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Topic: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

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  1. #1

    Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    I know, I know, the "Which library should I choose?" is a worn out question... but please bear with me

    So far I've used Kirk Hunter Solo Strings a lot, and although I really like them for many things, they are somewhat limited in terms of real-time expression. So I'm trying to decide between the Vienna Instruments Solo Strings Library and the Garritan Stradivari Violin (including the upcoming cello and viola). The Vienna Instruments solo strings seems really sweet with their user interface and I like the sound of the library, but it seems to me that the Garritan solo violin goes all the way to the top of the mountain in terms of realism and real-time performance. It will cost me more to get all the individual Garritan instruments, but I would like to have a library that I can really work with for a long time.

    - Anyone here that has used these libraries that could comment?

    I'm leaning towards the Garritan solo libraries, hence posting in this forum but have a couple of questions:

    - I'm on a Mac G4 Dual 1.42 GHz with 1.5 GB RAM, will this be enough to run four instruments simultaneously? (Two violins, viola and cello, Cubase SX as host)

    - Does the Garritan solo strings use up/down bowing and can this be controlled via MIDI (as opposed to being automatic)?

    - Will the Garritan solo strings work with a notation program like Sibelius, or will the controllers get in the way and mess up notation when recorded in realtime - or not be played back correctly from a notation program? I'm asking this because I consider leaving Cubase for small orchestral arrangements and get serious with notation software, as the compositions are intended to be played/read by musicians in performance and recording situations.

    - Will the upcoming K2 player version of the Garritan solo strings be a free update to the K2 library version that is out now?

    Cheers,
    Jack

  2. #2

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - I'm on a Mac G4 Dual 1.42 GHz with 1.5 GB RAM, will this be enough to run four instruments simultaneously? (Two violins, viola and cello, Cubase SX as host)
    HI Jack!

    Yes. You have more than enough for four simultaneous instances ot GPO. I have less than you as far as power and I can get about 10-13 instruments playing at the same time before I get CPU overload (depends upon the instruments loaded).
    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - Does the Garritan solo strings use up/down bowing and can this be controlled via MIDI (as opposed to being automatic)?
    I have not used the Sibelius version of GPO, so I do not know about the up/down bow strokes, but I do know that standard GPO's solo strings up and down samples are triggered via the sustain pedal. so, yes, you can control those via MIDI.

    You used the term "Garritan Solo strings". Just in case you were thinking there was a separate solo strings library, there is not. There is GOS, which is Garritan ORCHESTRAL Strings, but I am unsure if solo instruments will be included in that library. (there is none in v. 1) There are, however, solo string instruments in Garritan Personal Orchestra. Is this what you are referring to? I know that Gary has released the Solo Stradivari, and plans on releasing other solo strings that follow the same programming and technology, the Gofriller Cello has already been announced and have had several Demos created using it (do a search), but a Contrabass, and Viola will be released too, but those are forthcoming. (As is GOS 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - Will the Garritan solo strings work with a notation program like Sibelius, or will the controllers get in the way and mess up notation when recorded in realtime - or not be played back correctly from a notation program? I'm asking this because I consider leaving Cubase for small orchestral arrangements and get serious with notation software, as the compositions are intended to be played/read by musicians in performance and recording situations.
    Read my comment above. Sibelius has a GPO edition that has been programmed specifically to work within Sibelius. Articulations and other markings will trigger the appropriate MIDI controllers to perform the desired tasks. (and also will trigger keyswitches to other samples automatically - "pizz." will trigger the keyswitch that has the pizzicato samples of the instrument. "arco" will trigger the keyswitch to change back. etc.)

    Finale 2007 also has a GPO edition with it and also works very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird

    - Will the upcoming K2 player version of the Garritan solo strings be a free update to the K2 library version that is out now?

    Cheers,
    Jack
    Uhm - that one I am not sure of.

    Anyone?

    Jerry
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  3. #3
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    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    HI, Wirebird. I remember reading somewhere that the K2 player version of Garritan's Stradivari Violin will be an extra $50. Sorry I can't help you more.

    Jerry, if you read the beginning of Wirebird's post you'll see he was not talking about GPO.

    I think there is going to be a lot of choices in the future as developers use different technologies to gain realism. It will be great to see how the Synful violin will improve in the future. There is also this partial post from a recent synful thread that shows another great possibility. (IMHO)

    [quote=Elhardt]Real men don't buy preset synth libraries. They synthesize their own sounds using analog based subtractive synthesis. Remember what that is. It's what nobody seems to take seriously even though it's capable of any sound you can imagine. Problem is nobody can seem to program it well and push it to its limits, so that's where I step in. It may be difficult, but I can patch together about 100 modules which include a 42 bandpass filter bank to get the job done.

