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Topic: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

  1. #1

    Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Hi, I\'ve demoed the GPO library, and don\'t really know what to think. With the very little time I had with it, I didn\'t find it to be very musical or inspiring. Note that this is the first time I\'ve tried any orchestral samples, and am used to using my keyboard\'s MIDI synth instruments. Is this the norm for sampled instruments, or is GPO less musical than other libraries? With synths, I can go right at it and be inspired and be on my merry way. But I had a hard time getting much of any \"feeling\" out of GPO. Is this just my total lack of experience, or are there orchestral sample libraries that do things differently which are more catered to people who like easily-inspiring instruments? Or, if that\'s not the case, are there some orchestral synth sample libraries I could pick up? I\'m trying to go beyond the instruments on my keyboard so I can acheive high quality sound. The synths on my quite ****e keyboard get the job done in terms of notes, but I am so sick of them that I have to move to something new and more realistic, which is why I\'m considering using samples instead of kerboard MIDI synths.

    In fact, maybe it would help you to know what kind of music I am trying to make. I want to make music like the kind found on Chrono Cross and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3. Orchestral pop-music, I guess, mixed with all kinds of genres from gothic metal and indutrial to beautiful orchestral scores [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Realism isn\'t top priority, but is important. The most important musical things for me is to evoke emotion and make soulful, powerful, and moving music. Realism is only something that helps that, and is not really a goal in itself per se.

    In GPO, I found a LOT of the instrument samples to have widely varying volumes. Like, if you play one note on a violin, it will be of a certain volume, then if you play one note higher on the same violin, the sample will be way louder! That was a big reason I found GPO to be less than musical. Is this just a problem with the guy\'s set up? Or is it something else? Then there are samples that are just plain poorly played, and sound like they were played totally differently than the other samples of the same instrument and style. I figure these things would have been rerecorded during production because they stick out readily while being played. This also reduced musicality for me. Will there be updates to fix these things?

    Another musicality issue is that there seemed to be very little attack on any of the an aweful lot of instruments. It this by design? When I play my synths, they seem to have an attack and fade that is just right for being easy to use and very musical. This does not seem to be the case on a lot of GPO instruments.

    Another complaint (sorry) is the Piano included. Man, what a harsh sound! I have never heard a drier, grittier sound than the piano you sampled. Being from synth country, I\'m used to big and smooth and wet, but even the wet version seemed like a desert musically to me. Normally I can sit down at any piano and write a song, but I just couldn\'t find any inspriration at all to do so with GPO\'s piano sound. I dunno, I am fully convinced that I\'m full of it myself, because I don\'t understand how people think this stuff is so pretty. I mean sure, I\'d bet a thousand dollars that its all perfectly realistic, but that\'s only a small part of the picture for what I\'m trying to do. Some realism is great, but are instruments really this unmusical in real life? I mean, the problem really HAS to be me! I hear that it takes a while to get used to working with real samples, and that must be what I\'m experiencing here.

    Also, if I do decide to go with GPO, I would guess I might need GOS Lite to go with it. Would that be a wise idea, or are the same violin samples present on both CDs? Would that be redundant?

    Lastly, please no flames in my direction for not having much luck with GPO. Much of this is probably based on user-error and user-ignorance.

  2. #2

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Sorry, accidentally posted the same thing twice!

  3. #3

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Well, Jeeves, I think I\'ve had just about the exact opposite experience that you\'ve had with GPO. I came from a rock background, and started composing music via computers only about 3 years ago. For the first two years, everything I did used drum machines, synths, and guitars. I attempted my first \"orchestral\" sounding song using a Proteus 2000 synth module, and it took me FOREVER, because I couldn\'t just record the music in my head. I had to keep changing things, because the instruments didn\'t sound real in certain ranges, or certain instruments had a completely different feel than others. It also took forever to find the instrument I wanted, and took a long time to layer enough instruments to make them sound like an orchestra.

    When I purchased GPO, I was instantly inspired to create more music that incorporated orchestral sounds, because the sounds are great, and making \'sections\' of instruments is so easy. Even just listening to the MP3\'s of music other GPO listers have done is inspiring to me. Some of them sound so close to a real orchestra, that if I was casually listening somewhere, I might not even know that they are samples.

    I would definitely suggest that you give GPO some further testing. I haven\'t experienced the relative volume problems that you have. I also find that the instruments seem to my ears to have the same attack as the real things. When I play a string of trumpet notes from the Proteus, it sounds completely fake, because of the attack. With GPO, it better approximates real trumpet players.

    As for the issue of GPO not being \"musically inspiring\" for you... isn\'t that totally a subjective jugement? I mean, it\'s all a matter of personal taste (and everyone has a right to an opinion). If you find synths more inspiring than orchestra samples, I don\'t know that any library will change that opinion. It\'s just your personal taste, and that\'s totally cool. Perhaps trying to force yourself into writing music with heavy orchestral elements isn\'t a great idea for you? Expanding your horizons is great, but if you\'re inspired by your synth sounds, and uninspired by the orchestral samples, perhaps now is not the time to attempt orchestral music for you? I do know that many talented people use and love the GPO (and find it inspiring). They are entitled to their opinions, and you to yours. There are some great resources here on the Forum for learning about orchestral music, and many tips about how to create great sound music with samples. I highly suggest you dig around, and review these resources before you relegate your GPO to your sock drawer. ; ^ ) It really is a powerful tool, and quite amazing for the money... in my opinion. Either way, I wish you the best of luck with your music!

  4. #4

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Interesting! I think you and I have had 2 different initial experiences with GPO because we approach composition in opposite ways! You said that you try to get the sound that\'s in your head down, but I do the opposite - I try to just improv and think ahead only 1 or 2 notes at a time. Does that makes sense?

