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Topic: Newbie but Nicebie

  1. #1

    Newbie but Nicebie

    Hello all. I'm new to these fora and I find you all a informed, cordial and affable bunch, so I hope you won't mind too much when I ask you a Typical Newbie Question™.

    I'm switching from Logic 5 on the PC to Logic 6 on Mac OSX soon and I've decided it's time to ditch the wonderful (but non Audio Units supporting) Edirol Orchestral and go for something a little bit better - like GPO. I hope to run GPO on both Mac and PC platforms - though not at the same time. My budget is around £200 and obviously the other contender is EWQLSO Silver. I'll be posting a similar question in that forum too but what I would appreciate from you guys is an account of what GPO is like to use in practise, rather than a comparison between these two (excellent) products.

    In particular, I am concerned with what GPO is like to use "out of the box". Is tweaking needed to get the thing to sound right, or are all the articulations there right away? Likewise, is it more suited to certain kinds of music? For example, I have heard all the demos on the site and while the Debussy Sketchbook absolutely blew me away, The Sorcerers' Apprentice failed to impress - the bassoons sounded synthetic. How much of this was down to programming - I consider myself a competent orchestrator but I would rather spend my time writing music than tweaking keymaps and velocity curves. Finally - how does it run? I plan to use it on a PC and a Mac G4 Pwerbook, both with (at most) 1GB of RAM. Am I setting myself up for a disappointment?

    Any feedback would be warmly appreciated, especially from Mr Garritan, himself. It's great that a maker of software chooses to engage with the users of his software in such a direct and immediate way, would that other software makers could be that inciteful.

    Once again, great forum.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    Any feedback would be warmly appreciated, especially from Mr Garritan, himself. It's great that a maker of software chooses to engage with the users of his software in such a direct and immediate way, would that other software makers could be that inciteful.
    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    I would say you are on the right track with your set up. There are so many competent users on this forum that I can say without a doubt you are in the right place. As for GPO? I've been a user for several months now and haven't had a complaint about the sounds or any other aspect since.
    If you are serious about your music get GPO! No one here will dispute. Excellent package and one extraordinary person behind the product!
    Try it, you'll like it!
    I'm not gonna try it. You try it!
    I'm not gonna try it. Hey Mikey, you try it!
    Hey look, Mikey likes it!
    Hey Mikey!

  3. #3

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    Here's my take:

    I'm a pc user so I don't know how you'll fair with GPO on a mac, the feeback so far has been decent, but it currently runs better on PC. Maybe with the DFD update looming the mac users could see some improvements. Maybe a Mac beta tester/user could give you some more insight on that. I don't think you'd see a performance advantage with GPO or Silver since they use similar sampling engines.

    Personally, as a newbie to orchestration, I find GPO exceedingly easier to use every time I sit down to make music. There was a minute learning curve since I hadn't spent too much time with digital music before GPO, but nothing severe. Read the manual and you'll know about all you need to know about the programming and how to utilize it. I'll also say this, that knowledge of orchestration will help and that even the most expensive orchestral library will not sound great if in bad hands. That is just the way it is. GPO in the hands of an experienced orchestrator knows no limits (just listen to Nicole's very excellent demo's in the Demo's thread). So in that rambling paragraph, what I'm getting at is that VSL will sound synthetic if not used properly so expect the same thing from any library you own. Used right and you will get some expressively realistic results from GPO. It is a very compact powerhouse.

    Well there really are only a few articulations as the ideal of GPO was that you got a compact library that through clever programming emulated the tons of articulations that are present in other libraries. There are a couple of essential articulations in the strings, but other articulations are covered by programming. That was how GPO was designed. I think you'll find that the most obvious articulations are covered. Not to mention the update that is on the way that will really help with some of the gripes so far. The idea with GPO is that you sit down and make music and don't worry with 200 articulations of strings. You would use dynamics and velocity to control the sample. It isn't going to do everything, but you shouldn't expect it too.

    I'm sure other members will give you some ideas as to their experience with GPO. I know that it is a hard decision, and I was in the same boat last year. I made my choice not on sound or design (since I don't think that you can really go wrong either way), but rather on service and ideals. I didn't mess up. But of course, I'm biased since I own it, but just so you know, back last year it could have gone either way. It was a very personal choice that I'm very happy I made. I don't know if I'll ever spend the thousands of dollars on the end all orchestral library, I just don't know that its necessary any more. I wish other developers would look at this and say, wow, that's really the road we should be on. Garry is onto something with GPO and I am here to the end. It's nice not having to buy 15 PC's to orchestrate and if I have to sacrifice a little time in order to get the sound right, well, that's okay by me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    NW Illinois

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    Welcome FunkyPie,

    You mention wanting to spend your time writing music, not programming. GPO works great out of the box. You can even compose in a notation program (Overture is included with the GPO purchase) and playback through GPO. But to create a masterpiece like the Debussy Sketchbook you mentioned, a lot of time goes into breathing life into the midi files by editing modulation, velocity, note durations etc. It's up to you how real you want your performance to be.


