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LuIzA

Secret of the Forest (Jazz)

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I did this for my Arranging I final project, been exploring the colors of jazz. It's been quite enjoyable, but I'm still a newcomer to the style. Any and every kind of constructive feedback is very welcome! :)

'Technical' shit:

Drums: Superior 2.0 stock library.

Piano: Kontakt NI Alicia's Keys library.

Trumpet: Kontakt The Trumpet library.

Bass: Kontakt CoreBass Pear library.

Guitar: live through Waves GTR.

YouTube:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/luiza177/secret-of-the-forest-jazz

Note that the mixes are slightly different in each link, but YouTube version being the more recent one.

EDIT: I'm also open to better title suggestions.

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This is amazing! The fact that you sequenced this alone with the life it has is stellar in it of itself.

It's characteristic of jazz but harmonically the jazz language and reharmonization could stand to be much more inventive. Are you actively studying jazz harmony?

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Thanks!

I go to Berklee, so while I do actively study harmony, it's not yet particularly Jazz harmony or reharmonization. But we'll eventually get there at some point.

I didn't at all attempt to reharmonize, though. I literally picked up a lead sheet for it online, and went from there.

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You're at Berklee now! Cool! I've studied a bit of jazz but I couldn't hang with all the cool cats. But I'm now getting into jazz piano, myself. Guitar you can just get by with patterns but piano you really understand the mechanics better.

If you're interested I can suggest some good books I have found in my studies. They're pretty popular so you might encounter them at Berklee. But you might be in overload and just want to to wait to get there.

Edited by audio fidelity

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Damn Luiza, this is sexy! I really enjoy this! Excellent work. :nicework:

The only thing production wise I think could better is the trumpet. Some of sustained notes sounded a little bit fake, at least to my ears. Then again I don't listen to much jazz, so who knows. Other than that, sounds great!

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Thanks for listening! I agree with you too, it's one of the things I'm hoping to learn to do better, fake trumpet. There's this one particular note where I added some growl/fluttertonguing, but it's a bit high, and I'm not sure if it's even possible, at 0:35.

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As a trumpet player, the note is possible on trumpet. But, the growl might be what is making that high note sound a little fake, it sounds as if the trumpet is cutting out from playing too high, which is usually not possible. On trumpet it's either play the note or not play it/crack it. The growl/flutter tongue on the high note would sound much more apparent and would be very noticeable.

I love this, this awesome Luiza. This is great and I like the trumpet you have. It has a very jazzy and expressive tone. I can't wait to hear more of this. :grin:

Edited by darkbrandflake11

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Great cue, Luiza, and congratulations on getting into Berklee.

I made two tutorial videos to demonstrate using The Trumpet by Sample-Modeling, but both times FRAPS took a shit on me.

So I will have to skip that and just type it out and say this:

Never leave any of the control parameters still--a human never stops moving, so you don't just set it and go, you have to always move.

There are 4 or 5 parameters you want to have control over to properly program your sequence:

By Default they are:

MIDI Velocity - Controls the attack and transition speed of the note

MIDI CC 11 - Controls the dynamic shape of the instrument, absolutely vital that you NEVER have lines in this, always draw curves.

MIDI CC 1 - Vibrato Intensity, let this swell with the player's inflection of the longer notes, letting the player create more intense vibrato as part of his/her expressive playing (always think about programming in terms of an actual player--when in doubt, REFERENCE a live recording)

MIDI CC 19 - Vibrato speed, find the song's tempo and match that for your baseline, then go high when you feel like the player is more anxious or energetic about the note, and slow it down when they're trying to pull us in

MIDI CC 21 - Growl, use sparingly and as an expression either to dirty the attack and go away, or to only appear on a strong note dig

MIDI CC 24 - Dynamics to Pitch modulation, this parameter is vital for simulating the pitchiness of a player hitting a note hard, so use this to help naturalize your pitches--find a mid-low base level and then tweak it high alacarte.

I use all of these parameters every time I program for The Trumpet or the other Sample-Modeling Brass instruments.

Finally, I felt like you could have balanced the instruments a little better--the piano is really receded and quiet, though most pianists would consider themselves the kings of the rhythm section.

Keep up the good work.

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This... is just amazing honestly. I was all "Oh hey. Another Secret of the forest remix..." But was really caught by surprise here.

