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Topic: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

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  1. #1

    nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Can anybody help me understand what software and hardware I need to use the Garritan Personal Orchestra, GPO? I just can not get my brain to figure out how the GPO is used. I am not a composer. I have knowledge of music, I can read music, play guitar and some keyboard. I want to buy GPO and play with it to try composing and arranging some orchestral music. But I just do not get how that is done. Do I somehow load GPO into a MIDI keyboard? Do I drag and drop GPO instruments into my Sony ACID Pro 6 software? Do I buy Sibelius 5 software and use GPO as a plugin for Sibelius 5? These questions likely seem ridiculously simple to those of use composing music with GPO, but for many people like me it seems so mysterious of a process. I am hoping someone can explain this in way ordinary folk can understand. I hear beautiful music from the sample GPO songs, but I do not understand what software and hardware and what process goes into creating that? I have a nice dual core PC with 4GB ram, plenty of hard drive space, Sony ACID Pro 6.0, a MIDI keyboard. What else do I need?

  2. #2

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Can anybody help me understand what software and hardware I need to use the Garritan Personal Orchestra, GPO? I just can not get my brain to figure out how the GPO is used. I am not a composer. I have knowledge of music, I can read music, play guitar and some keyboard. I want to buy GPO and play with it to try composing and arranging some orchestral music. But I just do not get how that is done. Do I somehow load GPO into a MIDI keyboard? Do I drag and drop GPO instruments into my Sony ACID Pro 6 software? Do I buy Sibelius 5 software and use GPO as a plugin for Sibelius 5? These questions likely seem ridiculously simple to those of use composing music with GPO, but for many people like me it seems so mysterious of a process. I am hoping someone can explain this in way ordinary folk can understand. I hear beautiful music from the sample GPO songs, but I do not understand what software and hardware and what process goes into creating that? I have a nice dual core PC with 4GB ram, plenty of hard drive space, Sony ACID Pro 6.0, a MIDI keyboard. What else do I need?
    GPO comes in two basic forms. A standalone version that can be played from your midi keyboard through your computer and a VST version (or the MAC equivalent) that is loaded into your sequencer. I'm not sure whether ACID will do this but there are many sequencers available including free ones, (you'll need to research this but try REAPER as a start. (SHAREWARE I think)

    On its own you can really only play a single instrument a any time but in a sequencer the sky is the limit (well RAM really).

    Once loaded in you can record the Midi on track at a time for playback or play straight in a record direct sounds as well as externally produced sounds and vocals.

    There is WIKI on the garritan site that will give you more help
    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


  3. #3

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    GPO comes in two basic forms. A standalone version that can be played from your midi keyboard through your computer and a VST version (or the MAC equivalent) that is loaded into your sequencer. I'm not sure whether ACID will do this but there are many sequencers available including free ones, (you'll need to research this but try REAPER as a start. (SHAREWARE I think)

    On its own you can really only play a single instrument a any time but in a sequencer the sky is the limit (well RAM really).

    Once loaded in you can record the Midi on track at a time for playback or play straight in a record direct sounds as well as externally produced sounds and vocals.

    There is WIKI on the garritan site that will give you more help

    I checked out the Garritan Wiki, to be honest it does not seem useful, very little information there, mostly links to this forum and to their products, to Sibelius, etc. Garritan could double their sales, not a bad thing in a depressed economy, if they would make their product understandable to average joes like me. Seems to be assumed that everybody knows what a sequencer and VST is, which I do not. Good lord, isn't there some way to make knowledge of this product user-friendly for the masses? I do not mean to come off ungrateful, but GPO seems like a powerful product for creating music-- it is just that it appears like a black box to all but those already into sequencers and VSTs and what not.

    Could an amateur like me use GPO by simply buying Sibelius 5 and GPO, and then GPO would work with Sibelius, so that I compose music (I do have basic knowledge of music theory and melody and chord progressions and harmony) in Sibelius and then Sibelius plays back or exports the music using GPO so that I get the rich orchestral instrument sounds of the GPO library? That I can understand, if that is the case, because I downloaded and played with the demo versions of Sibelius a bit. Would that be a good starting point for me? Otherwise I am afraid I am lost when I hear about sequencers and VSTs-- because I do not see how they are used to compose music with GPO.
    ~randall

  4. #4

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Hi Randall, welcome to the Northern Sounds forum,
    let me try to help you...

