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Topic: Review of Randy Bowser's Training Video series on Youtube - Instant Orchestra

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Review of Randy Bowser's Training Video series on Youtube - Instant Orchestra

    Randy has posted a six-part series on Youtube that walks the viewer through the process of using Garritan Instant Orchestra from end to end to produce a recording. Everything from initial recording through to mastering is covered with clear guidelines and a lot of practical tips using his DAW of choice, Sonar from Cakewalk. There is not a lot of assumed knowledge, yet Randy manages to avoid teaching the experienced viewer how to suck eggs, while providing enough for the newbie to avoid getting lost.

    The videos are entitled Blast Off with Instant Orchestra - a how to video.

    While these showcase Instant Orchestra, the real benefit to me is that they inspire the viewer to try a range of things knowing that productivity gains are waiting around every corner. Randy clearly knows his stuff and it shows. There is plenty of general advice, such as how to bounce to separate audio tracks, how to place envelopes over the audio files etc.

    I would recommend these videos to anyone wanting to learn about Instant Orchestra, as well as anyone who wants to get a glimpse inside a very experienced user's workflow.

    If I was going to mark it down for anything, I would say there is a touch too much reverb on the narration, which tends to distract a little in my opinion. Surprising given Randy's preference for a very light reverb touch. But this is marking harshly.

    Here is a link to the first video in the series

    Highly Recommended.

  2. #2

    Re: Review of Randy Bowser's Training Video series on Youtube - Instant Orchestra

    Alan! What a nice surprise when I came to the Forum this morning, to see your post about the IO tutorials. It's been a year now since I posted those in the wake of producing some demos of Instant Orchestra, the newest Garritan Library at the time.

    Thanks for thinking to not only bring the video series back to the attention of the Forum, but to even summarize it and review it. It really was a fun thing to see this new thread this morning - I blinked, thinking for a moment that an old thread had been boosted, but then saw it was a new report from Down Under!

    A year ago, during IO's debut, there wasn't as much stir here at the Forum as I thought there would be, and the video series was just briefly in the Forum's orbit. So this is great to have IO come back as a topic, and naturally I hope people continue to be introduced to IO through the tutorials, and pick up some production tips along the way.

    I remember experiencing some frustration over how it turned out ARIA was about to be updated with a completely different looking interface, just as I was releasing the tutorials. You can see on screen that it's the old style ARIA, but of course it functions in the same way, so hopefully that shouldn't be confusing to viewers.

    Sonar 8.5 is the DAW software used in the video, even though at the time, X1 was Cakewalk's newest version of their software. I briefly considered using X1 for the vids, since I do have X1, but, stubbornly perhaps, I stuck with using 8.5 which is my program of choice. X1 still seems, IMHO, a clumsier, buggier program to work with. Though Cakewalk changed a lot of things with X1, hopefully viewers can apply what they see to X1 – the basic theory of using Cakewalk is still the same.

    Here's something interesting about the hit statistics at You Tube. I've noticed this before, and am always puzzled by it. Here's the list of hits as of today, 2/17/13, for tutorials 1 through 6:

    1 - 8,364

    2 - 4,924

    3 - 4,616

    4 - 2,066

    5 - 4,783

    6 - 2,095

    It's not surprising that the first one has twice as many views as the others. Typically people watch the start of something, and then in modern ADD manner, never finish watching. But look at the hits for tutorial #4, at less than 1/2 the number for either video #3 or #5. Isn't that odd? For whatever reason, people aren't finding #4 as readily as the others, and so there's that discontinuity in views.

    When you watch a video at You Tube, on the right there's a side bar of viewing suggestions based on what you're currently watching. When you go to tutorial #1 via the link you posted, Alan, in that side bar the other tutorials are listed, but in this order:

    --2, 5, 3, then Robert Davis's "Garritan IO Quick Run Through", and then tutorials 4 and 6 - the two installments with the fewest views. By logic, those would have about the same number of hits as tutes 2, 3 and 5, around 4,500. But, unfortunately, that scrambled display order is causing this discontinuity in tutorial reviews.

    Odd - The vids are listed according to how many hits they've had, highest to lowest, but then somehow Robert's vid which has over 20,000 hits is stuck in the middle--? All I know is that it's unfortunate that half of the viewers are missing two installments, and are most likely seeing them out of order. I just wish You Tube was more helpful in how suggestions are displayed. If they simply listed the tutorials 1 through 6, I guarantee you that 2 through 6 would all have approximately the same number of views as the others. Oh well!

    Your comment about reverb on the voice made me go listen again. It's been so long, I couldn't remember what I did. AH yes, I remember now. At the time, I'd been listening to other tutes on You Tube, to get an idea of what people were doing. Something that was bothering me was the way the voice overs were so dull and dry. Just very serviceable, unproduced recordings done by people sitting in front of their monitors, ad-libbing into humble computer mikes. It put me off, so I got on a "toot" (American slang, Alan) to set my narration in a crisp, lively, and fairly empty recording studio environment. At the time I thought it was a good touch. If I did these now, I'm sure I'd do things differently since I rarely do anything in exactly the same way. This still works for me, but it probably would have been fine bone dry, despite my objections to that approach at the time.

    When it comes to recordings of music, it's not Reverb I object to, but the over use of it. The most common example of too much reverb is when Finale users use the default settings of totally wet signals, not understanding that they're supposed to be controlling how much reverb is added. The results are as if their music's being played in Carlsbad Cavern (largest cave in The States)!

    I'll wrap this up with the link to the Garritan World video tutorial I did a year before this IO series. I had just finished producing the demos for World, and on Gary's request, put together a video that shows how the Bagpipes demo was put together:

    Aria tutorial-Making the Garritan World Bagpipes demo Dec 2010

    Thanks again, Alan!


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