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Topic: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

  1. #1

    Earthbound(Original song) - My first gpo4 song

    Earthbound - Original song

    Ever since I found out some of my favorite songs were made using gpo4, I've
    been on a mission to use purely gpo. I've had a real hard time getting a good
    sound in gpo4 thanks to lack of knowledge. I don't have any music education other then
    online reading and I just started composing a few years ago. I don't use much
    articulation in this song. I have a hard enough time finishing a song without
    articulation. Its only 2min because I entered it into a contest.
    Would love to hear any suggestions on how to improve as a composer and with
    use of gpo4.

    I'm using purely gpo4 and garritan steinway basic. Samplitude 11 is my daw.


    Hope you enjoy it
    All the best,
    Earl George

  2. #2

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Hi Earl!
    Welcome to Northern Sounds!

    Thank you for sharing this with us here.
    While, it would be only my interpretation of your piece as to offer compositional advice,
    I will only offer suggestions that will help make your recording sound better.

    Join the club, I too have no music training except three months of piano lessons when I
    was seven. I am so glad you use a sequencing program so you can get in there and get your hands dirty editing the crap out of the midi data. GPO has changed my life, I started teaching myself midi when I got my first Mac computer and Digital Performer back in 2004.

    The notes of the Oboe need to be legato (notes connected) In the ARIA player, turn off "Auto-Legato". You can more accurately control the legato sound manually by using the info in the following advice.


    It is understood that when a wind instrument plays a number of successive legato phrases, only the first note of each phrase would have the sound of air attacking the instrument. After the first note is triggered, and before the second, you would apply (cc64) sustain for the full duration of the rest of that phrase. When the next phrase is played, again, the sustain pedal is not on (released) to allow the attack sound.

    In short, anytime cc64 is on (full midi value of 127) ARIA will shave off the first part of the sound of each sample (attack). So, the first note would have cc64 off before the note is played, and while it is playing, (anytime before the next note) cc64 would be applied and held as long as the player can play notes in a given legato phrase, and with one breath. Make sure you experiment with the velocity of each and every note, so that none of them are the same. When you have cc64 applied, the velocity will not matter. Always make sure you have at least 50 - 60 cc value for velocities, otherwise the notes will pump un-naturally.

    Using cc64 to control legato sound does not connect notes automatically. It only affects the sound of the attack of notes when applied. If you have a legato line, make sure the notes are indeed connected, and experiment with overlapping them slightly. Depending on the sound loaded, using this same cc64 treatment to strings will make them sound smoother too.

    When I am teaching myself something, I say to myself,, "OK, if 22 sounds like this,...
    what does 127 sound like
    ?" ... Experiment experiment!

    OK I do have some composition advice .... when you are writing (playing) lines, pretend you have to breath into the instrument. When you are about to run out of breath, it probably is a good place to breath (gap in sound) and continue. Of course strings can play nonstop like many percussion instruments, but Brass and Woodwinds need to breath. I only suggest this because GPO's samples are all looped, meaning, a flute can play one note for an hour.

    The above tips will make your oboe and other "wind" instruments sound oh so much better!

    The other suggestion is the piano. Here again the velocities are too consistent making the piano part sound as though it is welcoming (at any moment) a driving rock and roll band to start head banging.

    Again, thanks for posting this and sharing, I hope my help has not been too confusing.
    Nice writing too!

  3. #3

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Great advice DPDAN. Thanks for taking the time. I will read what you said over and over
    and try to improve it.
    Again, very helpful info.

    All the best,

  4. #4

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Hey there Earl, glad to see you found NorthernSounds!

    As far as giving you advice, DPDAN will certainly be able to help you. If he says he can't, he's lying and you should use any means necessary to elicit his help, including torture.

    If the aforementioned method does not work, there are plenty of other members of the forum that create a great knowledge base that can help you. I know very little of sequencing programs, as I use notation (I have a tough time following the tech-side of music production ). So I'm here to simply compliment what you've done so far!

    You've certainly created a lush sound with this one! There's certainly something of an oriental feel to the melody line you've used, and it mixes well with the backdrop you've created through the strings and piano.

    Glad to hear it, and hope to hear more from you later! Thanks for posting!

    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  5. #5

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    DPdan I got a question. You said make sure velocity on each note is different. But if its legato it doesn't matter. Does that mean don't worry about velocity on the oboe because the whole things legato?

    Other then that, is this what you meant about legato and breath>>

    Also... do you think the trumpet section needs legato? I like the semi Staccato sound of trumpets
    with an attack on each note. Is that unrealistic?

    Also I think I was messin with piano velocity before and the song lost something and I chose to stick with even velocitys. I'm still gonna attempt messing with piano velocitys again though. I wanna make it sound pollished as possible and keep improving on technique.

  6. #6

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Thanks Michael,

    Interesting you heard oriental. I aim to have a renaissance sound but now that
    you mention it I can hear how it sounds oriental at parts.


  7. #7

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    AWE SHUCKS Michael

    Earl, you got it!

    I think the velocity does make some difference even with cc64 applied,
    but you should also experiment with Auto-Legato in GPO4, it saves a lot of time.

    I know what you mean about punchy trumpets and brass. Those too will benefit from a smooth sounding legato, especially if the brass instrument is playing a solo instrument in the piece. However you achieve it, I think it all comes down to choosing the right instrument, and as far as brass is concerned, definitely try the Sam Brass instruments in GPO, they are stereo and are much more useful for Con Ballso sound he he

    For the piano, sometimes we can get away with just randomizing the velocities by 5-25% try various settings.
    I know very little about terminology with orchestral stuff and am getting better but.. Con Ballso is my own made up original term, it means to play Con (with) Balls
    he he he he did I really just say that? oh boy!


  8. #8

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    K, I added 7 percent random on lead piano velocity. I left the piano chord chomps even cus it didnt sound right uneven. I also added humanization on lead piano. I applied your advice to the oboe with the exception of note velocitys, I'll mess with that later.

    Heres current build if you wanna listen. Does it work?


    All brass has been projectsam btw.

    Still open to all the advice I can get.

    Last edited by ome248; 08-30-2010 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Piano a lil too loud

  9. #9

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    AWE SHUCKS Michael
    Con Ballso he he
    I dont get it but im laughing cus I got a feelin its hilarious

  10. #10

    Re: Earthbound - My first gpo4 song

    Quote Originally Posted by sanyarem View Post
    as I use notation (I have a tough time following the tech-side of music production )
    I just bought notation software recently to learn more articulation and unfortunately it dosnt even seem most the articulation works in it.
    I got notion SLE for garritan orchestra

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