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Topic: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

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  1. #1

    Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Few days ago I started a thread on the Notation/Frequencing forum about GPO and Sibelius 3 connection. The reply I got was disheartening, talking about virtual MIDI cables, VST support, more manual work etc.
    I am a retired classical musician (violinist) and not a computer techie. So, probably it is the best to start a new thread here, telling what I did before and what I would like to do with the help of GPO.
    I am composing violin solos for myself and would like to create orchestral accompaniments. A few years ago I started to use Sibelius 2 then 3 to compose the solo (sheetmusic) and separately the orchestral work. Used soundfonts (.sf2), and then played the solo myself while the "virtual" orchestra playing through the PC accompanied me. It was poor like mechanized music., no artistic freedom etc.
    The sound produced with the soundfonts were also very poor, while some instruments, like french horn, trombone and some woodwinds were barely acceptable, others, like the strings, were atrocious. I tried several downloaded ones, even modified the soundfonts with Vienna, no success.

    Then I heard some demos with GPO and was impressed. So I would like use it to:

    1. Using Sib 3 to compose both, the violin solo and the orchestral accompaniment separately.
    2. Convert the .sib and/or MIDI file of the accompaniment in GPO for better sound.
    3. Convert this GPO file to audio (Wav) file and record on a CD so it can also be played on my Hifi.
    4. Play the solo on my violin (very nice master violin) and accompany myself with the CD in my Hifi.

    Other version to produce a record with solo and accompaniment together:

    1. Compose solo and accompaniment as above with Sib 3.
    2. Play the solo and digitally record with a good mike in the PC.
    3. Convert this recording and the accompaniment in GPO.
    4. Synchronize solo and accompaniment (probably solo playing must be done with a metronome, here goes the artistic freedom)
    5. Record the combined sound as a wav file to produce a viable, Hifi playable CD of the full performance.

    Now I need info and handholding, again I am a musician and not computer savvy. Can someone enlighten me how to do it? Is it possible to be linked to some similar procedures and/or to download or obtain a detailed description (like the manual) for GPO before I spend the monies or more important time and aggravation? Anyone's input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Hi Charles,

    If I read your post correctly, you have not yet bought GPO. If this is the case, I think the set-up that will give you a good blend of GPO within Sibelius and ease of use is to upgrade your copy of Sibelius 3 to Sibelius 5. Sibelius 5 contains a Garritan soundset that should do the job and is completely integrated into Sibelius (as Jon mentioned earlier in another post).

    Your recording process should then be:
    1. Write your piece in Sibelius, using the Garritan soundset and using Sibelius' dynamic markings to impart good playback.
    2. Export the Sibelius score to a WAV file.
    3. Practice along with the WAV file until you know the part down.
    4a. If you have the cash, rent a few hours at a local recording studio ($20-45/hr), bring the audio file along, and tell them you'd like to record yourself playing over the track. They'll handle the recording process and ensure your violin sound is captured properly.
    4b. If you don't want to go to a studio but you have a good microphone and interface to your computer, let me know and I or someone else will elaborate on the home recording and mixing process. (In general, recording yourself playing over the track coming out of a stereo will not produce good results, so there's a little complexity to it, and the studio may be the cheaper option)
    5. Enjoy the final product!

    Best,
    Reegs

  3. #3

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Beware. Before you tread far down this road. You will find it all consuming.

    First GPO then a better sound card (so your playback doesnt sound so bad) then a bigger computer, then more of this and more of that. You'll be as addicted as the rest of us and just as broke.
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  4. #4

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Quote Originally Posted by Reegs View Post
    Hi Charles,

    If I read your post correctly, you have not yet bought GPO. If this is the case, I think the set-up that will give you a good blend of GPO within Sibelius and ease of use is to upgrade your copy of Sibelius 3 to Sibelius 5. Sibelius 5 contains a Garritan soundset that should do the job and is completely integrated into Sibelius (as Jon mentioned earlier in another post).

    Your recording process should then be:
    1. Write your piece in Sibelius, using the Garritan soundset and using Sibelius' dynamic markings to impart good playback.
    2. Export the Sibelius score to a WAV file.
    3. Practice along with the WAV file until you know the part down.
    4a. If you have the cash, rent a few hours at a local recording studio ($20-45/hr), bring the audio file along, and tell them you'd like to record yourself playing over the track. They'll handle the recording process and ensure your violin sound is captured properly.
    4b. If you don't want to go to a studio but you have a good microphone and interface to your computer, let me know and I or someone else will elaborate on the home recording and mixing process. (In general, recording yourself playing over the track coming out of a stereo will not produce good results, so there's a little complexity to it, and the studio may be the cheaper option)
    5. Enjoy the final product!

