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JABB Brass Tutorial

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JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby dcuny » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:42 pm

I've got JABB, but have been very frustrated because it's virtually impossible to discover how to create the sorts of sounds that are on the Garritan website or in Chuck Israel's tutorials at NorthernSounds.

For example, the tutorials at NorthernSounds for trumpet shakes, expressive flute and brush stirs all have broken links.

There are a few working (and more up to date) tutorials. And posting a MIDI files is helpful. However, that requires some level of forensic skill to understand why various controllers were used.

It seems there is a profound lack of official documentation explaining how to use the JABB library in any real depth. A list of various controllers for the instruments isn't a substitute for how to use these controllers.

What would be more extremely helpful would be a guided tutorial explaining the process used to convert a sterile line played by JABB into a convincing performance.

Edit: I should note that I wrote to MakeMusic the other week, and was assured that this issue is being worked on. But I was also told that it was "slow going", so I figured the invite to the new Garritan forum would be a perfect opportunity to post this request.
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby kwillcox » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:06 pm

I am finding that the garritan names have changed, so that when I try to use a mood, several of the instruments are missing or clearly re-named. It might be helpful for there to be a guide to these differences, but I still enjoy the music making. In most cases, a simple substitution works out fine.
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby Muffin Saxman » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:33 am

I too, have been working with JABB brass for the first time and need help getting a realistic performance to export from Finale as a .wav file for mixing in Vegas Pro 11. The brass sounds very tame and low energy so a comprehensive tutorial would be very appreciated.
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Last edited by Muffin Saxman on Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby rbowser » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:09 am

I'm not sure from the posts, but I'm thinking perhaps you are all Finale users, and so aren't working with JABB in DAW software? If so - I'm going to be honest in saying you have a much bigger challenge working with these instruments with only notation. Frankly, I'm not sure if I've ever heard a notated JABB piece that works terribly well. BUT - I'm also quite sure most people aren't using as many tools as they actually have available when using JABB, even in the limited way available in Finale.

Quite frankly, JABB works best as a set of instruments which are actually Played with a MIDI keyboard, and recorded with NO quantization - and that of course indicates using the Library in a DAW program like Sonar, Cubase etc.

dcuny wrote:...It seems there is a profound lack of official documentation explaining how to use the JABB library in any real depth. A list of various controllers for the instruments isn't a substitute for how to use these controllers..


It sounds like you haven't looked at the detailed JABB manual. There's a "profound" opposite of what you're saying - All documentation is there about how to use the various controllers available. Starting on page 47, you will get an understanding of how incredibly vital a CONTINUOUS use of Modulation Wheel Control (MIDI CC1) is for dynamic, expressive volume control. From there, the importance of having a wide variety of Note Velocity values is explained - And the detailed explanations continue with Garritan Legato, Keyswitching, Pitch Bend, Automatic Variability Controls, Portamento Control, Length Control and so forth - AND the absolutely mandatory control of Vibrato, both its depth and speed. Without using Vibrato control, you will never breathe any life into the sample sets.

kwillcox wrote:I am finding that the garritan names have changed, so that when I try to use a mood, several of the instruments are missing or clearly re-named. It might be helpful for there to be a guide to these differences, but I still enjoy the music making. In most cases, a simple substitution works out fine.


I'm sorry, but I have no idea what any of that refers to. Please come back and explain - "renamed"--? Where?

Muffin Saxman wrote:I too, have been working with JABB brass for the first time and need help getting a realistic performance to export as a .wav file for mixing in Finale. The brass sounds very tame and low energy so a comprehensive tutorial would be very appreciated.


You must have mis-typed - You said you're gong to export a .wav file for mixing in Finale-? Perhaps you meant export to work on in a DAW program?-- In any case, your description of "tame" and "low energy" means you must not be using any of the controls I listed above.-- The "comprehensive tutorial" you want is really right there in the JABB manual.

In a nutshell review: These instruments should be played, with detailed use of CC1 (or CC11, they're interchangeable, being sure there's a large variety of Velocities (which controls Attack), playing Vibrato expressively when appropriate, and at varying speeds, and adding tasteful touches of scooping Pitch Bend here and there. Armed with a MIDI keyboard and some musical imagination, those JABB instruments can sing - I guarantee it.

Turn your hymnals to page 47, gentlemen!

