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Discussion Starter #1
How are the sounds in the examples on these tutorials made? http://northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php/61403-Lesson-15-Writing-for-4-or-More-Voices

Are they straight from a midi/vst library used in a notation software (Garritan Jazz Band)? Or have they been otherwise manipulated afterwards? They sound pretty good, at least good enough to get a good idea of what something I arrange would sound like. Definitely better than the stock sounds in finale. I can barely even tell what's going on with those. If those sounds were played back raw from the notation software, I'd really appreciate knowing how to do that. It would help a lot with my arranging.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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How are the sounds in the examples on these tutorials made? http://northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php/61403-Lesson-15-Writing-for-4-or-More-Voices

Are they straight from a midi/vst library used in a notation software (Garritan Jazz Band)? Or have they been otherwise manipulated afterwards? They sound pretty good, at least good enough to get a good idea of what something I arrange would sound like. Definitely better than the stock sounds in finale. I can barely even tell what's going on with those. If those sounds were played back raw from the notation software, I'd really appreciate knowing how to do that. It would help a lot with my arranging.
I'm not sure what sounds yopu mean as I don't see any links to sounds on that page, but it does say Garritan Jazz and Big Band.
 

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I'm not sure what sounds yopu mean as I don't see any links to sounds on that page, but it does say Garritan Jazz and Big Band.
There are a bunch of examples that play through adobe flash throughout that lesson and the others after it. I was wondering if the instrument sounds in them came straight from notation software using Garritan as the library, or if they were manipulated in some fashion after being made in the notation software.

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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There are a bunch of examples that play through adobe flash throughout that lesson and the others after it. I was wondering if the instrument sounds in them came straight from notation software using Garritan as the library, or if they were manipulated in some fashion after being made in the notation software.
Can't help you sorry as I don't see any audio players, maybe because it's Flash. Just guessing though, I would imagine for anything like that a little reverb would be added.
 

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There are a bunch of examples that play through adobe flash throughout that lesson and the others after it. I was wondering if the instrument sounds in them came straight from notation software using Garritan as the library, or if they were manipulated in some fashion after being made in the notation software.
I don't know for sure but let me take a stab at it.

If the midi sequence was recorded in a digital audio workstation like Logic or Cubase, there is a good possibility the sounds were processed through effects in the DAW. I regularly use(d) channel eq for several instruments, and reverb and compressor for the output. Some use normalization when bouncing the midi file to audio to boost low volume sounds.

I don't believe these effects are available in notation software.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I

I don't believe these effects are available in notation software.
Except that Logic has notation software as well as effects processors. AFAIK Sibelius has reverb and chorus.
 

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Except that Logic has notation software as well as effects processors. AFAIK Sibelius has reverb and chorus.
Okay but Logic is a DAW and Sibelius is notation software. As much as it has been touted as an alternative to using a notator, I haven't had much luck with it. MuseScore seems a better alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know for sure but let me take a stab at it.

If the midi sequence was recorded in a digital audio workstation like Logic or Cubase, there is a good possibility the sounds were processed through effects in the DAW. I regularly use(d) channel eq for several instruments, and reverb and compressor for the output. Some use normalization when bouncing the midi file to audio to boost low volume sounds.

I don't believe these effects are available in notation software.
Do the Garritan libraries sound like that upon playback? Or do I have to export and add effects? I don't think it's the effects that are catching me. The sax patches just sound way better. Unless those effects somehow make the sax sounds exponentially better. As is, harmonies always sound oddly mushy, and generally fairly consonant almost regardless of what I actually input into finale with the midi library I have now. It makes it hard to tell how what I wrote is gonna sound like.

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Okay but Logic is a DAW and Sibelius is notation software. As much as it has been touted as an alternative to using a notator, I haven't had much luck with it. MuseScore seems a better alternative.
No Logic is both, the notation has some things that are better than Sibelius and vice versa. I have had a lot of luck with it (on pro recording sessions). Granted it may have a slightly different learning curve but this is possinbly because in some respects it's much more powerful. However I wouldn't use it for Early music as it's not so good with full breves or lungas. Working in a studio is way better though.
 

