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Topic: violin

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  1. #1

    violin

    Hi everyone!

    Question: Why do the violins sound so, well, not good on GPO? It sounds like a synthesizer. Nothing like a violin. Am I doing something wrong? How can I get more realistic sounding violins? I am pretty disappointed, to say the least. Hope you guys can help me!

    Thanks-

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: violin

    Hi, Have you listened to any of the pieces in the Listening Room that were created with GPO by members of this forum? Check out "The Champ" on the first page currently, or "Albuquerque". These make prominent use of the instruments in GPO and sound fantastic.
    The Garritan Personal Orchestra isn't a "set it and forget it" type of plug-in.
    A user must learn about the MIDI controllers that bring life to the samples and make them expressive and realistic. At the very least, you have to use the mod wheel of a keyboard controller, or draw in the midi data into your sequencer, or use expressions in a notation system to get the most out of the samples.
    I'd recommend you read your manual carefully and try some of the techniques explained there. You don't specify how you are using GPO (sequencer or notation program or standalone), and whether or not you have a keyboard controller, so it's a little difficult to know where to start with your questions.
    Read the manual, listen to the pieces posted in the Listening Room and come back with specific questions and the membership here will be happy to help.
    You can make some great music with GPO, you just need to learn a bit about how it's set up. John

  3. #3

    Re: violin

    I own and use GPO, but it's not my favorite library. It's good for doing some things that the others I own aren't so good at (like building various sizes of ensembles from the solo string instruments, and looping those instruments so that it sustains long enough.) I know that many people are in awe of how you can control the Garritan samples, but for me this means re-learning how to play the piano (which I am barely able to do in any case) and re-recording everything where I wanted to use GPO instruments. A non-starter for me. But I have put them in where I need a long sustain. (I know publishers constantly plug non-looped samples as a selling point, but it seems that however long they sustain at some point this falls just short of the length I need. And violas in the same library do not sustain as long as violins, cellos not as long as violas, etc.) I find the GPO instruments do best when massed in a section or burried in the mix, not soloed or exposed -- with the exception of the harps.

    For instant gratification, I use Dan Dean Solo strings. Although there are far fewer articulations, ensemble building is rudimentary, and the aforementioned non-looping sustains are uneven, most of the time the sound I get is what I am after. Or, at least, it is the least objectionable.

    I also use some KH solo strings -- the string bass libraries, in particular, because DD Strings is lacking a bass. Garritan JABB also has some nice bass samples. I own another very expensive bass library which contains only one articulation (pizz) and I never use it. The others I mentioned can do the same sound with less overhead.

    As no string library yet does it all, your best bet is to use a combination from different libraries. (NOTE: I need only very small string sections and groupings. So I never use section violins, violas, etc.)

  4. #4

    Re: violin

    Quote Originally Posted by totalnewbie View Post
    Hi everyone!

    Question: Why do the violins sound so, well, not good on GPO? It sounds like a synthesizer. Nothing like a violin. Am I doing something wrong? How can I get more realistic sounding violins? I am pretty disappointed, to say the least. Hope you guys can help me!

    Thanks-
    Are you referring to the solo violins or the section violins? for the solo violins you will need to key switch between the different articulations (up / down bows or alternate up/down, sustain & legato) as the musics phrasing demands. You also need to vary velocity & cc1 (modwheel) in accordance with your desired phrasing to breath life into the instruments. Varying cc22 (var1 tunning) & cc23(var2 timbre) on a note by note basis will also help a realistic simulation. Also the judicious use of portamento (cc20) will help. Lastly the GPO instruments are recorded dry so reverb (standard reverb or convolution) is pretty mandatory.

    You might want to check out the Phrase Modeled Performance Multi available at my signature link - It automates all the above & more using the notation instruments.

  5. #5

    Re: violin

    EJR, what exactly do you want? Real played violin sections,etc.? If there is one person in this GPO world who wanted them to sound as realistic as in real life, it is me. Since I purchased GPO several years ago, I am struggling with this material and after hundreds of experiments I must admit, that I can never let them sound as a few "masters" on this forum can do, like DPDAN.

    But, for comparison reasons I listened to dozens of symphonies, concertos with strings, baroque strings sections, etc. I even re-constructed some of the scores to get a good comparison of what I've heard. As time goes by I get better every day and those GPO strings are really mouldable (is this the right word?) into something synthesizer-like or real recordings. I suspect it will be even better with the upcoming update to another level.

    Of course, it involves a lot of programming, balancing, reverb settings(convolution or not), carefull planning, - and I hate that - but what is the difference doing that and playing the role as a conductor (now with bits and bytes).

