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Topic: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

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  1. #1

    Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    I've been away from the forum for awhile, but am beginning to create a realization of my recent work for string orchestra. Here's the issue. I recently purchased Miroslav Phil (to use with SampleTank engine) since GPO4 has no string harmonics or NV. The top of the line libraries are just too expensive for me. Also, I thought that I needed more variety in instrumental choices and timbre, as the piece has a lot of divisi in the violas and celli.

    A couple of issues: I actually like the viola and cello samples in MP. SampleTank is, however, very difficult to learn in comparison with the Aria engine (quite a complex interface and less than completely helpful manual - e.g. trying to find the string harmonics is a job I haven't completed yet). The samples are apparently recorded with more reverb built in, and I find that they don't seem acoustically compatible with the GPO samples.

    Any suggestions about integrating two different libraries to make a coherent sound? (Digital Performer is my DAW).
    Thanks, John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  2. #2
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    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    I have not tried to combine GPO with any other sample set except Garritan samples. However, even with GPO and COMB or IO, there are still problems that have to be overcome.

    I would suggest this:

    Try to get each individual part to have the tone quality, attack characteristics, etc. that you would most like to hear in the final product. Choose the best samples for the aesthetic you want and adjust the Aria and the other engine's settings as needed.

    Then use Digital Performer to get balance, panning, ambiance, etc. as good as possible. Let DP do what it was designed to do.

    My best composition teacher, Hunter Johnson, frequently said that every composition will contain compromises between what you would like to do and what is possible. But, the closer you can come to what you would like to hear and the less you accept what is easily possible, the more your piece will take on a personal artistic expression that takes your work to a higher level than it can attain otherwise.

    Please let us know what you finally do to solve this problem and post the piece you are working on when it is ready.

    Norman

  3. #3

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Norman, Thank you for the suggestions and reminders. The problem is that often I try to get everything done at once, instead of, as you say, get the individual instrumental parts --the timbre (durations, velocities and modulation -- sounding right, then getting to the overall effects. It turns out that I've focused on the double bass line the last few days, and I'm moving on the cellos. I haven't really used the DP reverb & ambience effects widely, instead relying on the GPO Aria engine. I'll post the 1st movement when it's done.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  4. #4

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    ...The samples are apparently recorded with more reverb built in, and I find that they don't seem acoustically compatible with the GPO samples...
    John, that's the heart of the matter. GPO, as you know, has dry samples so the user has control over the reverb treatment in projects. Since the Miroslav samples were recorded with reverb, your primary task is to dial in the size and amount of a reverb for GPO that at least approximates the sound you hear on the Miroslav.

    Otherwise, it's not especially tricky and difficult to mix instruments from different sources. Their differences is what helps add realism to the results. Just layer them, get them sounding about the same with the reverb.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Otherwise, it's not especially tricky and difficult to mix instruments from different sources. Their differences is what helps add realism to the results. Just layer them, get them sounding about the same with the reverb.

    Randy
    Thank you Randy. In terms of layering, I suppose you mean, say, Viola I on GPO and Viola II on MP. Would there be any advantage to experimenting with mixing GPO and MP violas on the same part? I think I know what you're going to say.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  6. #6

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    ...Would there be any advantage to experimenting with mixing GPO and MP violas on the same part? I think I know what you're going to say.

    John
    If you thought I'd say "Yes," then you would be right, John. Your example is exactly how to combine instruments from various collections. Either have the same type instrument from two different Libraries playing the same MIDI data, or use instruments singly, like if one Library has a Euphonium, the other doesn't, you just use collection B for that Euph line in your piece.

    The main difference in the sound quality when using a combination of sources like your talking about, is whether the samples were recorded wet or not. So, as said before, since your Miroslav samples are wet, dial in reverb on your GPO samples until they seem to be matching the ambience already cooked into the Miroslav instruments.

    Having a universal reverb strapped to your Master, set at a low level, also helps blend everything together, after you've set up separate reverbs on the tracks via however many buses you want to use.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    If you thought I'd say "Yes," then you would be right, John. Your example is exactly how to combine instruments from various collections. Either have the same type instrument from two different Libraries playing the same MIDI data, or use instruments singly, like if one Library has a Euphonium, the other doesn't, you just use collection B for that Euph line in your piece.

    The main difference in the sound quality when using a combination of sources like your talking about, is whether the samples were recorded wet or not. So, as said before, since your Miroslav samples are wet, dial in reverb on your GPO samples until they seem to be matching the ambience already cooked into the Miroslav instruments.

    Having a universal reverb strapped to your Master, set at a low level, also helps blend everything together, after you've set up separate reverbs on the tracks via however many buses you want to use.

    Randy
    Randy, I knew that you'd say yes! To have someone with your experience on this forum is so very helpful. It gives people like me the confidence to proceed without discovering down the line that some un-thought-of factor makes things impossible. Your last sentence about using a low level of universal reverb actually answered my next question. I take it that you still think it best to freeze the MIDI tracks to audio before doing that final mix?

    Thanks once more. John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  8. #8

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    Randy, I knew that you'd say yes! To have someone with your experience on this forum is so very helpful. It gives people like me the confidence to proceed without discovering down the line that some un-thought-of factor makes things impossible. Your last sentence about using a low level of universal reverb actually answered my next question. I take it that you still think it best to freeze the MIDI tracks to audio before doing that final mix?

