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From a slightly puzzled newbie to JABB

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From a slightly puzzled newbie to JABB

Postby jack o-trades » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:27 am

Hello all!

Having acquired JABB recently, I'm trying to get to grips with it. So for a better understanding of the software, this is my first foray into these forums.

A bit of background first.

As a musician, I have several decades in trad jazz, Swing, early bop and some Latin under my belt. I worked with some amazing singers, too. And I chose JABB because it contains the sole decent virtual tenor banjo - my main instrument - I have been able to find. And boy did I search for one: for the best part of a decade, I reckon! Of every musical instrument under the sun there's a virtual version available. But of tenor banjo not: none whatsoever! I kid you not!

I may also be a little unusual in that I seem the only one on MMF using JABB as standalone (or attempting to, at least). I notice, from exploring index board content, that Garritan software serves as plug-in or as notation add-on, for most (if not all) of you. But a dedicated forum for standalone Garritan is nowhere to find either - try as I may (a suggestion for a sub-forum, maybe?). So here I am.

That said, JABB seems a wonderful tool for recording purposes, from my perspective. And as to this aspect, my approach may be a little unorthodox, too.

When I grew up, personal computers were still firmly in the science fiction realm. And therefore it was relatively late in life that I learned to handle IT basics. So where I'm coming from is the good old handiwork of analogue multitracking - where less is often more. Yet digital technology has made big strides, undeniably, in the meanwhile; and I, in that same area, a few rather smaller, but not, I suppose, insignificant steps. An IT whizz I'll never be, though; but I do believe that less is more does apply to digital stuff as well. Hence, I like to keep things simple.

My intention is to play JABB library samples, on digital keyboard (MIDI-enabled), as if they are "real" musical instruments. JABB playback will initially be captured on my Zoom R16 multitracker. Subsequently, tracks thus derived are transferred to Audacity, for further editing. But there could also be an avenue, in JABB, to enabling electric string instruments as MIDI controller - about which a little more later.

- Getting any sound at all out of JABB has been the foremost hurdle, so far.

ASIO4ALL, as installed on my Windows 7 desktop, has been working to satisfaction in Sibelius 7: sounds fine - and no latency at all. ASIO4ALL is on my Windows 7 laptop, too - to serve JABB, supposedly - but from the latter not a peep. Besides, Wavetable Synth (Windows' standard audio device) has been disabled. And before you ask: yes, a fully functioning USB MIDI interface is sitting between digital piano and laptop. But still neither sound nor visible movement in JABB's virtual piano, when a test instrument has been loaded and random keys on the hardware version are being pressed.

- In Sibelius, the ASIO4ALL dialog can be accessed with a couple of mouse clicks. This is really handy for further fine-tuning, in my experience. But in JABB no such thing.

I find this rather puzzling. As to buffer size control, the JABB panel for settings only allows very broad strokes. So where to summon the ASIO4ALL dialog from, when needed?

There's nothing in JABB and Aria manuals about this, as far as I can see.

- My small Gem PX7 digital piano has pitch bend, but no mod. And there isn't any ready money for replacement equipped with both. I have seen quite a lot of online buzz, though, about standalone mod, of lately - but no evidence of anything the like being on the market for real as yet. So until that time arrives, might there be some alternative worth looking into?

The PX7 has jack & RCA outputs, MIDI In & Out and Volume & Sustain (foot) controls. No USB ports.

- And finally: has anyone out there ever tried an electric string instrument as MIDI controller in JABB?

There might be a manner of doing exactly that, actually. But since discussing second- or third-party software is against forum regulations, to my understanding, let's suffice by saying that what I have in mind will turn almost every electric string instrument into MIDI controller, simply by means of a regular lead! I'm wondering now as to whether JABB is indeed offering options for including "outside" software like the above: this, of course, with a view on giving my electric tenor guitar the genuine tenor banjo sound - at last! - for which I have been searching for so long.

I'm looking forward to hearing back from (at least) a few of you.

jack o-trades
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jack o-trades
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