Welcome to the beginning of our third year of GPO. The past two years has been an incredible journey and it's hard to believe what the past two years have wrought. Tonight I decided to sit back, enjoy a glass of wine and reflect on the two years of luck life has tossed my way. If you care to listen to my long reflection - you are most welcome to join me.
We have come a long way since those "early days" of virtual orchestration. Two years ago orchestral libraries were mostly a luxury afforded only by a few. Just a couple years ago, aside from Edirol, orchestral libraries had a triple-digit price tag. The GPO revolution changed all that and brought many into the fold.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships
It was our hope that GPO would open the doors of digital orchestration to a large number of people and that goal has been realized. People once excluded - such as most musicians, students, users of notation programs, hobbyists - are now literally 'players'. It was our further hope that GPO would better the industry, popularize sampling in general, and that people would gravitate towards other libraries as well. My intentions were set forth in a Northern Sounds post before GPO was released over two years ago:
Originally Posted by Garritan on September 21, 2003
"It is my hope that Personal Orchestra will bring people into the digital orchestration fold - hobbyists, novices, the curious, pop artists, students, starving artists, etc. People who were once excluded who don't have the budget for more expensive libraries will literally be players. As more musicians get a taste of MIDI orchestration, they will naturally gravitate towards GOS, EWQLSO, Vienna or other high-end libraries...As more people come into the fold, everybody will benefit.
That hope has been realized with Miroslav Philharmonik, Kirk Hunter, EMU Modern Orchestra, the new Siedlaczek Classical, JamPack4, VSL Opus 1 & 2, different permutations of EWQL, MOTU Orchestra, SI Symphonic Orchestra and others. In addition, there are the bundled orchestral sounds included with Giga3, Kontakt2, Notion, Dimension, Finale and other music programs. There is an increasingly wide array of great orchestral colors and tools to choose from. Good times for all musicians and I hope the trend continues.
Inspire Not Replace: Leading People to the Real Thing
There are some that believe that samples can replace real musicians and, for some, that fallacy seems to be the measure of what a sample library should be. We have a different perspective and chose instead to focus on the things that sampling is more adept at. Musicians spend a lifetime learning their instrument and we do not think it is not possible for a keyboard and some sonic snapshots to capture all the nuances, subtleties and techniques of real players and their instruments. It was never the intent or the focus of GPO to replace a real orchestra or real musicians, but rather to serve as a valuable tool for composers, arrangers and musicians in order to lead to the real thing. The successful GPO Competition, the first of its kind, showed our commitment as we went from a MIDI-mockup with samples to working with a real orchestra. Over the past two years GPO has been a valuable compositional and learning tool to give musicians an idea of how their work will sound and as a stepping stone toward the real thing.
The Bigger Picture for Sample Libraries
GPO has shown that are many uses of sample libraries. Although DPDan, Francesco, Hummie Mann, Andy Brick, Jamie, David Maddux and many others have demonstrated GPO is capable of doing some impressive mockups; MIDI mockups are a very small and imperfect part of the overall picture. Applications such music education, quickly sketching ideas, working with notation programs, sweetening tracks, accompaniment and practice (music-minus-one), collaborating long distance with other musicians - these make up the majority of applications and uses for most.
GPO led the way in music education. GPO is being used in hundreds of colleges and universities and is an integral part of many curriculums. GPO was the first orchestral library approved by the United Kingdom Secretary of Education and the first sample library to have a course based upon it (PNW Film Scoring Program at Napier University). GPO is a natural when it comes to learning about orchestration and arranging. It's unique one-instrument per track/staff and ensemble-building approach and ability to work with notation programs make it a natural. Students have used GPO for accompaniments at recitals. Some use it as accompaniment for practice - to play their instrument with a mockup of the rest of the orchestra (music-minus-one). Doing college tours and interacting with students and faculty has been a very rewarding experience and keeps me keenly aware of the needs of students and educators.
GPO pioneered the use of samples with notation programs. With the innovative GPO Studio, notation users were able for the first time to hear orchestral playback from the score of their notation program. This was such a leap forward that major notation programs have taken our lead and chose GPO to directly integrate in their notation programs (notably Finale 2006 and Sibelius 4). In addition to bringing many thousands of students and notation users into the sampling world, GPO has opened up a new world of possibilities to hobbyist, amateur musician and the pro-sumer market.