    Go grab a nice cold Pepsi, and prepare to read some gobbly goop that will make sense when you're done.

    This is not about me but about you and GPO, but let me give you a peak into where I was in 2004. Back then, I was 48 years old and had no musical training except three months of piano at the age of seven. My gift (if you will) was that I was raised in a home where tons of different kinds of music was playing. My Mom played piano at church and even organ, my Dad sang solos and sang in the choir and was very active in barbershop quartet music. I believe it was the barbershop music where I learned in my head about harmonies, and how important the melody is, and that the melody should never take a back seat to harmonies, because the average listener will not understand it.

    Throughout my life, I always tinkered with record players, tape recorders and such. Today, and since 1970 I have been a recording engineer and sound engineer for concerts and other events. I desire so badly to be able to play piano because I know in my head what things "should" sound like. Back in 2004 my friend Jay told me that I should quit using all that "analog" gear, and go with a Mac computer and use DP (Digital Performer) to record and mix all my work. So I did. It only took me a few months to get pretty fast with DP, and I soon came to the realization that with a sample library of some great sounds, I could indeed make my own music. Since Jay had been using DP since it's conception, he told me to get a keyboard that had some decent sounds in it and I could use DP's incredible midi sequencing to record my notes, one at a time, or even chords. I got a Yamaha KX88 which is a wonderful keyboard with a great piano feel, but guess what,, it was a controller only. It did not have any sounds, it only spit out midi data. So I was in the market for some sounds. Even though I have no background really in orchestral music, I thought a sample library of an orchestra would be a great tool that I could use to teach myself how to use midi and the wonderful selection of midi sequencing tools that DP offers. I bought GPO and installed it in my computer. I was then able to play the midi keyboard and record the notes into a midi track in DP. I set up an empty midi track, and assigned it's output to feed (communicate) with GPO's flute. There it was, a gorgeous real flute playing from my keyboard. Play the flute part with mistakes, edit the wrong notes, and record the next instrument. Before I knew it, I had an orchestra in my little studio. Unreal! Here is my very first piece of music that I made with GPO, and this was while I was teaching myself how to use a Mac computer, GPO and Digital Performer. Before GPO, I knew nothing about computers, or midi, except that midi was a five pin din plug, and carried a choo choo train of computer data to and from midi devices. if I can do it, you can too!

    Alabaster Box

    I know nothing about notation programs except that they are for people who know alot about music, and the organization of notes accidentals, different clefs, time and key signatures etc. A notation program like Finale or Sibelius may be just the thing for you. GPO will load up and play the notes in the staves or, you could use a midi sequencing and audio mixing program (software) like Sonar, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer, Pro Tools.... and there are others. A sequencing program will allow you to record your midi keyboard part, into a midi track and then it can be edited (schmoozed) into a real life-like performance with real emotion and dynamics. Each of these midi tracks are routed (assigned) to each specific instrument, and they can be recorded to a nice stereo mix with reverb, and then .....

    you will never want to leave the house again!

    Notation programs can also be used to record your midi keyboard, and the midi notes will show up like notated music in a stave. These notes on the stave will trigger the notes of the respective instrument. Since this is a notation program, you will want to play along with a click so that the notes are displayed properly, based on the time signature... beats. Unfortunately, these notes being rigidly place in a stave will sound very computerish because they are not allowed to breath like real musicians. Ah but wait.... in Finale, there is a wonderful tool called "Human Playback", and it will utilize the dynamic markings (crescendo, de-crescendo), pizzicato, tremelo, to make the GPO instrument respond accordingly, producing a far better sounding recording from the GPO sounds.
    I don't know if Sibelius has anything like Finale's Human PLayback.

    If it is important that you have a program that will "professionally" print out a score that you can take to the London Symphony Orchestra, you will want to purchase one of these notation programs. If you could care less about printing a professional score, and only want to make an audio recording of your music, then a sequencing program is your best option. You can buy both, but I highly urge you to not use your notation program to make the recording, start with your sequencing software for that, then if you want a nice printed score, start over from scratch and re-record the individual parts into the notation software. Some people use a notation program and then they use the "export" feature to create a "standard midi file" that they can "import" into their sequencing software. Because the midi file will be rigid, it will sound the same way in the sequencer, but you will have to do a ton of editing to make that midi file sound like real music. It is always best to not only capture your notes from the keyboard, but a magical real human feel is also recorded by the notes not being quantized into perfection.

