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Topic: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

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  1. #1

    Question Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    Not sure how to ask this without offending the library or the people who do or do not use it, but is there anyone who has had good success using the Garritan Jazz & Big Band library for professional scoring or CD work? With the sale going on, it's probably a no brainer for most, but I have GPO sitting on the shelf, since I don't really need something that sounds good enough to mock-up my scores, I use the more expensive libraries to realize them, and I don't weant to add anything to my shelf; I'd like to know this library is useable for me, so I pose the question to all of you who have used it, or dismissed it.

    From the sound of the demos, it is hard to gauge; there are some great sounding things, and some not so great. Who knows how much time/effort went into the great sounding things.

    Happy Holidays to All!

    Mr. A.
    Nuendo 3/ Cubase 4.5 on XP sp2 QuadCore 2.66 Ghz VisionDaw Built DAW RME HDSP 96/52 into ProTools HD3 (digi192x6) on MacPro 3 Ghz... Farm PCs x (6) VisionDaw Machines PC Dual 2.66 Ghz w- Kontakt 3.5 w/ UAD Cards Midi Over Lan

  2. #2

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    i'm not sure about the big band stuff because it's not a library that interests me, but i can say this about GPO. it is often times difficult to get a really top notch sound, and i can't expect anything more for a library at that cost. i often times double GPO with other libraries, and then i have to do a lot of eq work and midi editing - but in the end you can achieve some really great results.

    the bottom line is this. it's not the best by any means, and i don't think anyone is claiming that it is. but if you are great at midi editing and mixing you will be blown away at times (i did say at times). if you are willing to spend the time editing and you have other libraries to back it up i say you can't even come close at the price.

    we will also see if the ARIA update and the additon of Project SAM stuff will make a significant difference.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  3. #3

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    Thanks Keith.

    Let me be clear, my question is in no way slamming GPO. I do think it is an amazing library for the price, and yes, with almost any library, spending the time is crucial in acheiving great results.
    I'm being very specific in my question, gearing it towards users who might be in my situation, where you own a bunch of libraries, are having to deliver scores for commerical projects, etc.

    Mr. A.
    Nuendo 3/ Cubase 4.5 on XP sp2 QuadCore 2.66 Ghz VisionDaw Built DAW RME HDSP 96/52 into ProTools HD3 (digi192x6) on MacPro 3 Ghz... Farm PCs x (6) VisionDaw Machines PC Dual 2.66 Ghz w- Kontakt 3.5 w/ UAD Cards Midi Over Lan

  4. #4
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    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    JABB is a great library for quickly putting together demos without having to work with a bunch of articulations. The other strength is that there are separate instruments to build up sections such as 5 separate solo trumpets, 5 trombones, 4 tenor saxes, etc. To me it's a great tool for writing.

    I find the Steinway piano an excellent alternative to larger libraries and use it for rock piano on a regular basis. The brush drum kit is also excellent and includes brush stirs.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    I don't use it a lot but I am glad I own it. In fact, I like how each sax is a different instrument so building up a super-sax section sounds realistic.

    My sense is that you have to put a little more work in to get something back. Wendy Carlos raves about Gary's products and she is one of the pioneers of electronic orchestration. I respect her opinions quite a lot.

  6. #6

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    It's a good value. Especially now.

    OTOH, if it can create truly realistic brass or reeds sections? I have yet to hear it. Prove me wrong. Somebody... please... post -any- half-way decent demo of even a -few- bars. And then... PLEASE... tell me what the magic trick is.

    I've posted on exactly this thing... every instrument in the thing sounds really good except for.... THE SECTIONS. You can make convincing drums, percussion, bass, keyboard and even some very nice horn/reed soli. But -sections-. Man, they sound -weak-. I have no idea why, because just about any classical lib can create truly 'epic' horn sounds. In fact, in a pinch, I'd probably use a classical lib for horn sections than JABB... yeah even for a 'jazz' score.

