When first released in 1994, Overture always showed the score in a fully editable WYSIWYG page view, in which all notational elements could be entered or edited. This contrasted with Finale, in which, at the time, the user had to select between a large number of editing modes before performing different types of edits. Later versions of Overture also introduced a scrolling linear view, which enabled editing of both notational elements and playback data. Most previous notation programs either lacked an editable WYSIWYG page view, or switched between a scrolling linear view used for editing; and a page view used for print previews with limited editing functions only, as in Finale at the time.
As at June 2021, Overture is in version 5.6.3-3. Sonic Scores generally releases multiple updates each year, with the current version as the main download at the Sonic Scores website, listed with past updates, although not every previous update is publicly available. Updates often include improvements suggested by the user community.
Demonstration versions of Overture and Score Writer are available at the Sonic Scores website. The demonstration versions are fully functional for a 30 day trial period, after which, saving and printing are disabled. Site licences are also sold.
In 1996, Marc Battier reviewed version 1.2 of the program for the Leonardo Music Journal, writing, \"...Overture has found its place among the highly regarded common music notation software for the Macintosh.\" Battier points out that Overture is set apart by its ability to edit MIDI playback data whilst retaining a full set of notational tools, \"It is less usual to see notation programs that have substantial MIDI control implementation... Overture has clearly inherited a number of features from its older cousin, the well-known sequencer Vision... One can use the program as a MIDI sequencer while retaining full capability of editing data with a comprehensive music notation set of tools.\" While Battier felt a weakness was that, at the time, Overture lacked a function to create user-drawn graphics, he points out that these can be imported. He praised the ability to create custom MIDI drum maps, and Overture's tool palettes, which can be put out of the way of the score workspace.
All software that you can find on our servers, including Overture, is either freeware, shareware or open-source, some of the software packages are demo, trial or patch versions and if possible (public domain licence), we also host official full versions of software.
Compose melodies with The Palette - Melody Composing Tool. The program understands the logic of functional motion and voice-leading rules and allows the composer to create the correct harmonic progressions. The program keeps the music within the limits of harmony and composition theory. The full version of the program can export the created melody to a MIDI file consisting of three tracks: melody, chords and bass.The license of this software is Free Trial Software, the price is $35.00, you can free download and get a free trial.
The current version of GPO Player doesn't support Native Instrument's DFD (Direct From Disk) extension, in contrast with most other Kontakt and Kompakt-based instruments, which allows samples to be streamed from disk rather than loaded in their entirety into memory. This should be available in an update at some point, but in the meantime Garritan recommend having at least 1GB of memory in the system you're using to run GPO. This is sensible, although GPO did run quite successfully on the 768MB of memory installed in the test laptop. More RAM was needed to load larger templates, such as 'Full Orchestra + Piano', which requires 607.44MB memory in three instances of GPO.
The straightforward design of the GPO Kontakt Player should encourage users to create their own 'multis'. A set of clearly labelled rotary controls govern portamento (glide), volume, pan, reverb and tuning; a couple of additional controls (Var 1 and Var 2) can introduce random variations of intonation and timbre, in an attempt to ward off the dreaded 'machine-gun' effect of repeated samples. Newcomers to Kontakt will find it simple to use, while anyone who already owns the full version of the player will be able to load GPO 's samples with full editing facilities. Another nice touch is that the player provides eight stereo outputs, so it's possible to route each instrument in an instance of the player to an individual channel on the mixer of your host application, or hardware output if you're running the stand-alone version.
GPO was initially supplied with an OEM version of Steinberg's Cubasis VST v4, a popular cut-down consumer and education-oriented version of Cubase VST 5 with the ability to record and edit MIDI and audio Parts, and utilities like a fully-functional VST Mixer with VST Instruments and effects. A further nice touch was the inclusion by Garritan of a collection of template Cubase Songs such as 'Full Orchestra + Piano' and 'String Quartet', which are empty songs with preloaded instances of the GPO Player plug-in with the Ambience reverb plug-in. Unfortunately, the Cubasis VST 4 application was only available for Windows users, which meant Mac users were a little left out; but as we were finishing this review, Garritan were changing the GPO package to include Cubase LE instead.
The bundled Overture SE software comes with a selection of templates, such as the String Section and Piano template shown here, which correspond to the templates supplied with GPO Studio to preload the correct sounds on each channel. Cubase LE runs on both Windows and Mac OS X and is very similar to the first version of Cubase SL, a fully featured MIDI + Audio sequencer offering a large percentage of the functionality described in the SOS review of Cubase SX. GPO users will probably be pretty surprised at just how powerful this sequencer is, with its support for video, eight VST Instruments, four send effects, two insert effects per audio channel, Key and List editors and a basic score editor, making Cubase LE easily worth a good part of the asking price of GPO on its own. Some of the more advanced features which are not present include the Logical Editor (presets are included, though), the Drum editor, MIDI plug-ins, the advanced score layout editor, and macros.
While most MIDI + Audio sequencers support virtual instrument plug-ins, most score-writing packages you would want to use with GPO don't offer this functionality. One way around this would be to use a MIDI loopback utility with the stand-alone GPO Player, but, as mentioned earlier, this would limit you to playing back only eight instruments simultaneously. So for those people who want to use GPO with a score-writer, or those who want more than eight instruments with the stand-alone version, Garritan have thoughtfully provided a dedicated host application called GPO Studio for both Windows and Mac OS X users.
Even if you don't have the budget for Sibelius or Finale, that still doesn't mean you won't be able to use a score-writing package with GPO, as the package includes Geniesoft's Overture SE (www.geniesoft.com). Overture is reasonably intuitive to operate, and can handle anything from a single stave of music to a full orchestral score, with a full range of symbols and layout facilities, including the ability to hide or extract certain parts. Scores created in Overture SE will play GPO 's samples via the GPO Studio application, as previously described, and there's even a GPO menu in Overture SE, enabling you to name the sounds used in each instance of GPO Player in GPO Studio, with preset Soundsets included for the Multi-programs and other templates included with GPO.
As a package, GPO is pretty unique, but East West/Quantum Leap's Symphonic Orchestra Silver Edition is another product worth considering if you're looking for the ultimate condensed orchestra, although it costs slightly more at around 199. This is a stripped-down version of the full Symphonic Orchestra package, is also based around Native Instruments' Kontakt Player, and offers a similar selection of instruments (including some choir samples), although it doesn't include any of the extras that make GPO appealing. Silver Edition users have an upgrade path to the other members of the Symphonic Orchestra family, although Garritan have also worked out a deal so that GPO users have an upgrade path to products from the Vienna Symphonic Library. Decisions, decisions! 153554b96e