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Topic: Subtones

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  1. #1

    Subtones

    I listened to all of the Jazz demos and have to say they sound quite realistically.

    1. I have yet to get some Gill Evans style orchestration/harmonization demo put together with Garritan Big Band.

    2. In none of the demos did I detect any usage of the subtone at any instrument.

    Inherent question:

    Does Garritan Jazz have subtone type articulations?

    I put the question to Support but don't have their answer yet.

    John

  2. #2

    Re: Subtones

    If they do, I haven't been able to find it. The saxes on JABB were a big disappointment to me. The assumption seems to have been that you only use a sax when you want a loud, bleating sound. To me they sound more like a collection of kazoos.

    But, in fairness, I have to say that I have yet to find a satisfactory sax library anywhere. This is one of the instruments, which like vocals, is used all the time, constantly requested by end users, and never seems to materilize in a truly useful form. I wish developers would concentrate on just getting a good sax library out, instead of the upteenth piano or guitar, since the market has long been saturated with acceptible versions of those instruments.

  3. #3

    Re: Subtones

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    If they do, I haven't been able to find it. The saxes on JABB were a big disappointment to me. The assumption seems to have been that you only use a sax when you want a loud, bleating sound. To me they sound more like a collection of kazoos.

    But, in fairness, I have to say that I have yet to find a satisfactory sax library anywhere. This is one of the instruments, which like vocals, is used all the time, constantly requested by end users, and never seems to materilize in a truly useful form. I wish developers would concentrate on just getting a good sax library out, instead of the upteenth piano or guitar, since the market has long been saturated with acceptible versions of those instruments.
    Thank you very much, ejr. You're very eloquent. Indeed, in most, if not all, of what demos I could listen to, saxes do sound like kazoos, as strings at their higher registers sound like hurdy-gurdies. I have yet to find strings that don't. Too, every so often (more than not), brass sound like reversed reel-to-reel tape. I call this the wap-wap effect. It's terrible. I myself don't understand why manufacturers are not able to produce instruments without these artifacts. Many people favorably critique new packages at their appearance on the market, sometimes creating a real hype. Truth to be told, and this may strictly be my truth only, for sound is a subjective thing, there are no saisfactory strings and saxes out there. I recently tried to create a 4 horn long harmonic/melodic line in Miroslav Demo. It's all wap-wap, most annoying, that is every separate note has its own wap. How am I to know that there are articulations in there that don't have the wap effect? Vocals are a very, very long way off, but that's inherent because they're not a machanical instrument and have an endless array of harmonics and colors that depend on the conformation of the mouth's cavity, resonance of the head, nose and throat structure and air pressure (lungs + diaphragm). Too many variables very difficult to tame, and the moment one tries to impose degrees of freedom things get even worse, much worse (I used to be an opera coach, among the many jobs I held). And so it goes.

    Thaks again, John.

  4. #4

    Re: Subtones

    One of the trade show videos on line showed a demo of Realitone vocal libraries, which would go a long way toward what I need. It was announced for release in Spring 2008. Never heard from them again.

    As for strings, my niece is a violin player. One afternoon she spent quite a bit of time with me listening to all my string library samples. At the end she said, sure, I can make my violin sound like that -- if I don't rosin my bow for about a month. Out of the mouth of babes ...

    I found the Dan Dean solo strings samples a bit sweeter sounding than most others. Sometimes, when working with a piece for a small ensemble, adding them to strings from other libraries gets me closer to what I want than trying to rely on just one package for anything. Every library has its strengths and weaknesses, so I find myself mixing and matching a lot. Lately the companies that sell their libraries in modular form have been more attractive to me for this reason.

    But there are gaps that no one is filling.

  5. #5

    strings (this time around)

    Hello. ejr!

    A few months ago I bought Cinematic Strings 2, based on their demos online. ENORMOUS disappointment. I cannot take out the offending harmonics from Vl/Vla groups by a little more substantial amount without substantially altering tone color.Much worse than EWQL Platinum+. And then the relentless <> on each note, no exception, oh my... I thought that, being recently produced and updated, it'll be better than what I already had. At least EWQL layers well with Garritan's SO (well, both heavily equalized). Not so CS2. Any more positive experience?

