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Topic: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

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  1. #1

    Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Hi,

    I've been a long time supporter of Gary's work since GOS and for a long time I bought his offerings sight unseen.

    However, when JABB came out, I was -highly- skeptical for several reasons. False modesty aside, I've had the great good fortune to play in some world class groups and that has made me a total snob about the 'sound' of a really great 18 piece group. I mean in a way I'm not snobbish about orchestral libs or whatever else. I'm saying all that just because I totally feel viscerally -offended- at any cheese or synth factor when I hear 'big band' samples.

    The demos for JABB struck me as several types of Gouda... The upright bass sounded like a DX-7. And the horn ensemble demos? Puuuhhhhlease. A real horn section has enough wind power to make yer trousers flap. The original demos sounded like a one oscillator synth.

    I called Gary and talked with him about it and he was polite, but basically dismissive. He said they had no complaints. Which I could not believe. He wasn't mean, just self-confident.

    But, I bought it anyway... like I said I want to support his work. And there was such a disconnect between the demos and his previous products that I figured it must be just the demos. And then I promptly forgot about it... except to mildly diss it every once in a while when someone asked about it. Never really used it at all.

    Well, about 2 years later, I just started seriously fooling with it after all the talk about 'The Trumpet' and 'Wallander'. And ya know what? It's not bad! And I don't mean that as faint praise. I mean it's actually -very- good. The mod wheel allows one to create -very- expressive section work... even the trumpets, which I first thought were -weak-. Each 'trumpet' is different enough that it really -does- sound like a 'section' after you play through each part.

    Is it good enough to take the 3rd tpt out front for a solo? OK, maybe not, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to create brass sections that are pretty darned convincing... and if not 'real' at least 100% sans fromage.

    For 2 bones, I think this thing is pretty much a must have. I still have some doubts about the bass, but I can't think of too many upright samples I've -ever- liked (besides Larry Seyers on certain days of the month.) But the rest of it is quite useful---for -any- level of work.

    I was wrong and if -you- are like me, turned off by the demos, I want to say I think it's cheap enough that you should ignore them and get it anyway. If I like it, being as bitchy about it as I was, -you'll- probably love it.

    ---JC

  2. #2

    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    As far as I'm concerned its the bees knees, I've had since it came out and use it all the time.

  3. #3

    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    For me, it's a quick and easy arrangement tools. It gives you all the sounds of a big jazz ensemble. If you want something super realistic, there are more specialized instruments out there which are extensively sampled. But the Garritan library comes with everything, ready to use.

  4. #4
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    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    If you're writing a piece with all staccato or short notes, JABB is fine....but... if you hold down a note for a few seconds, arrrghh.. just awful, static looping. No life, synth sounding.

    Besides being innovative, talented and and an excellent self promoter, I'm always pleased to see how communicative Gary is in these forums, so this is not a diss off his body of work. Still, I think the basic JABB horn samples could have been done much better.
    NYC Composer,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    This" life" being in the samples is curious to us. This reminds me of something Jerry Spence, the famous trial lawyer, once remarked: "It's life is in your hands, my son."

    Real instruments have no life in and of themselves. They are hunks of brass and wood - lifeless. And like real instruments, samples are lifeless. It is the musician who breathes life into them.

    JABB is a performance-based library and it is intended to be performed by controller data and not intended for notes to be held down. It's up to the user to add controller data to cause the notes not to be static. With JABB we give you the tools to imbue life into your performances.

    Real jazz musicians spend a lifetime mastering their instrument. This is why education and learning is more important than product. See our free Jazz Arranging course written by Jazz legend Chuck Israels. http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...play.php?f=107

    The life of an instrument is all in the Master's Touch

    The Master's Touch

    It was battered and scarred
    and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while
    to waste much time on the Old Violin but he held it up with a smile.

    "What am I bid Goodfolks?" he cried. "Who'll start the bidding for me?"
    It was "a dollar... a dollar.... then two"... only two.
    "Two dollars and who'll make it three?"
    "Three dollars once - Three dollars twice - And going for three"
    But No!...

    From the room far back,
    a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow.
    And wiping the dirt from that old violin...
    and tightening the loosened strings...
    You know, He played a melody pure 'n sweet, as the carillon angels sing.

    Well, the music stopped,
    and the auctioneer in a voice that was quiet and low...
    Said: "What am I bid for the Old Violin?" And He held it up with the bow.
    "A thousand dollars! Who'll make it two?

    Two thousand! Who'll make it Three?"
    It was "three thousand once"... "three thousand twice"...
    and "Going for three!" said he.

    Well, the people stared...
    But some of them cried: "We do not quite understand!"
    "What changed its worth?"
    Swift came the reply... "It was the Touch of the Master's Hand."

  5. #5
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    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntower View Post
    Well, about 2 years later, I just started seriously fooling with it after all the talk about 'The Trumpet' and 'Wallander'. And ya know what? It's not bad! And I don't mean that as faint praise. I mean it's actually -very- good. The mod wheel allows one to create -very- expressive section work... even the trumpets, which I first thought were -weak-. Each 'trumpet' is different enough that it really -does- sound like a 'section' after you play through each part.

