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Topic: Only the best Jazz!

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  1. #1

    Only the best Jazz!

    I have spent a lot of time searching through sample libraries. . . I know Jazz is one of the last frontiers with this technology, but I want the best and money is no object. Without wasting anybody\'s time, is there a resource or any guidance that you can offer as far as the best Jazz sample libraries currently in existence? I already have the VSL, DD, and many others, but I am looking for those samples that include different FX, articulations, flutters, falls, mutes, etc. that are inherently Jazz.

    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME! [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    If money is really no issue, get them all.

    Besides that, Jazz is very hard to pull out with samples yet, not even all the proper instrument combinations exist yet as sampled material. Assuming you meant also Big Band Jazz. Some older audio cds contain one-shots or loops, but those aren\'t very flexible and easily recognizable as such.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    OK, here are some of my standbys:

    Larry Seyer Bass--excellent all around. My favorite instrument is the First Position one...nice and fat, and a little less up front than the \"optimal\" instrument. You can also use a switchable position instrument if you want to really go 100% authentic about where you are on the fingerboard.

    Quantum Leap Brass--lots of cool \"lick\" stuff, falls, doits, my favorite cop-show cup mute trumpet section, cool \"Ben Webster\" sax that\'s very understated.

    Advanced Orchestra--Harmon Mute Trumpets. Put a highpass filter on them, and take out some of the fundamental, and you can get that perfect trumpet section \"harmon buzz\" that\'s all gloss and no tone.

    VSL Horizon Saxophones--ridiculously good. Abuse of the portamento legatos is highly recommended for moonbag-out fun. I just started working with these, and will get some fun stuff posted asap.

    VSL Concert Guitar--excellent nylon-lead potential. I\'ve been learning this one today. The legato/fast articulations are definitely jazz go-to material.

    Bardstown Vintage Archtop and Tenor Banjo--another couple of really cool jazz voices. The nice release samples really give you some good note to note mojo.

    Acoustic Essentials--Good six and twelve string Martin steel library. This one you want for the chords--it has nice suspended voicings that will let you bridge changes so you don\'t have that \"chord, chord, chord\" sound.

    Jim Corrigan\'s Nashville Hi-Strung Guitars--a bit of a specialty, since this is more of a country--for that matter, Nashville-specific technique. Two guitars, hard panned, with different tunings playing the same chords. Think Eagles, Lying Eyes. I mention it because it\'s sometimes a useful chord voice in some kinds of jazzy material.

    Reaktor--SteamPipe Ensemble....not a sample library, but if you have Reaktor, load it up and choose the guitar preset. Roll the mod wheel as you play...when it\'s a low values the tone is wide open, and as you roll it up, you get a physical model of the string being choked. This is the very best chicken-pickin\' instrument around--once you get the trick of moving the mod wheel in the sweet spot while playing, you can really knock out an authentic part. Not as \"real\" as a sample, I guess, but very plausible as a guitar sound. The authenticity of the part you can get is 1000 times better than you\'ll get from a sampler, so it\'s offsetting penalties as far as I\'m concerned. Put a little hair on it with a speaker/amp simulator, and nobody\'s going to question it.

    I\'m sure there are many more that I\'m not thinking of, but that\'s at least a few of the sounds and libraries I\'ve found to be cool for getting jazzy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    OK, silly me. I left out two of the most frigging (and by that I mean the other f-word) amazing jazz libraries there are:

    Scarbee\'s Rhodes and Wurlie. They are to die for, period.

    Acoustic pianos that I have found to be really nice in a jazz setting are the Post Grandioso Steinway for darker, trio-quartet settings. The Bardstown Bosendorfer is good for something a bit brighter and glassier. The White Grand is also quite excellent, really outstanding in terms of control. It also has a flat-out bodacious low end, in terms of being able to express a LOT of information in that range. The Grandioso, and other pianos like the EastWest Steinway can sometimes clog up in that range, so that\'s something to ponder when you\'re making a choice for a particular piece...how much \"fill\" you want in the lows and mid lows from the piano.

    You mentioned VSL, and I totally concur there. Any of the solo winds will do fine justice in a jazz ensemble setting...they move well, and the legatos and performance options are valuable. You mentioned the Dan Dean libraries as well, and the Solo Brass has some definite use in the genre. Some of those **cough** Vizzutti **cough** trumpet blastissimos can melt glass.

  5. #5
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    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    You should definetly should listen to some of the vrsound.com demos. I have had the piano7 for about 1 year now and I use it to play live. No other piano has yet come close to this one and I have tried many. (wasted my money). I also have the vibes and saxes.

    Franz of VR sound is a Jazz engineer. It shows.

  6. #6

    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    I have yet to hear any big band or jazz brass samples that sound good (except Memphis Horns licks). QL Brass sounds like crap, and the VSL Saxaphones aren\'t convincing at all. Even though they were taken from a real performer, they come out extremely synthesized, and the articulations don\'t blend or run smooth together at all. I also want to hear that raw ambience of a jazz club with the walls, ceiling lights, tables, people (the reverb effects, not them talking). Although, I applaud the attempts by these developers, but it is so insanely hard to capture those articulations, and the bending and improvisation of notes and performance. The timbre is extremely hard to catch and recreate realistically. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    Jared

    P.S. I dare for a developer to hire the Count Basie Orchestra for recording the library, although it would cost zillions. That is cream of the crop right there. They are FANTASTIC in concert!

