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View Full Version : What are people using for Orchestra sounds?


GarretGraves
10-17-2009, 07:05 AM
Im using GPO at the moment. But I cant get it to sound realistic like people claim you can do. I use all kinds of reverb and tried to adjust it so that it can pass as real. But no luck. Was I wrong to get this software?

OverCoat
10-17-2009, 08:01 AM
There's a lot of tricks you can use to make GPO sound better. Make it sound real? Some asshole will always tell you it doesn't have x or y so it doesn't sound real at all. It's impossible to please some people regarding this. Samples have gotten better since GPO, however, and shit can sound almost real. Many composers I know will actually use a mixture of samplebanks to create their productions. They'll use, for example, GPO glockenspiel, QLSO horns, Miroslav strings, or whatever unholy orchestral sample mickeymouse formula they've developed and gotten comfortable with.

Am I wrong or did GPO get an update to its samples recently, though? I still think of the GPO from 1997 or something and sounding slightly better than a Roland SC-88

GarretGraves
10-17-2009, 08:10 AM
You're right. There is an update. But I'm outta funds at the moment plus I am unsure if the new version sounds better or not. If someone could confirm THAT that would be great.

EDIT: By the by, my version os from 2004.

Moseph
10-17-2009, 09:24 AM
The only Garritan samples I've used are the orchestra samples that came with Finale 2006. Compared to VSL, which is what I'm using currently, they're a little, I don't know, dense-sounding. VSL seems much airier. They're not bad samples, though, but since they're tied to Finale I was never able to properly use them in a DAW.

Also, regarding reverb: If you can find decent impulse responses for it, use a convolution reverb unit (SIR 1 is free (http://www.knufinke.de/sir/sir1.html)). I haven't used anything else since I downloaded it, and the impulse responses I'm using aren't even anything special.

GarretGraves
10-17-2009, 09:55 AM
I sorta got the idea of this Convolution verb. but what are impulse responses? it's askin me to open a .wav file for them.

theshaggyfreak
10-17-2009, 01:27 PM
I sorta got the idea of this Convolution verb. but what are impulse responses? it's askin me to open a .wav file for them.

An impluse is a wav file that contains a sample of the reverb decay of a particular room. Usually they'll record some sort of sound akin to a loud snap. The convolution reverb can then look at that file and mimic the natural reverb in that room.

As far as Orchestra samples go, I've mostly just been sticking with the ones that come with Reason. While they're not great, you can still make them sound pretty decent if you know what you're doing.

Jago
10-17-2009, 01:43 PM
Recently I've been using Complete Symphonic from SONiVOX, but I've also used GPO, EastWest / Quantum-Leap Silver, Edirol Orchestral, and even the TTS-1 synth that comes with either Sonar 3 or 4 (can't remember) with great success. The key is not just the samples themselves, but it's also how to use them to give that realistic performance that, even I admit, is difficult to obtain.

One thing to remember, and this is not just in orchestral writing, is that silence is as powerful of an expression as sound. If your writing style is epic, listen to those types of tracks and get a good idea how each instrument is utilized, taking the space between the notes into account (that concept alone improved my clarinet performance). Writing something slow? Listen to actual recordings of that style. A live performance does wonders as well, as you'll be hearing those instruments with your own ears instead of through recording technology.

Do lots of listening of orchestral works, which I believe will help your ability in writing music. Hope this helps!

GarretGraves
10-18-2009, 05:15 AM
It actually does help, Jago. Thanks. But I'm still having issues as far as controlling the samples. Like I cant make strings crescendo without setting more than one trigger on the piano roll and it makes it sound robotic. I'll keep toying with it.

Moseph
10-18-2009, 05:37 AM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't GPO use the mod wheel (CC 1) for volume control? You should be able to draw curves for the CC 1 value to control volume without retriggering a note (probably accessible somewhere in the piano roll view, but it likely depends on what DAW you use).

GarretGraves
10-19-2009, 05:20 AM
That actually explains it. See i dont have a controller. So no i dont got a mod wheel. It's on the list tho!

Meteo Xavier
10-19-2009, 05:25 AM
I was recommended multiple times for Kontakt 4 for orchestral needs (and otherwise), but even though I've made up my mind to get it, I'm still not loving those samples too much.

Unless there's just something I don't know about.

Moseph
10-19-2009, 06:23 AM
That actually explains it. See i dont have a controller. So no i dont got a mod wheel. It's on the list tho!
You should be able to do it without a controller. Somewhere in your DAW, you can draw in data curves with the mouse to control the mod wheel value.

GarretGraves
10-20-2009, 09:37 AM
K i've been looking over FL for that feature. Cant seem to find it.

Moseph
10-20-2009, 12:32 PM
Looks like it would be done with the event editor (http://flstudio.image-line.com/help/html/automation_eventeditor.htm). This (http://www.thefruittree.info/index.php/automating-buttons-on-vst-plugins/) looks like it shows how to edit a VST's MIDI control values, which is what you want to do.

DZComposer
10-25-2009, 12:17 AM
K i've been looking over FL for that feature. Cant seem to find it.

Most piano rolls should have controller lanes at the bottom where MIDICC data can be drawn-in. Not sure about FL, but every other sequencer I've used has done it that way.