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Thread: Garritan Classic VPO Software

  1. #1
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Garritan Classic VPO Software

    I am posting this here although some limited discussion has been done on the Midi Devices and Software section but nothing more substantial about this program. Some have commented that it does not really lend itself readily to some serious or even mildly amateurish playing around with one's own stuff. I want something which can play decent organ midi music files from my pc only. For anything else I use Haupwerk or Grand Orgue.

    OK, some might ask why I need some other program to do what I could as well do with what I already have... Well, The Garritan program has more organs as a basic to choose from which is really my only motivation. Also the program is not overly pricey and goes easy on pc resources.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Nico
    Last edited by Organfella; 02-14-2018 at 11:28 AM.
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Hi, Nico. While you're planning and plotting, you can amp up the capabilities of, of all things, Windows Media Player, in Windows 10 by installing VirtualMIDISynth and getting some large sound files (sfx). Two that contain good piano and organ sounds are "Musyng Kite" and "Timbres of Heaven." Kite is about a gigabyte. I was surprised how good some MIDI files that came with the Rodgers and that I've collected for religious music can sound.
    -- I'm Lamar - 1999 Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
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  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Thanks Lamar.
    I am still using Windows 7 Professional although I do have Windows 10 as well on another computer. For the present I will stay with this setup. Just wondered if there was perhaps others who are using the software and may want to comment on the features of the program.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    OK, so I got the Garritan installed. It is easy to use and offers a wide spectrum of organ settings. I have yet to figure out how to select whatever sounds go best with what I have. The sound is tremendous - even by using a simple PC set of desktop speakers with a small woofer. So far I have installed it on a laptop with 8GB Ram and it works fine except for a distinct sound distortion on some ambient selections - typically large halls or chambers. I am going to test it properly on the system where I can connect my 400Watt JVC amp and thundering speakers.

    Apparently this program was essentially intended for playback although there is a facility for recording. I just need to find the settings to connect a keyboard and try it out.

    Nice new toy!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  5. #5
    f Forte abacus's Avatar
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    Distortion could be the computer volume set to high (Or even the speakers overloading) or your CPU is being overtaxed, which can normally be reduced via the ASIO driver settings.

    Bill

  6. #6
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abacus View Post
    Distortion could be the computer volume set to high (Or even the speakers overloading) or your CPU is being overtaxed, which can normally be reduced via the ASIO driver settings.

    Bill
    Thanks Bill.
    I tested the setup with my 400Watt amp connected but the distortion seems worse. I have two laptops and tried both, one is running on Windows 7/32 bit and 8GB RAM (RAM is limited to 3,2GB on 32 bit systems) The other is a Windows 10/64 bit system also with 8GB RAM. The 64 bit system has the worst distortion. I suspect the sound card in both cases may be too light to handle the heavy loads. I have also not yet tried the program on a desktop PC which might have a more muscular internal sound card.

    Lamar mentioned some software programs that might boost the capabilities in Windows 10 but somehow I prefer Windows 7. The laptop has an i3 CPU. Now I am wondering if I should get an external sound card/synthesizer running off a USB port and bypass the internal sound card. I have tried something similar before without much success but I used a cheap Ch..se made gadget which perhaps was not up to it. Perhaps there is some other software that may help. I have ASIO4ALL installed but it does not seem to make any difference.

    So far I have been quite pleasantly surprised at the sound and volume of Garritan. If one does not want to do recordings I would say this is a nice program for playback midi files.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  7. #7
    f Forte abacus's Avatar
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    Hi Nico

    On-board sound systems (Laptop and Desktop) are at best naff, or sometimes even worse.
    Windows 7 (64) is fine (Do a Google search for Windows optimisation for music) but Windows 10 is much better. (Most music computers these days have at least quad core processors)
    Have a look at the Steinberg USB Midi/Audio interfaces as these are of high quality and reasonably priced.
    Have fun.

    Bill

  8. #8
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    I'd second what Bill said. On board sound chips weren't really intended for this type of use. An external, ASIO-capable audio interface should do the job nicely and keep latency to a minimum.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

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  9. #9
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Just to update.

    I have tried several alternatives with my present setup. Too many bits and pieces of sub woofers, surround sound stuff, loose speakers and so on lying around to sufficiently justify additional expense at this stage. (With appreciation to those who made suggestions regarding external sound cards). The best result so far comes from a 100Watt sub woofer I connected in mono directly to the 3,5mm output socket. From this sub woofer I connected a pair of mid range/treble speakers to amplify the higher end and I was pleasantly surprised at the volume this lot produced. The distortion mentioned earlier I managed to minimize by running the sound output through ASIO4ALL. On some of the larger ambient settings there is still some obvious distortion but on the smaller chapel and concert halls I get acceptable sound. Man! That volume is ear shattering! I have that empty old organ case into which all the stuff fits in with room to spare.

    Now to find some more appropriate work for that JVC 400Watt amp and 120Watt speaker cases (they are the size of coffins!)

    This is fun!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  10. #10
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    I'm at this new toy like a bulldog worrying a juicy bone...

    Here is my latest, look at this overkill:

    I am still using my simple laptop with its built-in sound card but attached to this the following:
    One 100 Watt sub woofer with a single 6,5" speaker
    A second 25 Watt sub woofer with a 4" speaker (unnecessary)
    Two 25 Watt sub woofers (PC set) with two treble speakers to match.

    All the above is connected in series and so far produce only mono sounds until I can locate the correct cables for the PC speakers.
    I get a thundering volume playing on a PC volume setting of 20-30% only. The sub woofers rattle around and move about on their rubber feet from the vibration - Awsome!

    The distortion issue is still evident but manageable through selecting the best ambient setting for different midi recordings. This is the only drawback as one has to try and test each piece of music on different ambient settings before turning up the volume. I am pleased to say that despite the rather inferior capabilities of the laptop sound card, I can enjoy good sound selectively. Certainly more than enough volume and thundering bass from all those sub woofers. As I go along I will reduce all the "extras" and hopefully end up with a simplified set. I still have another 150 Watt sub woofer with 5.1 surround output. This will feature in the next experiment.

    Garritan is nice, rather affordable but limited largely to playback of midi files. Live playing through a midi keyboard seems a little remote but not impossible. Admittedly I have not gone into that facility adequately - too much other fun!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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