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Topic: "March of the Toys"

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  1. #1
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    "March of the Toys"

    "March of the Toys"
    http://www.box.net/shared/f09cjjoizb

    This is scored for the same instrumentation that I used in my college jazz ensemble--5 saxes, 5 trpts, 5 trmbs, and 5 rhy (piano, bass, drums, guitar and vibes.) I grew up admiring Stan Kenton and since I didn't have to pay anyone, I could do as I pleased.
    I used Finale 2008a, Mac G5 and GJBB instruments exclusively. When playing back from the score, all is well but after making an AIFF file and then an mp3 file two mysteries occur:
    1. Notes dropping out
    2. Unison saxes being out of tune
    Any advice will be welcomed.
    sos

  2. #2

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Quote Originally Posted by sosmus
    "March of the Toys"
    http://www.box.net/shared/f09cjjoizb

    This as scored for the same instrumentation that I used in my college jazz ensemble--5 saxes, 5 trpts, 5 trmbs, and 5 rhy (piano, bass, drums, guitar and vibes.) I grew up admiring Stan Kenton and since I didn't have to pay anyone, I could do as I pleased.
    I used Finale 2008a, Mac G5 and GJBB instruments exclusively. When playing back from the score, all is well but after making an AIFF file and then an mp3 file two mysteries occur:
    1. Notes dropping out
    2. Unison saxes being out of tune
    Any advice will be welcomed.
    sos
    Smokin' chart, Mr. Steve. I enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.

    The file itself, not your arrangement, has an unusual "hollow" sound and I don't know how to describe it further. Perhaps someone else can elucidate further concerning this.

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Really cool arrangement, Sosmus! Worthy of the "Kenton Orchestra"...

    As for your technical dilemmas, I'm unable to offer any help (I always import my notation files as midi into Sonar, then switch over to Garritan samples from there). I'm sure, though, some one will have answers for you.

    This still sounded great, though! I love your voicings, particularly in the sax soli type passages. You really know how to make that lead alto actually lead.

    Thanks for posting this jazzers delight!

    Danny

  4. #4
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Larry & Danny:

    Thanks for your kind words. The notes are no problem but the mechanics are still a world for me to conquer, or least start to invade.
    In re: "hollow"--I have the recording latency set at 10% but forgot about the reverb. Duh!

    sos

  5. #5

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Sos! You absolutely and totally RUle as the Jazz Meister Supreme. I'm in awe of this swinging arrangement. Fantastic. --Bowing prostrate to ground with arms stretched out in humble homage.

    ---Hummm, mysterious goings-on you describe, with notes dropping out and detuning issues coming up AFter making the .wav audio file. It actually has to be During the process of recording from you score that these errors creep in. --Sorry to say I don't have a clue.

    I know that in working in Sonar as I do, if a project is complex, using the "fast bounce" option isn't wise--mistakes like drop outs can occur, so I switch to the slower rendering process in order for the recording to sound the way it does in live playback. - But I don't think any of that relates to working from a notation program. hummmm.

    As for the "hollow" sound noted by Larry - what it sounds like to me is that you're using a reverb plugin, perhaps Ambience, set to a Jazz Club setting, and you've left it at 100% wet on the entire file. That doesn't work.

    In a recording program like Sonar, one Does use a reverb plugin at 100% wet - that's the full tilt potential reverb, but never intended to be applied that way. In the mixer, small percentages of a track's signal are sent via Sends to the reverb plugin, so you get ratios of dry to wet something like 80% to 20%.

    But in a notation program where you aren't using Sends and the traditional audio mixing tools, then those ratios of wet to dry have to be dialed in right there in the plugin itself. In Ambience, for example, the two sliders are easy to see and use. But if at all possible, different amounts of reverb really should be applied to different instruments - I'm not clear on if that can happen in the notation environment.

    That's my assessment - the common error of running your signal through a 100% reverb setting - The results are extremely reverberant, echoey even and I guess could be described as "hollow."

    Hope that helps.

    But thanks again for the thoroughly Wow of an arrangement!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  6. #6
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Randy:
    Wow, what an ear you have. You're absolutely right about the setting. I was using the Jazz Club 1, assuming that it would be the logical choice for what I was doing. There are 20 bars and bubbles to deal with in the Audio Unit: Ambience box and I have no idea what they mean or where they should be set. I'll just keep plugging away and hope that slowly but surely some of the fog will burn away. That would make a good song title!

