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Topic: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

  1. #1

    Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra


    I already own GOS which I use with GigaStudio and Finale. I am committed to Finale as a sequencer, but I am not totally happy with the sound quality I am getting from GOS and Giga. Probably my fault because I am not technically adept enough to know how to get better sound quality.

    Anyway, I was wondering if I should switch to Personal Orchestra. I own a copy of Kontakt, but have never used it and have no idea how to even load an instrument. The interface seems rather primitive and I don't know how to link it up to Finale's MIDI output.

    Do you have to know Kontakt to use Personal Orchestra? And will it work with Finale? If so, what components would I have to purchase? Is Personal Orchestra easy (or easier) to use compared to Giga and Kontakt? And what is the secret to getting the kind of sound quality I hear on many of the Demos?

    Del Neroni

    Del Neroni

  2. #2

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    GPO offers immense expressiveness, and is capable of both intimate and grand scale realism - as you've heard from the 'demos' - while at the same time being probably the simplest sample library to use. No more of this constant headache of switching articulations ad infinitum, as with GigaStudio and other libraries - a lot of that is taken care of automatically with Tom's clever programming. With the GPO Kontakt Player (different from the full Kontakt), you don't have that many knobs and buttons to worry about or get in the way of the creative process of making music.

    GPO comes with its own player, and other goodies like a sequencer (for PC), and its own reverb plugin (based on Ambience). That's all you really need.

    Hope this helps,

  3. #3

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    What kind of music do you compose or play?

    The best part of GPO is the woodwinds - very expressive and easy to play. The GPO brass is more classical and melodic but equally expressive. From the demos I've heard, the GPO piano is outstanding. And then GPO includes other instruments, for example, the organ, harpsichord, harp, many tuned and untuned percussion instruments.

    If you have any use for the above instruments, then GPO will be a perfect complement to GOS and ridiculously affordable (and all you'll need for a long, long time).

    By the way, GPO also comes with the GPO version of the notation/sequencer Overture, which many now prefer over Finale, and there were many reports from Finale users of GPO, but I can't remember what were the issues/conclusions. GPO also comes with the GPO Studio ( a standalone environment similar to what Gigastudio provides). The GPO Studio also has the built-in Ambience Reverb plug-in.

    One thing though - GPO will NOT help you improve the sound of your string parts (although it will simplify performing them).

    Are you able to post any output from your setup with GOS/Finale? We cannot hear the problems that you are having, so we're unable to help much.

    There are probably two separate problems: one is in the "mixing" - GOS definitely needs added reverb. What reverb do you use? I'm on the PC/Windows, and I use the free SIR convolution reverb with impulses from noisevault. As soon as I started using SIR, everything that I did started sounding better. GOS output may also need some EQ - that is, some frequencies (in the whole track) either cut away a little or boosted a little. But this is probably a minor problem.

    The second problem is in the playback. All these sample libraries need to be played by a continuous controller - virtual every note, continuously in time. I do not know about Finale (didn't the late Adam Burford use Finale with great success? - he posted many tips here), but somewhere, somehow, either the notes have to played using a continuously controller, or the data has to be "drawn" in by hand using the mouse. If this is the problem that you are having, there are many solutions, although a little tedious. We'll need to know more about your set up and specific problem before we're able to help you further.

    I hope this was not too basic and/or pedantic. Ask away.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Thumbs up Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    Hi, Del - -

    I'm one of the few here who have both GOS/Lite and GPO (and bought them in that order). I don't think it's a question of "switch". If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably reverse the purchasing sequence, but I still thing I would like both. For one thing, GOS/Lite (and full, presumably) has those wonderful "full strings" sample sets which makes "roughing out" a full (two-handed) string section very easy and direct. (In GPO, presumably you could put multiple string instruments on the same channel and get much the same effect.)

    For a sample of a GOS/Lite and GPO piece, check this thread which is a comparison of Impulse and Reverb on a piece that is my (typical) hybrid of GOS and GPO.

    i hope this helps ... KevinKauai

  5. #5

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't GPO's strings COME from GOS?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    I would. With all the new updates and instruments coming up for GPO the purchase is even more suitable for your needs as a composer. "GO FOR IT...Life is not a dress rehearsal!"

  7. #7

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Reeves
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't GPO's strings COME from GOS?
    I believe they come from the same sample pool, but the GPO strings are edited differently in accordance with GPO's philosophy of keeping things as compact as possible. The full GOS is 10 gigabytes, as opposed to 2 gigabytes for the complete GPO.
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  8. #8

    Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    I think the main difference between GPO and GOS, besides the obvious facts that GOS is just strings and GPO is the full orch....and also the obvious fact that GPO is way smaller than GOS......

    The main fundamental difference is the approach of how the library is designed to work and how you interact with it as a composer/arranger. With GOS you choose samples and use different articulations (and that's about all I know since I don't own it yet)...but the approach is along the lines of just providing as many different articulations and specific samples as possible so that you can select the combination that makes sense for a particular passage of music.

    GPO, on the other hand, is all about reducing the number of sample sets down to only a few per instrument...and you don't really have to decide about articulations either. Rather, you simply say solor or ensemble strings...and then all of the nuances of different articulations and so forth are handled automatically, based on how you play your midi keyboard. IN other words, GPO uses midi programming to listen to controllers and respond with changes in the sound that make sense.

    Having both can't hurt.. GPO is not expensive..
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: Should I Switch to Personal Orchestra

    GOS was/is an astounding product. GPO is an astounding product and will continue to be; GPO will continue to be developed and is currently undergoing an update (overhaul?) that will be making it that much better! Giga is dead I'm afraid. The Kontakt interface may not be the best example of creative design but it works quite well. The Player is all that much more of a joy to use. I own Kontakt but still use the Player unless I will be loading huge orchestras.

    Kontakt can do things no other software or hardware sampler can do.

    Giga 3 cannot still compare and GOS 2 is being developed for Kontakt.

    GOS has all those articulations that are a great compliment to GPO's entire orchestra.

    The GPO strings indeed are from GOS but have less sampling. Common articulations are executed with clever Kontakt programming which is possible on no other sample engine. Period.

    Totally contrary to my own early comments on this forum concerning the brass and the drier sound of GPO, the brass can sound spectacular with the realism possible by GPO's approach. Add to this the possibilites for creative use of 'impulse' reverbs on individual instruments and you will get a sound that is versatile and realistic, "trancending the demo ceiling" as KEYBOARD magazine said recently.

    Above all GPO has made midi orchestration and composing fun again. No hassels with myriad articulations spread out over many tracks or arcane and counter-intuitive 'key switches'.

    You could not possibly be dissapointed for the little money it costs...

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