Had a chance this summer to get some brass players to lay down about a dozen tracks I had previously mocked up with JABB. And have some comparative mixes. Here's a couple of pieces I had posted earlier in their development:
I continue to be amazed at how good the jabb brass recording tonality sounds. Particularly the trumpets. Sounds richer and deeper toned than my recording to me... obviously sampled by someone very good at it. I recorded the trumpets as an ensemble in stereo with a pair of u87's about 20 inches out front of the 4 of them slightly above their head level trying not to be blocked by their music stands. The trombones I recorded with a TLM-193, which in retrospect I probably should have used all around.
Having the jabb mockup really helped the session. When the players were confused by a part, there's nothing like, "sounds like this." Interestingly enough, the players were relieved that my mockup didn't sound too good. Good enough for them to work with but not so good they felt threatened. And I encouraged them to add their own special effects like they did in the train-whistle section of Farmer Joe.
The players, btw, were Andy Tichenor, Bob Ceccarini, Dan Smith, and Lorenzo Trujillo on trumpets plus Matt Hoorman on trombones. All from St Louis and recorded at SIU-Edwardsville. Matt played the trombone along side the trumpets then went back and added the bass trombone solo.
This is fantastic! First, let me comment on your first-rate arrangement (and what terrific musicians and vocalist you are working with).
One of the main reasons we produced JABB was to provide a tool for arranging for the real thing. Using these tools as a reference for musicians can save considerable time and expense. From the beginning we've said that the goal of JABB is to lead people to the real thing and you have done just that!
Thanks, Gary. My wife Sue, who did the scratch vocals and piano playing, also hand played the brass parts in, one instrument at a time. Then I took over with the controller editing to try and give the parts a little expression. I also doubled one of the trombone tracks to develop a bass trombone part... which kind of turned into what I think of as a Terrance and Phillip section. We probably did things backwards from the way most composers would do things, throwing the hand-played midi parts into Finale and turning them into the 1st score drafts. Sue's a crack notator too but hadn't ever done brass before either so we shipped the parts to Andy Tichenor who further refined them into what the rest of the players were used to working with. Which worked out... the other musicians came into the session cold around 7pm, learned the parts on the spot, and knocked everything out well before they kicked us out just past midnight.
Andy, btw, is the alpha dog in that pack, always playing with his trumpet up and whipped off those high G's almost as an afterthought. It was a really positive experience for all involved. Thanks for making it possible because I don't think we would ever have gotten off the ground with this stuff otherwise. Certainly not with the type of results oriented control we got here.