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Topic: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

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  1. #1

    Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Hi everyone!
    I would like this topic to be used for discussing how the folks made their Christmas song.
    Please share with us the following...

    What brand and model computer did you use?

    How much ram does it have?

    Did you use a notation program, and if so what program?

    Did you use a sequencing program and if so, what program?

    Can you show us screenshots or photos of your setup?

    Did you mix on speakers, headphones or both?

    When did you start working on your song?

    How many hours do you think it took to complete?

    Did you have someone help with your arranging, writing, mixing?

    Did you play the parts on a midi keyboard, if so what brand and model?

    Did you use the new ARIA version of GPO or the older Kontakt version?

    If you used the ARIA player, what features would you have most liked to have
    that are not currently present?.

    Anything else you want to share?

    Will you be making a song for next year's project?

    Please explain to us how fulfilling it has been to have your music on the Garritan Website for the whole world to enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Dan

  2. #2

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    YOUTUBE video showing how to use quotes in this forum...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Dz6BzGlopU

    Dan

  3. #3

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    OK, I'll start


    What brand and model computer did you use?
    Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 Ghz Quad Core Intel Zeon

    How much ram does it have?
    6 gigs

    Did you use a notation program, and if so what program?
    no

    Did you use a sequencing program and if so, what program?
    Digital Performer 7.21

    Can you show us screenshots or photos of your setup?
    sure, this first pic is a "screenshot" of all three monitors showing Silent Night.



    This is a picture of my favorite room in the house



    Did you mix on speakers, headphones or both?
    both

    When did you start working on your song?
    around June of this year

    How many hours do you think it took to complete?
    probably about 30 to 50 hours.

    Did you have someone help with your arranging, writing, mixing?
    no, but I am grateful for the late Johnnie Carl (Crystal Cathedral, Hour of Power) who created the arrangement a number of years ago. My arrangement is not identical to his since I pick out everything by ear but it certainly is reflective of his arrangement. Without any musical training or knowledge of printed scores, I have only my ears to trust, and I do think this recording faithfully reproduces the musical ideas of Johnnie's arrangement.

    Did you play the parts on a midi keyboard, if so what brand and model?
    Yes I played all the parts in real time on a Kurzweil K2000.

    Did you use the new ARIA version of GPO or the older Kontakt version?
    ARIA

    If you used the ARIA player, what features would you have most liked to have
    that are not currently present?
    L.E.D. type volume level meters adjacent to the faders.

    Anything else you want to share?
    Yes, I feel somewhat awkward when I create a song for this Annual project that incorporates the use of real voices. For the past few years, my songs have had a singer, and sometimes a real choir.
    This year's song is no different in that respect. As some of you may know, I am blessed to handle the recording and editing for The Ambassadors of Harmony. Don't confuse these guys with a barbershop quartet singing on a street corner outside the local pub. These guys are awesome... well,... they're the best in the world. Dr. Jim Henry is their director, and his son sang the first verse followed by his daughter singing the second verse. The GPO orchestra is silenced as the last verse is sung a cappella by Jim's two children and The Ambassadors. A big thanks to Dr. Jim Henry and his two children for their contribution and of course... The Ambassadors of Harmony!

    Each year we make Christmas music that embraces the sounds that Gary Garritan and his company have made for us. Even though it seems odd to finish the CD without any Garritan samples, it seems even more appropriate to end the CD with a reverence, and reflect on what is more important... the birth of Jesus,..... on that one Silent Night so long ago. I trust as you listen to the last few notes, it brings you a sense of real peace.

    Will you be making a song for next year's project?
    I plan on it, but I just don't know what I am going to do yet, you can bet I am already thinking about it.

    Please explain to us how fulfilling it has been to have your music on the Garritan Website for the whole world to enjoy.
    I am always humbled each year to have this opportunity with the Garritan family. I am also happy to be at the end of the list this year instead of first, hopefully folks won't think I am taking advantage and putting my song first. I have never been the one that decides the final order. Gary has a number of very experienced musicians around the world that help him decide the order.

    Thanks also to Franz Xavier Gruber.

    "from the internet"

    Silent Night!
    The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend
    Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!

    Thanks for reading, now maybe someone else can share their story.
    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    OK, I'll bite...

    What brand and model computer did you use?

    I am using a fine-tuned Systemax Pentium 4, 2.66 GHz computer that I had built back is 2002. Probably about time for an upgrade, but it continues to run flawlessly.

    How much ram does it have?

