View Full Version : My first GOS piece! Please critique!

Andy Brick
10-29-2002, 10:59 AM
Hello everyone,

Here is my first piece with the GOS. I would certainly welcome any comments, suggestions or criticisms about what you like and dont like about it. If anyone is interested in the written score, send me an email at the address below.

Here is the link:

http://www.andybrick.com/projects/garritan/abrickm201.mp3 (\"http://www.andybrick.com/projects/garritan/abrickm201.mp3\")

Thanks a million to Gary and Tom for all the tremendous help they have been. I have so many good things to say about this library! Thanks also to all of you who have posted your comments, suggestions, tips and tricks. I have used many of them in this piece.

Andy Brick
www.andybrick.com (\"http://www.andybrick.com\")

10-29-2002, 01:49 PM
Very entertaining! Some demonstrations of useful devices and techniques in there. I would only offer two technical comments: 1) It is a little dry, adding a more synth nature to the sound. 2) At the beginning (and more subtle at the ending) there is a low constant hum. At first I thought it was a 60-cycle hum, but then I see it was intended. It is very constant and unwavering (mechanical sounding). I would suggest having it swell a bit to give it more humanity and keep it at the level of the ending.
Still overall, this piece shows maturity and technique. Nice.

Roman Beilharz
10-29-2002, 03:51 PM
Hi Andy,

I like the atmosphere your first trills-theme is creating. It sounds dense, natural and shimmering to my ears. I second Doyle\'s thoughts about adding a bit more reverb/room to the mix and regarding the static bass in the beginning. Then the agg-Basses-\"dadeldadeldam\" comes in and we have the violins on top. The EXP-trems sound just fine, but sometimes I would prefer to hear natural endings for those shorter notes; maybe you like to try to mix or even switch to short bow-articulations in some cases. Your short notes sound too tame sometimes. And we are getting the \"church-fair-organ\"-phenomenon from time to time. It strikes back heavily e.g. at the quarter-note-triplets within the section that starts with the \"trills-ping-pong\"-idea (around 2:40). Maybe some martele-combination was able to strum that a little more convincing. The legato-theme at the end might gain from layering solo-strings to add more intensity, it sounds too synthlike to please me. And the runs are always a problem...

I ended up with dropping and/or changing musical ideas just to make them sound right. Some things simply don\'t work with samples. I am trying not to think of a real orchestra when the samples have to do the job.

Thanks for the interesting task images/icons/wink.gif .

All the best

Roman Beilharz

10-29-2002, 06:12 PM
Hi Andy,

just listen to your piece and here comes some comments about the composition itself (not the sound libs):

* I hear that you have a lot of interesting ideas but to me they doesn\'t sound fully developed when the piece ends, maybe because the ideas are too many for such short composition.
* I would use the legato-bass line (in the beginning) more throughout the piece, it would serve as unifying element.
* I would put another cadence than V-I at time 1:40 it just sounds too much like a final ending.
You could use the V-VI \"false-cadence\" to keep the audience interested in hearing what comes next.

If you would send me the score I could add some more comments based on the score.


Ps. I agree to the others that you need to add more reverb.

Andy Brick
10-29-2002, 09:07 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks for the input. I tried adding more reverb. I think it helps. I think something about converting to mp3 kills a lot of your reverb as the aif of the file sounds much different.

Doyle, I took your suggestion and modified the opening bass. I think you were right. Thanks

Roman, I also agree that at times it has a church organ effect. This piece was actually written for live orchestra back in May and I wanted to see how GOS could stand up to writing that was tailored to the real thing. The runs are a problem. Im not sure what to do about it. The legatos from 3:20-4:20 I think are really bad. Even with legato mono mode its just not really legato. On a single patch maybe it can pass but I have Basses, Celli, & Violas playing a legato counterpoint through much of this section and it just doesnt sound convincing to my ears and was terribly painful to mix.

I would love to hear suggestions about how to avoid the church organ effect. I cant seem to avoid it in this piece.

