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Topic: Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

  1. #1

    Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

    Moved to this forum as suggested. New to Garritan Personal Orchestra and Finale (2011) - lovin it but need feedback

    I am in music arranging heaven.

    Technical problems aside (like it took 2 days to get it anywhere near working), and the fact that I kept getting the automated question wrong to register for these forums...

    I've loaded up some of the scores I made in MuseScore to use in Finale with GPO4. Wow, the results are so impressive. I'm still trying to learn all the functionality, and I am sure there is so much more that I can do with these new toys.

    Anyway, here is a link to my files on soundcloud (the finale files all have finale in the title, there is more than a subtle difference between the old files!!).


    Really keen to hear your feedback - and much more importantly find out how I can make them better as I have a lot to learn!

  2. #2

    Re: Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

    And hello again...

    There's a lot of potential, and a lot of ground to cover the use of Finale and GPO4 - so much that it would be impossible to cover in even many posts.

    Finale's greatest feature is the Human Playback, and how that is integrated with GPO. I would recommend reading up on it in the manual and probably on Finale's forum.

    All of the articulation possibilities should be already set up in finale so that if you add the 'pizz.' articulation to the score, the patch will keyswitch to the pizzicato. For this to happen you need to be sure of certain things.

    1) All GPO4 instruments loaded need to be the notation versions - these all begin with 'n-'
    2) All patches that you need/want to respond to articulation changes need to be the KS patches (keyswitches)
    3) Human playback needs to be turned on, and you may need to 'test' the feature by simply adding articulations to the score. Such are 'arco', then 'pizz.' Add accents to certain notes, trills, anything really. Make sure HP is responding to these.

    If you've already done that then perhaps we can go onto something more specific, or if you have questions about this let me know. However at the moment the pieces you've posted do seem to lack that 'human' factor. Standard MIDI files which are readily available on the web are a good starting point - but just one of those files needs to be tweaked a huge amount to stop it sounding like, well, MIDI. It's all too precise and perfectly quantized.

    Do you plan to compose your own material? Starting off with something straightforward just to get the hang of Finale and giving even a single line melody some 'feeling' is a good starting block.

    As an aside - here is an example of what HP in Finale and GPO4 can do. Now bear in mind this was my very first piece I did in finale - it was my 'learning' piece you could say. But it'll give you an idea of some of the orchestration possibilites. The use of 'hairpins' <> for crecendos and diminuendos is also a very necessary practice to create smooth transitions between ppp and fff etc. for sustaining notes to swell or defuse.

    The Final March
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel

  3. #3

    Exclamation Re: Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

    I am really grateful for you to take the time out to give me so advice. I am using most of the articulation and dynamics tools that yuou mention (or at least as my old arrangements were in xml most of them seem to have transferred over to finale (i was previously using MuseScore). I've worked through some of the human playback settings, but it s still sounding a little 'standard'.

    I've started working through a simpler arrangement I did a little while ago, and the crescendos / hairpins etc seem to be making more of a difference now. Still lots of work to do, but I am so enjoying learning all the tricks and techniques.

    I do have some compositions of my own, but they need work on their own!

    I still can't get over how good your work is!

  4. #4

    Re: Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

    Hi, Thunderwolf

    What an exciting time for you!--starting to use GPO in Finale. And like you said, the difference between your old files and the new ones is very clear on your Soundcloud page.

    There are a number of Finale users here, advanced ones - you've already heard from "Plowking," one of our very proficient Finale users, and good stuff he's already passed on.

    You may have some luck using the Forum's search function to look up other threads about using GPO in Finale - I know the topic comes up with some regularity.

    Using Finale's famous "Human Playback" tool is going to be key at getting more natural recordings. Without it, there's no way to avoid that mechanical, overly perfect music-box effect, since the primary point of a notation program is to very accurately notate music.

    The first thing I listened to was the Lord High Executioner song from "The Mikado," since I'm a Gilbert and Sullivan fan. Knowing that piece as well as I do, what struck me was that the tempo changes seemed to be missing (the verses are usually much faster than what you have)--and that the whole thing was too legato instead of bright and crisp. That would be due to the notes being played at their face value, instead of being shortened, as they are actually played in performance.

    Another factor which makes that track and the others un-dynamic is the it sounds like the velocity values of the notes are all the same--da da da da da. It also looks like you've used a compressor - those .wav forms are very flat and unchanging, like in a pop rock song.

    BIG CAVEAT to my feedback - I'm primarily a sequencer user, Sonar in particular. I use Sibelius to generate notation when I need it, but there's no way I can squeeze tolerable recordings out of the program. I admire anyone who manages to make decent recordings from any notation program - In a program like Sonar, the experience of making music is so much more visceral, and it's easy to edit any and all MIDI data. It's the only way doing recordings makes sense for me, and I find the process logical, starting with recording tracks with my keyboard, on down to producing the audio in the Sonar mixer.

    SO - I don't have tips on how to squeeze more life out of Finale, I just know that Human Playback is critical, as I said earlier. However it's done, you need to start getting much more variety in your work, avoiding the constant volume level and notes played at their full duration - etc.

    The best part is that you have enthusiasm for what you're getting into, and I bet you'll eventually become a master at using Finale. Best of fortunes to you!


  5. #5

    Re: Very newbie needs encouragement and advice! Have a listen

    Thanks Randy. Some really useful feedback, really appreciated.

    Sigh, I agree about Behold the Lord...I am using human playback, but I think the setting must be wrong, because I have littered the piece with articulations, expressions etc, but they don't seem to be working.

    I seem (or at least hope) that I've had more success with a well known British TV Theme...


    Above all though I am so loving finale and GPO. It is such a huge step up from musescore and the old sound fonts I was using. I can't wait to get to the stage where I am much better (I know I'll never be as good as PlowKing for example, but I can but hope!!)

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