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Topic: Tip Of The Week: Controlling vibrato in GPO

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  1. #1

    Tip Of The Week: Controlling vibrato in GPO

    Once in awhile, here at the Garritan Forums, I'll notice people discovering for the first time that vibrato can be controlled in a number of GPO's instruments. And it's not just newcomers, but sometimes it's long-time users who haven't been previously aware of this available control.

    I need to add right away that you can't control the vibrato in the strings, because those samples have been recorded with vibrato.

    And it can be a bit confusing, trying to understand the logic of what samples have vibrato available, and which don't. As the GPO manual says on p. 73 of the manual:

    "...Vibrato Control: Non-vibrato (NonVib) solo woodwind and brass instruments have vibrato control. There are two vibrato controllers: Aftertouch (controls vibrato intensity) and Controller CC#17 (controls the vibrato speed). Using these controls, vibrato can be added to a solo part with natural variations in entrance timing, speed variations, and intensity.

    • Hidden Aftertouch (aka Channel Pressure) Vibrato Intensity: Many keyboards send Aftertouch data when finger pressure on a key is varied while the key is held. Aftertouch data is used to adjust the vibrato intensity of an NonVib instrument. This controller data can also be “drawn” into MIDI tracks manually.

    • Vibrato Speed Controller CC#17: This controller, when used in conjunction with Aftertouch, will vary the vibrato speed. CC#17 can be assigned to an available slider or knob on a hardware keyboard to give real-time control. This controller data can also be “drawn” into MIDI tracks manually.

    It is important to be aware that the vibrato features do not apply to any instruments with naturally recorded vibrato in the samples (such as stringed instruments). Instruments that have vibrato control will display a knob labeled “VibSpd(CC17)” in the Instrument Controls on the Controls tab of the interface..."


    Why exactly it was decided that AfterTouch would be a "hidden" controller in GPO is something I've never understood. But it really is hidden, completely invisible - So it's no surprise that a lot of users never discover it.

    When you open the Controls tab of an instrument loaded in ARIA, as the manual says, you may see the vibrato speed control, "VibSpd(CC17)" knob, but you won't see the requisite AfterTouch knob. When I've asked the developers why it's hidden in GPO, and yet visible in Instant Orchestra, they've said that they've been considering adding it to GPO in the next upgrade. I can say with absolutely no doubt, that if the knob was added, then the fact that vibrato can be controlled in so many GPO instruments wouldn't be such obscure knowledge.

    AfterTouch is often included in the abilities of a keyboard, and it's tied to key pressure, as the manual says above. AT being triggered when you push down on the keys of sustained notes. But that can be an iffy way of controlling AT. I never rely on key pressure, but have AT assigned to one of my keyboard's controls, and I edit the results as needed in the PRV. That's a simple matter of asking for a new type of data, and in the left hand corner of the menu dialogue in Sonar, you choose ChanAft.

    The list of all GPO instruments that will respond to AT for vibrato has been posted quite a few times over the years, but here's the link again in a 2005 post from Tom Hopkins:

    List of Instruments with Vibrato Control

    But, as the manual says, look at the instrument's Controls page. If there's a vibrato speed knob - then you can use AT. And notice you can add it to instruments that usually aren't played with vibrato, such as the clarinet.

    IMPORTANT - You don't want to just insert some AT value and leave it at that. Like any dynamic MIDI control, you want to either record it (highly preferable) or draw it in. After a note has been established, swoop the AT in for varying amounts of vibrato, just as musicians do when playing their instruments. The finishing touch is then to also record CC17 to vary the speed of the vibrato.

    In GPO generated recordings, once in awhile I'll still hear trumpets which stay perfectly flat on sustained notes, and of course it sounds unnatural. Only GPO users who aren't aware of vibrato control are doing that in their work.

    SO - most of you knew this already, but it's a topic that has to come up once in awhile. - There's no reason for having your GPO recordings to not have natural sounding vibrato when it's called for.

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Controlling vibrato in GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    When I've asked the developers why it's hidden in GPO, and yet visible in Instant Orchestra, they've said that they've been considering adding it to GPO in the next upgrade.
    Thanks again for these tips! And not to be ungracious (while perhaps appearing to be so), do you or the developers know if unvibratoed strings will ever be available in GPO? I love GPO but I don't like a lot of vibrato in unvirtual instruments so I'd like to be able to control it in my virtualized ones.

  3. #3

    Re: Tip Of The Week: Controlling vibrato in GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    Thanks again for these tips! And not to be ungracious (while perhaps appearing to be so), do you or the developers know if unvibratoed strings will ever be available in GPO? I love GPO but I don't like a lot of vibrato in unvirtual instruments so I'd like to be able to control it in my virtualized ones.
    I don't think it would be out of line for me to say that it's highly unlikely that the strings in GPO will ever be changed in that way.

    But, the much anticipated revival of the Garritan Orchestra Strings is a project which isn't dead, despite all the disappointments over the course of quite a few years when people thought it was going to be coming out. It is still on the table, and along with everyone else, I hope it's released this year. That Library would be the one where more sophisticated strings with vibrato control would be included.

    Randy

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