n-track and jamstix as authoring tool

Hi Everyone,

Long time n-track user, first time poster :laugh:

I was wondering if anyone is successfully using n-track and jamstix together as a music authoring tool? In other words, when playing guitar and trying to come up with a song, I find it helpful to have a session drummer. But loops are pretty (IMHO) limiting when creating a new song. Is anyone using n and js together for this? If so, how are you doing it? Using live input processing? Full jam mode or keyword jams? Any thoughts appreciated!

Hi,
I’m using JamStix, although not with n-Track.
Haven’t been playing with it for very long, so JS still holds a fair amount of secrets for me.

So far I’m thoroughly impressed.

Using free jam mode, the problem seems to be to get JS to go easy on accents, fills, variations etc rather than to get rid of that loopy sound.
I bought it because I’m immensely fed up with human drummers at the moment.
No regrets yet.

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Using free jam mode, the problem seems to be to get JS to go easy on accents, fills, variations etc rather than to get rid of that loopy sound.


Turn the compexity and funkiness right down.

Yep I set my complexity and funkness to almost 0 for rock/pop songs.

If arranging drums for a song, once you have the basic drums down, lock all the bars and then unlock a few and turn the complexity and/or funkiness up a bit or adjust the accent probability sliders in the rhythm tab and then replay the song and the unlocked bars will have some more fancy drumming.

As you get bars you like, lock them and just keep repeating and adjust teh sliders to get a style of drumming you like.

Once you lock a bar, it will play back the same way it did last time regardless of what the slider settings are.

[edit]
Just to add… I mainly use manual jam and use a combination of the included rhythms and some custom ones I make by modifying the standard ones.
When putting together drums for a song using manual mode i set it to jam with midi and use the midi automations to adjust the velocity and power play and percussion etc during the song.
I probably don’t use all the automations to their full potential (eg. could use the porbability automations instead of locking and replaying after adjusting the sliders manually)

I do free jam occassionally and set it to jam with audio and just play guitar to whatever jamstix comes up with. this more just for fun though and usually don’t end up using anything that JS plays in a song.
Might come up with a guitar part and then go into manual mode and put the drums together as above.
[/edit]


HTH,
Rich

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If arranging drums for a song, once you have the basic drums down, lock all the bars and then unlock a few and turn the complexity and/or funkiness up a bit or adjust the accent probability sliders in the rhythm tab and then replay the song and the unlocked bars will have some more fancy drumming.

As you get bars you like, lock them and just keep repeating and adjust teh sliders to get a style of drumming you like.

Once you lock a bar, it will play back the same way it did last time regardless of what the slider settings are.


This turned out to be very valuable workflow advice.
Thank you!

Hi All,

Can soemone tell if Jamstix uses .wav file samples? I have a ton of Bob Clearmouontain samples I like to use in Fruity, will I be able to use these in Jamstix or does it have it’s own particular samples native only to Jamstix??

Many thanx

It uses its own proprietary sample format.

You can however use JS to trigger an external VSTi drum synth.
A lot of people use JS with DFH, Battery etc.
So you could load your samples into a drum synth and then trigger it with JS and turn the internal sounds off in JS.

I like the JS sounds though. They sound more realistic than the samples I used to use in RMF as JS uses various samples for the same drum at the same velocity to provide more variation.

Rich

There’s two extra drumpacks out for it too, one was released today. More cymbals, different toms ect.

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Can soemone tell if Jamstix uses .wav file samples? I have a ton of Bob Clearmouontain samples I like to use in Fruity, will I be able to use these in Jamstix or does it have it’s own particular samples native only to Jamstix??


Clearmountain rocks! Are these samples publicly available?

[edit]
Well … I answered my own question. They are available here. But they are a bit pricey. :(
[/edit]

Yeah those Clearmountain samples are great, but yeah they are pricey.

Has anyone got a song they have recorded on n-track using Jamstix so I can get an idea how the drums sound??

Cheers

I’ve only completed 1 song with the original drumset.

The rayzoon.com site has demos of each of the drum paks and if you go into the forums Ralph has posted examples of the different kits in a thread before each pack (DP!, Brush Pak and DP2) were released.

Rich

[edit] actually it seems ralph has removed hte forum threads with the add on demos, you can listen to them from the products page [/edit]

Hey RichLum,

Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time out to give all that info, it’s greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

No problem.
I honestly can’t speak highly enough of Jamstix.

It is a completely different approach to producing a drum track than your traditional drum machine or similar app or using loops.

Out of all the music apps I have and use Jamstix is the only one that couldn’t be replaced (as far as I know) by another app.
If I didn’t have n-Track I could use another multi-tracker and get similar results (might be more expensive though), if I didn’t have cool edit pro, Id use another audio editor and be able to do the same things, all my plugin effects that I use could be replaced with others, samples replaced with others etc.

But if I didn’t have JS I’d still be trying to program midi drums or use loops and the resulting drum liines would be nothing like what I get out of JS.

Wow, agreed, thanks RichLum, and everyone, for your help. It took me a few days to wrap my brain around all of that. But after I did, Jamstix is a lot more powerful than I thought. I had no idea you could lock it all down like that and then just add some highlights to specific measures so easily!

Has anyone had any luck freezing the jamstix instrument channel in N? For me, N acts like it’s doing that, but it ends up creating a zero length wave file for Synth1 and continues to use the VST directly. I ask because Jamstix tends to eat up a significant portion of my processor cycles with an AMD XP 1800 - like 2 non-muted tracks + js and I’m at around 78% during heavy drum parts. Any other thoughts on keeping the processor free to work on other parts of the song with Jamstix still jamming?

Quote (HotDogWater @ Dec. 06 2005,20:02)
Has anyone had any luck freezing the jamstix instrument channel in N? For me, N acts like it’s doing that, but it ends up creating a zero length wave file for Synth1 and continues to use the VST directly.

n-Track probably thinks there is nothing to freeze since there is no MIDI data in the Jamstix track. I would add a dummy event (note or CC) at the start and another at the end of the track and it should freeze fine (at least this does the trick in Sonar).

Interesting. Actually, I don’t have a MIDI track in my song file. I added js by going to Add Channel–>Instrument–>VSTi. Do I just add a blank MIDI and put a subaudible note or controller event into it? Or should I have added js differently?

Quote (HotDogWater @ Dec. 06 2005,20:42)
Interesting. Actually, I don't have a MIDI track in my song file. I added js by going to Add Channel-->Instrument-->VSTi. Do I just add a blank MIDI and put a subaudible note or controller event into it? Or should I have added js differently?

Wish I could help but I'm just a complete noob with n-Track..
I'm sure someone else will be able to help, though.

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Do I just add a blank MIDI and put a subaudible note or controller event into it?

Yes. It’s worth a try.
Don’t forget to set the MIDI track to output to “Instrument plugin - jamstix”.

I think this sort of worked. I added a MIDI track, put a note at the beginning and end of the songfile, set the output to Jamstix, and then froze the intrument channel that js is hanging out on. This time, it spent some time creating a wave file. I’m also pretty sure that it is playing that wav file, because the drums sound a little differnt than they do when js is playing them.

Which, btw, is an aside I’ve always wondered about… Why do MIDI drums sound different after they’re rendered? When I used to make drum files in a piano roll view, I generally liked the post-rendered sound better. But with js drums, I’m not sure I do like the post-rendered sound better… Does anyone know if that’s preventable?

At any rate, though it seemed to play a rendered version of the js drums, my processor utilization was actually higher when I played back. So much that it actually choked out once or twice. So it was around 78% before the freeze, near 100% after the freeze, but is only about 17% if I disable the js VST.

Any thoughts?