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Topic: Select proper SF

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  1. #1

    Select proper SF

    I posted the the following message on Harmony Central and KVR on June 8:

    In 2004-05 I played around with soundfonts, mostly with the original Cadenza and it's modifications, some were done by myself with Vienna.
    Never really got a satisfactory sound, those were imbalanced, esp the strings were poor and artificial. Recent sampled SF2-s are highly tilted toward brass and a milliard of exotic percussion instruments, but I never found a nice, mellow, warm string sound.
    I don't need a 120 person orchestra with 20 percussionists. I want to compose simple violin solos with a smaller orchestral accompaniment (myself being the violinist). I did well with solo violin and piano accompaniment, but extending to an orchestra was close to a disaster.
    Max size of the orchestra: Strings, 4x2 woodwinds, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones and a timpani. Style: late romantics.
    For those I need a simple SF2, the simpler the better but no compromise in sound.
    I compose with Sibelius 3 (replay naturally is very poor)
    Dell Dimension 8200 1.7 Ghz, 1 MB mem. 2 harddisks: 80 and 150 MB. Creative SB Live! Value soundcard.
    By the way, what is this 32 MB limit for SB Live and would it apply?
    Any advise as to which SF to choose (varying budget) would be greatly appreciated. Please note I am not a computer techie, just a musician to create a fair accompaniment to my violin playing.

    Then I listened to the samples of Garriton Personal Orchestra and was impressed.

    I like esp. the the strings. But before I buy it I would like to clear up a couple of questions:
    1. I have Sibelius 3. How would GPO work with it? Do I have to upgrade to Sib 5? (I prefer not, 3 is already far too complicated.)
    2. What other replay programs would work with GPO? For example I have Powertrack 10. Can I use them to play compositions made with Sib 3?
    3. In an orchestral score can I combine a violin solo with the orchestra as well?
    4. Will my PC specs satisfactory (enough) - see above? Do I need to upgrade for GPO? Is my soundcard OK?
    Your reply and help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Select proper SF

    If you refer that you have 1GB when you say "1mb" of Ram, i believe you will be ok using GPO.
    You can use it with sibelius 3, not directly, and you will need to learn several things (there are lot of info using GPO with notation programs like sibelius and that). With the last version of Sibelius you have direct integration with Garritan, so is easy export your work to audio quickly.

    About soundfonts, well, they dont have the kind of control you have with GPO, but there are some nices ones . I remember the ntonyx violin, the fitch cello and the campbells strings ( i believe that papelmedia distribute them now, but that are available at hammersound.net) they are free and legal old works.
    Marcelo Colina

  3. #3

    Re: Select proper SF

    Quote Originally Posted by marce View Post
    If you refer that you have 1GB when you say "1mb" of Ram, i believe you will be ok using GPO.
    You can use it with sibelius 3, not directly, and you will need to learn several things (there are lot of info using GPO with notation programs like sibelius and that). With the last version of Sibelius you have direct integration with Garritan, so is easy export your work to audio quickly.

    About soundfonts, well, they dont have the kind of control you have with GPO, but there are some nices ones . I remember the ntonyx violin, the fitch cello and the campbells strings ( i believe that papelmedia distribute them now, but that are available at hammersound.net) they are free and legal old works.
    Sorry Marce, my mistake. It is 1 GB.
    But I would like to get some specific answers to my questions, like will my SB Live ! Value soundboard work well with GPO and what is this 32 MB limit, will it apply? Also what is the size of GPO? If too large, can I crop off the unneeded instruments? The classical samples, like Beethoven 5, or Tschaikovsky, Richard Strauss etc are made with GPO without any additional stuff? What are the special needs to use GPO? Will PT10 or other programs work with GPO? Are my PC specs good enough? Violin solo+orchestra?
    My Sibelius 3 has only the basic Kontakt player (Silver) with limited number of instruments (20 but only 8 can be played simultaneously) and my number of instruments is max 24 but if Kontakt can play only 8 of them at a time??? I believe this version of Kontakt was just a come on because in the Info they promote their Gold version with 64 instruments of which 32 can play simultaneously to be purchased separately, which I didn't do. Needless to say, I was very disappointed not only with this sales method, but the artificial, hollow sound of their sound. I believe they are generated and not sampled.
    Powertrack 10 Pro Audio has 48 tracks and no replay limitation. That is why I asked that if it could be used with GPO. If so I would compose with Sib 3
    replay with PT 10+GPO and save as a wav file (mp3 would be an alternative but I would not compromise any way the quality of the sound)

    So this is for starter, I hope to receive more info and help
    Regards.

