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Topic: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

  1. #1

    Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Hello, my name is James and I am brand new to this forum, as I recently purchased Garritan Personal Orchestra 4.

    A bit about myself:

    I've been a professional musician since 1983, mainly doing piano & vocal, but also being in 3 two man bands.

    I now play several instruments and have learned all about MIDI sequencing in 1997. I'm pretty comfortable with MIDI now, and have a number of MIDI sequences done, including editing them on a stand-alone sequencer - the Roland MC-50 MKII.

    With one of my sound modules, [Roland SE-1 STRINGS], I could program RPN & NRPN messages 98, 99, 100, & 101 to have some nice long release/decay tails on some of my string parts using that sound module.

    However with GPO 4, these do not cross over when recorded into my Digital Audio Workstation.

    From what I can see so far, my only real options are Control Change 21 and possibly 17 using GPO 4.

    Has anyone else run across this and does anyone know if I have any other options for this within GPO 4?

    I'm using SONAR 8.5 as my DAW host.

    I know I can do envelopes such as CC 72 and 75 [release & decay] on some other string patches [TTS -1], but I tried this with Sonar & GPO 4 to no effect.

    Otherwise I'm quite impressed with GPO 4 so far.

    Thank you for your help,


  2. #2

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    The main idea is that you "draw" the envelopes yourself using CC1. It directly controls the volume and timbre of the patch. You can get a decay by starting high(ish), and drawing a line to 0. The longer the line, the longer the decay. It sounds very natural (to me).

    This could go against your natural instinct as a synthesist. It went against mine, initially. But it helps you make the notes sound much more natural: with some experience, you can shape each note, so they don't all have the same attack or decay. It can sound even more natural if you play the mod wheel while playing the notes.

    The player's release function, which is called "length" is indeed controlled by CC21 (check the "Controls" section in Aria player to be sure). It doesn't give you a very long release, but it's a good control to tweak if you want to fill the gaps between the notes (or stop them from overlapping).

    Perhaps other members know a trick or two?

    Anyway, welcome to the board, and don't be afraid to ask. There are only a few cannibals around.

  3. #3

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Hi, James, and welcome.

    Theo's done a nice job of replying already. I wanted to add a few things:

    --CC21 is indeed the control for actual "Length" change, but you'll find it's fairly subtle. You can have it up all the way and hear only a subtle change from its default position. Yet, it does give you more decay.

    --Using volume to control the decay is a good example of how using CC1 for volume and timbre change is integral to GPO, as in Theo "Flwd"s post.

    But you don't need to draw things in, I'm sure you understand that, having a background as a keyboardist using synths. All those controls can be played and controlled in real time.

    The main thing you're up against is that traditional synths and the GPO sample library are really very different. As you've already discovered, you can't translate your developed way of using MIDI to GPO. In the Aria player, now it's clear in the Controls page, which controls are available for each instrument - and they vary. Before Aria, users were constantly having to look up in the manual to refresh their memory about how best to control each instrument.

    GPO was programmed its own unique way, you'll get accustomed to how it works.

    And I hope I see you here often.

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Hello James - welcome to a great board.

    I, too, came from a hardware synths background. The transition to software has a bit of a learning curve but this board helped me immensely. Most people are open, friendly, concise and sincere. I would recommend seeking out help from DPDAN and RANDY BOWSER (rbowser) - these guys are pros with a wealth of info and insight.

    All the best, and don't be timid! Ask away.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Thanks for the response Fellas.

    I do like the Control Change 21. It does add a nice subtle decay that works well enough alone, quite often.

    I've listened to the demos and they are very impressive.

    Now in comparison, picture the kid with the banjo on the porch in the movie "Deliverance". Now take away the banjo! That's how I felt after I finished listening to the demos. Haha! Get the picture?

    Thanks again Buds,


  6. #6

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Hi James,
    while I have no experience with the Roland sound modules and traditional midi equipment, I just started teaching myself midi back in 2004 when I bought GPO. I don't know what those midi change numbers do, but it sounds to me like you are really talking about reverb.

    I'm not sure what to suggest except Altiverb by Audio-Ease, but it is probably more than you may want spend,.... but worth every penny.

    Welcome to Northern Sounds too!

  7. #7

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Thanks for all the welcomes to the forum, guys.

    Also, thanks to DPDAN for chiming in.

    I wasn't actually talking about reverb, although one could get an idea of what I meant when thinking of a super long reverb tail, almost virtually unheard these days.

    I just meant that in one of my cover songs, I was able to use the RPN & NRPN numbers to have a nice long decay, or hold with gradual volume reduction at the end of some of my string phrases, as the next verse starts, and before the strings are ready to sound again.

    I will try what has been mentioned above, but haven't had time yet.

    You know how it is - that damn thing that always keeps getting in the way.

    What was it again, oh yea, other work.


  8. #8

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    "...hold with gradual volume reduction at the end of some of my string phrases, as the next verse starts..."

    That would definitely be CC1 work you want for that. You'll find that with a slow use of the Mod Wheel, or drawing in the data, you'll get exactly that.

    Glad you're enjoying the Forum, James--Now make more time for music!


  9. #9

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Thanks Randy

    Just what the Doctor ordered.

    I'm going to finish up my current jobs, and then wind down to just 2-3 days a week, so I can work on my tunes much much more.

    I was surprised to find that the mod wheel acted/controlled a little different than what I'm used to.

    Normally, it does vibrato intensity, but as I see in the manual, that can be controlled from a different CC #.

    While I'm at it, if I may, I noticed 3 white clickable buttons to the right. They look like piano pedals. Am I right?

    Seems that one does 'hold indefinitely'. What do the others do?


  10. #10

    Re: Post Moved From 'MIDI' For Better Exposure

    Hi, James - Sounds like you have music in your soul, so I hope you carve out more time soon for composing.

    "...I was surprised to find that the mod wheel acted/controlled a little different than what I'm used to..."

    Yes, that's what the first several responses on this thread were referring to. With Garritan Libraries, CC1, controlled by Mod Wheel, is used for volume/timbral change. If you look those responses over again now, they'll make more sense.

    In standard MIDI parlance, CC1 controls Vibrato, as you said. The instruments which have controllable Vibrato in GPO use After Touch for that, and CC17 for the Vibrato speed.

    The pedals you're referring to are for instruments which respond to the three different piano pedals. Most instruments just respond to standard sustain, CC64, which is also programmed differently in GPO than standard MIDI - it's used for Legato.

    The Authorized Steinway, a Garritan exclusive sample set from an excellent Steinway piano, uses all 3 pedals. Here's a Wiki reference to what the 3 pedals are:

    The Pedals

    Be sure to dig into the PDF of the GPO manual. All this and much more info is there.

    Randy B.

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