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Topic: JABB demo - Critique

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  1. #1

    JABB demo - Critique

    I just created my first big band mock-up using JABB and I thought I'd post it and see what everyone here thinks. This is a lift of the tune "Gonna Eat For Christmas" sung by Rosie O'Donnell and Gloria Estefan. Don't worry, it's not being used for any commercial purposes.

    Everything is from JABB except for the snare drum, which is from a Giga library, and the sleigh bells, also from a Giga library.

    I did the lift in Finale, and then the mixing and tweaking in Sonar.

    http://www.jlevymusic.com/Audio/Gonn...0-%20Track.mp3

    Cheers,

    Jeremy Levy
    Burbank, CA
    www.jlevymusic.com

  2. #2

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Jeremy, thanks for sharing this with us all. Nice arrangement

    David

  3. #3

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Hi there,

    Nice job...may I ask approximately how much time (after note entry) was spent in editing the final result?

    Thanks,
    Eric

  4. #4

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Thanks for the replies. First of all, it's not my arrangement, it's a lift I did for a friend.

    It should have taken me 2 hours to finish the kob in Sonar, but I had some problems with it crashing for some unknown reason, so it took me more like 4 hours total.

    The majority of the time was spent balancing the mix. The most midi tweaking I did was the lead trumpet rip to the high concert Gb at the end. It was a little tricky, because I didn't want to use the sample at the given pitch. Above the high F, the sample isn't as strong, so I used the patch from F and pitch bended it up a half step on the downbeat. For the scoop, I used the Gb an octave below and pitch bent it up the octave very quickly, combined with a crescendo starting from almost nothing.

    Finale did a very good job with the original file output. Btw, the drums were done completely in Finale. I'm probably the only guy out there that would prefer to write his drums in standard notation compared to the drum grid. Call me old fashioned...

    Other than that, I set up my panning, set up a couple aux sends for a Waves reverb, and then I applied a multi-band compressor on the final mix.

    That's about it really. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Jeremy

  5. #5

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Hi J

    Listened to your beats with interest. Not gonna comment on how you have sequenced/mixed etc. You got 2 things to lose sleep over, namely structure & content. You've got all the structural stuff ok - horns, percussion etc doin what they should be doin - nice sharp bap-baps etc - but in the overall scheme of things these are less important. So not so much lost sleep here. So structure is ok, but what about the content. Where you need to be doin some work is on the melodies - basically I'm only hearing the rhythm, where's the leads? you need some really strong melodies, get each section takin up a melody right from the off and playin with it over 32 bars introducing some variation, doesn't have to be much, but the listeners ears will certainly appreciate it.

    Nice work!

    Cheers, Colin D

  6. #6
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    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro-D
    I'm only hearing the rhythm, where's the leads?
    Maybe I've misunderstood, but reading Jeremy's posts I'm under the impression that this track will be used to provide a backgraound track to 2 vocalists. That's where the leads are.

    Jeff

  7. #7

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Well.....

    Considering it is being played by Finale, it is good. I certainly would tell someone what the arrangement is doing.

    But if your goal is to make it sound real (which isn't the true purpose of JAAB) there isn't a subsitute for Playing it manually and really working the expression and articulation.

    It's always a shock to hear how much more realistic JAAB can be when it is played. Takes a LONG time to play all those parts manually though.

    jmp

  8. #8

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Colin,

    This is a backing track for vocalists. I was asked to sequence the arrangement as part of a dance routine with singers. So that would be the reason why there is no melody.

    Also, as I mentioned, it's not my arrangement. It's off of Rosie O'Donnell's Christmas album. I just did a record lift so that they could have a track minus vocals.

    Cheers,

    Jeremy

    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro-D
    Hi J

    Listened to your beats with interest. Not gonna comment on how you have sequenced/mixed etc. You got 2 things to lose sleep over, namely structure & content. You've got all the structural stuff ok - horns, percussion etc doin what they should be doin - nice sharp bap-baps etc - but in the overall scheme of things these are less important. So not so much lost sleep here. So structure is ok, but what about the content. Where you need to be doin some work is on the melodies - basically I'm only hearing the rhythm, where's the leads? you need some really strong melodies, get each section takin up a melody right from the off and playin with it over 32 bars introducing some variation, doesn't have to be much, but the listeners ears will certainly appreciate it.

    Nice work!

    Cheers, Colin D

  9. #9

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    John,

    It sure does take a long time to play all those parts in. And I didn't have the time or the budget to do it (and my keyboard cops are lame). It already took a good 6-8 hours to do the full big band lift, and I couldn't see taking the time to re-enter all the horn parts. Plus, then I'd have to make parts and print everything... I was going to record the trombones myself, as I really think the bones are the weakest part of JABB. They're really hard to program realistically.

    I was pretty happy with what I got out of Finale, and it required minimal editing in Sonar. So I didn't fuss too much. Overall, I thought it sounded pretty good for a backing track. This is just for a small town dance routine. I would have taken more time if it was a bigger project out here in L.A. (i.e. more $$$).

    Jeremy

    Quote Originally Posted by johnmarkpainter
    Well.....

    Considering it is being played by Finale, it is good. I certainly would tell someone what the arrangement is doing.

    But if your goal is to make it sound real (which isn't the true purpose of JAAB) there isn't a subsitute for Playing it manually and really working the expression and articulation.

    It's always a shock to hear how much more realistic JAAB can be when it is played. Takes a LONG time to play all those parts manually though.

    jmp

  10. #10

    Re: JABB demo - Critique

    Jeremy. Any chance of hearing the vocal line? Cheers, CD

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