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Topic: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

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  1. #1
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    Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    As many of you know, I make it a practice to post periodic updates to let everyone know where we are with various projects. Some of you have been requesting a new update. Here is the latest...

    Things Have Changed: We're a Software Company Now
    We did it! With the release of the Steinway we have now joined the ranks of a full-fledged software company. Sure, the scoffers scoffed and the naysayers said “nay” and some thought it couldn't be done. But we did it and have our own sample engine!

    It took several years to reach this point and I never knew what we were getting into. This is quite a different world than being a sample developer using someone else's engine or sampler. There are so many complex considerations - first the unending details, changing feature sets, user interface design and flow, making sure an engine works on a multitude of hosts and platforms, QA, 64 bit support, custom DSP, avoiding conflicts, revising, documentation, building a registration system, compiling for delivery - to name a few. It's mind-boggling and I have a newfound appreciation for what the folks at NI, VSL, Tascam, Steinberg and what other sample engine companies have done. The past year was extremely difficult because in addition to developing ARIA ,we were dealing with porting and major issues with Kontakt 2.

    Thanks to the folks at Plogue and the other geniuses on our team, we will now be able to follow our dreams and develop some ground-breaking things.

    The ARIA engine has been extremely stable and robust after working on a variety of systems with the Steinway. Hats off the David and the Plogue team.
    Q: Why do you keep putting ARIA in all caps?
    A: To fully convey its grandeur and majesty.
    Product Line:
    During the past year the following products have been released or discontinued:
    • Authorized Steinway Virtual Concert Grand Piano - Pro & Standard Versions - Shipping
    • Concert and Marching Band - Shipping
    • GPO and JABB with Kontakt 2 Player - Updates Posted and Boxed Versions shipping
    • Reason GPO Refill - Available now for download (only $79)
    • Sibelius World Instruments and Sibelius Choirs - Now shipping from Sibelius
    • Stradivari Solo Violin and Gofriller Cello - Discontinued

    Authorized Steinway Virtual Concert Grand Piano
    The Steinway Professional and Standard editions are shipping. It is available from us direct and from our distribution partners.

    So far...so good. With a 1.0 release I hoped for the best but expected the unexpected and the worst. But no critical problems. Instead, the support calls/emails have been very minimal and instead, many people are writing just to say how much they like the Steinway.

    The manufacture took just a little longer than "imminently" expected. Next time I decide to do a cloth and gold-embossed hardcover manual that's put together by hand - I will add more time to the estimate.

    We'll soon launch the Basic version for $99 as soon as the download shop is completed.

    An update is being made to address the few issues that have cropped up.We hope our first update will be available soon.

    It was such a pleasure working with Steinway and we are turning our focus to producing other Steinway models (like the Model B, A and C)

    Personal Orchestra, Jazz/Big Band and Concert/Marching Band
    We are busy porting Personal Orchestra, Jazz/Big Band and Concert/Marching Band over to the ARIA Player. We'll also continue to offer these libraries in Kontakt too.

    Expect to see more enhancements such as the inclusion of SAM Brass (in ARIA GPO), convolution, MIDI scripting, advanced DSP functions and other features which we'll tell you about as we get closer.

    Because we will need to deliver new samples (the NI format is only for the Kontakt libraries), there will probably be a reasonable update charge.
    Orchestral Strings 2, Stradivari Violin, Gofriller Cello, etc.
    We're changing course with regards to our strings offerings for a number of reasons. As previously noted, the Stradivari Violin and Gofriller Cello have been discontinued (as was GOS for GigaStudio). We are working on a total strings solution in GOS2 for section strings along with solo strings. The foremost reason is technological. We want to provide some new advanced performance modeling, dedicated DSP functions and impulse technologies that are possible with ARIA but not currently possible with existing engines. We simply need to bring this into ARIA.

    We also decided to sell bundles rather than individual instrument libraries. Aside from the Steinway; packaging and selling individual instruments for a couple of hundred dollars each is not optimal and not in keeping with our ultimate goals. It makes sense to have a different approach not only for both business reasons, but for the interests of the user. There were also some other reasons for this decision.

    We'll continue to offer tech support and there will be an upgrade path for existing Strad, Cello and GOS users but we haven't figured that one out yet (let alone pricing).

    We have been working very hard on the project and it has had so many twists and turns along the way. When the new strings library is out, I think this going to be something special and set new standards. Yes, it is taking longer than we imagined. I'll comment further when the time is right.

    A Chorus Line
    As previously posted, the Choir is progressing just nicely. Garritan Choirs comprise samples from members of one of the world's most well-known choirs. We are still in R&D mode with the lyric singing capabilities. So don't expect anything too soon. Still working on the multilingual plug-in and have successfully tested lyrics with our favorite multilingual words such as:
    "dar calabazas’ (to give pumpkins), "tsuji-giri" (Japanese for trying out a new sword on a passer-by) and "vetullperpjekur" (joined together eyebrows). How could you pass up the opportunity to impress people with singing words like that? You are going to be able to swoon just about anyone in any language with this choir library. And just imagine adding a Greek Chorus to your projects!

