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Topic: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

  1. #1

    Will GPO fulfil my requirements?


    I am new to this forum and was hoping someone might help me with a few queries I have before purchasing the Garritan Personal Orchestra. It appears to be a fantastic package which (along with the bundled software) hopefully covers the criteria I am looking for (which I have outlined below). I have an Intel Celeron 2.4Ghz with 256Mb RAM (hopefully adding another 512Mb shortly) as well as a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-170 for MIDI input.

    My intention is to:

    1) Record in real-time into Overture SE, using my Clavinova as the MIDI input device, then,
    2) Edit any rogue notes and tempi where necessary using the score window, then,
    3) Export the cleaned-up MIDI file to Cubasis VST4, and finally,
    4) Burn the edited track straight to CD using the Steinway Piano sample included in GPO.

    Sounds simple enough, and this is essentially what I am looking to do, but would anyone be kind enough to advise me as to whether in their experience this is all feasible, or are there certain spanners I will find lurking in the works. While my Clavinova is a fairly nifty bit of kit, I don’t have a mod wheel (as far as I know) and my internal soundcard is just a standard Realtek AC97 device.

    Also I am hoping that the bundled software will meet my needs and I shouldn’t need to buy Sonar, Cubase etc. Can anyone help with the couple of points below.

    1) Does Overture SE include the full punch-in/punch-out real-time MIDI recording functions that the full version possesses? This is an important point for me, as I shall be doing most of my recording like this.
    2) When burning to CD from Cubasis, will the Steinway sample automatically translate all the MIDI information my Clavinova has sent, or would it need to be re-fed through a mod wheel (or whatever) in order to get an acceptable degree of expression?

    Thanks for any advice you can give


  2. #2

    Re: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

    Hey there Paul

    I can\'t answer all of your questions, but I can answer some, as well as give some advice. Before I do any of this, however, I must tell you that my name is \"Paul G\" as well, so when I saw this post, I got scared and thought it was me (inner demons - sometimes they control me).

    Okay, nowhere on your list of intentions do you mention wanting to write pieces for orchestral instruments. If you are looking to simply record your midi, and play it back with the piano sample, then maybe GPO is too much. There are 2 options:

    1) If you absolutely only care about sampling a piano, then you should probably consider investing your money in a sample library solely dedicated to the piano.

    2) If, however, you are interested in writing for orchestral instruments, then GPO is the way to go. The sampled piano is great (so you\'ll like that) and the library itself is very flexible and expressive though not as \'in your face\' as some of the more \'hollywood\' libraries out there (some consider this good, some consider it bad - it comes down to taste).

    Moving on, I do not mean to be rude, but check out some of the posts around here (or even the website: http://www.midi.org) for some information on what midi is/does. Once you record your midi data into a sequencer, the rest of the work (with GPO) will involve envelope contouring, velocity tweaks, adding some fx, etc. Basically giving the instrument LIFE! You should not expect to record your midi data, pick the instrument, and expect it to sound realistic - there\'s always room for tweaks [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    When burning to CD from Cubasis, will the Steinway sample automatically translate all the MIDI information my Clavinova has sent, or would it need to be re-fed through a mod wheel (or whatever) in order to get an acceptable degree of expression?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Errr... there\'s no \'re-feeding.\' [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Just think of making music with sample libraries like sculpting something. You get the basic shape (your midi input), then you refine it (tweak the envelopes)! Simple!

    I do not use Cubasis, so I do not know if you can burn audio onto CD directly from within it. However, even if you could, you\'d probably be better off exporting your audio, then burning with another program like Nero. It will probably give you much more control over the burn process.

    Again, I don\'t mean to sound rude, but I just want you to be absolutely sure you know what you are doing before you make any investment. The great (and I emphasize great!) thing about about the Garritan Personal Orchestra is the programming of the samples. For most of the instruments, you control the \'volume\' with the modwheel, sus/legato with the sustain pedal, and attack with velocity. It\'ll take a while to get used to, but it can be very realistic!

    With the percussion instruments, you do not need a mod wheel! The volume of perc instruments is programmed to respond to velocity attacks so the harder ya hit your key, the louder it\'ll sound! Ultimate realism when playing, say, the piano!

    Keep all of this in mind, and remember one important thing: the strength of GPO (at least in my opinion) is in the mod wheel. Every track I record with GPO, I then go over and record mod wheel data to get that \'real\' expression.

    Be careful in considering what sample libraries to buy. Take your time and find out as much as you can - it\'ll save ya money and hassle.

    - Paul G. !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

    Paul G,

    It seems you can do most of what you need to do with GPO. The two main concerns are the mod wheel and the CD burning.

    You\'ll need a separate CD ripping software. There are many inexpensive ones and there may even be shareware. Nero is very good for this.