    2 GB. Pitiful by today’s standards, but it gets the job done.

    Did you use a notation program, and if so what program?

    I only use the very basic notation capabilities of Sonar, I play the parts in by keyboard, and make edits using the Sonar notation view.

    Did you use a sequencing program and if so, what program?

    I am using Sonar Producer, although I am still using version 3, which has been very stable for me.

    Can you show us screenshots or photos of your setup?

    Well, I could, but I’d have to do a whole lot of straightening up first. Suffice to say, it kind of looks like a smaller version of what Dan Kury has set up.

    Did you mix on speakers, headphones or both?

    Both, I use Event PS-5 monitors, and AKG K241 headphones. I also like to listen to the mix on the house stereo, in the car, etc. I use Har-Bal mastering software as a way to check the mix for frequency imbalances, and to adjust them if required.

    When did you start working on your song?

    I have been tied up with several other recording projects, so I didn’t actually get going until October 10.

    How many hours do you think it took to complete?

    Probably about 8 hours in total. I would have loved to spend more time on it, but I just couldn’t.

    Did you have someone help with your arranging, writing, mixing?

    My wife Sue has great ears, and I like to bounce my mixes off of her for review. Sometimes I get sort of numb to the obvious problems after listening to them over and over repeatedly.

    Did you play the parts on a midi keyboard, if so what brand and model?

    I usually play them on a Roland SK-88Pro keyboard, which is like a Roland Sound Canvas/keyboard combination. If I need to stretch out more, I bring out a Roland Fantom Xa that I use for gigging.

    Did you use the new ARIA version of GPO or the older Kontakt version?

    Aria. I really LOVE Aria….Garritan products used were GPO and Jazz/Big Band (for bass and drums).

    If you used the ARIA player, what features would you have most liked to have
    that are not currently present?.

    Nothing in particular, I like it just the way it is.

    Anything else you want to share?

    I always like to include some sort of “real” instrument in the mix, be it some sort of guitar, or vocals, or in the case of this year’s song, a steel guitar, windchimes and some cymbal swells. I find that the sense of realism of the Garritan products is greatly increased when blending in these other textures.

    Will you be making a song for next year's project?

    Hopefully, I’ve only missed one year so far since we started doing this. It’s something I really look forward to each year.

    Please explain to us how fulfilling it has been to have your music on the Garritan Website for the whole world to enjoy.

    I love being part of the Garritan community, and it is extremely rewarding to have my music presented in the company of so many accomplished musicians and arrangers. Most people are familiar with my work as a singer/electric guitarist, but what I really love is recording, and making new arrangements of songs. It’s fun to be able to step out of the guitar-slinger role and do something more orchestral and different. Thank you to Gary and Dan, and everyone else involved, for making that possible!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    What brand and model computer did you use?
    Apple Mac Pro 2006 (1,1) Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    How much ram does it have?
    At the time of writing the original piece: 3 GB
    When doing the arrangement for the album: 7 GB

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you use a notation program, and if so what program?
    The piece was originally written with Sibelius 4 and was the last piece I wrote using that software.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you use a sequencing program and if so, what program?
    The arrangement for the album was created with Pro Tools 8 M-Powered.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Can you show us screenshots or photos of your setup?
    While at Penn State (where the original piece was written):


    While in Florida (where the arrangement for the album was created):


    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you mix on speakers, headphones or both?
    I mixed this piece on Sony MDR-7506 headphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    When did you start working on your song?
    I started work on Celebration of Life in November of 2009.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    How many hours do you think it took to complete?
    I would say about 20-30 hours. I have videos somewhere showing the creation of this piece. I'll try to find them and toss them onto YouTube.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you have someone help with your arranging, writing, mixing?
    Besides any final mixing that Dan did for the album, the entire piece was written solo.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you play the parts on a midi keyboard, if so what brand and model?
    None of the parts in the song were done on a MIDI keyboard. It was all inputted via mouse. However, the original piece was devised on an upright piano in a basement of a small building next to my dorm.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Did you use the new ARIA version of GPO or the older Kontakt version?
    I used Kontakt 2.2 running GPO, JABB, and CoMB. Take note that I was still using Sibelius 4 (no VST capability) when I wrote this piece so I had to handle all of the routing myself and would run Kontakt in standalone.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    If you used the ARIA player, what features would you have most liked to have
    that are not currently present?
    I did not use ARIA for this piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Anything else you want to share?
    Although the piece in the album is two minutes long, the full version is 6 minutes in length. The full version can be found here.

