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willard cottrell

I Love the Lord

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Hello all,

I arranged this for my wife and I to sing at church during Black History month.  It is an AA spiritual, words by Isaac Watts and arranged in the Presbyterian Hymnal by Richard Smallwood p 362.

I will look at any and all comments.  I want to know what I need to do to improve EVERYTHING.  If anyone would like a bundle  sent so they can see what I've done from the midi POV I would be happy to oblige.  I used the GPO5, ProChannel and Boost 11.

Thanks

Willard

 

I Love the Lord.mp3

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Very good arrangement, Willard.  Not sure if you're using any reverb, if so, not enough. Good control of dynamics. If you're new at this, EQ and compression probably are mysterious to you, but it would benefit from both. Why not try some presets with some of the tools that come with CbB? You can use Breverb for reverb. For orchestral, I like Warm Orchestra, but there are many options, some may work well with strings.  Adjust the wet setting to maybe -10 or lower. For Compression, if the sonitus suite is available, the Neve might tame things down a bit (one of the presets for Sonitus compression). As for EQ, Sonitus has a multiband that might help. Try different presets. EQ and compression are exremely complicated. I personally rely on presets, sometimes tweaking them a bit. The treble in particular sounds a bit harsh - fault of GPO more than anything.

As for the sounds, the strings are the weakest part of GPO. not sure what you're using. I always found the "short and sustained" the best. Also, check the velocities. you may get better sound by lowering them a bit, to say 80-100). Are you panning the instruments at all? I always assign my own pans. For strings, violins on left, violas center, cellos and basses on the right. GPO responds to controller event 10 for pan. For example, a value of 35 will give you a pan of 40% to the left for first violins.. Then try 44 for second violins. 64 will give you dead center for violas, 50 is good for cellos, and 70 for basses. I believe these are actually pans I figured out from the older GPO versions, and they work well. 

If you're new to all this, great begining! It takes a long time time to figure this stuff out (not that I am anywhere close to doing so), so stay with it. There's a learning curve, no doubt about it. Lots of trial and error will teach you better than anything, but feel free to ask for help. We all need it. And keep in mind there is usually more than one way to do something!

Edited by mdiemer

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A far as your arrangement, it's excellent and that's the most important part.  So that's what I'm starting with.  I use string & horn libraries too and it makes me so angry when somebody will comment on the sound and not even mention the arrangement, so kudos on the arrangement.  I love it!

Now, as far as the sounds, I've never been a big fan of Garritan libraries.  I use their horns in the Jazz & Big Band library which sounds a bit better than their strings (Personal Orchestra).  I think your excellent arrangement would sound much better in something like Native Instruments Session Strings or Session Strings Pro.  Their sounds are a bit more realistic, but you've done the best with what you have.

 

😀John B.

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GPO is fine for just starting out. I would recommend East West Symphonic Orchestra Gold for a move up. Keep your eye out for one of their 1/2 off sales. It's a steal at that level. A great mid-range string library is Cinematic Strings (not to be confused with Cinemagic). They go for 400.00 I think (I paid 500 but that was before they lowered the price). Strings are the most difficult insts to sequence. I always feel the need for better, but make do with what I have. Not that GPO can't sound really good, but you really have to be a wizard to do it. There are guys on their forum that make incredible mixes with them. Way beyond anything I do. Me, I use some GPO, East West, Vienna Special Edition (a great budget orchestra under 300.00) and Cinematic Strings. Plus some Dimension Pro insts I have because I have Sonar 8.5 Producer. 

It just occurred to me that another option to upgrade your sounds would be to get Roland's VSC sound synth, a fabulous GM/GS midi soft synth. It has all the midi sounds plus all kinds of interesting ethnic oddities. And it goes for just 125.00. See the VSC thread under VST insts for more on that.

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Hi Willard... Nice piece! 

I think Mr. Smallwood is influenced a bit by Bach. 🙂

I've played around with GPO5 a bit; I'd be interested in taking a look at your project. I'll send you a message w/my email address if you'd like to send it to me.

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Johannes Sebastian Cottrell! Enjoyable from the get-go, nothing wrong with the composition or arrangement. You are getting some good advice on string upgrades. Welcome to spending money! There are some forum folk here who really do the symphonic stuff at a very high level, hopefully they can offer you some good advice.

One idea - it's a chamber music piece, but I don't hear the chamber. Feed all of those tracks into one chamber reverb preset, don't go crazy with long decay times, and high-pass filter the reverb so that the reverb plug-in isn't returning anything below 500 - 600 hz.     Worth a shot.

 

cheers,

-Tom

 

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