    Thanks, John.

  6. #6

    Re: Subtones

    Not with strings, I'm afraid. I stuck with the Dan Dean Solo strings, as this usually gives me the best results of the libraries I own. I added the string bass from an old Kirk Hunter library and I sometimes use the pizz cello from that collection as well (when I want it to sound like it's a "slap").

    I once found web site for cinema orchestrators, which actually advises mixing instruments from different string libraries to get better sounding sections (or, barring that, adding a single solo string to a section to give it more bite). My guess is that the quality you get will depend on the libraries used.

    The rest of the VIs I am using are the Westgate French Horns (which I like a lot), the Westgate Clarinets (which are just about as good), the harp and some of the organ patches from GPO, other patches from the PMI Baroque Organ, the trumpets & trombones from JABB (because I have nothing better), NI's Akoustik Piano, and the rest of the VSL woodwinds that were bundled with Kontakt 2. I am also using a couple of string runs and flute phrases from Peter Siedlaczek's Advanced Orchestra (Giga version, converted to Kontakt 2).

    I am working on a project which is taking years to complete, so at some point I had to freeze the technology to avoid getting trapped in an endless cycle of software and hardware updates. I am still running Windows XP on that machine (with only 2GB of RAM) and the last (Kontakt 2) versions of JABB & GPO. It's all intended as demo for a real orchestra, anyway, so it doesn't have to be perfect. But, not being able to find acceptable saxes, I did decide not to use them in my score.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  7. #7

    Re: Subtones

    While a good sax library is hard to come by, the sax is a very nuanced instrument as you know. I have worked at getting some decent sax sounds from JABB3 as demonstrated by:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...erence-project
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ummer-Fest-Fun
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...-the-EWI-USB-)

    So, there are a couple of libraries I have heard of that make it easier to play the sax sounds. But these are not too bad. And they are not kazoo like in my view.

  8. #8

    Re: Subtones

    Wow. That is surprisingly realistic and expressive. Though I can still tell it's a sample library, it's better than most I have heard -- and I wouldn't have guessed that it came from JABB.

    You are using JABB 3, though. That version used the ARIA player, if I am not mistaken. Could that account for the differences? I gather that the samples are the same, but the at ARIA scripting makes them sound more realistic.

    I suppose that it could be the character of the piece, as well. I downloaded a MIDI file of a jazz standard I wanted listen to once, when I couldn't find a recording, and I assigned JABB instruments to all the parts. (No special effort made here. I just assigned the first trumpet to Trumpet 1 in JABB, the next to Trumpet 2, and so on, then did the same with the saxes.) I noticed that it sounded better than anything I had done up to that point.

    The style of the piece I wanted to use the saxes in is meant to sound like a 19th century orchestra, the saxes being something of a link between the brass and woodwinds, rather than scoring them as you would a big band chart. After a lot of frustration, I added a French Horn (and later a Euphonium) to my orchestra and eventually got the effect I was after. But you have gotten me interested in giving the JABB saxes another look.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  9. #9

    Re: Subtones

    I own both jabb2 (kontakt) and jabb3 ( aria ). There is maybe a 5% difference in subtle tones but nearly everything moves over as-is. In fact I ported bunches of the jabb2 projects from Tom Hopkins over to aria with very little changes and they came out almost exactly the same. So I would say from first hand experience that these libraries are the same. The easy of use from aria as well as the substantially reduced foot print are the main benefits.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Subtones

    Hi Sylva and EJR,

    I noticed this thread last weekend and thought it was great; I followed with interest your discussion.

    I do agree with a lot of what you discussed, but feel the JaBB saxes are really quite a bit more evolved than you may think. Agreed, you have to put in the time with the controllers, but the results can be very realistic.

    If you get some time, check-out Jim "jdsnyderii"'s production of the beginning measures of "Moonlight Serenade" in the Listening Room ...

    Excerpt of "Moonlight Serenade"

    ... and three excerpts of some of my sax soli arrangements (and how they were achieved), all with JaBB saxophones, in General Discussion ...

    Yes You Can! : Creating A Realistic Sax Section w/ JaBB (NO Kazoo or Accordion Fx!!)

    Anyway, great thread and glad I saw it!

    Frank

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