SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

The Lowdown on Updated Installers and Downloads

The Lowdown on Updated Installers and Downloads

New Installers

Earlier this year I reported that we were in the process of updating all Garritan installers, primarily to support current Macintosh operating systems. That work has been completed, for every library, for some time.

Since then, however, we have updated all the installers again, this time to improve compatibility with Finale version 26, which was released on October 10, 2018. This work has been completed as well. 

What Libraries Have Been Updated?

The installer for every non-CFX Garritan library has been updated: Personal Orchestra 5, Instant Orchestra, Jazz and Big Band 3, World Instruments,  Concert and Marching Band 2, Classic Pipe Organs, and Harps.

Now Downloadable: CFX Concert Grand

Previously, the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand virtual piano has never been available for download. This was due in part to its size and to the fact that it was first released when fast internet connections were less commonplace. Now, starting this week, the CFX is downloadable.

So whether you’re buying the full CFX for the first time, or are simply reinstalling it, you can download the installer from your Garritan account. To do so, go to, click on MY ACCOUNT, and login. This will bring you the My Account page with the My Software tab selected. From here you can choose to download any Garritan library you’ve purchased.

While at just over 13 GB it’s still a sizable download, we think you’ll appreciate having another option, especially if you find yourself 1000 miles from home and unsure of where you left your CFX flash drive.

Jon Tschiggfrie’s title is product manager, audio/notation at MakeMusic. As such he helps guide daily development work on products ranging from Garritan libraries to Finale. 

He hails from the exotic paradise that is eastern Iowa and thus understandably finds the Front Range of the Rockies (visible from the MakeMusic offices) to be “okay, I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing.”


Cyber Monday: Free Garritan Library with Finale v26

Cyber Monday: Free Garritan Library with Finale v26Finale version 26 is here! Users and reviewers alike are praising how it automates music creation with articulation stacking, new chord libraries, and slurs that snap into place automatically.

Now through the end of the week, you can get a free Garritan virtual instrument library when you purchase, trade up to, or upgrade to Finale v26.

No matter how you get Finale v26:

  • Upgrade from any previous version ($149)
  • Trade up from Finale PrintMusic or SongWriter ($200)
  • Buy Finale for the first time ($350-$600)

You can choose one of these Garritan libraries for free:

  • Instant Orchestra
  • Personal Orchestra
  • Jazz and Big Band
  • Concert and Marching Band
  • World
  • Harps
  • Classic Pipe Organs

To own both Finale v26 and your choice of a Garritan library, add both to your cart, then enter promo code CYBERWEEK18 at checkout.


Hurry, this offer ends at noon, MST, on Nov. 30, 2018. Limit one per customer. US only. 

July 4 Savings on Garritan

July 4 Savings on GarritanTo help you celebrate your independence from the tyranny of the same old sounds, we’re offering Garritan virtual instrument libraries at 50% OFF! Here are seven ways to get more bang for your buck:

Library Regular Price Sale price
Harps $99.95 $50
Classic Pipe Organs $99.95 $75
Personal Orchestra 5 $149.95 $75
World $149.95 $75
Jazz & Big Band 3 $149.95 $75
Concert & Marching Band 2 $149.95 $75
Instant Orchestra $179.95 $90


Hurry, like fuses on fireworks, time is running out. These offers expire at 11:59 pm MSTon  July 7, 2018!

Note: CFX and CFX Lite are not included. Promotion available in the U.S. only.

Compare Garritan Personal Orchestra with Garritan Instant Orchestra

Compare Garritan Personal Orchestra with Garritan Instant Orchestra

Garritan offers two high-quality, affordable orchestral libraries: Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 and Garritan Instant Orchestra. If you’re wondering what’s the difference (or are trying to decide which one would be best for you),  you’ve come to the right place.

Garritan Personal Orchestra 5

Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 (GPO 5) gives you everything from pristine solo and section violin, viola, cello, and bass to a complete orchestra including strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, keyboards and more. See the complete list of 500 instruments.  Also included are a wide variety of instrument-specific articulations and techniques, performance spaces and reverbs, and instrument body resonances, all engineered to provide incredible realism and authenticity to your music.

If you conceive of each instrument of the orchestra as a separate staff or track, GPO 5 is for you. Of course, working in this way allows you to control the velocity, balance, panning and more of each track or staff individually for ultimate control, regardless of whether you work in a notation program or a DAW.


