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Topic: Articulations in GPO compared

  1. #1

    Articulations in GPO compared


    I bought, for better or for worse, EW. Not sure I'm happy with the instrument range because as mostly up to this point only having the resources to write/record my pop-song-oriented material, I'm not sure if I'm SUPPOSED to be happy or not happy with it.

    And before I ask my question, please know that I'm trying *NOT* to beat anyone (or product) up, or do a "this one wins" - I don't mind having both - kind of like if this was a few decades ago and I lived in Utah, I may have married both Marilyn Monroe AND Jayne Mansfiend, but that's just me, and now that I think about it, maybe even not since they both had issues anyway and Dr. Phil wasn't around back then.

    Seriously, I don't have strict compositional technique needs so I don't need "every range of everything", but I can't seem to find a list of the various GPO articulations.

    The GPO demos are absolutely awesome, and in my opinion better than even the EW Plat, but in the time I was buying the store that HAD GPO sold it and had EW Silver.

    What are the ranges of articulations and I have been reading that they are much easier to control in GPO.

    Needs are more of a writer's studio with intent to produce, and I'll go to EW Platinum with Symph Choirs, but if the info is here for GPO that I don't need to and save $2500 overall, that's kind of cool, too.

    Anyone also know anything about the Advanced and the Choirs to come out as far as specifics instruments/voices/articulations/etc?

    Thank you so very much, and I appreciate any input from Silver or non-Silver users, alike.

    (The thought also seems to be from EW that Silver is nothing more than an "Educational tool" while GPO is actually being used in productions, etc.)

    This is not a "better than" as much as a "what's more applicable and helpful for the situation". They both are good...

    Thanks, again,

    - Paul G.

  2. #2

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared

    Hi there,

    I don't know if this will help you, but I have Silver too, and it's just taking up space on my G: drive.


  3. #3

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared


    Thanks for the reply. Can you share some of your background/interests and what types of things that you use GPO for so I can get an idea of any applicable similarities?

    (Besides the similarity in your, ahem, "initials" and my wife's infatuation with M&M's, of course...)


    - Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared


    GPO takes a different approach to articulations. There are two types of articulations - performance-based and sample-based articulations.

    GPO was designed GPO to "play" many articulations in real-time with the use of controllers. Articulations in the real world are not separate sounds per se, but instructions directing the player how to play in real time. We try to provide the programming to allow you to emulate this as much as possible, on the fly with the use of controllers. There is no end to the number of attacks, lengbths, releases, etc that can be sampled and we thought it best that this be controlled by the user through the use of controllers. One of the reasons GPO is so easy to use is that an articulation can be molded into a endless array of possibilities.

    There are instances where a particular articulation - such as pizzicato, flutter tongue, etc, - must be provided by separate samples. In such cases we provide keyswitches to allow the user ro switch between sample-based ariculations on-the-fly.

    Another distinguishing feature with GPO is the ability to build ensembles from individual instruments. You can build entire sections or orchestras one instrument at a time. Here's a link to information about the ensemble building feature: http://www.garritan.com/GPO-ensemble.html

    If you're like many musicians, your musical situation and applications change depending upon the nature of each project. I believe that having as many colors and tools in your orchestral palette would beneficial.

    Gary Garritan

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Brooklyn, NY

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared to EW Silver

    This is a dilemma that I have pondered myself. Ultimately I ended up having both. EWQLSO Silver is considered the "starter" level and is compared to GPO primarily because of the price similarity. The main difference between the two libraries (I find) is that the EWQLSO libraries are designed with a bigger, more "soundtrack-y" sound and that the instruments (particularly the strings) are presented as complete sections. GPO also has full sections but is designed so that you can also build up your sections from individual instruments into any size ensemble you want. GPO also give you a whole set of samples for 2nd violins, something which EWQLSO does not. This "ensemble building" approach extends throughout all the instrumental sections. In terms of articulations - there are more individual articulation patches in EWQLSO which sound very good but require more "piecing together" of different patches to get the performance you want. GPO's patches are more geared towards (but certainly not limited to) someone playing them realtime on a keyboard - so the sus+short strings will play legato, sustained or staccato, depending on how you play the keys, and don't require additional patches loaded in. Both libraries featured keyswitch patches which allow you to switch between pre-loaded articulations by entering certain notes.

    The sound of EWQLSO is "fatter", but the samples are dry and you have the benefit of adding reverb to your liking. GPOs sound is leaner and also dry, but can be juiced up with appropriate EQing and reverb as is evidenced by many of the demos.

    I have found that for the most part the two libraries work well together, as the particular strengths of each library compliment each other quite well.

    One must never underestimate one of the most important aspects of purchasing any sample library though, and that is customer support and user forums - and this is where GPO really shines above others. On many forums you can find a disturbing level of snobbishness among people which seems to be based primarily on how much one pays for one's software. On the GPO forum my experience has been that people work with all kinds of libraries and that the ultimate goal is the production of good sounding music, not putting down someone else's product. Also, I think you will find here a group of people who are always willing to help those who need help or direct one to where they can find what they are looking for.

