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Topic: Where does one start?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    152

    Question Where does one start?

    Folks, I have piddled around with GPO for the last several years, mostly using the gorgeous Steinway. I sort of had given up on getting good sounds, as I really wasn't investing the time to learn them well, but now I am ready to dive in!

    I recently purchased all the other libraries (everything but the Cello), and was wondering if anyone could recommend to me an instrument with which I should start. I am looking for an expression pedal before I dive into the Strad, but I have a Roland A-80 keyboard and use Sonar 7 PE along with Finale. I have real life experience as a brass player in high school and college (many decades ago, with trumpet, french horn, and baritone) and as a piano player (I started playing 47 years ago but there have been many years when I didn't touch a key), and as a vocalist, as my BA degree was in voice (sacred music).

    Does anyone have a recommendation for an instrument that I can begin to get good sounds from relatively soon? I want to keep things simple, in order to become successful with at least one instrument, attempting to understand the MIDI CC's, MIDI channels, and other MIDI things in order to build on my experience.
    I was thinking that a violin and flute might be nice basic accompaniments, but I'm looking for suggestions as to how to start out really using all of these wonderful sounds.

    Where does one begin?
    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: Where does one start?

    Quote Originally Posted by rfdillon
    Where does one begin?
    ...... at home. And read the Manuals!!!!!!!!!!

    I did it with a nice melody, e.g. a Chopin Waltz, and only that melodyline.
    Next I made a MIDI file of it, imported that into Sonar and assigned one by one every libr. instrument to it (and where necessary transposed the score).

    With this, I also used all sorts of CC#'s and listened to the effects. Then you have a fairly good notion of the sound produced. It takes several weeks to do this, but it pays off, for sure.

    Raymond

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    1,175

    Re: Where does one start?

    Start with something simple and short. Baby steps first, there's a lot to learn.

    JT

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    152

    Question Re: Where does one start?

    Thanks, folks, for your suggestions.
    Any thoughts on an instrument to start with? The Strad is probably too complex for a beginner though.

    Thanks so much in advance for your help!

  5. #5

    Re: Where does one start?

    Raymond's advice is good. Don't start by trying to compose a masterpiece while you are still learning how things work.

    I'd suggest starting with any wind instrument. Play (or notate) a passage that has a variety of different playing styles: Legato, staccato, fast, slow, loud, soft, high, low, etc. Then play it back and listen for what works and what needs improvement.

    In Sonar, you can change velocities & durations, modify CC1 data, slide the notes around in the Piano Roll view, add some eq, reverb, etc.

    When you've 'mastered' winds, try strings, and don't forget percussion.

    There are also some wonderful tutorials here on this site, and some good advice in past forum posts.

    There are no 'rules', other than 'make it sound as good as you can'.

    Oh, and have fun. You don't have to learn everything in one evening.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Where does one start?

    I would recommend finding an orchestral piece to mockup. This will help you learn the instruments in the libraries and how they work together.

    Jim

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