  4. #4

    Re: Select proper SF

    I can't answer all your questions, but I'll do what I can.

    (A hint, though: you may get more GPO users to look at this thread if you choose a better title. As it is, there's nothing in your title to suggest that you're looking for info on GPO. Also, Northernsounds hosts a forum dedicated to GPO, so you might want to post your questions there for faster and more complete replies.)

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesh View Post
    Also what is the size of GPO? If too large, can I crop off the unneeded instruments?
    GPO is approx. 2 GB total. You only need to load the instruments you're using, so 1 GB of RAM should be enough for a medium-sized orchestra.

    The classical samples, like Beethoven 5, or Tschaikovsky, Richard Strauss etc are made with GPO without any additional stuff?
    Most of them are. (I know the Beethoven 5, at least, was.)

    What are the special needs to use GPO? Will PT10 or other programs work with GPO? Are my PC specs good enough? Violin solo+orchestra?
    GPO is designed to run on relatively small systems. It should work with your specs. It should also work with PT10 if that program hosts VST plug-ins (I'm not familiar with it so I don't know for sure.) If PT10 does not host plug-ins, there are some very inexpensive sequencers available that do.

    I'm not a Sibelius user, and know nothing about Kontakt Gold and so on, so I have to stop here.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  5. #5

    Re: Select proper SF

    But I would like to get some specific answers to my questions, like will my SB Live ! Value soundboard work well with GPO and what is this 32 MB limit, will it apply? Also what is the size of GPO? If too large, can I crop off the unneeded instruments?
    The 32 mb limit of the soundblaster card are applied to the soundfonts you load on them. GPO is not a soundfont and dont use the soundblaster sampling engine, so, no problem in that way. BUT, you will need an ASIO driver for your SBLive (that is not provided from factory). If you are using Windows XP, you can use "Asio4All" driver, freeware in internet. Even that, the performance of SBlive are not as good as some other pro soundcards like audiophile.

    Will PT10 or other programs work with GPO?
    Looking at it web page, it says that it works with VSTi, so, yes. Other programs? Well, if they dont support VST, you can connect them via midi. Any program that can send midi data can, but you need to learn the workaround, search the forum, there are lot of post about that.

    Powertrack 10 Pro Audio has 48 tracks and no replay limitation. That is why I asked that if it could be used with GPO. If so I would compose with Sib 3
    replay with PT 10+GPO and save as a wav file (mp3 would be an alternative but I would not compromise any way the quality of the sound)
    You can use Siblelius, export the midi, and convert to wav into Powertracks.
    You can use Sibelius AND Powertracks at same time, and hearing GPO.
    And many other options, but they will take some time to learn.

    Well, luck!
    Marcelo Colina

  6. #6

    Re: Select proper SF

    Quote Originally Posted by danpowers View Post
    I can't answer all your questions, but I'll do what I can.

    (A hint, though: you may get more GPO users to look at this thread if you choose a better title. As it is, there's nothing in your title to suggest that you're looking for info on GPO. Also, Northernsounds hosts a forum dedicated to GPO, so you might want to post your questions there for faster and more complete replies.)



    GPO is approx. 2 GB total. You only need to load the instruments you're using, so 1 GB of RAM should be enough for a medium-sized orchestra.



    Most of them are. (I know the Beethoven 5, at least, was.)



    GPO is designed to run on relatively small systems. It should work with your specs. It should also work with PT10 if that program hosts VST plug-ins (I'm not familiar with it so I don't know for sure.) If PT10 does not host plug-ins, there are some very inexpensive sequencers available that do.

    I'm not a Sibelius user, and know nothing about Kontakt Gold and so on, so I have to stop here.
    Thank you danpowers, I will heed your advise and open another thread. But I started out with soundfont queries before I heard about GPO. But you are right and since I am sold on GPO now, I will direct my questions to the GPO people. I already asked Mr Garritan to learn that the latest GPO version is 3.

  7. #7

    Re: Select proper SF

    Hi,
    You could try Harmony Assistant from Myriad, which can use SF and GPO all instruments.
    Regards,
    AlexBG

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