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Topic: A little insight on "growl" implementation, please......

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  1. #1

    A little insight on "growl" implementation, please......

    Howdy -

    Ok - I've been playing around w/JABB of late (absolute noob here), and in familiarizing myself with the "controls" page on the various instruments, I've hit a conceptual bump in grasping how "growl" works on the saxes. To wit:

    If I have some notes already sequenced, and I manipulate most of the controls (filters, porta, vibrato...) then I'm quite obviously acting upon the original note, at it's original amplitude. ie the effect in question is simply modulating the existing note, at whatever volume it may be at, or change to, thru it's duration. If I, say, lower the velocity on a given note while applying vibrato, I simply get a quieter, vibratoed note.

    But I've observed that "growl" seems to bring into play a separate sample independent of the original note - I can have a note at 0 velocity(inaudible), draw a "growl" curve on it - and have a quite loud and audible note present itself (growling away merrily, if such a thing is possible.) The growl appears to be completely independent of the original note's amplitude, and as such seems to be a whole different sample, perhaps keyed to the note it's being applied to but not operating on that note directly. Making sense, here?

    So - am I on the right track, or missing something in implementation? I'm just trying to understand the mechanism of this particular feature - first time I invoked growl and observed this behavior, I had one of those "wait a minute" moments, and in fact still am.

    Any Devs care to chime in and clarify what's actually happening here - I'd appreciate a tad of clarity on this...

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: A little insight on "growl" implementation, please......

    Quote Originally Posted by ricstudioc View Post
    Howdy -

    Ok - I've been playing around w/JABB of late (absolute noob here), and in familiarizing myself with the "controls" page on the various instruments, I've hit a conceptual bump in grasping how "growl" works on the saxes. To wit:

    If I have some notes already sequenced, and I manipulate most of the controls (filters, porta, vibrato...) then I'm quite obviously acting upon the original note, at it's original amplitude. ie the effect in question is simply modulating the existing note, at whatever volume it may be at, or change to, thru it's duration. If I, say, lower the velocity on a given note while applying vibrato, I simply get a quieter, vibratoed note.

    But I've observed that "growl" seems to bring into play a separate sample independent of the original note - I can have a note at 0 velocity(inaudible), draw a "growl" curve on it - and have a quite loud and audible note present itself (growling away merrily, if such a thing is possible.) The growl appears to be completely independent of the original note's amplitude, and as such seems to be a whole different sample, perhaps keyed to the note it's being applied to but not operating on that note directly. Making sense, here?

    So - am I on the right track, or missing something in implementation? I'm just trying to understand the mechanism of this particular feature - first time I invoked growl and observed this behavior, I had one of those "wait a minute" moments, and in fact still am.

    Any Devs care to chime in and clarify what's actually happening here - I'd appreciate a tad of clarity on this...

    Thanks!
    Well, I'm not a dev, but I do have some sampling experience. The "growl" of which you speak is probably a layer in the patch programmed to be triggered by a controller. Technically speaking the "growl" samples are separate from the base instrument samples, but they're integrated on the programming level into one instrument patch. If I'm correct (and I'm about 90% sure I am), then you have a leg up on us GPO4 users. GPO has always had separate overlay patches for the brass instruments. So if you want your horns and trumpets to sound their brassiest at the upper dynamics, you have to load the overlays in as separate instruments, then figure out the right volume controller levels to get a good blend between the base instrument and overlay sounds. Maybe there's a good reason why the Garritan devs have been doing it this way, but I think I'd prefer having the brass overlays being handled the same way JABB is doing it with the sax growls.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  3. #3

    Re: A little insight on "growl" implementation, please......

    Howdy Steve -

    Yeah, I think you're probably right here - I'll give you that 90%. It has to be a separate sample being brought into play, it's the only thing that explains the independent volume behavior.

    Gotta say, GPO and JABB are wa-a-a-y deep - that "utterly lifelike" potential is certainly there, but ya gotta really muck around with a ton of teeny little details to get it there. Of course, at my age, it's still probably faster than actually learning to play all the instruments involved...

    But I've gained a tremendous respect for folks like the one who won GPO's contest, as featured on their main page. Man, that guy must have had no life whatsoever for a year to create that work. Hat's off to the master!

    Ric

  4. #4
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    Re: A little insight on "growl" implementation, please......

    Hi Ric,

    Afraid I'm not a dev either - just another curious JABB owner. I must confess to being hesitant about jumping in on this one, since I didn't want to "rain on the parade" . The thread piqued my curiosity, so I did some digging under the hood in the sfz script for JABB's Alto Sax.

    There is a another "sound" involved in the growl, in a manner of speaking, but it's not actually another sample! As far as I can see, CC18 (the Growl controller) controls the output of a low frequency oscillator set up to amplitude modulate the sample with a sine wave at just over 43Hz - to be exact at 43.5443Hz (how's that for an accurate growl?)! Having said that, Steve is right in assuming that JABB involves multiple sample blends, since additional samples are mixed in for breath and keyclick sounds.

    On the subject of volume, key velocity controls only the attack rate of sustaining instruments such as saxes - so reducing velocity to 0 wouldn't have rendered the sample inaudible. Volume on all of Garritan's sustaining instruments is controlled by cc1, the mod wheel. I suspect the increase in volume with growl is probably due to the additional harmonics introduced by the modulation process.

    As to the attention to detail needed to do justice to the instruments, you got that right! With libraries this powerful, the learning curve is just like playing every instrument in a real band - practically infinite! It's a constant process of tweaking and refining, but the end results are well worth it - as you've obviously heard from the demos (some of which probably did take months to complete)!

    All the best,

    Keith
    "A musicologist is a man who can read music but cannot hear it!" (Sir Thomas Beecham)

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