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Topic: Choir interim approach available

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Choir interim approach available

    While we are all awaiting the sure-to-be-exceptional Garritan Choir product, I have found an interim approach that has worked for me. I work with vocal ensembles and need to put practice CDs together so parts can be learned quickly. Here's the approach:

    1. Notate my music in Finale including lyrics, with each vocal part on a separate staff.
    2. Export the chart as XML.
    3. Import the XML chart into Harmony Assistant (with the Virtual Singer addon).
    4. Select the type and range of voice I want for each staff.
    5. Select US English as the language (there are several others) and, if necessary, tweak some of the phonemes to achieve the syllable sound I want.
    6. Place the virtual vocalists on the virtual soundstage to achieve the spacial effect I'm looking for.
    7. Export the resulting product as a WAV file and burn the CD.

    I wouldn't lip-sync to the resulting track at Carnegie Hall, but it serves my purpose quite well. Some of the available voices are recordings of real singers, others are artiificial. There are MANY facets of the voices that can be configured, including depth of vibrato and pitch change rise times. Using this process I am able to quickly develop a practice CD with the part to be learned panned almost entirely left and the remaining voices on the right channel. My vocalists like being able to learn their notes AND words while driving their car, etc.

    I have no financial interest in Harmony Assistant, (to prove it I won't even include the website ) and I'm not related to the fellows in Toulouse who developed this product, I'm just a satisfied user. The product is shareware at less than US$100 and has more capability than I will ever use. If anyone is interested, I can provide a sample.

    Just so we're clear, as soon as Gary's choir patches are available for purchase I'm sure I will abandon HA for GPC (Garritan Personal Choir ), but until then, this works for me.

    Terry

  2. #2

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    sounds interesting. I would very much like to hear a demo of this! please post!

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: Choir interim approach available

    For those of you who asked for a sample of this approach, I have cobbled together a piece you will find here (mp3):

    http://www.box.net/shared/wt3oui6cko

    The (lightly updated) words (below) were written by Johann Mentzer in 1704, and originally had six verses, of which I have used only two. The music was composed by...well, modesty prevents me.

    I would certainly appreciate any feedback.

    Terry

    Lyrics:

    O that I had a thousand voices
    And with a thousand tongues could tell
    Of Him in Whom the earth rejoices
    Who does all things wisely and well
    My grateful heart would then be free
    To tell what God has done for me.

    You forest leaves so green and tender
    That dance for joy in summer air
    You meadow grasses bright and slender
    You flowers so wondrous and fair
    You live to show God's praise alone
    With me now make His glory known.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Choir interim approach available

    tjtx, that sounds fantastic,

    well actually the voices sound kinda weird, though you're right it gives a good demo of the potential and actually articulates the syllables, but i meant your arrangement, the barbershop quartet treatment to a 1704 song, wow!


    It's so beautiful...

    i hope when you render it with the new Garritan choir, you also add some GPO strings, this arrangement will sound great though whatever you decide.

    David

  5. #5

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    Quote Originally Posted by tjtx
    For those of you who asked for a sample of this approach, I have cobbled together a piece you will find here (mp3):

    http://www.box.net/shared/wt3oui6cko

    The (lightly updated) words (below) were written by Johann Mentzer in 1704, and originally had six verses, of which I have used only two. The music was composed by...well, modesty prevents me.

    I would certainly appreciate any feedback.

    Terry

    Lyrics:

    O that I had a thousand voices
    And with a thousand tongues could tell
    Of Him in Whom the earth rejoices
    Who does all things wisely and well
    My grateful heart would then be free
    To tell what God has done for me.

    You forest leaves so green and tender
    That dance for joy in summer air
    You meadow grasses bright and slender
    You flowers so wondrous and fair
    You live to show God's praise alone
    With me now make His glory known.
    The link doesn't seem to be working now. A window opens saying the connection has been reset and to try again.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  6. #6

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_uk
    The link doesn't seem to be working now. A window opens saying the connection has been reset and to try again.
    Michael, I just tried again and the link is working. If you continue to have difficulty, let me know and I can email a copy to you. PM me if you want me to do this.

    Terry
    Amateur composer/arranger (at least nobody's paying me yet), vocalist, erstwhile cornetist
    GPO, JABB, Finale 2009, Harmony Assistant, Audition

  7. #7

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaf
    tjtx, that sounds fantastic,

    well actually the voices sound kinda weird, though you're right it gives a good demo of the potential and actually articulates the syllables, but i meant your arrangement, the barbershop quartet treatment to a 1704 song, wow!


    It's so beautiful...

    i hope when you render it with the new Garritan choir, you also add some GPO strings, this arrangement will sound great though whatever you decide.

    David
    Thank you for the kind words, David. Harmony Assistant will sing in half a dozen languages, so I guess flexibility took precedence over phoneme accuracy, at least as far as US English is concerned. I almost always have to spend a little time tweaking the phonemes. I must say, though, it has easily cut our chart learning time in half.

    Terry
    Amateur composer/arranger (at least nobody's paying me yet), vocalist, erstwhile cornetist
    GPO, JABB, Finale 2009, Harmony Assistant, Audition

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Salisbury, UK
    Posts
    312

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    I have looked at the Harmony Assistant site where there are other demos. The voices seem potentially very useful, but a drawback may be that music using voice must be notated in the parent notation program, which appears to be more of a toy for computer generated harmony, and not capable of hosting other VSTi (like GPO for example) for the instrumental parts. Am I right, or missing something?

  9. #9

    Re: Choir interim approach available

    I'm not sure I understand, dermod. By "the parent program" do you mean Harmony Assistant? I know you can notate in HA, but I always use Finale for the actual notation and only use HA for rendering the voices. Of course, most of my pieces are acappella, so I don't use any other instruments in HA.

    However, I think I think there's a thread on using GPO with HA. Lemme think...where was that?

    Ahh, here it is:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...mony+Assistant

    See if this helps. Plus there are several other threads on GPO and JABB with HA (even tutorials). You might check out some of Muffit's postings.

    Terry
    Amateur composer/arranger (at least nobody's paying me yet), vocalist, erstwhile cornetist
    GPO, JABB, Finale 2009, Harmony Assistant, Audition

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