    The EWQLSO libraries are all coming out with "Pro" upgrades which will significantly add to the available palette. GPO Advanced, when it comes out, will undoubtedly be (based on the reports of what we can expect) truly "advanced".

    As for choirs, EWQLSO has its big Symphonic Choirs being released tomorrow which is sonically designed to integrate with the EWQLSO libraries. Garritan has no immediate plans to release a choir library. There have been hints that it's being considered but we're not holding our breath (well, maybe just a little).

    So, after all of this, I'm not sure if I answered your questions. You can get amazing results from all sample libraries, it's just a question of learning the techniques that coax the best from each.

  6. #6

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared

    Well, in my bad habit of being too blunt and using too few words, I think that I came off the wrong way Sorry. Please see the personal mail that I just sent to you It should answer a lot of your questions pertaining to me.

    GPO's solos are the best by far. Hands down, no comparison. IMO, that's the strength of GPO. Everyone uses these libraries for different things and in different ways. I'm not sure that any of us can completely give you the one answer that you're looking for. Both are good - just in different ways.


    (trying to get foot out of mouth...)

  7. #7

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared

    I'm trying to learn about GPO while waiting for it to arrive (group buy). I'll be driving it with Sibelius 3. I have neither a MIDI keyboard nor a sequencer (thus no controller beyond what comes with Kontakt).

    Paul's questions about articulations in GPO are timely for me since I have been looking for a list of the GPO sample-based articulations on this site. I see the lists for GOS but none for GPO, which makes me nervous that most or all of them may not come with the GPO strings. Does GPO have basic trill, tremolo, pizz, and sordino (strings and brass), for instance? And does GPO respond to my notated or textual indications in Sibelius for these features?

    Also, it's not clear to me what the difference is between GOS and the strings in GPO -- mostly a greater range of articulations and the controls for the former? I need to be able to make a respectable demo CD, though not so good that it could pass for the Vienna Philharmonic. In essence, will the GPO strings and Sibelius suffice, or will I need to shell out another $599 for the fancy fiddling plus more for a sequencer or keyboard (and I am no pianist)?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Brooklyn, NY

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared


    The strings in GPO will more than cover your basic string articulation needs. GOS is a dedicated string library and as such is going to be more thorough and contain more of the specialized articulations.

    The great thing about GPO strings is that each section has (in addition to individually loaded pizz, mute, tremolo, trill articulations) keyswitch patches where these basic articulations are bundled together in one patch. The changes are triggered by playing a designated note outside the instrument's range. I use GPO with Sibelius and find that this can be accomplished by placing a hidden note (choose a different voice) in your score prior to the articulation change. Someone has already written a plug-in the automatically enters the keyswitch note for the pizz articulation, and I assume others will follow.

    The brass patches also contain mutes, and I believe they too are bundled in keyswitch patches as well. Bear in mind that volume changes in GPO are handled by mod wheel info (CC1). As you know, entering MIDI controller info in Sibelius is a bit awkward so you might want to look into an entry-level version of Cubase or other sequencer program that handles VST plug-in instruments. This would allow you to export your Sibelius file as a regular MIDI file and then get more subtle expressivity by tweaking it in a sequencer.

    I would recommend you do searches on this site for info on using Sibelius with GPO as there are a lot of good tips available to get you up and running.

  9. #9

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared

    Thanks LG, this is reassuring. -- Doug

  10. #10

    Re: Articulations in GPO compared

    Hi Paul,

    I have replied to you via PM, but I thought this could help others.
    I can't tell you much about GPO because I don't have it - yet!! It should arrive tomorrow all being well. I don't know how well I can advise you, all I can do is tell you of a small epiphany I had last week!

    I would love Platinum, or Gold Pro - they sound fantastic! To my ears, the Vienna Symphonic Library sounds even better! We have finally got to the stage where computers and samples can almost create a fully authentic orchestral reproduction. I have been planning on upgrading my Silver to Silver Pro, but there was a small doubt because I don't want that - I want Gold, Platinum, VSL! Listening to the demos fills me with amazement - and then it hit me. There is no point in me buying them because I cannot use them. I can write good music, but my orchestration and composition skills are still in their infancy! It would be a big waste of money for me (even if I had that much to 'waste' ).

    What I realised was that I want to compose and orchestrate well enough to use those libraries.. so I need to start learning. For me this means more study, learn to notate and understand musical notation and lots of practice. I bought GPO for the following reasons:

    - It has a number of key articulations that are missing from Silver.

    - It's ensemble building means I can learn to compose using individual instruments rather than just section sounds.

    - It comes with a notation package - Overture SE that I hope to learn to use and compose/orchestrate with.

    - And finally, because the UK deal of £89 was just too good to miss!!!

    I know that GPO is not the only library in the world, but it does sound good. From the demos I would say that its strengths are in warm lush strings and expressive winds. It's weaknesses seem to be in brass and percussion - but Silver is good at these so the two libraries should compliment each other very well.

    Anyhow, take care,


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