    But yeah, our experiences are totally subjective. That I didn\'t initially find GPO inspiring has probably much more to do with me than it does GPO. It\'s just that I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, and the setup might\'ve been all wrong. I\'m heading over to my compadre\'s casa tomarrow to try it out again for a bit longer this time, and I\'ll see if I can have him better explain it to me.

    Thanks for your encouraging words, though! The community and Gary\'s wonderful support alone almost makes the package seem worth it! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I can\'t believe that GPO isn\'t actually MORE expensive! I mean, how can Gary go below $500? It\'s unbelieveable if GPO is as good as other people (and their demos) make it seem!...

    Erhmmm... maybe I should shut my mouth now, in case Gary starts agreeing with my price analysis... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    jeeves, I would suggest that you take a look at the GPO manual and learn how to control volume, expression, timbre and legato. It will make all the difference in the world.

    Take a listen to some of Francesco Marchetti\'s demos on the Garritan website and you\'ll see the potential of GPO.

  6. #6

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Make sure you use the mod wheel (it controls volume/expression), and the sustain pedal (it engages legato mode normally, though your friend may have set up for normal sustain). Also play around with pressing lightly and pressing really hard for the instruments, since note velocity controls the attack speed - remember again that mod wheel controls volume. A really good patch to try these things is the solo flute. The difference between legato and non-legato (via sustain pedal) is obvious if the Kontakt sustain pedal option wasn\'t changed into doing normal sustain, and also the attack speed via note velocity is something you can hear pretty easily too. And finally try out the mod wheel while a note is playing and you can do crescendos / decrescendos however you like. If you\'re auditioning a single instrument rather than doing serious work, definitely try to use the wet versions rather than the dry versions of the instruments. Without going into any explanation of the times to use wet/dry variations, I think you will find that the wet versions sound much better. Best wishes

  7. #7

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Hmmm, it sounds like you were using a friend\'s setup... and his setup sounds completely screwed.

    Two things give this away -- volume (which is controlled by the mod wheel). You shouldn\'t hear one sample with a vastly different volume from another unless you have the mod wheel in a different place. So the real question is were you able to control the volume of the instrument you were playing with the mod wheel of the keyboard?

    Secondly, you say there didn\'t seem to be much attack (or some such) -- GPO instruments can attack just as much as any sythn, unless there is a memory problem or other with the setup. That is controlled by a lot of things, but the expression of the instrument is most often controlled by the velocity sensitiveness of the keyboard, which makes me wonder if the keyboard you were using wasn\'t velocity sensitive.

    I also think GPO sounds a whole lot better \"wet\" than \"dry\", but you shouldn\'t apply the included ambience reverb until the final mix. I don\'t know what your friend\'s setup had, but applying this can really bring the samples to life.

    If you didn\'t sit down and five minutes later realize how superior GPO is to any synthesizer playing orchestra sounds then something was definitely wrong -- but there\'s an easy test. Just listen to any of the dozens of sample songs posted here. This is what you can do with GPO, and it\'s easy to do so. If they aren\'t to your liking then you don\'t want a sampled orchestra.

  8. #8

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    I think I know what jeeves9000 was looking for in GPO: Orchestral cheese.

    Now please don\'t be offended, but there have been alot of \'quick n dirty\' orchestral sounds in synths and even sample libraries.

    You would have found a plethora of that stuff in Sampletank 2. This product was designed for an individual to produce some of this quick orchestral cheese or maybe to cover a cue in a radio spot.

    I think you should do A LOT of intense listening to fine orchestral music and film scores. One does not simply place their hands on the keyboard and sound like Mahler instantly!!

    If all you want is to reproduce the sound of a \' big orchestra\' to layer with pop or rock instrumentation, then I would try the very fine Siedlacak \"ORCHESTRA\" CDROM (not the \"Advanced Orchestra\", as that\'s a different animal). It might still be available and it was re-released a few times under different names. This collection was quite realistic sounding and was priced cheap. I still use it myself once in a while, though it can sound cheesy if you over do it.

    Beyond that, if you want GPO to sound realistic, then pick up Adler\'s book on orchestration and get the companion CD and follow along with the musical examples. It\'s a pretty easy read for an orchestration manual.

    And remember that even VSL and QLSO can sound cheesy or bad if you don\'t know what to do with them....

  9. #9

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    Please forgive my brevity, but the following are my responses to your concerns:

    In GPO, I found a LOT of the instrument samples to have widely varying volumes
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Problem with your setup, not GPO.

    Another musicality issue is that there seemed to be very little attack on any of the an aweful lot of instruments
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">http://www.garritan.com/control.html

    I have never heard a drier, grittier sound than the piano you sampled
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">http://www.evo-games.com/music/S3T100-GPO_Piano_Demo.mp3

    And if you have another piano that you would like to compare. Use the following midi file and play it back with your favorite piano samples:


    There were no effects used in the mp3.

    Also, if I do decide to go with GPO, I would guess I might need GOS Lite to go with it.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">No, you don\'t need it, but they will definitely help with the realism. Poor Gary, sampled the strings in GPO too well, nobody wants GOS [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] just kiddin, of course

    - jUnKonk buGoNk

  10. #10

    Re: Possibly Ignorant Comments and Question

    The GPO piano ALWAYS astounds me. He could easily be selling this as a standalone sampled piano for 250+ dollars, without the other GPO instruments. It is extremely versatile, too. It can cut through a pop mix with great punch, and even works well in a jazzy context for me as well!

    I can\'t wait for the new add ons! I just hope I am not to broke to afford it!

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