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Topic: Basic GPO Questions

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  1. #1

    Basic GPO Questions

    I'm trying to decide whether to buy GPO bundled with Finale or Sibelius - or GPO stand-alone and a sequencer. I'm wondering what advantages there are to one vs. the other.

    My questions are:

    1. I understand Finale comes with "Light Version GPO". What is the difference between the regular and "light version"?

    2. If I buy Finale with GPO bundled in it, can I manipulate GPO sounds with pitch wheel, expression pedal, etc. - all of the same ways you can with standalone GPO?

    3. 2004 GPO review states GPO standalone comes w/Genie Overture notation software and an entry level Cubase sequencer. I can't find info about this for 2006/2007 version. Does 2007 GPO come with these things?

    4. On the GPO website, there are demos that state "Finale 2006" after the title of the music. Were these created solely with GPO bundled in with Finale- no sequencer used? If they were, that would be a great way to compare what you can get out of GPO using only Finale (sans sequencer).

    5. Those GPO files that indicate "Finale 2006" seem to be the only music clips that will NOT play. Very disappointing. Frustrating, even!!! Will they be playable soon?

    6. Is the version of GPO that comes with Sibelius the "full version" or "light version?"

    I am very excited about the quality of sound I'm hearing on the GPO demos. They sound terrific!!!

    Jeanne W

  2. #2
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    Jeanne,

    You will get a lot of opinions on this,so I'll get the ball rolling. The GPO-Sibelius is the full version - not a "lite" version. You may want to buy GPO seperately, then the Sibelius crossgrade (which allows the two programs to work together); that way, if you want to use GPO with some other program in the future, then you will be able to do so.

    I think the decision will come down to what program you prefer to use, from a notation standpoint. You might ask for people to direct you to their demos - the only problem is that you are evaluating the two programs by listening to new compositions ( which might not be the easiest way to go).

    Another factor is that Sibelius 5 will probalby be out in the near future - you might want to wait to see what new features it will have.

    Personally, I use Sibelius, and like it a lot. I used Finale for years. There are a lot of users here that use Finale - wither way, you'll have a great program at your disposal.

    Good luck!

    Hope this helps.

    R. Pearl

  3. #3

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    A warm welcome to the forum, Jeanne!

    A longtime Finale user (ten years), I currently use Finale 2007.

    The "light" version of GPO that comes bundled with Finale 2007
    is rather unjustly described: it's quite a full set of excellent
    instruments -- though the "full" version of GPO contains many
    more, of course; and should you decide you need the additional
    capability, you may add the full GPO later. (GPO is fully integrated
    with Finale.)

    Both Finale and Sibelius are powerful notation programs; with
    similar capabilities. To a great degree, it comes down to personal
    preference, in that there is little one can do the other cannot.

    In terms of market, to the best of my knowledge, Finale is the
    more widely used by a significant margin. One might also note
    that Siblelius was recently acquired by Avid Technologies; so
    its future may be subject to some uncertainty.

    In either case, may I note there is always a learning curve with
    software of this kind, and I will not for a moment minimize that,
    so do be prepared to do some work to get up to speed.

    In my own case, I find the combination of Finale and GPO a
    composer's dream, in that I literally "just score". MP3's and
    the actual Finale scores used to render them are available on
    my website.

    May we look forward to having you with us in the Garritan
    community!

    With best regards,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  4. #4

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    I think David and R. Pearl have given you a good idea of both Sibelius and Finale. As they set they are both great notation programs. However, you did mention using a sequencer program instead and that has not been addressed. The choice of using a sequencer or notation program is one of user preference. If you think of music and writing music using music notation, then obviously your choice is to get a notation program first. If you are a keyboardist and come up with music at the keyboard (or other midi controller) then a sequencer program is your first choice.

    The best approach would be to get both types of programs, especially if you write in notation style to begin with. Once the piece is written (i.e. a finale score) you can then port it to a midi file and import it into a sequencer where it is much easier to work with mod wheel movements, pedaling for slurred notes, and any of the other controller values you would want to shape. In the process you will bring GPO to it's fullest potential.

    Rich
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  5. #5

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    I also would like to add a little to the discussion.

    Please remember that the Finale as well as the Sibelius version of the GPO samples are locked to their main program. You can not use them otherwise.

    If you buy the GPO standalone version, you can use it in your sequencer and do with it what you want. There is a crossgrade available (around 50 US$) to make the full GPO usable in Sibelius. I do not know what options there are for Finale, but I think there also is a cheap upgrade path.

    Since the Sibelius version of GPO costs more than the standalone and offers much less, I would really, really consider if it would be worth the price for me. In my mind I keep hearing a voice whispering "ripoff ripoff"...
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

  6. #6

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    Thanks for replying, everyone.

    I have tried Finale (free version), Sibelius (demo) (and Notion, too), so I am familiar with the basics of these notation softwares, how to use them and their differences. I'm not so much asking which *notation software* is "best" (each has advantages/disadvantages, I'm finding), I'm more i nterested in knowing how to get the best *sound* for playback; while getting "decent" notation.

    My needs in terms on notation at this time:

    Basic functionality of notes; key/time signatures. I'd like to be able to set up the # of staves per page and # of measures per line. I don't care about dynamic markings. I just want to get the music notes down and the page set up a certain way. Notation software certainly does everything I'm looking for. Will the music notation generated by sequencers allow me to accomplish these basic things?

