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Topic: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

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  1. #1

    Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    I hope this is a good place to post

    Do i have to have the mod wheel everytime just to play
    the horns? It there a way to disable that?

    Any thing that can make things better like
    sustain pedal foot pedals etc. Any secret setting
    tips on getting better performance and sound.

    I mainly got jazz and big band for the sax and trumpet
    horn sounds etc (reggae) Im not blown away but i got a feeling there is someting that im not taking advantage of that will make it much better

    like

    what is key switching

    and is it possible to load up a few instances of jabb
    and layer horn tracks and create a quartet?



    ps what the deal with not being able to write
    a reply to a thread i created?

  2. #2

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    The forums have been undergoing updates and posting can sometimes be difficult.
    It should be fine now.
    I can't answer all your questions because I'm not familiar with JABB, but I can help you with keyswitching.
    The keyswitch notes are notes that don't produce any sound, but will change some sort of setting to the loaded instrument (in GPO it's usually articulation). They KS notes will not produce any sound when triggered, but will change the artiticulation of the notes that do produce sound.
    For example, if I have the Violins 1 KS (sorry I only have GPO so I can't use a JABB instrument as an example) the default is sus+short. If I press the D two octaves below middle C, I get alternating up and down shortbows instead of sus+short. C# is sus+short mutes, and there is a whole octave of articulations.

    Did I explain that clearly? I hope I helped.
    Good luck,
    -Chris

  3. #3

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    The Key switches are keys that switch the playable notes from one set of samples to a diffrent set without having to load a diffrent instrument, like for JABB, the diffrent Mutes.
    ~Sam Ferrara~

  4. #4

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FireGS
    The Key switches are keys that switch the playable notes from one set of samples to a diffrent set without having to load a diffrent instrument, like for JABB, the diffrent Mutes.
    OK that works!

  5. #5

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by seti808
    I hope this is a good place to post

    Do i have to have the mod wheel everytime just to play
    the horns? It there a way to disable that?
    Yes, raising the mod wheel level is a requirement for expressive instruments like the horns. JABB follows the same model in this regard as GPO. Mod wheel data is analogous to air being blown through the instruments - there's no sound without the air. The mod wheel is not a static, set-and-forget volume control. A properly done track will contain almost continuously changing mod wheel data as it shapes the ebb and flow of the line. And no, it cannot be defeated in the present version.

    Quote Originally Posted by seti808
    Any thing that can make things better like
    sustain pedal foot pedals etc. Any secret setting
    tips on getting better performance and sound.
    Each of the available controllers described in the manual can add realism if skillfully applied. Sustain pedal data is one of these since it supplies the tongue/slur function for horns. But I do not recommend playing the sustain pedal in real time for any but the simplest of lines. The tongue/slur patterns in a complexly articulated horn line are best constructed after the notes are recorded. The sustain pedal data can be drawn into the tracks with much more accuracy than can be achieved by playing in real time. As always, some things are best recorded in real time and some things are best done in after-the-fact editing.

    Quote Originally Posted by seti808
    I mainly got jazz and big band for the sax and trumpet
    horn sounds etc (reggae) Im not blown away but i got a feeling there is someting that im not taking advantage of that will make it much better
    Until the various expressive controllers are used to shape the horns they exist as dead samples. It is up to the user to apply the controllers in musically knowledgeable ways to bring the sampled instruments alive. This is why playing a generic MIDI file while using JABB sounds will not work very well. Only after the expressive controller features in the library have been used to emulate the intricate things that happen in an acoustic instrument will things start to resemble those real instruments.

    Quote Originally Posted by seti808
    and is it possible to load up a few instances of jabb
    and layer horn tracks and create a quartet?
    You can load as many instances as your computer will support. Each instance holds 8 instruments. Each instrument slot can be sent to a separate pair of outputs in your sequencer if you like. I used 4 VST instances in Sonar5 for the Gary Lindsay big band demo. Each instance was given a section (saxes, trumpets, trombones, rhythm.)

    Tom

  6. #6

    Unhappy Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hopkins
    You can load as many instances as your computer will support. Each instance holds 8 instruments. Each instrument slot can be sent to a separate pair of outputs in your sequencer if you like. I used 4 VST instances in Sonar5 for the Gary Lindsay big band demo. Each instance was given a section (saxes, trumpets, trombones, rhythm.)

    Tom
    The thing I wasn't expecting when I bought JABB was that all the horns are monophonic. It's true that this is the case in a live band, but, if the user is a long-time MIDI arranger, like me, then it is very frustrating not to be able to just play a chord and hear it. In Digital Performer there is a cool "Split Notes" feature that allows me to play chords in, and then split them to tracks. But, with JABB I can't do this with the sounds I'll actually be using.

    Another thing, If I set several parts to play in unison, using a single MIDI channel, I get some very strange "collapsing" of the discrete instruments into one momophonic sound if I touch the sustain pedal.

    I get the feeling this instrument is aimed at chart writers rather than players. It is hard for me to get up the interest in painstakingly entering controllers by hand.

    As far as I can tell, there is no way to set up a mix inside JABB. This drives me nuts. I have to enter both volume and controller 1 events for each track in my sequence, just so I don't blow up my speakers when I open a multi!!

    Please tell me there is some easy way to do this....

    Sorry to sound negative.... I have been working with this software for a week, and I haven't gotten a single tune to sound good yet.

    Help needed.

    TIA,

    Dave

  7. #7

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    Dave,

    A few pointers that should help:

    For each part (trumpet 1, trumpet 2, etc,m) you should use a separate midi track and instrument.

    You set the overall volume and pan for each intrument using the volume knob on the kontakt player. You shouldn't need to alter either of these during a piece - all dynamics are controlled using the mod wheel.

    The "collapsing" effect you describe is solved by using a combination of different levels of vibrato and a touch of "var 1" and "var 2".

    Hang in there, my friend. It can take some while to get to grips with the GPO/JABB control concepts - but it is well worth the effort. It is actually like learning to play a new instrument.

    It sounds like you play stuff in "live" as opposed to using a piano roll - get used to "riding" the mod wheel all the time as you play each instrument because this is what breaths life into the instruments.
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  8. #8
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    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    The legato mode is a mono mode effect and is designed to be used on single instruments. It is not designed to be used with the polyphony set to more than 1.

    You could raise the polyphony to more than one to play chords with instruments for quick writing. Then split out the tracks to individual instruments as in the real world and set polyphony to 1 so you can then use the legato mode. Remember that real horns do not play more than 1 note at a time. The library is really designed to use for example 4 different trumpets when playing a 4 part harmony. This will have a much richer sound caused from the various timbres, different timing, different vibratos, etc.

    Jim

  9. #9

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    I've only had JABB a couple days now, but I've found that for the trumpets, you really have to work with the various controllers to get them to sound really good. Not that they don't sound okay to begin with, but to me the initial sound of them is kind of flat and thin, and so I wish that the cc26 tone quality would have been added as the default starting point for all of the trumpets. That's where the warmth and thickness of the horns comes in. It may be a matter of taste, but I'll probably be adding a mid level of cc26 to every trumpet track I do.

    I think that JABB as something that's 'playable' right out of the box isn't as effective as GPO, but if you put some work into the controllers after the fact, as Tom suggests, it really sounds terrific.
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  10. #10

    Re: Jazz & big band tips and tricks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shazbot
    I'll probably be adding a mid level of cc26 to every trumpet track I do.
    You can edit each instrument text file to have this as your default if you want to.
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

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