I'm trying to learn how to edit ARIA Instant Orchestra Patch by modifying the SFZ file with a text editor.
of course, i first create a duplicate file of a patch to edit and then i try to make small modifications to it.
however, if i load the SFZ patch into ARIA via drag/drop (the renamed patch does not appear in the patch list), I get an error, saying that there are some missing samples and files.
i cannot understand where is the problem, since the renamed patch is in the same directory as the original one.
What you need to do is not change the name of the SFZ file. You're saving the original, and of course that's good, but you need to re-name that one, perhaps adding "original" to the end of its name. After you've done your edits, don't "save as"--just "save." That'll get you there.
so it is not possible to "add" new (modified) patches??
Yes, that's the whole point of editing an SFZ file - to make a modified patch. One of the simplest modifications is to lower or raise the range of an instrument - Edit the SFZ, save it - Now when you load that instrument, your edits are in place. That's a modification - but if you're actually talking about creating new instruments with new names, hmmm, I've never attempted that - It would involve adding info the XML file, probably somewhere else also.
I suggest you stick with modifications of existing instruments, even if they're extensive - You're safe since you're keeping the original SFZ file. The original instrument name will be the same, but you want to change it anyway, so that will work won't it?
By the way, you're talking about Instant Orchestra that you recently purchased. I'm curious what all these changes are that you want to make? What's not working for you in the Library's programming?
actually, i've played a bit with the orchestra. sounds seems good but I really feel there is some lacking in programming and GIO could be even better.
of course i will not able to make all the modifications i'd like to, but at least i will try to learn something new.
meanwhile i've sent an email to makemusic telling me my ideas (is there a way to directly contact garritan or GIO developers?):
1) it's a real nonsense that in percussion patches (timpani rolls, orchestral percussions...) in which there are BOTH single hits samples and sustained rolls samples, the modwheel is controlling the volume of both single hits and sustained rolls. according to me, in these kind of patches single hits volume sholud be contolled by velocity only and rolls volume by modwheel only, giving perhaps the chance to control sample offset by using velocity only for the rolls samples in this way we can load a single patch and play with the roll expression independently from the single hits volume.
2) definitely, we need some keyswitches for combining together A LOT of patch for each familiy. This is particularly needed for ALL the "easy" chords sections... all the "easy" patches of a single family (e.g. Easy Brass Chords ff Sustain,
Easy Brass Short, Easy Brass Soft Sustain) should also be gathered in a single patch with keyswitches to select one of the patches. this is true for all the similar sections.
also other families of strings, winds and brass patches should be combined in a single keyswitched patch for ease of use. (e.g. Full Brass Octaves, Full Brass Octaves Agg, Full Brass Octaves Soft Attack, Full Brass Soft Attack, Full Brass Unison)
3) PLEASE... add the sustain-legato function when the "GPO" mode is selected... a sort of legato could be readily achieved by setting an offset and smoothing a bit the attack when the GPO mode is selected. really, the legato mode was one of the GPO strength... it should be implemented also in GIO (in "GPO mode")
4) the GPO-like controls for random variation in timbre and intonation should be added at least to (almost) all of the percussion patches and to the staccato patches (wind, strings, brass...) the "machine gun" effect is really annoying and the GPO programming was a nice and convenient way to avoid it.
i also add now (last thinking, not included in the email) that i feel that the modwheel is controlling only the patch volume. In GPO (i remember from some kontakt pathces) the modwheel acted also on a low-pass filter so that if you play quieter, the harmonic content is lower. The same should happen in GIO: if I lower the volume by the modwheel, also the harmonic content should change a little... playing quiter with an acoustic instrument (or an ensemble of acoustic instruments) does not simply mean to "lower the volume" of the instrument!
I know i can be really annoying with all these thougths, but my general feeling is that, although the idea and the samples of GIO are good, there is a lack of advanced programming and it seems to me to play something more than a "rompler", not something so versatile such as GPO, that could be very realistic with some advanced CC programming, experience, and most important little effort (we are not speaking about Vienna symphonic library here! ).
Hello again, Bosone - Thanks for the reply. Now I understand much more clearly what you're after.
