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Topic: Question for David Govett...

  1. #1

    Question for David Govett...

    Hi David, I read that you were closing up on Jeremy Soule in giga computer count. I\'m just curious. I have a template of 192 midi channels (3 giga comps + 1 sequencer comp) I find this template to be very large and at times a pain in the *** to keep track of.

    How on EARTH can a person work with 48 giga pcs?
    Assuming all the midi channels on each comp are in use, we\'re talking a template of 3072 midi channels and a 192 port midi-in interface (and I believe windows gets tricky around 30-40 ports, if not less).

    Forgive me if I\'m wrong but I don\'t get it. I can\'t imagine having control over more than 300 midi channels at the same time. Heck I\'m not even sure any sequencer can do 3000 midi channels without any problems. When I load up my orchestral template in Sonar it takes about 1 minute to load. I would guess the same project with 3000 midi channels would take forever.

    Bottomline: Is this some kind of penis-enlargement thing?

    (For the record this is NOT an attack on Jeremy Soule or you David. I\'m just puzzled.)


  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    Originally posted by Thomas_J:

    Bottomline: Is this some kind of penis-enlargement thing?

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Zimmer envy [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    WOW! 48 giga PC\'s!!!!

    Is this true? And who is Jeremy Soule?

    Does he use one PC for every instrument in the symphonic orchestra or what?

    How does he play his stuff through his network system?

    Am I missing something, but is 48 Pc\'s really necessary to be able to mix some great (read real) stuff with midi?


  4. #4

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    Thank you David, for your insight. And thank you Bruce for your funny post [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    David, I fail to see the logic here. Operating a template with 3000 midi-channels at once is not only a BIG hog in the compositional process, but also a big hog on the sequencer. How do these people manage these insane templates?

    With my \"humble\" template I\'m constantly scrolling back and forth, up and down and wherenot, to make modifications, record a new part, edit a part, copy a part, edit expression, compare expression. I\'m running 1600x1200 (I think that\'s it) just to fit enough tracks on the same screen, and still it\'s a mess and a pain in the *** . Imaging having the piccolos in channel 18-25 and then solo bassoon on channels 568-576 and scrolling between the piccolos and the bassoons to try and figure out which notes are crashing against each other, or which part has an error in the controller data? or to interpolate the parts? Splitting up parts between a woodwinds section or a string section would be hell if you have the flutes on channels 350-368 and your bass clarinet on channels 412-425. These numbers are already making me dizzy.

    Not to mention the fun task of reducing this to an orchestral score for work in a notation program. Oh joy....

    I fail to grasp the \"effectivity\" in this approach. Perhaps someone else could shed some light on this? Am I just a rambling fool or does some of what I\'m saying make sense to you?


  5. #5

    Re: Question for David Govett...


    It would seem to me that an effective way to work is to have a \"composing\" template, and a \"producing\" template.

    Sometimes I\'ll write with simply a piano patch....just like the old days. Or other times, a simple representation of various sections or solos that I\'ll be using for that cue.

    As we all know, composing and producing are two different hats. I\'m not convinced that doing both simultaneously will save time, even with a mammoth set-up. It could even waste time. It\'s kind of pointless to go hog wild with production before a director hears and approves the musical idea. If that\'s the way Zimmer works, it might go a long way in explaining why his music sounds the way it does in recent years..... More production than solid musical ideas.

    I heard one of Jeremy\'s interviews, and I believe he said that his brother does the mixing and producing for him. It\'s nice to have that kind of help if you can get it...(and afford it)..so you can focus on the writing. And for him, it is evident that the writing is top notch, in addition to the production.

    It\'s also a nice gig for some of the better midi and synth programmers around. A good synth programmer can find work. It\'s the same job as an orchestrator as far as I\'m concerned.

