Jam Pack 4 VS VDL2

    Before I got VDL2 I bought Jam Pack 4 hoping to get some good percussion sounds for making midi recordings. The differences are quite interesting. I think that the apple mallet software instruments still sound a bit too computerized, even though they are supposed to be samples. Of course i'm not familiar with the process they use to create these instruments.

     Here are the same 2 bars with the different software instruments. The titles of the mp3's are pretty self explanitory.

Enjoy listening....


By the way. The strange background fuzz you hear in the Jampack 4 bells mp3 is acctually how they sound. I'm not really sure what the deal is......

UPDATE: I discovered that the reason why is because the bells don't react well to the reverb slider in garageband.....
Thanks for posting this Charlie.  Those examples really make VDL:2 stand out as the superior collection.
Yeah, thanks for the little taste test Charlie. My sense is that the jam packs might be geared more toward people who aren't as interested in the details and nuance of each instrument. They're marketed toward Garage Band users which tends to be a more entry-level group of people. Not really good or bad I suppose...just a little different market.

I noticed your glock examples played back in different ranges. Since Glock is a naturally transposing instrument (heard 2 octaves higher than written), you may have the transposition set incorrectly on the staff you used to notate it. Be sure that middle C appears AND plays as middle C. Otherwise you'll get that unneccessary transposing. I believe this is already taken care of on the glock staff in the VDL:2 templates, but if you created a new (generic) score set to their generic Glock settings, it may require you to manually remove the transposition settings for that staff.
Excellent point Jim, I can't belive that I didn't pick up on the octave transposition. For this short sample I used garageband and imputed the notes manually between. C4 and C5. After playing around with it for awhile I determined that in garageband, the xylo and bells were transposed up one octave but in VDL2 the bells are transposed the correct 2 octaves. Although i'm still hearing fuzz sounds in the Garageband bells when I apply reverb.

I have corrected the above file to play the JampackBells file in the correct octave.
Sometimes I think these things result from the software trying to make things too idiot proof. They figure they'll build the transposition in for you, when really, it would make more sense (to me anyway...) to have the written range sound as it normally would. Using true samples like in VDL2, this is already taken care of - the recorded sound of the instrument already contains the octave transposition. The Jam Pack bells are actual samples, so I'm not sure why they're stretched like that. That fuzzy sound seems almost like it's part of the recording - like possibly some room ambience. Not sure...
before VDL2 I used the ";Christian and Lane Ultimate Marimba and Vibes"; which has excellent Marimba One and Musser vibes samples, but Jim pointed out that they have a more ";studio"; sound compared to VDL2.  I still use these samples if I make a recording of a small ensemble piece, but VDL2 is definitely the way to go if you want it to sound like you're in the audience listening to a show.  A [i]little[/i] reverb goes a long ways too.

Considering the price for just the marimba/vibes is $199, I was pretty shocked at the price of VDL2.  Definitely the most bang for the buck in percussion samples.
Samples can get crackly if they have the reverb time set too long and the decay gets cut off. 
Upon further playing, I discovered that in Logic the Jampack marimba sounds an octave higher than written while in garageband2 it sounds as written. (strange.....)

With no reverb, the JP bells sound comparable to the VDL2. The marimba isn't bad although it sounds strikingly similar to the marimba in the old Gordon Stout Record/CD. Especially in the upper octave.

The Apple Vibes have a nice hard mallet sound (way harder than the VDL2 Hard vibes, which to my ears, don't sound that hard) And while the Apple vibes do not allow for a totally dry pedal up sound, it does play back with a very nice ";half pedal";.

Of course since I'm a pit guy and an orchestral player, VDL2 wins anyday for it's realizm and flexabiltiy.
This might be a stupid question, but is there a way to use GarageBand as a playback device for notation software (Sibelius) like Kontakt?  I am considering the JamPack so I have a better wind sample library for less money than the Garritan Personal Orchestra, but I would need it to play back from Sibelius rather than just in post-production.  Just curious.  Thanks

matt becker
I forgot to mention that I have Logic Express as well, if that helps. 
I don't use a Mac for my composing/arranging work, but I'll answer as best I can.  Wouldn't you just export your sibelius file as a midi file and then import it into Garage Band and assign the sounds as needed in Garage band?  This method would also free up some usage on your computer by not running Sibelius in conjunction with GB.

I'm looking to use it during my composing, rather than after; I'm aware of the exporting to MIDI process, but I'm looking for live (?) playback as I'm writing.  Processor/RAM restrictions aren't really an issue; I'm just trying to see how it's set up.
[quote author=jmattson link=topic=1052.msg4393#msg4393 date=1142584771]
I was pretty shocked at the price of VDL2.  Definitely the most bang for the buck in percussion samples.

I agree completely!
I beleive you can do it in Logic express by configuring the envoironment window, however I don't really know how to do it. Perhaps you can sort out an answer in the (huge) pdf manual.

My guess is that you can configure the environment to revceive midi through the IAC driver.
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