    Thanks for your help and encouragement,

    Steve

  7. #7

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    SOS

    I can't help you with the technical stuff, other than to say...Is it plugged in?

    If it is then its past my expertise.

    The music sounds great to me. Sort of a James Bond feel with Jazz.

    Well Done

    Ron

  8. #8

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Yeah, Sos, Yeah. Swingin' arrangement, but, yes it does sound
    "hollow" or what I call real "synthy."

    Now, I use Finale 2008 for scoring and do make some kind of audio
    attempt with it. But I use Digital Performer for my final mix. On occasion,
    I have been pleasantly surprised how the Human Playback feature really
    does a lot of work to make music sound rather "live." I trust you have that
    feature activated.

    If you are using HP, check your settings. If you are using Ambience
    reverb, can you just select a "room" or "hall" or do you have to play
    with the knobs? I'm guessing you are using a PC because Ambience Reverb
    does not work with a Mac Intel. A Mac PPC, yes, if that is your computer
    of choice. But even then, the Mac Ambience shows a list of rooms and
    halls from which you can select and try out all types of reverbs.

    I think I've seen a tutorial around on how to use the Ambience controls:
    what they do, and what settings will bring desired results, but I don't
    remember where I saw that tutorial. Big help I am.

    With your stunning arrangement, if you finally get the sound out of Finale
    that you want, your arrangement would be a killer to hear............

    Maybe someone with a little more expertise in Finale 2008 will pop up
    and solve the whole problem. When you finally get it where you want
    it, I would love to hear this again.

    Great arrangement, Sos.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  9. #9

    Re: "March of the Toys"

    Hello again, Sos

    I don't make it a habit of adding another reply in reference to one subsequent to my first one on a thread, but with all due respect to Jack, -I want to respond to a few things he's brought up.

    I honestly don't think you need any more humanizing in the tracks, either by hand editing or with the Human Playback feature in Finale. In my opinion, those kind of mechanical sounding problems aren't intruding in your recording in the Least. The lack of naturalness is Not a problem here, not in the performances anyway.

    As you said in your reply to me, Sos, you are adding a Jazz Club setting in the Ambience reverb plugin. You already know about selecting a room and using it, as evidenced in your other postings and this one.

    I really feel that describing the sound in this piece as "synthy" is overstating things. When that term is usually used, it's about the quality of the sounds themselves, coupled with overly-mechanical quantized work in the MIDI files. None of those are issues here.

    The issue is simply, as I described before, you've used the default settings in the Ambience plugin, and they aren't intended to be used that way. It's too bad that this is simply one of the BIggest stumbling blocks for notation users. Over and over I hear pieces damaged by a reverb plugin being put in the project at full 100% ---I repeat, it doesn't work that way. In my opinion, this is the sole reason Jack describes the results as "synthy."

    I know there are a lot of controls in Ambience. For now, ignore them all except the Wet and Dry sliders. Those are plainly marked. Large horizontal sliders. You'll need to experiment with the settings - I know David "Et Lux" has on more than one occassion posted the settings he typically uses--I never use Ambience in this way, so I can't claim to be the expert.

    But, it seems to me a good starting point would be to have the Dry slider moved way to the right, around 80%, whatever the equivalent is on the scale. Move the Wet to maybe 50%. LIsten to the results. You should have mostly a dry signal with just enough "air" around it to make the instruments sound like they're in a room rather than being impossibly dry the way good samples are recorded.

    It's really simply a matter of experimenting with those two sliders, keeping in mind that you want much more Dry signal--that is, unaffected signal, than wet signal.

    In Finale can't you play back what the results will be without having to record the whole thing, listening, and then trying again? --That would be the way to do it. Simply listen - Does it sound more Present and less--"hollow."

    I think this should help. - No offense to Jack, who I know was trying to be helpful - I just felt he wasn't quite grasping the situation, and maybe hadn't read the previous posts.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: "March of the Toys"

    Steve,
    After i clicked play, i was diverted to have to go take care of something, and it been looping, playing over and over, so i stopped in here and cranked up the volume. It sounds GREAT!

    After reading Jack's post, i googled "Ambience Reverb Tutorial" and only found this Mini Tutorial, which is better than nothing i guess, at least for me it is, but i agree we need a comprehensive tutorial for it.
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p/t-28540.html
    at bottom of page, it briefly explains each controls slider function or effect with some recommendations.

    Thanks for posting this tune, it rocks (in a Big Band sense)!

    David

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