I was reading the other thread on Copland and realized I didnt really know how to use an overlay. I\'ve just been using either solo or ens for my different parts. I remember reading something in the manual, but not quite understanding how to apply it. Can anybody give a brief primer on how to use the overlays (or how to set up a section like a trumpet section)?
The primary purpose of the Overlays is to augment section building by layering them with Solo and Ens instruments when a more massive, forceful sound is required. The trumpets, trombones, and tubas each have one Overlay instrument. The French horns have two. In general, the Overlay instruments can be used to:
1. Add “body” and resonance to the sound of a brass section. This can affect the apparent size of the section – making it sound larger.
2. Increase the contrast in timbre from soft to loud. The greater the contribution of the Overlay the greater the contrast. The soft end of the spectrum becomes mellower, the loud end becomes brighter and brassier.
3. Give the impression of a larger section size while using fewer resources, consuming fewer instrument slots within a GPO instance.
4. Give greater control over strong articulations.
The French horns have two Overlay instruments (f and ff) because the horns often require a larger range of timbre in typical orchestral writing. The combination of Solo and Ens instruments with either or both Overlays can create a large variety of characteristics.
The best way to get an idea of the possibilities is to load the Multi called “Large French Horn Section.” This loads 6 Ens horns and the two Overlays into the 8 slots. Once loaded, change the assigned MIDI channel for all of the instruments to “1.” Then move the volume knob of both of the Overlay instruments (in slots 7 and 8) fully counterclockwise so that they are silent. Play a single line passage on channel 1 from your keyboard while advancing the mod wheel. You will hear the 6 ensemble instruments playing in unison. Move the mod wheel around to get a feel for the change in volume and timbre of this combination.
Next, raise the volume knob of the first Overlay instrument (slot 7) to about minus 14db. Play again using the mod wheel and see how the sound is changed, overall and dynamically.
Leaving everything else as it is, raise the volume knob of the second Overlay instrument (slot 8) to about minus 14db. Play it again. This time you should notice a considerably brighter, brassier sound when the mod wheel nears its maximum travel.
Experiment with relative levels for the Overlay instruments. Try lowering the second Overlay to minus 20db, minus 25db, and minus 30db to see how subtle its contribution can become. Try raising the second Overlay to minus 10db, minus 6db, and 0db to see how bright and aggressive its contribution can become.
Try playing 3 note chords with the above variations. Be careful at maximum mod wheel travel because you can easily overload your sequencer’s mixer when you are layering this many instruments and playing multiple notes. If you get distortion, back off on the level of the individual instruments until you achieve the necessary headroom to avoid overload.
You’ll notice that the above exercise has all notes being played by all instruments. Of course, there are unlimited combinations possible and each will have a somewhat different sound. The Overlays can be layered with all parts, just the first part, or even just the inner parts. They can be applied with extreme subtlety or very aggressively. They can be used on the same MIDI channels as the parts with which they are layered or placed on separate MIDI channels to allow more control, variability, and flexibility. Separately, they can even have different attacks applied than their Solo and Ens counterparts. If the parts are actually performed separately, rather than played on the same MIDI channel or have their data copied from another track, they can help avoid the “organ” effect that results from too much identical MIDI data.
Resources can be conserved by using only two slots for a section: A Solo instrument in one slot and an Overlay instrument in the second. The Solo instrument can be used by itself for solo lines and combined with the Overlay for section work. It often sounds cleaner to have the Solo instrument only play with the Overlay on the first part, the other parts played only by the overlay. This can be reversed too, using the Overlay to play the upper part and the solo (or Ens) instrument(s) to play the lower parts. Lots of possibilities.
Try the same experiments with the multi called “Large Trumpet + Tromb Sect.” Give the trumpets one MIDI channel and the trombones another.
This should give you a pretty good introduction to some of the possibilities of the brass Overlays.
Yes, all the multis [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
Forgive me. You should have several banks with common configurations, like string quartet, brass sections, and so on. You can check if you have that multis in your library folder, if I\'m not wrong, they have their own folder named, guess... multis. But if you have no access from your GPO instances, then something is wrong with your setup.
If you find that (for whatever reason) the multis are not present in your installation, download the latest posted version of the multis at http://www.garritan.com/support.html They are under the “NEW MULTIS for Garritan Personal Orchestra” heading.