I understand what you're saying about every edit you mention:
--You want percussion single hits to have volume controlled only by velocity, you'd like much more keyswitching, you'd like Garittan Legato available, timbre change with volume control, and sample switching to avoid the machine gun effect.
Having used IO myself, I can sympathize with all of those programming requests. Something especially bothersome to me is when I've combined GPO strings with IO strings. The MIDI control has to be completely different in copies of the tracks - namely, sustain used in GPO has to be erased, and the velocities in IO have to be lowered to help smooth out the legato. Lots of editing that wouldn't need to be done if both sets of strings were programmed in the same way.
Even though I was on the Beta testing team for IO, I really wouldn't be able to explain why the programmers made things work so differently from the traditional Garritan programming of GPO. I remember we just stumbled around for awhile with it, became more accustomed to how the Library worked, and went from there. But as to the theory behind IO's programming - The Garritan team of developers would have to address that. Representatives drop by this Forum once in awhile. Maybe they'll see your thread. I'll add that I think perhaps one basic idea behind the way IO works was to have it behave more like traditional MIDI synths/samplers. People who are most accustomed to using standard MIDI instruments do find IO's functioning to be what they expect, it's familiar to them.
BUT - back to the original topic of editing the SFZ files - Even though most of what you list here would call for some very extensive, deep and difficult SFZ editing, and way beyond what I'd be able to figure out from just looking at SFZ opcode info online - What you're talking about is the need to replace the programming of existing patches. At least you should now understand that you can indeed do that - Do your edits, save - Now the instrument will reflect your editing. So, you do understand that your question in post #3 is answered - when you asked if it's possible to make modified patches - The only thing wrong with what you were asking is that you said "add" new patches - No, you change the existing ones, you modify them. And that's what you're asking for - You want the same instruments, you just want them to behave differently.
One of your ideas probably could be implemented - Having a filter modify sound with CC control is an SFZ opcode that you could experiment with. It's possible you could get the more muted sound you want at lower volumes, the way we have it in GPO.-- I was going to look up links to SFZ opcode charts--but you've probably found those by now, right?
---However, as I said, the kinds of changes you're talking about would be extremely complex. Perhaps you can find some more modest changes that you can figure out to do, and which would help you out as you go on using IO.
What Randy mentioned about GIO acting more like other libraries was brought up during the beta test. I've heard many complaints of GPO not being standard programming. I prefer GPO programming over most of the other libraries out there. It just seems easy to use.
GPO and GIO were programmed by 2 different people which could also explain the differences. Tom Hopkins did the programming for GPO but he retired a couple years ago.
according to me GPO was programmed magically. at first it was not so easy to learn how to handle, but using it more and more I have found it can be really expressive and, most important, easy to use.
Tom did actually a wonderful job on this and IMHO he introduced several breakthrough techniques.
it's really a pity that they did not follow GPO programming with GIO. I still hope they will change their mind in the future!
as-is, GIO is something than a rompler-player, not a powerful instrument with a lot of possibilities such as GPO.
In case you haven't experimented with all of IO's controls yet, be sure to investigate the ADSR - Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release controls for IO's instruments. The ADSR envelope generator is controlled by CCs 20 through 23. That provides the user with some deep sound control, making the use of IO way beyond just triggering samples. Also experiment with Bright (CC27) and Saturation (CC24).
In the Percussion sets, notice that CC33 and CC34 control Delay and Offset, respectively. When you layer sounds, like multiple snares, you can shuffle the attack times of the layers with those controls.
Along with the Low Pass and High Pass filters, also controlled with CCs, using all of these available modulators can really breathe life into the sample set.
GPO was also a "rompler" in the literal meaning of the term, since it wasn't programmed for the user to add new samples. But it was programmed very differently by Tom Hopkins, as Jim pointed out. All of us long time GPO users love the way the Library works, but many MIDI musicians have always had issues with it, since GPO's programming isn't compatible with other, more standard Libraries. It looks like the development team will be continuing to make two basic control modes available in new Garritan Libraries, like the Expression Switch you see in IO which switches between General MIDI velocity volume control and GPO mode which gives volume control only to CC1 or 11.
In any case, I think you'll find IO more versatile as you explore its new controls more.