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Topic: GPO4 String articulations

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  1. #1

    GPO4 String articulations

    Hi, I'm working away editing my recent orchestra piece. Many questions arise. Here are links to an mp3 sample of a viola section passage, with a screenshot of some of the passage in Digital Performer. I've used viola section, with viola lush and a solo viola (per Randy's suggestion). Interested especially in feedback on the legato 16th note (but fortissimo) section at end of the sample... I'm not that happy with the sound. In Digital Performer I've experimented with modulation, quantizing the note lengths and lowering the attack velocity. A little mechanical sounding... suggestions? Thanks, John

    https://www.box.com/s/8ho56aenfsu4oj3jwywk

    https://www.box.com/s/kf9ohfsvphredsp50oui
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  2. #2

    Re: GPO4 String articulations

    Well, John, this sounding rather more than acceptable to me. This is the Viola line, but I take it the other string sections will be playing simultaneously in the full version?

    I'll say right off that, for whatever reason, the Violas are the least successful of GPO's string samples. It's been commented on many times that there's just something inherently more synthetic about all of the Viola samples when compared to the rest. Some people even suspect that they're actually not samples, but synth patches. So, that's one given you just have to accept.

    I'm not familiar with DP's piano roll view, so this was a bit confusing to me, all these Tiny visuals! I zoomed in to see if I could suss things out a bit better. Still not knowing what all I'm looking at, I can see the top line is the Violas section, followed by Violas Lush, and then the Viola solo. One thing I can see is that second two lines, Lush and Solo, seem to be lined up exactly the same, which is just slightly delayed, to the right, of the first Violas line. Since you're using three iterations of Violas, unlike the more customary two, I would think that having all three slightly different from each other should help with what you're hearing as "a little mechanical." And instead of just shifting the entire data of a track one direction or the other, some randomization would shake things up more to add more realism in the start times of notes. Instead of a predictably delayed note onset, you would have some notes early, others late, and each of those lines never doing exactly the same shift.

    The legato is sounding legato, I feel you have that accomplished. The volume is relatively steady, but it sounds like that's appropriate for the passage - otherwise, you could be doing things like stressing the pulse more with CC1.

    But really, this is sounding good to me - I think perhaps you're getting too analytical, hoping to make the weak Viola samples sound better than they're really capable of sounding. I think the question is, what does this passage sound like with the whole string section?

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: GPO4 String articulations

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I'm not familiar with DP's piano roll view, so this was a bit confusing to me, all these Tiny visuals! I zoomed in to see if I could suss things out a bit better. Still not knowing what all I'm looking at, I can see the top line is the Violas section, followed by Violas Lush, and then the Viola solo. One thing I can see is that second two lines, Lush and Solo, seem to be lined up exactly the same, which is just slightly delayed, to the right, of the first Violas line. Since you're using three iterations of Violas, unlike the more customary two, I would think that having all three slightly different from each other should help with what you're hearing as "a little mechanical." And instead of just shifting the entire data of a track one direction or the other, some randomization would shake things up more to add more realism in the start times of notes. Instead of a predictably delayed note onset, you would have some notes early, others late, and each of those lines never doing exactly the same shift.

    Randy
    Thanks for the suggestion on randomizing the start times, Randy! It makes sense, and easy to do. Yes, all the other string parts are busy in this passage. For all the string sections I'm using a Lush overlay and mixed in the solo instrument. Actually, I have the levels of the three tracks the same at this point. It really helps the violins, but maybe I could dial the lush overlay back a in volume for the lower strings. Do you have any particular approach to mixing overlays? I hope to finish the 1st draft of the project in a week or so, and will post it. Boy, the brass (esp. the horns) can be overpowering with the overlays.

    Thanks again,
    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  4. #4

    Re: GPO4 String articulations

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    ...For all the string sections I'm using a Lush overlay and mixed in the solo instrument...but maybe I could dial the lush overlay back a in volume for the lower strings. Do you have any particular approach to mixing overlays?...the brass (esp. the horns) can be overpowering with the overlays.
    Yes, turning the Lush patches down in proportion to the regular group patches would probably be good. I haven't thought before of the Lush strings as "overlays," but that makes sense in the way you're putting the project together. All I've ever used is a group string with its appropriate solo, I haven't layered 3 patches like you're doing. Theoretically, you should get a pretty nice sound with your method.

    The brass overlays can be overpowering indeed. I think you looked at my Tip of the Week which was about overlays? Basically, I was showing that those sounds, the overlays, are meant to be used sparingly like a rich spice. It doesn't work just to have them at one constant volume throughout a piece, paralleling the brass. The overlays need to come up just on the louder notes, mostly on forte sustained notes. Not sudden jumps from one level to another, but swooping up and down with hills and valleys of volume data.

    Randy

  5. #5
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    Re: GPO4 String articulations

    Be careful of using the Viola & Viola Lush samples together playing unison. Playing the 2 together at the same time will causing phasing issues as they share common samples. The Violas lush just have a solo violin layered on top.

    The Violas are definitely different samples and are not synthesized from the violin samples. They were taken from the viola samples from the original Garritan Orchestral Strings (GOS) library. The violas were the weakest samples even in GOS and it doesn't help that in GPO there is only one velocity layer available.

    Jim

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