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Topic: GPO solo strings

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  1. #1

    GPO solo strings

    Hi. I'd like to add some solo string lines (viola) to a project and I'm thinking of buying GPO for this. Has anyone made a recording using GPO's solo strings that I could hear? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: GPO solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by dongios View Post
    Hi. I'd like to add some solo string lines (viola) to a project and I'm thinking of buying GPO for this. Has anyone made a recording using GPO's solo strings that I could hear? Thanks.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpLtYdCXuW0

    Uses 3 different solo instruments from GPO4. Description included at youtube. One was a viola. If you like the string sound then great. If not, then maybe it was my programming of them that is at a fault so I encourage you to evaluate elsewhere as well. The only particular thing that I did not like about the solo strings in GPO4 is that vibrato is always present.

    There used to be a thread here on this forum discussing the above and I think Mr. Bowser may have pointed out that the instruments I used were not necessarily the best for solo work but were instead meant for ensembles so take that into consideration as well. The instruments I used were:

    Violin 1 Plr 1
    Viola 1 Plr 2
    Cello 3 Plr 2

  3. #3

    Re: GPO solo strings

    Hello again, Dongios - Just now seeing you had your question posted here in The Listening Room also. Of course we've already discussed this over in General Discussion. On this post I see you're saying you especially want to use a Viola in a project. That prompts me to say that it's long been agreed upon that the solo Viola is one of the weakest instruments in all of GPO. The other solo strings are more successful. There's just something dull and unconvincing about the Viola. If you get GPO, I would recommend you try the other solo strings first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    ...Uses 3 different solo instruments from GPO4. Description included at youtube. One was a viola. If you like the string sound then great. If not, then maybe it was my programming of them that is at a fault so I encourage you to evaluate elsewhere as well. The only particular thing that I did not like about the solo strings in GPO4 is that vibrato is always present.

    There used to be a thread here on this forum discussing the above and I think Mr. Bowser may have pointed out that the instruments I used were not necessarily the best for solo work but were instead meant for ensembles so take that into consideration as well. The instruments I used were:

    Violin 1 Plr 1
    Viola 1 Plr 2
    Cello 3 Plr 2
    Right - I remember, Mabry. I listened again just now, and it's a really nice piece and the recording sounds fine. The issue is that you used Player instruments instead of the actual Soloists. All of the Players in GPO, the strings, woodwinds, and brass, are all simpler, less complex samples with a duller sound - They're lacking attack, for one thing. The soloists just have a more complete, brighter sound. The Players don't do as well in the spotlight.

    BUT all of these really sound best in ensemble settings, rather than spotlighted as true soloists. As you point out, all of the GPO strings have vibrato recorded with the samples so there's no control over that, and the vibrato is pretty heavy, and it starts very soon after the attack.

    Where these solo string patches are most helpful is when layered with the ensemble string patches. When at an appropriately semi-low level, having the solo sounds in there with the group sounds adds a lot of realism to tracks. That's the best use for these.

    Dongios - If you're wanting solo strings that stand on their own, there's really no getting around the need for buying more expensive Libraries that feature more versatile, detailed sample sets.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: GPO solo strings

    Thank you Mabry. The youtube was very nicely done. That is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I think that those sounds would work for my application. Much appreciated.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpLtYdCXuW0

    Uses 3 different solo instruments from GPO4. Description included at youtube. One was a viola. If you like the string sound then great. If not, then maybe it was my programming of them that is at a fault so I encourage you to evaluate elsewhere as well. The only particular thing that I did not like about the solo strings in GPO4 is that vibrato is always present.

    There used to be a thread here on this forum discussing the above and I think Mr. Bowser may have pointed out that the instruments I used were not necessarily the best for solo work but were instead meant for ensembles so take that into consideration as well. The instruments I used were:

    Violin 1 Plr 1
    Viola 1 Plr 2
    Cello 3 Plr 2

  5. #5

    Re: GPO solo strings

    Thank you very much for all of your valuable input Randy. After working on this a bit I've discovered that the quality of the sample is not so much an issue. More important is the difficulty of trying to make something I've played on a keyboard sound like a violist on a viola! I appreciate your assistance.


