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Topic: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

  1. #1

    Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    Just listenened to the GPO demos on the Garritan site, and \"assume\" all were done using only the GPO samples. If this is so, it sounds as though this is a phenominal deal for 250, considering the sticker on most of the libraries out there.

    I have GS160 and am new to sample libraries. I\'m also a writer/producer as opposed to a player, and more interested in compiling \'canned\' orchestral pieces for theatrical productions as well as string and horn \'sweetening\' for pop productions.

    Can anyone yay or nay the GPO from a personal use viewpoint, given what I want to do.

    Thank you for your help.


  2. #2

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    I just music-directed a production of \"Chess\" where I used GPO because of space limitations (I also used other libraries, especially for the rock sounds, but GPO was the primary source) . Everyone was impressed by the score, except for a handful of whiners who simply do not like \"canned\" music no matter hoiw high the quality. I plan to use GPO again for this purpose if I ever lack the space/time/resources to conduct a live orchestra. I\"d highly recommend it for this purpose.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    I am currently using GPO with a musical along with other sound sources and I can easily say this is it! Yup! For the buck lots of bang! Go for it! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Oh and by the way. Any comments, questions or concerns? You are in the right place with the best bunch of people!

  4. #4

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]GPO is a phenomenal synth. It has a lot of strengths: brass and woodwind sounds are very convincing, as well are most of the solo strings. The string sections, however, are not so hot (although still better than many other synths), but then the difficulty of producing high quality strings is the reason the Garritan Orchestral Strings (a companion program to GPO) is so expensive.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]The only real drawback to GPO is its system requirements. Personally, I would not run a full orchestra on less than 2GB of RAM and a 2.4Ghz CPU. For me, this meant buying a new PC ($1600 there!), but honestly I feel it was worth the price.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]Having an entire orchestra on one PC means no external sound modules (no wires!), and no external mixer (very pricy). Everything can be done on one machine. The GPO Studio application even enables you to use the orchestral synth from such non-user-friendly programs as Finale.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]One last comment: the Ambience application that is packaged with the GPO Studio is also a great thing! I used to use Sound Blaster\'s EAX \"Concert Hall\" reverb setting, but the GPO Studio ambience application blows Sound Blaster out of the water.

  5. #5

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    Coming to a site like this and asking if we think you should use GPO is a bit like going to Texas and asking if anyone likes The Cowboys. If we didn\'t, we wouldn\'t be here.

    That said, given the price point there is absolutely no product on the market that can compare to GPO. EWQL sells a \"Silver\" product that is somewhat more ($300) but it lacks a lot of the instruments that GPO provides. Otherwise you\'ll have to pay three or four times the money to get the same sound from anything else.

    I can\'t think of anyone around who hasn\'t been happy with GPO -- indeed, our only dissatisfaction comes from wanting more! Gary has promised a \"Big Band\" add on that makes most of us here drool and say \"when??\" And there is also some kind of third party voice add-on coming from the DIVA folks that I suspect will be equally wonderful.

    The demos don\'t tell the whole story -- just listen to things posted here in the forums by folks and you\'ll find out you must have this right away (get it today!)

    (Oh, and I disgree with the previous poster -- I run a full orchestra on only 1gig just fine. Obviously the more memory the better).

  6. #6

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    [ QUOTE ]
    Coming to a site like this and asking if we think you should use Brio is a bit like going to Texas and asking if anyone likes The Cowboys.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ha! I was just going to say something similar, but your analogy was much better.

    I have a 1.7 gHz system with only 768 of RAM, and I\'ve currently run over 20 GPO instruments with no problems, and haven\'t needed any more instruments than that at once (yet). Granted, the Steinway Grand wasn\'t one of the instruments, and apparently that eats up 100 MB of RAM alone. So yeah, more RAM is certainly recommended, but not necessarily needed, depending on what you\'re using GPO for.

    And yes, GPO should be excellent for theatrical backing tracks (I wish I had it for a theater production I did backing tracks for a year ago!), as well as just about anything else that orchestral instruments could be used for.

  7. #7

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    It all depends on what you expect to hear when someone says \'orchestra\'.

    I think GPO will be excellent for your stated use.

    I think it is ideal for a smaller more intimate symphonic sound, more like a chamber orchestra, and this is great for many works. I think you could not find a better library for Mozart even if you pay a thousand dollars.

    If you want something to sound like a modern film score, say in the tradition of the LOTR scores or Star Wars, then you might find more satisfaction with EWQLSO \'Silver\', even though as another person stated it is not as complete as GPO.

    My best advice is to compare the demos.

    And remember, GPO demos were done entriely with GPO alone and often with the bundled Ambience reverb which is quite good.

    Also GPO is a complete joy to work with and that is not the case with most other libraries!

  8. #8

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    This is not a shot at you, but it seems everyone on these forums always equates a modern orchestral film score to Star Wars or some other bombastic, big horns work. Yet the majority of great movie scores are so much more than that.

    Listen to Blackhawk Down or Spy Game or any of a hundred other scores and you\'ll hear stuff that\'s much more interesting than the more bombastic soundtracks. And there\'s absolutely no reason why GPO couldn\'t handle any of the orchestral parts in these scores.

    The demos I\'ve heard from Silver are, for the most part, loud and lack subtlety. And I suppose if THAT\'S what you\'re looking for -- that kind of cookie-cutter big brass sound -- then you should use Silver. But subtle is soooo much more interesting.

  9. #9

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    @robgb: Can we carve this in stone please? Really wise words, i like that.

  10. #10

    Re: Garritan Personal Orchestra Opinion Please

    I started to seriously practice arranging for the orchestra with GPO, and it\'s been a great learning experience. I come from a funk/club music orientation and although my primary sound usage is punchy, tight and groovy, GPO has taught me so much about what robgb mensioned. Subtlety.

    In terms of sound, it may take some time for you to create a \"template\" of GPO to your linking. I would personally hate to have to set it up every single time. So I have a beginning template to work with, and that\'s sped up the process quite a bit.

    For symphonic stuff GPO\'s sound will work mostly out of the box. For pop mixes, you may want to enhance the high end so it\'ll stand out in the mix. The strings section is quite gentle, so don\'t expect any grinding action there. Overall, in terms of samples I get the impression that GPO generally sounds mature and magnificent. Or maybe that\'s just the style I like to write in, who knows. :-)

    If you\'re new to orchestration with samples, you\'ll find that it\'s extremely dynamic. I had a tough time trying to balance things out and striking a good balance so things don\'t clip. Even with a mixer setup that minimizes clipping, I still find myself making arrangements that are too dynamic in nature. So, that\'s something that applies to orchestration in general I think. But the dynamism is what\'s sooo enjoyable about it. (I guess you may already know this)

    I\'m running on a P4-3ghz with 1gb RAM, on Cubase SX. GPO is fabulous with Cubase, but a nightmare with Logic. can\'t personally comment on Sonar. My opinion is that if you\'re going to work with large setups, 1gb RAM won\'t be enough. (I\'m sort of okay because I don\'t use CPU to mix) You may want to get atleast 1.5gb and preferably 2gb if you want to load a full setup.

    With 1gb, I usually load all strings (minimal articulation variations), tubas, horns, tenor trombones, 2 trumpets, a minimal setup of woodwinds (clarinet, flute, oboe, basoon), and most of the percussion (bass, snare, tympani, cymbals, tubular bells, harps, percussion toys)

    And this still leaves some room for other VSTis. So 1gb works, but it won\'t load everything.

    The final yay or nay? Of course yay!

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