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Topic: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

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  1. #1

    GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    I'm a new user of Sibelius 3 (~ 1.5 months; Win2000, 2.4GB, 256MB RAM, another GB on order). My project is scoring a couple hours' worth of music for orchestra. Kontakt Silver sounds are actually not bad for packaged samples, but GPO's sound so much better that I have ordered via the group buy -- Cubasis not included. I've not fussed with MIDI playback in Sibelius yet, and am a bit disquieted to hear that the controller is a bother to use.

    My question is to what degree a sequencer is necessary to make a good if not stupendous demo CD, and which one do GPO/Sibelius users with similar projects find the most satisfactory?

    Browsing through the last few months of posts in this forum that mention Sibelius with GPO, I see no clear recommendation of Sibelius-sequencer combination, nor a thorough explanation of why I would need a sequencer if I have a high-end notation program. I have an old Digital Orchestrator Plus (which was little used and is now nonfunctional in W2000) that I could upgrade, but would Cubase or Cakewalk or ? be better?

    And which level -- low end or pro? I'm not anxious to fork out hundreds more after thinking that the $500+ I've already paid for new software was going to do the job, but of course I recognize that a stripped program may not cut it. User-friendliness is another factor: I'd much rather focus on learning more about orchestration than learning to be an audio engineer, though I can do the techy stuff if I have to.

  2. #2

    Smile Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Doug,
    I own Sibelius and enjoy very much as a notation program. However, I do not consider Sibelius to be a sequencer. Yes, it has rudimentary sequencing capabilities, however nothing close to Cubase SX or Sonar. I like using Sibelius to notate music, then I export the MIDI to Cubase SX 3 and then I begin working on the MIDI/audio side of things.

    Choosing the right sequencer is a very subjective process. It is all about workflow. For instance, in Cubase SX 3 I can now edit multiple MIDI tracks that are all open in windows stacked vertically on my monitor. It has improved my productivity tremendously. Since you don't want to shell out $500+ for a sequencer, there are other options. Cubasis is an option. Tracktion has received good reviews. There are others, too, but I can't give you a fair review because I have not used them. I'm sure other forum members will reply with suggestions.

    Sequencers also offer other benefits other than MIDI editing. You also get great control over audio for mixing, adding effects like reverb, EQ, etc. and exporting the end result to multiple audio formats.

    If I were you I'd take some time, download some demos and find out what fits your style the most. If you take your time and put some discovery into your decision it will pay off significantly in the future.

    Good luck!

    -LFO
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  3. #3
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    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Personally, I do not use the sequencer at all since I discovered that GPO Studio and notation will produce a good wave file. I probably miss out on some fine editing or effects opportunities. But all the really essential editing for expression - that is, crescendo, diminuendo, sound balance between the parts. accelerando and rit., can all be found now even on quite old notation programmes, or in live play, direct from GPO.

  4. #4

    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    Personally, I do not use the sequencer at all since I discovered that GPO Studio and notation will produce a good wave file. I probably miss out on some fine editing or effects opportunities. But all the really essential editing for expression - that is, crescendo, diminuendo, sound balance between the parts. accelerando and rit., can all be found now even on quite old notation programmes, or in live play, direct from GPO.
    I agree with this fine chap. I've been using Overture SE since I've purchased GPO and the need for a 'pro' sequencer has (almost) never presented itself. Furthermore, with Overture's next upgrade including VSTi support, Sonar etc seems more a bother than a solution...especially for someone who 'sees' music as notation almost as much as I hear it.

    I realize this isn't much help to Mr. Smith...this is for all you lurkers out there!

  5. #5
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    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    But we have to remember that the goup buy does not include either Cubasis or Overture. I also use Sibelius for scoring, but the difficulty lies in achieving smooth dynamic gradations in my score. Since GPO's dynamics are controlled via mod wheel that means you have to add CC1 data to your Sibelius score and that is quite a bit more complicated than just drawing in the data graphically in either Overture or a sequencer. Sequencer packages also have the added benefit of allowing you to assign channels to individual notes in a track (at least Sonar does) which is good for changing articulations on one track of MIDI data. I've been using Sonar 4 (Studio Edition) for the past six months and find it makes a huge difference for me. I import my MIDI file that I export from Sibelius and I'm good to go. You can use Sibelius to produce an audio file with GPO but it is just a lot more work, primarily because of MIDI controller issues, in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    If you look around on the web, you can find Cubase SE for about $75 and it will let you do most things, at least the ones you would most likely be interested in, and find out if you like/need to work with a sequencer. Then, later, if you find you need more you can move up to Sonar or Cubase SL or SX.

    Tom

  7. #7
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    I have used Finale and Sibelius, but am a Finale user at present.

    Yes, one of the things I have a problem with is the controller editing within notation packages. Another thing is the ability to control and edit timing to create a more lifelike performance. So, I export to Cubase and edit there. It's also important to have a program for mixing and recording. Balance is important, and hard to achieve without a good sequencer / recorder.

    Cubase gives me most of what I need, but it is still dismal when you are trying to play with timing, slight nuances that need to be applied to make the performance more REAL and WARM. I know that Performer allows for a conductor e.g. using the space bar to conduct beats, but this is not in Cubase. In the end, to create more accurate performance data, you physically need to lengthen, offset, anticipate, and shorten notes in the data. This can be a royal PITA. I just don't know any other way. The auto-feel algo's just don't do it. How can they if they don't know the structure of a complicated phrase?

    In summary, doesn't matter what you use. You still have to apply the sweat. Most of teh sequencers are throwing in every bell and whistle - 5.1, iVST, ReWire, putyourthinghere. But, my advise is KISS.

    That said, you may want to consider looking at Tracktion. You can download a demo version from their web site. I was impressed with the ease of use and interface. And it's inexpensive. It should get you 95% of what you need in a sequencer /Audio package

  8. #8

    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Finale user here. I agree with some of what has been said convering Overture. When 4 comes out, you may never need a sequencer ever again.
    It will let you edit and nuance like a sequencer.
    But until then........

    I wanted to put a good word in for Tracktion
    http://www.mackie.com/products/tracktion/index.html

    It is inexpensive, VERY VERY VERY CPU and Ram friendly and is extremely easy to learn and use. It is ALL ONE WINDOW - no extra menus here, no extra windows there, it is VERY nice.

    It also is very powerful. It has a lot of features the expensive big boys do.

    You can DL a demo and try it out - Once you get used to the interface, trust me - it will be a GREAT app to work in.

    I constantly create something in Finale and then export it. I then import it into Tracktion and go to town editing it for a VERY realistic performance version that matches my printed version!!

    For what THAT was worth!!

    Jerry Wickham
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    My Website!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Im starting to be sold on my own and others advice. Have a go with Tracktion!

  10. #10

    Re: GPO and Sibelius -- which sequencer to use?

    Thank you, gentlemen. I'll download a couple sequencers and try them out.

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