    Here's a synthesized violin on the virtual analog Nord Modular synth using subtractive synthesis.

    http://home.att.net/~elhardt4/Nord_Violin_Maneuvers.mp3

  4. #4

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy B.
    Jerry, if you read the beginning of Wirebird's post you'll see he was not talking about GPO.
    Whoops! Right you are, Jeremy! Sorry about that.



    Never mind the above then.
    Jack,
    The Strad and the Cello together use up about 4550% of my CPU. I am sure that adding another instance of the Strad and a Viola would top me out.

    But, you have a dual processor, and 512 megs more ram than I do, but I am not certain what your system can handle.

    The solo instruments use different MIDI controller numbers to be manipulated than GPO uses. Since the solo strings are still manipulated with MIDI data, I know that you CAN control it via Sibelius, BUT... you would have to do some setting up definitions in sibelius for which articulations would control the CC data for those instruments. Luckily, the keyswitches and other controllers are the same with the Cello as they are with the Strad, so I assume that if you set up a single definition library (using Finale terminology here) to help Sibelius know how to control the solo instruments, those definitions would be almost universal for ALL the solo String libraries. I am speaking out of assumption, since they have yet to be released.

    By the time they are all released, I am sure that some enterprising and helpful persons will have created definitions for all the major notation apps out there. And it will be a simple matter of loading those definitions into your notation app and getting to work.

    But at this point, simply loading Sibelius and loading up the Solo Strad would not yield good results without some helping Sibelius know how to manipulate the library correctly. The same is true for Finale.

    I know that Nickie Fønshuage has written a K2 Strad library that works for Finale 2006 and 2007. It uses standard K2, and not the strad k2 PLAYER.
    So this is proof that it CAN BE DONE.

    As far as controlling up or down bows, I know that holding down a note, and then the sustain pedal, and then playing another note (or the same one) will give you a bow direction change.

    Sorry to not have read everything carefully in the first place.

    Good luck on this - Best wishes,


    Jerry Wickham
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  5. #5
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    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Jack,

    Right now we only have the Solo Stradivari on the market as a Kontakt 2 library. In a few weeks it will come with its own player and the price will remain at $199. Soon we will also release the Solo Cello followed later this year by the Solo Viola and Double Bass.

    If you all four solo strings right away then the only choice is to go with VSL. It's a very good product.

    If you can wait you may want to consider our solo strings. With Giorgio's work and the unique sonic morphing technology, these strings can do things no other solo string library can do. You can seamlessly morph between dynamics and you can control the onset, rate and intesity of the vibrato in rreal-time (also not possible with other solo string libraries). There's also a great deal more real-time control and many articulations are playable on-the-fly. If expression and real-time performace is important, then you may want to wait.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - I'm on a Mac G4 Dual 1.42 GHz with 1.5 GB RAM, will this be enough to run four instruments simultaneously? (Two violins, viola and cello, Cubase SX as host)
    Jerry seems to get good results on a G4, but we don't have 4 instruments yet to test a quartet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - Will the Garritan solo strings work with a notation program like Sibelius, or will the controllers get in the way and mess up notation when recorded in realtime - or not be played back correctly from a notation program? I'm asking this because I consider leaving Cubase for small orchestral arrangements and get serious with notation software, as the compositions are intended to be played/read by musicians in performance and recording situations.
    We are working with Finale for integration with Human Playback. As far as Sibelius we are unsure as to future plans due in part to the recent acquisition by M-Audio, but we should know fairly soon. For Overture, it should work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    - Will the upcoming K2 player version of the Garritan solo strings be a free update to the K2 library version that is out now?
    Becuase of licensing fees and production costs we will probably charge a small upgrade fee for exisiting Stradivari users (perhaps $29 to cover costs). The new upgrade will not only have the Kontakt 2 Player but will also have new features and programming (we added a "Lyrical Violin" patch that is sweeet! )

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Gary Garritan

  6. #6

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Jack,

    I agree with Gary, that the Vienna solo strings are very good, but, as far as I know, they have been recorded with fixed vibrato. You can choose to use the vibrato, or you can choose not to, but you can't change it. It's like painting with numbers - it can be neat, but it is not art.

    Now, the Garritan Solo Strings, of which I have had the immense pleasure of working with the Stradivari, let you control Vibrato Ambience/depth and Frequency/speed continuously, which is the hallmark of a realistic string library. Add to this the beautiful sound, and you have todays state of the art.

    The Stradivari does use up/down bowing, and this can to some extent be controlled with KeySwitches and the Sustain pedal. There is a separate Downbow KeySwitch and a KeySwitch with Spiccato attacks, that alternates between up- and downbow samples (also used for sustained notes). The Sustain Pedal, Jerry mentioned, doesn't give you a true bowchange, since it doesn't change bowdirection attack (it alternates between 4 downbow attacks); it is designed to simulate bowchange on the same note.

    The K2 Strad library (to be extended to cover the remaining GSS librarires), Jerry mentioned, is a K2 script plus Finale libraries. It was designed for Finale, but I expect the script can work with other notation programmes/sequencers as well. It should still be considered a beta version (I found a minor bug just now, when checking something for this post ), but is fairly stable. It is free and can be downloaded from this thread, if you want to give it a shot. It was, however, written to acommodate my work style (and keyboard limitations), so it may of course not suit you. Or you can write your own script. That is the beauty with K2 - it is soo flexible in terms of customization.

    When Gary says, the remaining libraries will be out later this year (I once read a rumour of a second violin - is this a Christmas bonus, Gary?), I would wait for them, if I was you. I know they will put a severe drain on my bank account

  7. #7

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie Fønshauge
    Jack,
    The Sustain Pedal, Jerry mentioned, doesn't give you a true bowchange, since it doesn't change bowdirection attack (it alternates between 4 downbow attacks); it is designed to simulate bowchange on the same note.
    Whoops! Thanks Nickie! I was wrong again. (my track record tonight is HORRIBLE!) In my defense, as a beta tester, the manual had not been written yet. I was given kind of a loose description of meanings of keyswitches and then I just did a lot of tinkering. I had forgotten that the sustain pedal technique was for simulation of bow change on the same note only. I am not sure why I thought it would work for two different notes.

    When learning for the first time, I tend to tinker first, and then consult manuals later if needed anyway. But there are times that method is flawed. So, I really need to learn some more of the technical sides of what things can do before trying to describe it to others. I bet writing a script for it really gave you insights I doubt that I would have had. I have to say - I am sooo grateful to have been able to beta test it. It really is a thrill to play.

    I'll keep quiet now guys. Please accept my apologies if I confused anyone.

    But I will say that everything about the Garritan Solo strings is just awesome. The playability, the sound, the expressiveness which is immediate. THOSE are reasons to try holding out until they are released.

    Jerry
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  8. #8

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Thanks a lot guys, you've been very helpful

    As I suspected, it seems that the Garritan solo string libraries will be the best choice for my needs.

    Jerry,
    I already have GPO and it's indeed powerful in terms of CPU usage, if I remember correctly my last GPO arrangement on my G4 dual 1.42 with 1.5 GB ram had more than 50 instruments playing and the CPU was still going strong.
    Regarding the Garritan solo string libraries, it sounds like I will be able to play four of these on my setup without a problem - great news, thanks Jerry!
    I'll look into the notation software issues, it seems I will have to do some programming to get it to work, but that's ok. I've already spent about a week of programming on the Kirk Hunter solo strings, since they were not compatible with Kontakt 1 at the time.

    Gary,
    thanks for your input, I'll wait for the K2 player version to be released then. Good news that the rest of the libraries will be out sometime during the rest of this year, as I don't need all four instruments right away, I can wait a while for the rest.

    Nickie,
    thanks, I agree, being able to control vibrato in real-time is crucial for realism. If the Vienna Instruments have fixed vibrato, then they fall out of the frame for me, as I've already worked this way for a couple of years with the Kirk Hunter solo strings, where vibrato is on or off.
    I'll check out the script!

    Cheers,
    Jack

  9. #9

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirebird
    Thanks a lot guys, you've been very helpful
    Gary,
    thanks for your input, I'll wait for the K2 player version to be released then. Good news that the rest of the libraries will be out sometime during the rest of this year, as I don't need all four instruments right away, I can wait a while for the rest.
    Gary,

    Will all 4 really be out by the end of this year? Do you mean this calendar year or within a year?

    I had no idea those instruments were so close to completion.

  10. #10

    Re: Garritan solo strings or Vienna Instruments solo strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry W.
    I'll keep quiet now guys. Please accept my apologies if I confused anyone.
    Jerry: You are forgiven, my son

    Besides, although the manual has one page devoted to CC#64, it doesn't mention anything about the nature of the bowchange attacks. This I found out by watching K2's Group Editor. Writing the script did give me some valuable insights. And CC#64 does work on two different notes too, as you rightly thought; that is just not what it was primarily designed for, me think.

    Jack: Please don't overinterpret, what I said about the Vienna Solo Strings. I said "as far as I know, they have been recorded with fixed vibrato". I don't own the V.I. Solo Strings, so can't say it for sure. But previous versions of VSL libraries were recorded with fixed vibrato, and I have not seen any evidence, that the latest version is any different. Tons and tons of various patches - like the Kirk Hunter libraries - seems to be the Vienna way of doing things.

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