  6. #6

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    Good points Thomas. I would also not want to keep up with 3000 channels. Thats probably not how they are being used though. Each Giga machine is not nessesarily using all 64 MIDI channels. I know that on MI2, Hanz Zimmer had a crazy gigabyte drum kit with several stereo layers on it playing real fast rhythms and it just ate up polyphony like crazy. He had the insane luxury of sharing the load of that drum kit between two Giga Systems. Upcoming libraries like Vienna and Quantum leap Orch will probably be able to use up more RAM and polyphony than MIDI channels. Anyway, for my own templates I don\'t forsee going beyond 300 MIDI channels anytime soon budget wise. The still large number of channels is one reason I\'m going to stick with Logic for the time being, because they have real cool icons that you can choose for each MIDI channel. Solo and ensemble icons covering most of the instruments of the orchestra and other icons for synths and what have you. If I want to zone in on a french horn-solo and not ensemble, I scroll to the brass area (right below woodwinds. I use standard score order for simplicity) and I can easily see the french horn solo and french horn ensemble icons and very quickly select the top solo horn. Then I can play the keyboard and use the up and down arrows to audition a few channels of horns. I will say that without those icons, I\'m screwed. You basically rely heavily on the pan and zoom functions of the sequencer as you go too. Also, this method does make creating a real printable score nearly impossible. I hear that Hanz Zimmer spends a ton of money to have his MIDI mockups exported with the audio and MIDI to have his intentions transcribed to paper for a scoring session. There are people in LA that do that nearly full time for composers that use MIDI. I figure if there is enough budget for an orchestra in the first place, then there is probably enough to transcribe a crazy MIDI performance to printable music.
    It\'s all a bit convoluted and less simple in some ways than simply taking pen to paper and having a scoring session with real musicians. However, it allows a couple things to happen. One thing, it allows composers who can really write music but are rusty on theory and arranging (like me for instance) to bring what is in their head to reality and even make a living at it. It also of course allows for much lower budget creation of orchestral music as an option for game and film producers. If not kept in balance though, this technology can be a stumbling block for creativity. I would personally go crazy working with some of the installations I have seen.
    Happy composing.

  7. #7

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    I\'m not gaining on him in number of computers.
    I only have 4 and can borrow up to 3 more in a pinch and will buy some more as time goes on. I\'m just playing catch up to get to sounding as good as him. (thus the term gaining on him)It takes more time because I have to do things a section at a time and render to audio and all that good stuff and make comprimises to get things done in a timely manner. The purpose of having as many systems on line as humanly possible is to speed the process up and avoid blocks to creativity in always having to comprimise or wait to audition and rearange sounds as you try to compose, render to audio to get more polyphony and sounds etc..
    It would not be hard at all to use up all those machines to have all the available libraries online at once with huge sequencing template. Soule\'s system would even be taxed by the new Vienna library. In my very limited (compared to Jeremy or Hanz Zimmer) system, I can say it really helps to have access to your whole orchestra at once or at least large parts of it.
    Jeremy Soule simply rocks at this process. His specialty is doing sampled orchestrations and making them sound real and he has singlehandedly brought computer games up to film score standards. You can find a link to him at the Garritan strings website under user demos and endorsements. He was also one of the featured guests in the Garritan forum I think.

    A large system like that requires a batch of linkable MIDI interfaces and a good KVM (keyboard video and mouse) switch boxes to access any of the computers from a single keyboard monitor and mouse.

    I\'ll have a batch of my new up to date music to show off in a month or two from my new gig.
    Have fun

  8. #8

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    One very useful way to handle mulit-giga setups is to load all of your libraries into templates and use the patch change feature. Use the export as text feature and bring the patch names into your sequencer. As you compose, all your sounds are there...ready and waiting...and you simply pick your patches as you go along. This way, in your sequence, you aren\'t looking at an unusable amount of possible MIDI tracks. A few hundred rather than a few thousand will do.

    You can still start with a template that has your tracks organized into sections (or however you like to see them) by setting the patch changes on the tracks by defualt. When you open the seq, all of the patch changes are sent and you are ready to go.

    Just another very effictive way to take advantage of the luxury of having many giga computer. Three is a very workable number in doing mockups...but more are better!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    Hi Thomas,

    I found that working in Cubase it\'s very easy to manage the caoz of multiple channels by grouping each instrument (picc., fl, oboe etc..) in a folder track, and then just unfold the ones you need..
    That way the orchestra can easilly fit onto one screen no matter how many articulation midi channels are \"hidden\" under each instrument.

    ps. I had the pleasure of using your pan flute in a ballet production recently. Thanks again for sharing your great work! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Question for David Govett...

    I have been discussing this a bit wiht Thomas, and reached the conclusion that those 48 PC\'s cannot all be running GigaStudio. OR if they do, they only use a few channels each. There is no way you can work efficiently with 48*64 tracks in a sequencer.

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