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Topic: Taking the plunge

  1. #1

    Taking the plunge

    I\'m an owner of Gigastudio 160 and a Korg X5D. I have been very interested in Garriton Orchestral Strings, but I am new at this and could use some direction.

    First off, is it reasonable that I could learn about harmony, music theory, proper use of the string library so anything I do isn\'t too fundamentally flawed without spending tens of thousands for traditional college education? What would be some recommended books to get down the fundamentals?

    What are some recomended sequencer software I should consider to sit between my keyboard and Gigastudio? I\'ve considered Cakewalk.

    I\'d be interested in contacting different users to continue ongoing discussions of how I can get my feet wet.


    -- Patrick

  2. #2

    Re: Taking the plunge

    Cakewalk SONAR is AWESOME! I\'ll never switch to anything else unless I have to. It\'s got a real great user interface, in my opinion, and it isn\'t sugar-coated. Everything is laid out plain and simple, and it\'s easy to use.

  3. #3

    Re: Taking the plunge

    Hi Patrick, I have no classical training and own the GOS library.

    I must admit that at first I found it a little bewildering but all you really need to do is pick a book on orchestration to learn the terms of various playing techniques. Not to mention the natural ranges of each instrument.

    I have found Samuel Adlers Study of Orchestration book to be excellent. You can even buy accompanying CD\'s that show video clips of the different playing techniques.

    Also, it is good to learn terms like marcato, staccato etc as other orchestral lib\'s will obviously use them as well. Sam Horns and Trombones spring to mind as an example.

    Once you know the terms you will find it much easier going. Initially it is hard to know which sample patch to use when doing a fast piece, slow piece etc but it all comes in time.

    I personally use Cubase but have heard that Cakewalk is very good.

    Any other questions, feel free to ask, there\'s lots of knowledgeable folks here.

    Oh, one more thing, the secret that I found when starting out with orchestral stuff is to not play your samples as chords. In other words, dont load up a violin patch and start playing three note chords.
    What you can do is assign the top note of the chord to 1st violins, the middle note to the 2nd violins and the third(bottom) note to the viola. Any bass parts you are playing with your left hand can be assigned to the cellos and basses.

    Orchestral music has to be layered, painstakingly and patiently. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Thats a very rough example mentioned above but to me it\'s the foundation for orchestrating via a midi mock-up (and for real I\'m sure too). You can apply this general rule to brass parts too; hi notes to trumpet, then horns, then trombones.

    Again these are very rough and oversimplified examples but this has helped me.

    Good luck, Scott.

  4. #4

    Re: Taking the plunge

    Ok, thanks for the reply. I have a few more questions then.

    Do you think a Korg X5D is enough of a midi controller to be sufficient?

    With a single computer, would it require me to play each of the individual parts of an orchestra into some kind of multi-track recorder to create the final audio? Is that possible to do in the computer rather than spending thousands of dollars for an external multi-track recording device?

  5. #5

    Re: Taking the plunge

    Hey Scott,

    I took your advice from another thread and got a used copy of the Adler book. Your right. It\'s very good. I\'ll get the CD\'s soon.


    You\'ll want to find a sequencer to record you midi (and audio). Cubase and Sonar are two popular sequencers for PC. You should be able to get a demo copy from their website or from a music store.

    Yes it is possible with one computer. Many people on this forum use a single computer.

    Hope this helps,
    Ben Ripley

  6. #6

    Re: Taking the plunge

    Hi Patrick, yes the Korg X5D will do the trick.

    You dont want (or need) to record your tracks out to a multi-track recorder. It might help to start thinking of your computer as a synth module or a box full of sounds. Treat it as a midi module as you lay down each track (in midi), making adjustments to note length, placement, expression, etc.

    When you are happy with your piece and have a number of midi tracks playing back your various sampled sounds, that is then the time to render them all to audio. This happens internally in your computer. It is best to avoid piping things out from your sound card and back in as each time you do this you suffer from digital- to analog conversion and lose a bit of quality. (D/A to A/D and vice versa.)

    It may help to pick up a book on the subject of digital recording or search through the forums here as a lot of it has been discussed before.

    Cheers, Scott.

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