Falcon, thanks also for your comments. For sure the bass appears to be leading a V-I progression at that point but if you listen carefully you will see that it is not a V-I progression at all. In fact, its the end of a harmonic sequence that concludes on what would better be considered a Vi-V if you had to conisder it chordally. Although the bass is A-E the notes on top of the A are A-F-C-Eb.

10-30-2002, 11:52 PM
One of the things to help the church organ effect is to use various libraries for each section. For example, I use DDSW, Xsample and some AO for my woodwind section. If the score calls for 3 clarinets then use 3 different clarinets. Detuning the samples a little bit from each other fills out the sound. I just put a pitch bend command at the beginning of the track and then adjust it until it sounds good. I also do the same techniques with the brass section.

Can\'t wait to hear some of the new libraries as my brass and woodwinds are not quite totally convincing.

Roman Beilharz
11-07-2002, 04:12 PM
Hi Andy,

I like to add the link of a draft I had been writing recently, where I directly aimed at composing things that would work perfectly with sampled strings, especially with GOS. No churchy phasing here; as you might see the rhythmical focus and the changing of articualtions - almost every note of each line - helps a lot. You know, I wanted to go for maximum authenticity and I were prepared to dedicate the composition to the needs of the samples. I think that\'s why the arrangement became a little \"orientally clicheish\".

As a side effect I wanted to really check out the new AutoVAR-function of my MTools layer for Logic with the VAR-spiccati and very fast VAR agressive-Basses. I am quite enthusiastic about this feature. Take this as a proof images/icons/smile.gif . The slides-toolbox does a convincing job at the main motif, too, I think.


Here\'s the link:

Whatever makes sense.mp3 (\"http://www.garritan.com/mp3/whatever_makes_sense.mp3\")

Andy Brick
11-07-2002, 05:46 PM
Hi Roman -

Funky piece NOW GET YOUR MP3 OFF MY POST - just kidding images/icons/cool.gif images/icons/cool.gif

Nice job - The slides are cool but the opening legato passages have that problem of small crescendos on each note and you get that sort of \"drunken\" effect (as quoted from the GOS manual) The little violin run into the second section is quite convincing on the other hand. How did you manage that one? As well, the little sautille accompaniment is also very good and sound terrific did you use the VAR patches here? The 1/4 note triplet tremolos were really nice too. Did you use just the regular tremolos or some combi with short notes? OK Time to let the cat out of the bag.... all my work and posts here over the past 4 months were in preperation of an article that was just published in Music4games.net about GOS. Since it was a review, I couldnt tell anyone I was doing it. Gary knew because there were certain technical issues we had to deal with but other than that I was forced to keep it a secret. The piece I did at the top of this thread was my way of evaluating this library. I wrote it for a live performance I had over the summer. I specifically chose that piece because it contains string techniques that just seem impossible to do with samples. Things like fast legato with counterpoint in all the choirs, fingered tremolos, full orchestral runs, real rhythmic sautilles on a given note over an entire bar, phrases coming out of ornaments etc.... all that stuff is in there. Since I hadnt heard any pieces on Garys site or here that approach that kind of thing I thought I would give it a try. If you want to check out the article goto

www.music4games.net (\"http://www.music4games.net\") press the \"features\" tab then scroll down and you will see alink to it.


www.andybrick.com (\"http://www.andybrick.com\")

Roman Beilharz
11-08-2002, 04:48 AM
Hi Andy,

sorry for my subversive invasion - I loved to do that - har, har, har...

Let me just refer to your questions in short, I will be checking your review ASAP. We seem to be collegues in one another section, too: I wrote the GOS review for the german PC & Musik-mag, so I am very interested in what you found out.

The slides are cool but the opening legato passages have that problem of small crescendos on each note and you get that sort of \"drunken\" effect <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Yes, this is the price for using the Grand Sustains, which naturally still have the Grand Detache\'s envelope. On the other hand they sound much more convincing than the EXP LEG\'s would sound here.

