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Topic: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

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  1. #1

    Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    I've just retired from my computer programming job and decided to take up hobby composing again after a hiatus of about 5 or 6 years. So I got my old Korg N5 hardware synth out of storage and discovered it's a bit worse for the wear. The reverb likes to cut in and out at random and the right stereo channel fades in and out. I did a couple MP3's and the sound quality is really ugly! I'm still using my old shareware Noteworthy Composer for score editing, and I like it just fine. But I know virtually nothing about software samplers. So...

    Can I use GPO standalone with MIDI files as input, instead of attached to a modern score editor? (I'm trying to keep costs down, so I'd rather not buy a new score editor unless absolutely necessary.)

    Considering that GPO won't run on my ancient Win/98 computer, I'd also have to get a new computer. Is it really worth it?

    I've listened to many of the demos on the Garritan site and I'm very impressed, but what's the learning curve? Is it plug-and-play, or will I spend six months figuring it out? (I'm software savy, but synth stupid.)

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    --gary shannon
    http://www.soundclick.com/garyshannon

  2. #2

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Welcome to the forum. GPO was my first foray into the sampling world. I knew nothing about samples at all, and here almost four years later, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. It's a fantastic piece of software, and VERY user friendly. You won't be disappointed.

    I'm not sure if GPO Studio's channel outputs will be recognized in Noteworthy Composer, simply because I am not familiar with that program, but perhaps an expert will chime in here. From what I gathered from the site, it recognizes external MIDI, so it would seem (I'd just try it out, but it appears to be windows only and I'm on a mac).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Welcome to the forum, Gary.

    I don't know the answers to most of your questions because have never used Noteworthy, but in my opinion if you take the plunge you will be glad you did.

    Like he said, hopefully someone here will be familiar with it.

    The learning i have done is with Finale's notation program, i seldom use it as a standalone just connected to keyboard, so it was easy for me to learn there but maybe not an answer to your question.



    David

  4. #4

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Hi Gary!
    Quote Originally Posted by fiziwig
    Can I use GPO standalone with MIDI files as input, instead of attached to a modern score editor? (I'm trying to keep costs down, so I'd rather not buy a new score editor unless absolutely necessary.)
    Yes! The new version of GPO uses Kontakt Player 2 technology (you might need to DL the upgrade) and renders the GPO Studio application unnecessary. KP2 will link up to your notation editor with a virtual midi cable. On PC, your best option is midi-yoke. I'd install this application and see if Noteworthy links up with it before you take the plunge. If it doesn't, there are freeware alternatives out there that probably do.

    If all options fail to see the midi cables, you can download an external VST host with the capability of playing midi files, such as Cantabile.

    Considering that GPO won't run on my ancient Win/98 computer, I'd also have to get a new computer. Is it really worth it?

    I've listened to many of the demos on the Garritan site and I'm very impressed, but what's the learning curve? Is it plug-and-play, or will I spend six months figuring it out? (I'm software savy, but synth stupid.)
    You will probably need a new computer. For a budget-minded and GPO-capable workstation, 2GB of RAM and a P4 should do the trick nicely. These systems can be picked up for around 200 bucks nowadays if you look on the right places or buy the components separately. It's the XP license that'll cost the dough. A decent sound card that has midi input and ASIO support will be a good investment for a new rig too (try out something like an M-Audio 24/96). With MIDI-ins you will be able to use the N5 to send note and controller data to record, which is important because...

    The modwheel reponse is GPO's most important feature. This parameter controls dynamics and timbre automatically. Once you get the hang of using the modwheel, you're on a very easy track to being able to use GPO well! I'd say you can be making music within hours and creating beautiful renderings within days.

    Hope this helps,
    Reegs

  5. #5

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Welcome to the best forum in cyberspace. This a place where you can find knowledgable, helpful and wonderful people who share your passion. I look forward to haveing you post your music in the Listening Room.

