While we're waiting for the Garritan Christmas "CD" music to make it's way to us from Make Music, here's a fun arrangement I did way, WAY back ... Thanksgiving Eve, 1986 ... my very first arrangement/recording to use MIDI (I was using a PortaStudio 4-Track with 'live' instruments before that!)
It was created (sequenced) entirely in my brand new Ensoniq ESQ-1, an early synth with a built-in sequencer, and then played-out directly to my cassette player ... no mixer, no bells or whistles ... whatever was in the ESQ-1 was all I had! (Please forgive the crude mix ... hope you LOVE xylophone! LOL)
JINGLE BELLS - by James Lord Pierpont
The arrangement is kinda a hodge-podge ... Mannheim Steamroller-colliding-with-Willie Nelson-type piece, inspired mainly by the new synth sounds available to me for the first time, along with a few acoustic-sounding ones (There wasn't even a string bass available, so the bass line is just the low notes on a synth 'patch'!). I did use the classic "I Love Those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells ..." intro that arranger Gordon Jenkins wrote for the mid-50's Sinatra recording.
The patches, as best as I can remember, were trumpet, horn, bass sax, piano, bells, chimes, synth strings, synth choir, synth used for the bass, 'tri-bells' (hit a key and get three shakes of a handbell!), and my 1st custom-created instrument, the xylophone.
HUGE LIMITATION: The ESQ-1 was 8-channel, 8-voice polyphony ... that's right: Only eight notes could sound simultaneously (for all eight channels!). So although you could change sounds as a sequence went along on any or all of the 8 channels, you could never have more than 8 notes play at once. If you sounded a triad on a piano patch, that left only 5 more notes for the remaining 7 channels! You always had to have this in mind or you ended up with "note-stealing". But that was part of the fun!
Ahh ... we have come a long way with being able to now have an entire orchestra tutti play in 2012!
Please enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
(PS ... I never realized until tonight when I looked up who wrote this tune that it was actually a Thanksgiving song ... Ironic that's when I did this!)