The little violin run into the second section is quite convincing on the other hand. How did you manage that one?
<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">This is a combination of 1st violin ALT VAR marcati and 2nd violin staccati, as far as I can remember.

As well, the little sautille accompaniment is also very good and sound terrific did you use the VAR patches here?
<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Yes, these are the 1st-vln sul ponticello-spiccati and the 2nd-vln spiccati (both ALT VAR1). As I had been playing the lines live at a slow tempo with auto-alternation /auto-variation I avoided using any quantization, which usually destroys the human feel and the original controller-data-to-note-assignment. I hardly had to edit this part images/icons/smile.gif .

The 1/4 note triplet tremolos were really nice too. Did you use just the regular tremolos or some combi with short notes?<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Nope, I wanted to drive the automatic ALT/VAR to the limit: all single bow-strokes are \"played\", no trem patches at the violins!! It is the same combination as in my previous answer. But the velocities had to be corrected very carefully to create the desired dynamic bow. Ah, wait, I think we have a tremolo crescendo of the violas at the same time, that might iron out the glitches and create the tremmy touch...


Andy Brick
11-08-2002, 08:17 AM
Awesome! Thanks for the tips! I have copied and pasted them into my \"studio notes\" file.

Gary, if youre listening, we really need to create somekind of repository of tips and tricks for GOS. I remember hearing some rumbling about such a thing a few weeks ago in one of these posts. Any word if it happened? Maybe northensounds could give us a board just for GOS tips & tricks?


Tom Hopkins
11-08-2002, 01:57 PM

There already is: http://www.garritan.com/support.html#tips (\"http://www.garritan.com/support.html#tips\") Users can submit tips to Gary for posting.


11-09-2002, 02:01 AM
Fantastic tips Roman. May I include them on the Tips & Techniques section of the GOS site? (http://www.garritan.com/support.html#tips)

Andy, we post User Tips & Techniques here from time to time. They then are memorialized on the GOS web site. Perhaps we could post them here more frequently and also provide encore tips (they have a way of fading onto page 10 quickly).

Part of Roman\'s review is posted on the GOS site (http://www.garritan.com/reviews.html). If you read German, I could send you the full text. One of these days the complete review will be translated.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your music and your ideas with us.

Gary Garritan

Roman Beilharz
11-12-2002, 03:54 PM
Sorry guys, I have been offline for some days, half of my family went ill these days images/icons/frown.gif ...

Fantastic tips Roman. May I include them on the Tips & Techniques section of the GOS site? (http://www.garritan.com/ support.html#tips) <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I feel honored! I am happy, that you seem to find my brabra useful, Andy. But I went pale while re-reading my post, as I have been writing

Yes, these are the 1st-vln sul ponticello-spiccati...
<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">but there are no \"sul-ponticello-spiccati\" at all, as you will have noticed in the meantime images/icons/wink.gif ??! Of course I was talking about the \"sul-tasto-spiccati\". Be so nice, Gary, to correct this.

Andy, reading your excellent review has encouraged me to write even more user-oriented in the future and to be confident enough to point out the practical consequences that some things introduce - even if it hurts. It is interesting to see, that the process of getting into GOS has been similar for you somehow. For me it was even worse: After my first enthusiastic steps I ran into the \"hardware-trap\": I realized my RAM was too small for the \"GOS-template\", so I had to buy a new mobo, because the old one would not allow more than 786MB. With 1256MB on the new mobo Win98SE didn\'t boot, so I went for Win2k. With that team I went into the legendary \"Error 5\"-nightmare. Finally XP made it possible: my desired GOS-template is there now and due to the great voice-saving Grand Sustains, I can do about everything on a single machine without downmixing. Of course I will add a second machine soon, but it works for now, at least images/icons/smile.gif .

What I wanted to say is: you managed very well to point out the strenghths of GOS, but you didn\'t hesitate to make very clear what a user has to expect and to invest to get musical results that will be prone to the quality he/she might imagine after buying GOS.

All the best