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Topic: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

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  1. #1

    Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    Here's a way to instantly get a bigger, more powerful sound from GPO. It borrows one of the tricks to be found in the programming for Garritan Instant Orchestra.

    LAYERING INSTRUMENTS IN GPO FOR A MORE POWERFUL SOUND

    When you load an instance of ARIA with the instruments for your project, you can fill all 16 slots and the MIDI channels will be automatically set for you, 1 through 16. Often, this is how we leave the settings, because we want individual control for each instrument, and that requires having separate MIDI channels for each instrument.

    First, let's make sure we understand the instrument settings available in ARIA. Below is a screen shot of the controls directly under the slots in ARIA where instruments are loaded.



    From left to right:

    1) "Tune" - Click the "0" and drag to tune the instrument either up or down in "cents" to either purposely de-tune an instrument, or to bring it in tune with other instruments you're using.

    2) "Def" - Perhaps oddly named, this just stands for "Default." It's the control for the Pitch Bend range, so could have been labeled "Pitch" or "Bend." The default setting is for your Pitch Bend Wheel to bend notes a full step down either up or down. Click "Def" and you can choose different settings, either turning it off entirely, or setting it for different amounts, including up to a full octave bend up or down.

    3) "1/2" - This controls which audio out each slot/instrument is assigned to. The default setting is "1/2" - and that refers to mono channel 1 and mono channel 2, the two combined making the first pair of stereo outs available in ARIA. There are 16 available audio outs, and clicking on the "1/2" brings up all the other possibilities - 16 pairs of mono channels labeled on up to "31/32." Assigning each instrument to its own audio out gives you the opportunity of even more control over your music. If you develop the work flow of bouncing your MIDI tracks to audio before mixing, then it's essential you use all 16 outs and have 16 matching audio tracks in your software project file.

    4) "01" - Here's where the 16 possible MIDI channels for each instance of ARIA are chosen. The default is MIDI channel one. These channels are automatically set up for you as you load your instruments into ARIA. When you add more ARIA instances in your project, they each have their own discreet sets of 16 MIDI channels, so channel one in one instance only controls the associated instrument in that particular instance.

    With that background gone over, now comes the Tip's real subject - getting an instantly bigger sound from GPO or any other Garritan Library.

    By clicking that last control in the panel examined above, you can always re-assign any instrument to any MIDI channel you want, dictated by the needs of your project.

    But you can also have instruments share the same MIDI channel.

    That's the key to this Tip. If you have a solo Flute in slot one on MIDI channel one, for instance, you could add a Flute Group from COMB (Concert and Marching Band) in the second slot and assign it also to MIDI channel one. Now when you develop the MIDI track for Flutes, both instruments will be reading the data from the same track. Instant doubling of the sound.

    The same principal applies to most any instrument. French Horn solo coupled with French Horn Group, or with another Horn in GPO. Strings can usually benefit from thickening, so you could have each section of the strings re-inforced with Lush patches or Full Strings patches doubled on the same MIDI channel.

    Something you'll want to experiment with when layering your instruments like this, is to make subtle changes with the instrument slot's Tuning control. It's one of the oldest MIDI methods in the book, to get a bigger sound by having your layers just slightly out of tune with each other. It's an instant thickening trick, and when working with real world instrument samples, it emulates the real world situation where musicians are never precisely in tune with each other during a live performance.

    This is one thing that's done in the Ensemble patches for Garritan Instant Orchestra. Instruments are sometimes programmed to be on the same MIDI channel, instantly thickening the sound. Some patches come up with all of the instruments on the same MIDI channel, making a very large, complex sound instantly available. Often the instruments layered together this way in IO will be of several different instrument types. For instance the IO Ensemble "MultiGrand" has woodwinds, choir, and several different string patches all programmed on the same MIDI channel.

    One draw back of using this method is that all of the instruments will have precisely the same start time, since they're sharing the same MIDI data. One way of counter-acting that over-precision is to change the Attack time under the Controls tab in ARIA so that some instruments come in more slowly on the Note On events.

    The traditional way of layering sounds is to use separate MIDI tracks which may have the same notes, but which have been edited differently. Doing a simple offset of start times is the most common editing done - a simple shifting of tracks, so some are starting slightly ahead of its duplicate will help avoid the dreaded "Organ sound." But it takes a much longer time to set up projects with potentially dozens of MIDI tracks, with many being just slightly tweaked variations of other tracks.

    That's why this procedure of assigning instruments to the same MIDI channel can get you BIG results much more quickly and easily. Some users do this on a routine basis and manage a great deal of success working this way.

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    I do this all the time across libraries. For example I may have clarinet group 1, group 2 and group three going on the same line (with a solo clarinet as well) and detune each group very, very slightly to make the section sound bigger (and more like a large high school band clarinet section).
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  3. #3

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark View Post
    I do this all the time across libraries. For example I may have clarinet group 1, group 2 and group three going on the same line (with a solo clarinet as well) and detune each group very, very slightly to make the section sound bigger (and more like a large high school band clarinet section).
    Howdy, Chip - Thanks for the post.

    YOU were one of the inspirations for this thread. During one of our email chats back and forth, quite awhile ago you mentioned how you routinely layer your instruments like this. It's still something I do only once in awhile, but it's a slick trick, and feel all Garritan users could benefit from it - And I think it's possible quite a few have never tried this before.

    Also - I'm glad you brought up how you slightly de-tune the instruments. I think I neglected to put that in my post - I'll go make an edit. Thanks!

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    Randy,

    These tips of the week are just great and, IMHO, just what is needed for many beginners.
    They are a great contribution to the forum and you should be commended for them.

    The last is one I already use before going on to replicate then time shift tracks slightly.
    But it's a very quick way of "getting the feel" of something before more detailed work is done.

    The learning point, for me, was altering the note attack slightly, which I hadn't hitherto practised.
    I shall from now on, so a big thank you for that.

    Keep them coming, please, if you have the time and the inclination.
    I, for one, am most grateful.

    Kind regards,
    SysExJohn.

  5. #5

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    Jeeese Randy! You are an unlimited source of great info. I have saved this post and the one about the harmonica. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Jay

  6. #6

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Instant BIGness with GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    Randy,

    These tips of the week are just great and, IMHO, just what is needed for many beginners.
    They are a great contribution to the forum and you should be commended for them...

    Keep them coming, please, if you have the time and the inclination.
    I, for one, am most grateful.

    Kind regards,
    SysExJohn.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Jeeese Randy! You are an unlimited source of great info. I have saved this post and the one about the harmonica. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Jay
    John, and Jay - You guys are great. Your posts reassure me that to sprinkle around some "How To" posts once in awhile is a helpful thing to do.

    I've been around the Forum long enough to know that there can be a daunting amount of things that a newbie needs to figure out, and that it's not always easy to find needed answers. These current posts will vanish into the back pages, and become more obscure than is ideal - but hopefully they'll be found again when people use the right search terms.

    Also, from experience I know that there are some things in the technical realm that remain unknown or unclear even to experienced users. So, great, I'll continue this "Tip of the Week" series. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Randy

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