I\'ve had GPO for almost a week now. Granted it\'s been Christmas and I haven\'t sunk in 24/7, but I\'ve got a good idea of some things.
I\'ve worked on 2 songs with the strings, so that\'s what I\'ll comment on:
1) My first thought is I\'m going to open these strings and they\'re going to be AMAZING! - after all, they\'re from Gary - the Garritan. I was a good bit disappointed to be quite honest (but it doesn\'t end here so hang on). The group strings sounded thin - like samples had been stretched beyond their means. Unexpressive and overall about like a $800 student synth to me. I was bummed. Then I loaded up some of the ENS solo instruments and had the same feeling.
I was about to give up but then I thought to myself \"you know, those demos were excellent, is someone else can them, so can I\". So I started digging a bit deeper.
I decided to go ahead and do a song with it. The song I was working on was a pop track. The track was done but the producer didn\'t like some things - felt like it didn\'t go anywhere so hired me to \"fix\" it. That most required changing the bridge to the end. But at the beginning it was all the same. Since he Already had some live strings on it, I chose to work with them and work from them. I copied the lines exactly then finished the arrangement to the end with GPO.
I layed the first layer of Group, then I did all 3 ENS solo patches for EACH part. The real strings were Vlns and Vcs, I chose to add a Viola. So it was only a 3 part string chart.
I was kind of feeling bummed still at the sound, so I did another pass of GOS strings for more sound. Then I started mixing it all.
This was the schocker. By the time I was done the GPO strings with all their ENS layers ALONE sounded better then any combination of the others. I couldn\'t believe it fit so well in the mix! I tried mixing the real strings, but couldn\'t tell they added much. I tried just bringing in GPO at the end where I re-wrote stuff, and you couldn\'t tell it was samples that took over, but I still ended up using GPO throughout.
I\'m going to see the producer tomorrow and I\'m not going to tell him what I did. I\'m anxious to see what he thinks, but I know he won\'t be able to tell the difference!
So - in the end, GPO strings take some getting use to, but sound FANTASTIC. And the programming is excellent once you figure it out. I loved being able to do a run and not have to pull up a \"fast\" or \"short bow\" patch. I did everything with 4 tracks/instrument and they all played the same thing - just a different real time performance.
Now as to the other instruments - I\'ve been very impressed, just haven\'t had a chance to dig in. I\'m most impressed thus far with the winds [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
There\'s all sorts of neat things you can do with the strings to get your own sound. I do layering between the sustain+short and short bows for basic strings sections. For a more hollywood sound I will use the lush strings which actually are string section and various solo instruments combined.
Another cool thing is to actually record extra tracks of solo strings on top of the section strings. Do not just copy the track but record new tracks. Use the various solo instruments to get different blends. I then set the solo instruments into their own subgroup so I can mix them against the section strings. The various timing issues help make the strings not sound like one note being played with a sample.
I\'ve always tried to layer strings with solo or with those from another library. I just fooled around the other day and found that the Edirol strings I have are great for layering over GPO sometimes. The only problem is that the programing of GPO is so unique none of my Giga or the Edirol strings operate the same way so I have to create completely different tracks with other controllers, but that\'s okay.
On the pop orchestra sessions I worked on many years ago, we always had arrangements where a couple of live string or fr. horn players would layer over the synths, and this had a fantastic ability to make even an old ARP string box sound real.
Btw, thanks for sharing your experiences and techniques for GPO. I\'d much rather be talking about this kind of stuff on the forum than arguing over whether GPO is better than EWQLSO and that kind of b.s.