VW Tallis Fantasia on GPO5

Here’s my experiments with Garritan Personal Orchestra to recreate the opening of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis. The strings are pretty good, considering the library’s price, age and size.

I’ve made no modification to the notation (apart from the opening phrase, which I’ve added slurs) The only ‘manual work’ is emulating a breath comma with a rall and Playback end offset. There’s no pencil work in Play mode either. So it’s essentially ‘as is’, with no fiddling.


GPO contains two sets of strings: the old GPO4 samples, and the ‘new’ GPO5 ones. There are advantages and disadvantages to each set, so this is actually the perfect piece, as it’s two orchestras doubling each other. The marcatos are a little heavy handed: I dare say that could be altered in the expression maps.

Nice! Did you use any plug-ins in the Mixer? The standard Steinberg REVerence and/or Compressor? I’ve been experimenting with different Mixer settings a lot lately so I’m curious what everyone else uses to get more realistic playback.

I used a bit of ‘Chapel Ambience’ in the Aria Player. I also added some of the Steinberg Reverb in the Mixer, but I’m not convinced it made any difference. I compressed the audio afterwards in Sound Studio, just to bring the loud bits out of the red.

I’m definitely not an expert in this area at all, but one experiment I’ve been really happy with lately is the “Abbey Road Reverb” trick. You put an EQ Insert on the Reverb bus before the Reverb, with a high pass filter set to cut everything below 600Hz and an low pass filter set at 10kHz. I like it because you can get a nice reverb sound without the bass dominating and being too “boomy.” Just curious if you’ve ever tried anything like that on a piece for strings like this one.

Nope! I might try something like that, once I work out what it means…

LOL, it just means you are only sending these frequencies to be processed for reverb:

You can get a nice reverb sound without the bass reverb making everything so muddy.