Why Quantizing Su*ks. Part Deux.

What didn’t work for you, twilightsong?

Big +1

Awhile back, there was a PBS special of Daniel Barenboim (former conductor of the CSO) performing many of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, for which he is a noted interpreter. After the performance, they showed him conducting a master class for a group of college-age piano students. They would play a passage from the sonatas, and invariably he was all over them for their interpretation. At first I thought, “That’s a bit pedantic” because the average listener could never tell the difference. Then he would play the passage to demonstrate what he was on about, and it blew me away how insightful and masterful and better his interpretations were.

I concur. In my town of 100,000, there’s really just one superlative drummer. He’s not particularly fast or complicated. Still, he’s awesome, and he plays with everybody, and turns down quite a few requests – has to. Come to think of it, I don’t think he has a day job, doesn’t need it. His name is LaVelle Peete

+1 as well

A corollary to this is, most good drummers can hit the snare with a consistent volume/velocity – sometimes I hear a MIDI drum track in a rock tune that has a wildly inconsistent velocity on the snare. At first, a person might think that this imparts a human feel to it, but most good drummers don’t play like that

I admit I haven’t tried the latest version… but I have heard a few guys here that are using it. My objection is mostly based on two things: unless edited, it tends to get too busy even in a straight-ahead 4/4 rock/pop tune… and the fills frequently don’t fit the tune.

I misspoke earlier when I said I never use Q – I’ve used it to get the right “swing” in a track. I have a few tunes where drumming on the grid doesn’t fit the feel, and sounds quite inappropriate. I’m thinking of one in particular which is a folk-type tune that isn’t quite swing, but isn’t quite straight, either. It took me awhile to play around with the Q-percentage to get it to match the guitars. Of course, 1 and 3 are tight to the grid – it’s 2 and 4 that needed to be behind the beat a bit and the Cubase Q does this pretty well.

Unless I’m wrong, I see Cubase has the ability to match a MIDI track’s groove to that of an audio track, but not the other way around. I think it’d be cool if they could develop that

Agree, 100%!

I just use it for work that is probably best considered “rough demo” level, so I can’t vouch personally beyond that. With editing though, I can get it to play a nice set of drums in my sparse tracks. On the Jamstix forum however there are some member-generated tracks that sound pretty good to my ears, http://www.rayzoon2.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=8&sid=8e9f54a081362572fd6fc52568663214 .

Sounds to me like I need to buy this then.

Demo version - http://www.rayzoon.com/jamstix3_demo.html .

I never get along with demo versions, as I never have a long uninterrupted period of days to get my head around them, and I am S…L…O…W… in learning these kinds of things. But maybe it’ll be right for you!

One of the most awesome things about the Jamstix experience is the interaction with the technical staff … actually it’s the friggin’ writer of the program (“Ralph Zeuner”), he’s on the forum all the time, he’ll answer/PM even little idjits like me about “why won’t this work???”, he’ll slap together a special version of the program and put it out for people to test things on, bug fixes come out in what seem like hours to days, it’s simply mind blowing. Then again, it’s nothing that we Steinberg forum people don’t get every day right here on good ol’ steinberg.net! :smiley:

That’s exactly what I meant. Shows how hard it is to capture the nuances of even a medium skilled player and then there’s your top players with THAT to try and get a measure of the problem getting the right feel out of a DAW. I mean the top guys know how to play on top of the metronome but they just don’t. Well they might for a movie or commercial but there’s guys specialise in that too. I can only stand a metronome for about three minutes then it goes off for five.
I had to do a track for Tony Visconti once and had a tambourine part. Now he knows how to play every instrument in the orchestra and knows what it is physically and audiowise.
He knew I was a drummer, not a percussionist and not used to the tambourine so he just made me play a minute at a time with two minutes or so rest. It was the quickest way to get a good performance. He didn’t want me cramping at key points in the song because the temptation is to rush in and try “just a tambourine track” in one take, (like I did at the time). Now I call that attention to detail and experience.
Drummers made to play to click when, for whatever reason, they don’t want to usually cramp up as it makes them all tense and usually towards the crucial end of the song you lose feel even if no mistakes are made. It just sounds wrong.
If you want to do it to a click with a less experienced drummer then you must let the band have a few run-thrus for him to get used to the change of feel. Or explain to them when you take the booking that it would be a good idea to set a click up in their rehearsal room before they hit the studio and the mistakes and moodies get in the way.

