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Topic: Newbie with questions

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  1. #1
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    Question Newbie with questions

    I recently purchased GPO4 from Cakewalk's site to see if I could get more expression from my orchestral pieces. I like what I hear so far, but I'm afraid a few things seem to be amiss.

    I guess I was disappointed when I noticed there weren't as many patches as I thought. I remember seeing a demo video on ZREO (can't remember which post; wish I could find it again), showcasing some sort of string patch(es), and I was wondering if that was part of this program.

    In any case, I guess I was wondering: is it possible to make any of the horns "growl" on a specific note? I'd really like to add this aggressive touch to a few pieces.

    Also, why isn't the percussion kit mapped to General MIDI standards? That would make it easier to listen to select MIDIs in the ARIA player. It wouldn't hurt to have this as a separate patch, anyway; is there any way that I can stick this map in manually?

    Thanks for any info you can give... I hope to master this software soon, so that I can produce some really impressive orchestral sounds!

  2. #2

    Re: Newbie with questions

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    In GPO4 there's the percussion patch that features a collection of orchestral percussion in a range across the keyboard, and then there are also single patch versions of the percussions too. No library that I've currently used has ever mapped anything to general MIDI standards (but I may be wrong on this or just didn't notice or look for it).

    It's always been a case of freedom to assign and use what you want, so not being forced to map 'drums' to channel 10 for example. They don't work with those restrictions and so dropping general MIDI files in will not simply produce a nicely premapped set. (I may be way off here on what you were asking though - so ignore me if I am :-) )

    For the 'growl' sound, it seems you mean more than just a harsh strong attack (the way to increase attack in GPO4 on sustain instruments is to use 'velocity' - the higher the vel. the stronger the attack) - But the growl could be an effect? Such things are sometimes included in certain libraries as additional patches. Brass bends for example in Project Sam Symphobia are one. Low brass can certainly growl at times. A sharp attack and quick cresc. perhaps.

    But such effects are sometimes very hard to reproduce, hence the likes of Project Sam and perhaps a small number of other libraries that include patches dedicated to these effects. Hopefully I've answered some of what you wanted.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie with questions

    By a growl do you mean flutter tonguing?

  4. #4
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    Re: Newbie with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner View Post
    By a growl do you mean flutter tonguing?
    Right, I think so. And the thing is, I know there's a keyswitch for the woodwinds for that, but none for the brass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking
    For the 'growl' sound, it seems you mean more than just a harsh strong attack (the way to increase attack in GPO4 on sustain instruments is to use 'velocity' - the higher the vel. the stronger the attack) - But the growl could be an effect? Such things are sometimes included in certain libraries as additional patches. Brass bends for example in Project Sam Symphobia are one. Low brass can certainly growl at times. A sharp attack and quick cresc. perhaps.
    But such effects are sometimes very hard to reproduce, hence the likes of Project Sam and perhaps a small number of other libraries that include patches dedicated to these effects.
    You're right too, Plowking, but I was disappointed that I couldn't do it that way either, especially on the "aggressive" patches...
    I'll look myself, but do you know where these extra patches might be found? (Are they also compatible with ARIA? If not, I hope they're just VSTs that I can plug into SONAR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking
    In GPO4 there's the percussion patch that features a collection of orchestral percussion in a range across the keyboard, and then there are also single patch versions of the percussions too. No library that I've currently used has ever mapped anything to general MIDI standards .
    It's always been a case of freedom to assign and use what you want, so not being forced to map 'drums' to channel 10 for example. They don't work with those restrictions and so dropping general MIDI files in will not simply produce a nicely premapped set.
    But that's just what I mean: why DON'T they have a map for GM? I don't care that they have their own map; in fact, like I said, I just want a separate map so that I can hear orchestral MIDIs in the ARIA player properly.
    Your skill in reading has increased by 2 points.

  5. #5

    Re: Newbie with questions

    You won't find any aria instrument patches for it. Note even, the absence of staccato patches for the brass.

    There may be a tutorial somewhere on the web explaining how to simulate the effect in a DAW.

    As for the general MIDI map, taking anyones MIDI file that they produced using the standard MIDI sounds of their keyboard or soundcard will never transfer to any libraries that I know of. All you can do is load up the midi and it should appear split apart track by track, and hopefully named accordingly, flutes, trumpets, etc. so that you can start assigning instruments yourself.

    But you learn a lot more by creating your own MIDI files.
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  6. #6

    Re: Newbie with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Friendly Floyd View Post
    In any case, I guess I was wondering: is it possible to make any of the horns "growl" on a specific note? I'd really like to add this aggressive touch to a few pieces.

    Also, why isn't the percussion kit mapped to General MIDI standards? That would make it easier to listen to select MIDIs in the ARIA player.
    I hate to say this, since you already own GPO4... but you have somewhat the wrong tool for the job(s).

    Garritan Jazz and Big Band contains flutter-tongue samples for wind and brass instruments; GPO seems to concentrate on more straightforward “classical” playing. I looked at the offerings and wished there were a single “master” set that applied all the articulations, vibrato control, etc. of JABB to all the instruments in GPO/JABB/CAMB... but it doesn’t exist, so I wound up with GPO4+JABB3. Still can’t control the vibrato on a solo oboe or cello, though. Maybe someday...

    As for General MIDI — given the controls on Garritan libraries, I don’t think you’re ever going to drop in a General MIDI file and get good results. I believe this will be true of any of the “professional” libraries. General MIDI, frankly, is pretty much an obsolete idea — as a “least common denominator” standard, it’s too limited for music creators; while for music consumers, the file size constraints that once made fully-rendered audio (like mp3 or FLAC files) impractical are rarely of concern now, so MIDI (General or otherwise) is just an unnecessary complication.

    So, anyway, as far as I can tell, most (if not all) professional libraries and virtual instruments don’t even attempt to stay General MIDI compatible. It would be nice to be able to load any old MIDI file and get wonderful, enhanced results from whatever great new library you’re using... but that was never going to happen.

    I would think there should be a good, free GM soundbank in the sfz format (which Aria uses) out there somewhere, but I had no luck finding one in a quick search. If one exists, that might be your best bet for playing pre-existing MIDI files... you could then, with some work, migrate individual instruments to the more controllable GPO sounds as desired.

  7. #7

    Re: Newbie with questions

    Hi, Floyd - Your original post sparked some really good feedback. Bet you found it useful - I'm wondering how you're getting on with things now. Have you had a chance to do some work with GPO since you posted this earlier?

    I see you use Sonar - There's the Drum Map facility in Sonar for re-mapping notes the way you want - But if you've taken a good look at the Percussion layout in GPO, you'd see how there's no way it could ever fit the much more simplistic GM percussion layout. Like the Tympani has alternating left hand and right hand samples two octaves apart so you can play them realistically on a keyboard - that's great programming, beyond what GM ever provided.

    Rather than wanting to just run GM MIDI files through a synth, GPO's main appeal is to people who want to compose music, and/or build up an emulation of classical pieces from scratch. The wide open possibilities in GPO's programming makes that possible.

    As has been said on this thread, GPO's instruments lend themselves to classical orchestral pieces -there aren't the effect patches like you're talking about. Those kinds of things, like the flutter tongue growl - those are rather icing-on-the-cake bits that shouldn't be critical to your ability to write some music. GPO offers a Lot for you to work with if you dig in--And hope you have.

    Come back and tell us how you're doing.

    Randy

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