The attached pdf file is offered as a bit of help to others who might benefit from some experience I have gained having now completed a the rendering of few full big band charts. I also have added a septet posting as well.
I don't offer these with any sense of being an authority, but I have definitely learned something on each project and thought it would be worth posting this little article.
Hope it is of some use.
PS. In the event that you might want to check out the completed projects, they are, in the order completed, listed below Even partial listen to each should allow you to hear progress in the rendering process in each case (hopefully). BTW, I discovered how to get my sequencer to recognize aftertouch about half way through my work on Awakening (third project).
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/Oxymoron.mp3 <-- No controllers or after touch. Just once through the chart without too much regard for any of the nuances that careful use of velocity (how hard you strike the keyboard) and the controllers might offer. You can probably hear me battling to control rhythms on the midi keyboard. It takes some getting used to but eventually it became more comfortable with each new project.
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/BedtimeStory.mp3 <-- No after touch at all, but discovered how to make it work near the end of the project. No quantizing. But I did discover how to get trumpets to move to and from HARMON mute.
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/Awakening.mp3 <-- after touch is working and I introduced doubles into the reed section (flutes, clarinets and bass clarinet). Also mute changes in the brass. Lots of bucket mute and reeds combinations in the orchestration.
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/Ballad%20For%20Mr%20G.mp3 <-- this one uses after touch and slower vibrato setting (cc17 for the soloist and many of the other instruments). Nice to have these options.
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/All%20in%20Good%20Time.mp3 <--- On this project I finally managed to be a little more successful controlling tongue/slur and accent through controlling velocity. This was written for a very young band and revised slightly while I did the rendering so that the trombone soli later on is a bit more challenging. Young students find slower tempos and syncopated rhythms hard to control as we know. I think I might have been a bit fast now that I hear the recording back. But I think you'll hear the attempt to use Basie style bucket mutes with reeds. BTW: The bass trombone is very user friendly!!
http://www.paulread.ca/songs/HowDeepistheOcean.mp3 <-- small band (4 horns and rhythm section. I managed to use pitch wheel on the trombone solo for the first time).