    Is it good enough to take the 3rd tpt out front for a solo? OK, maybe not, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to create brass sections that are pretty darned convincing... and if not 'real' at least 100% sans fromage.

    For 2 bones, I think this thing is pretty much a must have. I still have some doubts about the bass, but I can't think of too many upright samples I've -ever- liked (besides Larry Seyers on certain days of the month.) But the rest of it is quite useful---for -any- level of work.

    I was wrong and if -you- are like me, turned off by the demos, I want to say I think it's cheap enough that you should ignore them and get it anyway. If I like it, being as bitchy about it as I was, -you'll- probably love it.

    ---JC
    JC,

    Thanks for giving JABB a second look and the courtesy of posting your renewed impressions.

    JABB is quite different and does take some getting used to. Jazz is a very nuanced art form and we knew the challenges and difficulties when we created the first Jazz library. We had specific design goals - a complete package with lots of jazz instruments, affordable, performance-based for the nuanced jazz genre, small footprint, workable in notation, ideal for education, etc. It was never our goal to replace jazz musicians who spend a lifetime crafting their sound.

    We made this library performance-based rather than the sample-everything approach. With all the jazz individualistic articulations out there, it was impossible to sample them all. So we provided basic instrument sounds and then gave the tools to sculpt those sounds into the various performance techniques and articulations. I always liked the fewer-samples more-control articulative approach since the early Kurzweil VAST days.

    This performance-based articulative approach does take a bit of getting used to.

    We are not finished with JABB by any means and this will continue to be a work in progress. We are working on an update for our new ARIA player which will give us new capabilities and enhance the library. We're working on new technologies to do even more things down the road that I think will turn some heads.

    Thanks again for your comments. I welcome you to contribute ideas to make this a better library and also feel free to share demos in our Listening Room.

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

  6. #6

    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Hi Gary,

    NYC Composer is right: you're a masterful self-promoter. And I too mean that in the best possible way.

    I still maintain that the original horn section demos are dreadful... they simply do -not- do justice to what this thing is capable of. I also believe that whoever did those demos did not follow your own advice: they are -very- 'static' which is, I think, what bugged NYC Composer (and I) so much. I started goofing with the mod wheel on a 3rd tpt line and the entire thing came to life in a -very- musical way. I dunno if you guys used the 'advanced scripting', but it -sounds- like it. Then when I started doing that same 'twiddling' (literally 'performing' each part in real time---no MIDI cut/paste) the whole section started sounding -great-. Really great.

    If I'm hammering on this, it's because it reminds me of something I've run across so many times over the years:
    1. The demos can lie.
    2. Some products require real -work- to be appreciated.

    When I put the same effort into JABB that I would into a Stradivari part, I get the same good results.

    It's just not an 'instant gratification' product, IMO, so I think improved sectional demos would really help a lot. I do NOT agree with those who feel this thing is good only enough for learners or as a 'scratchpad', but I think people get that impression from the demos and from the fact that it -does- require some work.

    Hope this helps in some small way. I look forward to updates.

    ---JC

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    JC,

    Thanks for giving JABB a second look and the courtesy of posting your renewed impressions.

    JABB is quite different and does take some getting used to. Jazz is a very nuanced art form and we knew the challenges and difficulties when we created the first Jazz library. We had specific design goals - a complete package with lots of jazz instruments, affordable, performance-based for the nuanced jazz genre, small footprint, workable in notation, ideal for education, etc. It was never our goal to replace jazz musicians who spend a lifetime crafting their sound.

    We made this library performance-based rather than the sample-everything approach. With all the jazz individualistic articulations out there, it was impossible to sample them all. So we provided basic instrument sounds and then gave the tools to sculpt those sounds into the various performance techniques and articulations. I always liked the fewer-samples more-control articulative approach since the early Kurzweil VAST days.

    This performance-based articulative approach does take a bit of getting used to.

    We are not finished with JABB by any means and this will continue to be a work in progress. We are working on an update for our new ARIA player which will give us new capabilities and enhance the library. We're working on new technologies to do even more things down the road that I think will turn some heads.

    Thanks again for your comments. I welcome you to contribute ideas to make this a better library and also feel free to share demos in our Listening Room.

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

  7. #7
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    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntower View Post
    Hi Gary,

    NYC Composer is right: you're a masterful self-promoter. And I too mean that in the best possible way.
    Thanks for the compliment, but I prefer to be a masterful promoter of our users and of music technology. I'll work on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntower View Post
    Then when I started doing that same 'twiddling' (literally 'performing' each part in real time---no MIDI cut/paste) the whole section started sounding -great-. Really great.

    If I'm hammering on this, it's because it reminds me of something I've run across so many times over the years:
    1. The demos can lie.
    2. Some products require real -work- to be appreciated.

    When I put the same effort into JABB that I would into a Stradivari part, I get the same good results.

