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Topic: QLB Big Band techniques

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  1. #1

    QLB Big Band techniques

    OK, it\'s on sale, and I had a credit from my ProSamples Pop Brass and Orchestral Brass sample disks, so I took a \"Quantum Leap\" of faith and ordered QLB today.

    Any suggestions about using these in a Big Band (not orchestral, not R&B) context? (I\'m posting in both this forum and the Libraries form, as I\'d like as large a cross-section of production techniques/concepts as possible.)

    Thanks.

    Dasher

  2. #2

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Hey Dash,I haven\'t forgot [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Jsut started and then stopped to do other stuff.

    I\'d say take a look at some of the art files I did for the lib, which I want to finish at some point. These tighten up the release and give a \"legato\" mode to the playaing with using the sustain pedal. It tends to help with fast lines.

    Also get used to loading up multiple gigs for one instrument. This is where my big problem with QLB is. The lack of programming features, even Key switches. However its not too hard to build your own. In fact I\'d consider this library a good choice to practice using the giga editor.

  3. #3

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Lee, I know that going in-it\'s why I\'ve waited so long tobuy, waiting for somoneto release a big band idiomatic library. But it appears it ain\'t going to happen any time soon, so I\'m going to go for what is out there, and the general opinion seems to be this is the closest. I plan to do exactly what you said, write to the sample, rather than the other way \'round.

    King, I figured you had your hands full, no prob. But I\'m back at my music gig, and getting ready to go back part time to my day gig, (and the sale was this week!) so I figured this was the time, before I run out of chances to do the work. And I\'ve been working enough with the editor that it doesn\'t scare me anymore... [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] (Thanks Dave G!)

    If you could direct me to the ART files you\'re talking about I would appreciate it.

    Dasher

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Originally posted by thesoundsmith:
    Lee, I know that going in-it\'s why I\'ve waited so long tobuy, waiting for somoneto release a big band idiomatic library.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I wouldn\'t hold my breath.

    I worked for many years playing lead/jazz trumpet books in big bands, and the phrasing is just far too extreme and varied to pull off in a sampling context. In fact, take the difficulty of making a playable orchestral trumpet library and multiply that by 100.

    A big difference in orchestral and jazz playing is the huge emphasis on syllabic articulation in jazz. Where \"legit\" technique is relatively tone-centered, jazz technique is far more articulation centered, with the added complexity of a more vocal concept of pitch and tone. It would be an extremely difficult thing to record and especially to map in a way that was playable in real time.

    Certainly it\'s not impossible, but by the time you jump through all those hoops, who\'s having fun any more? At that point, it\'s probably a lot more fun to just get a group of guys together and play. I\'ve been getting out of the studio a lot more lately, and it has been a blast compared to facing the one-eyed monsters all day long.

  5. #5

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    ...the phrasing is just far too extreme and varied to pull off in a sampling context. In fact, take the difficulty of making a playable orchestral trumpet library and multiply that by 100.

    A big difference in orchestral and jazz playing is the huge emphasis on syllabic articulation in jazz. Where \"legit\" technique is relatively tone-centered, jazz technique is far more articulation centered, with the added complexity of a more vocal concept of pitch and tone.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Bruce, I never thought of it that way, it just seemed to me that orchestra used different articulations, and probably MORE than a big band would use (outside of the wah mutes, horse whinneys, etc. that characterized \'thirties big-band humorous effects.

    Perhaps some formant filtering or slight vocoder blending on the sections could assist with the \'vocalese\' phrasing?

    I\'m not going to hire 14 musicians to support my duo gig, and I can PLAY the phrasing into a sequencer much faster than I can write it. As long as I can get some viable basic articulations and reasonable sounding tpt, bone and sax sections, I can probably finesse the rest enough to work in a live setting. No solos. Nothing outre, just yer basic Basie-style cook. And I\'ll be happy.

    Hey, I\'ll be satisfied if it\'s significantly better than my Roland SC-88!

    Dasher

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    [quote]Originally posted by thesoundsmith:
    Perhaps some formant filtering or slight vocoder blending on the sections could assist with the \'vocalese\' phrasing?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I think it would almost have to be a combination of physical modeling and sampling.

    Back in the day, I used to use an old Kurzweil HX1000 for sketching horn parts, and it actually sounded pretty good if you cut a couple of live players on top.

    But yes, a jazz player uses quite literally hundreds more articulations than an orchestral player in most settings. The orchestral/legit articulations are fairly well defined, and the entire mastery aspect is to develop a consistency of attack and tone across the entire range of the instrument, and across the different articulations. In jazz, the goal is really to bend the articulations as much towards a vocal performance as possible. Not just the sort-of-cheesy \"talking\" from the swing days, but in using the vocal cavity and tongue almost like a formant/frequency filter. You get a much different tone from the mouth shape that produces the syllable \"ee\" than a big \"ah\" shape, even through the buzzing lips, mouthpiece, tubing, and eventually spinning out of the bell.

    \"Legit\" players use that range of syllables, too, but consistently in a given note range. People who don\'t play brass instruments tend to think that you buzz your lips \"tighter\" to play high, etc., but actually that\'s bad technique. The way it\'s done is to set the lips very close together, stay as relaxed as possible, and focus the air through the use of vowel shapes to determine what frequency the airstream will vibrate the lips. \"Ah\" for low, \"ee\" for high, etc.

    So where jazz style playing differs in that respect is that you\'ll use varying syllables within a given note to produce a more vocal sound.

    I hope this is not all coming out as scattered as it seems to be. Bottom line, getting a \"legit\" trumpet library together is a somewhat more do-able task, because there are far fewer variants of articulation to record and map in a sensible way. And to get back to your statement, yes, I agree that this might be much more of a job for an advanced modeling sort of engine than to be accomplished strictly by brute quantity of samples.

  7. #7

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Nick said he was planning to go back and do better \"pop\" horns

    I\'ve also been plannign to do some for myself for a while. Since you\'re in the area Dash maybe we can get together to talk about local players you know that are good. I\'m able to find alot of good players out here, but I\'d be interested in finding an actual band thats good, since I\'d also be interested in them performing some of the songs I want to do.

  8. #8

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Thanks for the insightful viewpoint, Bruce (as always!) It helps me define what I\'m going to need to do, and some experiments to try.

    Ashif, my time is available somewhat, but my current range of transport is not, until my surgeon gives me the go-ahead to drive more than 10 miles.

    But you\'ve got my email addy, and I\'d love to discuss this with you. What Bruce is saying makes sense to me, but between us, I\'ll bet we\'ve got some tricks up our respective sleeves... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Dasher

  9. #9

    Re: QLB Big Band techniques

    Well, it\'s Tuesday AM, and the doorbell rings. It\'s FedEx with my new QLB! These guys are FAST-less than 24 hrs from order to install.

    I\'m off to have some fun.

    Dasher

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