Randy
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Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby Muffin Saxman » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:28 am

OK, so as a composer my use of JABB in Finale isn't going to yield the results I desire. I'm not a keyboard player and don't know how to use MIDI so I'm guessing I'm in for a very tough row-to-hoe creating usable .wav files to transfer to my DAW to Mix in Vegas Pro. Not what I was hoping to hear, but I will start reading the Manual at Page 47 and see if there is a light at the end of the tunnel for a composer/woodwind player.
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby rbowser » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:48 am

Muffin Saxman wrote:OK, so as a composer my use of JABB in Finale isn't going to yield the results I desire. I'm not a keyboard player and don't know how to use MIDI so I'm guessing I'm in for a very tough row-to-hoe creating usable .wav files to transfer to my DAW to Mix in Vegas Pro. Not what I was hoping to hear, but I will start reading the Manual at Page 47 and see if there is a light at the end of the tunnel for a composer/woodwind player.

Hello again "Muffin Saxman" - I understand the frustration. I thnk you understand I'm meaning to be encouraging, not discouraging, but I'm also being realistic. Here we are on the other side of The Sale, and so we're past the "instantly get FANTASTIC results!" hype of all advertising.

We were all there where you are at some point, being new to using a computer to produce music. The light at the end of the tunnel is that you can expand yourself to be a "composer/woodwind player/MIDI musician." Most of using various kinds of music software were composers first, then when we started getting our feet wet, we realized that what we had to do was get a grasp on what MIDI is all about.

Here's something to delve into:

Finale MIDI Tool

It's more limited than what's available in DAW software, but it does give Finale users a way to work with MIDI in more detail. You must start working through that if you want to get more out of JABB playback there in Finale.

But you're saying you want to export and work in DAW software - You don't want to only export the audio files from Finale, that will never get you what you're after. You want to export the MIDI files, and then work with them in your DAW program, since that's your plan. Once you understand MIDI better, that will indeed get the most out of JABB, as indicated in my previous post.

Putting it briefly - The main problem with using a Library like JABB in a notation program is that it's pretty much just triggering recordings. Whatever is there in the raw, un-performed sample is just going to sound out. It's difficult to massage the sound into life. With the use of a LOT of commands in your score, and using the above MIDI tool, you can start getting better results. But it still remains that the very best, most organic results come from actually playing the instrument like you would any physical "real world instrument." That's the primary difference between using software instruments in a notation program, and having the opportunity to play them in DAW software.

As questions come up - keep 'em coming!

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby Michael.B » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:46 pm

This thread has been of interest to me for a few reasons and I offer my input in a supportive and understanding way. I've been there and been through endless frustrations and time spent in finding just that right, relevant piece of information.

First, I am a Finale user presently with Finale 2014. Secondly I have recently completed a score using entirely Jazz and Big Band for my entry on the Christmas CD. Third, I nearly always complete my scores in a DAW, namely Sonar.

I have to say that although I am a seasoned Finale user (since version 3) I cannot manage the sheer scope of crafting a performance in Finale that I find in Sonar. Having said that, I am entirely aware of the very high standard of recordings achieved by some who work only through Finale.

Now, I don't have Randy's extensive knowledge and experience. For me, working on a Jazz score was some learning curve. I turned to the documentation mentioned by Randy. Through all this and endless searching, listening and experimenting I learned to apply the various Jazz techniques: bends, doits, fall-offs, kisses, swing, randomizing event starts and velocity Jazz style, wah-wahs, breaks, then more searching, listening, asking questions in the forums and so on and so on.

Although I did a huge amount of work on my Big Band score in Finale, for me, I could only begin to hope to achieve the jazz performance, I had listened to and read about, through my MIDI file in Sonar.

And the end result of all this, you can listen in using the following link:

Hark The Herald Angels Sing Big Band ~ Christmas CD Track 6

Randy is indeed our forum Guru and we are very fortunate to have him with us, guiding, encouraging, technical help and so on. His advice is invaluable.

I really do hope that with Randy's support and through sharing our experiences that this will help and encourage folk to stay with it.

Finally, I could never be without my Finale nor my Garritan Jazz and Big Band even if my learning curve into Jazz did take me the best part of a year! :lol:
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby Muffin Saxman » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:15 am

I'm willing to learn about MIDI and how it works in 'Finale' and 'Vegas Pro'. I have been "gilding the Lilly" in Finale to attempt to get the Notation Trumpets and Tbones samples to come alive, but putting cap accents on every note and entering hundreds of crescendos and decrescendos isn't good writing and I wish the humanizing settings were better adept at doing what I do when I play a written part on a woodwind instrument. I'm starting to see that human interpretation is only mildly capable on the IT level and that I'm going to have to learn MIDI If I want the parts that I write in Finale to sing.
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Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby rbowser » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:21 am

Muffin Saxman wrote:...putting cap accents on every note and entering hundreds of crescendos and decrescendos isn't good writing

Ah - You're confusing composing, producing a professional looking score, and getting the most ouf of Finale playback. Those are each three very different things.