  7. #7

    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    What about drums? I need some good stuff for a nightclub type of music I can use along with my tenor and alto saxes/ clarinet.

  8. #8

    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    Jared Hudson,

    Our opinions differ on QL Brass. I bought it a couple months ago, and I think it sounds absolutely great for big band. My first mock-up, though rough, passed the LOUD test with flying colors. It rocked the house. The recording quality and musicianship are excellent.

    That said, if you ever need to compose to the samples, it\'s with QL Brass. It has some wonderful articulations that work very well. But if you want something just a bit different, well, you\'re out of luck. It has very limited velocity layers, so you can\'t play at mf the first time and f the second to get a different sound. It\'s often p or f with nothing in between. Choose one and play.

    What you can\'t do is just play any melody with any effects you want. Some notes and effects line up great. Others just don\'t work. And if you fall in love with a given articulation, take care that you don\'t overuse it, or everythying will start to sound the same.

    I did a :30 and :60 sec radio spot for my brother-in law with QL Brass, and he absolutely loved it. If I was making any money on the deal, I would have paid for the lib in one job. If you like big band and aren\'t afraid of articulations, you\'ll really enjoy it.

    Regarding the VSL Saxes, they may not be perfect, but I\'ve heard no better demos. With enough TLC you could really fool people.

    While I\'d love to get Larry Seyer\'s bass, I already own KHSS. The pizz bass works surprisingly well for jazz. It\'s restrained, to be sure, but for a backing sound it\'s surprisingly good. For a trio or solo spot, Trilogy or Seyer would walk all over it though.

    I bought the Sonic Implants brush kit for all of $24 for a download. I don\'t care for the toms, but the brush snare works well enough. It\'s a cheap way to add to any other drums that you may already own. It\'s not the greatest sound, but it got the job done admirably.

    Back on QL Brass... Every time I had ever tried a big band composition, I hated it and stopped. GM and orchestral sounds just never did it for me. I couldn\'t get close to what I heard in my head. With QL Brass I can write swing tunes and have fun doing it. It\'s not perfect, but it puts a nice wide smile on my face. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    Originally posted by Lee Blaske:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">money is no object
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Then rough out your arrangements using GM sounds, and call in real players.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I concur. Actually, I\'d just write a lead sheet, have a rehearsal before the session then hit record. If you really want good results and money really is no object, this would be the way to go. It\'s really hard to capture the magic of a few minds improvising and playing off each other in real time by inputting in things line by line in a sequencer (with one mind).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Only the best Jazz!

    Originally posted by Jared Hudson:

    P.S. I dare for a developer to hire the Count Basie Orchestra for recording the library, although it would cost zillions. That is cream of the crop right there. They are FANTASTIC in concert!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I doubt that would do it. It\'s the same set of constraints. You can sample \"legit\" playing a little better because the articulation sets used are somewhat standardized to traditional literature and interpretation. As you are seemingly aware, jazz playing follows a much looser rule-book articulation wise, something more akin to the human voice. So, it\'s not even a question of capturing it as much as a question of how do you manipulate it in any sensible way once you\'ve gotten it.

    Have you actually sat down with the VSL Horizon saxes? There\'s more there than you\'ve heard in demos...quite a lot. But you\'d have to break the rules a little with them to get the kinds of sounds I was working with yesterday (I\'ve only had them a day, myself), and the most realistic use will come somewhat serendipitously by abusing some of the articulations in nonstandard ways. For scripting out an ensemble performance, they\'re not going to sound like a player...you\'d need 20 DVDs on each instrument and a WHOLE lotta time on your hands.

    But I would agree 100 percent with Lee that if money is no object, and you\'re trying to do big band arranging, just mock up with the samples and replace the parts in session with live players. If you\'re doing this for money, it would definitely be the cheapest way from a time standpoint. It would take hours to mock up one line, no matter how good the samples, that a good session player will knock out in one take.

    I spent the first several years of my gigging career playing lead and jazz trumpet, so I know exactly where you are coming from. QL Brass isn\'t that bad for mocking up, though. I\'m telling you, those cup mute trumpets work. Lots of things about it work. You have to put some work INTO it, no doubt, and you will hear it being clumsily used at times, but there are aspects of that library that work (as do the others I mentioned).

    Where you\'re going to get into trouble with QL Brass is knocking out the expressive motion of ensemble parts. I didn\'t realize till your subsequent posts that you were looking to knock off big band sounds. The QL Brass solo/section sounds aren\'t going to move very well through those, but it\'s exactly as Lee put it. Nothing is.

    The best thing going right now for mocking up section sounds will be VSL solo instruments, probably not even bothering with the legatos unless you\'re using a wind controller to put some mojo on them. They will at least move quick enough and have enough timbres to get your parts mocked up. I had to do a dance sequence for a play that knocked off a vintage Hollywood Orchestra take on \"Dancing Cheek to Cheek,\" which was essentially big band voicing with strings. I built that out of VSL Legatos, and it came out good enough to use--really, as good as I could possibly have expected.

    That\'s all I\'ve got. I wish you luck, but if you\'re looking for something that sounds even remotely Basie-esque, you\'re barking up the wrong tree going with samples, even if someone were to sample the remaining Basie-guys. It still wouldn\'t be the same.

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