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Topic: Two questions

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  1. #1

    Two questions

    I've been using EastWest for some time and I've just started with GPO.

    1. I've got used to using the mod controller for note loudness, though I think I prefer the conventional velocity method. There is one specific problem: the mod control does not apply to specific notes as velocity does and this makes it impossible to set the loudness of individual notes in a chord. Is there any way to set the loudness of individual notes?

    2. I've been a bit disappointed with the sound of most GPO instruments. Compared to EastWest they sound rather dull and colourless, the horns being a particularly dramatic example.

    I've just realised that the problem is connected with frequency filtering. EW has the far more sophisticated Kompakt player which allows the cutoff frequency to be controlled. I've found that if I set cutoff frequencies of a few hundred hertz the EW and GPO sound a lot more similar. However, I didn't find anything in the manual about controlling the cutoff frequency. GPO sounds as if there is a fairly low cutoff frequency as default.

    So my question: is there a way of controlling or removing the cutoff frequency?

    Many thanks.

    Best regards,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Re: Two questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cwright
    I've been using EastWest for some time and I've just started with GPO.

    1. I've got used to using the mod controller for note loudness, though I think I prefer the conventional velocity method. There is one specific problem: the mod control does not apply to specific notes as velocity does and this makes it impossible to set the loudness of individual notes in a chord. Is there any way to set the loudness of individual notes?

    2. I've been a bit disappointed with the sound of most GPO instruments. Compared to EastWest they sound rather dull and colourless, the horns being a particularly dramatic example.

    I've just realised that the problem is connected with frequency filtering. EW has the far more sophisticated Kompakt player which allows the cutoff frequency to be controlled. I've found that if I set cutoff frequencies of a few hundred hertz the EW and GPO sound a lot more similar. However, I didn't find anything in the manual about controlling the cutoff frequency. GPO sounds as if there is a fairly low cutoff frequency as default.

    So my question: is there a way of controlling or removing the cutoff frequency?

    Many thanks.

    Best regards,
    Chris
    Chris,

    Welcome to the forum. There is quite a difference in philosophies between GPO and other libraries. GPO is a library primarily of individual instruments. You pick the instruments you want to make up your orchestra. The other libraries have a section approach where the multiple players sound in unison. Also, GPO is recorded dry whereas other libraries are recorded wet.

    So when you play a GPO horn you are hearing a single horn played in a relatively dry environment. When you play some of the otherl ibraries you are hearing six horns playing in a concert hall. They will sound different on first hearing.

    The problem with unison players playing in a fixed environment is that it is an inflexible arrangement. You cannot do divisi lines (which represent the vast majority of the orchestral literature). Also, you are stuck with that space. While it may be fine for certain genres it may not be fine for most other genres.

    GPO focuses on flexibility. So you can do divisi, weave individual instruments in and out, change the seating positions, and adjust the room ambience. First iI would recommend the judicious use of reverb with GPO. Also, I would recommend you check out the tutorials on ensemble building on our site. Many have acheived professional results with GPO (which has been used in many major productions). It's just a different approach and it takes a little while to get used to especially if you were used to a different approach.

    As far as the Konpact player, we chose the Kontakt player becasue Kompakt player simply did not have the features that we needed. It was the Kontakt player that actually had a more sophisticated feature set for our purposes.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Two questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Chris,

    Welcome to the forum. There is quite a difference in philosophies between GPO and other libraries. GPO is a library primarily of individual instruments. You pick the instruments you want to make up your orchestra. The other libraries have a section approach where the multiple players sound in unison. Also, GPO is recorded dry whereas other libraries are recorded wet.

    So when you play a GPO horn you are hearing a single horn played in a relatively dry environment. When you play some of the otherl ibraries you are hearing six horns playing in a concert hall. They will sound different on first hearing.

    The problem with unison players playing in a fixed environment is that it is an inflexible arrangement. You cannot do divisi lines (which represent the vast majority of the orchestral literature). Also, you are stuck with that space. While it may be fine for certain genres it may not be fine for most other genres.

    GPO focuses on flexibility. So you can do divisi, weave individual instruments in and out, change the seating positions, and adjust the room ambience. First iI would recommend the judicious use of reverb with GPO. Also, I would recommend you check out the tutorials on ensemble building on our site. Many have acheived professional results with GPO (which has been used in many major productions). It's just a different approach and it takes a little while to get used to especially if you were used to a different approach.

    As far as the Konpact player, we chose the Kontakt player becasue Kompakt player simply did not have the features that we needed. It was the Kontakt player that actually had a more sophisticated feature set for our purposes.

    Gary Garritan
    Gary,
    thanks for your reply. Don't get me wrong, I think GPO is a very flexible and powerful system, and very good value for money. The mod technique certainly does allow very good expressive techniques which I appreciate.

