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 Tips for creating realistic string/symphony sounds
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bpoco Offline
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004
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Location: Chicago


PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject: Tips for creating realistic string/symphony sounds Reply with quote

I recently purchased Garritan Personal Orchestra. Does any one have some road tested tips for helping make synth strings sound more realistic? Straight midi notes don't cut it.

Thanks -

bpoco
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dobro Offline
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Joined: 01 Nov 2003
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Age: 29


PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the Garritan stuff was samples, not synth sounds.

How about this:

http://www.garritan.com/gpo4manual.html

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bpoco Offline
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Chicago


PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobro wrote:
I thought the Garritan stuff was samples, not synth sounds.

How about this:

http://www.garritan.com/gpo4manual.html



You're correct. It is sample based. I tend to generalize anything controlled by midi as "synthesizer".

Anyway - thanks for the link. I actually purchased the older GPO3 (it still supported DXi and had relaxed CPU requirements). After a quick glance, it looks like the GPO4 manual may have more to offer with regard to tips for creating realistic strings, etc. than the GP03 manual does.

But - to be honest, I didn't give the GP03 manual a chance. I assumed it focused more on the technical use of the interface. But, in my defense, who reads manuals? Very Happy

bpoco
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bpoco wrote:
dobro wrote:
I thought the Garritan stuff was samples, not synth sounds.

How about this:

http://www.garritan.com/gpo4manual.html



You're correct. It is sample based. I tend to generalize anything controlled by midi as "synthesizer".

Anyway - thanks for the link. I actually purchased the older GPO3 (it still supported DXi and had relaxed CPU requirements). After a quick glance, it looks like the GPO4 manual may have more to offer with regard to tips for creating realistic strings, etc. than the GP03 manual does.

But - to be honest, I didn't give the GP03 manual a chance. I assumed it focused more on the technical use of the interface. But, in my defense, who reads manuals? Very Happy


It's a good defense. I read them as seldom as possible. I like to get in there and just start using the gear. However, I've been amazed in the last couple of years to find that the manual's useful. Very often I'm on page 9 going: "Damn! Really? Who'd'a thought?" Laughing

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MDK Offline
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Joined: 28 Mar 2006
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Location: North Carolina
Age: 57


PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd take a look at your MIDI velocities firstly. Most synths and samplers sound their best in the middle range of the 0-127 velocity scale. The problem with most people's keyboard playing is that they tend to play in the above-100 velocity range, giving them little headroom for accents.

Use of expression controller messages (CC11) for swells and fades is helpful.

Overlap notes for legato playing, or separate them slightly so you can hear the note attacks.

Play like an orchestra, not a keyboard player. Each single instument plays only one simultaneous note, not chords. Use several different violin tracks on top of an ensemble patch for a more realistic ensemble sound.

Don't quantize anything!!!!

Hope this helps.
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bpoco Offline
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Chicago


PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDK wrote:
I'd take a look at your MIDI velocities firstly. Most synths and samplers sound their best in the middle range of the 0-127 velocity scale. The problem with most people's keyboard playing is that they tend to play in the above-100 velocity range, giving them little headroom for accents.

Use of expression controller messages (CC11) for swells and fades is helpful.

Overlap notes for legato playing, or separate them slightly so you can hear the note attacks.

Play like an orchestra, not a keyboard player. Each single instument plays only one simultaneous note, not chords. Use several different violin tracks on top of an ensemble patch for a more realistic ensemble sound.

Don't quantize anything!!!!

Hope this helps.


Thanks MDK. I'll give them a try. I'm not familiar with CC11 ... I assumed swells/fades were primarily controlled with volume control codes.

bpoco
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MDK Offline
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Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 175
Location: North Carolina
Age: 57


PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CC11 (expression) and CC07 (volume) can be used to do the same thing in most good MIDI hardware and software synths. I tend to use the expression controller for swells and fades, and volume just for the initial track volume.
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