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Topic: GPO Harp Comparisons

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  1. #1

    GPO Harp Comparisons

    In a previous post I mentioned that I felt the harp in the latest 2.2.3 update (24/08/2007) is muffled compared to the previous 2.2.3 release. Gary is asking Tom to check it out.

    I have posted some comparisons in the hope this will be of some help.

    This first link is for a file of the GPO harp alternating between the patch of the first 2.2.3 update and then the latest update. The first bar/measure uses the first patch with the second bar/measure using the latest patch and so on. There are 11 bars/measures.

    GPO Harp Comparison

    The second and third links are to professional recordings of live harp music as a comparison.

    Ar Hyd y Nos (Player 1)

    Ar Hyd Y Nos (Player 2)

    The sample I prepared using the GPO harp is in no way a serious compositiion. it's just an example of a few harp riffs I hurriedly threw together.

    Sooo, what do you think? Does the original 2.2.3 harp patch sound right and the new patch muffled or is it the way around, does the original 2.2.3 harp patch sound too bright and the new patch right? The original wav files are a bit clearer but I think the linked mp3 files have enough detail to make the point.

    I'm looking forward to what Tom says.

    Thanks.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  2. #2

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    Excellent, Michael - I had noticed earlier that you were saying the Harp seems muffled in the newest update compared to the previous update, so this new post is exactly what we needed to hear for ourselves.

    I take it that the volumes and velocity are exactly the same in the MIDI files as you go back and forth between the two Harps?

    I can certainly hear a difference. At first it seemed like the second Harp, the newer one, was just lower in volume. But then I could hear that the tone was a bit more dull, slightly more muted. I wouldn't go so far as to say "muffled" - that, to me, is a word to describe major sonic problems.

    But your case is clear in this post. The previous Harp definitely sounds brighter.

    The pro Harp recordings are of less immediate help, since it's really difficult to do any kind of meaningful A/B testing with them- But I would have to say that the real Harp actually had a tone closer to the new, more muted GPO Harp.

    Crispness and brightness are helpful attributes in samples though. When we start putting together large, layered projects, keeping things from being muddy and "muffled" is always a challenge - it helps to be working with sounds which are on the bright side.

    It will be interesting to see what Tom Hopkins thinks. To my ears, you've basically made your case.

    I wonder if there are any other instruments in the newest upgrade which seem more dull? I only upgraded yesterday, so haven't had the chance to do any real listening tests.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  3. #3

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    Hello Randy,

    I expect you must really be busy with your work Dorian-The musical so it's good of you to call by. I hope everything is going wll for you.

    I can confirm that exactly the same settings were used for the GPO comparison. I take your point about the term 'muffled' and 'muted' is probably more accurate. In fact samantha agreed in her reply to my original post and she used the more accurate term 'muted'.

    I agree also that the pro recordings of a live performance are more difficult, I just including them to give an added dimension. They are two different harps by two different performers. The first is a man's touch; Robin Huw Bowen playing a Welsh triple harp and the second is a lady's touch, Nia Jenkins. I don't know exactly what difference that makes, except to the lady and the gentleman of course, but I thought I'd just mention it.

    In actual fact, the differences seem greater on my computer in Sonar but there is no doubt that the latest harp patch is muff ... er .. muted. It will certainly be interesting to hear Tom's findings.

    Randy
    I wonder if there are any other instruments in the newest upgrade which seem more dull? I only upgraded yesterday, so haven't had the chance to do any real listening tests.
    Strange you should mention that .. but .. in the project I am working on the sound is different throughout .. no question of it. The whole sound is .. well .. er .. more muted. The original project somehow seems to have more brightness. Whether or not this is not how it should be and that the latest sound is how it should sound .. well .. I'll be hanging on Tom's every word on this.

    I'll also be watching out to see if you have any more observations on this as you use the new version.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  4. #4

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    Very very interesting.

    This is a vicious pernicious plot by a radical terrorist organisation to overthrow music everywhere.

    Seriously though, great pick up Michael - there is a clear difference.

  5. #5

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    "...in the project I am working on the sound is different throughout .. no question of it. The whole sound is .. well .. er .. more muted..."

    Oh oh. That doesn't bode well. To have Everything sounding more muted when going through KP2 - this isn't good.

    Poor Tom - we all know how busy he's been recently. But when he has the chance, I look forward to hearing him check in on this crucial topic.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  6. #6

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    I just did a quick check of the harp and confirmed what I suspected was happening here. Instruments like the timpani and harp had the velocity bug which eliminated changes in brightness with changes in velocity. This gave the overall impression of considerable added brightness to the affected instruments of the initial release of KP2 in comparison to the original programming in KP1. The latest release repairs this discrepancy and puts the level of brightness back to its original setting (and restores changes in brightness with changes in velocity.) My tests show it is now a good match between KP1 and KP2 - as it should be.

    Unfortunately, some people have acclimated to the added brightness of the broken programming. My suggestion: Use EQ in either KP2 or your host program to adjust the brightness to your preference. These things are not carved in stone. The programming only reflects accurately (full velocity as a reference point) the brightness of the instruments as they were originally recorded, not necessarily as you might prefer or require.

    Exasperatingly, this subject would never have come up if the velocity bug hadn't been present in the original KP2 release. Just goes to show that the effects of a bug like this live beyond the initial damage (and its repair.)

    While I'm on the subject, the above EQ advice applies to everything in every library you own. If something doesn't sound the way you want or need, use the tools to change it.

    Tom

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    Michael,

    before I downloaded the new update I stored the older update in an own folder. I always do this when I download a new update. So now I can use both.... .

    If you like more the sound from the first update within the bugs..., hm, can`t you use them because you have deleted?

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  9. #9
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    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    What new bug (or is it a feature) will NI add to the next release? Stay tuned for more excitement as Tom pulls out a few more hairs!

    Jim

  10. #10

    Re: GPO Harp Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn
    What new bug (or is it a feature) will NI add to the next release? Stay tuned for more excitement as Tom pulls out a few more hairs!

    Jim
    As you well know, Jim, there aren't many left to pull! Just to be safe though, I tie my arms to the chair while I examine the latest NI updates; that way I can't grab the few remaining follicles during my highly agitated state!

    Tom

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