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Topic: Too many problems with GPO....

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  1. #1

    Too many problems with GPO....

    I have no idea if I'm justified in creating a new thread for this or if this is even the right forum but I've already spent enough time scouring threads to find solutions to the issues I've had with GPO. I purchased GPO last week and I have to say that working with it has been a nightmare. I'm running Sonar 6 on Windows XP on a Core 2 Duo with 3 Gigs of Ram. Let me just say that in the past week I've probably spent close to 25 hours trying to make this worth my time and money and I still don't have anything to show for it.

    My biggest problem as of late is the fact that for some reason some tracks just don't work. I start out loading a preset ensemble and I only do this because the ambience effect refuses to work if I load instruments individually. I load a string ensemble and then when I want to add a harp and some percussion to last 3 empty slots sometimes they just don't work. On the track in Sonar I've made sure that the output is Auria and it's set to the proper channel. I click notes on the staff of the particular track in Sonar yet I hear nothing. When I open up Auria the piano keys are not moving. Here's what's really strange. Just today I put percussion on track 15 and the keys WERE moving but to the notes of another track. I checked the track properties and there's no reason for it to have done that. Everything was assigned properly in Sonar. I'm pretty sure the problem is the Auria player.

    And that's just my latest problem. I've spent hours upon hours trying to get realism out of the strings. (I have to admit that the brass, with the exception of the Tuba, sounds excellent!) The attack is way too strong and the only solution for someone who doesn't play piano is to manually change the velocity of every single note. Even still no matter how hard I try some of the attacks are way too strong on the viola and no matter how low I set it's velocity it still sounds choppy.

    Also, the vibrato on the strings has gotta go and I know there's nothing that can be done about it. It creates unnecessary tension when other instruments are playing in unison. (Who would've thought?) I purchased the GPO library because I thought it would allow for the most options but now I'm wishing I went with another library. Also, It seems like some of the notes in the woodwinds are louder than others on the same instrument.

    I heard that GPO had the absolut best costumer support so I figured I would go ahead and try the virtue of the forums. Please, if there's anyone out there, respond to my distress signal.

  2. #2

    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane Grant View Post
    I start out loading a preset ensemble and I only do this because the ambience effect refuses to work if I load instruments individually.
    This is a design choice; Since reverb level depends on the context and user taste, ARIA leaves the user the opportunity to save his/her own Ensembles with sends levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane Grant View Post
    I load a string ensemble and then when I want to add a harp and some percussion to last 3 empty slots sometimes they just don't work. On the track in Sonar I've made sure that the output is Auria and it's set to the proper channel. I click notes on the staff of the particular track in Sonar yet I hear nothing. When I open up Auria the piano keys are not moving. Here's what's really strange. Just today I put percussion on track 15 and the keys WERE moving but to the notes of another track. I checked the track properties and there's no reason for it to have done that. Everything was assigned properly in Sonar. I'm pretty sure the problem is the Auria player.
    1- Make sure you uncheck the box “Zero controllers when play stops” in the MIDI Out tab of the Project Options menu. Many Instruments in GPO have their volume/ velocity controlled by the mod wheel and by default, Sonar shuts it down on stopping playback.
    2- Do you use the multi-out version of the plugin? Make sure that the output of the instruments you can't hear are routed to an active audio track in Sonar. The audio outs are selectable in the grey bar under the instrument's name. They're arranged in pairs and look like 1/2, 3/4 etc.
    3- The slot number and channel number can be different. If you want an instrument in slot 15 to respond to MIDI chan. 15, make sure it's set accordingly in the grey bar under the instrument's name. This is often overlooked

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane Grant View Post
    The attack is way too strong and the only solution for someone who doesn't play piano is to manually change the velocity of every single note. Even still no matter how hard I try some of the attacks are way too strong on the viola and no matter how low I set it's velocity it still sounds choppy.
    Don't forget to use the mod wheel again. It can smooth things out for you. Instead of individually changing the velocity of every note, try selecting a bunch of notes and use Scale Velocity of the Process menu. Enter the same value in the Begin and End boxes for a constant control or a bigger value in the End box for a crescendo or vice versa for a decrescendo.

    Hope this helps!
    Éric Patenaude, Plogue Art et Technologie Inc.
    Montreal. http://www.plogue.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    Is sounds like you are setting up the tracks correctly in Sonar. Make sure that you have highlighted the correct track though in Sonar to hear your playback. I sometimes will add an instrument and then forget to click in the MIDI track so it is playing another instrument especially as I go from track view to piano roll view.

    I recommend using one of the reverbs that come with Sonar instead of one built into ARIA. I normally build up my own instruments instead of using the multis so I have just the instruments I need. Normally I use for 4 instances of ARIA for orchestral musicwith an instance for strings, another for percussion, one for brass and another for woodwinds.

    Which string patches have to strong of an attack? Are you using CC1 to control the amount of sustain? The higher CC1, then the less you should hear the attack in the Sustain+short patches.