Hear GPO 5 in Action


Learn more about GPO 5.

Garritan Instant Orchestra

Garritan offers two high-quality, affordable orchestral libraries: Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 and Garritan Instant Orchestra. If you’re wondering what’s the difference, you’ve come to the right place. Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 2

While Garritan Instant Orchestra (IO) also offers spectacular orchestral sounds, it really is something entirely different. IO reinvents the way orchestral music is created by simplifying and streamlining the process. It is designed to create full cinematic orchestrations from just a few lines of music (or a few tracks in a sequencer or DAW).

With preset combinations and mash-ups, mood-based presets, and orchestral effects, you can instantly evoke a wide range of emotions and moods. IO provides an empowering experience where almost any musician can sound like an A-list Hollywood composer.

If you’re more interested in quickly creating an orchestral sound than producing an orchestral score, IO is your ideal solution.

Hear IO in Action


Learn more about IO.


In short, GPO 5 and IO serve two very distinct purposes. If your ultimate goal is to produce a notated score that musicians will perform – and you want to have ultimate control over how that score sounds – GPO 5 was designed for you. If, on the other hand, you want to quickly and easily create some compelling orchestral music, IO may be the better fit.

But who’s to say that you are an either-or type of musician? Many of us work on multiple projects with drastically different musical goals. If you want to maximize the available options in both your sonic palette and your creative flow, consider them both.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility

It’s a brave new world in music production today. The tools available to the common musician, which would have been unimaginable a few decades ago, have leveled the playing field like never before. With a little knowledge and attention to detail, we can create stunningly life-like soundscapes that rival the pros in all aspects. And the most amazing part is that we can achieve these results while spending only a fraction of the thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars once necessary to do so. DAW programs like Reaper can go toe to toe with long-established giants while costing pennies on the dollar comparatively. And thanks to the Garritan sound libraries, you’re free to truly create the music once trapped inside your head, and you don’t have to take out a second mortgage on your home to do so.

While this article focuses on a few ways you can get the most out of combining Reaper with Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 (GPO 5), the tips offered are applicable to all Garritan libraries.

Hybrid Workflow

Music production has become an increasingly hybrid practice, both in tools and genre. It’s becoming more and more common for a film or TV score to feature such disparate sources as a gently-plucked acoustic guitar and a throbbing, sub-bass synth line within moments of each other (or simultaneously). Composers are seeking out new sounds—or new combinations of sounds—constantly in an ongoing effort to create memorable, affecting scores that are both unique and compelling. To this end, it’s advantageous to have a setup that fosters this type of creative sound-twisting, and that’s our focus here. The great thing about GPO 5 is that it allows you to decide how you want to use these phenomenal sounds: traditionally or not so traditionally. We’re going to focus on the latter here by setting up the library with multiple outputs in Reaper, allowing us maximum tone-shaping capacity.

The Effects Dilemma

So, let’s say you’re working on an experimental score, and you want to treat each of GPO 5’s instruments specifically for a unique sound. Maybe you want heavy compression on the percussion, and you want a slapback delay on the brass. And maybe you want to add a phaser on the strings and some oscillating tremolo on the woodwinds. Why not?

The problem is that you can’t just slap those effects on the track with GPO 5 if it’s set up with a typical stereo output because all of those effects will appear on all of the instruments. Of course, one solution is to add multiple instances of GPO 5, each one with only one instrument, and add the desired effect to each of those tracks. But there’s a better way.

We’re going to see how to set up GPO 5 so that each one of the 16 channels within the ARIA Player outputs to a separate track within Reaper. That way, you can treat each one to its own set of effects and then blend each to taste within the master mix. There are a few different ways to do this, but Reaper makes it very easy from the start.

How to Do It

GPO 5 is loaded into a project by way of the included ARIA Player sampler. This excellent player features a 16-channel mixer, many lush-sounding built-in reverb presets, and loads of instrument-specific controls. However, if you want to go beyond that and treat your strings to a delay or vibrato effect, for example, you’ll need to do so with an additional plugin outside of ARIA. That’s no problem: Reaper can help.

