ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible!

Posted by: Dzjang

ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible! - 01/27/18 02:00 AM

Being a huge Jarrett and Kenny Wheeler fan I transcribed some melodies and chords and put them in band in a box. Searching for the right style has been frustrating. So last year I tried to make up my own styles, again a very frustrating experience with all of the biab quirks an’all. But, I hung in there and discovered a thing or two in the end. Finally I’ve gotten it more or less down.

The keys are in the contrast between a looser drum feel and a tighter (not walking) bass, I think. Read: Jack Dejohnette and Dave Holland!

Anyone intrested in discussing the process of making those styles, or exchanging tips, join in.

Two tips to start with:
Converting internet available midi files to styles doesn’t seem to work
chromatic approach notes, over the bar lines or anticipations don’t work. The fact that when you really play, you think horizontally, disregarding existing changes, adding substitute changes, well... the computer doesn’t think that way. So.

Make your own midi files and QUANTIZE them
Make your own, make em simple, not too complex cause it might sound good playing it, but as a style in a song? “Quantizing” sounds like making the timing sterile, but it’s necessary. You can’t input tiny subtleties well: slight latencies in the software or your hardware. Otherwise, a quantized beat is not necessarily lifeless. I discovered it transcribing a Jarrett solo and playing the notation back. Without 16th note triplets or anything, it still sounded killer!
Posted by: Dan Gipson

Re: ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible! - 02/07/18 06:11 AM

So, is this applicable to creating midi styles only? First thing I thought as I browsed through the styles was how limited they were, unless I was attached to jazz primarily, and a few other styles. While I have, much to my surprise, used some of those jazz styles, I still wish/wonder if the users could create their own, swappable, or even purchasable styles. Real, or midi. Sounds like you've found your way through to midi. Way to go!
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible! - 02/07/18 10:23 AM

+++ Norton Music +++ offers many third party midi styles.

While listening to the sample songs remember the site is using the base level midi sound patches built-into Windows. Midi can sound only as good as the midi patches in use.

++++ Look HERE ++++ under the Advanced heading at the bottom for two video tutorials on creating styles.
Posted by: Dzjang

Re: ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible! - 02/07/18 11:31 PM

He Dan,

Jim is right when he says the patches or plugins matter a great deal.

But more importantly, I think, since the more sophisticated midi supertracks, the stylemaker has become more sophisticated too. More velocity-sensitive and it allows better triplet “management”

Nevertheless, Jim is right when it comes to choosing the right plugins. And it takes some searching since the GM standard is rare among the “better” vst’s. For the moment I primarily use Native instruments’ Vintage drums or 50’s drums and I only use brushes: you have to adjust the mapping and search for the right sound. And for bass I use Fluffy’s simple bass or one of the freebies (Chad’s double bass or xperimenta’s pizzicato bass, these are great, but take some tweaking). Sadly GM ready vsts like roland’s or non gm ready softs like sampletank 3 have very poor sounding double bass or brushes.

But the above setup works great.

By the way, exchanging these styles is easy. But, When they show up in style picker, the info is not there, you should make a Ls-file which I won’t bother myself with. So, yeah, you just copy the style to mail or forum and the receiver should paste it in the bb-directory. And it can be used.

I have made some more modern swing and bop styles, you know: less boring, every once in a while the drums accent the beat or the afterbeat... and bass is more dynamic. Walking bass can be very boring if everything has more or less the same velocity.

Just one quirk that I can’t seem to figurre out: there is an “intro” part to styles, but I can’t edit it in stylemaker, since it doesn’t show up.
Posted by: cham

Re: ECM jazz midi styles. It is possible! - 09/27/18 12:36 PM

This is an interesting topic. I would very much like if there were more such styles.

Not a keyboard player myself I cannot easy construct them.

I would like there to be vibes of Bobo Stenson Trio, Tord Gustavsen, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Alboran trio, Tomasz Stanko quartet, Avishai Cohen, John Abercrombie, Anouar Brahem...

Like above I believe they cannot be to complex or to specific just capture different vibes not just certain songs. Preferably with a lot of choices. Midi I think.