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Jazz leaning player to learn how to sound more like CD?


I-missRichardTee

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Have you noticed when trying to mimic a pop** tune... how weak it often sounds, when your mere handful of chords try to duplicate what you hear on a well produced track?

Especially if in a small group ( solo- duo- trio ) what means do you use, to mimic the endless variety and sonic space of a recording?

On a recording the chord is eg An Eminor triad. It sounds huge on the track. When you play an Em on keyboard it does not sound huge, or does it?

I am referring to those of you who perhaps use at least 4 speakers to compensate.

1. How do you use PA ( FX, number of speakers, panning, whatever it might be ) to create a sound closer to recording?

2. DO you use MIDI to layer, as in my example, your E minor triad?

Recordings have an almost surreal bigness to their sound... how do you compensate?

DO YOU compensate? In other words, you could intentionally go small in your sound? And then add bigness later in the performance. How do you make the sound big, without being too loud?

 

pop** meaning any music since 1965 or so. Post American songbook.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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I assume you mean make an acoustic piano-type sound seem "bigger"?

 

I use compression (shrink the dynamic range) + layering (pad + maybe FM/Tine piano for more bite).

 

Then big voicings ... octaves/10ths in left hand.

 

Can't comment on the live sound part. I'm lucky to get whatever stage volume I can.

I make software noises.
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Thanks john No, I am referring to using any and all possible sounds.

I am referring to a smaller band, so there is less sound on stage from eg not 5 or 6 players.

In my world, I control the mains and the monitors. I am not playing huge venues at huge volumes where FOH is involved. It's old school, and it is lower volumes, but not soft.

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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if by pop tune you mean 1) simpler voicings with few upper extensions, and 2) therefore your basic unlayered piano patch sounds anemic...

 

...then build tasteful combis to provide more sonic girth.

 

We just had a thread on that...favorite layers, didn't we?

 

somebody suggested clav and B3, and someone thought that was illegal in some states...

..
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Yeah, conscientiously chosen layers (varying among them in characteristics like attack and release time), effects, pads, and definitely voicings (including as John says, nice deep left-hand contributions) can all help add the requisite bigness to your sound. Sometimes, I think, "on the record" it may be a subtle, slightly more complex harmonic voicing than you first thought, that gives that part that increased "bigness" - like it might sound like a simple triad at first but on closer inspection, there might be, say, an added 2nd or 7th that's also subtly played, clustered in tight with the triad notes, there that is almost hard to consciously hear but adds that extra depth to the part that you are looking for.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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Have you noticed when trying to mimic a pop** tune... how weak it often sounds, when your mere handful of chords try to duplicate what you hear on a well produced track?

 

Not for me. It's a paradigm shift, live vs recorded. I suspect I differ greatly from Dan on this - but for "pop" tunes - if the vocal's good - the audience will go for it.

 

Brahams said something like if you get the bass and melody right ... the rest ...

 

"Lookie likey" bands - I understand their prodigious use of backing tracks, additional harmonies, funny sound effects that were on the version that was the hit.

 

Rest of us - check list - something giving you a pulse, bit of bass action, are chords and/or key riffs right - yes? - then it's up to the peacock out front.

 

 

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Have you noticed when trying to mimic a pop** tune... how weak it often sounds, when your mere handful of chords try to duplicate what you hear on a well produced track?

 

Not for me. It's a paradigm shift, live vs recorded. I suspect I differ greatly from Dan on this - but for "pop" tunes - if the vocal's good - the audience will go for it.

 

Brahams said something like if you get the bass and melody right ... the rest ...

 

"Lookie likey" bands - I understand their prodigious use of backing tracks, additional harmonies, funny sound effects that were on the version that was the hit.

 

Rest of us - check list - something giving you a pulse, bit of bass action, are chords and/or key riffs right - yes? - then it's up to the peacock out front.

 

 

Friendly chuckle- Your manner of writing, embraces your minimalist Brahmsian philosophy very nicely .

I have been described as a minimalist in my approach to accompaniment. This was never a conscious choice of intellect, just a natural way I play.

I strive for clarity... of groove.. of melody , of harmony, of cadences, sometimes even dynamics!