  5. #5

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    I usually don't say too much in these forums, because I too am a novice in the use of samples. But I think I should mention my experiences. I too couldn't decide which to buy, GPO or EWQLSO Silver. I listened to all the demos, and realize I couldn't decide, so having saved up the money, I bought both. And soon dicovered that buying EWQLSO was a mistake. Out of the box, GPO sounded much better and required minimal tweaking to sound good. Whereas, with Silver, there are MANY things to tweak before a comparable result is achieved. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Silver is bad, but it requires MUCH more work. To be honest, I've uninstalled Silver and I'm counting my losses...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    Quote Originally Posted by Funky Pie
    Any feedback would be warmly appreciated, especially from Mr Garritan, himself.

    Thanks for posting and participating in this forum..

    You asked what GPO is like to use "out of the box". If you go to our demo page there are over 200 demos by users who made demos "out of the box". It is not limited to "certain types of music" as you can hear examples of the classics, Hollywood style, pop, ragtime, modern, world, musical theatre, etc. (there's even disco and heavy metal). I guess you can find some user demos that would not be to your liking. A successful orchestral rendering has a great deal to do with the abilities of the musician in addition to the library. That's why I feel that teaching, guidance and service are as important as the product itself.

    No programming is involved whatsoever but how you 'play' the instrument in real-time is important. We designed these instruments to play in real-time - with accentuation, dynamic and legato controls. As far as the bassoon, use of the performance controls by the player will yield a different sound. I realize that musicians may prefer the sound of one instrument over another. In New York I hear violinists heatedly argue about whether the sound of a Stradivarius is better than a Guarneri. Both sounded great and the resulting sound often had to do with the player. That is why we included both and also why there are two solo bassoons. Listen to some of the bassoons in the Ragtime/Turn-of-the-century section which features bassoon. I'm sure in time other renditions of the Sorcerer's Apprentice will be done as well. (Check our Bach Air on a G-String thread where the same piece had many different GPO interpretations)

    As far as your computer, make sure it meets the specifications. You did not mention the processor speeds of your computers and that is very important for using any of the NI players.

    I hope this helps,

    Gary Garritan

  7. #7

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    This does help enormously. Thanks for the response, Gary. I've just discovered the new and improved demo section of your site and I'm voraciously downloading!

    For the record computer specs are:

    P4 2.4 Ghz
    1GB Dual Channel RAM
    Win XP
    Logic 5
    Terratec DMX 6Fire

    Mac (soon!):
    1Ghz G4 Powerbook
    768 MB RAM
    Mac OSX 10.3
    Logic 6

    Apparrently the new version of GPO includes DFD streaming so I may hold out till then - I like big orchestras!

  8. #8

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie

    Hey funky Pie,

    Welcome to the forum! Your specs are almost exactly the same as mine - I'm running a 1 GHz powerbook alongside my PC and am just making the switch from Cubase SX2 to Logic6pro. I've been running GPO for a few months now and it's great.

    I shifted from SX to Logic as soon as I borrowed a friend's copy for the night and discovered that Logic ran my GPO setup with approx *half* the cpu load that SX did.. Up until that point that was my main issue with GPO (or so I thought), I had no idea how inefficient SX was under OS X. So I'll be really interested to hear how you got on.

    In terms of programming, the only real "tech" work I've found myself doing is in mixing and use of reverb especially. GPO is recorded pretty dry so spending some time understanding how your reverb works is time well spent. Mind you with Logic6pro on the way I've got a world of "Space Designer" convolution to get my head around!


    Soundtracks for Theatre, Dance & Film

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Newbie but Nicebie


    You'll have 2 installs and will be able to load GPO on both your PC and MAC. No problem with your PC. From the specs, your PC should be able to handle an entire orchestra - at least 50 instruments. The Mac would be less since it has a slower processor speed and less than the recommended RAM. DFD streaming will help. I will post a poll to ask what can be expected from various computers. Let us know if you have any other questions.

    Gary Garritan

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