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Topic: solo strings

  1. #1

    solo strings


    I\'m thinking seriously about purchasing the Personal Orchestra. My immediate need is only for a good solo cello sample, although I\'m sure I\'ll end up using the other instruments later on for more traditional \'classical\' stuff. I don\'t own giga or halion, so that plus the 80 dollars for the Kirk Hunter solo cello adds up to way more than the personal orchestra. From the demos, I like the sound of the garritan samples better. And I like the idea that it\'s all packaged up with a playback module.

    So can anyone comment on the solo cello? Is it looped? How long are the samples? How many velocity layers? And is it chromatically sampled? Are there pizz and other alternate articulations ? Does it feel expressive and convincing when you play it live from the keyboard ?

    FWIW...I\'m going to be using it for non-classical music ( a jazz/world ensemble with electric guitar and percussion). I\'m hoping for little or no ambience on the samples.

    I can pretty much tell that for any future \"classical\" composing this will be ideal, but I wonder it I will be happy enough with the solo cello sample(s) in terms of expressiveness...any thoughts/information would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: solo strings

    I own both KHSS and GPO. There\'s no comparison. KHSS is by far the better solo string library. And GPO is by far the superior orchestra. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    GPO\'s solo cello is very mellow and smooth. I hear that the instruments in GPO have really long loops (2-3 sec), but the fact that they\'re looped at all means that they can\'t \"move\", or else the loop points won\'t match up. The expression is added by the player with the mod-wheel and the velocity triggered attacks. It has sustain-pedal-triggered legato, which is nice.

    But GPO\'s solo cello is best left for smooth, \"safe\" sounds. It\'s mellow and cannot play all that aggressively. There\'s no spiccato, marcato, harmonics or other advanced articulations.

    KHSS on the other hand has movement, bite, subtlety and realism. It also has some great articulations. The spiccato is excellent for \"virtuoso\" playing. I\'ve owned my copy for a number of months now, and I\'m still in love with it.

    My style tends towards the edgy and modern, and KHSS is perfect for the job. The samples are dry and mono, so you can place them and verb them to taste.

    To be honest I had never opened GPOs solo strings before your post. I\'ll probably never open them again. Nothing against GPO. But with KHSS, I\'m spoiled. And the GPO solo cello isn\'t aggressive enough to suit my tastes.

    Regarding the cost of Giga, you only need GigaStudio 32 to run the KHSS Cello. In fact, I could easily do a whole quartet within 32 voices. You would also need a GSIF compatible soundcard. In fact GS24 may still come free with some GSIF soundcards. And the soundcard would still be useful for other future work, as GPO requires ASIO support.

    So is this for live playing or studio use? KHSS is amazing when you take the time to place the articulations in the studio. For live there are some keyswitch programs that can be used, but they take practice. In either case use a volume or expression control to modulate the voice.

    Best of luck with your cello quest.

  3. #3

    Re: solo strings

    It\'s shaping up now that GPO has been out for a few weeks, that indeed it cannot be all tings to all people, and \'specialty\' libraries that are for the Gigastudio will still exsist (though not for the Giga for much longer as there is little to curtail pirates from copying. A built in player is the way it\'s going.)

    I would buy the KHSS if you need an excellent cello and I still like the Dan Dean solo strings too.

    I currently augment GPO with Giga instruments I have ported myself over to Kontakt. I find there is just so much more one can do with the programing versus Giga.

    Thus my Giga libraries live on!

    I do think Gary will be augmenting and expanding the GPO over time, it is a \'work in progress\' I understand. I also know Gary EXPECTS that people will use other libraries along with GPO.

    My advice would be to buy the GPO first (the cello sounds quite rich for the money IMHO), then pick up the Gigastudio 32 as suggested, and then hunt about for a good solo string product (I have heard the KHSS and might consider them myself!). The NI Kompakt would probably work for using the Giga instruments if you want to keep everything within your sequencer (I love SONAR).

  4. #4

    Re: solo strings

    The KHSS is a great package, I\'ve had it for about a month now and have already written stuff that I thought was close to impossible using samples, or at least not as easy as this. The use of mod wheel or keys for switching between articulations is a brilliant approach and even though it takes some time to get familiar with the full library, and you might have to fix some of the patches if your sampler doesn\'t import Giga properly, it\'s well worth it.

    I can\'t say anything about the GPO solo strings since I don\'t have GPO yet, but I\'ve finally saved up the money so I\'m going to order it today [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    Perhaps comparing the two would be unfair though, GPO is a 2 GB full orchestra, KHSS use 8 GB for only four instruments... The amount off velocity layers adds a lot of realism to any playing and many of the samples in KHSS are 10 or even 20 seconds long. It would be impossible to achieve the same thing in a 2 GB library covering a whole orchestra. But from what I\'ve heard of the GPO solo string demos, the sound (as already mentioned) is different and I like it too and will surely use those as well.

