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Topic: What Ever

  1. #1

    What Ever [JABB]

    What Ever


    Jazz quartet piece in 7/8 featuring Alto Sax.

    Any suggestions on how to improve/fix this mix will be very appreciated. The whole “mixing” thing is very new to me. I am working on another mix of this in Sonar but it has just recently developed some very soft and random “snap-crackle and pop” on the alto track. If I mute the alto track the noise goes away, if I solo the alto the noise comes back. I also have another larger group piece I am working on the has developed the same problem, but in that one the Bass is the one with the “snap-crackle and pop” issues and the Alto is fine. Not sure what is going on.
    // Ars longa, vita brevis
    // http://edosbear.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: What Ever

    Well, Ed, I think the sort of noises you encounter are mostly caused by latency settings, buffers, sample rate. Have you tried creating a wav file by directly export to audio, but not using fast bounce? Or bounce to tracks? The clicks should vanish, and this should give a clue about the problem.


    afterthought: the problem could also be related to levels being set too high, lots of places for adjusting. I find it best to maintain levels not exceeding about 64 on your Sonar piano roll view. If your overall product is too soft, then make an adjustment on the volume trim of your GPO track.

  3. #3

    Re: What Ever

    I agree with Richard. Sounds like you may need to make some level adjustments.
    P4 3.20 GHz, 2GB RAM WinXP Pro SP2, RME Multiface
    Sonar 4 PE, Ableton Live 5, NI Komplete 2/KC 2005, Sound Forge 8, Keysation Pro 88, Trigger Finger

  4. #4

    Re: What Ever


    Nice tune. Excellent start on the mix. Some suggestions:

    1. Give your alto player more room to breathe - some of the phrases are very long (if the player is not circular breathing.) It will sound much more natural if you break up those long phrases with spaces where the player can catch a breath.

    2. Use some subtle bends and scoops with pitchbend so that the alto pitches are more fluid, less keyboard-like. As an example: First notes of a phrase, if following an upward interval skip from a previous phrase, tend to scoop.

    3. Try adding some cc20, cc22, and cc23 during rapid runs. cc20 can contribute a small amount of bending from pitch to pitch (don't overdo); cc22 can supply random pitch variations to the notes between the first and last of the run (no horn is completely in tune from note to note and the notes in a fast run go by too quickly for the player to compensate; and cc23 can add small changes in timbre for the rapidly moving notes. Season to taste.

    4. You might want to give your bass player a little more time to switch techniques in the exchanges between plucking and bowing (unless you intend to give the impression of two bass players.)


  5. #5

    Re: What Ever

    Ed, I think our good colleagues have made some very worthwhile technical suggestions... I won't add to that; beyond saying you also did a great deal right... lol.

    Now, the piece! Excellent work, Ed... you handled the 7/8 "smooth as silk" throughout, and it's an engaging composition I much enjoyed listening to.

    Keep 'em coming, Ed.

    My best,


  6. #6

    Re: What Ever

    Hi Ed,

    This really cool! Creatively, I can't really suggest anything. I really think the piece sounds great. The only thing that I would suggest is making the breath inhales a bit more subtle. Very nice work on this!

  7. #7

    Re: What Ever

    Dear Richard:

    Thanks for the ideas. I am not sure what is going on as It only occurs on the Alto track. If I mute it the “noise” goes away. If I solo the Alto the noise is there. It is very low level and not constant. The sound is not unlike a dusty LP record. They also remain after exporting to Audio and I am exporting not in real time (the safe way). I have lowered levels, but that does not seem to help, in fact the noise in more likely to happen during the softer passages.

    Dear JimD:

    Thank you for taking the time to listen. I will keep looking in to the level adjustment.

    Dear Tom:

    Thanks for the ideas. I had already begun altering the Bass solo before I posted, but what I posted was the earlier version, and yea the too quick changes where already bothering me. I had stated to break up the alto part in places but need to go back over it and put a lot more breathing spaces in place.

    I think I have cc20, cc22, and cc23 all set to some level at the beginning but do not alter them during the piece. Is C22 and off/on thing or just set to X?

    Dear etLux:

    Thank you. I am also working on a piece for a slightly larger group in 13/8. I also have another Alto Sax feature in 11/8.

    Dear jmc:

    Thanks for listening and commenting. I think I will add more breath inhales, but I will tone the them down.

    And Thank you all you took time to listen:


    // Ars longa, vita brevis
    // http://edosbear.blogspot.com/

  8. #8

    Re: What Ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sharpe
    I think I have cc20, cc22, and cc23 all set to some level at the beginning but do not alter them during the piece. Is C22 and off/on thing or just set to X?
    I always use it "task specific," so I just draw it into the places that require it - mainly:

    1. Where the player would not have time to make intonational adjustments because the notes are moving by too quickly (and no instrument is perfectly in tune, nor embouchure perfectly controlled.)

    2. Where repeated notes elicit the "machine gun" effect.

    It could also be used in general for the entire track but I prefer more control over exactly which notes or groups of notes get the random pitch inaccuracies.


  9. #9

    Re: What Ever

    Dear Tom, Thanks for the tips, I am keeping my nose to the grind stone.

    I Swapped out the VST Alto and replaced it with the DXi version and the noise went away, left the rest of the ensemble as VST, curious, will continue to try to figure this out.

    // Ars longa, vita brevis
    // http://edosbear.blogspot.com/

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