    It's just not an 'instant gratification' product, IMO, so I think improved sectional demos would really help a lot. I
    I would very much like to hear what you've done with JABB sometime.

    We prefer to use as many user demos as possible. This give people an idea of what the library will sound like under typical use or to illustrate certain techniques. This is why we prefer mostly user demos (e.g. thousands of demos for GPO) rather than professionally-produced demos designed to create a favorable impression (and some users write to say they wish they can get their music to sound like some of the demos - hard to please everyone - but we try. )

    I always disliked it when I heard demos on a sample library site that sounded like the New York Philharmonic - but when I bought it and took it home, it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the demos. Better to understate and over-deliver, than vice-versa.

    We'll be expanding our JABB demos and welcome your contributions as well.

    Thanks for your input.

    My best,

    Gary

  8. #8
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    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    If I'm wrong about my surmise, I'm happy to have you tell me so. Were they not 1 or 2 second samples, looped?
    Sorry, but you are wrong in your surmise Larry.

    We recorded 33 separate wind instruments in total for Jazz & Big Band (16 different saxophones, 12 brass and 5 woodwind instruments They were not recorded for only 1 or 2 seconds, but rather 5 to 10 seconds (depending on the players capacity). We needed the longer samples for performance sculting and chose to record longer sustains rather than staccato.
    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    I understand that you intended controller data to be added, but are you basically saying the library won't sound good 'out of the box'? It wasn't intended for the original sampled notes to stand alone and sound 'good'?
    Let me try to further explain as performance-based sampling can be difficult to get used to, yet it advances some of the previous sample paradigms.

    Controller data is not merely added, but is integral to the sound. These allow you to perform and transform the articulations you need - just like a real instrument. A real instrument can swawk and weaze and sound lifeless "out of the box". There's not much you can do with 'stand alone' static sound, whether from real instruments or samples. It's the performer who imparts life - giving it expression, changing attack, surging dynamics, adding vibrato or portamento, cleverly phrasing and slurring, inflecting, gracefully transitioning, etc. etc.

    An example is air flow noise - the sound of the air moving through the column of the instrument. Players introduce it with great variety while playing. We extracted airflow/wind noise and put it on its own layer so you can mix it in with the underlying samples. Playing a single note you won't hear it 'out-of-the-box', until you use the proper controller to introduce it. If much air flow was inherent in the sample, you could never remove it nor vary and control it.

    Performance control is critical (especially in a genre such as jazz) and these are the tools we aim to provide.

    Wendy Carlos's Law: 'every parameter you can control you must control'

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    ( to be completely fair, the highly democratic pricing of the library might preclude expecting it to do more than it does, and what it does it does adequately)
    Thanks for that. $199 is quite affordable which was one of our goals.

    My best,

    Gary Garritan

  9. #9

    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    just for fun, when I first got JABB I made this quickie demo.

    It's not perfect, but I only had it a few days.

    Dan

  10. #10
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    Re: Garritan JABB: Recommended (Changed My Mind)

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    So then, are you saying the legato samples I'm listening to are 5-10 seconds long before looping begins?? If you say so, I will believe you, but hearing it strains my credulity a bit.
    Larry,

    I understood when you originally asked whether the samples were "not 1 or 2 second" or "sampling notes for a good 5-10 seconds to get the best results" to be about the length of the recorded samples. Now you are asking if they were "5-10 seconds long before looping begins?"

    We did sample notes for a good 5-10 seconds but looping wind instruments after 5-10 seconds would not, IMHO, be proper sampling practice. Loop points begin and end where the best loop can be made. That would vary on each and every note of each of the 33 instruments. Loop points would depend on amplititude, constistency of tone, and a variety of other factors. But beginning looping after 5-10 seconds is probably not ideal as the player begins to loose consistency - and we would not want to loop a wheeze.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    How does one have a player play a note whilst you sample it and then 'strip off' air noise?? I find that confusing...
    We have tools to attenuate and extract airflow and various other components of the sound. Having these components or building blocks as a separate layer will allow you to introduce and vary it and have full control.

    You mentioned: "I'm liking the Strad very much , btw". Same principle. The Strad has separate bow noise (so you can control it with controller data). The samples also have no vibrato so you can control it with controllers. And they are recorded fairly dry so you can control your acoustic environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    My brief experiment with airflow didn't seem to change my opinion of the static nature of the legato samples
    The samples are static (like the strad samples are). It is more than airflow, it is vibrato, dynamics, timbre, tongue/slur and various other variable components that the user imparts for a dynamic and musical sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC Composer View Post
    Gary, you've been gracious to answer my queries. I appreciate your time, and if you're able to answer this set, I promise to leave you be.
    No problem Larry and happy to help. We have some tutorials that Tom made that may help: Plunger Mute Tutorial, JABB Demos - Sonar and MIDI files, Tom's flute tutorial (applicable to all winds), Tom's JABB Brush stir tutorial, Tom's Trumpet Shakes Tutorial - Part 1

    Please feel free to contact me if you need any help or have specific questions.

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

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