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Topic: Another First Impression of JABB

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  1. #1

    Another First Impression of JABB

    My copy arrived this morning, and I've been messing around with it since.

    After four hours I have some strong first impressions:

    1) Wow, it is deep! My first attempts at using it sound worse than my first attempts at using GPO, or at least that's what I think. Understanding GPO will help you with the basics (loading instruments, setting up, etc), but it may help a little with the alternate use of controllers, but that's where it stops. This is a whole new tool/instrument!

    2) Wow, it is deep! The instruments and articulations are well chosen, and I think they will address all of my requirements for some time to come.

    3) The brass are amazing. Difficult to get one's head around them, but they are amazing.

    4) The woodwinds are also amazing, but the organization is different than GPO and the brass, so I'm still wrestling with them.

    5) The basses and drums are a bit disappointing. Now I use Toontrack's DFH Superior for most of my drum parts, and Scarbee's electric bass and Seyers acoustic bass for bass parts that I don't play, and there is going to be a difference between a single purpose sample library and a collection. I will use the JABB drums and basses for roughing things in, but I'll end up replacing them I suspect. Or, perhaps I am missing something. I've got a drum and bass part looping in the background right now and it is growing on me<G>!

    6) While I am not offering my credit card up again, I do think that this is a remarkable value, every bit as amazing as GPO, and even with my one quibble about the basses and drums, I am thrilled with it. It would have been a bargain at a much higher price, it is a steal right now!

    My hat is off to Gary and Tom and anyone else involved, I can not wait to get a better understanding of the new instruments and actually use it!!!!

    Thanks!!!!!

    Bill

  2. #2

    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    Can you describe what makes the brasses special? I am not at all interested in jazz or big band, but I might be interested in this collection if it will enhanced the brass section of my orchestra.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  3. #3

    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    dewdman, I don't know if the differences will matter in an orchestral context - I too love the JABB brass, they are crisper and more 'blatant' than orchestral expressions.

    I don't do a lot of orchestral writing, but all my other brass libs (DD, BOB, QLB) are more sedate and formal, these JABB horns are played with [passion, con fuoco, as it were, in comparison (well, maybe they WILL be of use to the orchestral composer, I retract my initial statement.) Seems like the brightness of an orchestral forte is about the same as a JABB piano or mp.

    Bill, I too sound much worse with JABB than GPO. Good news, it means there is a lot more control to be had that I am not yet exercising, and when I learn the nuances of the combinations of ccs, this will give me the phrasing I need that is not possible with an orch lib.

    My only problem is stability - my Mac was never that stable ot begin with, and JABB puts it over the top easily - it's probably a memory issue, and I haven't spend a lot of time tracking it down, but I din't blame JABB - it's just the current configuration of this machine did not anticipate the possibility of a strongly memory-hungry instrument, and I have to make appropriate adjustments.

    Bt I'm SO glad to have these sounds - the trumpets and bones are just wonderfully - present. I haven't worked much with the saxes yet, and I am not enamored of the basses (ac1 and 2.) I may liek the sound when I finally get the whole ensemble chugging away, but I prefer more sustain in my basses. Guitars are very nice, and the vibes are cool, though I have Hans' kit for that, which is very accurate. Art Vista notwithstanding, the different mallets make the vibes useful in more settings.

    When I learn this beast I'm going to be a very happy camper.
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  4. #4

    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    Quote Originally Posted by dewdman42
    Can you describe what makes the brasses special? I am not at all interested in jazz or big band, but I might be interested in this collection if it will enhanced the brass section of my orchestra.
    Indeed I can... well, at least as far as words go in describing sounds<G>!

    The brass samples have this difficult to describe "live-ness" or maybe even aggressiveness that lets them sit nicely in fairly complex harmonies. That's about the best way I can describe it.

    And, in fact all of the instruments sit nicely in complex harmonies... it is fascinating to me, as someone who once upon a time did most of his own sampling - and still does quite a bit of sound design. They just fit together they way one would expect real live players to fit together.