    Best,
    Reegs
    Thanks Reegs for such a quick and excellent reply.
    You are right, I did not buy GPO yet.
    Upgrading Sib 3 to Sib 5 makes sense. What I do not cherish is fighting the steep learning curve from Sib 3 to 5. I went through this when I upgraded Sib 2 to Sib 3 spending many hours on the PC and fighting a new program. I rather compose and play my violin. But...
    Your suggestion is the simpler way to go and produce a wav file from the accompaniment directly. And while "practicing" with the wav file I am actually doing the first step: playing with a visual orchestra. So far so good.
    Question: You say that Sib 5 includes the sounds of GPO? All of them? Most interested: all the instruments of a "romantic" size symphonic orchestra. Are there enough channels? Does that mean I do not have to buy GPO at all?
    As far as recording: This is one of the few things I have done in the past correctly. I have a very large living room with good acoustics, good microphone and digital recording. Many years ago I worked for a time for a record company and got involved in the studio work as well, so recording, mixing etc are not foreign to me. (Recording my solo over sound coming out of loudspeakers???...Bah) But it was many years ago and I am looking forward exchanging some good ideas with you, things are different now with this digital age.
    Thanks again and eagerly waiting for your reply.
    Greetings, Charles

  5. #5

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Hi Jon;
    Thanks for interesting info. Upgrading to Sib 5 seems to be a must. OK.
    The key words in your message are: "Sibelius Sound Essentials" and "some of the Garritan sounds" and "None of these are offered in their entirety" and finally "bare essentials".
    How would I know that these sounds are good enough? How much is left out? Would I be satisfied with them? Are the left out sounds better, and how much better?
    Now if I upgrade to Sib 5 and I am not happy with the available sounds, can I still purchase the GPO and plug it in in it's entirety into Sib 5? How much improvement will I hear? Is there any guaranty and can I return the GPO if no noteworthy improvement?
    These are some questions and I wish someone could help me.
    Thanks again, Regards
    Charles

  6. #6

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Thank you both, Jon and Reegs for the educational input.
    By the advise of both of you, upgrading Sib 3 to 5 is the way to go. Jon also answers my questions about the Sib 5's libraries and if the "essential" GPO is not satisfactory, I can buy and plug in the complete GPO. On the other hand, it seems to have a lot of stuff I really don't need , so hopefully Sib 5 alone will be enough.
    I was previously advised I should upgrade the Creative SB Live! Value soundcard if I am considering GPO to at least to an Audiophile (or Delta) 2496. Something about ASIO compatibility, VST support etc. Also Sib 5 also needs ASIO compatible soundcards. Hm...I did some search and learned that the SB Live! of mine is a WDM version and works with 10K1 chips and according to kxproject.com it is supported by ASIO and a driver can be downloaded from asio4all.com. Therefore, to start with, my SB Live! soundcard will suffice. Is that correct? (not too bad for a non computer savvy person!)
    On the other hand, our plan(s) is to compose in Sib 5, process the sound with the libraries, convert to wav and put it on a CD. Wouldn't this bypass the soundcard? I don't want to play along with the sound from PC speakers, but from the CD in a HIFI.
    Next step: recording. As indicated before I did produce wav files using soundfonts. The SB live! card was known for doing MIDI work and using other sequencers, like PowerTrack 10 Pro converted MIDI to wav and burned on CDs. (Sorry for the poor sound) But the accompaniment could not contain acc and rit and other tempo variations.
    The separately composed sheetmusic solo was played using a metronome (light pulses), recorded as a wav file. Another program (in this case CoolEdit 2000) was used to place the solo wav into one side of the stereo and the accompaniment to the other. Parts of either could be edited (like volume etc) but not tempo because the channels would drop out of sync. The other way was to over record the solo wav onto the accompaniment wav, but all editing had to be done before. I played around to use the first method to edit the channels separately, copy the edited channels to separate files and use the solo to over record the accompaniment. Complicated, frustrating and a poor, amateurish product and worse: meccanico.
    So I invite both of you and anyone on the forum to comment, first on the bypassing the soundcard and then on the recording process. Any suggestion is appreciated. An more, probably a much better way to go with recording.
    Thanks.
    Regards
    Charles

  7. #7

    Re: Creating violin solo with orchestral accompaniment

    Thanks Jon.
    I just ordered the upgrade from Sib 3 to 5.

    Yes, MIDI does not convert to wav as such. But I didn't know that the sampled sounds (like Garritan) are wav files. I worked only with sf2 generators before.

    Soundcard: Agree, playing sound in PC is highly influenced by the quality of the card. But the original question was: Composing with Sib 5, creating and burning onto a CD a wav file would bypass the soundcard?

    Tempo: I meant accel, rit etc , just one of them in the composed accompaniment would drop out the sync between the live recorded solo and composed accompaniment. Some better procedure is needed than what I described above. .

    I believe someone out there must have run across similar problems and hope he/she can put in his/her advises.

    Thanks again Jon and hope to hear from you again.

    Charles

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