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Topic: GPO4, VSL and Notion 3

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  1. #1

    Question GPO4, VSL and Notion 3

    I just joined the forum.

    I have been composing orchestral scores using Notion 3, using its samples from London Symphony Orchestra. For some reason, I have become dissatisfied with the solo strings. To my ear, the sound is "electronic" and far from what it should be. (I could have sworn the strings in Notion 2 were much better, but Notion 3 can play the Notion 2 samples, and they aren't better, at least when played via Notion 3.)

    In speaking with tech support, he indicated that he agreed that Notion's solo strings aren't his favorite. He suggested that I consider Vienna Symphonic Library Special Edition, where Notion 3 can be used as the composing tool. I am considering this option.

    I saw today that Notion 3 can also work with other libraries, including, if I understand correctly, GPO4.

    I have no experience with libraries other than the Notion 3 libraries. I have absolutely no idea what sample libraries will be more satisfactory, especially with strings. I know that I am on a forum of dedicated GPO fans, yet it would be very much appreciated if I could receive some unvarnished advice on which direction to go. (I suppose, too, it would be helpful, but not necessary, if anyone is actually using GPO4 with Notion 3 and could give me their feedback as well.)

    Thanks!

    Steve

  2. #2

    Re: GPO4, VSL and Notion 3

    Hey Steve,

    It's ironic that I was looking through the Garritan forums tonight (I usually spend most of my online time on the Notion or Cockos forums). At any rate, I'm a big Notion3 and Garritan libraries fan; you can use GPO4 with Notion3 with customized rules (I've created my own rule set using GPO4 in Notion3 (I've tweaked some of the default rules to utilize more of GPO4's features and playback functionality), and I'd be happy to share those rules files if you'd like.

    The down side with Notion3 as a sampler interface is that they really only support four third party VSTis at the moment (Vienna libraries, GPO4 [note that they support Aria, but they don't have instrument defaults for any library other than GPO4], EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, and Miroslav Philharmonik). You can use other VSTis and create rules for those VSTis, but the rules will apply to every instance of the VSTi (the four supported libraries allow for individual rule sets per instrument), but you can't really apply playback rules a single instrument in any other VSTi.

    As far as strings go, I like GPO strings simply because tweaking certain parameters can emulate most bow on string playing techniques; however, it takes a lot of coding/tweaking with the rules files if you want to emulate these techniques in Notion3. Basically, I like the sound of the GPO4 solo strings, but you may find them too mechanical using Notion's default playback rules. You may find a better "out of the box" solution with one of the other supported libraries.

  3. #3

    Re: GPO4, VSL and Notion 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Composed View Post
    I saw today that Notion 3 can also work with other libraries, including, if I understand correctly, GPO4.
    I have no experience with libraries other than the Notion 3 libraries. I have absolutely no idea what sample libraries will be more satisfactory, especially with strings. I know that I am on a forum of dedicated GPO fans, yet it would be very much appreciated if I could receive some unvarnished advice on which direction to go. (I suppose, too, it would be helpful, but not necessary, if anyone is actually using GPO4 with Notion 3 and could give me their feedback as well.)

    Steve
    If you're happy with the range of articulations available with the LSO set in Notion, the strings in GPO4 should suit you fine in that regard. I'm not really wild about any of the LSO stuff, soundwise...i greatly prefer GPO. that said, the LSO lib is pretty easy on resources, and is great for sketches, etc.
    In terms of how it actually works, after you install GPO4, and add it as a vsti in Notion, the appropriate instruments appear in score setup. you then select whatever instrument/staff you want to add, and your articulations, etc work just like they do with LSO. so, in that sense it's pretty straightforward. there's not really any functional change, it just sounds better


    Quote Originally Posted by pcartwright View Post
    The down side with Notion3 as a sampler interface is that they really only support four third party VSTis at the moment (Vienna libraries, GPO4 [note that they support Aria, but they don't have instrument defaults for any library other than GPO4], EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, and Miroslav Philharmonik).
    a minor clarification, afaik, only the Vienna SE libraries are directly supported. you could probably add the big box stuff, but it would probably require rules tweaking, etc.

    As far as strings go, I like GPO strings simply because tweaking certain parameters can emulate most bow on string playing techniques; however, it takes a lot of coding/tweaking with the rules files if you want to emulate these techniques in Notion3. Basically, I like the sound of the GPO4 solo strings, but you may find them too mechanical using Notion's default playback rules. You may find a better "out of the box" solution with one of the other supported libraries.
    gpo is fantastically expressive, imo. unfortunately, the real keys to lifelike performances are just not addressed in notion at this time (regardless of library, afaik). to be fair, notation in general isn't known for its ability to convey those sorts of nuances anyway. so regardless of the library you use, you'll likely run into the same problem, and the same workaround (custom rules) will apply. for now, anyway. cc editing has been requested as a feature, so we'll see!
    either way, if you're okay with the current level of expressiveness with the LSO stuff, GPO or any of the other libs will suit you fine, i'd suspect. listen to demos of each, and see which string sounds you tend to prefer overall, and choose from there.
    if you really demand more expressive performances, you'll likely have to edit them elsewhere (in a piano roll sequencer most likely) in order to really take advantage of the amount of control that gpo or most other libraries offer (generally via cc data).

    it's good to see you guys here...small world, eh?

    cheers!

    kell
    "...you get to drink from...THE FIREHOSE!!!"

  4. #4

    Re: GPO4, VSL and Notion 3

    Hi There! Just another notion3 and now GPO4 user since a few days ago. I am pretty happy with my new toys.

    I confess being a big fan of Notion, and I found GPO4 was an incredible deal for a library. Notion has still space to grow and improve, but it isn't an ordinary notation program - It already comes with some 10GB of London Symphonic Orchestra, and LSO or external sounds are played beautifully by the engine, which really plays legatos and almost all articulations without hassle.

    But one of the advantages of using an external library is that you can have custom rules for it, from dynamic tables to activating key switches, switching channels or shortening and extending duration of notes for different articulation purposes. Pcartwright's custom rules for GPO4, posted in the Notion Forum, work really well. They should be included in Notion installation.

    One minor flaw I found in GPO's solo strings is the lack of a non-playable tremolo. I had to go back to LSO to work on a string quartet that used plenty of tremolos. I would like that at least the 'notation' version of the solo strings behaved differently (i.e. with looped tremolos as the section strings).

    I still haven't found a better clarinet, and maybe a better french horn than Notion's. I found these particular sounds very detailed. The Cello solo is also beautiful, but other than that, GPO4 sounds like section strings, and of course the pianos seem far better. I think GPO and Notion have all you need for most orchestral work.

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