    String vibrato is one of those things that is a personal preference. Many users of the Garritan Orchestral Strings (which is were the GPO strings are from) always wanted more vibrato than the recordings had. GPO uses one of the sounds that many users preferred in their recordings which was heavier in vibrato. The original GOS had patches that crossfaded from no vibrato to vibrato which allowed vibrato amount control. This will be part of GOS 2 when it gets released in the future. GPO contains enough strings to get started with but isn't intended for all situations.

    The woodwinds are pretty balanced on my system. I use them extensively without noticing notes sticking out.

    Jim

  4. #4

    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    Thanks for the advice Eric. I didn't even think about using the scale velocity tool.That cut down about an hour of unnecessary work note by note velocity changing. I don't know if it's just me but I've found I have to drop most of the attacks on the strings section and solos to a ridiculously low velocity if I want anything close to a smooth legato.

    As for the harp playing in my strings stead, I still have no idea what causes this. Sometimes Aria doesn't even recognize my keyboard even after selecting it in "tools".

    Jim, I totally agree with choosing cakewalk's reverb to Aria's. I always use cakewalk's reverb in the final mix. I just like to have some ambience to get an idea of what it will sound like before I mix it to a wav. I find ALL of the strings sections have too strong of an atttack but most notably the violas. The violins were pretty easy to fix. As for the volume being louder on certain notes. I find the Bb clarinet and the bassoon both have a few notes that are significantly quieter or have stronger attacks. I just mixed down a recording descending a scale. Obviously no 2 notes can be expected to have identical volume levels but there is definitely a volume fluctuation in a couple of notes. I actually really like the sounds of the woodwinds in this set as well. My biggest complaint is that I couldn't copy and paste the midi data and PRESTO have a better sounding recording. Instead I have to spend an excessive amount of time doctoring up the strings to get rid of the super nintendo sound.

    Something else, and maybe this is just a RAM issue, but every now and again when I click on Auria in the synth rack, the image is completely blank. It's actually grey. In order to get it back I can't just close out a project I have to restart SONAR altogether. I have no idea what that's about.

    Thanks for all the help so far!

  5. #5
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    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    Dane,

    I just loaded up the violas and didn't notice anything about the attacks compared to earlier versions of GPO. Make sure you have the auto legato mode enabled to cut the attack when playing legato. The other option is to use the sustain pedal to enable sustain mode. I would also recommend disabling the stereo stage option with the violas as it makes them sound not quite right.

    Sonar 6 has some VST redraw issues. This has been fixed in later versions of Sonar so you may want to think about of upgrading to a newer version.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    I can't say anything for earlier versions of Garritan but I find all the strings at 100 velocity have a ridiculous attack. (One hundred is the default velocity for all notes on my system.) I said sections but the solo viola was where I heard the loudest attack.

    I'm gonna be honest. I'm super new when it comes to using a midi controller. Typically I just click notes on a staff. For some reason though I can't have the same note connected to itself. In other words, if I put a middle C quarter note on the staff and then put another middle C on the next beat, for some reason it will cut the second note. If I make the second note anything other than the previous note it will work fine. This means that every time I want to repeat that note I have to subtract 1 from the duration value from the first note. (ex. if it's a quarter note I have to drop the value from 480 to 479)

    I still haven't found a cure for the fact that the reverb only works when you insert a preset group of instruments and only on channels in that group. Something that doesn't make sense to me is that if I insert a string ensamble and then change one of the sections to a piano I will have reverb on the piano. It's strange because I can't get reverb on an instrument any other way besides loading a preset group and then changing the instruments. If I just load a piano by itself I won't get reverb.

    I probably should update. Garritan gets choppy sometimes and I don't know if it's my processor, card, ram or sequencing software. I've got a celeron core 2 Duo with 3 gigs of ram and my sound card is an m-audio fast track USB. I'm not running anything super fast but it should be able to hold the load so possibly I do need to upgrade Sonar.

    So I've been wondering, Do most people insert GPO 2 or 3 times per composition in order to accommodate a full orchestra?

  7. #7
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    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    By default the strings are designed to have a heavier attack at 100. This is close to the top range of 127. Using a keyboard I have no problems getting lighter attacks. This is the advantage of using a keyboard to input notes as it's easy to vary the attacks of each note.

    If a note on the same pitch overlaps the next note, the next note will be cutoff. This is caused by the prior note note getting it's noteoff command. The first note needs to be made shorter so it doesn't overlap the 2nd note.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    I used the scale velocity process to put everything at a velocity of 1 and the attack still seems a bit much. A buddy of mine (The guy who introduced me to GPO) came over and also noticed the attack. He uses finale and told me that he had the same problem until he implemented slur lines. I've been looking for a way to use slur lines in Sonar but it looks like I can't. I would've thought that auto-legato would've cured it.

    I solved one of my earlier problems where I had one track playing different instruments simultaneously. I didn't realize that Auria's channels have their own track numbers to be assigned to. (I think someone said that too.)

    If only I could cure the issue with the attack.... It actually doesn't really bother me if I'm writing fast music. It's on super slow riffs that I notice it. If there is somewhere I can post an example I'll gladly do it.

    By the way, is it just me or is the snare drum ridiculously quiet?

  9. #9
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    Re: Too many problems with GPO....

    Make sure that you are overlapping the notes for the auto legato to work.

    Jim

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