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Topic: Tom's Sonar5 file for the first JABB big band demo

  1. #21

    Re: Tom's Sonar5 file for the first JABB big band demo

    Quote Originally Posted by ronboykin View Post
    Tom, the demo sounds like a real big band! I have a few questions! You played each part into Sonar in real time. Did you have to tweak the timing note by note at places in the arrangement,track by track after playing them in or did you adjust the notes section by section? In other words, did you edit notes in the piano roll editor with several tracks showing at a time? It seems very tedious and time consuming to edit the notes track by track - each track is done separately in an attempt to simulate the differences between individual players. Secondly, when you go back to add controllers such as sustain and slurs, are these added by drawing them in Sonar or are they added in real time as the track plays?
    Yipes, you are going to force me to write a small book here! OK, I'll try to keep it relatively brief. I used a combination of techniques. I tend to first play each track in from the keyboard to get the basic "feel" close. I never copy and paste from track to track - it's important that each instrument track is unique just as each real player in a real band would be unique. After the basic tracks are there I start editing the note data and adding controllers. I edit the note data from the piano roll view. I listen to each track solo and then start adding them together to see how they work as I build the section. The notes are edited for timing and articulations (tongue/slur.) I use my experience as a player to judge articulations. Then I start drawing in the controller data. I usually start with the basic cc#1 data and then do the cc#64 data. Up to this point things go fairly quickly. From here on it gets tedious. I start to refine the cc#1 data, adding much more detailed inflection. Next is the pitchbend data (usually as applies to attacks) and the vibrato data. Both are situational and stylistic by nature. If release effects are needed I add them with cc#15. Once all of the track data is in place then I move on to the mixing stage to see if there are any problem areas to deal with. Any phasing problems (most common during unison lines) can be helped by stage position, volume and pitch refinements to differentiate as much as possible between instruments, and the judicious use of VAR 1 and VAR2. Finally, more advanced mixing techniques can be used (automated EQ, separate section convolution, etc.) to put the finishing touches on the mix. Use excellent recordings of real big bands as a point of comparison to help judge instrumental balances, room simulation contributions, use of articulations, and overall tone quality of instruments.

    If all of this sounds time-consuming and difficult . . . well, it can be. Much depends on how far you wish to take it and how much experience you have as a musician to bring to bear on the editing decisions. As with most things, editing tends to get faster the more you do it. Patience is definitely a virtue in the Land of MIDI! These demos took me several days each working on them here and there between my other responsibilities. I have been known to lavish considerable amounts of time on my own musical projects. I once spent over 4 months editing one MIDI harp part for a duet I composed for sampled harp and (real) flute. That was 8 hours of work a day, 7 days a week and the finished piece was just over 10 minutes of music. The upshot: That was over a decade ago and when I hear that mix today I'm still satisfied that I accomplished what I wished to accomplish.

    One other piece of advice that has nothing to do with the (all MIDI) demos I've posted but can really help for real music productions: If you have access to excellent real players, it is always worthwhile using them for solos and even mixed into the section work. I know, I know, this is all supposed to be about sampling and the magic of mimicry, and quite good results can be had, given the necessary skills, as in the demos. But, . . . this actually *should* be about creating the best music you can afford to create with all the tools at your disposal. A good tenor saxophonist can knock off a half dozen fantastic solo takes to choose from in less than an hour. Trying to edit a comparable MIDI solo will eat up many, many hours and will (I guarantee) never sound as good. A few "ringers" in the mix can make a big difference. Anyway, just a suggestion if you want to actually use it for a finished product to be released. On the other hand, if you are using it primarily as a compositional feedback tool or to mockup arrangements for promotion then go ahead and edit that MIDI data to your heart's content! Besides, you will learn a great deal as you are forced to analyze the minutia of instrumental inflection in an attempt to create something reasonably convincing.


  2. #22

    Re: Tom's Sonar5 file for the first JABB big band demo

    Quote Originally Posted by ronboykin View Post
    Hi Tom,

    great work on the demo as I've said before it sounds like a real big band!
    I have a offer! I use Cubase SX 3 quite a bit and I took your Sonar 5 demo's midi tracks and imported them to Cubase SX 3 using JABB Kontakt 2 Player. Is it possible to upload this Cubase project to this forum so Cubase users can check out your work?

    Thanks again
    Forgot on my other reply to thank you for the compliment. Thanks! Most people use a site like www.box.net to place files for download. Once you upload the files you can create links to place in your post so that others can download the material. I'm sure Cubase users would appreciate your offer.


  3. #23

    Re: Tom's Sonar5 file for the first JABB big band demo

    Hi Tom,
    Have you considered posting the file using KP2?

  4. #24

    Re: Tom's Sonar5 file for the first JABB big band demo

    I accept with information:Vibrato was then added to key parts like lead trumpet. This step is extremely important to get a believable interpretation. It helps to know how a lead trumpet player would apply vibrato (this isn't part of the notation.) After getting vibrato into the primary instruments (lead trumpet, lead alto, 1st tenor). It sparingly to other parts .

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