Old 03-01-2018, 02:21 PM   #1
Jason Lyon
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Default Orch template with Reaticulate File

I've finally fixed my MIDI-chasing issue, and I thought I'd share the fruits of my labours. The attached template uses GPO5 as a basis and augments it with CSS, Kirk Hunter Concert Brass 2 and CineWinds Core.

It's unlikely most people will have precisely all of those, of course. You could always delete the tracks pertaining to the ones you don't. Or you could substitute in ones you do, but then you'll have to do some work on the MIDI note names and Reaticulate banks. The former task is boring rather than difficult and the latter isn't half as terrifying as it first seems.

I hope people will get some kind of use out of this, even if they just pick up on some of the methodology.

Template:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/k6fdgngd5b...%20v5.rpp?dl=0

Reaticulate Reabank File:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ykddubrg91...%20v5.txt?dl=0

Screengrab:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qzybcq01ng...Temp1.jpg?dl=0

- - -

GPO5+CSS+KHB+CWC KS ORCHESTRAL TEMPLATE v5
Reaticulate Version

This is a mid to late Romantic-era orchestra, not a kitchen sink epic job.

THE LIBRARIES

- GARRITAN PERSONAL ORCHESTRA 5

GPO is limited by modern standards (for instance the legato and portamento are scripted not sampled, and most instruments have vibrato baked in) but you can't fault it on sheer value. It's more a "concertish" sound than a "filmic" one, but it makes a very good bedrock for any project. Meat and potatoes, and its auto handling of long-short is very intuitive. It also fills in a lot of less common auxiliaries.

It involves quite a few compromises, but it's comprehensive, practical and has a minimal hit to resources. It's ideal for sketching and even full productions, especially if you really get under the hood.

- CINEMATIC STUDIO STRINGS

CSS is a more advanced string library, allowing for more natural sounding sampled legato (among many other things). Its inclusion here is primarily for layering purposes. The workhorse legato and articulation approach of GPO5 can be augmented by doubling the GPO MIDI content in the nested CSS MIDI tracks, creating an overlay for far more realistic performance, as well as variety of tone and more density.

I've used the older Classic Legato patches since they seem to combine with other libraries with less angst over timing.

CSS has generally brighter and more aggressive performances (a little more in the "filmic" direction). Experimenting with the relative feeds of GPO and CSS (from the purple "container" tracks - see below) can give interesting and different results. For instance, to stay "concertish", dial in just enough of CSS to give the increased realism. To get brighter and tighter, alter the balance more in favour of CSS. You could of course simply mute out one or the other entirely.

I find the CSS basses "cut" and "dig" a little too much in this context, so they aren't included.

- KIRK HUNTER CONCERT BRASS 2

All instruments but the bass trombone are doubled in nested tracks. As opposed to the string sections, I feel these are best used as either/or, but I suppose you could double up (or more) your brass up if you wished.

Again, the advantage to using these samples is primarily for more sophisticated legato handling and much greater control over articulations. KHCB is brighter and punchier than GPO, but not enough to trouble the overall balance too much.

- CINEWINDS CORE

All major woods are doubled in nested tracks. Again these can be either/or/and. The advantages are the same as with KHCB. Again, this library is punchier than GPO, but combines well with it.

REATICULATION & KEYSWITCHES

Jason Tackaberry's solution to articulation management - flexible, visually appealing and auto-chasing. You'll need to add the packaged text file to the Reaticulate file in REAPER/Data.

This version of the template retains the default KS mapping for all libraries. I've left them in the MIDI Editor as named notes - they can be useful for translating previous projects to Reaticulate. You can use traditional KSes in conjunction with Reaticulate, but the former won't always chase properly.

In general, if you want to simply copy over MIDI items from one library track to another you'll probably have to do some editing. It shouldn't be too bad if you use Reatic events though - all but the most unusual map across different sample players, using Spitfire's UACC standard.

THE TEMPLATE

The layout philosophy is simple - when you're above the line (track panel) you're a musician, when you're below (mixer panel) you're an engineer.

The template compromises total flexibility in favour of what I've found to be practical workflow. For instance, it's better to control instrument volume in MIDI by sample cross-fades rather than volume, so envelopes for audio tracks aren't displayed.

