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Topic: Lo! How a Rose comparison (Soundfont vs. GPO)!!!

  1. #1

    Lo! How a Rose comparison (Soundfont vs. GPO)!!!

    Hey gang! WOW!! What a blast I've been having for the last 4 hours or so.

    I decided I simply HAD to re-master Lo! How a Rose E're Blooming (I recorded it on a previous album "An Orchestral Christmas" using a cello Soundfont I found on the 'Net).

    First, before I forget, this is NOT an attempt to compete with the Lo! that was produced by Mistahamma for the Christmas CD. It's just that I've always loved this particular song and I knew sooner or later I just had to test out GPO with the cello going against the Steinway, so for whatever reason, tonight the time came. In fact, this is more of a comparison between Soundfont technology and GPO.

    I'll warn you about the minimalism first: Similar to "Away in a Manger" where I produced it using solo GPO Steinway, this arrangement of Lo! is also fairly minimalist. My purpose here was to not only see if I could get the Cello to "talk" (or weep actually) more so than I did with my trusty Cello soundfont of yesteryear, but to also see how it mixed with the GPO Steinway. Also, I wanted to see how well these instruments stand alone without a lot of other stuff going on. That, to me, has the potential to really show the power of an orchestral library.

    I must say that once again I'm very happy with how GPO works "with itself" so to speak.

    Technical stuff:
    GPO Steinway
    GPO Cello 3 Solo
    GPO Ambience reverb - Church setting - stock settings. Running through a Send bus and the Steinway has -10 Post and the Cello has -9 Post. This is in Cakewalk 3.1.1 Producer Edition.

    Laptop has 512 Mb of RAM and even though I got warnings, it still worked. DFD turned OFF. M-Audio Firewire 410 external soundcard (but I'm eyeing that cute little Audigy PCMCIA card that just came out...hmmmm).

    The Cello starts out with the piano at the intro (sort of as a teaser), but then the piano goes solo for awhile until 1:30 when the Cello comes back in playing melody. Then at 2:37, the Cello plays counterpoint to the piano melody which I love to do because it's fun to try and find a harmony part for an instrument like Cello to play.

    Finally they both come back together (sort of) and end the piece.

    Please listen to the Soundfont version first (and again, as I've mentioned before, it's not a bad Soundfont, it's just that as a musician, you have no control over its dynamics or vibrato, or legato or anything unless you want to go through a LOT of trouble - whereas the GPO Cello let's you articulate it to your heart's content)....and then listen to the GPO version.

    I've also posted the Sonar file as well as a MIDI file.


    Soundfont Version:

    GPO Version

    Sonar File:

    MIDI File:
    Kevin B. Selby
    http://kevinselby.com <-- Public site
    http://kevinselby.com/gpo <--My music catalog FREE to GPO users: username: gpo - pword: garritan

  2. #2

    Re: Lo! How a Rose comparison (Soundfont vs. GPO)!!!

    Absolutely on the Audigy thing. It would be an "in addition to" and not the main card. Interestingly enough, my audigy in my desktop machine has given me no trouble at all and it works with Sonar and GPO quite fabulously. The M-Audio Firewire 410 on the other hand, while definitely a higher end card, unloads its drivers from time to time (and thus the computer can't "see" it anymore) and has other weird things happen to it. I have had such success with the Audigy line of cards that I implicitly trust them to give me what I want. Plus, for just goofing around, or for initial recording (and not final mastering let's say), the PCMCIA audigy would be great because it's in the laptop all the time whereas my Firewire 410 isn't always hooked up.

    Now if I had the time, I SUPPOSE I could either keyswitch between the vibrato version and the non-vibrato version and fake it that way, or have separate tracks to accomplish it, but it would be awful time consuming. Hmmm...I'll have to look into that one!

    I agree with you to a degree, that the same vibrato CAN get tiring, however, as long as we play the instrument correctly, we should be able to fool 90% of the listeners out there (we are just too darn picky for our own good!!).

    Regarding "simple is best", I'm only hoping that the listener can see the beauty in simplicity because if it's done right, simple, minimalist recordings can be awesome. I definitely haven't "arrived" in this department, but I'm trying!!

    Best of blessings on your headphones/speakers.
    Kevin B. Selby
    http://kevinselby.com <-- Public site
    http://kevinselby.com/gpo <--My music catalog FREE to GPO users: username: gpo - pword: garritan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Lo! How a Rose comparison (Soundfont vs. GPO)!!!


    Hice to hear a simple yet beautiful piano and cello arrangment of this classic. Excellent piano playing and very expressive use of the cello.

    Interesting to hear the differences between the two versions.

    Thank you for sending the Sonar and MIDI file in addition to the mp3 so people can get an idea of what you did.

    I see you're in Kennewick. Shaz recently moved to Richland. Perhaps we should have an Eastern Washington GPO get topgether one of these days.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: Lo! How a Rose comparison (Soundfont vs. GPO)!!!

    Hey, Kevin - Really nice version of this song! I love the simplicity of it. It's always interesting to hear how different people interpret the same piece of music. Love the piano-playing. Interesting to listen to the side-by-side comparison of soundfont/GPO, too. Thanks for sharing!


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