    And yet my personal preference would be for the conventional velocity mode. Maybe the answer for a future release would be to make the mode optional for any instrument.

    I mentioned the problem of setting individual note loudness. That is a drawback, but the really serious problem is that of the frequency response.

    I compared various instruments with the same reverb (in Cubase SE). As I said, it certainly seems that the GPO instruments have quite a low cutoff frequency, which makes them sound quite dull compared to EW. Is this intentional? Or could it be a problem with my setup? And can the cutoff frequency be adjusted? If it helped I could post a few instrument comparisons between GPO and EW.

    Many thanks.

    Best regards,
    Chris

  4. #4
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    Re: Two questions

    Velocity is for controlling the speed of the attack of the instruments. Harder velocities are faster attacks whereas lower velocities are slower attacks. Modulation controls volume and timbre. This takes a little getting used to after working with other libraries but opens up more flexibility without having to change articulations constantly.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Two questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cwright
    I've been using EastWest for some time and I've just started with GPO.

    1. I've got used to using the mod controller for note loudness, though I think I prefer the conventional velocity method. There is one specific problem: the mod control does not apply to specific notes as velocity does and this makes it impossible to set the loudness of individual notes in a chord. Is there any way to set the loudness of individual notes?
    If you handle the instruments separately, rather than playing chords from a single patch, you can indeed use mod wheel data to control individual note loudness along with the ebb and flow of the expressive shaping of the line. On staccato notes, single pieces of cc1 data can be placed in advance of the notes to choose their volume. I used this technique in some of the JABB demos to "ghost" certain notes. Anyway, that's how it is designed to be used. This assumes that the user assembles sections from individual instruments, each with its own data stream. Now, if you prefer to use velocity (something I don't recommend because you lose so much of the expressive potential available) I would suggest using the X-Custom instruments. These allow the user to choose the dynamic controller from a list which includes cc2, cc11, and velocity. The X-Custom optional download is available at the Garritan site. Be sure to note that the assignable slider needs to be inverted (e.g. -100, instead of +100) for many of the instruments. This change resulted from the last update to the player.

    2. I've been a bit disappointed with the sound of most GPO instruments. Compared to EastWest they sound rather dull and colourless, the horns being a particularly dramatic example.

    I've just realised that the problem is connected with frequency filtering. EW has the far more sophisticated Kompakt player which allows the cutoff frequency to be controlled. I've found that if I set cutoff frequencies of a few hundred hertz the EW and GPO sound a lot more similar. However, I didn't find anything in the manual about controlling the cutoff frequency. GPO sounds as if there is a fairly low cutoff frequency as default.
    The term "cutoff frequency" implies that low pass filtering is employed in GPO. With the exception of a few (mostly percussion) instruments, it is not. The function of changing timbre (controlled, along with volume by the mod wheel) is created with multi-band parametric EQs - sometimes single band, sometimes more. Almost all instruments at full volume exhibit essentially flat response, as recorded at the original session. If you prefer a brighter sound than was actually recorded then I would suggest one of these alternatives:

    1. Many X-Custom instruments also have a brightness control that uses cc24. Adjust to taste.
    2. Be sure that you are exploring all available possibilities in the instruments. For instance, the French horns have two "overlays" that can add considerable brightness when layered with the individual instruments. They also can make the section sound considerably larger and more powerful.
    3. Use the EQ facilities in your workstation to EQ to taste. These tools can even be automated in most sequencers to give extremely detailed control track by track or bus by bus.
    4. Choice of reverb can have a great deal of influence on the perceived brightness of the instruments. Explore your choices. GPO instruments are presented dry and are *always* intended to be placed in some type of artificially-generated acoustic environment. Reverb plugins like Ambience on up to more sophisticated convolution reverbs can be used for this purpose. The advantage of this approach is that you can place your instruments in a room size/type of your choosing. It's up to you.
    5. Load the instruments into the full version of Kontakt 1.5 and modify the programming as you wish.

    Having said all of this, used as designed GPO has a different "personality" than other libraries. This has at least something to do with the programming philosophy and general preferences of Gary and the library's programmer (me!) In skilled hands, GPO is capable of creating mixes that are close to the ideal I have in mind. Here is a GPO example from DPDan of how I personally prefer an orchestra to sound: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=43031

    You may prefer a different sound. That's when my suggestions above come into play.

    Tom

  6. #6

    Re: Two questions

    Tom, thank you very much for that. I didn't know about X-Custom instruments. It's an almost perfect solution, giving me the best of both worlds. And it gives a brightness control as well. My estimation of GPO just went up a few hundred percent!

    Many thanks for the help - and for a great product.

    Best regards,
    Chris

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