    I want best playback possible and have questions about that.

    When inputting music into Sibelius/Finale using a keyboard via MIDI, does the notation software capture the nuances of what I've played in? Will it playback with loud/soft dynamics - or is it necessary to laboriously input written dynamics marks into the notation software? Or - does the "human playback" feature of the notation software take over, overriding how you've actually played the music?

    Rich: Am I understanding you correctly? If I buy Finale or Sibelius with GPO bundled into it, and input music via MIDI keyboard, I will NOT be able to use mod wheel movements, pedals for slurring? These things are only possible using standalone GPO with a sequencer? Can you talk a little about this?

    et Lux: You say the GPO that is bundled with Finale is: "a full set of excellent instruments; the "full" version of GPO contains many more, of course." There is nothing I've been able to find on the GPO website nor the Finale website that discusses this. This would seem to be basic information that should be provided for consumers. Can you tell us what instruments, or features are missing from GPO that comes bundles with Finale?

    For the record, I'm an amateur composer and pianist, I have an acoustic piano. I don't yet have a digital keyboard or controller; have only inputted music into notation software using a computer keyboard. I expect I will want to have the capability to inpu music into notation software/sequencers both ways - using both MIDI and computer keyboard entry.

    In the end, I want a decent printout of the music notation, but I'm not going to be real fussy about dynamic markings, etc. I'm more fussy aboutthe best possible sound/playback of the music. My goal is to record to compact disc for final product.

    If I can achieve "just as much" "just as good" a sound using the notation software with GPO bundled in it, of course, I'd rather not have to buy a sequencer and learn how to use that, in addition to everything else.

    Any guidance that can be provided is greatly appreciated.

    Jeanne W

    P.S. I haven't yet downloaded any demos of sequencers, so am pretty much in the dark about how they work. I've been using Audacity to record my acoustic piano. And wondering what the big difference is between Audacity and a "sequencer." Audacity seems to do a lot of the things that a "sequencer" is supposed to do. Are they that much different???

  7. #7

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    Rich: Am I understanding you correctly? If I buy Finale or Sibelius with GPO bundled into it, and input music via MIDI keyboard, I will NOT be able to use mod wheel movements, pedals for slurring? These things are only possible using standalone GPO with a sequencer? Can you talk a little about this?
    I believe if you set up midi record to input your performnce that it will capture all that you play. At least in the older version this is available to keep or to turn off if you are going for a solidly quantized performance. I just don't think in those terms when using a notation program. I think of writing first and adding nuances after the fact.

    Much of this all depends on how you approach composition. Musicpete makes an excellent point,
    Please remember that the Finale as well as the Sibelius version of the GPO samples are locked to their main program. You can not use them otherwise.
    So, the point probably is: if expense is no problem, get GPO, get a good notation program and get a good sequencing program.

    Oops, I just noted in your last email that you only have an accoustic piano and no midi keyboard. Playing modwheel and pedal will not work in a notation program unless you have a midi controller device attached to your computer. Writing in these parts in a notation program are not as shapable (is that a word?) as in a sequencing program. Finale does an excellent job with it's dynamic marks and accents for you but not (IMHO) as well a sequening program. As for Sibelius, I don't use it, so I am not familiar with its shaping of midi controller parts. I will leave that for others to comment on.

    Rich
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanne W

    In the end, I want a decent printout of the music notation, but I'm not going to be real fussy about dynamic markings, etc. I'm more fussy aboutthe best possible sound/playback of the music. My goal is to record to compact disc for final product.
    Jeanne W
    If you're using a notation program, you need to be fussy about dynamic markings. For a notation to give you the best playback, you have to input as many dynamics, articulation, slurs, phrase markings, hairpin cresc./decresc., tempo changes and every possible notational detail. Notaion programs look at these same notational items that a real player would, and playback those markings accordingly.

    If you want to use a midi controller and play in your parts with as much expression as possible, a sequencer might be a better choice. Some sequencers will give you basic notation printouts as well, I don't know if that would suit your needs.

    JT

  9. #9

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    Personally, I think that buying the standalone version is money well spent. It includes a sound set for Finale and you could buy the cross grade for Sibelius. That would allow you the greatest possibilities. For example, I'm not sure how ensemble building would work in a notation program so if you're going for audio realism as sequencer is probably the best tool for mixing and adding effects and such. However, only the notation programs can do what they do, that is create a musically literate score and parts. I personally have GPO, JABB and Sonar Studio plus an older edition of Finale for when I need notation, which is somewhat rare these days. My feeling is that the GPO standalone is the best value but see how your budget is. Start with the component that is most useful to you then add as you need or can. Just my thoughts...

    Eric

  10. #10

    Re: Basic GPO Questions

    A lot of great points have been brought up! After reading more of the thread-starters replies, I think he would benefit most of a standalone GPO and a sequencer.

    However now comes in the unfortunate question of money: The sequencer itself can be pretty expensive. Also a Midi keyboard would save him a lot of frustration (and maybe pain? - After 2 years I still have not gotten rid of the pain in my left hand from painting all the modwheel curves in my first film score.... ).

    Does somebody know a good link to explain him the basic coneptual differences between a notation program and a sequencer? I think that might clear up things a bit. Unfortunately I do not feel up to the task.
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

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