    Feel free to ask any questions that we have not answered, and we will do our best to make sure that you understand what it will take to make some great music.

    Since you already have the computer that you mentioned, which sounds great, and your keyboard is connected to it via USB, or a midi interface (we can talk about that too) all you need to buy is GPO and some type of
    sequencing and/or notation software.

    DPDan

  5. #5

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    EDIT: Sorry....Seems that Dan got here before I hit the post button..... He knows more than most here.....

    Hi Randall

    First, welcome to this wonderful forum. You will find many very helpful and kind people here.

    Second, I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same when I came across GPO for the first time many years ago. I simply knew this is what I WANT, but like you I had no clue as to how it worked.

    Yes, you can use GPO with a notation software like Sibelius. Personally, I would rather recommend Finale if you are looking for better sounding playback. But yes, it is as simple as setting up your score with GPO as a plugin and your happily go on to compose in your notation software. When you hit play, GPO will play back the music, which you can then save as a WAV file and burn to CD or whatever....

    If you are new to sequencers, don't bother, unless you want to have really detailed control over the playback and recording. Most people who compose in notation software will save their compositions as a MIDI file, import that into the sequencer and then use GPO as a plugin. I'm not sure what ACID pro is, but if it allows import of MIDI files and the use of VST plugins, you could probably do the same.

    So to answer your basic question: Can ANYONE with a notation software, like Sibelius or Finale, and know how to compose in it, use GPO? The answer is simply YES....

    I hope this makes more sense.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  6. #6

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Hello, Randall

    EDIT: Hahahaha, Dan beat everyone to the punch. Well, I'll leave my reply as it is. Maybe between all these replies, you'll get sufficiently inspired, Randall.

    I remember seeing your post in January - I was hoping by now you would have Googled up some good basic MIDI info for yourself, because you are so there in the middle of square one, you have to understand it's difficult for any of us to know where to begin in a reply to you.

    BUT your idea of using Sibelius is good - It actually comes with a set of Garritan instruments with the program itself, but not the full GPO orchestra. You seem to have an understanding of how that would work - inserting notes on notation pages, having the Garritan instruments play back your composition as you work on it.

    As for the other way to use GPO, in a sequencer, maybe that's not actually what you would be comfortable with - I'm guessing that from your post.

    GPO, however works in apps like sequencers exactly like One Million And One other software instruments. There's just one basic concept - synths or collections of samples (as in the case of GPO) are triggered from a MIDI keyboard plugged in to your computer which plays inside an audio/MIDI program such as Sonar. I feel that manufacturers can be excused for not taking up a bulk of space explaining these very basics for their programs. If someone is getting into software synths, I think it's OK to assume that this person has a basic understanding of what it's about. And if they just stumbled into the concept and don't have a clue - Google is the noob's friend, it's full of MIDI information.

    The Garritan Wiki which you didn't care for has this thorough tutorial on using GPO inside Sonar, a leading sequencer program:

    http://garritan.info/index.php/GPO_Tutorial:_Sonar

    Buckshead already did a good job of briefly helping you out earlier, and I hope this reply from me points you in a good direction also.

    "...because I do not see how they are used to compose music with GPO..."

    Hopefully you understand the basic answer to that now - musicians play GPO with their MIDI keyboards and record their work in a sequencer. However there are plenty of people making music without a MIDI keyboard--using notation programs, which it sounds like you want to do.

    I say get Sibelius and dig in!

    Randy B.

  7. #7

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Well this is where just a little bit more clarification could really help me, make a sale for GPO. Okay I have the Sibelius 5 demo, which I understand has some GPO instruments in it. So, Sibelius 5 sounds good, but not as good as the demo GPO songs I listen to off the GPO website (like the incredible song "Knights and Magic"). So am i understanding this right, that if I buy the $200 GPO Personal Orchestra product and use it as a plug-in/add-in or whatever it is called, for Sibelius 5, that then Sibelius 5 playback of composed music will sound significantly better than what I am hearing now in the demo version of Sibelius 5? If the answer is yes, I think then I am about ready to make the leap of faith and buy Sibelius 5 (or maybe Finale) and GPO.

