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Topic: A JABB Harmonica experiment

  1. #1

    A JABB Harmonica experiment

    I was inspired by Michael_uk's recent thread found here:

    Adding Aftertouch

    We discussed how to control the vibrato of Garritan instruments in both Finale and Sonar.

    Michael was using the new JABB Harmonica as an example of an instrument he wanted to add vibrato to, and the subject of playing blues-style "wah wah" on a Harmonica came up. That got me interested in trying some experiments to see if I could simulate something like that using the JABB Harmonica and only the tools that are included in Sonar.

    I decided to post the results of my experiment here, even though - IMPORTANT CAVEAT - I don't find the results totally satisfactory. It's only a start. Maybe someone else can get inspired and improve on what I've done here.

    On that discussion thread, Steve Winkler posted a video example of blues Harmonica:

    Harmonica "wah-wah" demo

    Inspired by that, I went about trying to re-create some of the riffs in that video in Aria with the JABB Harmonica.

    Recording in Sonar, I used every available Aria control that seemed useful for the task - expression/volume, vibrato depth and speed, breath noise, Var 2, Aria's Ambience reverb set to Parlor, and EQ.

    After recording the above data, as well as Pitch Bend, I automated Sonar's EQ, swooping up and down around the 620 Hz frequency to start getting my wah-wah going. I also automated the Sonitus wah-wah effect, set to manual control so it could sweep up and down from zero to full as per the automation data I recorded. I also added a Cakewalk Flanger which seemed to help out.


    --The wah-wah isn't as pronounced as it should be. It's as deep as I could manage with the approach I used.

    --I tried quite a few mix-downs, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get rid of some unwanted artifacts, primarily some noisy clicking which occurs at the locations of some automation nodes.

    I spent about 2 hours on this, plenty for an experiment. Even though it isn't totally acceptable, it could possibly be sufficient in a mix where it isn't

    MICHAEL - thanks for inspiring me to do this fun experiment!

    Harmonica experiment

    If someone reading this thread wants to try out some JABB Harmonica stuff, post the results! This could be helpful for us as a group to figure out
    how to get the most out of this new JABB sample set.

    Randy B.

  2. #2

    Re: A JABB Harmonica experiment

    Very nice! It sounds enough good for a mix, i believe.
    Marcelo Colina

  3. #3

    Re: A JABB Harmonica experiment

    Hello Randy,

    Well .. this is very impressive stuff. Sounds like it took a lot of work to get the JABB harmonica to sound like that.

    Thank you for going to all that effort and for letting us listen in. When I manage to catch with a few things I'm certainly going to have a go at that

    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  4. #4

    Re: A JABB Harmonica experiment

    HEY, nice--folks have already given this a spin.

    Thanks, Marce, you may be right that it could suffice in a mix. It'd be fun to run another experiment, adding more instruments to this test file, see how it flies.

    Michael! Glad you found this - you were indeed The inspiration for the test. You know how an idea, a possibility can pop up in your head, and you just Gotta see what you can do with it? That was me yesterday, deciding I just had to try some things out with the Harmonica.

    I'm disappointed that I couldn't get the full, deep waaaaah like the player in the video, but I bet there are ways to get closer to that. Different frequencies to try on the automated Sonar EQ, different settings in the Sonitus Wah-wah plug-in--And maybe even totally different tools. I just knew that Rob was right on the other thread when he said there had to be some filtering that could be done, and of course for any filter to do something that's dynamically changing over time, and in a way the user can control, automation has to be used.

    I'm happy you enjoyed the results, Michael. I'm sure you'll have fun when you find time to experiment with it. Maybe between you, me, and whoever else, we can come up with a recipe for blues-harmonica so that future users can get results relatively quickly, without needing to do all the experimenting and testing.

    That was fun. Thanks for the posts youse guys.


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