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Topic: Realistic trombone slides

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  1. #1

    Realistic trombone slides

    Can anyone direct me to a tutorial on realistic trombone slides as used in dixieland jazz (tailgating)? I'm using GPO4 with Sonar 7XL Home Studio. I've messed around with the various controllers but it always comes out sounding very fake - like turning the knob up or down on an audio oscillator.

    Thanks for any help.

    Tom

  2. #2

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    You're not happy with pitch bend for that, Tom? Using an actual wheel on a keyboard works best, but with some care taken, it can be drawn into the PRV. I find that sitting in a mix with other instruments, it works fine.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    Thanks Randy. I don't have any kind of keyboard (other than the computer) so all my sequencing is done from the staff view. Any sort of controller data has to be drawn in using envelopes. The Garritan manual mentions pitch bend, but doesn't say anything about a cc number. I have tried a lot of stuff with the portamento controllers 19 & 20 and even tried some programming examples by Tom Hopkins but they didn't seem to work with my lashup. Am I going to have to get a physical MIDI keyboard, or something with a real pitch bend wheel?

    Thanks again for help.

    Tom

  4. #4

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    Glad you saw my reply, Tom - Here comes another one.

    Answering your last question first, I really would highly recommend that you get a MIDI keyboard. You would get so much more out of Sonar, and your music would benefit greatly by it. I also think you'd have more fun. Even if you don't actually play a keyboard, you could at least take advantage of the kind of thing we're talking about here---PLAYing those trombone slides. You'd instantly know in real time if you're getting the effect you want.

    Next thing - You're using just The Staff View - ! OK, some people do work primarily there, but I highly, strongly, adamantly, enthusiastically suggest you use The Piano Roll View. Add that to your tools at least. In the notation view, you're basically working in strict, unnaturally perfect quantization, and you can't get at the stuff you really need to - the MIDI data.

    Envelopes - I guess you mean you're doing that in the Track View?

    Go to the Piano Roll View - with the little menus in the upper left hand corner you can get at any and all MIDI parameters. With the grid turned OFF - Must do that - you can draw any kind of data in you want.

    Pitch Bend is a special case control - it doesn't have a number like MIDI controllers. It's a controller unto itself-_and it's available right there in the PRV. Ask for the various types of things you can work with, you'll see Pitch Bend listed.

    It takes getting used to--I'll mention one more thing about Pitch Bend. You can picture how it's a control that goes either up or down. There's a center point. That's exactly the way it's pictured in the control pane of the PRV. The middle of the pane will be Zero - you draw continuously with the mouse up or down, looking to see that you're covering the part of the note you want to have effected.

    PRV - it's the heart of a MIDI sequencer like any of the versions of Sonar. You have a piano keyboard on the left for easy reference to what note you're inserting - You can SEE the length---And you can have the timing machine perfect with the grid on, or more natural with the grid off.

    Lots more I could say, but you have to get in there and start experimenting with it. For one thing, even without a physical wheel, I know you'd get a trombone slide you like--just to start with.

    Randy B.

    Quote Originally Posted by TinPanAlley View Post
    Thanks Randy. I don't have any kind of keyboard (other than the computer) so all my sequencing is done from the staff view. Any sort of controller data has to be drawn in using envelopes. The Garritan manual mentions pitch bend, but doesn't say anything about a cc number. I have tried a lot of stuff with the portamento controllers 19 & 20 and even tried some programming examples by Tom Hopkins but they didn't seem to work with my lashup. Am I going to have to get a physical MIDI keyboard, or something with a real pitch bend wheel?

    Thanks again for help.

    Tom

  5. #5

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    Many thanks Randy. I'm going to dive into the PRV. I've always been afraid of it and I'm very comfortable with conventional music - having played one instrument or another just about my entire life (and that's a loooooong time).

    The snap to grid feature of course also works with the staff view - sometimes very irritatingly when sequencing some highly syncopated music.

    You've given me terrific info that I have not come across elsewhere and I can't wait to jump into the PRV.

    Thanks again,

    Tom

  6. #6

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    Hey, Tom - Here's what may work best for you:

    Combine working in the Staff View with Pian Roll work.