    ---JC

  7. #7

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    How are you panning them? I find that emulating a real life setup works best.

    What kind of reverb are you using? Horns usually work best through a plate reverb.

    Also, be sure and vary the attack times. Real players never play exactly together. In Sonar, I either play the parts in by hand, when I'm able, or I quantize 100% and then re-quantize at about 92% which shifts the attacks both forwards and backwards in time just a bit. The percentage will depend on the tempo of the piece.

    Finally, volume swells and vibrato. The more you can phrase like a real horn section, the better off you'll be. JABB is not a "play it in once and listen to the magic" library. It takes some real finagling. I'm looking forward to the ARIA engine version whenever it arrives. Until then, I'm not using mine much either. That also coincides with the fact that I don't have a pressing professional need at the moment, and that helps. All of my current writing is for live players so I'm making do with generic sounds so I can check to be sure I have the right notes entered.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  8. #8

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    I own JABB and GPO. My overall impression of both is that the indivdual instruments don't have quite as much character or as many articulations as their competition. They tend to sound better in combination, rather than for exposed solo work. There are some real gems in each package, and a share of clunkers as well.

    But both libraries are relatively inexpensive and you get a lot for your money. I'm sure you'll find something in JABB that makes it worth while. (Not enough in marching band to attract me, though.)

    The brass in JABB sounds better than in GPO. (Not the saxes, though, which I don't care for at all.) They use Bb Trumpets in JABB, rather than C trumpets - which are much more commonly used in the kind of music I write. JABB includes fulgelhorns (5 of them!) But the big draw for me was that each of the trumpets and trombones has a cup, bucket, harmon and straight mute. (There's a plunger, too, though I have never used it.) Most libraries have one muted trumpet or trombone if you're lucky (which turns out to be just the straight mute or harmon) and they never seem to have mutes for the Bass Trombone. JABB was the first library I found that did (though there may be others out now). There is also a 10 string acoustic guitar and the basses are much better than what I would have expected. (One sounds very much like a bass library I bought where 1 articulation cost me over a hundred bucks.) So, on balance, I'd say go for it. You may not use it every day - but for that price - it's nice to have such a vast array of choices you can draw from in a pinch.

    Garrittan's stuff is usually not my first choice, but I find I use JABB brass a lot and I raid the rest of both libraries off and on when I need an instrument or feature that I don't have in my more expensive libraries. For example, I have two big solo strings libraries, but none of the samples are looped. I got stuck on a piece because the unlooped samples were too short. So, I used Garritan's violins and cello for that one number. There was a step down in the quality, to be sure. But as a background pad, in this instance, it didn't make much difference. And there are a lot of odd little surprises. Such as the Eb clarinet in GPO, or some of the percussion in JABB (brushes, various gourds, etc.). For people who don't own GPO, the harps and harpsichord alone are worth the price. You'd pay more than 100 bucks for comparable quality instruments from other libraries.

  9. #9

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    I used JABB this past summer as Hayden outlined. To help develop trumpet and trombone arrangements for a recording session. Worked out quite well to everyone's satisfaction. Some comparative recordings in this thread:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=62807

    Gotta say I had no idea how hard recording brass was till I tried it myself. If it wasn't for the brilliant playing, I'd be tempted to stick with the samples because whoever recorded them is obviously better at this than I am.

    Howard

  10. #10

    Re: Awkward question Garritan Big Band lib.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntower View Post
    OTOH, if it can create truly realistic brass or reeds sections? I have yet to hear it. Prove me wrong. Somebody... please... post -any- half-way decent demo of even a -few- bars. And then... PLEASE... tell me what the magic trick is.
    The best rendering from JABB that I've heard so far are from the Online Jazz Arranging Course. They blew me away!

    Unfortunately, the magic trick has not yet been forthcoming. Maybe we can all ask again now that the entire course has been posted.

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