    Since you don\'t have a sampler yet, I would probably advice you to start with GPO. It will get you going with any orchestral need, and if it\'s for the moment just a cello and the GPO solo cello should for some reason not be satisfying - why not find a cello player and record him or her? There are often students that like to do sessions for less money, just put a note up on the noteboard of your local music school. They will most likely beat any sample library.
    Then you can buy a sampler and KHSS later to get even more variety and replace some of the solo strings (if needed to) that you\'ve already done using GPO.


  5. #5

    Re: solo strings

    The solo string sampleas are pretty good in gpo. And it taks some time to undersatnd them - pedal up down provides alternating bowstrokes. this is great but you can judge it one session - it takes a while to get used to. In the meantime, if all you need is cello avoid gigastudio - I owned for years and waited forever for an update that worked in Win2000 or xp - when I got it - finally - it sucked. Go to tascam and you will see them demoing an impulse modeler!!! Giga revolutionized what could be done with samplers but the aggravation factor compared with other software has been ridiculous. So make sure you get a cello that works well in Halion or Kontakt.

  6. #6

    Re: solo strings

    Thank-you, you have all been very helpful. Based on your comments, I don\'t think the GPO solo cello would be satisfactory for what I\'m doing right now. My new plan is to purchase Kompakt which apparently can import giga sounds. Then I can (hopefully) load the KHSS. (I\'m on a mac, so giga itself is not an option).

    I don\'t want to play it at live performances, but I do want to play in as much of the expression as possible rather than editing it. I\'m pretty good at expressing myself with musical instruments, not so good at tweaking and editing after the fact (though I can certainly do a bit of that). With the Yellow Tools Culture plug-in (percussion), the sounds almost jump out of the keyboard. I can play in a hand-drum part live, and then just quantize and maybe edit a few velocities and it sounds very lifelike. I\'m looking for that ease of use in my cello sound too. I don\'t mind if it takes a bit of time to learn how to do all the keyswitching/modwheel stuff.

    I am still impressed with the GPO and I look forward to making some music with that in the not-too-distant future as well. Thanks again for the advice.

  7. #7

    Re: solo strings

    Hi Jon,

    I found that the tweaks to get a good KHSS performance aren\'t too difficult.

    Your best friends for a real-time performance are the Exp-Sus and Hrd-Sus patches: Exp if you\'re doing slow stuff, Hrd if it\'s faster and you need some attack.

    The next level is to find the critical short notes and replace the sustain patches with detache, marcato and/or spiccato. It\'s as easy as inserting a program change, typing the desired number and audiitoning the result. Adding a slide here or there is similarly easy. There\'s also a legato patch for those runs.

    The thing that really requires artistry is the movement of the expression controller. You can either record that live or after the fact, or you can draw it in. If you get it right, it\'s sublime. If you get it wrong, it can sound worse than no envelope at all. I record it live, then clean it up by hand.

    Enjoy the ride!

  8. #8

    Re: solo strings

    Originally posted by Jon Lukas:
    Thank-you, you have all been very helpful. Based on your comments, I don\'t think the GPO solo cello would be satisfactory for what I\'m doing right now. My new plan is to purchase Kompakt which apparently can import giga sounds. Then I can (hopefully) load the KHSS. (I\'m on a mac, so giga itself is not an option).
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Jon - You might want to check with Kirk about using KH solo strings in Kontakt. Much of the KH library has 16 velocity levels. Here are a couple of quotes from him in this forum on 10/26/03 concerning Kontakt import:
    \"I don\'t know Kontakt\'s limitations with regard to programming native, I just know that trying to convert over more than 8 velocity layers yields a big mess.\"

    \"I\'m glad Halion 2 uses all the velocity layers. I just know that when i tried to convert over to Kontakt, that only 8 layers worked with any success\"
    I don\'t use Kontakt, so I don\'t know if this is still an issue or not. Also, Halion has been working and streaming on OS-X for over a year, and imports Giga near-perfectly. Kontakt just recently released their 1st OS-X version. You might want to check the NI forums on how Kontakt works under OS-X if this is the OS you are using. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: solo strings

    GPO does have 3 different solo cellos. Cello 1 has a brighter tone with more attack. Cello 2 is more mello for legato playing. Cello 3 is different than the other 2. Also, there is pizzicato samples for Cello 1.

  10. #10

    Re: solo strings

    You should check out the NI KONTAKT forum for GIGA import issues as suggested. In particular, there is a recent thread by NI commiting to GIGA import improvement andcalling on users for problems with GIGA import. Particular problems are in using modwheel within keyswitched articulations.

    I have hesitated to buy KHSS because of this and woould love to have someone else take the plunge [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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