    The whole GPO thing seems like such a black box to me, like picking up some piece of alien debris off a beach, incredibly sophisticated but I don't have a CLUE how to make it work! But if it can just plug in to Sibelius/Finale and make the played back music sound orchestral (better than what the Sibelius 5 demo has as downloaded)-- count me in! I will buy it!


    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello, Randall...BUT your idea of using Sibelius is good - It actually comes with a set of Garritan instruments with the program itself, but not the full GPO orchestra. You seem to have an understanding of how that would work - inserting notes on notation pages, having the Garritan instruments play back your composition as you work on it.
    ....

  8. #8

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Thank you DPDAN, very helpful. We have lots in common, almost similar age, similar music background, so that really helps me out. I am not looking for a music career with all this, but I want to create music, hear it played (without hiring an expensive orchestra!), and I am also into screenwriting and filmmaking (shorts for now, goal of an independent feature film in a 3-5 years) so a goal if I could achieve it might be to actually score some film music for a film I make someday, or at a minimum come up with some melodic phrases and orchestrations to hand over to a professional film scorer who could then take it to another level.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Hi Randall, welcome to the Northern Sounds forum,
    let me try to help you..., but let me give you a peak into where I was in 2004. Back then, I was 48 years old and had no musical training except three months of piano at the age of seven....

  9. #9

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    Quote Originally Posted by RandallOelerich View Post
    So, Sibelius 5 sounds good, but not as good as the demo GPO songs I listen to off the GPO website (like the incredible song "Knights and Magic"). So am i understanding this right, that if I buy the $200 GPO Personal Orchestra product and use it as a plug-in/add-in or whatever it is called, for Sibelius 5, that then Sibelius 5 playback of composed music will sound significantly better than what I am hearing now in the demo version of Sibelius 5?
    Hi Randall, I'm glad you're not giving up on this. It is a bit complex at first, but since you have a background in music, I'm sure you will muddle through at least as well as the rest of us.

    My first experience with GPO was the version that comes with Finale. Now, there is a fundamental difference between Finale and Sibelius where playback is concerned. Finale has a function called "Human Playback" which interprets all of the markings you place on your score in a very sophisticated manner. My understanding is that Sibelius' playback is much more basic and straightforward.

    So, Finale with GPO wil get you closer to "Knights and Magic", but not quite all the way there. The next step is the sequencer, such as Dan's Digital Performer and Randy's Sonar (which is what I use). Here's where a little of the "black box" is demystified.

    All virtual instruments (vst's) are controlled by MIDI (maybe not ALL, but enough to make the the argument otherwise silly). MIDI is a simple language where numbers play the instrument (similar to a roll of paper playing a player piano). The numbers tell the instrument what notes to play and when - how loud, how long, that sort of thing.

    To achieve the level of realism that you are hearing in many of the demos and Listening Room submissions requires extensive tweaking of other parameters available to the GPO instruments - things like vibrato speed and depth, portamento, etc. Every symphonic instrument has its own functions to tweak.

    So, there are really two types of people here using GPO. The first are the composers who use Finale or Sibelius and their primary goal is to get their original compositions sounding as good as possible with a minimum amount of work, so they can move on to the next composition.

    The second type are typified by Randy and Dan (and many others, certainly), who concentrate on making their original compositions sound as much like real players as possible. The tradeoff is that they spend more time doing this, and thus less time composing (although Randy seems to find quite a bit of time to do both).

    Please keep asking questions, and we will all work very hard to make sure you get pointed in the right direction. You will have to look long and hard to find a more helpful, cordial group on the internet, and for my money, that makes GPO a bargain even before I've recorded any music.

  10. #10

    Re: nOoB alert! How do i use Garritan GPO ???

    It is important to understand that, like anything else in this world, results come from patience, perseverance and experience. GPO will sound wonderful or crap depending on how much you are prepared to put in.

    If you are expecting instant gratification a la Knights and Magic, forget it. Having said that, buying the software will open up an entire world, even a subculture of exploration and learning. Once you nail it, you will be able to use it freely.

    But for those of us who learn the hard way, there are plenty of pitfalls and false leads to follow.

    But you sort of need to follow them in order to get the long term satisfaction and mastery.

    I would strongly suggest you look at the sequencer option as well - I am not at all convinced from what you have written that the notation route is the right one for what you want to achieve.

    Ultimately you will want both. But that is another topic about a different but related disease! (Must have more equipment...)

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