- TCP

The Track Panel Master at the top (the real Master) is acting as a sort of "Conductor" track, with visible control over global tempo and volume envelopes.

The MIDI tracks have preroll items in them to send setup info to the VSTis. These items also include MIDI note name info to display only in-range notes and KSes for each library in MIDI Editor.

The top control lane clearly displays Reatic bank and program changes. The Editor windows also include cc lanes for cc2 vibrato (where applicable), cc20 portamento (for GPO instruments only), mod wheel and velocity. You can add many more lanes for detailed control, but I've found these are the most frequently used.

Every available instrument is displayed by default, but they can be hidden or deleted if you wish. All Kontakt libraries are pre-purged, so a clean load should come in at a little under 8GB.

The sections are laid out in traditional score order, but you can move them around. (Note that the MIDI tracks above and Audio tracks below are different entities, so you'll need to hide, delete or move them in both panels.)

- MCP

The "MASTER FX" track serves as the mix master and contains flat-set EQ and multiband compressor. (The top Master track has the final say over volume, however.) While you can put FX on the Master, this seems to have a bad effect on CPU usage on some systems and "premastering" like this won't hurt anyway.

The five blue section tracks labelled "CTRL" (in blue) simply bulk-handle the M, S and fader trim controls of all section audio tracks. The summed audio outputs of all instruments in each section are displayed for visual monitoring purposes.

The audio track M, S and R controls are master-slaved to the related MIDI tracks. The audio tracks themselves are record-disabled to prevent inadvertent doubling.

The individual instrument audio tracks contain instances of ReaPitch randomly knocked a few cents sharp and flat (helps with realism and phasing). Second rank instruments (woods and FHs) also have a slight high EQ cut, Third rank instruments (other brass and percussion) have a slightly stronger high EQ cut.

There are three reverbs - Room, Preverb Rank 2 and Preverb Rank 3 (in black). The instrument tracks are bussed in combination to these to create spacial depth in combination with the per-track EQ cuts.

The "engine room" is the VSTi "container" tracks (in purple). Instruments are banked here, set to auto-legato, centred and dry. Relative output from all "container" tracks can be faded to taste.

There is an extra "container" track called GPOFrontDesks. This receives MIDI from the GPO VlnsI, VlnsII, Vlas and Cellos tracks and outputs small sections. It can be faded up to add a little variety and bite to the strings.

All instruments are sent mono except the General Percussion and String Sections. The strings, although stereo, are centred so you can pan your sections in-DAW while retaining their individual spreads.

All FX used are stock REAPER ones, for maximum compatibility. You can swap in your favourites, of course.

Comments, suggestions and bug reports to:
jasonalyon@hotmail.com
01/03/18

Last edited by Jason Lyon; 03-05-2018 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:15 AM   #2
robynsveil
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Default At the risk of necro-posting

I came across your post in search for clues on how to set up banks for Reaticulate. I happen to have GPO5 and use your banks for that. I'm hoping to set up banks for UVI Orchestral Suite, as it seems to me there's a few more articulations included with that pack.

Thank you for your work on this, Jason, and for your template and detailed explanation. This will go far in helping me get articulation management happening.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:42 AM   #3
Jason Lyon
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Default Necro poisting - wow, you mean I'm dead?

Nobody told me, but it's good to know...

Good luck with it. I actually found compiling the banks fairly easy. The tricky bit was designing the tracks and routing for reasonably clear workflow. The template is the key and I'm sure you can bespoke to your needs. It's hardly an industry standard solution, the emphasis was on practicality rather than hundreds of busses, sidechains, stems, etc. Play in the MIDI parts, duplicate or replay them for the layer MIDI tracks, then edit them and use the conductor track to control overall tempo and dynamics. Finally just tweak the balance of sections and groups.

Having said that it's reasonably simple to use, there is a lot of routing and a lot of it's hidden. It may be instructive and useful to follow the chaining but it's probably best at first to just swap the VSTis you want into the container tracks and add Reabank info to control them properly. So eg retask CSS, Cinewinds and Kirk Hunter as UVI Strings, UVI Woods and UVI Brass. And rename the non-purple tracks accordingly.

