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GPO4 in Sibelius

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GPO4 in Sibelius

Postby Luther_III » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:09 pm

I am a hobbyist who admittedly only dabbles in composition. Several years ago I purchased Sibelius (3) and simultaneously GPO (1) "Sibelius Edition" and for the first time I was happy composing. I was very pleased with the way GPO integrated within Sibelius so that I could get relatively decent-sounding playback without MIDI programming. I just wrote MUSIC, and the GPO playback interpreted most of what I intended automatically.

After many years, I finally decided to upgrade both, and after some frustration I now have GPO 4 working through the Aria player in Sibelius 7. OK. But it just doesn't seem to be the same in terms of seamless integration. It seems that GPO's marriage with MakeMusic has led to a much closer tie with Finale. Am I imagining things?

In particular, it has been very difficult updating all of my old scores which were created with staves specific for GPO instruments. Now, percussion instruments aren't playing properly because all of my percussion staves were originally written using GPO-specific staves. Furthermore, percussion instruments don't seem to be automatically using key switching to alternate left and right hits, which had been the case before. Now my snare drum sounds like a machine gun.

Does anyone out there use Sibelius with Garritan instruments that can help?

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Re: GPO4 in Sibelius

Postby GPO4User » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:20 am

Hi Luther_III,
I am just trying out a lot of things concering integration of GPO4 with the Aria Multi into Sibelius 7.5.1: In short, it seems to me there are a lot of tricky issues, especially with percussion.
Although I am rather working in the "classical" genres, if I find things that might be interesting for you, I will surely let you know. We musicians must stick together. ;-)
A first hint: I noticed in the Aria player settings something like "note variability" or so. Might be interesting, as in the GPO4 manual this is said to be useful if you wish to avoid the "machine gun effect".
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Re: GPO4 in Sibelius

Postby Credo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:09 am

Percussion staves that have more than one instrument on the same staff have always given me issues when moving a score to a different machine that isn't set up EXACTLY like the one the score was built with.

When I'm loading up a score that someone has made and shared, I just have to tweak it for playback. Usually the easiest thing for me is to just make sure all of the percussion instruments sharing a staff are moved to independent staves of their own. I.E. If triangle and snare parts are written on the same staff....I'll highlight the triangle, copy it, move it to its own staff, and make sure the new staff is named triangle. I'll do the same for the snare...then MUTE the original staff that has multiple instruments on it...and eventually make the single instrument staves 'invisible'.

As for making my own score that I intend to share....

In the long term I've learned that putting each and every percussion piece on its own line helps port things across to other machines. Particularly kit pieces. Even if I later compress all that to fewer staves before printing the score, I'll keep the separated versions around for playback purposes, make those invisible, and 'mute' the display track.

There might also be methods to do a drum stave with multiple instruments on it in ploy mode...but to me that just adds another layer of complexity that can confuse the people I might share a score with. general....I'll always supply all the percussion stuff with only one instrument per staff for playback purposes. If I really need to combine some for aesthetic/printing purposes, I'll include that too...and the end user can mute/unmute/hide/display which ever percussion staves they prefer...

The key to making more portable scores is in understanding how Sibelius auto-matches the best sounds for whatever VST or MIDI instruments you have installed. It basically starts at the top of an XML file...and goes down the list until it finds a match that corresponds to what ever SoundSet files you have enabled.

Do check here for more information on Sibelius sound sets. ... dsets.html

You can also get a special sound set editor there for tweaking existing expression maps, or making your own.

It's also important to understand how to 'over-ride' those auto choices and pick a preferred patch/sound for that instrument/articulation/etc. I'm not sure about version 7, but in 7.5 you can call up the playback menu, point to your midi or vst instruments, and then go deeper to set up 'preferred' instruments and patches. I.E. You could tell it to choose viloins from a Garritan plug in, brass from EastWest, trombone.muted.staccato from a connected Roland XR rack module, and so on.

You can also over-ride all the auto chosen patches directly from the Mixer provided you've installed a 'sound-set' that lists your patches (drop down menus) in a format that makes sense to our human eyes. Such settings will generally be saved with your score. In many cases it's also possible to save your instrument sets inside your VST player in its own format (or even as vst presets) that you can call up from inside the VST player itself.

Hope this is somewhat helpful...
Sadly, due to the way people make scores....often using all sorts of VST plugins and/or MIDI tone machines...there are just too many possibilities for how 'drum kits' get mapped out. Having lots of percussion stuff on the same staff is almost guranteed to NOT play back properly without tweaking when someone else loads that score up and doesn't have the EXACT Sibelius setup with the SAME plugins, all activated and set up the same way as your own.

Fortunately, putting each percussion instrument on its own staff can sort alot of that then Sibelius can go down its SoundSet list and auto-choose from whatever instruments the end user has installed on his system.

When working with 'drum kits', if you make sure to use a path that is General MIDI mapped, and the track is named accordingly, chances are improved that the next user loading your score will hear it properly. Still, I've found that putting each kit piece on its own staff increases portability of a score.

I'm not sure how Finale deals with this....but I'd imagine it can have similar issues when it comes to playing back multiple patches/instruments from the same staff on different user's machines.

May the music be with you......
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