Markup of nuances of solo for So What?


I’m a guitar player and Cubase/Dorico user. One of my current goals is learning Miles Davis’ trumpet solo in ‘So What’ on my guitar. I’ve always loved it, it just oozes musicality, and I want to take more of that particular cool into my own playing. :smiley:

In support of that end, I’ve notated the solo in Dorico (also FWIW, in Guitar Pro) so I can study the written music as I listen. Unf. I’m not a childhood-trained music reader, so this is how I learn where a “felt” phrase really sits in the rhythmic flow of the music.

This all works out well, as I reference the original recording for all nuances of sound/playing while eyeballing the score to understand the structure of it.

However, I do notice that if I playback the score directly from Dorico, it (obviously!) doesn’t sound much like Miles playing it.

I’m very curious though just how authentic such a playback could sound if the performance were marked up in Dorico by a someone who really understands all of trumpet, jazz, and Dorico at a deeper level.

Might there possibly be a reader here who would like to show off their Dorico chops in this respect?

If so,I’ve attached the file, and it would be so cool if you could improve it from the playback perspective to sound as close to Miles as you can make it.

Thanks to anyone willing to take a whack at it!

P.S. I’ve used key changes in a way that is meant to highlight chromaticism outside the Dorian modes for learning’s sake. Non-standard probably, but helpful for my ear training. Cheers!
So What (trumpet solo) (1.04 MB)

Computers have come a long way to mimic live players (especially if one spends massive amounts of time fiddling with a DAW), but nothing will completely replace a talented live musician, especially one as intuitive as Mile Davis.

(On second thought, it might take even more effort to try to reproduce a bad live player. :wink: )

There is a lot you can do just inside of Dorico to emulate a real performance. It’ll be hard to sound convincing no matter what the tool, but I’d argue that you can do a lot and a lot more easily what you need to do in Dorico than elsewhere. Let’s discount for now the fact that we’re talking about emulating someone with a literally iconic sense of timing and presence for now, shall we?

That being said, there are many factors that influence how close to a real performance a MIDI sequence feels. I imagine you could time it absolutely perfectly, but it would still sound off played by GM sounds.

I’m assuming you want to stay with your Trumpet Combi sound and don’t have access to other libraries like Garritan Jazz and Big Band. There are some much better jazz trumpet sounds in JABB but even so, a few very simple and quick changes will help a lot. To make it sound less computerized, increase Playback Options/Dynamics/Humanize to something like 75%. Computerized swing often feels more synthetic than just playing straight, but adding a tiny amount here will help. I would do something like Timing/Rhythmic Feel/Light Swing 8ths and then drag the top slider down even further to around 55%.

The default attack envelope on that Trumpet Combi sound is not very suitable here, so I would crank the attack all the way down. I’m sure a MIDI wizard could come up with much better options, but if you want to stick with that sound, a 10 second fix might look something like this in the Halion SE Edit window:

Sorta gotta, right? :smiley:

As to the chosen sound, that’s currently one tick away from a random choice in Halion SE, which only offered a limited number of trumpet choices. I also have Halion 6, so perhaps there is a better choice there? I’m very open to suggestions about this, but don’t have Garritan JABB unf.

I made all the other edits suggested, and I definitely hear an improvement.

BTW, one puzzling thing to me is why I have 6 instruments displayed in the Halion edit window? Is that something to do with “Combi”? I’m pretty naive about my choices here.

Thanks very much for your comments folks!

So What (trumpet solo) (1.04 MB)

Any staccatos or legatos or fermatas or other marks on individual notes that would be more true-to-history?

Latest file is attached to the prior post if anyone want to play further with it.