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Player variations

As you look through the instruments that are available to you with Garritan Instruments for Finale, you will notice many variations on individual instruments. These contain options such as “Player 1,” “Player 2” and "Solo". This section will discuss the differences between these variations and how best to use each one.

Player vs. Player

Garritan instruments like Flute Player 1, Flute Player 2, and Flute Player 3 are best used when your score/ensemble has multiple players of that instrument type — for instance, if your score calls for three flutes, you would probably want to assign the Flute 1 staff (or layer) to Flute Player 1, the Flute 2 staff/layer to Flute Player 2, and the Flute 3 staff/layer to Flute Player 3. These Player variations all have slight differences in timbre and intonation and are designed to be used together in a flute section — this way, unison lines played by two or three flutes sound like authentic unisons, instead of sounding like a single flute.

Player vs. Solo

Garritan instruments like Piccolo Solo, Flute Solo, Oboe Solo, etc., are designed to be used when your score has only one instrument of that type — for instance, in a piece for wind quintet, you would normally use Flute Solo, Oboe Solo, Bb Clarinet Solo, Bassoon Solo, and French Horn Solo. The Solo instruments use more memory than the Player instruments. This is because almost every note of a Solo instrument is a separate sample (i.e., recording of that note). On the other hand, each Player instrument is derived from a Solo instrument, and contains only a subset of all the samples used in that Solo instrument; pitch-shifted versions of a nearby sampled note fill in the gaps. Moreover, each individual Player instrument uses a different subset of samples — in other words, none of the samples used in a Player 1 instrument are shared by the Player 2 or Player 3 instruments, etc. That’s why when Player 1, Player 2, and Player 3 are all playing in unison, it sounds like three different players — because each Player instrument uses a different sample when playing the same note. However, because all the Player variations are derived from a single Solo instrument, you should avoid mixing Solo and Player versions of the same instrument.

Another difference between the Solo and Player instruments is that the Solo instruments sometimes have a different timbre — this is especially true of Flute Solo, which has a much more pronounced and expressive vibrato than any of the Player flutes. One final difference is that the Solo instruments all default to 1-note polyphony. See Performance Tips for more information about polyphony.

Instrument 1 vs. instrument 2

In Garritan Personal Orchestra, there are sometimes multiple instrument variations in addition to the Player variations. As discussed above, the Player variations are all derived from the same Solo instrument — for instance, Bb Clarinet Player 1, Bb Clarinet Player 2, and Bb Clarinet Player 3 are based on Bb Clarinet Solo.

On the other hand, instrument variations are samples of different real-world instruments, often made by different manufacturers, and usually played by different players. This means the timbral differences between instrument variations are much more pronounced than those found in the Player variations; sometimes, instrument variations even have different ranges. For example, GPO includes Bassoon 1 Player 1, Bassoon 1 Player 2, and Bassoon 1 Player 3 — all derived from Bassoon 1 Solo — and also includes Bassoon 2 Player 1, Bassoon 2 Player 2, and Bassoon 2 Player 3 — based, as you might expect, on Bassoon 2 Solo. The Bassoon 2-based instruments all sound very different from the Bassoon 1-based instruments.

Keyswitched instruments

Noteman says: Keyswitch instruments have higher memory demands than non-keyswitch instruments.

Keyswitched instruments have “KS” at the end of their name. They are instruments that contain multiple sample sets and can therefore play back using multiple performance techniques without having to switch instruments or channels — see the entry on Keyswitches for more details. Not all Garritan instruments have keyswitched versions available. In Garritan Instruments for Finale, only the strings, harp, and timpani come in keyswitched versions. Garritan Personal Orchestra has many more keyswitched instruments, and some instruments (like the strings) have additional keyswitches not found in Garritan Instruments for Finale. In JABB, the trumpets, trombones, guitars, and basses all come in keyswitched versions.

When a keyswitched version of an instrument is available, you will normally want to use that instead of the “regular” version of the instrument — otherwise, many playing techniques that would be automatically interpreted by Human Playback, such as “pizz.,” “arco,” etc., will have no effect. So you generally want to choose Viola Solo KS instead of Viola Solo; Cellos KS instead of Cellos Arco, etc. In Garritan Instruments for Finale, only the harp, timpani, strings (solo and section), and jazz trumpet include keyswitched versions.

