OT: Synthing the strings

No, it's not strictly a percussion subject, but this has been the best place I've found to get information about this stuff.  I need to synth all the string parts for a Christmas concert and I'm looking for suggestions for getting the best possible sounds.  We will probably buy a sample set like Garritan Personal Orchestra or Halion Symphonic Orchestra, so let's start there.  Do you know of any other good orchestra sample libraries?  One of our professors already has GPO, do you know if its possible to move a few individual samples to another computer?  I have read that you can get a better sound by combining samples from different libraries.  Can this also work with combining sampled sounds with synthesized ones?  Do you know any good resources online to perhaps download samples or sounds?

What we're doing is this:  Three synths.  One plays the violin parts in the right hand and the viola in the left.  Another the Cello and Bass, and the third covers the harp.  This brings up another question.  Have you ever programmed a synth to play different sounds in the right and left sounds?  Any problems or advice?  I know it depends largely on the synth, and we'll be using three different brands.  Can you run two or three synths through one computer?  Can you use Kontakt 2 to run this setup for live performance if you only have the demo version?

Am I completely insane for even trying this?

You guys were extremely helpful when I was doing something similar with VDL2 for a musical last month, I hope you can do it again.  Thank you in advance.
I know with the GPO sounds you control their volume with the MIDI controller which makes it good for live performances. I know a guy down here that did his entire high school musical string section with nothing but sampled strings but I'm pretty sure he had more than 3 keyboards.

If you want it to sound like more than one of each instrument, you will need to load more than one sample. That is why GPO has Violin Ens 1, Violin Ens 2, etc. so 1st violin has their own channel, 2nd Violin has their own. and so forth.

Can't tell you about the Kontakt 2 demo capabilities but I";m sure it will tell you on theire website. Good luck, I'll be watching this thread to see what happens:)
Kontakt 2 comes with an impressive library of orchestral sounds from VSL. Some pretty good strings. I've been using EWQLSO Gold XP for some of my other projects, and they sound great. Definitely more of a ";hall"; sound in those, but I like that in most cases. There are numerous orchestral libraries that would probably do the trick for you: EWQLSO, GPO, Miroslav, MOTU, Kirk Hunter, Halion, VSL. They all have their own ways of doing things and various strong points or weak points. Many offer keyswitch versions so you can jump between different articulations in real time (pizz, arco, spicc, etc). Many also offer mod-wheel crossfading that can help with expression during live performance.  Combining sounds from various libraries is common and you shouldn't be afraid to try it. You should look at all the options.

You'll need to check the licensing agreement, but most libraries wouldn't allow you to take samples from one user's copy for your own use. In the case of GPO, it's similar to VDL2 in that you can't just take a few instruments out of it for use elsewhere. The samples are all locked in the large .nks containers that are registered to the user who purchased the license.

Good luck!
GPO is a great low cost library but be careful when using the samples in K2.�� There are some headaches associated with GPO and K2.�� I took the following from the Garrititan forum.

[quote]GPO can be loaded into the full version of Kontakt but the user must be aware of the significant differences between GPO�۪s Kontakt player and the full version of Kontakt.

1.The GPO player uses small text files, one for each instrument, that determine default load values for cc20, cc21, cc22, and cc23. The full version of Kontakt does *not* have the ability to read these text files, therefore, the user must place data for these controllers at the beginning of each MIDI track so that loaded instruments are given proper default values. There is an explanation of the structure of the instrument text files in the Update documentation from last fall. If this data is not placed in the tracks then instruments will load with incorrect settings for various features. These can include portamento, length, VAR1 and VAR2 among others (e.g. bass drum fundamental strength, vibraphone tremolo settings, etc.)

2.GPO instruments were designed and programmed in Kontakt 1.5. The GPO player is based on the engine for Kontakt 1.5. Instruments can be loaded into Kontakt 1.5, edited, saved, and re-loaded into the GPO player. GPO instruments can also be loaded into Kontakt 2.0 but they cannot be edited and saved for use in the GPO player. The GPO player, being based on Kontakt 1.5 obviously cannot read the file structure of anything saved in the newer 2.0 format.

3.While GPO instruments can be loaded into the full version of Kontakt the library was not designed with that as goal. It was designed to be used as an integrated product in the GPO player with the player�۪s very specific (and sometimes unique) features. Using the library in the full version of Kontakt is an ancillary convenience only ��� or maybe not such a convenience, because the user needs to do additional work to get things to function correctly!

4.There has been a well-documented issue with GPO instruments when used in Kontakt 2.0: The sustain pedal fails to function correctly. Depressing the sustain pedal for legato mode causes pitch instability to occur. A fix for this problem has been found and should be released shortly as an update to Kontakt 2.0.[/quote]
If I may make a suggestion, this is an excellent library...

http://www.soundsonline.com/EWQLSO-Silver-Bundle-pr-EW-161PROB1.html

No matter what you do, take the opportunity to hear samples -- the more raw the sample, the better.
As for your OT, it is quite a stretch...  I'm thinking that again for live performance, you'll want to have a beefy machine.  However, it's not really all that hard to do what you're saying.  I'll assume K2 demo is the same as the full...  you would simply need to come up with a library that works for K2.  You can adjust instruments; you were saying one in one hand, one the other - assuming one keyboard, you can create a custom instrument that is a couple of octaves of each.  It would require that you can save the nki.

Essentially, you may be running multiple keyboards into the same computer, then routing all of those through K2.  They would then just go out the same set of speakers, or you can route that silly, too.

Performance issues could be a big gotcha, but if you get a good, beefy machine, load all the samples into ram, and you aren't drawing from the hard drive, it can certainly be done.  However, the prep work will be significant.

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