    A conductor is just doing the same thing, he sees the material, discusses it with the players, sets out a "sound-plan" and works from that as a basis. It takes months to get a Mahler piece right and still, listening to the earlier recordings to the later (in time) ones, there is a difference. Why? He learned form the first one, got other ideas, set out other accents, etc.

    So it is not only the sound of the samples, it also involves the way you use it, sautillé, marcato, staccato, etc. Please don't complain about the sound of those dry samples, complain about the need to get it in your hands to shape it into something beautiful. A rock is still a rock, but in the proper hands it can be turned into an artwork.

    There is no such thing as an "instant good sounding orchestra", a pity, yes, but it gave me great pleasure to read some replies about my every day better renderings, and still I am not satisfied.

    Lately - I am grounded because of a broken foot of my wife - I discovered the power of the convolution, dry and wet and suddenly it sounded a lot better.

    So don't complain, give yourself a "jump" and start working on it. With those CC#'s mentioned in other replies you can shape that ugly rock into a statue of Rodin.

    Maybe this answer is a bit rude, not intentional be sure of that, just tempering your impatience. All members on this forum helped me a lot to get things better.... ask, ask, ask, and there aren't stupid questions. Remember, it is not the instrument that makes the music, it is the player.

    Raymond
    [this was longest answer I'd ever given, so be honoured, I just felt the same disappointment as you experienced]

  6. #6

    Re: violin

    I don't think the tone of the post directed at me is appropriate and I am not going to respond in kind. Anyone who doesn't feel that my comments are not useful is free to ignore them.

    I gave the original person who posted two additional resources to suplement GPO strings because this is what worked for me. I don't know if it is possible to get GPO to sound like the other libraries I mentioned here. But I do know that tweaking them got me to where I wanted to be with less effort, freeing me to spend more time on more important parts of my composition that just trying to make the strings sound like strings.

  7. #7

    Re: violin

    Hey, Raymond,

    Fantastic post! Thanks for the encouragement, from one on the same road as you right now.

  8. #8

    Re: violin

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    I don't think the tone of the post directed at me is appropriate and I am not going to respond in kind. Anyone who doesn't feel that my comments are not useful is free to ignore them.
    I pity that, having heard this morning that Brahms got Joseph Joachim involved in writing his violinconcerto, developping the orchestration, etc. So even Brahms had to focus upon "other things than composing", namely getting the sound right.

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: violin

    Quote Originally Posted by totalnewbie View Post
    Hi everyone!
    Question: Why do the violins sound so, well, not good on GPO? It sounds like a synthesizer. Nothing like a violin. Am I doing something wrong? How can I get more realistic sounding violins? I am pretty disappointed, to say the least. Hope you guys can help me!
    Thanks-
    I was reading the answers to this question, and am starting to wondering whether everyone really has to reinvent the wheel? Surely, almost every user has some useful tricks to recommend? I have been struggling with the violins of GPO for some time now, and suppose I am slowly advancing. Here is a short resumé of my Beginnings of Learning:

    (1) It took me several months to find out that there even was an reverb included with KP2, one has to say that it is well hidden (behind "output).

    (2) Only a few days I found out that this is not the same as the "ambience" people speak about here (posting links that do not lead anywere, fortunately it is easy to find "garritan ambience" by googling). The second thing I found out was that it really is worth trying (as a plug-in in your sequencer).

    (3) The immediate chock with GPO is the dryness of the sound. But if you manage to install Garritan Ambience, you will be astonished how much better for instance the (initially) awful viola sounds with presets like Concert Hall 2.

    (4) Another thing that is obvious, is that the string sounds need different amounts of tweaking in order to sound decent, the cello (cello 2, KS) is much easier to manage, than the viola or the violins (does anyone know why?)

    (5) Sooner or later everyone will confront the question of how to manage to tweak the instruments separately, so that the changes affect only one of the loaded instruments. The solution to this is to route them through different outputs (the st.1 and st.2, and note that it is possible to increase the amount of outputs by using the "add channels" function under "output").

    So this is what I know, not much but may be helpful. I could perhaps add my present problem as a question: I have still not found any way of making the high register of the violins sound good. Looking forward to here about how you solved this, for instance by using ambience (in exact positions of the knobs, not the years it took to find out ).

  10. #10

    Re: violin

    Dan Kury has a great post (with video) on taming the GPO violins here:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...11&postcount=2

    Worth checking out. If you listen to the various demos and listening room posts, it's obvious that someone is getting great string sounds from GPO.

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