    In fact, one of the things I am learning as I spend even more time away from the kids is that the individual instrument samples (trumpet 1 vs trumpet 2 for example) make a huge difference in the way that chords ring. I'm mostly futzing around with one trumpet, one trombone, and one sax (or one alto and one tenor) trying to get that Chicago/BST/TOP/EW&F/Chase kinda sound, and the specific instruments I select makes a huge difference.

    I may be wrong, but it feels to me like selecting the "players" is much more critical in this library that it is in GPO. Or it may be the sorts of ensembles I'm building at the moment.

    I did mess around with a four trumpet arrangement and that sounded very cool, at least in terms of the way the voices blended. I am still wrestling mightily with getting the performances to sound reasonably life like!

    And, I should make a slight correction to my first post... with respect to the bass and drums...

    the more I play with the acoustic basses the more I am liking them. I think I am so used to Seyers library that working with a new one is confusing me<G>! I'm still not sold on the electric basses, but I think that may be more that I just don't care much for the instruments they selected, which is fair. Out of all of the instruments in the library I think it reasonable and likely that some folks may not like some specific choice. And that's why there are other libraries.

    The drums - now they are interesting! I definately like the DFHs kits, and if I am willing to to the work, I think they sound ever slightly more realistic, but DANG!!!!!, with almost no effort I can get really really really close with the JABB kits, and that is frightening<G>! Whoever programmed these things really knew Kontakt inside and out, because the lifelike quality of a sequence entered from an old Pad-8 is remarkable. AND, the brush kits are sooooo much easier to use than any drum library I've ever used... simply amazing.

    It is, at least for me, a much deeper and more difficult library than GPO... I think that bodes well<G>!

    Bill

  5. #5
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    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    Bill,

    Tom Hopkins did all the programs and probably knows more about Kontakt programming than anyone else on this planet! Tom is never content with doing what every other programmer does. He thinks through each instrument and it's playing styles and then tries to figure out how to program it.

    I really like the drum kits as they have a very natural sound. This has to do with his secret miking technic! These drum kits have a different focus than DKFH which I also own. I use DKFH when I want those newer sounding close miked processed sounds for prog rock writing.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    Thanks Jim for the kind words. I would have said that I know more about chocolate covered raisons than anyone on the planet but my perspective is, without a doubt, unreliable.

    Tom

  7. #7

    Re: Another First Impression of JABB

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae
    I may be wrong, but it feels to me like selecting the "players" is much more critical in this library that it is in GPO.
    I suspect this is true. Within a given instrumental group I tried to supply a broad variety of characteristics suitable for different situations (especially if the built-in tools for modification are used.) This is also advantageous for combining instruments into sections while ameliorating certain common difficulties. Users should choose their weapons carefully - one instrument may be just right for a particular job while another, similar instrument, completely wrong.

    the more I play with the acoustic basses the more I am liking them. I think I am so used to Seyers library that working with a new one is confusing me<G>! I'm still not sold on the electric basses, but I think that may be more that I just don't care much for the instruments they selected, which is fair.
    Be sure to experiment with the controls for fundamental strength and the decay of the basses. If you find settings that you particularly like you can have the instruments automatically load with those settings by changing the corresponding text file for the instrument. The scale is 0 to 1 for the number values and the order of the numbers follows the order of the parameter names, line-by-line. I'm entertaining the thought of doing an update that will give some additional choices for decay. This could be especially useful for notation where controls are less accessible.

    The electric basses are intended to be used with amp simulation and compression plugins to get the desired sound. Use the same approach a bass player would for treating the output of his instrument. It's more work, but very flexible. Don't overlook the same possibility for guitar as well. This is another area where sequencers have an advantage.

    AND, the brush kits are sooooo much easier to use than any drum library I've ever used... simply amazing.
    The brush stirs are my favorite achievement in the library. I started out knowing what I wanted to accomplish with the brush stirs but you can imagine how pleased I was when I succeeded. They are a lot of fun to play and solve many long-standing problems with creating brush parts.

    Tom

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