes, and when I edited the data I recorded in the PRV, I was careful, as always, to do all adjustments with snap off.

    Frank's multi-layered clips show off the power of JABB in a spectacular way. And, to me at least, his entire post is an excellent, and often needed reminder that while there are virtual instruments now which seem to do a lot of the work for us, nothing beats the pleasure of working with the more pure, "blank canvas" type of virtual instruments which are so flexible, and can yield superior results.

    BUT - there are situations where we just aren't able to work with a Library like JABB in an ideal way. I understand!

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Well Randy,

    I get the sense we should get some sticky pages that explain how to get decent sounds for each library or instrument so that people can quickly find these links and lessons. Buried in the forum are several examples. I did one using the Sammy Nestico piece Invitation and posted PNGs and the like. Plus I did several songs that show authentic sounds. I did Estate, Black Orpheus, my own tune Tenor Trials, Smokin' Cup Of Joe.

    Then there are Franks examples as well. I also know that there are some great examples for GPO as well. I used the JABB3 clarinet and GPO strings for Maid with the Flaxen Hair some time back. I can post the MIDI and Sonar projects for this as well.

    Anyway just an idea.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Quote Originally Posted by jdsnyderii View Post
    Well Randy,

    I get the sense we should get some sticky pages that explain how to get decent sounds for each library or instrument...
    It's of course a great idea, Jim. Now we just need someone with admin powers to do that. I don't have them! Anybody who does have them doesn't seem to be around anymore.

    It's a long time now that I've watched as great tutorials and project examples are posted on the Forum, only to see them quickly disappear into the "archives." sigh.

    Randy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    "... - I'm blown away that this is coming from someone who I know has had such a hard time with the Forum's decrepit software, sometimes being unable to post, wrestling with incredibly slow load times et al. ...
    Hi Randy, et al ...

    If you only knew (but I think you already did!). Yes, it took forever to get this thread up yesterday (including having to compose it in Word, only to have the forum editor then 'glue together' over a hundred words, then difficulty with the links).

    Unfortunately, I'm experiencing even more "technical difficulties" today/tonight. I'll remain optimistic though that I can get back here to join in the thread I started!

    THANKS to Randy, EJR, and Jim for leaving your thoughtful and interesting comments ... I will respond in full as soon as I can get a solid session going, hopefully Thursday (I'm going to try from my wife's new laptop ... we'll see!)

    Frank

  8. #8
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Hey Randy!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    "Honey Pie" - an all-JABB production

    Frank!
    I am basically flabbergasted by how great your post is. On top of the great, juicy, much needed advice you've written, - I'm blown away that this is coming from someone who I know has had such a hard time with the Forum's decrepit software, sometimes being unable to post, wrestling with incredibly slow load times et al.

    You should have your picture added to that jazz combo picture on JABB's cover. Seriously - along with---
    Here I am, back at the scene of the crime () ... still having issues, but I thought I need to whittle away at these comments, even if I can't get to them all in in one session.

    First off, thanks so much for all your kind and thoughtful comments ... very much appreciated. The way you support all of us no matter what we try and contribute ... At this point, you ARE the forum; thanks for always encouraging and motivating us.

    It was my pleasure to have a platform to express how wonderful the JaBB instruments have been for me for years now. I know we both seem to do this a few times each year, and that is to get on our Garritan soapboxes and remind everyone to try some of the controls that separate this library from the masses ... the results are so worth the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Your snippets are stellar - How could anyone listen to those and not realize that lurking inside that JABB Library they may have, but may have neglected, is a powerhouse of possibilities. Those tracks are amazing and inspiring.---
    Thanks again! Interestingly, the jazz arrangement of "Maddy's Advice" was never competed (it actually was originally a pretty waltz from a musical I collaborated on!). But I rolled up my sleeves and armed w/ Tom Hopkins great tutorials, I decided to tackle the beast and see if I could do it too ... and I was able to and I was ecstatic. I then was able to take the techniques and knowledge from starting and working on "Maddy", and start using them on other projects. I've probably created several dozen sax solis since Maddy, and each one takes a little less time. That's why I wanted to encourage everyone to at least try the value-added controllers.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    And there you've nailed it on the head. It's something I've said many times on threads. If people are just triggering samples, stringing notes together, and doing not much else - then they have no idea what the samples they're trying to use could actually sound like. Your post outlines exactly what has to be done, and it all adds up to doing whatever the user can do to PLAY the instruments - something most easily done with a keyboard, but with some imagination and tenacity, they can even do it without keys.---
    Personally, I use a gazilion methods for getting the music into Sonar. I like to play it in sometimes, and there are many tricks to playing it in. At this point in my life, I don't practice on any instrument enough any more to consider myself a performing musician. But you don't have to be!! And I know from reading threads you have responded to, that you've let people know who are just getting their feet wet with a DAW that you don't have to be Chopin! I agree with that, and maybe some day (if things improve here at the forum) we can talk a little about some performance tricks to get the music into the DAW. I also sometimes just draw it in the PRV ... the key thing to remember is to think like the musician/instrument you are entering and write lines that are appropriate for the track at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Notation users are at a disadvantage. Their program Is basically just triggering samples, and doesn't let them dig too deep into the MIDI under the hood where it's actually all happening. Human Playback helps in Finale, of course, but notation users are still stuck with just a small handful of dynamics to apply, and it's just not the same. "p, mp, mf, f, ff"--those are about the only dynamic markings people use--five, compared to the 127 levels actually available in the MIDI spec.

