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Topic: Classical Guitar

  1. #1

    Question Classical Guitar

    Are there any plans to produce a classical guitar library? I do a lot of composing for Guitar and have to use finale 2005 to hear them back reasonably. (Finale 2006 (cynically I think) have not included a reverb engine for the human playback.)



  2. #2

    Re: Classical Guitar

    The Garritan Jazz and Big Band Library includes a 10-string classical guitar (for use in Brazillian jazz) It provides finger-picked notes as the only articulation.

    It will do fine for traditional classical guitar as well as jazz.

  3. #3

    Re: Classical Guitar

    I also play and compose for guitar but I feel a dedicated guitar library would have a lot to offer, not just the nylon stringed variety but the myriad types of acoustic guitars and similarly stringed instruments. I would also include the different types of banjo, mandolin, mandola, cittern, bouzouki etc - getting close to a Celtic library here too.

  4. #4

    Re: Classical Guitar

    While all this would be great, I think you'd be better off looking at products from other companies besides Garritan, since "guitar" is not a core orchestral instrument. I don't think it's a big priority for Garritan. (although some have remarked here that adding a 4-string banjo to JABB would make sense for Dixieland ensembles)

    There are a lot of companies out there that have focused on guitar, including products that provide samples and loops of strummed chords and even algorithmic means for simulating different kinds of strums and articulations.

  5. #5

    Re: Classical Guitar

    There are classical guitar libraries produced by Vienna Symphonic Library and XSample. I don't know how well either of these would work with Finale.
    Dan Powers

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

  6. #6

    Re: Classical Guitar

    Why shouldn't Gary challenge these markets too? Classical guitar is an orchestral instrument as is the mandolin.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    Thumbs up Re: Classical Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by nedward
    Are there any plans to produce a classical guitar library? I do a lot of composing for Guitar and have to use finale 2005 to hear them back reasonably. (Finale 2006 (cynically I think) have not included a reverb engine for the human playback.)


    I have RealGuitar and it is useful in many situations where acoustic guitar is needed. It has nylon and steel. It is a virtual instrument and so has repetitions, chords, harmonics etc all at the touch of your fingers.


  8. #8

    Re: Classical Guitar

    Applied Acoustics String Studio is a promising physical modeling synth that makes convincing guitar sounds.


    Then there's Steinberg Virtual Guitarist, which uses samples to create guitar chord voicings and strum patterns from keyboard root-position closed-voicing chord input.


    Apple GarageBand, IK SampleTank, and many others have serviceable classical guitar multi-samples with extras like harmonics and fret noise.

    I think that programs that include algorithms for forming chords and strumming are going to win out over simple multi-sample libraries. The trick to making something sound like a guitar is to play chords the way a guitarist would voice them, and not as a keyboardist would.

  9. #9

    Re: Classical Guitar

    I have yet to hear a naked, classical guitar solo that was done with samples that could in any way fool me. There are so many little noises that happen even with the best guitarists. Something as obvious as string whistle changes with the string played, the place on the fingerboard where the slide occurs, the distance of the slide, the tension between the string and the fingertip, etc. The tone of the attack and sustain can vary drastically, with the angle of the nail as it strokes the string. I hate the word pluck. We pluck chickens, not guitars. Or maybe for a passage we won't use the nail at all, but just the flesh of the finger or thumb.

    The tone can change, of course, when stroking the string anywhere from over the fingerboard to near the bridge. Something as simple as a legato can vary depending on how it's done with the left hand. We can simply lift the finger off the string, making a very soft change from a higher note to a lower one, or we can snap the left hand finger hard off the string being played against the adjacent string, producing a hard attack almost as hard as one made by the right-hand nail. And then there is the ascending legato, which has a different attack than the descending one.

    You can play a fourth-octave E as an open (first) string, on the second string, the third string the fourth string and the fifth string. Each tone will get progressively darker in color. And let's not forget muting the strings as we play them with the edge of the right hand against the bridge.

    Then there is in my opinion the devil in the instrument. this is sympathetic vibrations of the lower (in pitch) strings when notes are played on the higher strings. The tone of the sustain can vary drastically depending on the note or combination of notes played. The ten-string guitar heard on JABB, was originally created to minimize the tonal and loudness change as we play from note to note chromatically on the higher strings.

    If you take the possible combinations of these factors into account, and I'm sure that I have forgotten many more, the possibilities are wonderfully enormous. The late Andres Segovia was a master of tonal color.

    I would think that it is much easier to get a realistic sound when there is some mechanical device between the player and the instrument such as a pick or hammer. But when we use the fingertips or breath to make the tone, the challenges to the programmer to create realism must be incredibly daunting. This is why I have been so impressed with Tom Hopkins' work with the JABB horns. Perhaps they can fool a sax or trombone player, but some of you have produce wonderful demos with these samples that are really thrilling to listen too.

    One of these days it will happen, The Strad sounds so real, but then I'm not a violinist, I'm sure the classical guitar is not far behind.


  10. #10

    Re: Classical Guitar

    Karl's observations are right on, but we have to ask the eternal question:

    Is the goal to make our software instruments constructed to perfectly emulate the human performance on a real instrument, thus making the real thing obsolete for the purposes of the person wielding the software?

    Or are we doing this to "mock up" what an arrangement would sound like with a real human ensemble, as a preparation toward hiring and recording a real ensemble playing the parts we've "mocked up"?

    Gary Garritan has made it clear to me that the goal with Garritan instruments is the latter, not the former.

    We have to realize that no software instrument can or should make a human guitarist obsolete for our musical purposes. The same goes with a violinist, saxophonist, or vocalist.

    What we want, then, is an affordable, reasonably user-friendly software instrument that can enable a composer to demonstrate what sort of musical articulations he wants a real guitarist to perform.

    I hope we'll never have a software guitar or saxophone or violin that can fool us like today's sampled grand piano can. Because guitars, saxophones and violins in performance are full of a myriad of subtle squeaks and honks and rasps and tonal colors and articulations that are not present in a piano or organ, which are not very expressive instruments by comparison.

    If you want something that sounds like a real guitarist, buy a guitar and take some lessons. Or hire a real guitarist.

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