    You're comfortable with notation, so do that, but then get into the PRV so you can at least get at the meat of your MIDI data - that's what you're currently missing out on to some degree. I know you're working with envelopes, but there's something so immediate and intuitive about seeing the data in the various controller panes of the PRV.

    And here's the deal with quantization - If you start experimenting in the PRV, and see that it would be good to move some notes ahead of the beat, for instance, you can easily drag the notes (with the grid off)- but then when you look in the Staff View, with the note resolution off, you'll see a really messy looking, virtually unreadable display - because your track will have been humanized beyond what you can achieve by working in the Staff View alone - Once you start working with this, you'll see what I mean.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    FWIW - I couldn't live without the staff view. (In fact that's the one reason why I put up with Sonar). The second most useful view for me is the event view (especially when I need to clean things up.) I rarely use the piano roll view. I just don't find it that useful. Maybe my brain just isn't wired that way, but the staff is the primary way that I visualize music and I find it very difficult to work any other way.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  8. #8

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    Hi, ejr - It's good to see you here!

    A lot of people rely heavily on the Staff View, you're certainly not alone. At first I couldn't get what the deal was with the PRV since it's main feature presents notes in a totally different way than we were taught. So I do get the attraction of working with Staff.

    A Staff View is part of every major sequencer, it's certainly not unique to Sonar. I'm wondering if you might not be more comfortable just using a notation program where notation is The Focus?

    Musically, the draw back about Staff which I've been trying to outline for Tom is that you're working constantly with quanitzation. It can very easily lead to the dreaded "robotic computer music" syndrome. That's why, for me, recording MIDI with quantization off, applying quantization as desired here and there - that's what produces more natural sounding music. The results can look like a complete mess in the Staff View, because the tracks don't have absolutely perfect note-on events.

    The Event View is something I used to rely on quite a bit too, but only rarely do I need to get in to pinpoint a particular stray piece of data that way. The strong point of PRV, besides the ability to shift notes as needed, with the grid not locking me into quantization, is that I can visually edit any and all MIDI controller data, and Pitch Bend, AfterTouch etc - drawing imperfect swoops, etc, without dealing with a million nodes as when working with envelopes. Once I got beyond the alien landscape, I Got It, why so many MIDI musicians consider PRV the heart of MIDI production.

    Randy B.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    FWIW - I couldn't live without the staff view. (In fact that's the one reason why I put up with Sonar). The second most useful view for me is the event view (especially when I need to clean things up.) I rarely use the piano roll view. I just don't find it that useful. Maybe my brain just isn't wired that way, but the staff is the primary way that I visualize music and I find it very difficult to work any other way.

  9. #9

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    the reason midi pitch-bend sounds like a tone oscillator is because pitch-bend changes the formants as it moves. Ideally, the t-bone would be recorded to an audio track in Sonar, and for the most realistic affect, using the pitch correction in Sonar's audio track, you should be able to draw in pitch. I have done this for years with Digital Performer's built in pitch correction.

    I thought I remember hearing a while back that Sonar now does have pitch correction, yes/no?

    Dan
    see tutorial

    QUICKTIME 7MB

    WINDOWS 9MB

  10. #10

    Re: Realistic trombone slides

    The quantization isn't that big an issue for me because I am basically playing the parts on my MIDI keyboard initially and using primarily the staff view to edit. This minimizes the possibility of creating the robotic effect.

    Composing for me, like writing a script, is mostly re-writing and polishing. The vast majority of my time is spent in the Staff view. Among other things, it helps me see when I am getting into the difficult ranges for certain instruments or when the leaps in register are too far apart. But the most important is that, as I said, it most accurately represents how I visualize music. I use other views when doing so would make editing the part easier. (Mainly the event list, but the piano roll view is better for controller data.)

    I know that other sequencing programs have staff views, but I liked Sonar best. I realize that isn't saying much. I'd love to be able to control attacks, crescendos and diminuendos, etc.. by simply drawing on the staff ... or lengthening the duration of a note by dragging the note head. But I have to work with what I've got.

    I have thought about notation programs, but at this point, I've invested quite a bit in the system I have, and it's hard to justify any further expense. If I buy any other software before completing the opus that I have been working on for the last couple of years, it will be a REALISTIC vocal/choir library. But I'm not holding my breath for that. If it isn't on the market when I am ready, I'll use real singers.

    Allegro Data Solutions

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