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Topic: posting frequency

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Salisbury, UK
    Posts
    312

    posting frequency

    For some time when logging on to the forum an automated message flashes up saying you have not posted for several weeks, why not join the conversation? Obviously this a Northern Sounds thing, not a Garritan. But just in case, and for the record, my opinion is that GPO is an outstanding product for orchestral simulation. It's main lack, a choir, is being addressed. But its biggest failing is solo strings which is an extremely important feature. The introduction of the string quartet series, Strad etc, rubs salt into the wound. It is framed as a keyboard facility and does not cope with many of the main characteristics of a string instrument. To do so would not be rocket science. Leading guitar programmes already prepare their samples to enable notes to respond to different timbres when played in different positions. and for the true portamento effects of position shifting. Gobblygook to a keyboard player, but meat and drink to a string player or composer for solo strings. Of course, perfect simulation cannot be expected. But these are baffling lacks to what is presented as a ground-breaking new product range. What is the point of this keyboard string quartet? Will people gather with their keyboards to play string quartets badly? Is it for live stage performance to the tone deaf? The demos that have appeared (poor old Massanet) go strong on vibrato and slipping and sliding up to notes, but do not represent even a modest performance of the piece as written or frequently recorded. I do urge you to return to the drawing board on this one. In the meantime, I will not post further on this topic. Elsewhere on the site, on the other hand, the RK cours is a fantastic achievement and major public service. But on solo string sampling, the adage applies. If you cannot say anything nice...

  2. #2

    Question Re: posting frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    ...The introduction of the string quartet series, Strad etc, rubs salt into the wound. It is framed as a keyboard facility and does not cope with many of the main characteristics of a string instrument. To do so would not be rocket science. Leading guitar programmes already prepare their samples to enable notes to respond to different timbres when played in different positions. and for the true portamento effects of position shifting. Gobblygook to a keyboard player, but meat and drink to a string player or composer for solo strings. Of course, perfect simulation cannot be expected. But these are baffling lacks to what is presented as a ground-breaking new product range. What is the point of this keyboard string quartet? Will people gather with their keyboards to play string quartets badly? Is it for live stage performance to the tone deaf? The demos that have appeared (poor old Massanet) go strong on vibrato and slipping and sliding up to notes, but do not represent even a modest performance of the piece as written or frequently recorded. I do urge you to return to the drawing board on this one. ...
    Let me disagree on some points, even if I can agree with some other.

    The first and most important disagreement is about the adage: it's quite usefull you talk, even disappointed, it's the only way to say to developers they are not doing well in your opinion! Then thanks for posting.

    But I also disagree on your valuation, that seems to be based on low experience of the product:
    - do you own Stradivari?
    - did you listen to all the demos?
    I ask about it because:
    - I also don't like any of Massnet demos (neither VSL VI and Garritan's movie) as I told to my friend Stefano Lucato, and I argued about it with Giorgio Tommasini.
    - I found some very good demos done by several users, and I was sometime happy with some fragment of my own demos. Excluding mine to be more objective I don't find so weak as you say the more clever demos.

    If you don't own the Stradi, you probably never had the chance to do it better: but if you try it, you may calibrate and correct all the failures you are criticizing, because the vibrato, the attack, the slides of portamento and so on, are ALL under your control. The reason to let you make bad use of the instrument, is the flexibility. The freedom of control, let you make wrong articulations if you want, or if you are not aware of real string playing technic, and it may be an issue. But the same freedom let you make "alive" the sound, and gives you tools to replicate "as written or frequently recorded" YOUR performance and programming!

    Giorgio Tommasini has not a special love for the keyboard. He just looks for controllers, and as good the controller is, as good will be the result.
    Find your favorite controller, and let us know about it. We are researching new ways, do you want contribute with suggestions?

  3. #3

    Re: posting frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    What is the point of this keyboard string quartet? Will people gather with their keyboards to play string quartets badly? Is it for live stage performance to the tone deaf?
    I think the reason is simple. If you can play the instrument in real time, you can lay down your tracks quickly with a human touch. With skill only a small amount of MIDI tweaking is required for the final track.

    Professional composers are often under considerable time pressure. As such "playability" has been one of the top requested features. That's why the Strad is playable in real time - not because we expect string quartets to be replaced by keyboard players.

    That said, there is always some room for MIDI tweaks. It's possible that the current Strad lacks some of the articulations and controls needed for the last word in realism. If so, that specific feedback would probably be very welcome by Gary, Giorgio, et al.

    In the best of all worlds we can have playability AND realism.

  4. #4

    Re: posting frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    What is the point of this keyboard string quartet?
    There are two things you can do, both evil and good. The first is to use the technology to replace actual live musicians playing acoustic instruments. That's bad. Just ask the AFM.

    The second thing is to get more composers to take an interest in writing for strings--so they can then hire real live musicians on real acoustic instruments for performances and recordings.

    It's 2006. We have hundreds of cable TV channels in every country. We have satellite radio. We have thousands of radio stations, hundreds of major motion pictures and thousands of independent films released each year. We have hundreds of video games on more platforms than I can count. All of them need soundtracks and music. The value of the Garritan instruments is that it gets more composers and songwriters interested in working with real orchestras and real instruments.

    Of course I've got nothing against rock, hip-hop, or electronica, or the songwriters, composers and producers that make them. Orchestral and solo-instrument sample libraries can appeal to those contemporary composers and give them a bridge into the realm of real orchestras. Garritan in particular has a committment to music education that is not present with other companies that make sample libraries.

    It's all about making more music in the world, and attracting the resources to do it with real musicians playing real acoustic instruments. Garritan facilitates that.
    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.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Orcas Island
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    11,454

    Re: posting frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    The introduction of the string quartet series, Strad etc, rubs salt into the wound. It is framed as a keyboard facility and does not cope with many of the main characteristics of a string instrument. To do so would not be rocket science. Leading guitar programmes already prepare their samples to enable notes to respond to different timbres when played in different positions. and for the true portamento effects of position shifting. Gobblygook to a keyboard player, but meat and drink to a string player or composer for solo strings. Of course, perfect simulation cannot be expected. But these are baffling lacks to what is presented as a ground-breaking new product range. What is the point of this keyboard string quartet?
    dermod,

    Thanks for your comments. As you say "perfect simulation cannot be expected" but these instruments truly are ground-breaking if you compare it the other sampled instruments. If compared to the real thing, we have a ways to go and that may never be attainable, but we are getting closer. For the first time we have dynamic control with sonic morphing and the ability to truly control the vibrato, and portamento (even bichordal) and things never before possible with sampled insruments.

    Is it the lack of sul' positioning as you mention guitar positioning? This has been already addressed in the newer instruments.

    If you own the Strad 2, can you tell us what you believe is lacking in the solo strings? We are always looking for ways to improve and make the best instrument possible. If you can be specific we will do our best to acheive that goal.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Gary Garritan

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