    Thanks once more. John
    Hello again, John

    Your new post inspires me to say that I think we should have the goal of simplifying our production techniques. Sometimes we develop complicated routines that we think are worthwhile, and giving us good results, but we can discover that actually all we've done is complicate things unnecessarily without any truly worthwhile reason. I certainly know I've done that over the years - And so for some time now, I've been more interested in streamlining my work flow more than complicating it.

    I've seen people get extremely wrapped up in doing really complicated experiments, analyzing all sorts of data related to music and its production with computers, sometimes in the hope of coming up with magical solutions which, after untold hours of study and research, will result in better recordings and even better compositions - And generally, those experiments turn out to be Quixotic adventures that go up blind alleys. They're well intended, but time wasting endeavors.

    In any case - Yes, I still work with audio tracks when I'm mixing. I don't Freeze the MIDI tracks, I render audio recordings of them, good solid audio clips that are archived with the project file. Once in a great while, when I'm doing something brief, like a little tutorial or tip, I'll go straight from MIDI tracks to a 2-track mix down, but whenever I do that, I'm reminded again of how much less control I have working that way. I do everything in my power to make my MIDI tracks as solid and detailed as possible, but once I've bounced those tracks to audio, there's always just so much more I can do to heighten the dynamics, to sharpen the mix - It's the only way I can make my best recordings.

    Theoretically it could be a way to simplify my work flow, to not bounce to audio, but that's one thing I just can't simplify. It works so well for me, doesn't feel complicated with me, so I'm happy not simplifying in this particular area.

    BUT, you asked me about audio tracks because of what I said about using a global reverb on a mix - Doing that doesn't necessitate bouncing to audio. I think you were assuming that to use the global reverb, you have to bounce/freeze - but that's not the case. You can use reverb units and every kind of digital plugins on the "empty" audio tracks of a MIDI project without bouncing to audio. The disadvantage is that you can't See the audio you're working with since the audio tracks connected to the soft synth look empty. But it's important to understand that doing what I was talking about doesn't mean you have to bounce to audio.

    And it's also good to remember that there are plenty of people who manage to make superb sounding recordings working only with MIDI - I'm only speaking about myself and my experience when I say I'm unable to do my best work that way.

    The main point in this reply - Insert whatever FX you want, reverb or anything else, in the FX bin (Sonar terminology) of the soft synth's audio tracks. The Master Bus can have FX strapped to it also - I suggest adding a reverb plugin there, and keeping its wet signal low, depending on how much reverb you've added to the tracks up to that point.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello again, John

    I do everything in my power to make my MIDI tracks as solid and detailed as possible, but once I've bounced those tracks to audio, there's always just so much more I can do to heighten the dynamics, to sharpen the mix - It's the only way I can make my best recordings.

    Theoretically it could be a way to simplify my work flow, to not bounce to audio, but that's one thing I just can't simplify. It works so well for me, doesn't feel complicated with me, so I'm happy not simplifying in this particular area.

    The main point in this reply - Insert whatever FX you want, reverb or anything else, in the FX bin (Sonar terminology) of the soft synth's audio tracks. The Master Bus can have FX strapped to it also - I suggest adding a reverb plugin there, and keeping its wet signal low, depending on how much reverb you've added to the tracks up to that point.

    Randy
    I really have never tried bouncing MIDI to audio, but what you said about seeing the tracks and making a sharper mix strikes me as something worth trying. After bouncing is when you would do things like EQ and final volume mix? I'll post a portion of the 1st movement in the next few days.

    Thanks, John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  10. #10

    Re: Using GPO with Miroslav Philharmonic

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    I really have never tried bouncing MIDI to audio, but what you said about seeing the tracks and making a sharper mix strikes me as something worth trying. After bouncing is when you would do things like EQ and final volume mix?...
    Ah, well you should try it since you haven't, John. I have seen some people try it here on the Forum and they've found it difficult to adapt to - So, if it doesn't work for you, you won't be alone.

    I do want to point out again that working with volume envelopes and EQ can be done without bouncing to audio. You do the work with the audio tracks in your project file, the disadvantage being, as I said earlier, that you can't see the details of the audio you're working on.

    Something else I find to be disadvantageous when remaining just with MIDI, is that the playback can be changeable. Passages that are tricky, with a lot of MIDI data, sometimes don't play back the same way twice - maddening. One more thing - I wouldn't be able to bring myself to archive a project with just the project file and the MIDI data - What if the software instruments I used aren't on my hard drive anymore? What if they've become corrupted, or incompatible with a new OS? - It's just all too iffy for me. With solid audio tracks in a folder (along with the project file) - I have an archive as solid as those from back in the day when everything was on tape. They blow the dust off
    the old Beatles masters to do a new mix - the tracks are the same, but they can mix them again - that's the same as with archived digital tracks.

    Here's a screenshot I have handy. It demonstrates the way in which seeing the audio track is extremely helpful. The line with nodes going through the track is the volume envelope. Initially, the volume was played and recorded in real time. Then it was fine tuned by hand. By seeing the waveform, I can see exactly what areas need to come either up or down to get my ideal mix.



    And you understand I'm talking about each individual instrument having its own bounced audio track. That makes for between 20 and 50 tracks (or more) for the project. The volume data is recorded for each individual track as needed, and then groups of tracks are pumped together into appropriate buses, like Woodwinds, Strings, Brass - There's a bus for reverb, and I'm using whatever FX I want here and there - Everything flows into the Master bus.

    I just wanted to make sure you understood this calls for using all 16 audio outs for each instance of ARIA. And I'll add that mixing a typical project takes any number of days - it takes a lot more time than just pushing Play on a MIDI project.

    And so on.

    Randy

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