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Topic: GPO comments

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  1. #1

    GPO comments

    Just got GPO and love it. The sounds are very nice. I will be trying to use Overture with it tonight. I have manu scores already written in Overture, so I will give people some demos soon.

    This is an instrument that encourages study of orchestration. People who haven\'t looked through an orchestration book won\'t be able to get it to sound amazing without some study, because it responds more like a real orchestra than the big libraries. Basically, if you don\'t do mod wheel, legato, etc. it will just do default flat envelopes like a real orchestra would. This idea puts the responsibility of expression in the hands of the composer, which is a must if you are going to compose for real orchestra some day. Different fixed samples of crescendos, etc. will not be malleable enough to play every piece. With GPO, you don\'t have to compose around the samples.

    I really like the Brass, and I aim to do a demo that shows more people why.

  2. #2

    Re: GPO comments

    Jesse, great post. I can agree with you on all points. I\'m still learning from this library, and finding that I have to re-tool my expectations and broaden my approach to get everything that this library is capable of. One example is the timpani: I can do rolls in real time that are uncanny, but I can\'t simply trigger and hold a \"roll\" sample - I have to actually play the notes convincingly. Step-sequencing a bunch of clustered notes *can* work, but in essence you must \"drive\" the roll in the same way that a real player would - one strike at a time. The results can be uncanny. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: GPO comments

    Interesting to note your comment about the brass. I dont have GPO, but from the demos, I somehow felt that the brass was decent but not as good as some individual samples like Sam Horns. But maybe you were taking into account that cost and the size of GPO before weighing it against higher libraries.

    the best sounds I have heard from the demos are the Harp, piano, organ, and timpani. the clarinet is pretty decent too.

  4. #4

    Re: GPO comments

    Originally posted by Jesse Hopkins:
    This is an instrument that encourages study of orchestration. People who haven\'t looked through an orchestration book won\'t be able to get it to sound amazing without some study, because it responds more like a real orchestra than the big libraries. Basically, if you don\'t do mod wheel, legato, etc. it will just do default flat envelopes like a real orchestra would. This idea puts the responsibility of expression in the hands of the composer, which is a must if you are going to compose for real orchestra some day. Different fixed samples of crescendos, etc. will not be malleable enough to play every piece. With GPO, you don\'t have to compose around the samples.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I dont quite understand what you mean here, I thought a real orchestra was played by humans...who tend to work together, in the sense that each player recongnizes that he/she is part of a larger orchestra, and also hears the other instruments playing, whereas a MIDI channel has no idea of the other channels it \"is playing with\" and its expression is entirely the responsibility of the composer!

    Also, I cant imagine a good instrument player in an orchestra, looking at any score and playing without expression. In fact I feel that it is easier to compose for a real orchestra since the players \"think\" unlike the midi channel in a sequencer.

    hmmmm, maybe in a 100 years, with AI, we will have a virtual orchestra that can also \'think\'

  5. #5

    Re: GPO comments

    \"...This is an instrument that encourages study of orchestration...\"

    This is an IMPORTANT point being made in that post.

    It is at the core of all these discussions here, as well as being the main reason for choosing GPO over the EW Silver (provided one cannot afford both!).

    The big huge libraries like VSL (and of course the Silver doesnot contain these, but suffers all the same because the \'Kompakt\' player lacks the programming features of the \'Kontakt\' player, the reason Gary chose that over Kompakt) are loaded with \'pre-packaged\' articulations which wind up dictating to the composer what he can and cannot write. This \'cookie cutter\' approach is evident in the demos of these massive expensive libraries, which somehow ALL sound the same whether they were done by different composers and arrangers or not. An awful lot of work would have to be done to overcome the \'sameness\'.

    If one thing can be heard in the GPO demos so far, its that they all sound like they came from individual composers, not like the \'factory job\' demos of those other big libraries.

    The GPO has, as I\'ve said on this forum before, a musicality that is missing from many sample libraries. I would always choose that over ultimate \'realism\' which is a purely subjective thing anyway.

  6. #6

    Re: GPO comments

    What I meant by playing without expression was that if you didn\'t write any indications, hairpins, playing styles, etc, in the score, then real players, if made to perform on first read, would not add the crescendos themselves. Without any indication given by the conductor in repeated rehearsals or in the score itself by the composer, it is safer to play the notes as normale. Many film scoring sessions are rather boring sounding because of lack of time and expression markings in the score. I think GPO allows/demands of the composer greater responsibility over envelopes than set-in-stone samples. It makes the composer think about the dynamics of every second. My hope is that this will be achieved more and more through notation programming. Then people will start orchestrating while they make mock-ups. Minor adjustments could be left to assistants to smooth things out a little, if needed, but its better than today\'s practice of the composer making the mock-up and leaving the notation to someone else. The notation is the link to the real orchestra, so why not make it the link to the fake one too?

    As Gardner Read said, \"assume nothing\" in your dynamics writing.