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Tee, this is a gig that's far remove from what you know and enjoy. Not that you can't do it, but you won't like it. This is my old band vs my new one. My ok'd band, I could spend literally hours upon hours on a "patch" to get it just right. Now I pull up a Wurlitzer or cx3 and spend hours practicing playing. Very different animals. I got a reputation around here for programming. I was THE guy who could program sounds and sequence. But I wasn't recognized as a PLAYER. My band now is opposite, and I'm carving my place as a player just for my own satisfaction. Fact is, I get regular calls from folks looking for my other skills. Nobody can seem to do it. You can do it. RTFM, and spend hours upon hours being absolutely anal, menu diving, programming....you can do it, but you'll hate it.

 

It's all about attention to stupid detail... People on here will criticize me " why would you ever worry about that?" Yet "that" is why people think I sound like the CD. It's just getting stupid detail.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Give an example, the title of a tune, you are sounding "weak... not big" on. It could be your keyboard and speakers. It would depend a lot on what pop tune... Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball" would be very different than "Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay" from the '60s.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." 

Harry teaches jazz piano online using Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or Google Meet.

 

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I always believe that when one covers pop songs one should go for a more organic, acoustic or "unplugged" approach. Many of the original recording artists do this when performing live. Do not try to reproduce the studio version.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." 

Harry teaches jazz piano online using Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or Google Meet.

 

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Jazz+ I can't give a specific example, as you've requested. But I can emphatically say this. I recall a PSR 900, brought to my church gig, being "hooked up brilliantly", into many monitors and the house. The sound of this average consumer keyboard on this one particular day sounded gloriously. I was playing elec bass when I first heard the guest keyboard player; so struck by the superiority of the sound was I, that I made it my business to play this psr900 while hooked up... this further confirmed what my ears told me in the first place, as I played the elec bass... it sounded awesome. Just awesome... big, and spread all over the room. Anything you would play on this set up ( it really was not the PSR, obviously, but the PA / monitors, and there settings that one day... and sadly ONLY that one day ) would "sound like a house" , big beautiful, not too loud either, just BIGNESS. Like when you go to the movie theatre and they play that really cool effect ( I think it is a sound effect company whose name escapes me) of many tones all merging in quarter tones, and in time into one thick unison and octaves pitch... anyone know what I am getting at.. at the movies?)

I peppered the obtuse mentality of the indifferent sound man, and he knew shite about what I was saying. Subsequent visits with this keyboard player and his psr900 never again reached this sonic perfection; not even close, the PSR went back to sounding like most keyboards sound most of the time.. one dimensional- thin.

My conclusion is I need to be aware and in control of ( to hell with so called "sound" men- sorry ) at least 4 or 6 speakers ( hopefully not to big- and BTW I do not think they need to be Genelec's - you may recall Dave Weiser referring to the pit musicians using multiple genelec's, with their several Kurzweil's for a Broadway show ) some speakers on the ground,, some far from my head some in between.

This is old school thinking... we used to ( well not me, but other guys I knew ) use mains as monitors, one sheet of sound.. a lot of speakers, not for purpose of being loud but being BIG.

Fast forward to Pat Metheny... he gets it... he uses a dozen Bose setups... it's a huge heavenly sound..

I think I have answered my own question, at least as far as PA aspect is concerned.. it is going against conventional current wisdom.

When you play a single triad ( regardless of added 2's and 6's etc ) through a system like that, NOW you are on the same footing as a B3 player playing through multiple Leslies and a PA or on the same footing as prima donna guitar players.. Guys, it is a whole other experience to play a single chord or prog through that many speakers. They do not need to be big, heavy nor expensive- is my hunch.

 

EDIT it is my belief that the tone you get ( which very much includes the elusive dimension of bigness ) strongly influences the lines that you improvise.

I had the same experience when I first played a string bass... very different experience than a left hand bass or elec bass. I think this explains to me why Jaco used the seemingly counter intuitive choice of 2 Acoustic 18" speakers.

It made bigness ( can someone tell me the proper term for BIGNESS ) happen with what starts out as a tiny sound coming into a pick up on a bass guitar.

String bass is huge... An Acoustic 360 is huge and Jaco used two of them... not to blast.

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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