    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello again, Dongios - Just now seeing you had your question posted here in The Listening Room also. Of course we've already discussed this over in General Discussion. On this post I see you're saying you especially want to use a Viola in a project. That prompts me to say that it's long been agreed upon that the solo Viola is one of the weakest instruments in all of GPO. The other solo strings are more successful. There's just something dull and unconvincing about the Viola. If you get GPO, I would recommend you try the other solo strings first.



    Right - I remember, Mabry. I listened again just now, and it's a really nice piece and the recording sounds fine. The issue is that you used Player instruments instead of the actual Soloists. All of the Players in GPO, the strings, woodwinds, and brass, are all simpler, less complex samples with a duller sound - They're lacking attack, for one thing. The soloists just have a more complete, brighter sound. The Players don't do as well in the spotlight.

    BUT all of these really sound best in ensemble settings, rather than spotlighted as true soloists. As you point out, all of the GPO strings have vibrato recorded with the samples so there's no control over that, and the vibrato is pretty heavy, and it starts very soon after the attack.

    Where these solo string patches are most helpful is when layered with the ensemble string patches. When at an appropriately semi-low level, having the solo sounds in there with the group sounds adds a lot of realism to tracks. That's the best use for these.

    Dongios - If you're wanting solo strings that stand on their own, there's really no getting around the need for buying more expensive Libraries that feature more versatile, detailed sample sets.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: GPO solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by dongios View Post
    Thank you very much for all of your valuable input Randy. After working on this a bit I've discovered that the quality of the sample is not so much an issue. More important is the difficulty of trying to make something I've played on a keyboard sound like a violist on a viola! I appreciate your assistance.
    I'm glad my posts have been helpful, dongios.

    What you say in your newest post, quoted above, speaks directly to the challenge we have as MIDI musicians - to not just trigger samples, but to actually Play our virtual instruments as characteristically as we can manage. This is an area where DAW software users have an advantage over notation users, because there's quite a difference between Playing instruments with a MIDI keyboard as opposed to having a quantized score trigger the samples.

    I think you may have meant it literally when you said "...something I've played on a keyboard..." past tense, rather than present tense "something I Play on a keyboard." If you have a MIDI track that's already been recorded or put together in pieces via a mouse, the results aren't necessarily going to be satisfactory when we then have that MIDI track play a virtual instrument. When we do that, there are always numerous adaptations we need to do to have the MIDI data interact best with a given instrument, and it can feel like working backwards, which it kind of is.

    But when we have chosen the instrument first, and Then record a MIDI track using that instrument, we have the distinct advantage of getting instant aural feedback as to how our work is actually sounding with that instrument. We still have to know what tools to use, and in ARIA there's the handy Controls window that shows us what MIDI controls are available for a given instrument.

    As we work with a group string patch, for instance (I often use this example because there's a problem with the current programming for the group string patches) we can hear that the samples are cutting off too quickly, and it doesn't sound natural. Fine - all we need to do is inch up the Length control in ARIA a bit, and we can then play that patch with more confidence - And if we want, we can automate the Length with CC21 (the Controls window handily reminds us of what MIDI CC to use) throughout the track as we work, making the notes brief and punchy for soft passages, and then more gently fading for passages needing that.

    Most important is the instant feedback of using instrument volume control as we record, using either CC1 or 11 (ARIA interprets both in the same way - as Expression). Keeping that stream of volume control ever fluctuating at dynamic effects the way we play the instrument, and helps us get into the imaginative mind set of being a musician who is Playing music rather than reducing the work to data entry.

    In short, I'm saying that it always works best to first select the instrument, and then record a MIDI track using that specific instrument. We can swap instruments out, for sure, and audition our MIDI track using instruments even if they're completely different from what we had in mind at first. Something that was initially for a solo violin may end up being for a solo clarinet, for instance - And when we do that, we'll always find that some adaptation, some changes will have to be made to accommodate the new instrument.

    Wrapping this up by stating the obvious - It is always helpful to refresh our ears by listening to recordings using the Real World instrument that we'll be working with, as a reminder of what the characteristic elements are to the instrument's sound. Something that works really well for a DAW user is to import a reference track into our project file so it's always right there, easily referred to again. As we work away, and feel like we need more inspiration for using the virtual instrument, we can un-mute the guide track and have another listen - then we mute that, and go back to working with our virtual instrument.

    Wishing you the best as you keep working on your projects, dongios.

    Randy

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