This is not to say that GPO cannot be used by professionals. Many pros use GPO is their concerts and recordings - ranging from Tom Jones, U2, INXS, the Beach Boys, the Oprah Show, MTV Movie Awards, etc. GPO has also been used in a number of prime-time television shows and interactive games. Conductors of symphony orchestras use GPO to quickly score their parts before finalizing the parts for the players. Many film and television composers use GPO to sketch out musical ideas before committing to live players. Ballet Companies such as the San Jose Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Northwest Ballet and others have used it in conjunction with live players in their ballet productions. Theatrical productions have used GPO to augment the music for their shows. GPO has been especially beneficial for budget conscience projects and has been used in numerous indie films (and is even recommended by the Association of Independent Feature Film Producers).
I have the Best Job in the World. I cannot tell you what a joy it is to hear wonderful music being made with GPO. There have been over 1,000 GPO demos submitted and more fantastic music being created daily with GPO. What other job is there that you can hear great music being made? We are honored to be a small part of it. It's also rewarding to hear how GPO has helped people. I receive many letters where GPO has helped in their job applications or was used in their application material to get accepted to music college. Or producers hearing someone's demo on the GPO forum or on the Composer Channel and hiring them. Or someone gets a job arranging for an album or an interactive game as a result. Or a winner of the GPO Competition being afforded various opportunities. Or GPO helping a musician out in a difficult situation. Or the person who has had to leave music for a period in their life and is now experiencing the joy of making music again. Or a disabled person who can now make music. Hearing these experiences is such a joy and a blessing and makes it so worthwhile.
I wanted to extend some thank yous on our two year anniversary. A big thank you to Tom and Jeff, without whom GPO would not have been possible. Thanks to Berklee College of Music who worked with us to realize this valuable tool for education. And thanks to the companies we have collaborated with including Plogue, Native Instruments, Steinberg, Vienna Symphonic Library, Geniesoft, MakeMusic, Cakewalk, Muse Research, Sibelius, Apple, MIDI-Notate, and others. Thanks to Petr Pololanik, Andy Brick and all those who contributed and supported the GPO competition. Thanks to the industry that has honored GPO with more awards and nominations than any other orchestral sample library. Thanks to Chris Duncan for hosting the Composer Channel Radio Station where GPO Artists get their music heard to a wide audience.
A big thank you to Papachalk and Desound who have hosted the GPO forum which contributed enormously to the popularity of GPO and also thanks to our moderators who freely volunteer their time. When this all started a couple years ago we had just a few thousand posts and the GPO forum has now grown to over 85,000 posts. The GPO community is known industry wide as a shining example of what can be accomplished on the net when people work together (the GPO forum pitching in to buy JohnnyP a new computer when his life was affected by hurricane Katrina is an example). I value most of all the friendships I have made with many of you. The weekly chats, GPO Holiday CD, the Worst Demo Ever contest, the good will and fun we have - we have the best community on the net!
And thanks to our many users and forum members who supported us, for the feedback they have given and for being there for us. It was you who believed in us, who spread the work and supported us and I owe you a great deal. You are a part of the success and helped make it happen.
I want to thank you so much for helping me to realise my dreams...GPO was the first library that I purchased and it gave me hope and happiness to hear my music finally played by an Orchestra - a convincing Orchestra. Oh, I'm getting teary Thank you so much!! Here's to many more successes and may all of us here continue to grow because of your vision. You're AWESOME!!!
sounding a little more mushy than I hoped...but that's ok
A big congratulations to Mr. Garritan for all his well-earned success! I now cannot imagine how boring life would be without GPO, all the wonderful music it has helped realize (I have almost 3 gigs of other people's original music ), and of course the wonderful forum community. It's great to be a part of it!
All I can say is THANK YOU GARY GARRITAN for all your hard work in having a vision and following through with it. And of course thanks to Tom and Jeff for all your work in making GPO possible as well!
What excites me the most is that this is only the beginning . . .
What an amazing span you have covered in that time - a great product, a devoted following, and superb integration with leading notation programs. We are indeed lucky - and happy to share some of the ride. Many thanks.
TWO YEARS OLD! SHAME ON YOU! GPO IS TWO YEARS YOUNG and getting better all the time!
I can't post a pic of a cake - But I can say with all my heart you've been the greatest inspiration to everyone here! GPO is not just a library of orchestral instruments. It's the way we make our dreams come true. It's the tool that finally one can hear that melody inside that may have otherwise dwindled into nothingness. It's the voice of every musician on this forum. The path to their rewards. A chance to hear their most inner feelings, emotions, and desires. It's more than just a packet of orchestral sounds. It's a dream come true for one of the greatest, kindest, warmest, generous, and funniest guy I've come to know as friend! Gary Garritan is GPO!
Happy Well Deserved Birthday GPO!
Hey Gary, how's it feel to have a two year old on your hands! HA!