I have Finale 2011 and have been using Finale for several years. What exactly is Garritan Instant Orchestra? Does it work inside Pro Tools from MIDI data? Is it something that works with Finale? Does it output an AIF or WAV file? The website does not make this obvious, unless I'm really missing something. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
Garritan products, including Garritan Personal Orchestra, Jazz and Big Band, Concert/Marching Band and Instant Orchestra are sound libraries. They are not stand alone devices. They work with many applications which have playback capability, such as Finale, Sonar, and Sibelius. They are sampled sounds, and for the price, are quite good. The output will ordinarily be .wav, from which you can easily convert to other forms with appropriate software.
The sounds can be solo instruments or combo sounds, and can be combined. They have various articulations available. They are versatile, but require a bit of practice.
I expect others will jump in with more details, but this will give you an idea, even if limited.
Senior Forum member Richard has already given you what should be a good, helpful reply to your question. Adding to what he's said:
--Finale comes with a set off default sounds. Those are software instruments. Garritan Libraries, and software instruments (VSTis - Virtual Studio Technology Instruments) made by other companies, can be added by a Finale user to the pool of available sounds, opening up more possibilities. As Richard explained, VSTis are used inside an application, such as Finale. Rendering into audio is a function of the host program - Finale, Sibelius etc.
I especially wanted to add an important caveat about Garritan Instrument Orchestra, since you show interest in it:
--That Garritan Library is unique in the collection. It's programmed differently and functions differently. The Garritan programmers themselves have said that it doesn't lend itself as well for Finale use as the other collections - Garritan Personal Orchestra, Jazz and Big Band et al.
--Instant Orchestra is a large collection of instrumental sounds, with an emphasis on layered sounds. The user can engage a single note and get a huge sound which is a stacked layer of multiple instruments. That's why the word "Instant" is in the Library's name. The idea is a user can more quickly produce a big, impressive sounding rendering of his music.
--BUT, in Finale and other notation software, the main point is to produce a written score which accurately reflects a composition. And of course the user can hear software instruments playing the various lines he develops, and that's his aural guide to what he's writing. The finished score can then be exported as an audio file.
Picture working on a staff line. Perhaps you're writing the part for a French Horn. What you need is for a single horn to be heard as you play back what you've written. But if you have that staff line connected with a brass "patch" from Instant Orchestra, you're going to hear a big layer of multiple brass instruments. That won't be an accurate reflection of what you've written. You see?
Instant Orchestra CAN be used by Finale users, but not in the normal way other software instruments are used. One way of working would be for the user to compose a piece as usual, using various individual and group instruments as needed. Then, to make for a more impressive sounding rendering of that music, the user could insert additional staff lines for triggering these layered sounds in Instant Orchestra, but hide those staff lines since they aren't intended to be what musicians would actually be playing when they use the score.
If you're in the market for expanding your palette of available instruments, my recommendation would be to first get Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO), Concert and Marching Band (CoMB), Jazz and Big Band (JABB), Garritan World and/or Garritan Pipe Organs. Those would serve you best in Finale.
Thanks Richard and Randy! Another question. Does instant orchestra work inside Pro Tools with MIDI data?
Ah, you're concerned about how Pro Tools has its own proprietary kind of plug-ins, RTAS, unlike the rest of the music software world which uses VST plug-ins. Yes, the Garritan ARIA Player which is the engine for playing all Garritan Libraries includes an RTAS version.
"With MIDI data?" - That sounds like you're planning on importing MIDI clips? Any software instrument, including Garritans, will play MIDI data, that's what makes them work. But usually the user is recording MIDI tracks himself, which results in the same kind of data as clips you might purchase or find online.