    GPO relies on a mod wheel, but there are users who get by without a mod wheel. You can draw the midi data in in cubase or Overture. Not as fluid as playing it in realtime, but it worls. Have you considered assigning Mod Wheel data to another controller. Perhaps there is a slider or knob that can be assigned.

    What I may look into is to see if there is a way for the \"scroll wheel\" on a mouse to emulate a mod wheel. Maybe a little weird, but worth looking into for those without mod wheels.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

    Thank you Paul G (!!) and Gary for your advice

    I appreciate you taking the trouble to reply, and I will look much more closely into what I need to buy. I should probably let you in to the secret as to the genesis of my interest in GPO. I had been using Sibelius 3 for a while before realising that its interpretation of real-time MIDI recording left a lot to be desired. After a couple of nights searching the web I came across a demo for Overture 3.51 and suddenly here was what I was looking for in terms of a notation package that handled MIDI.
    It was then on a subsequent search for Overture on the web that I came across GPO. Here was a package that included Overture, a great-sounding piano sample among others, and CD burning facilities in Cubasis (??? – this is what various web-sites claim), all for less than the RRP of Overture as it stood on its own!! I realised in retrospect that this is a slightly limited version of Overture, but hopefully still includes the basic functions I need. If anyone could possibly tell me if Overture SE includes punch-in/out MIDI recording I should be very grateful. Any other serious limitations would be helpful to know about as well.

    I work mainly as a piano accompanist and my main desire for this software is to be able to quickly produce functional accompaniments on CD for my soloists to use with as little fuss as possible. Therefore I was hoping that I could get away with as little post-recording tweaking as possible:
    I know that at the moment I can save a MIDI file as I’ve recorded it on the Clavinova, and even when playing it back through my internal sound card through Windows Media Player it gives an acceptable (if tinny) version of what I’ve recorded. Now my soundcard doesn’t claim to be using Steinway piano samples of the strength of GPO, but still adequately interprets the key velocities, pedal nuances etc. that I imbued my performance with. When I play back my MIDI file through the Clavinova obviously it sounds great, exactly as I’ve recorded, but surely this is only the Clavinova reinterpreting the MIDI information being sent back to it based on the strength of its internal piano sample (approx. 50Mb if I remember correctly). Junkmonkey, I wasn’t sure if you were saying that the GPO Steinway sample (of some 250Mb so I’ve read) isn’t going to be able to interpret the data in the same way. Will I really have to go through and alter the envelopes of every note to make it sound realistic before it is burned to CD? Remembering that I am aiming for something that sounds functional (but still good) as opposed to something that I am going to play in Carnegie Hall!
    If so I may need to readdress my ideas of how this sampling set-up works!

    I will almost certainly be using the other orchestral instruments in some respect, as I have written for orchestra in the past, but these samples are for the time being less important to me than the piano sample. I have looked at other sample libraries, Galaxy Steinway 5.1 (yum) and the Grandioso Steinway range, but as I am currently on a budget (plus I want Overture), the GPO Steinway sounds like a good substitute.
    I already own Ahead Nero v.5 CD-burning software, so if I can use that in conjunction with Cubasis then that should sort that issue out.

    Thanks for your advice, any follow up tips would be great to hear.


    P.S. Gary, the scroll wheel idea sounds great, it had in fact sprung to my mind as a possible mod wheel replacement, but I don’t know how easy it would be to integrate.

  5. #5

    Re: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

    The piano in GPO is good. Extremely good in the context that it is intended for, the orchestra. It has a very classical sound and also has that \"concert hall\" kinda feel to it. This may be desired, or maybe not. Also, about the mod wheel, you don\'t need it for harp, piano, and (most) percussion. You use the mod wheel to control sustained instruments like strings and woodwinds. It acts like a \"swell\" control on an organ. Has no effect on the piano.

    If you\'re really picky about your pianos, and need some versatility in micing and tone colorization, I suggest you check out the PMI series, also available from the northern sound network. The PMI bosendorfer totally blew me away. GPO piano sounds \"realistic and live\" while PMI stuff sounds \"recorded in a really nice studio\".

    Whatever it is tho, your samples are going to really count so make sure you spend most of your time choosing them. CD burning, recording, etc. can come later.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Hamburg, Germany

    Re: Will GPO fulfil my requirements?

    Hi Paul,

    I think you misunderstood Junkmonkey on that \"tweaking around\" thing [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] It is pretty sure that you can import your midi files into cubasis and you can easily assign GPO as a VST instrument to your midi track. You don\'t have to tweak around in cubasis, just assign GPO to the track, choose the Steinway and it will play just fine. You won\'t need an modwheel for a piano sound either.

    Then again, you could use cubasis to record your performance too. You can shift some notes here and there and use the notation editor of cubasis - oh, at lease VST and SX do have a notation module, but I\'m not familiar with notation and don\'t know if it is well done.


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