• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    The June 2010 edition of Sound-on-Sound Magazine has a review of GPO4. They reviewed one or two versions of GPO before. I hadn't seen it mentioned in these pages, so I thought I'd share the summary with you:

    PROS

    • Comprehensive instrumentation
    • Simple to use
    • CPU-friendly, instruments load very quickly
    • Inexpensive

    CONS

    • The lack of multiple dynamics reduces overal timbral subtlety, but at this price, who's complaining?

    In these cash-strapped times, an instrument that can create decent-sounding orchestral arrangements for less than £100 is a godsend. GPO4 doesn't have the range of articulations, multiple dynamic layers, built-in concert-hall sound or global stereo sampling of larger sound libraries, but its complete instrumentation, flexible "virtual ensemble" sizes and easy-on-the-ear reverb enable it to tackle full scores with aplomb. Cheap, cheerful, and highly effective.
    Theo

  2. #2

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    A very practical and honest review. It's one of the reasons I like the crew at Sound on Sound. I find them to be that way most of the time.

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  3. #3

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Good one, Theo!

    I would quibble with "...The lack of multiple dynamics..." because it's a bit vague. The writer is referring to libraries that have multiple velocity layers, but the most clever part of GPO's programming is the way filters do a good job of giving timbral variety depending on velocity, and also how the attack envelope is softened with lower velocities. That coupled with CC1 gives GPO more "multiple dynamics" in practice, if not a literal sense.

    Of course, those tools have to be used to bring out the best - If someone uses a limited velocity range and neglects CC1 - then the results are going to be more simple and bland.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    I agree with this review. Garritan may not be as realistic as some of the bigger (and more expensive) libraries out there, but considering that it only cost a fraction of the price it sounds amazingly good. It's nice to have a great product that's with in the price range for those who can't slap down 1.4K on JUST a string library... (not that I don't still want it )

    It's kind of like buying a Honda vs buying a Lamborghini. Ya, the honda may not look as cool, or have all the features of the Lamborghini, but it works, get's the job done, and is WAY more affordable.

  5. #5

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Just to build off of what Michael is saying, (And I don't know why I'm posting this hear because it is preaching to the choir. Perhaps someone new to Garritan products will see it and it will be helpful.) comparing GPO to the likes of EWQL is comparing apples to oranges.

    I get tired of other sites that beat on GPO for its `lack of features' and `lack of realism' and go on to praise the likes of HS, LASS, VE, etc. GPO was built to cater to the student of music who would like to be able to create some reasonable sample based pieces for various purposes that do not include high realism productions / reproductions. Gary has never positioned GPO to be in that category of product and never will. In my opinion he has over delivered for the market he has targeted with GPO.

    Hence, to expand directly on what Michael posted, purchasing GPO is like purchasing a Toyota Corrolla or other quality general transportation vehicle. The likes of HS, etc. are the equivalent of race cars built for racing. They do their job well, GPO does its job well. GPO would not be a good candidate for the Daytona 500 and an Indy Car would not be a good candidate to go grocery shopping with or to take the family to the movies with.

    Why people can't get that through their heads is beyond me. Maybe this post will help clarify for those new to GPO...

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  6. #6

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Excellent, Kevin and Michael.

    I think there's another factor when it comes to people arriving at an opinion of GPO or any musical library software - Folks tend to spend very little time actually exploring the possibilities. They'll open up a soft synth, plink some notes on their keyboard and listen to the sounds right out-of-the box, and base most and maybe all of their reaction/opinion on that.

    It's not a fair way to test any virtual instrument. People want to hear something that will be instantly Great "running a MIDI file through it" (a phrase I particularly abhor.) Owners of GPO and of any library that can be named, know that the particular controls and interface have to be thoroughly explored before the capabilities of the program can actually be determined.

    Some GPO users never really get beyond the instant-gratification stage, doing nothing with the long list of controllers which are the "secret" ingredient to making the instruments come to life. They'll maybe learn that CC1 controls volume, so they'll "insert a value" at the beginning of a track (a phrase we've all seen many times on the Garritan Forums) and think that's all there is to the task of controlling the volume. They'll insert notes on a quantized grid and wonder why the results aren't organic.

