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Topic: Newbie help please

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  1. #1

    Newbie help please

    Hello,

    I am new to everything related to these things and want to keep this post short so people will actually read it and answer. If it matters my primary focus is live playing at church.

    1) I found out about Garritan when I started learning about the EWI USB a week or so ago. If i go with an EWI USB will I be giving up/ missing out on some things I could do with a keyboard or other controller? What type of controller would you suggest as best overall?

    2) How do you suggest I learn more about the technical side of things that I would need in order to properly use the libraries for live perfromance, and also to make my own tracks to play along with or compose songs etc.

    3) How do you suggest I learn more about music? I played saxophone in middle school, and other insturments as a kid, but never really learned music. I don't know music theory, don't know how to improvise, don't really know which notes sound nice together and so on. Where should I start?

    4) Do I need other software to properly use Garrtians sound libraries?

    Thank you very much! I don't know much about Garritan or any of their competetiors, but I just get a "feeling" from Garritan somehow that these are people that I want to stick with and be a part of, and it seems from some of the posts that I have read that you all agree as well. Garritan seems like a great company, hopefully this holds true , but I am excited about it and the possibilities these things bring.

    Thank you! - Jason

    Check out this great short video starring Kirk Cameron as one of the voices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCSUKIhjevo

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie help please

    Well, Jason, you have asked quite a lot, and there are no simple answers. For the moment, I will respond to number 4.

    The Garritan Libraries are exactly that, libraries of sampled sounds. But to use them, you need a midi device of some sort. There are a variety of them around. I strongly recommend a midi controller keyboard. Again, there is a large variety, wide price range. If your main interest is church organ you can do well with a 61 note keyboard, such as the Oxygen 61, although even when writing organ music, I usually use my 88 key controller. For many (most) Garritan samples, a mod wheel is useful, although I have never used one. For piano and organ, my primary interest, it is of no value.

    You can use the controller keyboard to enter the music for which you are planning to use the Garritan samples. You can also enter the notes with computer keyboard or mouse. Once it is entered, you can modify at will until you are satisfied.

    There is a wide price range in the midi programs. Many people, including me, use Sonar, because it is quite flexible and thorough, not too difficult to learn, and can be used to export music as wav files or to generate audio dvd's. Sonar contains a rudimentary notation function. You can export Sonar created midi files to a good notation program, such as Sibelius, which I use, and which is easy to learn, or as many others use, Finale, which may be better, maybe not, but is more difficult to learn. Some people find it convenient to use only Sibelius or Finale, and do well, but I find it better to use both a midi program and a notation program, even though Sibelius contains some midi function and Sonar contains some notation function. What you will use is for you to determine. Explore carefully, as the good stuff is not cheap. Best bet is to buy the most expensive you can afford.

    Garritan Libraries are the best you can find in terms of quality and price. There are probably better sound available, but they can be incredibly expensive. Garritan quality and price combination will be very hard to beat. Additionally, you can get all the help you need.

    Main consideration is find out as much as you can before you buy!!!

    How to learn music etc is a big question, and I will think about a way for you. I expect you will hear from others after they think about your post.

    Richard

  3. #3

    Re: Newbie help please

    Welcome, Jason,

    1. MIDI music in a whole new world to explore. You'll have the most fun if you have at least a 61 key MIDI keyboard with pitch bend and modulation wheel. Also if the keyboard has some other configurable controllers, that's very useful. The Oxygen 61 is such a keyboard. If you are a wind player, you might want to get an EWI USB, which is very affordable and using that you can feel as a wind player, allowing other kind of music than what you'd do with a keyboard.

    2. Use the manual, but Garritan software is so easy to use you'd hardly need that.

    3. Find a music school or teacher who teaches jazz. Jazz theory and jazz improvization is a very good base for any music.

    4. I suggest to get a low-latency sound card (aka audio interface), it can be an external USB one if you are on a laptop PC. Software-wise get a DAW software like Cakewalk Sonar. Also make sure you check free soft synths, like the Kontakt Player with its downloadable factory instruments, the Hauptwerk pipe organ simulator and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasoncfx View Post
    Hello,

    I am new to everything related to these things and want to keep this post short so people will actually read it and answer. If it matters my primary focus is live playing at church.

    1) I found out about Garritan when I started learning about the EWI USB a week or so ago. If i go with an EWI USB will I be giving up/ missing out on some things I could do with a keyboard or other controller? What type of controller would you suggest as best overall?

    2) How do you suggest I learn more about the technical side of things that I would need in order to properly use the libraries for live perfromance, and also to make my own tracks to play along with or compose songs etc.

    3) How do you suggest I learn more about music? I played saxophone in middle school, and other insturments as a kid, but never really learned music. I don't know music theory, don't know how to improvise, don't really know which notes sound nice together and so on. Where should I start?

    4) Do I need other software to properly use Garrtians sound libraries?

    Thank you very much! I don't know much about Garritan or any of their competetiors, but I just get a "feeling" from Garritan somehow that these are people that I want to stick with and be a part of, and it seems from some of the posts that I have read that you all agree as well. Garritan seems like a great company, hopefully this holds true , but I am excited about it and the possibilities these things bring.

    Thank you! - Jason

    Check out this great short video starring Kirk Cameron as one of the voices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCSUKIhjevo

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