Lite instruments

Lite instruments are only available in Jazz and Big Band. Because the full JABB instruments demand vastly more processing power than the Garritan Instruments for Finale instruments, they are also available in alternative versions that omit some of the advanced features (such as growl and flutter tongue), and use less RAM. Use the Lite instruments if you are having trouble playing back your score with the full JABB instruments. You can also mix and match Lite and full JABB instruments - for instance, you might assign a solo part to a full instrument and ensemble parts to the Lite instruments. Don't forget to use the Lite Instruments found inside the Notation folder.

Choosing instruments

Now that we've covered the difference between Solo instruments, Player variations, instrument variations, keyswitched instruments, and Lite instruments, we're ready to go over the process of choosing instruments for your score in more detail.

Garritan Instruments for Finale

Instrument selection in Garritan Instruments for Finale is relatively straightforward because you have fewer choices than full GPO. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Always choose the KS string instruments — unless restricted by system or memory limitations.
  • Use Solo instruments when your score calls for only one of that instrument — for example, if your score has only one flute, use Flute Solo instead of one of the Player variations (like Flute Player 1).
  • Use Player Variations when your score calls for multiple players of that instrument — for example, if your score calls for two trumpets, use Bb Trumpet Player 1 and Bb Trumpet Player 2.

Garritan Personal Orchestra

GPO gives you many additional instrument choices. Here are some tips that will help you choose intelligently:

  • Use KS instruments whenever possible — this will give you the most flexibility and ensure that Human Playback can always interpret expressions like “pizz.” and “mute.”
  • Use Solo instruments when your score calls for only one of that instrument — and use keyswitched solo instruments (like Flute Solo KS) when available. If the Solo instrument is available in several instrument variations (e.g., Contrabassoon, Tuba, Solo Violin etc.), choose the variation with the most appropriate timbre and/or playable range for your piece.
  • When possible, use instrument variations when your score calls for multiple players of that instrument — for instance, if your score has two bassoons, use Bassoon 1 Solo and Bassoon 2 Solo. Or if your score has three bassoons, use a mix of instrument variations and Player variations, such as Bassoon 1 Player 1, Bassoon 1 Player 2, and Bassoon 2 Player 1. Use keyswitched instrument variations (like Violin 2 Strad KS Solo) when available.
  • Use Player variations when instrument variations aren’t available — for instance, if you have two clarinets, use Bb Clarinet Player 1 and Bb Clarinet Player 2. Do not use Bb Clarinet Solo in this situation. Use keyswitched player variations (like Trumpet 1 Player 1 KS) when available.

Garritan Jazz and Big Band

  • Use KS instruments whenever possible — this will ensure that Human Playback can always interpret mute change expressions like "harmon" and "bucket."
  • Get to know the instruments — the instruments included in JABB are all very individualistic and have a lot of personality. Tenor Sax 2 might be too bright for your tender ballad, while Tenor Sax 4 might be too mellow for your R&B horn section. You should try them all before you decide which instruments are right for your score.
  • Don't worry about Player vs. Solo vs. instrument variations — JABB doesn't use those labels, because almost all of the JABB instruments are distinct solo instruments. The upshot of this is that if you need to, you can use all four Tenor Saxophones in the same piece with no restrictions.
  • Use Lite instruments if you encounter playback performance issues — refer to the JABB documentation for system requirements. It's possible, based on your computer's specifications, that you will need to use the Lite instruments exclusively.

Re-using instruments

Despite the many instruments and variations included in the Garritan libraries, you might still sometimes find yourself in situations where you need to re-use the same instrument multiple times in a score. Here are some of the most common situations that require this:

  • You are using Garritan Instruments for Finale and you have a score that calls for first and second violins. (Garritan Instruments for Finale has only one section violins instrument, Violins KS.)
  • You are using Garritan Instruments for Finale and you have four or more horns. (Garritan Instruments for Finale has only three Player variations for the horns.)
  • Your score calls for multiple flutes, but you would prefer they all use the solo vibrato used in the Flute Solo instrument (both GPO and Garritan Instruments for Finale).
  • You are using GPO and you have multiple flutes that require the “flutter tongue” or “n.v.” keyswitch. (Only the Solo flute comes in a keyswitched version.)
  • You are using GPO and you have four or more horns, all of which use mutes at some point. (Only the three Player variations based on French Horn 1 Solo are keyswitched.)
  • You are using the JABB Lite instruments, and you need five flugelhorns. (JABB has five non-Lite flugelhorns but only three lite versions.)

These are just some of the cases where you might need to re-use an instrument. To make the best of the situation, ensure that each staff is assigned a different pan value — the Setup Wizard does this automatically, but if you want to know about customizing pan values, see The Mixer and Studio View. This will create some stereo separation between each version of the instrument.

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