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Topic: JABB-agra

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  1. #1

    JABB-agra

    We want more jazz! I know that there are more JABB users than just me. Come on post anything!!

    Since I'd won the JABB - forgot why, but I never honoured Gary for this, using it - this beautiful library was sitting somewhere on my HD's. Together with all MIDI files I made back in those Windows '98 days, every day I heard some screaming: "when are you goin' to do anything with it."

    So, finally I started some days ago and enjoyed it very much. It is hard work to get it "sound" as it should. Now you can judge for yourself:

    Night Shift (already presented, but renewed)
    Flapdoodle (finally a Banjo!!!)
    Blue Screen for Windows Users (who doesn't remember those unwillingly blue backgrounds?)

    There is more, I am working hard. When this album of 19 pieces is ready, I will notify you.

    Have fun,

    Raymond

  2. #2
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    Re: JABB-agra

    Gday Raymond,

    This is great, absolutely great, although some of it is rather repetitive, particularly in “Night Shift”.

    I really like it.

    Best wishes,

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
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    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
    Photography, Painting, Wood Working - Midi Orchestration, Music, Music, und Musik …

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: JABB-agra

    Hi Raymond,

    I've copied part of my response to your original posting of "Night Shift" since it's relevant to this most recent posting as well (I hope you don't mind my doing so ).

    First off, as a huge jazz lover, I'm delighted to hear you're offering music in the jazz ensemble arena now ... a man for all genres! I'm such a fan of your classical and solo piano music so this is very impressive .

    I've listened to the three pieces several times and I do like what you have "gotten goin'" here ... very impressive! I like all the harmonic progressions, and the piano work is, very predictably, fabulous! (We've come to expect that from you!). Very swinging, authentic sounding piano work ... well done! The rest of the rhythm section work is spot-on also.

    I think your solo horn renderings are good, but I found the background horns needing more life. You are indeed correct in that JABB renderings are not easy to execute ... they require enormous massaging to sound authentic. It takes me way too long to get a piece reasonably close, but I do think the results are worth the effort. I hope you'll allow a few suggestions on getting those swinging horn backgrounds cookin'.

    1st.- Try varying/moving the start and end times of each note around; vary the durations as well. In each concerted voicing, they all seem to be firing and ending simultaneously which gives the "reed organ" effect rather than a swinging bunch of cat's blowing. If you have already done this, then possibly it's the relatively fast tempo of the pieces (at least 1st and 3rd pieces) in which case they could use a bit more note shifting.

    2nd- Add (more?) cc1 data (volume) and definitely, more vibrato, especially on the tails of your longer held notes. The cc1 data can be applied not only within the individual notes, but connecting entire phrases. This would give a much more dynamic finish to your very fun lines and kicks.

    As far as the actual arrangements, as you know this is very subjective ground! I really think you have the core of some very good tunes ... all those solos ... my God, I know how long it takes to do those and make them sound like a different cat is playing each one . But I would try varying the intensity/density of these charts by adding intros, interludes, and endings to what you already have. IOW, what you have is fine if it were contrasted a bit; right now the intensity/density is fairly relentless from beginning to end. Just dropping (deleting) 8-16 measures of the horn backgrounds/kicks here and there would help ... hearing those nice sax solos over just the piano trio would be an easy change of color to achieve.

    I really enjoyed your pieces Raymond and thanks for sharing them with us ... I look forward to the entire CD of 'em!

    Regards,

    Frank

  4. #4
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    Re: JABB-agra

    Hi Raymond. I really enjoy your jazz work. Despite being named after something nobody wants, I think the 3rd one is my favorite.
    Trent P. McDonald

  5. #5

    Re: JABB-agra

    Hi, Raymond - It's really fun to hear more of these complex jazz forays of yours, in the wake of your titanic symphony. Along with Trent, I especially enjoyed "Blue Screen."

    I admire Frank's reply, because I believe he's outline some potentially very helpful feedback for you. When he's talking about various editing processes to add slightly randomized "humanization" to the backing brass, he's speaking to the main issue that struck me also when listening. The stabs from those guys are just too perfect at present, more like keyboard player on a synth-brass or organ sound, and primarily because they've been heavily quantized. I hope you spend the time to try what Frank outlined, because I feel it'll help immensely. Right now the un-reality of that section is detracting from your sophisticated, wonderful work.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: JABB-agra

    All of you, thank you for the nice comments.
    Frank, I am studying your reply - even printed it - and right now I am doing what I am not used to, namely "don't let them start at the same time and we'll see when it ends" (roughly said).

    I re-rendered and amended Night Shift. I was using Vibrato (Aftertouch, because Sonar doesn't let me set out CC#131 - max number =127). I reviewed that Aftertouch and set it all to a higher value. For me right now the longer notes have some vibrato (also touched the vibrato speed CC#17).

    Introduced another piano - I used the JABB Steinway, but now it is the Prof. Steinway - Stage Side. And a lot more things, even had a handful of grey hair on my desk (in despair). Before I forget, I re-did the CC#1 on all horns.


    What you wrote is very useful, many thanks.

    PS. Yesterday I attended a concert of an Amateur Chamber Orchestra, playing a concert for those mentally impaired. They were right in front of me (barely 3 meters), the acoustics were really a disaster (dry as a desert). It was good enough, those handicapped people, my sister is one of them, enjoyed the concert and had a lot of fun. To my surprise they all started at the same time and ended at the same time. In between... don't ask me, sometimes it was what I am doing now with that Jazz.