Keep up the great work.

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Cool! I really don't want to sound condescending, giving you books to learn, like it's no good what you've done. I've always been a fan of your talent ever since I heard "FireCross". I just love sharing knowledge if I sense someone is eager to learn.

These are the books I've been studied in for jazz harmony:

"Jazz Fundamentals" by Mark Levine (A great basic guide to deciphering and picking up jazz tricks and why they work. I also have his "Jazz Piano" and it's pretty awesome too)

"A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody" by David Liebman (this book is so fantastic to help grasp these playing out concepts)

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This... is just amazing honestly. I was all "Oh hey. Another Secret of the forest remix..." But was really caught by surprise here.

That's because it's Luiza. :-P

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Thanks everyone for your kind words and trumpet advice!

darkbrandflake11, is a certain dynamic level necessary to play with flutter tongue and/or growl? Or even for that high note? How would a trumpet player realistically play that note?

Forgive my ignorance, I haven't had the chance to play with that many trumpet players. Or even brass players in general, so my knowledge of them is, as of yet, quite limited.

audio fidelity, it's alright. I actually love book recommendations, I learned pretty much 90% of what I know about production etc from books, so...

EDIT: I googled the books you mentioned, but for the first one, I only found one called "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine, is that the one you meant? I actually started reading that book about a year ago, but stopped midway.

Edited by LuIzA

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I thought it was pretty good. The piano was a bit soft, and the trumpet stood out to me the most. For some reason it sounds a bit tinny and fake-ish. It could be the few articulations you used, the EQ (I hope you didn't have to EQ it that much), or maybe the reverb?

Keep it up! I loved your ToS remix with CarboHydroM! :D

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I thought it was pretty good. The piano was a bit soft, and the trumpet stood out to me the most. For some reason it sounds a bit tinny and fake-ish. It could be the few articulations you used, the EQ (I hope you didn't have to EQ it that much), or maybe the reverb?

Keep it up! I loved your ToS remix with CarboHydroM! :D

Thanks. I actually had to bring up the mids quite a lot, and de-ess it. I'm very partial to the Harmon mute sound (blame Miles Davis :P), but it gets RIDICULOUSLY harsh REALLY easily.

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Thanks everyone for your kind words and trumpet advice!

darkbrandflake11, is a certain dynamic level necessary to play with flutter tongue and/or growl? Or even for that high note? How would a trumpet player realistically play that note?

Forgive my ignorance, I haven't had the chance to play with that many trumpet players. Or even brass players in general, so my knowledge of them is, as of yet, quite limited.

audio fidelity, it's alright. I actually love book recommendations, I learned pretty much 90% of what I know about production etc from books, so...

EDIT: I googled the books you mentioned, but for the first one, I only found one called "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine, is that the one you meant? I actually started reading that book about a year ago, but stopped midway.

Ya, that's the one. I was getting mixed up because the class I used it for was 'Jazz Fundamentals'.

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Love the arrangement! It's already been said, but I'm going to echo the trumpet criticism as it's really the only thing holding this mix back. Fantastic work with everything else, especially the guitar of course :).

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This is a really nice arrangement! The samples you've used sound very good(and the guitar sounds good too).

Since it's jazz, I think it would also be great to hear this played by a live band.

Some nitpicking: (I used your soundcloud link to check the song)

I personally find it a bit strange that the trumpet plays (mostly) short notes at the beginning of the theme( 0:20) and then later it plays long notes (0:28 ). I would suggest to play long notes from the beginning.

The dom7 chord at 1:15 and 2:13 is a bit plain for my taste. How about a Dom7 sus4 chord instead?

There are a few disharmonic sounds at 2:00 and 2:09. It sounds a bit like a major and a minor third played at the same time.

All in all very nice work! Keep it up :)

Edited by Nostalvania

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I think some verb on the trumpet would make it sound better. Maybe try a touch of some room. I don't listen to jazz every day, but might make it sit in the mix more and come to life a little more. That being said, this is friggen awesome and sounds like the real thing, so congrats on that.

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YouTube:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/luiza177/secret-of-the-forest-jazz

Note that the mixes are slightly different in each link, but YouTube version being the more recent one.

EDIT: I'm also open to better title suggestions.

I love it lol, I'm a jazz musician myself... the only thing I would have done differently would be add in Tenor Sax too ;)

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