View Full Version : pre-sets for large ensembles

02-01-2006, 06:12 PM
Greetings, one and all-

A little background - I've made the progression through various notation programs having spent too many years with Encore - and then last year started with Sibelius. Due to configuration issues with my PC, I was never really able to get GPO set up properly or tied into Sibelius 3. Then came Sibelius 4, 4.1 and the crossbridge to integrate it with GPO. My entire system was hosed as a result.

So, I removed everything and started from scratch. My PC (2.85Ghz processor and now 2.5G RAM) now has the guts to load what I need (at least, I hope it has).

I am way behind in my work, and so I would like to know if any of you have any recommendations such that I can set up GPO with a full orchestral compliment (say for the sake of argument 3 (also picc)-3 (also EH, Oboe d'Amore)-3 (also Eb, Bass)-3 (also Contra)/4-3-3-1 (all brasses needing mutes)/Timp/Perc (pitched and non-pitched)/2 Harps (w/glissandi), Piano, Celesta, Organ and Strings (soli and section, arco, pizz). Having all this artillery will give me the flexibility to apply the whole setup across a broad range of compositional activities. The second question, of course, is "can all this be loaded given the 8 'player' - 64 voice limit?"

I find the documentation on this subject not very clear - so it's difficult to navigate through it in any really intelligible way. Whatever help you can offer is much appreciated.


02-02-2006, 06:49 AM
What I do when I come accross something like the 64 limit I literally count up all the instruments and if it's more than 64 I'm in trouble.
Since most instruments have a KS form you don't need to load up seperate string sus+short, pizz, trills, and tremlos. You can get them all under one roof in a KS instrument.
Since I have a 1 gb RAM/1.8 ghz P4 limit I can never get an orchestra as large as the one you described with all that percussion and the piano and organ. So I start writing my pieces via manuscript or notation program (not using GPO) then put it into Sonar and GPO and I can set up an appropriate orchestra. Of course, with your amount of RAM and CPU power this shouldn't be a problem.

I am a little uncetrain as to your actual question. I hope I was at least of some help. :o :)


Nickie Fønshauge
02-02-2006, 09:32 AM
To second Chris: use the KeySwitched instruments where ever you can, or you will have trouble. The percusson takes up a lot of slots.

02-06-2006, 07:29 AM
OK - the real question though is with so much to choose from, how does one go about setting up the basics. In my case, I'm interested in setting up a basic large orchestra. But, with so many variations, I'm having difficulty seeing how its all fits together. Do KS instruments count as a single entry? How many instruments can each voice contain? Is it 8X8 to give a total of 64? What do all the variations, such as "instrument derived from" mean? The documentation is totally unclear on that. :(

02-06-2006, 04:11 PM
The plr instruments that are 'derived' from the solo instruments are instruments that use the samples from that solo instrument it was 'derived' from. For example, if you have a chromaticly sampled solo instrument that has the three notes A B and C, each note being a seperate sample, and that solo instrument has three plr instruments derived from it, the first plr instrument will use the A sample on all three notes, just pitchbent to the right notes. The second plr instrument will use the B sample for all three notes, and the third plr instrument will use the C sample for all three notes. That way, when you use the three plr instruments in unison, there is no phasing problems.

I'm sure that the key mapping is much more complex than the one I described above to avoid things like funny sounding notes that have been pitchbent too far, but that's the basic idea. VERY smart one, too.

Based on your questions I take it you don't yet have GPO up and running? Otherwise, experimentation is your best bet. Just try different combonations and do what works best for your system.

As a reference point, my typical large orchestra is as follows:

Note: I use a similiar trick as the plr instrument concept, which is to transpose instruments using the knob in the Kontakt player and then transpose those instruments via MIDI back to absolute pitch. The result is I can take solo instruments and use many patches of them in unison without phasing. Further explination can be found here (http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38380) (be sure to read post #7)

#slots used/instrument name (to prevent confusion)
1/Piccolo V
3/Flute V solo (three patches using above method)
3/Oboe 2 solo (three patches using above method)
1/English horn 2 solo
1/Eb clarinet solo
3/Bb clarinet plr 1-3
1/Bb Bass clarinet plr 1
1/Contrabass clarinet solo
3/Bassoon 2 solo (three patches using above method)
1/Contrabassoon solo
3/French Horn 1 plr 1-3
3/French Horn 2 plr 1-3
2/Bb trumpet 1 plr 1, 2
1/Bb trumpet 2 plr 1
3/Trombone plr 1-3
1/Bass trombone 1 solo
1/Contratuba solo
1/Tubular bells
1/Percussion toys
1/Bass Drum
1/Harp 2 chromatic lite
2/Violins 1 lush and pizz
2/Violins 2 lush and pizz
2/Violas lush and pizz
2/Cellos lush and pizz
2/Basses lush and pizz

The above setup is 51 slots used in the player. To save slots, you can use the KS versions of the strings, so that you can only use a total of 5 slots for Violins 1, 2, Violas, Cellos, and Basses with all articulations. Because the KS instruments have all these articulations they are quite large in terms of RAM, so I do not use them because I can only cram so much on one gigabyte of RAM. I use the lush patches instead of the sustain+short because I like the sound better.
Also take into consideration that it is only the solo instruments, and not the plr instruments, that have vibrato control. That is why I use my own method more often than the plr instruments.

Now do you understand a little better? :D