    Hairpins up and down - not the same at all as the constantly fluctuating dynamic volume performance you can get with a mod wheel or expression pedal.

    All your advice and instructions are so spot on here, that they should be part of the JABB manual. If people care enough about their music to make it sound as good as possible, they'll set aside some time to follow your lesson, step-by-step, if they haven't worked this way before. If they did that - They too would end up totally blown away that such a modestly priced set of instruments can sound so excellent. AND they should also be able to easily see how what you've explained can be applied to GPO, CoMB, GIO - any and all sample Libraries people own.---
    Thanks! Every User, either consciously or not, picks a level of "Good Enough" ... I do it all the time or we would never get to all the projects we want to execute. I understand for mockups, these techniques are not really needed. But quite the contrary, the music I create is rarely performed ... when working on musicals, I am blessed to be able to hear live singers perform using my 99% all-Garritan pit orchestrations, so the added effort pays enourmous dividends.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    My cue to doff my hat in thanks. I'm glad you appreciate my little JABB opus, "Honey Pie." The posting you refer to is from when the "Listening Room Summer Festival" was first conceived, and sinse re-posting was part of the new, looser posting guidelines, I put my version of The Beatles tune up again - I originally recorded and posted the piece back in 2009.

    Here's the link again, since you so magnanimously pointed the track out, and now people don't have to search for it. I took another listen just now - gotta say, I do still like what I did. Sax towards the left has the lead, playing a line based on Paul McCartney's original vocal lead, with some improvs and new bits thrown in here and there.

    "Honey Pie" - an all-JABB production

    NOTE: For the first 30 seconds, I used audio effects to re-create the scratchy record and Victrola sound in the original White Album track. AND at the end there's a loud sound which was found inexplicable by at least one Forum member when I first posted this. If you're old enough to have had a vinyl collection - you'll recognize it.

    Thanks again for an amazing thread, Frank. Superb.

    Randy
    So glad you took the cue and added a link to your outrageously entertaining (and realistic) production ... arguably one of the best uses of JaBB to-date. At any rate, one of my all-time favorites!! Besides the lead tenor, just loved all the high background saxes as well. Glad you still like it as much as I do ... it really has held-up well!

    Hope to get to EJR's post soon ... a lot of interesting points there too.

    Frank
    Last edited by Frank D; 08-16-2013 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Fix quote start/end codes.

  9. #9

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Hi Frank and Randy,

    Many thanks for your posts. I've bookmarked the page for future reference. I like the JABB 3 library and bought it primarily for its saxs but haven't done much with it as yet. Even though I know about varying the controls for each instrument it's good to have it written down. I tend to be one of those disadvantaged notation users, so learning to play the instruments in is something I want to get better at next year when I'm set up and don't have to keep moving my laptop around.

    Frank, I think your excerpts are very realistic and don't sound at all like kazoos and Randy, I have several vinyl records in fact my hubby has the White Album. With "Honeypie" I recognized the scratchy record sound right away and the stylus scraping over the record at the end. It is a great version and again it shows what can be done if you know how to do it.

    Thanks to you both!
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  10. #10

    Re: Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Acordion Fx!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post
    ...loved all the high background saxes as well...
    When I set the "Honey Pie" project up, I wanted to start off by recreating what I could of the original recording. I'd always thought the backing section was clarinets, but wanted to find out for sure what the line up was, so was happy to find the info online that it's 5 sax and 2 clarinets. I used that same instrumentation, but off hand I can't remember which saxes I used. Might have had a sopranino in there, but the clarinets are most prominent on the high notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    ...I recognized the scratchy record sound right away and the stylus scraping over the record at the end...
    You may have just shown your age, yjoh! hehe-- But everyone who owned records heard that unfortunate vinyl scratching sound at least once. Now records with a stylus scratches marring their surfaces like cracks in egg shells are staple items in garage sales.

    In our continuing JABB discussion, we need to not lose track of Forum member Jim “jdsnyderii's” outstanding contribution to the "JABB is awesome" club. He's a master at getting terrific results from the Library by respecting and playing the sample sets like instruments instead of bits of triggered sound. One more round of applause for Jim!

    One of the key pieces of advice in your thread starter, Frank, is that the starting and end times of notes in ensembles can't be precisely the same. The dreaded blocked chord quantized MIDI file sucks the life out of many a recording. In another Garritan Library which isn't discussed as often as JABB or GPO, CMB, for some reason the "organ effect" of quantized notes can be even more pronounced. When that Library first came out, there was speculation that the beginning of the loop points in the samples were all at the same point. Coupled with how many of the instruments in CMB are chorused group patches, to have those samples play precisely together and start looping at the same point results in an organ/accordion sound. It's a good theory. But early on, the easy solution was presented - shift the start times of tracks so none start exactly the same time.

    In any case, with JABB, CMB - with Any sample based virtual instrument, you simply must embrace the concept of Playing them if you want to produce as natural sounding a recording as possible. And at the same time, the point is well taken that this isn't always our goal. To focus on getting a piece notated, and being content with a more modest sounding demo is fine under many circumstances. Your thread, Frank, is speaking to people who are interested in improving their music production chops - and I think any musician can dig into that concept.

    Randy

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