    PS I just checkout your SoundClicks site and I love your music. I can see that you are a master of composition. The Waltz #1 is great. The American Dance #1 is wonderful, but I truly loved the Spanish Dance #1 for strings, horns and wind. It really captures the latin feel. Brovo.
    Samantha Penigar
    http://www.myspace.com/samanthapenigar

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p?userid=13306

    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  6. #6

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Hi Gary,

    You can spend five times the money or more and not get half the bang
    of GPO... yes, it's worth it. Every penny. Many times over.

    Yes, there is a learning curve. And there are hundreds of us around
    the forum to make sure you get through it. We all got where we
    were going, generally without much pain. You will, too.

    As for results, stop by the Listening Room for several thousand
    demos by real musicians who use GPO every day. If we can do it,
    surely, so can you, my friend!

    My best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    ...and if you buy components to build a PC, from some place like newegg dot com, or buy some significant component like ram or hardrive i think, you can get an OEM version of XP-pro for around one hundred, also at newegg. Maybe less now, that was several years ago. That's quite a bit less than the regular commercial version. It is pretty much the same version only sold as original equipment for builders of computers at a huge discount. Can also regular XP for even less, but don't know how much. The thing is you have to buy it at the same time that you buy some component to build a PC.

  8. #8

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Add me to the 'yes'es!! GPO, JABB and the Strad are probably the best three buys in my studio. In terms of productivity they're just so much quicker to work with (after you've got the slight learning curve behind you) than anything else out there, but with absolutely no compromise in the sound.

  9. #9

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    SO, Fiziwig - From the enthusiastic responses you've gotten here, you should be getting the message that "yes, VERy seriously, you should buy Garritan!"

    The concept of having an affordable "orchestra in your computer" is thoroughly born out in what Gary Garritan and his creative team have delivered in GPO, and in all their libraries of instruments.

    I had written a large chunk of music, the score to an original musical, and had recorded a demo recording of it with my old hardware synths. Then I found GPO, and after listening to the demos, realized that I just Had to have the more natural and sophisticated sound it could offer. I got the library, and set about completely re-doing my 2 hour recording. That called for a big investment of time, but the results were so worth it I can't over-state how happy I am with the decision to upgrade my little studio with GPO.

    You asked, "...Is it plug-and-play?..." Well, I don't think I've found Any great piece of software which is precisely that. But it isn't terribly difficult to figure out either - The manual (too often not read carefully) has all the information one needs, and this friendly, helpful group here online will always be ready to help you with questions as they arise.

    You've already gotten good advice on this thread - most important perhaps being that the use of the mod wheel (sending out MIDI controller #1) is essential. All of us Forum regulars have seen Many a newbie post as their first question, "Why is everything so soft?!" - and it's simply because they haven't taken the mod wheel info to heart. You MUst use cc1, starting at the very top of each instrument's line, in order for you to have any volume on playback. And then cc1, mod wheel, is performed throughout a piece in a continuous, constantly varying way - That's one of the Key elements to making the instruments sound as good as they can.

    And there's more of course - mostly about the use of various MIDI controllers for Legato, Portamento, Vibrato - and you'll soon understand all of it.

    Hope you take the plunge!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  10. #10

    Re: Seriously, Should I Buy Garritan?

    Hi Gary [yet another Gary],

    I listened to you Soundclicks. The last two were great. You are welcome here, as a former systems engineer, project manager in ICT, I too had some problems getting started. Where in the world can you find another bunch of nice lunatics who help people go forth with all sorts of difficulties, real or unreal. There is a learning curve, but while your are asleep, we from the other side of the ocean can answer your questions and vice versa.

    You will never find another forum, never another sample library, never another new world so nice, friendly, skilled, demented, completely nuts as overhere (I mean this Garritan Community). From the Far-East, the steppes of Siberia, the snowy mountains of Canada, the deep-south of Patagonia, up to the isles near the northpole, we are all here once in a while. And we all love it. What? Simply music making and talking about it.

    Raymond - from that tiny country called "The Netherlands" - were most of the land lies below sea level [uhuhuh scary!!! thought] That's why I love Händel's Watermusic.

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