    I would put up some demos but I'll never hear the end of people saying they have to have now and making bribes to be on the beta team.
    General MIDI (GEM)
    The General MIDI Reason Refill is in beta testing and will be released soon.

    Regarding the full GM library, in the last update I told you about some of the issues we were facing (another Murphy's Law scenario). I asked whether we should release it sooner but forgo some of the features we wanted, or wait until we can bring it into our own player. It seems most wanted to wait until we can offer it in ARIA. So we are busy working on programming the General MIDI set for ARIA.

    Pipe Organ
    So far so good. Working on ARIA programming and some new features we want to add. If any of you are professional organists and want to help out when we get to beta, please let us know.
    And there's more products coming but we'll complete what's on our plate first.

    We're made a big leap with the launch of the Steinway with the ARIA player. The hard part and most difficult task is behind us - which was the development of the engine. Subsequent libraries are going to be far easier and much quicker.

    Thank you all for your suggestions, criticisms, ideas, wish lists, thoughts for improvements, and comments as they help us to make better libraries.

    I've learned not to announce estimated release dates. First, they are hard to keep due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Second, some people will hold you to them despite disclaimers, vagueness or attempts at transparency.

    As a new software company, the complexity and what can go wrong has just grown exponentially. There's quite a bit of work to do and we don't want to rush, so we're not sure as to dates. A hard thing to decide is when to release when there is "just one more feature to add".

    Libraries will be released when they are released, we will serve no wine before its time, to everything there is a season...


    That's the latest for now. Thanks all for your patience, your ideas and help, and your support!

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    I'm really waiting the first update of the Authorized Steinway.

    Now I've been using it 4days and I am really pleased with the overall quality of it. It is very light and reliable. My computer is slightly outdated 3yrs old laptop and the sample data are in 1394 external HDD, and yet it works very smoothly.

    However, I think that there is something to be enhanced.
    Whenever I play A4(440Hz) note about over vel. 90, the sound changes to kind of awkward one. I've tried all 5 mic positions and the results were always the same. Usually I use a lot of A4 notes in my music, so this is quite annoying to me.

    Hopefully, it will be solved with the update.

  3. #3

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Thanks for the update, Gary - and Congratulations! Can't wait to see ARIA in action (notice the use of caps?)

    I, for one, appreciate your commitment to your users, releasing libraries of bundled instruments rather than solo instruments (apart from Steinway, of course) and I am very excited about the forthcoming GOS2!

    Once again, Bravo and Congratulations on the new move forward.

    Best wishes,
    Paul
    "Life is rarely fair..." - Garlan, of Thorandall
    http://pjdeakin.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Gary,

    Thanks for the updates. Yes, you have indeed been busier than the proverbial long tailed cat in that room full of rocking chairs but it sounds like some really exciting things are on the way for the community.

    As a church organist, I would like to be included in the testing for the Pipe Organ program. What is the procedure for applying? Thanks.

    And congratulations on all the successes of the past year.
    Jerry
    Dayton, Kentucky
    Personally, I'm waiting for caller IQ.

  5. #5

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Thanks for the update, much appreciated. I am looking forward to GOS2!

    --Richard

  6. #6

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Thanks for the update, much appreciated.

    It sounds like you have decided not to proceed with the underwater-human-skull-bashing-with-tent-peg library.

    Probably a good thing..

  7. #7

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    And just imagine adding a Greek Chorus to your projects!
    Heh...

    If you are to have premade phrases talk to me. I'll have, in no time if I may add, around 500 swear words, which is all contemporary Greeks seem to use!


  8. #8

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by LealMusic View Post
    Whenever I play A4(440Hz) note about over vel. 90, the sound changes to kind of awkward one.
    I've noticed this as well a couple weeks ago. It's as if only the attack is sounding, with zero sustain, somewhat akin to hand-muting when keying the note.

  9. #9

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    SAM brass in ARIA GPO?!?! agh, why didnt I wait?! time to go and check out again what SAM brass can do...

    goood work Garritan, keep it up!

  10. #10

    Re: Updated Update to the Updated Updated - May 2008

    Expect to see more enhancements such as the inclusion of SAM Brass (in ARIA GPO), convolution, MIDI scripting, advanced DSP functions and other features which we'll tell you about as we get closer.

    Because we will need to deliver new samples (the NI format is only for the Kontakt libraries), there will probably be a reasonable update charge.

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

    Will be that upgrade available via download? or the nki files from gpo will be unreadable for ARIA, and a new dvd will needed?
    I personally prefer to pay the bandwith cost for a large download than the problematic of and dvd traveling overseas and dealing with frontier issues.
    Marcelo Colina

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