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Topic: An update for "Composer's Choice"-GS3/GVI

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    St. John's NL

    An update for "Composer's Choice"-GS3/GVI

    Hi Everyone,
    Much is made of the lack of programming flexibility in Giga 3. I think it's a load of baloney, to be honest. The real problem is the lack of developers using the features that have been given to them as part of this platform. Not only does GS3 have the development tools, GVI has the ability to use them w/o burdening the user, as things like iMIDI are kept "under the hood". This may be a way to keep developers happy, as it allows them to some extent to protect what may become trade secrets, but doubless many users do not like this approach, as it takes away their ability to tweak. There is a community of Kontakt users here sharing scripts etc, but it seems that no one even know that giga's programmers have given us everthing we need to share advanced programming tricks. Though it's not needed for this particular idea, as an art file is all that's needed, we can actually share iMIDI templates. More on this in a future installment.

    I am happy to present what, to my knowlege, is the first shared instance of giga programming outside the art file updates offered by some developers:

    GS3 orchestra shipped with a ton of content that ranged from very useful to seriously crippled demoware. All that is fine. AFAIK, the developers don't get a cut or even a one time fee. It amounts to free advertising. and free content for TASCAM's product. One piece of content that shipped with GS3 was the "Composer's Choice Demo". I personally never got much use out of it, but it was nice to have some kind of violin samples kicking around. As it stands today, there are solo instrument libraries of this kind available that, I think we can all agree, basically render libraries like the CC violins obsolete. Not bashing it or anything, but the Composer's Choice content that shipped w/GS3 used very little advanced programming, so at least in hindsight, it tend to pale in comparison to something like the Garritan Strad. Let me also mention that I don't own the full version, so it may just be that the full composer's choice violin library is very deeply sampled and programmed.

    As a happy strad owner, my one small disappointment in v.2 is that (although it ships with v.1.08 as well) both included violins use the same samples and the same vibrato control ranges. This means that you can't load two tracks with the same midi data in order to create a stand, as it simply results in artificial doubling...you have to tweak one. That's O.K., really: Garritan never told me that I was getting two completely separate instruments. In fact, I believe the inclusion of v.1.08 was a big free bonus. Thanks Gary! But back to the problem of easy ensemble building: How to?

    The answer was to load the samples from composer's choice in GVI alongside the Strad in KP2. This came with pitfalls as the material in the CC violins is not programmed to the extent of the Strad, so doubleing with identical midi data was still not possible. Upon investigation, however, I discovered that these were 24-bit samples, meaning they would be compatible with the DEF filter of the iMIDI rules. So that's dynamics covered. Here's what else I did:

    -Applied DEF filters with different control sources to both the longbows and short bows. Long bow DEF is controlled by CC#2 (Giga unfortunately doesn't get along well with CC#11 messages), which can be assigned to your exp. pedal (more on that to come), and short bow by velocity. This mimics the strads behavior.

    -Fixed a squeaky note (actually the sample was was just a squeak and not a note at all, so I eliminated it and stretched the upper adjacent note.

    -Adjusted the velocity responses and CC#2 attenuation, (via the crossfade editor) of the shorts and longs to mimic, again, the Strad.

    -Implemented "mono mode". There are no transition samples with the library, so I had to settle for a decay time that would transition reasonably well from note to note.

    -Finally, I stacked the two articulations in GS3, and saved the stack as a .gsi.

    For anyone who owns the Garritan Strad and GS3, you will find this to be a nice way to build a stand using the combination of what I lookat as a "pro" (Garritan) and an "amateur" (CC), or, if you like, a teacher and student. The duet really reminds me of attending church services as a child, where there were always two or three violinists. they were always amateurs with varying levels of ability, and the tuning timing and technique differences (eg. Legato/Portamento coupled with a lack thereof) made for a rustic charm. Hearing this combination brought me back there. You can do this with two strads, but not on one keyboard in realtime. Strad masks the flaws of the CC, and the CC masks the precision of the Strad. Here are the instructions for turning you Composer's Choice Demo.gig into the strad's apprentice:

    1) Verify that "ComposersChoiceDemo.gig" is on your hard drive. If you have done any work on this gig in the editor, you may choose to install it again (you'll find it on disc 2 of the giga content dvd's) so your work is not undone by my art file. It's a small file and doesn't take a minute to copy to your HD.

    Download the .art file from:


    3) Open the .gig file, and from the file menu, choose "Load Articulation File". When prompted, choose the .art file from the location to which you dl'd it, and click OK. Save the .gig file.

    4) Download the .gsi stack from here:


    Make sure you save it to the same directory as the .gig file.

    5) Download and install Markleford's super-cool MIDI CC# Converter from www.tencrazy.com

    6) Refresh your QS database, making sure that the location of the .gig and .gsi is included in the search path.

    Load the .gsi in GS3 or GVI, and assign a midi track or controller to that channel. Use the MIDI CC# converter to translate CC#11 to CC#2, and make sure to uncheck the box for "Pass along original..."

    Load the strad, and assign a different midi track (without Markelford's plugin) to it.

    Consult your strad documentation for playing instructions. With the exception of legato/portamento, the modified Composer's Choice Demo should now behave much like the default Keyswitch behavior of the Strad, with the added "benefit" of slightly out of tune samples.

    Some things to bear in mind:
    1) The CC violin doesn't really sound anymore realistic after the update, expept for the new realtime dynamcis imparted by the DEF, but it will play along with Garritan's strad, and they will work together to create natural tuning, technique, and timing discrepancies suggestive of a live duet.
    2) Where the Strad responds to pitch wheel messages, the CC violin does not. I find this a desirable way of doing it, as it allows the player to adjust tuning differences without bending both notes in parallel.
    3) The two can play pretty "tightly", if you play the strad hard, for straight legati, of "loosely", if you play the strad softly, for longer portamenti. the CC violin will always transition directly. I think this is also cool, as again, it represents an independance of the players, a diffence in their speed, and most importantly, a degree of user-control over these differences.
    4) the "pro/amateur" balance can be affected by adjusting which instrument is louder in the mix. For a less-polished performance, turn up the Composer's Choice, vice versa to sound more polished.

    Here is a short demo of the two instruments together:


    They are panned hard left and right, so you can a/b them using your balance control. One pass played live, random noodling. I used a low-pass filter to take the edge off and some corny sonar reverb. Other than that, no tweaks.

    Please, if you own both these items, try this out, and let me know what you think!

  2. #2

    Re: An update for "Composer's Choice"-GS3/GVI

    I'm still waiting for the Strad, so I can't try this with your given combination. I've had nightmares trying to get GS3 up and running (got a bad Install DVD, and just today got a replacement from Tascam), but I'm going to try this with another combination.

    This had occured to me-building stands and sections with different libraries before the mix-so it's reassuring to know someone else is having some sucess with it. It does lend a sense of realism (Teacher/Pupil combination, as you said).

    Thanks for your preliminary work on this, and for posting it.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    St. John's NL

    Re: An update for "Composer's Choice"-GS3/GVI

    Glad you like.
    I have noticed an issue with this: When playing melodically, and after holding a note for a second or more, following notes played legato are cut short.

    Please let me know if you experience the same problem. I am attempting fixes by various means, but don't really know the cause, though my hypothesis is that giga's mono mode is not functioning as desired. I'll post a fix if and when I find one, but in the meantime any insight would be appreciated.



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