Choose centred bone dry close miced samples - you lose the libraries' spatial positioning and ambience but panning and gentle progressive reverb and EQ cuts for depth are baked into the template. This makes it much simpler to blend different libraries together. The result is supposed to be the sound as the conductor would hear it in a simple moderate sized hall. Add your own hall ambience to taste.

Something you learn very early on with orchestral mockups - layering is the secret. Two cheapies combined often sound better than one library that cost you a kidney. Some people still even add dashes of simple square and sawtooth waves to enhance strings and brass - whatever sounds right is right. Very few pros religiously use only eg Spitfire or VSL, even if they're under endorsement contract. It's not like being a Steinway artist who can't take a concert on a Yamaha.

And pros also employ techs who spend their entire lives designing and maintaining templates, incorporating requested additions, etc. They are effectively the devs to the composer's user. Of course, we mere mortals have to do it ourselves and it's interesting work, but you can get into the trap of spending all your time on it and not actually writing music...

Hans Zimmer for instance, is very tech savvy, could do it himself and knows how to use most of the tracks, but he didn't design the whole setup himself. He chooses a sample, hits record and plays. Then passes on the sketch to an army of orchestrators, mockup artists and copyists, but that's another story...
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:05 PM   #4
robynsveil
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Default

Wow, thank you for this insight into using VSTs, Jason! I'm still struggling with just compiling the banks, in terms of simply understanding the construct of those bank files. I'm probably being a bit thick, but for some reason the tutorial here:

https://reaticulate.com/reabank.html

is not conveying the whole picture.

I'm hoping that studying your work should help me get that "A-Ha!" moment.

My funds are limited, so your suggestion: "Something you learn very early on with orchestral mockups - layering is the secret. Two cheapies combined often sound better than one library that cost you a kidney..." is total gold. No question I have a long way to getting the sound I'm after... still, your post has given me much more hope!
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:04 PM   #5
Jason Lyon
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by robynsveil View Post
Wow, thank you for this insight into using VSTs, Jason! I'm still struggling with just compiling the banks, in terms of simply understanding the construct of those bank files. I'm probably being a bit thick, but for some reason the tutorial here:

https://reaticulate.com/reabank.html

is not conveying the whole picture.

I'm hoping that studying your work should help me get that "A-Ha!" moment.

My funds are limited, so your suggestion: "Something you learn very early on with orchestral mockups - layering is the secret. Two cheapies combined often sound better than one library that cost you a kidney..." is total gold. No question I have a long way to getting the sound I'm after... still, your post has given me much more hope!
Ah well... Anything is possible (theoretically If not practically). I've always been happy enough with "this is kinda what it should sound like". I'm not a super fussy mockup mogul, but these days you have to have some technochops about you. If it's any comfort to you, one of my earliest efforts was very early Sibelius MIDI output into General MIDI and sounded like a herd of farting digital elks of various girths and genders. The piece atually sounded pretty good live though (tpt, alto, 2 tbns). There's the point - I had what the instruments would actually sound like in my head. Well, near enough.

Samplers and scorewriting programs can be a bit of a trap. You can make them sound anything, but it's not what anyone would, or even could, ever do.

Last edited by Jason Lyon; 11-30-2020 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:43 AM   #6
MrBillow
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Default Reaticulate and GPO

Hi. Thanks for sharing the Reaticulate script for Reaper and GPO. How do you get reaticulate and Garritan to work together in a multivoiced/multichannel setup? I can get it to work for one instrument, but not two+ Sorry if this is a boneheaded question.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:46 AM   #7
Jason Lyon
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBillow View Post
Hi. Thanks for sharing the Reaticulate script for Reaper and GPO. How do you get reaticulate and Garritan to work together in a multivoiced/multichannel setup? I can get it to work for one instrument, but not two+ Sorry if this is a boneheaded question.
Try using the template I linked above.
You can then strip out the tracks you don't need - start with full orch and work backwards.
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:28 PM   #8
MrBillow
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Default Thank you, making progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Lyon View Post
Try using the template I linked above.
You can then strip out the tracks you don't need - start with full orch and work backwards.
Thank you. I've made some progress and now can get reaticulate to match the midi channels with the instruments and the corresponding articulations.

What I seem to have to do is rerun the script Reaticulate_main.lua every time I switch channels. THat's probably not anything to do with your script, so I'll check elsewhere on this forum.
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