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No Logic is both, the notation has some things that are better than Sibelius and vice versa. I have had a lot of luck with it (on pro recording sessions). Granted it may have a slightly different learning curve but this is possinbly because in some respects it's much more powerful. However I wouldn't use it for Early music as it's not so good with full breves or lungas. Working in a studio is way better though.
I'm very amateur at composition/desktop recording and I didn't realize Logic could do both notation and is a DAW. That would certainly be way easier because the way I do it is to have two screens, one with Sibelius and one with Reason. I wonder if Reason can be a slave to Logic like it can to Protools. That would help with the learning curve with Logic if I could keep working with Reason.
 

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I'm very amateur at composition/desktop recording and I didn't realize Logic could do both notation and is a DAW. That would certainly be way easier because the way I do it is to have two screens, one with Sibelius and one with Reason. I wonder if Reason can be a slave to Logic like it can to Protools. That would help with the learning curve with Logic if I could keep working with Reason.
I'm sure there could be a way to slave it via rewire, I used to do that kind of thing but haven't for years. This may help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VFguyvlmzk

However it's so much better to have your MIDI, audio and notation all in one app so Logic on it's own is great for that.
 

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Do the Garritan libraries sound like that upon playback? Or do I have to export and add effects? I don't think it's the effects that are catching me. The sax patches just sound way better. Unless those effects somehow make the sax sounds exponentially better. As is, harmonies always sound oddly mushy, and generally fairly consonant almost regardless of what I actually input into finale with the midi library I have now. It makes it hard to tell how what I wrote is gonna sound like.
I can't comment any further without knowing how the Garritan demo was made. All of my orchestra samples sounded better in the company demos than I could muster up with great opera scores and meticulous transcribing.

Mr. Thomas, I know how much you like to quibble about what some of us say but here's the Apple pages for Logic X. Scroll through and let me know when you find it's notator discussed. https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/

And please, no foot stomping when you address me now that you are a moderator.
 

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I can't comment any further without knowing how the Garritan demo was made. All of my orchestra samples sounded better in the company demos than I could muster up with great opera scores and meticulous transcribing.

Mr. Thomas, I know how much you like to quibble about what some of us say but here's the Apple pages for Logic X. Scroll through and let me know when you find it's notator discussed. https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/

And please, no foot stomping when you address me now that you are a moderator.
I don't understand about foot stomping, I'll stomp if I want to.

Actually I don't like quibbling, I just like giving an honest opinion. That's my no-quibble guarantee. It's been ages since I had a good quibble.

OK, on to Logic. I have been a professional composer and producer for 30 years, using Logic and relying heavily on it's notation for writing scores for recording sessions, everything from jazz, pop and TV commercials to symphony orchestra sessions for the BBC. I wouldn't have used Logic if it didn't do the job, simple as that.

For me and other composers the huge advantage of Logic is you can make a decent demo for clients to get an idea what the real orchestra will sound like, get in the studio with the printed score and have everything on the same app. At times I take a laptop and printer into the studio and if edits need to be made the client can hear the changes on the computer, then I reprint the parts out immediately without the faff of exporting to another app for notation.

Mr. Thomas, I know how much you like to quibble about what some of us say but here's the Apple pages for Logic X. Scroll through and let me know when you find it's notator discussed. https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/
Regarding the Apple page you aksed about, this is the first bit I found:


Music Notation

Transform MIDI performances into music notation in real time as you play, creating perfectly readable notation even for a performance that may be less than perfect.
 

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The reason I never got Protools and learned it is because I just record at home using Reason and doing a very few audio tracks of horns and vocals for fun. I wonder if Logic is similar to Protools other than if it can do notation? Protools was way more than I needed but if Logic does notation I'll look into it while I'm a student and could hopefully get a discount.
 

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The reason I never got Protools and learned it is because I just record at home using Reason and doing a very few audio tracks of horns and vocals for fun. I wonder if Logic is similar to Protools other than if it can do notation? Protools was way more than I needed but if Logic does notation I'll look into it while I'm a student and could hopefully get a discount.
Logic does similar things, but obviously has some different features. I've been using it for years, even before it was called Logic and bought be Apple - it used to be called Notator, ( and before that Creator) and so the notation part of oit was actually developed very early on.
 

