This is directed to Jon Fairhurst, since I know that you have knowledge about Sibelius and GS3, and anyone else that could possibly help. Sorry for the following long post...
I have a dilemma, have been coming here for quite a while for someone who hasn't purchased much lately, and I have a couple more questions. I'll try to ask it and make some statements that don't answer my own questions.
I am a composer. My main interest is in giving customers my sheet music to be played at occasions, local symphony, etc. Obviously, everyone in the world doesn't read music, so I like to give them an approximation of what their piece will sound like when it's played by their organist, etc. I am very leary about giving them CDs using the sounds of soundfonts. As most of the sounds are quite horrible. Now, I do realize that Gigastudio and GPO aren't magic, and a person with patience can make a soundfont sound almost decent (maybe), but I am also a realist and I realize the difference in quality between soundfonts and samples. I don't want to insult anyone by discounting their abilities to make a great product sound even better.
So, with that, I would like to take two things out of the equation here. Prices and learning curves. I am buying an engagement ring soon and am a poor bastard, and by the time I purchase these products, there may be something else out. But for now, I only want to think about the product itself. I don't want to consider the cost or the learning curve of either. Also, please assume that I know that notation programs are notation programs, samplers are samplers, and they are different tools. Also, please assume that I am not worried about the computer hardware or stability of either. Also, please assume that I will not switch from using Sibelius. I am also aware that I would probably be using something else for mixdown, etc.
Although I don't particularly need to have high quality sound for my writing process, when I'm putting the notes on the staff, it's fun. I also love to hear my piece played back by something besides my brain when it is finished, before it goes to the organist, customer, etc. And like I said before, it's nice to be able to give the customer a "decent" approximation of what it might sound like. Also, with a quality sampler and a lot of practice, I'd be able to expand my business in to more than just providing the sheet music.
I realize that GS3 and GPO are two totally separate tools, but here we go. (I know, buy both, right?)
One of the main reasons that I am interested in GS3 is because of the variety of available samples for it. It seems to me like I can find samples of just about anything for it. I like that a lot. I would enjoy learning the complexities of it, and having all of that flexibility. Will Sibelius access GS3 in the way I want it to? Will the samples play while I am inputting notes on the staves?
I like GPO too. It seems like there are a lot of happy customers, and it's nice to have Gary as an available resource. It seems like an incredibly good company with a good product and good service. I've listened to some demos, and they sound pretty darn good, especially compared to what I deal with in soundfonts. I know that their are other samples available, than just what comes with GPO, but it seems like there aren't many compared to what is out there for GS3, that can be converted, or whatever. I went to the "GPO and Sibelius users" web page. I read that there are 8 samples in 8 players for a total of 64 samples. Is 64 samples the limitation with GPO and Sibelius together? Am I interpreting that information correctly?
I don't expect anybody to make a decision for me, but some questions I am asking myself are: Am I going to be disappointed that I wouldn't have access to many other versions of instruments if I go with just GPO? Should I buy both?
My brain tells me to use GPO as a "quick" way of making an approximation of what a score will sound like, and that would be good for giving to prospective customers, etc. My brain also tells me that GS3 would be a good product if I want to do music for my friend who makes videos, expand my horizons and have access to more instruments, etc. If anybody has any suggestions, ideas, etc., please fire away.
I didn't know exactly which forum to place this in. Thanks in advance, as always. Dan