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Topic: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

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  1. #1

    Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    Ok, I have to ask something.

    I've listened to many of the JABB demo mp3s that members have posted here, and I am puzzled by some of the reed instruments that sound so "thin". Almost like one of those toy electric organs from years ago.

    Is it because no reverb has been employed?

    By the way, the musicianship and creativity has been most enjoyable.

    I am only speaking of the sound quality I hear.


    What gives?

    --- Glenn

  2. #2
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    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    The effect you may be hearing is a combination of simultanous/ quantized note play as well as mixing and reverb. The sounds were recorded mono and dry to allow the user to control their own player position and space (jazz venues are more intimate). If mono instruments come from the same space and are not positioned correctly then it will sound strange. Mixing is a very important element.

    You mentioned toy organs which have reeds that often play together quantized or at the same time. If you play reeds from notation or the same midi file they will be quantized and it will sound like, well, a toy organ or an accordian. One of the concepts behind the Jazz and Big Band library is ensemble building where you play instruments individually and build your sections one instrument at a time. The important thing is to impart variability with each part, with different start times, to reduce this effect. More tutorials, including a mixing tutorial, will soon be provided which will help acheive better results. This is the world's first jazz and big band library and there is much to explore and learn.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    Gary,

    Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive explanation.

    I learned about an important concept that I was completely unaware of in regard to sampling and playing reed instruments like those featured in JABB. Thanks!

    I am sure that once people read your upcoming tutorials we'll be hearing a lot less "accordians" and some swingin' good sax ensembles.

    --- Glenn

  4. #4

    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    Gary,

    Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive explanation.

    I learned about an important concept that I was completely unaware of in regard to sampling and playing reed instruments like those featured in JABB. Thanks!

    I am sure that once people read your upcoming tutorials we'll be hearing a lot less "accordians" and some swingin' good sax ensembles.

    --- Glenn
    Hi Glenn
    Just wanted to add my own observation that you and I agree on the thin aspects of the saxophone sounds. I agree with Gary's comments.

    Tom Hopkins has written about the importance of the use of controllers in many places in these forums as the raw samples, particularly for saxophone are raw indeed.

    I also would suggest you to try doing a little experimenting with less key velocity (hitting the keys harder will brighten that which is, IMO and I think yours, already too bright). Also you can reduce the brightness using cc 26 which is used for Tone Quality. You'll have to experiment with higher and lower numbers. I don't know what the default is. I have tried setting this to a very low number with a little difference noted. I haven't had time to experiment too much more as I have had to be away from JABB for other work lately.

    Something else mentioned in the manual that I have to experiment more with is the above (adjusted cc26) combined with the VAR 2 (cc23) knob in the Player.

    If you have successes please let me know what you find that works. Sounds like we have similar hopes for this.

    Oh yes, and in my case I always use c17 and set a value in the 40s or 50s max for any vibrato. And as Gary suggests don't put the same values in each instrument. It all helps the illusion.

    In any case, I am hoping that a next version of JABB will offer alternative samples for saxophones that are less reedy and thin. Perhaps (my wish list) is that there would be alternatives in the saxophones as there are in rhythm section where there is a fusion drum kit and a classic jazz kit; fretless bass and acoustic upright basses (which are VERY good). It would be great to have a few alternates that reflect classic jazz sounds from older to newer sounds. Or perhaps i just have to work harder on perfecting my control of the controllers...

    I have been hunting around out of interest to see what else is out there in the samples libraries of the world with respect to saxophones and they are remarkably similar. It seems the hardest ones to emulate are the middle range ones. Lots of decent soprano and baritone saxophones, but alto and tenor (which we NEED) are fairly consistently thin in their raw forms and they need to be cc'd in various ways. IMO the JABB library has as good a saxophone family as I have found anywhere so far.

    Please keep me informed though if you come up with any great settings and I will do the same in this thread.

    I suspect that you might be a saxophonist (me too) and I think it is hardest for the ear to accept the samples of your own instrument. (Just an unsubstantiated theory).

    Paul
    Mac Pro 2X2.8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xenon, 10Gb 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM, OS10.6.4, Finale 2011, Digital Performer 7.1, Altiverb 6, Yamaha S90, Built-in audio, GPO, JABB, Garritan Authorized Steinway (Pro), Reason 3, M-Audio Ozone, Giovani, Symphonic Choirs, Kontakt 2, Vienna Symphonic Library. Website:http://www.paulread.ca

  5. #5

    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    I'm glad I'm not alone in having trouble with the JABB sax. I've been engaged in a slow-motion wrestling match for the past few weeks with Tenor Sax 2 in which I've used every trick that Garritan forum-users have taught me (and thank you !) -- ccs 1, 12, 13, 17, 21, 22, 23, 26, pitchbend, you name it... only for my mother to ask me why it still sounds like an oboe. I suspect I could do more with the EQ (tried boosting mid-range and rolling the top off, maybe not enough); I'm also unsure how much cc18 (flutter/growl) to chuck in -- do I set this at (say) 50 at the start of any given track, or employ it only on the notes where I need a characteristic snarl ? (snarl belonging to sax, not me, although this might change). Also unsure how much cc26 (tone/quality) to add... does this need to be whacked up to 127 all the way through ? If anyone's had real success with a tenor sax, I'd really like to hear what they used ! All info and advice much appreciated. Viv.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    Each tenor sax has a different sound depending on the instrument and mouthpiece used. Maybe this isn't the tenor sax for your situation. I've had good luck with this sax for doing Chicago/BST type brass which calls for a thinner biting sound to mix with the trumpet and trombone.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Why do JABB reeds sound so "thin" ?

    Thanks Jim - perhaps I need to revisit the other tenor saxes now that I've added so much CC data (I did do a fairly thorough trawl when I started the piece). It's a solo part with piano accompaniment and no competing instruments, so maybe Tenor Sax 2 isn't ideal. Viv.

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