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Topic: new JABB big band tunes

  1. #1

    new JABB big band tunes


    I've been chiming in on this forum for a while now, offering what I hope has been helpful and supportive commentary, so I thought it was only fair that I now post a link to some of my tunes. The link below will take you to my music publishing website. All of the tunes on the "First Chorus" page are done with JABB mostly, with a little bit of the Cakewalk TTS-1 mixed in the inner brass voices. I think one tune uses the electric bass, too. These are extremely rough mixes, done on a very tight deadline, but they'll suffice to give band directors the general idea. I'm not looking for any comments on improving the mixes. I know they need a lot of work.


    Click on the (full version) links in each description box to hear the chart.

    These pieces are intended for middle school jazz programs where the students are roughly 12-14 yrs old and have been playing their instruments for a year or two. The other pages, Straight Ahead, Salsafied, and Extensions, feature the rest of my catalog, and the pieces listed there are performed by live ensembles. There is more descriptive information on the CHARTS page which will explain each series in further detail.

    NOTE TO RANDY: All composers and arrangers have been given full credit.

    Production notes: All charts that I write are first written in lead sheet/sketch form on paper and then elaborated up in Sibelius (currently version 4.1.5). Once the chart is fully completed there, I print out the parts and then play them in by hand into Sonar 5 Producer Edition where I do my best to make the performance sound as life-like as possible.

    With the First Chorus demos I did a little MIDI massaging (note start times and durations) and added a little reverb (Lexicon Pantheon, Medium Hall, about 10% mix, included in Sonar) to help things out. Had I had the time to do a full production, I would have rendered each instrument individually to audio and then applied a fair amount of EQ and volume control. For these files, in this timeframe, I set the volume and left it. I would like to have used the mod wheel approach because the result is so much better with dynamics - maybe next time.

    The two best techniques I used for realism - first, set all the wind instruments' cc22 to 9 or so (flavor to taste). Second, I quantized a lot of the parts to triplets or eighth notes, depending on if the tune was swing or latin/rock, but rather than do 100% accuracy, I only used 95%. That provides the variation to move the note attacks around enough to avoid the "organ" effect. Adding a little reverb to the final mix was the icing on the cake.

    So, take a listen and fire away. It's my turn in the barrel.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

  2. #2

    Re: new JABB big band tunes


    I really enjoyed listening to your charts. The mixes weren't that rough and they provided a lot of realism in my estimation.

    Great work bmd.........

    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: new JABB big band tunes

    NICE! The students should get a real workout from these tunes.

  4. #4

    Re: new JABB big band tunes

    Well done! It must take extra talent and restraint to write for a certain skill level.

    Thanks for posting!
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


  5. #5

    Re: new JABB big band tunes

    Hello, Paul!

    You're so right that it's time for your "turn in the barrel."

    This is great stuff! I've listened to several tunes at your site, and they're simply some of the best Jazz numbers ever heard here!

    FAR too modest with the caveat about them being "rough mixes." The recordings do a superb job of demoing your charts.

    And I appreciate you giving an outline of how you worked on them, avoiding the dreaded "organ effect" et al.

    How's business? If instructors find your site, I can't see how you can't be getting some good returns on your efforts.

    Thanks much--And it's great to have more tight, smooth Jazz to return to. NIIiice!

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: new JABB big band tunes


    Thanks you for your support and kind words.

    DelCarry - you're right, it is quite a challenge to work within such restraints, but I've found that the enforced editing of my ideas has been really helpful in really getting to the essence of what I'm trying to convey. Other times, it's quite frustrating because you really want those extra couple of notes of trumpet range, but you know they're not available, and so you have to go to Plan B, a compromise, or find another idea entirely that will fit the abilities of that age group.

    Randy - I'm not sure about your opening statement. It's either a compliment, which I humbly accept, or a polite way of telling me that I've been mouthing off for too long now and it's time to be on the receiving end for a change At some point down the line, I should revisit these files, pick one or two, and really do them up right to see a) how much I can get out of this library, and b) how well I can combine JABB with other libraries. For me, the cc22 feature is a real difference maker, in terms of addiing realism, and I don't know of any other libraries that offer that capability. Therefore, by using other libraries, I might be taking a step backwards somewhat. However, I found that in creating these files, by using the JABB lead trumpet (Trumpet 1) and using the TTS-1 Trumpet and Dark Trumpet patches I was able to get a fuller sound and still retain a sense of pitch variation without too much of a hit on the reality factor.

