Tips & hints for JAMSTIX2
Jamstix tips and instructions. This is how I do things in Jamstix...using MC4 as a host.
I open a new project select “normal “ and it will automatically insert audio track 1 and midi track 2......
Select the midi track, using the staff view I insert 4 quarter notes in the first measure. (any note will do) then I copy and paste that measure out as far as I need.
I insert JS2 into an audio track by right clicking in the FX bin and select soft synth>jamstix.
When JS opens I tell it to "JAM WITH MIDI" insert a kit, choose a drummer, and select a style.
At this point...with the input set to none & output set to master bus in the JS2 audio track....after hitting play...JS2 should now playback through the monitors in the style, and at the speed selected in the BPM. Set your BPM in the first measure before you copy & paste.
Once I get this far...I will pop in another audio track and record my scratch vocal & acoustic guitar. Make sure the guitar is tuned properly first. This lets me know where I'm at in the song. I'm basically using JS as my metronome at this point.
Now that I have the scratch track and the basic song structure in place it's time to get JS edited and playing what I want him to play. I need to insert fills and edit measures to accomplish this.
So.... to insert a fill.... In JS2...you are always in one of 3 views. Normally, you are in the GROOVE view, you also have Accent view and Fill view. These are the 3 buttons...the active one is green. So....as the song is playing and you come to a place (verse into a chorus) where you want to place a fill.... stop the player....switch to FILL view by clicking the fill button..it turns green and the beats windows (shows 10 measures) all go to clear,,,, click on the measure you want to fill...at the bottom left....it will turn red. Now... set your start point in MC4 to start just prior to that measure....and let JS play through it....you will hear and see your drummer add a fill. If the drummer plays a fill that you don't like, click on the measure again to highlight it....click the "BAR" button, it turns green and the "COMP" button and let him redo it. Play through the measure again. Clicking bar & compose lets him redo just that one highlighted bar.... if you don't select the BAR... you might end up redoing more than one bar...even the whole song....maybe not a good thing.
You can also edit JS by adding specific beats into a measure and deleting specific beats out of a measure. I will do this often in a song.
To edit the track your drummer creates....this is very easy too: just click on the measure you want to edit in the song measure view...it pops into the beat view window.
To delete a beat....click on an empty space in the beat window and drag the empty space onto the beat you want to delete. presto...gone!
To add a new beat....click in the cell you want to add the beat....its highighted You have a choice of Left Hand, Right Hand, Left Foot, Right percussion and left percussion.....the available sounds window opens above, and displays all of the sounds available to you based on two things....the hand or foot selected and the kit you have chosen.....just go up and select the sound/drum you want to add..and click on it..presto..it's added. Click on the name of the sound and it adds it to the window in the beat position you highlighted. If you click on the icon for the sound, a window opens that lets you change the parameters like velocity, volume, pan, damping, ambience and tuning of that instrument.
To use the mixer...click it from the front page of JS2.....click the button to turn on the eq (red) & compressor.(blue)...click and adjust the knobs as needed...do this while JS is playing so you can hear the changes.
Something to remember: as your mouse pointer hovers over a JS control.....the purpose of that control will be displayed at the very bottom of JS.
NOTES & TIPS:
JS2 "the demo" should work fine. Install it as it requests. Then open a new audio track and pop it in as a synth in the FX bin. It is necessary for it to be scanned as a VST when MC starts up and does its scan. If its not showing up you have to go in and tell MC where JS2 lives and rescan. It's just like TTS or SFZ from that point on as far as getting sound.
If you decide to buy JS...remove the demo version from your computer before you load up the paid version....just to prevent problems.
Follow all the stuff on this page....cause the demo works just like the paid version. It does have a limited kit, drummers, styles, and it puts in a little white noise too. If you set up a drummer, give him a style & a kit, and have the midi track for him to follow....JS2 does not "play" the midi track I asked you to create with the quarter notes ....it uses that track simply as a guide for itself to know that YOU want him to play at that measure....as long as he sees measures with midi in it...he keeps playing...following the parameters you set up.
Jamstix will create a drum track for you based on all the parameters you have selected. In addition to that..everything...and I mean everything is customizable....right down to the tightness of the drum heads in a kit. You can vary the groove pocket by having the drummer play ahead of....on...or behind the beat...add a shuffle feel in 8th or 16th or let him make those decisions as he plays.
an example of this is Jazz Jam on my soundclick site....as you listen..you will hear the drums lead the beat in a few places,,,and lag in a few others.
If you have a way to get midi in to a track...either with a midi drum kit or whatever...you can tell JS2 to actually play that midi track...just like setting up TTS to play a piano part. You still have control over the kit, and can edit the notes......but he will play your notes exactly in this mode.
When you exit the project...all JS settings are saved. I recommend..after you get the setting right... save the project anyway.
You can set JS2 up using the song structure and it will automatically add fills in the proper places....I find that method (at this point) to be a bit confusing....
So I edit as needed using the insert fill method above...I find it to be very fast & easy.
Here's how you automate the power knob in JS2.
I assume that you have JS2 functioning properly. For my purposes...I start with a normal project (1 audio & 1 MIDI track) I insert JS2 into track 1, and fill track 2 MIDI with beats and tell JS2 to follow midi. At the end of the recording process, I complete adding envelopes for volume & panning. At this point the project is effectively mixed and the only thing left to do is to automate JS2.
Add a new midi track to the project. Set the output of the track to JS2...input doesn't matter. click OK
Right click in the track pane and select envelopes > create track envelopes > MIDI > OK
In this new "Midi envelope" window select type = NRPN value = power level channel doesn't seem to matter...I leave at 1.... click OK
You should now see a (in my case) a light blue envelope line in the new midi track.
Open JS2 in the window and notice the power knob is set to the relative starting level based on where the knob was when you opened the envelope.
Right click on the envelope and select add node. insert as many nodes as you need...you can delete nodes with the same process. NOW... drag a node up or down. If the line between nodes is flat....the power level will remain constant, if the line is rising or falling the power will increase or decrease accordingly. I like to keep my power level constant in a verse and raise to another constant level in the choruses.
At this point...you should be set up and ready to go....so be sure the RD box in JS2 is green (located in the upper right corner) and click PLAY. JS2 should now follow your automation nodes.