  7. #7

    Re: GPO comments

    Personally, I fing that GPO is a wonderful performance tool, but not a great composition tool. And when creating perfromances, one can learn about the results of orchestration by listening to GPO\'s results.

    For a composing tool, I think Sibelius 3.0 (now 3.1) with their \"Gold\" soundset ($99 extra) is the way to go. You select the instruments, Sibelius creates the staves and automatically loads the sound samples. Enter \"pizz\" or \"arco\" on the viola line, and the articulation will automatically change. Write \"pp\" and it will play softly. \"ff\" will play loudly. The only limitations are that the sounds are so-so, and the intra-note dynamics don\'t change. But don\'t expect a great performance from it. Then again, if the goal is to proof a composition, this is all you need.

    Where GPO shines is as a performance tool. Play the parts from your above composition in live. Use the mod wheel, attack velocity and legato pedal, plus your sense of timing to create very believable, human performances.

    I\'ve found that GPO can work well as a composition tool - if you compose improvisationally, rather than with staff paper. By getting expressive sounds, rather than bland notes, one may be more inspired to create.

    The limitation that I\'ve found in using GPO improvisationally is that you can\'t easily read the notes of all the tracks in a sequencer the way you can on a score. So it\'s hard to know if you haven\'t used the 3rd or the 7th yet, or if you\'ve written a slew of parallel 5ths.

    So maybe a good process is to use GPO with a sequencer and live keyboard to find an inspiration, then go to Sibelius to work out the details of the composition, then go back to GPO for the performance.

    Anyway, that\'s my GPO thought for the day.

  8. #8

    Re: GPO comments

    Jon - I have the full version of Kontakt (1.5.1). Would it work with Sibelius the same way their Gold player does or would I need to buy the Gold Player?

  9. #9

    Re: GPO comments

    Good points about Sibelius. Though, I have thought long and hard about a way that a notation program could be altered to take advantage of GPO in order to be both a great composition as WELL as performance tool. Why should composers have to make mock-ups outside of notation. The technology is there, but no one has exploited it.

    The idea is simple. Everything you write in the score is played back precisely in the samples. Using rythmic humanization, step entry would be sufficient. Avoiding \"mechanical feel\" is easy: For rubato, forget Sibelius\' rubato feature. What if you want to \"conduct\" yourself. Incorporation of keyboard conducting which records your tempo indications after the score is written would solve it. Slurs, dotted slurs, accents, sfzs, etc. would all be played ACCORDING TO TEMPO and established dynamic. To add the human expression of mod wheel/breath controller, that could be performed independently of the note entry, recording the CC data seperately.

    All hairpins, slurs, dotted slurs, tenutos, sforzandos, etc, would be played automatically by the markings in the score. The important thing would be to have those things be CONDITIONAL to tempo, dynamics, marcato, up bow, down bow, etc. Envelopes of the samples would be altered according to notelength and tempo. Observations of a trumpet player\'s natural reactions of music would be programmed into the envelopes and attacks of the notes based on duration, tempo, dynamic marking, and articulation. Of course some things would be left to the human touch, such as some attacks, the many variables of which are often not detailed in notation, and the afore mentioned wind/mod control (of course you could use all hairpins if you wanted but it wouldn\'t sound as good. Passable though.)

    The point is that it would do as much as it possibly could for you through the notation, and then you would adjust the remaining variables with your ear/mouse/CCs.

    Instead of the workflow being: play all the parts in in real time.

    The workflow would be. Create the printed score (Step Entry/articulation markings, etc.), Conduct the piece with keystrokes(or setting up tempos according to timecode markings), then the KEY step. Adding wind controller or modulation for parts which lack expression.

    In addition, the orchestra in a forte would be balanced roughly realistically. It would not be possible for a low C on a flute to be heard while the brass section is playing mp. If you wanted to override the realism, there could be a virtual mic. placement feature, to boost those instruments.

    The pressure to invent such a system comes from the desire for realism, as well as the desire for putting control back into the hands of film composers who spend too much time on mock-ups and not enough time orchestrating. This pressure comes from film producers who want a realistic mock-up more than they want to trust the composer so he can have time to write as well as he could on paper. It is also said that a composer should not limit himself or herself to piano composition, and playing all the parts in changes the way you write to an improvisation of your abilities, rather than a transcription of your imagination. I am not knocking realtime entry, as it does well for many, but the technology should be there to keep writing traditionally while not sacrificing quality in mock-ups.

    That was a mouthful

  10. #10

    Re: GPO comments

    Originally posted by eegee:
    Jon - I have the full version of Kontakt (1.5.1). Would it work with Sibelius the same way their Gold player does or would I need to buy the Gold Player?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'m not sure, since I don\'t own Kontakt. I would certainly guess that they would work together, but I don\'t think that you\'d get the same simple integration. Sibelius\' Silver and Gold sample sets automatically load the samples when you add an instrument to the score.

    With Giga I have to load a template (Giga performance file) and make a \"soundset\" in Sibelius to match. After that things are pretty simple, but not as simple as with the integrated player.

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