    It might seem overly geeky to go into such detail about sequencing and such, but I feel that that's one of the purposes of this forum - to share techniques and information so that everybody can improve their abilities. One of the stated purposes of the JABB is to give composers a tool with which to demo their music to band directors, and that happens to be exactly what I'm doing, so there seems to be a natural fit.

    Business is about to get very interesting, I hope. Tomorrow, Friday the 20th, we leave for San Antonio, TX where the Texas Bandmasters Assoc.'s annual convention is being held. We will have a booth there exhibiting our wares and doing our best to sell as many as possible. I'm also sending out a monthly email newsletter to members of that organization. A copy can be found at http://www.bakersjazzandmore.com/html/july_2007.html You're welcome to copy/paste it and send it on to anyone you know who might be interested.

    If you enjoyed the First Chorus tunes, I encourage you to listen to the rest of the tunes on the Straight Ahead, Salsafied, and Extensions pages. The performances are by live ensembles, but the notes are still just as good
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

  7. #7

    Re: new JABB big band tunes

    Hello again, Paul

    Oh my - I've only been a moderator for a couple of days and twice now my attempts at humor have misfired a bit.

    "...I'm not sure about your opening statement. It's either a compliment, which I humbly accept, or a polite way of telling me that I've been mouthing off for too long now and it's time to be on the receiving end for a change..."

    I was just agreeing with your joke at the end of your post, that it's about danged time you put some music up.

    More importantly, I'm happy to be on your thread again to say that I'm certainly glad we're finally getting to hear these very snazzy arrangements from you.

    By the way, I certainly agree that the Garritan touch of using cc22 can do so much for the naturalness of a recording. Have you recorded cc22 or drawn it in with varying amounts throughout a track? I find that to constantly be varying it, mostly depending on the speed and note value of a passage works great--Like, inching it up for fast runs where intonation is most likely to be less accurately played by live musicians, and then bringing it down to a low level again.

    Anyway, great stuff, and I want to thank you again for your post.

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: new JABB big band tunes


    Did you miss the I placed at the end of my comment? There was no misfire. I was just playing with you in good fun. All is well.

    re: cc22 - my understanding is that it acts randomly to the degree set by the value I assign to it, so I've just been setting it at the beginning of each track and letting the software take its course. So far, I've been satisfied enough with the results that I don't feel the need to micromanage it based on note durations. I keep the value under 10 so that there's never any wide fluctuations or discrepancies from one section to another. I'm sure finer attention to detail would increase my results even more. I guess that supports my definition of "rough mix". Maybe I should call it a "less-refined mix"?

    However, I could imagine a very valid application in your theater music where you might want to depict something chaotic or drunken, and for that it would be interesting to experiment with higher values. I suppose, at the extreme ranges it could become, literally, a random pitch generator which, when given the right source track sounds, could result in some interesting sound scuplting. By holding a really long note of a complex textural sound, perhaps the software would warp that over time to create a whole new soundscape. Food for thought.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

  9. #9
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: new JABB big band tunes


    Nice job on these, only issue for me is they have a bit of mid-range muddiness.

    I downloaded Told You Twice and eq'd it and added some reverb and for me it really brought the piece alive. I do understand that's not a big issue as far as using these tracks as teaching aids are concerned.

    Good Job anyway.

    My Best


  10. #10

    Re: new JABB big band tunes

    Ray - I agree entirely. There is a lot of engineering work that can be done to these tracks, but, as you realize, that's not their immediate purpose. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I might revisit some of these tunes and see how well I can produce them - EQ, reverb, etc. For now, though, they'll have to remain as they are. From Garritan's point of view, that' probably how they should stay because it better shows what the library truly sound like, what the customer can expect to hear coming out of their speakers. From an artistic point of view, it falls quite short in many respects. For the immediate future, commerce must triumph over art until I can afford the opposite.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

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