I hope this isn't too premature, but I've been working with JABB for the past week or so on a nonet (2trpts, 1trbn, atb saxes + rhythm) and have formed a brief wishlist for the next version of JABB, be it an update or a full Version 2.
Before I get into my suggestions, let me first say I'm absolutely loving the flugel horns, and the cymbals are very musical, although some are limited in their dynamic range, requiring a fair amount of velocity editing to get them to really "play". The drums are really good, too, very authentic sounding and playable, but I'm missing a snare drum press roll and a "crush" or short buzz roll like what would be played with the drummer's left hand as an accent or filler.
Unless I'm missing something, there needs to be a much broader variety of attacks via velocity. Hitting a sax note at 127 produces nothing more than a mf attack when it should be a brutal marcato worthy of a Tower of Power hit. I will qualify this by saying that I am a professional sax player and teacher with about 30yrs experience, and I think you're really missing a broad area of expression with such a limited range. Your instruments don't replicate the mechanics of the real thing. It sounds like you started with a medium attack and applied a reducing volume envelope for the lower velocities. Perhaps this is a limitation of the Kontakt Player or the product specs (size, price point)?
Second, the warmth control seems to be totally backwards in its implementation. Using cc26, the higher the value, the darker the sound. When volume increases via the mod wheel, I'm supposed to decrease the warmth correspondingly? That really seems backward to me. I'd like to just be able to copy the mod wheel controllers and reassign them as cc26 and be done with it. With the current system, I would have to invert (at the very least) or re-edit everything entirely. This is harder than it should be. Because of this, I'm inclined not to use cc26 at all and deal with a reduced level of realism, which is a shame.
Please think of it in terms of "brightness" instead of "warmth", and please find a way to easily tie brightness and volume together, rather than have them independent by default. Every wind instrument gets brighter as it gets louder and higher, but JABB requires two separate controllers to be edited when it should just be one.
My suggestion is to 1) control the attack and the brightness with velocity 2) use cc11 (Expression) to control the brightness after the attack or have it tied to the mod wheel if you want to keep using it (the mod wheel) to control volume. Otherwise, let cc7 control the volume as it usually does. Doesn't this acomplish the same results?
My next suggestion would be to improve the quality of saxes sampled. Again, as a 30 yr veteran player, I've never seen a Buffet alto on a gig, and a real bari player wouldn't be caught dead with a Bundy, except as a backup horn. For variety in altos, look to pro-level horns from Yamaha and Yanigasawa for starters, possibly Couf or Cannonball. For bari's, it's MK VI all the way, or an older Conn or Couf. A recent Yamaha would work, too. I was also surprised at your selection of sopranos - not a Selmer, Yamaha, or even a Yanigasawa?
There are also some obviously out of tune notes in the sax samples, particularly with the tenors. Contrary to popular belief, they do NOT contribute to realism or authenticity. Players have been working to overcome bad scales in saxes for decades. This is one aspect that does NOT need faithful reproduction
The trumpets sound thin, with the exception of the Bach which practically sounds symphonic compared to the King and Calicchio. They sound great in the big band demos, but I'd be hard pressed to use any of them as a solo instrument, with any combination of controller settings. Where's the nice Miles Davis full trumpet sound? Please prove me wrong and post an mp3 with the settings used
This product is off to a great start. Please give it the attention it deserves and make it fulfill its potential. I'm sure that, since JABB has been such a success, other companies are going to be offering some competition soon, and it would be a shame to be outpaced. If you were to really go all out and make this library first class all the way, I'm sure people would be happy to pay for that level of quality as they will with GPOA.
Thanks for the opportunity to present my case. I'm looking forward to whatever updates are in the future.