    Raymond

  7. #7

    Re: JABB-agra

    Hi, Raymond

    It's great that Frank's reply was helpful to you. I thought it would be. And just now when I looked at your new reply, this still surprised me:

    "...right now I am doing what I am not used to, namely 'don't let them start at the same time and we'll see when it ends'.."


    Oh! You're such an old hand at this MIDI stuff by now, I thought this concept would already be well known to you. It's what we often talk about, the "organ effect" being created by multiple instruments starting at precisely the same time. It's also why I'm such an advocate of playing music into an app like the Sonar you use, to capture the truly "humanized" slight variations that make digital music more natural. And in jazz--really essential.

    Do you mean you have new versions posted now, or you are working on them?

    One point of clarification for you, "...Aftertouch, because Sonar doesn't let me set out CC#131 - max number =127..."

    Aftertouch is the correct and normal thing to use. CC131 is a substitute for people with keyboards that can send out MIDI data but don't have Aftertouch. And while an app like Sonar sticks to the true MIDI spec which has controller numbers only going up to 127, as I said on another thread of yours awhile back, if you have a keyboard with a programmable wheel or slider - THat can be set to send out 131.

    AND I noticed just now that you've heard Rich Garber's great "Turmoil" post--Very inspiring, the sound he got. The instruments are nice and close to the listener, they all sound natural, reverb is used very sparingly, and he uses every controller available to make the notes sound so organic. Really good role model for how to get jazz out of these tools.

    BUT it's not as if you don't have wonderful things going on in "JABB-agra" that you posted--Especially the hot Piano. Once you loosen up those robot-horns, it'll be cooking!

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: JABB-agra

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Raymond

    It's great that Frank's reply was helpful to you. I thought it would be. And just now when I looked at your new reply, this still surprised me:

    "...right now I am doing what I am not used to, namely 'don't let them start at the same time and we'll see when it ends'.."


    Oh! You're such an old hand at this MIDI stuff by now, I thought this concept would already be well known to you. It's what we often talk about, the "organ effect" being created by multiple instruments starting at precisely the same time. It's also why I'm such an advocate of playing music into an app like the Sonar you use, to capture the truly "humanized" slight variations that make digital music more natural. And in jazz--really essential.

    Do you mean you have new versions posted now, or you are working on them?

    One point of clarification for you, "...Aftertouch, because Sonar doesn't let me set out CC#131 - max number =127..."

    Aftertouch is the correct and normal thing to use. CC131 is a substitute for people with keyboards that can send out MIDI data but don't have Aftertouch. And while an app like Sonar sticks to the true MIDI spec which has controller numbers only going up to 127, as I said on another thread of yours awhile back, if you have a keyboard with a programmable wheel or slider - THat can be set to send out 131.

    AND I noticed just now that you've heard Rich Garber's great "Turmoil" post--Very inspiring, the sound he got. The instruments are nice and close to the listener, they all sound natural, reverb is used very sparingly, and he uses every controller available to make the notes sound so organic. Really good role model for how to get jazz out of these tools.

    BUT it's not as if you don't have wonderful things going on in "JABB-agra" that you posted--Especially the hot Piano. Once you loosen up those robot-horns, it'll be cooking!

    Randy
    Good morning Randy,


    1. I didn't post the new version of Night Shift yet. I am not satisfied about the result, at least not yet.
    2. Don't let them start at the same time, with that I meant to say that in classical music the "human" factor will be ruled out as much as possible, only they don't get it all working, we always have to deal with the factor that you can't get it "on spot"(as somebody said, we aren't machines). In Jazz - and I listened to a couple of CD's to find THAT out - it is more losely.
    3. My keyboard prohibits entering values above 127. So it is drawing Aftertouch in Sonar.
    4. And indeed that "Turmoil" was really great, I listened to it a couple of times and must admit that here is a "master".

    Now, back to the drawing board,

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: JABB-agra

    You almost make the "Blue Screen of Death" enjoyable!

    Well at least your music is enjoyable. That piece has a real nice double time feel to it. It is the best of the 3 IMHO.

    Thanks Raymond!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  10. #10
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    Re: JABB-agra

    Gday Raymond,

    I grew up and lived for many years in Dortmund, not far from where you live, just across the border. I played double bass in various modern jazz groups there.

    You said and Randy repeated:

    “... right now I am doing what I am not used to, namely "don't let them start at the same time and we'll see when it ends" (roughly said).”

    In my experience, jazz musicians have a very keen sense for timing, much more so than classical musicians, except for those at the very top of their profession.

    In modern jazz, the bass player is responsible for providing a most precise beat. For getting a really good swig feeling and for supporting the other musicians properly, the bass needs to be minutely advanced to the real beat, but not speeding and with a few licks to make the bass line interesting. I can’t say this for sure, but that minute advance of time of the bass may compensate for acoustic delays.

    If the musicians are any good, riffs and short bursts of chords, stabs, played by brass and woodwinds must start at exactly the same time for all players. There may be some small variation in length of notes between different types of instruments.

    Random variations of timing for the purpose of humanizing does not always sound right. Small variation in timing may come about by the characteristics of the instrument and fingering. These variations are not random. Avoidance of even time divisions of notes is part of the phrasing. Examples of interesting timing are found in the music of Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Chick Corea etc.

    Randomisation has its use. Expressive performance based on timing is deliberate, certainly not random. The very precise timing of the rhythm section provides the basis for varied rhythmic expression.

    Best wishes,

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
    Good Food, Gemütlichkeit, Wein Weib und Gesang – History, Politics, Civil Law –
    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
    Photography, Painting, Wood Working - Midi Orchestration, Music, Music, und Musik …

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