I recently found out from my UK distributor about a comparison of the orchestral libraries that Future Music Magazine did focusing on strings.
In last month's issue of Future Music, six lof the most popular libraries were compared. GPO won the Value Award and congratulations to VSL who won the Platinum Award.
The article offers some good advice:
"Orchestral players spend years practicing, improving and learning. How one player moves from a B to C# will differ from the person sitting next to him, and so the sound of a string orchestra is really a group of individuals playing the same notes but with infinitesimal performance differences. Factor in that any phrase might start with a note that fades in, stops abruptly, or requires players to pluck their strings (or even play behind the bridge) and you begin to see why sampled libraries have grown to such extraordinary sizes. How do you build a convincing amount of variation, taking all of these factors into account, and provide it in accessible software form?With regards to GPO, Future Music writes:
Well, that’s the challenge facing these head-to-head contenders this issue. Over the page, we’ll try to sort the men from the boys, but for now, one cautionary note: it doesn’t matter how good the package is – if you want an authentic string sound, you’ll need to do some research. Try listening to some classical orchestral music or to your favourite film soundtracks and try to tune your ear to hear the subtle playing nuances between the different sections. Do this well, and a convincing string sound can be yours.…"
"Gary Garritan was perhaps the quickest out of the blocks when large sampled string libraries became a software reality. Released in 2002, Garritan Strings was the first to capitalise on the increased power computers were beginning to offer, along with expanded RAM and ample hard-drive space. Then... came Garritan Personal Orchestra, which boasts a full symphony orchestra for a budget price... for many, this is all the orchestra you’ll ever need..... We are extremely honored as all the other libraries are really good.
There’s an enthusiastic following for this collection and the website has lots of clips from users, keen to share their offerings with the world. Garritan’s new Stradivari Solo Violin looks set to pick up where GPO left off.
Value 10 out of 10.
You can get lots for your money here; it’s so easy to use it’s no wonder there’s a legion of fans."
If they like this, wait until they see what we have coming. We'll be continuing our string journey with GOS 2. With the original GOS we introduced many innovations that laid the groundwork for the industry. GPO then opened the doors of orchestral sampling to nearly every musician and focused on ensemble-building and expressive real-time play. GOS2 and GPO Advanced are expected to change some rules as well. Also the collection of solo strings will be finished in the not-too-distant future (Stradivari Violin, Gofriller Cello, Polatta Viola, Amati Bass and Guarneri del Jesu Violin). The best is still yet to come.