Hi, my name is Kristofor Gieske. For some (okay, a lot) background info: I am a just-out-of-high-school-heading-into-college student with at least an amateur interest in composing. I've studied piano for 10 years, with 4 or 5 years of violin as well. Several years ago, I started playing around with writing music, mainly with the grand idea of writing original movie scores for my films (another major hobby of mine). I quickly discovered being the next John Williams doesn't happen overnight. Through piano, I started entering in contests to develop my compositional skill and have been moderately successful in writing a few piano solos. Also, last summer I attended a "composing camp" where I worked with professional composers and other students.
I have tried out a variety of notation software to assist in composing and hearing my compositions, with none satisfying me completely. Eventually, however, I bit the bullet and bought Finale 2010...figuring that should be more than enough for my composing needs.
One of the major considerations behind that choice was the GPO samples included with Finale. (I've gotten a wee bit tired of MIDI...) Playback is important to me, as my main method of composing is hearing what sounds good.
I have a lot of questions to ask, but I will try to hold myself to a minimum in this introductory post.
GPO sounds better than MIDI by default, especially with HP in Finale, but what I got certainly doesn't come close to what the demos are like on the GPO and Finale site. Where do I start to working towards achieving the best sound with Finale/GPO?
In particular:Is there a Resource page with some more in depth tutorials on getting started with GPO in Finale?
Should I get a MIDI controller to get the best out of GPO?
How can I get more dynamic variance out of Finale? Right now, it's all pretty quiet and kind of wimpy. Base note value in HP preferences doesn't seem to do much.
If you are composing for a small ensemble is it better to use the "Solo" instruments to represent one single instrument, or the "Player 1" etc instruments?
How/where can I upload audio samples of songs and such to get feedback?
And...How do they do those fantastic demos the site has? Those songs have an incredible amount of feeling for a bunch of 1s and 0s.
Sorry for the long post.