To add GPO 5 to a track in Reaper, you simply click on the FX button for that track and then select the ARIA Player with the “(Multi) (32 Out)” option. This will load the appropriate version of ARIA Player, allowing you to output each channel separately.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility 1

Once you see the ARIA Player on your screen, you’ll need to follow a few more steps in order to configure the multiple outputs. First, with the FX window for GPO 5 open, click on the Options menu and select Build multichannel routing of output for selected FX… A Build Routing Confirmation dialog box will appear, asking Do you want to add the following tracks to this effect? Select Yes.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility 2

At this point, Reaper will build 16 additional tracks for you, labeling them “Out 1,” “Out 3,” “Out 5,” etc., continuing in odd numbers up to “Out 31.” This is, in effect, 16 stereo outputs for GPO 5 (which explains the “32 Out” clarification earlier).

There are a few things to notice here. You’ll see two columns of numbers in the ARIA Player, circled in red and blue below. The red numbers represent the output, while the blue numbers represent the MIDI channel for each sample.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility 3

The MIDI numbers are fine to leave as is, but, in order to make this work the way we want, we need to assign each channel to the appropriate output. In other words, we want to assign Channel 1 in the ARIA Player to output 1/2, Channel 2 to output 3/4, Channel 3 to output 5/6, and so on, all the way down the line. You do this simply by clicking on the output numbers and selecting the desired output.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility 4

Once this is done, your ARIA Player should look like this. Notice that the outputs span from 1/2 to 31/32.

Combine GPO 5 with Reaper for Ultimate Flexibility 5

At this point, it would be a good idea to save this as a project template in Reaper so that you can instantly recall this configuration whenever you want. Select File > Save Project as Template and name it as desired.

The Fruits of Your Labor

And that’s it! You can now assign whatever effect you want to whichever instrument you load into GPO 5 without affecting any of the other instruments. In the example below, I’ve selected the “Woodwind Quintet” ensemble preset in GPO 5, and I’ve named the corresponding tracks in Reaper (Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, etc.) to make it easier to keep track of everything. Notice that each of the five instruments has a different effect assigned to it in Reaper, providing ultimate flexibility come mix time.

Keep in mind that this is merely scratching the surface of what you can do when combining these two powerful programs, but it’s a great start, and it may be all you need to create that one-of-a-kind soundscape you’ve been after. Who says you can’t add a wah-wah and fuzz pedal to an oboe? Enjoy the possibilities!

Chad JohnsonChad Johnson is a freelance author, editor, and musician based in Denton, Texas. He’s authored over 80 instructional books for the Hal Leonard Corporation, covering a variety of instruments and topics, including Ukulele Aerobics, Guitarist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords, How to Record at Home on a Budget, and How to Build Guitar Chops, to name just a few. He’s a featured instructor on the DVD 200 Country Guitar Licks (also published by Hal Leonard) and has toured and performed throughout the East Coast, sharing the stage with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band, and others.

New Garritan Installers

New Garritan InstallersWe are currently in the process of updating the software used to install Garritan sample libraries. The updates don’t impact the sounds of the instruments in any waythey only improve the process of placing the software on your computer.

The updates address two main issues: Mac compatibility and Finale integration.

Mac Compatibility

First and foremost, the new Garritan installers work consistently on the latest Mac operating systems. Earlier installers would work intermittently (or not at all) on recent versions of macOS.

Finale Integration

As part of the installation process, the new installers will now look to see if Finale has been installed on your computer. If it is, all pertinent Garritan support files will be installed in the correct folders. Upon restarting your computer, your new Garritan sounds will automatically be accessible from within Finale. This Garritan/Finale integration process previously involved several manual steps which were found in the Garritan Knowledge Base.

What Else Was Fixed?

Besides the two issues above, the installers will also install an updated version of the ARIA Player. One highlight of this update is the introduction of a tree view (seen at left in the screenshot above), making it easier to load virtual instrument sounds.

Finally, the installers also update the Garritan end user license agreements (which can be very helpful, especially if you struggle with insomnia).

What Libraries Have Been Updated?

So far we’ve updated Garritan Personal Orchestra 5, Instant Orchestra, and Jazz and Big Band 3. Next up will be World Instruments and Concert and Marching Band 2, with Classic Pipe Organs and Harps after that.

Should I Care?

