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Topic: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

  1. #1

    I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    Please, everyone, I'm a wannabe composer who's totally lost in technicalities, so feel free to ask any additional questions you want.

    My comp. has 20 gig free after installing Garritan. A Soundblaster Live 5.1 Soundcard with the latest drivers I can find. I have Cubase (full, most recent version, NOT cracked!) and Voyetra Music Write.

    I prefer using Voyetra to write the music in. It is a simple music notation program. I link it to Garritan using the Garritan Studio download.

    I cannot make ANY of the Garritan sounds obey their commands, or sound anything at all like the sounds on the demo files on the Garritan website. Strings, especially, sound like a Bontempi having an offday. All the other sounds are far too loud and harsh. I know what the commands (Velocity, Volume etc.) SHOULD do, but it doesn't matter what settings I use the sounds don't change. They still sound harsh, cheap and very nasty. Volume/Velocity settings make no difference at all to what the sounds sound like. I can't even make them sound as good as the sounds on the Soundblaster Live Soundcard! (Those sounds all obey their instructions perfectly. The Garritan sounds don't wanna know.)

    Now I know the above paragraph sounds incredibly vague, but that's because I haven't the foggiest idea what's going on. If I could be more definite, I'd probably be able to solve the problem.

    Plugging Garritan into Cubase doesn't help. It won't obey the Cubase commands either. I've tried reinstalling it, no good. I have the latest sound drivers for the 5.1, doesn't make any difference. Have thought about buying a different soundcard, but I've no idea if that'll make any difference or indeed what soundcard to go for - they range from £50 to about £500 and I don't want to make a very expensive mistake!

    I'm a fairly competent computer user, I can build computers from scratch. So feel free to be technical. I just want to be able to use this piece of software I've coughed out loads of money for!

    Yours in hope

    Christopher Burke


  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    First, welcome to the forum. Second, we'll get to the bottom of this and get you going like so many (including myself) in the past.
    If I may, what are you controlling the sounds with? Modulation wheel plays a very important roll and if your mod wheel is down or a joystick type, it may be springing back to 0 and causing problems. Also, how much ram are you using? 1 gig is recommended but upping your ram to 2 gigs helps immensely!
    Anyway, hang in there. So many knowledgeable members I am sure one will have a solid solution for you.

  3. #3

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    With most sample libraries, key velocity (how hard you strike the keys) determines the dynamic or volume level of the sound.

    Garritan sounds are different. The setting of the modulation wheel, which you operate with your left hand, determines note velocity. Notes will not sound unless the modulation wheel is set to something other than zero.

    If your MIDI controller does not have a modulation wheel, it is very hard to use the Garritan sounds. You need to purchase another MIDI controller.

    Garritan sounds give you many articulations you can't get with a General MIDI sound card. For instance, a string sound can be pizzicato, bow up, bow down, slur or legato, etc. To select these different sounds, you use key switches. The bottom octave of your keyboard is used to set a switch for a particular articulation. The upper octaves are used to select which note to play. The mod wheel sets the "velocity" or dynamic level of the note. How hard you strike the key sets the attack of the note, not "velocity" as it is usually termed.

    You really need to read the Garritan owners manual thoroughly. All this is explained there.

    You'll be getting good results soon. Good luck.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  4. #4

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    One thing to try is to download and install the free ASIO4ALL driver. (Do a web search on it and you're sure to find it.) Just a hunch.


  5. #5

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    In Cubase you'll need to draw some CC1 data in your tracks in order for anything to be audible. Higher CC1 values=higher volume.

    I don't know anything about Voyetra Music Writer, but I'd bet that it isn't recording or sending CC1 data to GPO. If it's possible, you can add it, but if it isn't, there may not be anything you can do about it.
    Dan Powers

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

  6. #6

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    I just went online and got the demo of Voyetra Music Write. You will have to set the modulation wheel in the midi editor. You can use the pencil and draw the modulation wheel as dynamics the more mod wheel the louder the sound. It did not look to me that music writer puts any modulation wheel settings as a default. All of the midi CC#s are available to you in the midi editor and you can draw them in.

    Remember GPO uses the modulation wheel for dynamics, the foot pedal (sostenuto) for slurs and the velocity is for tone color (the higher the velocity setting the louder style of attack by the instrument).

    I wish you well and hope some of the comments made by members here will help. Good luck!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  7. #7

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    The Voyetra Music Write is an interesting program! The limitation i see in it is that it only can output to a single device, that`s gives you only 8 instruments to play with. I donwloaded the demo as RichR, since i used to use this program some years ago (it was called "voyetra orchestrator plus") and i see that in th "mixer" you can assign the sliders to the mod-wheel to, for an initial setting, using the "snapshot" button.
    Marcelo Colina

  8. #8

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    After a long spell of inactivity with my music software, I tried to play a piece that I had put together using Overture and GPO a few months ago. I was shocked that the sound was exactly like the original poster described: "harsh, cheap, and loud." -- not at all like it used to be.

    Turns out that somehow, I had left the settings on the Kontakt player to enable: "Use Std CC#7/CC#10 volume & pan". The default settings in Overture were pinning these values and causing the distortion in my system.

    Anyway, as others have suggested, use the mod wheel for expression and see if unchecking:
    Options > "Use Std CC#7/CC#10" in the Kontakt settings menu improves your sound.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    Welcome to the forum.

    And thanks Wheat, Dan, Rob, Styxx, Marce and JR for you help!

    The A Soundblaster Live 5.1 Soundcard may be the cultrip. Often the Soundblaster cards are hardwired at 48khz and causes problems with 44.1khz files causing them to distort and play back at a different tempo.

    Try getting a new soundcard (like an M-Audio or Echo-Audio) and that may help. They are usally fairly inexpensive.

    Hope this helps,


  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: I can't make Garritan work on my computer.

    You know, Gary is right. I had similar problems with my Soundblaster and finally bought a FirePod which alleviated problems.
    However, is still don't understand why anyone would want to make Garritan woik. Doesn't he do enough?

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