Hrm…
What is this?
Does Daniel Barenboim somehow know how Beethoven wanted his sonatas to be played???
I am also educated in this and I know that the musical language with Lento Rubato Ritardando ++++ were not fully in place with Beethoven lived. This makes this Daniel B an interpreter to me. And we can all be that. Some good… some very bad .
Who the frog knows? The note language back then when it came to tempi and and just how the orchestra should be built came after.

I might be wrong but I think not
Kim

Bringing this back to some reality: my drumlines as I program them suck. Jamstix or some other virtual drummer would be a huge improvement over what I create.

I’ve been watching the tutorial videos for Jamstix on YouTube and must admit that I am impressed with the thoughtfulness that was put into the software.

Again, this is just my (worthless) opinion, since I’m not intimately familiar with jamstix, but I think you’d be better off with one of the bigger/better sample libraries, like BFD2 or Superior, because they come with multitudes of MIDI drum pattern files of all styles, BPM, and times signature… it’s easy to set up a repeating loop to compose with… then you can trigger variations of the loop as well as fills, or even map completely different loops. You can also export your pattern setup into the DAW as a complete track and fine-tune it if you want. Based on what I hear, both the patterns AND the sounds themselves are superior (pun intended) in these dedicated libraries.

You’re not totally wrong. Of course he’s an interpreter (by the way, the tempo or variations of tempo of the playing is just a small part of it). I think “the way Beethoven wanted them played” is irrelevant, in the same way that someone who interprets a Bob Dylan song isn’t going to conform to some approach that Dylan expects – case in point: the Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower” bears little resemblance to the original, and most people agree it is quite superior to the original.

The point is, his interpretation is based on a number of things the kids don’t have: many years of contemplating and playing the pieces, of having heard numerous other masters interpret them, and just a wider knowledge, experience, and comprehension of music in general. Not only could a relative Beethoven neophyte like myself hear the superiority of his playing, but the students in attendance reacted with even greater amazement than I did.

I thought the entire episode might be on the Web, but it’s not – all I could find was a short section of the master class. In the full length version, he was far more interactive than this segment reveals. But in both he wasn’t aggressively didactic in his approach:

http://youtu.be/Yslruo1WgEY

Hrm…
What is this?
Does Daniel Barenboim somehow know how Beethoven wanted his sonatas to be played???
I am also educated in this and I know that the musical language with Lento Rubato Ritardando ++++ were not fully in place with Beethoven lived. This makes this Daniel B an interpreter to me. And we can all be that. Some good… some very bad .
Who the frog knows? The note language back then when it came to tempi and and just how the orchestra should be built came after.

No. But he has been to schools where there has been a 200 year study and adaptation of the music. Probably now sounds more like Barenboim than Beethoven.
The point is to show how hard it is with a computer to reproduce or synthesize a performance and not a musical argument. A little study of Dan B. (or just his pupils!) illustrates how hard it can be.
You may be right. But I know I am. :mrgreen:

Think of the changes to Robert Johnson’s blues in the shorter time. Changed completely but the original essence will always be there.

Before I buy Jamstix Studio version (complete everything including percussion lines), has anyone used the Groove Agent made by Steinberg? I’m not a huge fan of the Jamstix GUI though I admit I’m impressed as hell with its capabilities and the way it works. I’m just trying to decide if the GUI is enough of an issue for me.