    I also have a bunch of my music on the same website at ColtonProvias.com/music.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Will you be making a song for next year's project?
    I already am! It's currently a work in progress but the latest recording is online.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Please explain to us how fulfilling it has been to have your music on the Garritan Website for the whole world to enjoy.
    As a musician, it's my goal to make music for people to enjoy. And having a way to showcase my music such as the Garritan website is quite a plus. It allows me to reach a larger audience than I would garner from just placing recordings on my website.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Thanks for sharing!
    You're welcome!
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  6. #6

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Super idea, Dpdan - thanks for starting this thread. It's really interesting reading the three responses up so far. I'll put one together too.

    Great stuff! Should be an inspiration for new folks to try their hands at a Christmas project for 2011.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Alright! My turn! lol.

    "What brand and model computer did you use?"

    I use a computer that I built myself. It's pretty good.


    "How much ram does it have?"

    3 GB


    "Did you use a notation program, and if so what program?"

    No notation program was used. I sequenced it all in.


    "Did you use a sequencing program and if so, what program?"

    Cakewalk Sonar 8


    "Can you show us screenshots or photos of your setup?"

    I have a picture but nowhere to upload it.


    "Did you mix on speakers, headphones or both?"

    Both.


    "When did you start working on your song?"

    The arrangement I wrote about 10 years ago. I sequenced it in about a week before I submitted it.


    "How many hours do you think it took to complete?"

    My guess is about 6 hrs.


    "Did you have someone help with your arranging, writing, mixing?"

    I didn't actually really "mix" it, but yeah I did what I could to make it sound it's best before DPDAN mastered it. I put some Altiverb on it (Walk Disney Hall).

    Did you play the parts on a midi keyboard, if so what brand and model?


    Did you use the new ARIA version of GPO or the older Kontakt version?

    I didn't use GPO. I used CoMB2 (with the new ARIA player). Nah, man I couldn't use Kontakt Player 2. It seems like each version of the Kontakt player NI came out with got worse and worse. Each one got bigger and more bloated than the last. When I load up a single instrument it shouldn't be akin to running a whole program. Plus, not to mention that ARIA player's got a certain sound to it. A fuller sound. I can't really explain it, but Kontakt Player makes Garritan libraries sound thin. Nah, ARIA player is the only way to go. It's efficient, easy to use, and sounds great!


    "If you used the ARIA player, what features would you have most liked to have
    that are not currently present?."

    I haven't used it long enough to yet be able to answer that.


    "Anything else you want to share?"

    Yeah. I'm glad I got to contribute to this. I want to especially thank Dan for allowing me to submit something after the deadline was already over. I really appreciate it and next year I'll send my submission on time. I had intended on sending something a long time ago but I got very sidetracked (lots of stressful events, etc.). I wanted to contribute something different from the norm. I don't see very many symphonic band demos on here and so I wanted to put together a demo for band not only to do something different, but to show off the capabilities of CoMB2 which is actually my favorite Garritan library.


    "Will you be making a song for next year's project?"

    I certainly hope so!
    Garam Heo, Contemporary Christian Artist
    Music produced by Christopher and Craig Reeves
    http://www.garamheo.com
    http://www.youtube.com/GaramHeoMusic
    SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND JOIN OUR MAILING LIST FOR A FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD!

  8. #8

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Thanks everyone!
    I love pictures,

    you know each one is worth a thousand words

  9. #9

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Hey, Dan--- I'm gathering info together for a post here, and just now auditioned the multi-quote technique you show at You Tube--Er, can't get it to work. I see in your post you didn't use multi-quotes--so, I guess some steps are missing? The only way I can get the fancy multi-quotes to show up like on CJ's post is to laboriously copy and paste the opening and ending quote code over and over.

    I think I'll stick with my trademarked way of using quotes, italics, and dot dot dots. That works.

    I'll be up here on this thread ere the day is done.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: Creating your Christmas song for the Garritan Community Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I see in your post you didn't use multi-quotes--so, I guess some steps are missing? The only way I can get the fancy multi-quotes to show up like on CJ's post is to laboriously copy and paste the opening and ending quote code over and over.
    Randy
    Hi Randy,
    I have never seen a "multi-quotes" option.

    If I know Colton, (CJ) he takes the laborious time to copy and paste tons of text to make individual quotes.

    It's just not worth the time IMO.
    Maybe Colton can tell us something we don't know
    Dan

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