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Topic: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

  1. #1

    Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Hello, I have a question as to how the Personal Orchestra program works. I heard the new demos, and I was very impressed. I use Finale to compose, so do you know a way to transfer files from there to work with your program so that I would hear the instruments as they sound in GPO instead of the cheap midi?

    If it does not work with Finale, I would like to know how it normally works. For example, like say that I have composed a symphony. How do I get it into the program, like those people did with the demos on the site? Do I need some type of hardware, like a midi keyboard, or does the package already contain everything I need to do with software? Do I need to actually play some of the parts, or just enter notes? How does it all function? Thank you!

  2. #2

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Well, you can export Finale files as MIDI, but they\'ll still sound cheap - the notation is invented for musicians with years of experience who can interpret your \"pp.....ff subito\" so that is sounds musically satisfying...while the to-MIDI converter just makes everything after a \"p\" mark play with velocity, lets say, 30... So, to make your symphony sound convincing, you have to open the MIDI exported file in a sequencer and edit the velocities by hand, listen, compare, listen, compare...
    No extra hardware needed this way, and some useful sequencers are free (Cubasis Express is one I think..). Good keyboard players with a quality keyboard play the parts themselves into the sequencer and only do minor corrections afterwards

  3. #3

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    How difficult is it to edit everything in the sequencer? For example, if I opened up the midi of the symphony that I saved with Finale in a sequencer, what type of data do I need to change? How do I know what the velocity is, and how does the sequencer tie in with the orchestral library?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Castle Rock, Colorado

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Hi Scherzo.

    If you\'re really wanting to create a fairly convincing orchestral mockup, midi editing via a sequencer is the way to go. Even if you can play your piece in, you may still need to edit midi to clean up any idiosyncracies in the performance.

    Velocities are between 0-127. In your sequencer, you can adjust these velocities by entering in the numeric representation of how hard you want each note played. It\'s really not that difficult at all. Consider the difficulty in learning Finale and if you\'ve gotten that far, editing midi in a sequencer is a cinch in comparison.

  5. #5

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Velocity is a parameter sent to each note sounded - it means sort of the same as how hard a piano key is struck, with values in 0-127 range. Depending on the value certain aspects of sound change (loudness, brightness, attack speed, or even a different sample is played etc). In Cubase it is represented as a vertical line under the note in \"piano roll\" editor. With a little practice you can fix even 30 notes velocities in a single mouse sweep [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] But it must be done - because, as I said, the computer is always dumb and has not the emotions and experience of real players - the handicap that can only be overcome by editing many, many details we take for granted in classical world [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    As for the \"tying\", GPO works as a plugin in the sequencer - meaning, they run together, the cursor moves over the notes in sequencer but GPO produces the sound. We could say the sequencer is the band (people) while GPO is (are) their instruments.

  6. #6

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Thanks, I am a PC user. (Laptop). Does the sequencer that GPO come with have many limitations? What more can I do with a full priced or full featured sequencer?

  7. #7

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    As a long-time Finale user (since ver. 1.0), I have this to say: As a playback facility, Finale makes a good notation program. Correction, an EXCELLENT notation program. The playback options are, at best, rudimentary.

    Frederick (and others) are right, that your best way to produce a reasonably accurate performance is using a sequencer. Besides the velocity editing, there are many more options which will go a long way towards producing something that you\'ll be very happy with. And the learning curve isn\'t anywhere as steep as Finale. Your efforts will be richly rewarded.

    You didn\'t state whether or not you were a PC or Mac user. If you\'re a PC user, you\'re in luck, in that GPO ships with a basic sequencer which would be great to start out with. As a Mac user, I\'ve depended on MOTU\'s Digital Performer for years. There are other, more modest, options for the Mac, as well, but I\'m devoted to MOTU\'s flagship product.

    Best wishes, and good luck!

  8. #8

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    Thanks, guys, for the advice. You have answered my questions as well (although I have heard these facts stated before). I have just received GPO and Cubasis and installed both. I\'m looking forwards this weekend to putting it altogether and trying my hand at it.



  9. #9

    Re: Personal Orchestra question- how does it work?

    The full priced sequencers offer mostly superior mixing and mastering capabilities e.g. more available tracks for audio files, better plugins eg. compression plugins for that hollywood sound half of the posts are full of [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) but it\'s amazing just how much quality you can get with free software these days..

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