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Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

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Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:45 am

After a few years of serious slacking on the music front I am easing my way back in.

I now have a shiny new iMac, Audient iD14 AI and an iConnectMIDI4+ MIDI interface. The bundled instruments are making Logic Pro X very tempting. I have a couple of MIDI keyboards too.

But whilst I have hardly touched a guitar for a few more years than I care to admit, I am pretty certain that it will be a darn'd site quicker to refresh my guitar skills than build on my non-existent keyboard skills.

My workbench has been badly cluttered with heaps of paperwork for a couple of years. But soon it will be clear and there will be space for me to give my Fenix Tele some long overdue TLC, a new bone nut and a set of 9's (previously set up with 11's, but I need to build up the arm/hand/finger strength {and have a feeling that the 9's my be better for my intended plan}).

SO...

My plan was to use Jam Origin for MIDI input. I've plenty of experience with MIDI guitar, Roland, Korg Z3 and Axon, so more than comfortable with the idea.

Any Jam Origin users care to give feedback on their experiences?

Many thanks

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:34 am

Hi Andy, glad to hear that you're easing your way back into things. :)
I bought Jam Origin (2 i think?) about a year ago and, one minor hiccup aside, it's been working well for me on my limited usage. I kept meaning to write a review but...
Anyway, moving on...
Pros:
Once set up it pretty much does what it says. You play the guitar, it converts it to midi. There's a nice little display that show's what notes are registering, the gate is simple but pretty effective and the onboard piano sounds are good enough to let you know how your part is going to sound.
I've also used it in a couple of places where I've wanted to take a pre-existing guitar part an add another part. Simply done by sending the audio to a new track with Jam origin and then feeding the midi to another instrument track.
If things are a bit messy (my guitar skills aren't great) then you can just record the midi part and then go and tidy it up in the midi editor.

Cons:
I seem to recall the registration process not being quite as smooth as it should have been (not terrible but a bit of back and forth between plug-in and registration screens).
There's a dial on the interface that should allow you to blend between the incoming guitar part the key part, with guitar only at one end and keys only at the other. This has stopped working for me and now only plays the key part. I should probably reinstall but frankly it's never been a problem so...
It doesn't do bass. I know they do a bass version but I had hoped I might get a little bit of mileage out of it. No dice, mind you, I was taking the signal from a mic'd up double-bass; a straight electric bass DI might get better results.

Couple of examples here:
In the break, the organ part on the RH side is a feed from the guitar part on the left, with a little bit of midi tweaking afterwards to increase the sustain and add a couple of additional chord notes: https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/a-prologue-20181028
Similarly the piano part of the break here is a feed from the guitar part, no tweaking on this one though: https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/wild-d ... t-20180318 I don't think this is the built in piano sound but I'd need to check the Reaper file to confirm.
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:19 pm

Thanks, that's really helpful :thumbup:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:49 pm

I haven’t given it a hard test but find it works much better than my dusty old Pitchrider. I like it a lot but they all seem to have one problem for me - they don’t correct my sloppy playing! Easy enough to do afterwards. So for me the biggest Con is that it shows the sad state of my guitar abilities, especially clean chording! Logic cleans up the rest.

Another thing - I never seem to remember how small the guitar’s range is. I end up moving the Midi In in Logic (is it called the realtime transpose?) up and down to cover playing low end and higher end instruments.

Another thing I like is that I usually prefer the voicings a guitar will give you. My keyboard parts don’t sound so keyboardy.

Did I mention it’s fun? What can be better than that!
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:17 pm

Thanks. I was thinking that it would focus my practice on keeping my technique clean :)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:59 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Did I mention it’s fun? What can be better than that!
This is true! It does encourage you to play (and play differently) just because you have a new range of noises available. Not to be underestimated. :)
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby arkieboy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:52 am

Jam Origin Midi Guitar has been on my radar and I've been following the vguitar forum thread https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?board=281.0 on it for some time.

I downloaded the demo about a year ago and was impressed - if I were to tool up to be a 'proper' guitar synthesist again, then I would get a TriplePlay guitar so I could properly 'own the cape' ;-). For all other purposes I think Jam Origin is perfectly good enough - if you want the odd synth part live, or you want to track synths in the studio, then you don't need string splits, to turn off strings or any of the other tricks you can employ with a hexaphonic rig.

The received wisdom from vguitar is that the PC/Mac version is much better than the current iPad version, and it isn't very good at close voicings. I suspect that it isn't as easy as it might be to integrate into MainStage either. Otherwise it seems like a bit of a steal, really.
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:47 am

Thanks arkieboy, I was hoping you would comment.

The Fishman TriplePlay is also on my horizon, although I am still keeping an old Shuttle PC that can run the software for the Axon AX50 as, in the long term, that would cover a lot of bases with a GraphTech Ghost equipped Strat.

But whilst those are great options for live work, I am looking at getting back up to speed on guitar whilst, finally, getting creative in the studio and starting to make music again.

Jam Origin is ticking a LOT of boxes right now. Thanks.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby arkieboy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:08 am

The place I'm considering JO is in conjunction with my VG99. With a little patience and a healthy disregard for purity you can persuade a VG99 to make all kinds of basic analogue noises - particularly those ones you might use for soloing. You can also use the freeze function as a hold pedal, and there is a release envelope function on held sounds, which means you can sort of get a string synth performance out of the silver box with a little practice. If you head on over to Keyboards and Synthesis I did a cover of the outro of 'Cars' using the VG99 for all of the synth sounds in the first one-synth challenge. Quite proud of my Vox Humana preset, actually.

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... &start=100

Which means that you only need pitch-to-midi for realistic samples - mainly strings, choirs - which I tend to play like pads anyway. Jam Origin is more than capable of filling in that function, and I already have MainStage for my bass pedals ...
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:57 pm

As an experiment I tried writing a song using Jam Origin MIDI guitar for all of the instruments including drums. The end results were good, but at the cost of a LOT of editing as the software registers everything, even fret noise, as MIDI data, so the tracks required a monumental amount of clean up.

End result can be heard here, https://soundcloud.com/as-follows/mcp
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:11 pm

Just listened all the way through. Loved it :)

Thanks Ben

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:53 pm

zenguitar wrote:Just listened all the way through. Loved it :)

Thanks Ben

Andy :beamup:
Thanks! Even the guitar sounds are analog guitar > Jam Origin > JV1080 synth guitars lol.
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby groovelator » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:55 pm

Hi. I've used it for several years and I think it's really great. I did a demo video for it a long time ago to show how good the tracking was in Beta, and it's improved since then. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fq8oPyvNU0
Bear in mind, as with all guitar pitch-to-MIDI, you need to be careful to pick as cleanly as possible but it's amazingly accurate anyway. If you want to clean up ghost notes in MIDI afterwards it's quite a good idea to select and delete all events which are very short ie less than a 128th note (and/or notes with an extremely low velocity)

One of the more interesting things is actually not MIDI at all - they have developed something which will shape the harmonics of the guitar sound and alter the attack and sustain. Very cool indeed! I used it for this track https://mjkl.bandcamp.com/track/onze-blues

Personally I find it a little cumbersome having the VSTi embedded in MIDI Guitar, so I'll either stack a VSTi on top of it or send the MIDI data to another track instead. That way you can easily have multiple synths working from the same guitar audio :)

Best,
Mark
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Re: Jam Origin - any users with feedback?

Postby zenguitar » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:09 pm

Thanks Mark, really useful.

Andy :beamup:
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