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Topic: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

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  1. #1

    Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    Hi Friends. I have GPO since July, and still learning about it.
    I have this question:
    I see that each instrument has it own volume setting in the Kontakt player (by example Celesta is loaded at -13,6db while Timpani is loaded at -3,1db).
    I suppose, i cant find about it in the manual, sorry if i miss it, that that values try to reflect the proportion of volume diffrence between instruments in real life.
    Im very beginner dealing with that, my aproach to orchestration is very "by ear" and i tend to increase the value of volume knobs...
    I will be glad if someone can gave me some tips or tell me how do you deal with the volumes in your work with GPO.
    Mantaining them inthe original values will gave me a more "real" approach to the volume in a real orchestra?

    Thanks in advance!
    Marcelo Colina

  2. #2

    Re: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    Hello again, Marcelo --I just saw you over at the other thread!

    The idea is that a good balance between all the instruments has been already established for you in the Kontact player, but it is not as if you cannot change those values as you see fit.

    The critical part of using the program is, as I think you know, to use controller #1 (the "modulation wheel") to control the volumes of the instruments. This cc1 value should be constantly changing throughout a piece, depending on the passage of the score you are playing, and as dictated by your instinct to emulate the playing of the real life instrument counterparts.

    Turning the mod wheel all the way up to a value of 127 will make that particular instrument play at the full potential volume level set in the Kontact player.

    I have seen other people do as I do,--I turn all the instruments to the same position--12:00, straight up, in the Kontact player. I then rely on my own instincts and taste for how I want them to be balanced in the project from that point on.

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    Hi Randy. I tend to set up volumes by ear, that is not bad, i believe.
    But i thought this way "If Volumes from factory are following the parameters of a real orchestra, it will be educative for me to dont change them too much. So, if i note that a Cello is too low in the mix, instead of crank up the volume, it indicates i need to call an ensemble or group of cellos to do the job. So, im learning a bit about how a real orchestra is supposed to work" (im talking about volume knob, cc7, not modwheel, that, i believe, know how it works)
    Im doing right thinking that way? Keep in mind that my knowledge about a real orchestra is not from my experience conducting them, wich i lack, only to hear recordings, see concertos, etc. So if my use of GPO can gave not only musical results, but also educate me, will be cool.
    So my question is in bold
    Marcelo Colina

  4. #4

    Re: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    That is very good thinking, Marce.

    Yes, the programmers have tried to give you an idea of the relative volumes of the instruments the way they would be in a real orchestra.

    I think that things change, though, if you use any of the ensemble sounds. If you use a Cello ensemble sound in a project, for instance, and also include a solo Cello--the soloist will be louder in proportion to the group than he would be in actuality, unless his instrument was either miked or much closer to the audience.

    You will notice that the solo strings are programmed a bit lower than the ensembles, but I find that I need to turn them down from the default value if I want that solo to blend more with the group. The default value is good, though, if that instrument is playing a true stand-out solo and the other Cellos are meant to be playing under him.

    Some GPO users are more concerned with simulating how their compositions would be played by a live orchestra than other users are. They want to think in terms of exactly how many players are in each string section, exactly analogous to the live orchestra they're writing for.

    Other users are more concerned with the sound, achieving it in whatever way they see fit, regardless of whether or not it would be performed the same way with a live group of musicians. I'm rather more in this second category. If I need a string section to be louder for a portion of a piece, but I have no way of getting the louder sound with the instruments I have in place--I simply add more for that one section. Suddenly I've doubled my string section, even though that wouldn't be practical in real life.

    And so forth.

    As I said, you're using good logic in the way you want to use the program.

    Randy
    (rbowser)

  5. #5

    Re: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Some GPO users are more concerned with simulating how their compositions would be played by a live orchestra than other users are. They want to think in terms of exactly how many players are in each string section, exactly analogous to the live orchestra they're writing for.

    Other users are more concerned with the sound, achieving it in whatever way they see fit, regardless of whether or not it would be performed the same way with a live group of musicians. I'm rather more in this second category. If I need a string section to be louder for a portion of a piece, but I have no way of getting the louder sound with the instruments I have in place--I simply add more for that one section. Suddenly I've doubled my string section, even though that wouldn't be practical in real life.


    (rbowser)
    Thanks your answer again Randy. I am most the time in the second group, but when having more time or doing some project without date to finish, i will try to focus in the first way you mentioned, i believe
    You mentioned "miking" when talking about orchestra. Sorry my ignorance, but when Orchestras are miked or not? I believed that most orchestras when performing in theaters, refuse any kind of miking, maybe im wrong (there are compositions that specifically indicates miking?), but is used when performing in outdoors. I will apreciate some information about this.
    Marcelo Colina

  6. #6

    Re: Initial Volumes: How do you deal with them

    Good morning, Marcelo

    When I mentioned miking an instrument, Cello in my example, I was thinking of a recording studio actually, where various solos can come to the front during a mix and then recede back into the ensemble.

    I love the excellent sounds of GPO, and how flexible they are, so we can make such good orchestral emulations with them. But I'm a "radio child"--My earliest interest in music was inspired by rock n' roll on the radio. My musical sensibilities are more "pop" than anything else really. I grew to appreciate and expect recordings to be produced in an interesting, if "unnatural" way. As a result, trying with GPO to sound like an Angel Records classical recording, where the aim is to put the listener in an actual concert hall--this is less interesting to me than working with sound, and not being very concerned if the resulting recording would be impossible for a live orchestra to create acoustically. This is why it's logical I'm working with a digital audio recording program, Sonar, instead of a notation program like Finale.

    That being said--in my very large musical theatre project, I Do maintain a consistent seating plan for my virtual orchestra, and I adhered more to what is really possible to play live--since I expect the score to be performed by a band/orchestra at some point. Even when it is performed live, however, my show calls for one or two synthesizer players, and of course those kind of sounds can emanate from ANywhere on a stage, since they must be played over speakers.

    And so on.

    Have fun flowing with your musical ideas today, Marce.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

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