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Topic: Panning/which instruments

  1. #1

    Panning/which instruments

    If I have a 4- (or more) piece brass section playing 3-note sustained chords with a bass note (meaning brass of the lower end, not tuba or upright bass), how do I pan them like a real brass section and which of JABB's brass instruments play which notes (root, third and fifth)?
    I'm trying to do some Robert Palmer kinda music with trumpet blasts and sustained chords.
    Right now it sounds so flat and lifeless. I tried adding some vibrato, and it's still dead. It actually sounds better using some cheapo freebie soundfonts, which means I don't know how to use JABB cuz I know it's capable of really incredible sounding music.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Just north of Sydney

    Re: Panning/which instruments

    Gday AlanPS,

    Assuming that you have a midi file, than all you need to do, is to assign an instrument of your choice to each staff (track, voice). If you do not like a tuba for your bass, just pick any other instrument with a suitable range. JABB has a lot of choices.

    Panning and effects will enhance the presentation, but are not of primary concern.

    Best wishes,

    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

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  3. #3

    Re: Panning/which instruments

    Regarding sustained chords, think in terms of voice leading. Which instrument plays which note of chord will vary. For example (spelling from bottom to top), using a I/III/IV progression in C:

    As far as tone goes, use dynamics, different attacks, and varying vibrato to avoid a static, soundfont kind of sound.

    Regarding trumpet blasts, borrow a trick from the Stan Kenton arrangements: his 4th trumpet was the high-note player, doubling the 1st trumpet one octave higher. Another way to do the blast is to have trumpets 1 and 2 playing the same lines as 3 and 4, but an octave apart.

    Regarding panning: This varies with the effect you're trying to create. You can emulate a live stage by grouping the brass section together but not in exactly the same space. For example, using two trombones and two trumpets, panning from -127 to +127, put trombone 1 at -10, trombone 2 at -20, trumpet 2 at -30 and trumpet 1 at -40. This way, the section will be slightly spaced out but not exaggerated. If your brass sections are larger, like a 16-piece stage band, 1st trumpet, 1st trombone and 1st alto are generally in the center with the rest of their respective sections fanning out to the sides.

    I hope this helps.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Steinway A104030
    Sonar X2 (professional), Finale 2011, JABB 3, GPO

  4. #4

    Re: Panning/which instruments

    Thanks Dean,

    that was very useful. I still have a lot to learn about making them sound more expressive, but I'll get there.
    The Untrained Ecclectic--I'm a PC, with Sonar Home Studio, JABB and tons of soundfonts, DXIs & VSTIs

  5. #5

    Re: Panning/which instruments

    You can also use the CC settings for variation, attack and (for the trombones) slide - sparingly (i.e. small values) - to add subtle changes that collectively make the track sound more "real". What you don't get from JABB is a lot of detail for solos (though it is better in that respect than GPO).

    Allegro Data Solutions

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