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Topic: Challenge for all

  1. #1

    Challenge for all

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your skills;
    I come to bury GPO, not to praise it.

    Of course I praise Gary and I never come to bury GPO strings and other instruments of this library. Since I purchased GPO I am struggling with this material every day. Why? Because I don't have enough knowledge of what is possible with an instrument and what not and what is more important how it sounds.

    In those years I did hundreds of experiments, listened to more symphonies professional recorded than ever before and studied scores. Those latter not only for improving my composing techniques but also getting an idea of how those famous composers wrote down the music I loved to hear.

    This community has so many skilled instrumentalists that I wonder if it isn't possible to make together a tutorial of the "sound" of the instruments we can program in GPO. E.g. is the downbow with a small amount of bow-noise really achieveable in real life.

    Can't we all make or compile some "reference" library with real sounds? How much CC#16 should we add? Is a glissando for the trombones really feasible? What to include to let it sound realistic?

    For woodwinds: tonguing
    For brass: the minimun velocity to get some sound
    For strings: how does the section sounds when using d1, e1 and how far can one go, etc. How to achieve the sound of marcato well enough to go for real life, how to make sautillé, staccato, spiccato, etc. Is this ever done in real life?

    I think you get the idea. Getting knowledge of the instruments we aren't familiar with. Personally I have a fair idea of the possibilities of a piano and beginners-lessons for a cello, but how about the violins, flutes, bassoons (how far can they go, type of articulation, etc.).

    While I was writing/rendering my symphony I fell back upon the sounds of some recordings and scores of Franck, Berlioz, Tschaikovsky and even Prokofiev and Shostakovitsj to get an idea of the relation between their writings and the recordings. A world of difference.

    So, finally I wondered is it really possible what we want? Is the sound we produce the same as we notated in any notation program?

    The challenge is there, let we make a wave file - or more - to expose the various sounds of the instruments we play and how are they notated.

    Is it clear enough? I think we all gain knowledge when we know how our instruments sound in an orchestra. This forum has so many skilled people, why not educate ourselves?


  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Challenge for all

    Hi Raymond, There is already a huge body of information about the instruments of the orchestra, with details about techniques, range, etc. at this site for Vienna Symphonic Library.

    Once you've selected an instrument, there are topic headings on the left that will open up and display the information. There is a great deal that can be learned there.

    Your challenge is an interesting concept, but I just wanted to share this link in case you haven't seen it before. John

  3. #3

    Re: Challenge for all

    Bigears, good answer and better link, thanks.
    I withdraw this question and will come back later with a more clear set of problems and how to solve them. By the way, at my website I already had some bowing techniques (witch musical examples) - see instruments - but the real question was - how far can one go and how realistic is it.

    I own the Orchestration book with examples of Kennan en Grantham, but the question for me still is: - they gave examples, including the notation and left out just those I wanted to see. So I have to dig further and further to get the real knowledge of instruments. Maybe discussions with instrumentalists will help.

    So for the time being and firstly I will enjoy the good weather overhere,


  4. #4
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Challenge for all

    Hi Raymond, Again I think what you are proposing is very worthy of pursuing,
    I would like to see the community build an organized source of information.
    Perhaps tying into the Garritan wiki?

    I wanted to share another link with you for now. It's a violin masterclass site with some good explanations of the right and left hand techniques. You can enter the site as a guest and then click on the "Master Classes" box on the left side. There are little videos to illustrate techniques and actual musical examples in scores. http://www.violinmasterclass.com/


  5. #5

    Re: Challenge for all

    Why BIGEARS, you should make another NickName like BIGSURFER!!!. I added both links to my bookmarks list for further inverstigation and reading.

    Many thanks, I will put the original question into something more practical to go on...... but today it is Sunday, nice weather, time to relax......


  6. #6

    Re: Challenge for all

    This sounds like a great idea if I understand what you're after.

    Is this thread like something you're after? In the thread we discussed different ways of producing double and triple tonguing as it relates to brass instruments. We posted score and audio examples and explained how we got the results. I think the only thing missing is an excerpt from a real orchestra for comparison.

    Maybe this could be part of the wiki.

    Steve Winkler

  7. #7

    Re: Challenge for all

    I would love to see examples of things that I'm having to work out by trial and error. I know there are some tutorials, but they often don't show low-level details... like CC data, keyswitches, and other things that are necessary to get a good, realistic sound.

    For example, I'd like to see completed examples of harp glissandos complete with CC data. I'd like to see examples of realistic sounding bowed single instruments... again, complete with CC data. Drum rolls, cymbal ringing (not crashes), and other effects. In short, I'd like to see concrete examples of what all was necessary to achieve good, realistic instrumental sounds. I'm doing the best I can by experimenting, but comparing what I hear with what was done to achieve it would be an invaluable learning tool.

    I share raymond's frustration. Many times I know the sound I want to achieve, but don't know how to use GPO to acheive it.

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