    In short, they'll do too little to unleash the possibilities of GPO, and blame the library for the results rather than their own inadequate interaction with it.

    People who say "I'm not interested in tweaking and making it sound great" may as well be using a humble General MIDI synth, like Sonar's TTS-1.

    Randy B.

  7. #7

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Since this thread has already veered slightly off from the original posting, I think I'll drive it even further OT.

    I'm not (quite) paranoid enough to think that Randy had me in mind when he made his comments, but some of his bad-guy characterizations fit me so I'd like to present a different view.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    ... Folks tend to spend very little time actually exploring the possibilities. They'll open up a soft synth, plink some notes on their keyboard and listen to the sounds right out-of-the box, and base most and maybe all of their reaction/opinion on that.
    My phrase-by-phrase reaction:
    spend very little time actually exploring the possibilities Yup.

    open up a soft synth Jargon that is not part of my vocabulary. I guess GPO is one of these.

    plink some notes on their keyboard I'll make this even worse: enter some notes into notation software using a computer keyboard. No MIDI keyboard in sight.

    listen to the sounds right out-of-the box, and base most and maybe all of their reaction/opinion on that Yup. And the reaction: pretty good. Good enough!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    It's not a fair way to test any virtual instrument. People want to hear something that will be instantly Great "running a MIDI file through it" (a phrase I particularly abhor.) Owners of GPO and of any library that can be named, know that the particular controls and interface have to be thoroughly explored before the capabilities of the program can actually be determined.
    And I don't find any argument with that, so I find the next statement a little offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Some GPO users never really get beyond the instant-gratification stage, doing nothing with the long list of controllers which are the "secret" ingredient to making the instruments come to life. They'll maybe learn that CC1 controls volume, so they'll "insert a value" at the beginning of a track (a phrase we've all seen many times on the Garritan Forums) and think that's all there is to the task of controlling the volume. They'll insert notes on a quantized grid and wonder why the results aren't organic.
    An unfair characterization, in my opinion. In fact, some of us (ok, maybe only one of use) have foregone gratification - accepted the out-of-the-box sound as the price for getting on with other things in life ... like composing rather than performing/producing.


    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    In short, they'll do too little to unleash the possibilities of GPO, ...
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    ... and blame the library for the results rather than their own inadequate interaction with it.
    Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    People who say "I'm not interested in tweaking and making it sound great" may as well be using a humble General MIDI synth, like Sonar's TTS-1.
    Another unfair characterization, I think. Few, if any, of my compositions will ever get live performances so I like hearing a reasonable sound coming out of my computer, but I'm not interested in taking the time to make it sound great because GPO already sounds pretty good. Maybe some other libraries may have some better out-of-the-box sounds so I'll check them out. Why not? Doesn't mean I have anything against Garritan products. In fact, I'll probably buy GOS2 when it comes out, sight unseen (or rather, sound unheard). COMB2, too, probably.

    I first tried composing when I was about 16 and fumbled around for the next 10 years producing not one completed piece. About 8 months ago (at age 63) I discovered notation software and sound libraries and am finally composing. I know I may have many years ahead of me, but I also know I may drop dead tomorrow. As far as I'm concerned, taking the time to produce (taking the time to learn how to produce) performance-quality sound is not time well spent; I should be spending that time composing.

    Pat

  8. #8

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Bit of a strange post there Pat,

    It is like you think Randy is aiming his post squarely at you. He is talking about a hypothetical generic and I think his comments are appropriate.

    Clearly everyone will be on a different point on each of the scales he describes to represent a different profile. In your case, it is great to see that you understand the trade-offs and what that means for your results. Some people, however, expect cake to appear before them, cake they can have, hold and eat, and have and hold. And eat.

  9. #9

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    I will go in record to say that GPO woodwinds are about as good as anything out there- price range not being a factor. I also think the inclusion of Sam brass has made a great improvement on GPO4.

  10. #10

    Re: GPO4 reviewed in Sound-on-Sound Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by davecos View Post
    I will go in record to say that GPO woodwinds are about as good as anything out there- price range not being a factor. I also think the inclusion of Sam brass has made a great improvement on GPO4.
    I agree. The woodwinds are solid, especially the solos, and the availability of the projectSam brass raises this library immensely.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •