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Topic: Solo strings in GPO questions

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  1. #1

    Solo strings in GPO questions

    My only orchestral library is the version of VSL that came with Kontakt2, which lacks solo strings. A post I read elsewhere suggests to get the Strad is the way to go, with the idea to add subsequent Garritan solo strings as they are released.

    Another possibility is getting GPO, which would also give me loads of more instruments to choose from.

    How good are the solo strings included in GPO?
    Are there any good demos that show them off? I haven't had much luck finding solos yet in the ton of demos at the Garritan site...

    Of course getting both would be cool, but I don't know if it's in the budget (I also want to add some kind of choir soon too...)

    Any opions or suggestions?

    Thanks.

    Greg

  2. #2
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    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Hi Greg. I just purchased the strad and haven’t received it yet, but I’ve had GPO for almost 3 years (it doesn’t seem that long!) and still love every minute with it.

    The very first thing I did with GPO was the first movement of Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. A few months later I did the first movement of Winter. You can check them out below:

    Spring
    Winter

    Earlier this year I wrote the first movement of a string quartet in more or less the late 18th century (i.e., classical) style. I was looking more at composition than realism of the parts, but here are 4 solo strings working together.

    1st Movement String Quartet in G

    I know I don’t do realism as well as quite a few people on this forum, but this should give some idea until something better is posted
    Trent P. McDonald

  3. #3

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    The solo strings included in GPO are of course much more restrictive in that there's no sonic morphing, there's only one rate of vibrato, and you only get the bare minimum of articulations. Thus the decision of whether to buy the Strad or GPO would be based on whether you'd rather have a vast array of many other orchestral instruments, or a much more comprehensive violin library capable of a much more realistic violin sound.

    Here are a few more solo string only string quartet demos I've created over the years:

    http://www.wizardwalk.com/music/Cano...in_C_major.mp3
    http://www.wizardwalk.com/music/Larg...in_A_major.mp3
    http://www.wizardwalk.com/music2/The...ng_Quartet.mp3

    Here's a solo violin suite I wrote two years ago or so:

    http://www.wizardwalk.com/music/Viol...1-Moderato.mp3
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Thanks for the examples. You are both much better at this than I am...

    To my ear, GPO solo strings sound pretty good on medium to slower passages, but start to break down on the faster stuff.
    I assume that GPO strings don't have any control over the vibrato?

    I guess I'll have to ponder my music priorities... At least I have a couple of weeks left to think about it.

    Thanks.

    Greg

  5. #5

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryc
    I assume that GPO strings don't have any control over the vibrato?
    That's right, that's one of the biggest disadvantages.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    That's right, that's one of the biggest disadvantages.
    Until GOS2 is released, that is.

    BTW - why is it that GPO (and GOS) are the ONLY libs to have SECOND violins? Baffles the mind.

    Gregory,
    If you need solo srings right now - I'd get GPO - you have a lot of choices, and they really aren't bad at all. You need to know how to finesse them. (like ANY library)

    If you can wait - Garritan Solo Strings will be released soon (well, the Strad Violin is released, the Gofriller Cello is JUST about to be, and Gary, Giorgio and the whole Solo String team have pretty much streamlined the whole "sonic morphing" aspect to development of these instruments, so the Viola and Contrabass are soon to be as well.

    I find that adding these solo instruments in the mix ALONG with the Violin and Cello SECTION patches, adds to the realism a LOT.

    The following are two demos that show off the solo instruments - BUT... what I want you to focus on is the string mix! This is all GPO - but I added the Solo Strad along with the violin tracks and the Cello with the cello tracks (on the cello demo)

    Solo Strad Demo
    http://www.jerrywickham.com/music/ArabianStar.mp3

    Solo Gofriller Demo
    http://www.jerrywickham.com/music/Ce..._beginning.mp3

    Oh yeah, one more... this is one I did just recently for the Garritan Christmas CD - it shows off this technique I am talking about pretty well.

    http://www.jerrywickham.com/music/O_Jesulein_Suess!_O_Jesulein_Mild!.mp3

    I hope this helps.


    Jerry Wickham


    P.S. Something more to think about - GPO's many solo strings allow for what is called "ensemble building" which is taking several of these solo instruments and combining them just as you would in a real-life setting - This technique CAN be very realistic and expressive when mixed right.
    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


  7. #7

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Thanks for your comments. Nice work on the examples.

    Out of interest: do you use the K2-VSL instruments much, or do you mostly use GPO with your other solo strings?

  8. #8

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryc
    Thanks for your comments. Nice work on the examples.

    Out of interest: do you use the K2-VSL instruments much, or do you mostly use GPO with your other solo strings?
    I love the K2 VSL library but I find GPO just a lot easier and more flexible. I do love the VSL legato patches. (flute, f. horn, cellos, etc. ) a LOT. I love K2's scripting possibilities.

    But let's say you get GPO, but have a certain VSL instrument that you just cannot live without? NO PROBLEM!

    The really neat thing about GPO is how well it "fits" in with other libraries. For example, adding the VSL staccato bows with GPO's Short Bow Aggressive patches adds a very nice effect. (and more realistic than either of them separately) I like GPO's winds better than the K2 VSL. (though - the legato flute in VSL is just awesome).

    Having only one violin section in VSL K2 edition is a major issue with me, but not a deal breaker.

    Thank heavens VSL included a Modwheel Xfade version. That is how GPO controls volume and it is way better than purely velocity based can be. And having them together is a nice blend.

    But - I often find that just adding the Solo Strad to the GPO violins and the Solo Cello to the GPO cello sections does a better job at keeping a full, yet ultimately nuanced sound to the strings, than mixing GPO and VSL.

    I have been - and suspect I will always be, given my finances, all about saving CPU. GPO works very well with my CPU possibilities. I tend to NOT do things that require an inordinate amount of CPU power to process. (i.e. having 40 instnaces of K2 running). hence, ensemble building has never been attractive to me. (but I have done it before!) GPO and the Solo Strings help me acheive the realism I am looking for without the need to do all sorts of extras.

    GPO is the best bang for your buck available. But - the important thing is that YOU need to use what you feel is best - and sounds best for YOU.

    You'll find a whole throng of people here to tell you how awesome GPO is and sounds (and they are all CORRECT! ) but YOU have to be satisfied and happy with what you use. Listen to as many demos as you can of different libraries.

    I hope that helped. To answer your question, I use other libraries too - but not nearly as much as I use GPO (say 5% others and 95% GPO)


    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


  9. #9

    Re: Solo strings in GPO questions

    Here's an older string quartet of mine:

    http://www.garritan.com/mp3/TabulaPerdita.mp3

    Cheers Matt

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