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Topic: new GPO "pop" song - do the strings sound OK?

  1. #1

    new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?


    This is my first song using GPO, and I\'ve had a few criticisms that the string quartet, sounds like \"The \"strings\" sound like a keyboard set to the string patch\" and \"The strings sound kinda organ-like\".

    Can anyone give me any ideas as to how I could improve the string quartet? Are the voicings bad? The articulations? does anyone think they sound OK as they are?

    Here\'s the link http://www.soundclick.com/bands/8/johnbranermusic.htm and the song is called \"Living on a disk\" - it\'s at the top....

    Thanks for any ideas/criticisms etc

  2. #2

    Re: new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?

    I think the strings could benefit from some modulation, and a little breathing room here and there. The reason they sound like an \"organ\" is that the volume level seems very static, and every beat of every measure is 100% full.

    Just as an example of one possible way you could alter the sound, you could try the following:

    1. Use controller 1 to create some dynamic changes in the long notes. Perhaps crescendo up throughout the first measure of the phrase, and back down during the second. Create the modulation shapes individually for each instrument, so that they don\'t match each other perfectly.

    2. While you\'re at it, I think I would lower the overal average controller level to have a softer string sound. The solo strings have a very mean vibrato at the level you\'re using them.

    3. leave a tiny bit of room between measures 2 and 3. It sounds unnatural to have complete sustain throughout many measures for a solo string instrument--especially at forte. It seems to suggest that the player has an infinitely long bow.

    4. Try each of the solo samples for each instrument, to see if it may be better suited for your particular piece.

    5. Try a tad more reverb, and see if that helps. Not always a good solution, but worth a try.

    Strings are the hardest thing to make sound convincing, and the solo instruments even more so. I have so far ended up spending about 4 times as much effort realising the string parts in my orchestrations than realising the wind and percussion parts -- and those are the easier ensemble strings. Just keep altering the modulations until they sound right.

    I hope this helps,

  3. #3

    Re: new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?

    Thanks Jamie, that\'s what I was looking for. I did try to use some modulation, but I\'ll try using less overall....

    I\'ll try to leave more room between long notes next time too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?


    Good to hear GPO used in this style of music. I really liked it.

    I concur with Jamie\'s suggestions. You could also try wider voicings to open it up a bit and experiment with varying harmonies. Try experimenting with more strings - doubling some of the lines an octave higher. Try using the mod wheel more to individually change the dynamics of each line. And putting the strings a little further back in the mix and giving it a little more ambience may sweeten the mix.

    Please post \"Living on a disk\' again if you do any edits. It would be nice to include this on the GPO demo page once you\'re done.

    Gary Garritan

    PS: Thanks for the mention on your Soundclick site.

  5. #5

    Re: new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?

    Thanks for your reply Gary! I actually did do individual modulations for each of the four string lines. Obviously I didn\'t do that great a job [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    I don\'t know if it\'s worth redoing this song - or if I should just move on to something else.

    I\'ll re-post if I come up with any drastic improvements. Any limitations I find are
    -my- limitations, since I don\'t really know what I\'m doing. I\'m a guitarist, and tinker with keys, but I\'ve never held a bow in my hand before....

  6. #6

    Re: new GPO \"pop\" song - do the strings sound OK?


    I found out that all my controller data in SONAR was on Ch 1 - no wonder everyone\'s mentioning \"add some controller data\"!!

    When you solo a track the contoller data gets redirected to the correct channel that the track is set to so it sounds fine, but when you play all the tracks, I think the controller data is all coming out ch1 (which is the cello) and not the others.

    I\'m redoing my string quartet - and it sounds WAY better! I\'ve made sure I changed all the controller data to the correct channel!!

    Gary - I will repost the song soon. You will hear a big difference, and I\'ll give GPO a bigger plug on my web page [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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