Skip to main content

Topic: Using Noteworthy with Garritan Personal Orchestra (Read 30983 times) previous topic - next topic

Using Noteworthy with Garritan Personal Orchestra
As a long-time Noteworthy Composer user new to Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO), I'm discovering some handy hints and tricks that work well with GPO.

To begin with, to produce good performance dynamics requires a lot of manipulation of the mod wheel CC1 values. For various technical reasons which I don't understand, GPO uses note velocity to set only the attack strength of the note, and uses the mod wheel to control the sustained loudness and timbre of the instrument while the note is held. Working on the score to the first movement of Beethoven's Sixth symphony as my "training piece", I have discovered what I think might be the best way to insert detailed CC1 and velocity controls into the performance.

For each instrument create an extra staff placed immediately below the instrument staff, and assign this to the same Garritan Studio channel as the instrument staff. For example, immediately below the staff labeled "Violins I" I add a staff labeled "Violins I KS and CC". GPO uses Key Switch (KS) notes to control articulation in various instruments, such as up bow vs down bow on violins, etc. These are mapped to notes far below the normal instrument range. Even though the first violins are in the treble clef I put this extra staff in the bass clef and in the midi properties mark it as transposed -12. That way the KS  note values map into the clef in easily readable positions. For example, "F" for Pizz maps to the high F of the bass clef in the transposed control staff, and is quickly Identifiable as "F", as opposed to having it extended way below the staff by some number of lines that have to be counted to figure out what the KS note is. (KS notes can also be annotated using the "edit Lyrics" command for the controller staff to add text like "UpBow" under the note itself.)

Next, fill the entire control staff with measures filled with short valued rests consistent with the note values of the piece. For example, in Beethoven 6 mv 1 (in 2/4) I fill the entire control staff with eighth rests.

Now I can place MPC controllers between any two rests. In some cases, where the controller value needs to be adjusted just slightly before the note is hit to avoid sudden "jumps" during the first few microseconds of the attack, you can split the 1/16th rest in the controller staff into two 1/32 rests and put the controller value 1/32 before the note is played.

A couple of advantages of this is method are 1) the mod wheel values stand out from the clutter of notes, 2) A controller measure can be copied and pasted into a later spot in the same staff or at a matching spot in another instrument's staff allowing the dynamic contour of a single measure or an entire passage to be duplicated into other measures even when those two measures have completely different sequences of notes. Only the CC1 values are copy-pasted. So when the oboe takes the melody line from the strings, the oboe can be given a copy of the string's CC1 contours for the whole passage with a single copy and paste. 3) If at some later date you wish to "enrich" the string section, for example, by adding a couple layered solo instruments you can copy-paste the entire controller staff from the section instrument staff into the solo instrument staff so that the newly added solo instrument follows the same performance dynamics of the section staff.

Place your dynamic (velocity) notations between the note staff and the controller staff for maximum visibility. Vertical position -8 works well. Here's an example from Beethoven's 6th mv 1, first violins:

<Image Link>

I'll add more tips as I discover more ways to use Noteworthy Composer with GPO.

--gary shannon

Re: Using Noteworthy with Garritan Personal Orchestra
Reply #1
G'day Gary,
thanks for the update...

Please enlighten me - can you give more details on just what the KS is for?  E.G. does each note correspond to a different effect or what?

I assume the MPC's could have gone into the normal staff but your use of an KS and CC staff simply makes things easier.

It would be really nice if NWC gave us full(er) access to CC's - imagine the effects you could achieve then!
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Using Noteworthy with Garritan Personal Orchestra
Reply #2
The KS Key Switches change how an instrument is played. The key switch note, which is silent, is played  to make the change take effect. For example, with a solo violin F (8va below the violin range) puts the violin in pizzicato mode, E is down bows, D# is up bows, D is alternate up and down bows, C is sustain for legato, G is tremolo, F# is tremolo mute, etc. etc. In the woodwinds D is play note without vibrato, C is play with vibrato, E is play with flutter, etc. etc. Brass has key switches for muted and open, and so on.

Yes, the mpc's could have gone in the same staff, but I found it hard to work with them when they are mixed in with the notes.

What would REALLY be awesome would be if you could display a single staff at the top of the screen and a graphical representation of the controllers below so you could "draw" controller contours like you can in a sequencer program.

--gary shannon

Re: Using Noteworthy with Garritan Personal Orchestra
Reply #3
G'day Gary,
thanks mate - clears things up...

Very complex system, of course, you get that when you increase the power and controllability of something...

"Graphical MPCs" is an interesting idea...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next