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Topic: Pocket Orchestra vs GPO4

  1. #1

    Pocket Orchestra vs GPO4

    About to take the plunge with GPO4 but I'm also considering getting Sonar.

    Sonar has the Garritan Pocket version bundled in. Can anyone point me to a comparison of instruments between these two versions?

  2. #2

    Re: Pocket Orchestra vs GPO4

    As far as I know there is no published list to compare full versions of Garritan libraries with those bundled with Sonar, Finale, Sibelius etc.

    I also have Sonar 8.5 and the full GPO4 Aria. Personally speaking I would not be without my full version and can thoroughly recommend it.
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  3. #3

    Re: Pocket Orchestra vs GPO4

    Hello, balarila

    I am here to heartily second what Michael has already said - That there's nothing else like the full GPO.

    A full list of what is included in the Pocket Orchestra is something I've never seen either, but I'm a Sonar user, so have that version also. It's one of the libraries available through Sonar's Dimension synth/sfz player.

    In that smaller Dimension collection, all the main categories of instruments are available - Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Keyboards, Harp, Percussion, but the selection in each category is very minimal. For instance under Brass, there are 4 selections: Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba. Under keyboards there's actually only one selection - Harpsichord.

    Taking Brass as an example, GPO has those same 4 primary categories, but when looking at what's available for the Horn - there are 20 instruments in GPO's list, as compared to Pocket Orchestra's 1. And it's similar for all the other instruments - multiple variations in GPO compared to Pocket's single choice.

    Pocket Orchestra is an excellent sampling of Garritan instruments, and can help someone out a lot who doesn't have the full GPO - but as you can see from my representative list, it doesn't come close to supplanting the need for the full library.

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: Pocket Orchestra vs GPO4

    I messed around a little with Pocket Orchestra since I got Sonar long before I got full GPO. If all you've ever played with before are those little General MIDI wavetables on your computer, the Pocket Orchestra will be a revelation.

    That being said, as much better as the Pocket Orchestra is than the GM sets, full GPO is than the Pocket Orchestra. The PO (as opposed to GPO), as Randy has already pointed out, has many fewer instruments than GPO. For strings you could possibly put together a decent string line by using the various patches available on different MIDI tracks (no keyswitching available, either), but you would be hard pressed for the winds, and brass would be very frustrating.

    The other major difference is in real-time control. There are several continuous controls available for each patch in GPO, some having as many as four or five. In the PO you get volume on CC11 (which is not even tied to timbre, like it is in GPO). But, volume is also tied to key velocity - which I NEVER realized was so limiting until I Gary showed me the light. That's it, though.

    So, with effort, you will be able to do some decent work with the PO, but with the same amount of effort, and maybe a little less, you will be able to do much better work with full GPO. At $150, it should be a no-brainer. BTW, if you get GPO and not Sonar, what will you be using for sequencing?

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