The Finale users who make the most of the program, and get sophisticated recordings from it, use hundreds of markings, as you're talking about, but they HIDE them from view. Those markings are only there to make the playback more natural sounding - they have nothing to do with how the score should be printed.

Here is a master at achieving beautiful recordings of his work using just Finale. I've seen him talk several times about the hundreds of hairpins and other dynamic markings he inserts and then hides, all in the interest of making Finale play his music more realistically. His scores are clean and professional, and his recordings are great - but they're not generated from just what's visible in the score.

Most users don't have the kind of patience it takes to do that - And I find it mind-boggling that he works that way, but he does. He doesn't like DAW programs like Sonar - He doesn't know that much directly about MIDI, he just knows how to make the most out of Finale, and I know he spends months working on one score. He could get faster, easier results using Sonar - if he cared to learn using it.

Here's his webpage. Have a listen - It's all straight from Finale.

David Sosnowski

I still recommend that you learn about MIDI, so you can use VegasPro the way you want. I'll tell you, it still amazes me that notation programs are able to do what they can. But it still seems like putting the cart before the horse when it comes to making recordings with Finale - The users notate their scores, mark them up - but have no idea that what they're actually doing is working with MIDI. To me, MIDI equals the horse, and the music is the cart. Working with a DAW program is very much more straight forward-the user is working directly with MIDI and there's no mystery as to what's making the music happen. The horse is always drawing the cart. --All that will probably make sense more after you start digging in.

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: JABB Brass Tutorial

Postby dcuny » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:02 am

Hi, Randy.

Sorry for the late response. I thought I set things up to have the forum notify me if the post was responded to, but that didn't happen. :roll:
rbowser wrote:I'm not sure from the posts, but I'm thinking perhaps you are all Finale users, and so aren't working with JABB in DAW software?

Nope, I use Reaper myself.

Quite frankly, JABB works best as a set of instruments which are actually Played with a MIDI keyboard, and recorded with NO quantization - and that of course indicates using the Library in a DAW program like Sonar, Cubase etc.

But - as you've noted - playing is a lot more than just pressing keys in time.

All documentation is there about how to use the various controllers available.

I've read the documentation. I've attempted to use controllers to "breathe life" into the performance.

I've failed miserably. :oops:

Good performance reflects intent.

But instead of creating a "performance", I've created the equivalent of a monkey twiddling at knobs, hoping that the results might be good.

There obviously isn't a "one size fits all" sort of rule to when to apply which controller to get a particular effect. But I don't even have a clue where to begin.

What I'd like are rules of thumb, along with examples, preferably that I could examine in my DAW. For example, begin a simple melodic line - stiff, quantized, and mechanical. Clearly, this is bad. So what's the first thing to do?

Obviously, someone with skill would play it in by hand. But imagine you're working with a total newbie here, and show how to craft a performance.

So the first thing you might do is look at the attack velocities, and shape them. Build them at points, make it more musical. Shift the note on/note off positions a bit so it's not as mechanical.

I can get that far.

But then... what? Work with the MOD wheel? Again, the optimal way to do it would be to play the performance from MIDI in the first place. But assume you're working with a newbie who hasn't got the coordination, or even the knowledge of when to roll the MOD wheel, and how much. So explain to them how you think about the process. Are you thinking on a note-by-note level, or to the phrase? At what rate do you move the MOD wheel, and how much?

Again, there's no single solution. But walking through the thought process would be helpful. I'm not a horn player, so I can't "think" like a horn player. Someone's got to tell me.

Imagine that you give instructions on how to use automation to control the MOD wheel. Not just an image showing the end result, but the thought process. Explain why you choose the curves that you do - are they linear, from 0 to 127, or more organic? What does an "organic" curve look like, and what's the intent behind it?

So... attacks taken care of, and the MOD wheel performance down. Now what? Should I start adding vibrato? On all the notes, or just notes a half-note or longer? Again, rules of thumb and an example would help.

It wouldn't even need to be a long example. Just something to show the "tricks" of breathing life into a performance.

Yeah, I know - there isn't really any trick. It's knowing how to think like a performer, and map that knowledge into MIDI instructions.

But for some of us (well, me at least), what's supplied in the manual isn't enough to bridge that gap.

I appreciate what the JABB manual is trying to get to, and what you've explained. But after continually failing to make progress with JABB, I'm simply left frustrated. All my results are like a chef who keeps throwing in lots of salt and pepper, hoping it will eventually get better.

As in... "Hrm... that sounds mechanical. Maybe I need to add some vibrato." Or some other CC.

That's certainly not creating music with intent. It's just fiddling with controls.

So... Could someone at MakeMusic (not necessarily you, of course) give a basic example that sets me on the right course?

I hope that clarifies things a bit.

Thanks again!
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