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Right, Logic used to be back when I was using Vision on a MacBook 520 with the 25mhz Motorola processor.

As to your foot stomping, it's in there with your response starting "no". But look, I never said it couldn't do notation only that it does digital audio workstation stuff that the notator program doesn't.

And bro, I work with the software, too. I make money with those MidiOpera transcriptions but I don't bring that up in conversation.

We understand how wonderful you are. And thanks for being such a good moderator.
 

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Finale 2014 came with the Aria instrument collection in addition to Garritan. I've used both in midi playback -- it's possible to mix & match in an orchestration -- but can't recommend one over the other. So much depends on the depth & balance of virtual instruments in your arrangement, the range, relative volume, etcetera. I'd call them good enough if you do some careful listening & tweaking, but not 100% convincing. Orchestral works with a big wash of sound can be more forgiving; virtual jazz combo arrangements less so. Of course, one can purchase additional instrument libraries.

I just became aware of Steinberg's scoring software Dorico 2, created by the development team behind Sibelius. They claim improvements in function & ease of use over Sibelius or Finale. They have their own instrument library. (They assert that orchestral soundfiles at competitors' sites have been enhanced for a false impression of lushness & realism.) The battle is on!

Finale's features seem to have been tacked on piece by piece, like a software version of the Winchester Mansion. The learning curve is steep; I spend time diving into documentation or cobbling workarounds that could be better spent composing & arranging. I'm not yet able to make full use of its many capabilities. That in itself is a problem.

Dorico's pitch seems to address many of the issues that plague me with Finale. I look forward to demo'ing Dorico.
 

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Obviously there has been some misunderstanding. I try not to mention the credentials usually but it seems I misunderstood and for that I apologise. All I meant by "no" was disputing that Logic is only a DAW and not a notation program also. I obviosuly misinterpreted what you were saying, sorry.
 

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I think all those samples were in fact made using the JABB library. Whether the performances were edited completely in the notation program is another story.

It's obvious that each part is played individually - several of the lower voices "hang over" the ends of phrases, and attacks are not all that clean either. That implies to me that someone played each voice in separately on a keyboard (or MIDI wind instrument?), rather than using the transcribed output from the notation input (which would sound the same in each part).

Also, the subtle use of vibrato is good - my memory of JABB (from a long ago version) is that you have to add vibrato using the mod wheel. This is further support for the notion that each part is played in separately, and/or edited separately after the fact.

Bottom line, you can get these kind of performances from VST libraries, but you have to work hard at it, and it helps to "think" like a saxophone player when playing in the parts. (Or a violinist, or trumpet player, etc.) It's especially worthwhile to explore these instruments at all velocity levels, because certain tonal qualities might change at lower or higher velocity.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think all those samples were in fact made using the JABB library. Whether the performances were edited completely in the notation program is another story.

It's obvious that each part is played individually - several of the lower voices "hang over" the ends of phrases, and attacks are not all that clean either. That implies to me that someone played each voice in separately on a keyboard (or MIDI wind instrument?), rather than using the transcribed output from the notation input (which would sound the same in each part).

Also, the subtle use of vibrato is good - my memory of JABB (from a long ago version) is that you have to add vibrato using the mod wheel. This is further support for the notion that each part is played in separately, and/or edited separately after the fact.

Bottom line, you can get these kind of performances from VST libraries, but you have to work hard at it, and it helps to "think" like a saxophone player when playing in the parts. (Or a violinist, or trumpet player, etc.) It's especially worthwhile to explore these instruments at all velocity levels, because certain tonal qualities might change at lower or higher velocity.
Is there any simple way to make the raw playback better that doesn't require spending a bunch of time messing with a DAW or playing it in myself? I don't really have anything to input stuff with at the moment. I have a keyboard I use for midi things, but I'm not good enough with it to play any saxophone parts. It doesn't need to sound like the examples I gave, I'd just like it to be better than "boring consonant blob of sound that tells me nothing about how the voicing will really sound"

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