If your Garritan libraries are already installed on your computer, and everything is working well, including your integration with Finale (if applicable), then these updates are likely of little interest to you. If you’ve yet to use Finale and Garritan together, or are about to install a Garritan library on a new Mac, this is the good stuff and we’re glad to be able to share it with you.

Okay, I Care; What Do I Do?

To get the new installers, simply visit, click on MY ACCOUNT, and login. This will bring you the My Account page, with the My Software tab selected. From here you can choose to download any Garritan library you’ve purchased.

Jon TschiggfrieJon Tschiggfrie’s title is product manager, audio/notation at MakeMusic. As such he helps guide daily development work on products ranging from Garritan libraries to Finale.

He hails from the exotic paradise that is eastern Iowa and thus understandably finds the Front Range of the Rockies (visible from the MakeMusic offices) to be “okay, I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing.”

We’re Not Joking: Garritan Libraries Are on Sale

We're Not Joking: Garritan Libraries Are on Sale

It’s no joke, Garritan libraries are on sale.

Now through April 7th, most Garritan sound libraries are 50% off. Take advantage of our foolishness! Add new sounds to your studio at our lowest prices ever:

Instant Orchestra $180 $90
Personal Orchestra $150 $75
Jazz + Big Band $150 $75
World Instruments $150 $75
Classic Pipe Organs $100 $50
Harps $100 $50

To save, enter promo code NOFOOLIN18 at checkout.


But don’t fool around! This offer expires 11:59 PM MDT, April 7, 2018.
Offer excludes CFX and CFX Lite and is valid in the US only.

Garritan Products and macOS High Sierra

Garritan Products and macOS High Sierra


Last week Apple released the new macOS, High Sierra (10.13). A few issues have popped up for Garritan products on computers running the new OS.

Garritan Installer Issues in macOS High Sierra

With the exception of Abbey Road Studios CFX Lite, the installers included with all current Garritan products can hang during install on High Sierra. This problem began intermittently in earlier macOS versions. While the installation goes smoothly for some users, we’ve observed that the hanging behavior has become more prevalent with the latest release. Due to the intermittent nature of this issue, some users have had success simply starting the installation over again.

We are actively testing a solution for this problem, which involves building new installers for each product. We’ve already updated Garritan Instruments for Finale, the sample library included with Finale; this was included in our most recent Finale installer just last week. The next installer will be an update to Personal Orchestra 5, followed by all other products currently available at

Note that if you have already installed Garritan products on your Mac prior to upgrading to High Sierra, you will not experience these installer issues.

Standalone CFX Player

While the CFX library works fine with the ARIA Player in High Sierra, the standalone CFX Player (typically used for live performance) crashes if you open the Preferences dialog and then close it. We’re actively looking into this issue as well. More details can be found in this knowledge base article, which will be updated as we learn more.

Problems with Logic and GarageBand

Due to a change in the underlying architecture of macOS components, many Audio Units plug-ins no longer function correctly within Apple products such as Logic and GarageBand running on High Sierra. This includes all Garritan products. Specifically, the ARIA Player and the CFX Player plug-ins may not appear as available plug-ins in these hosts or may produce error messages.

This issue is not unique to Garritan (it seems fairly pervasive); it will require many manufacturers to update their plug-ins, and may take us a little longer to sort out.

What You Can Do Today

To be clear, with the possible exception of the installer issue, these problems only impact people running the latest macOS. If you are not using High Sierra yet, you can avoid these problems by postponing the update. In the meantime, rest assured: we’re on it.

Jon TschiggfrieJon Tschiggfrie joined MakeMusic’s Customer Success team in 2011 and today is the product manager for audio/notation, which includes all Garritan products. Jon’s focus is on discovering what users of virtual instruments really want to accomplish and on envisioning the improved solutions that might actually help people make that kind of progress.

Using Garritan Sounds in Ableton Live 9

Using Garritan Sounds in Ableton Live 9

If you own a Garritan sound library (including the one that comes with Finale), and are new to Ableton Live 9, this post is for you. We’ll share some tips to help you get started in Live with the ARIA Player you have, regardless of whether you own Live or are using the free trial. In addition to getting everything set up for use, we’ll also address a little more advanced workflow with some ideas for routing.

1. Activating VST/AU Plugins

If you’ve used a DAW before, your plugins are likely already active for you. You will, however,  need to enable your plugins inside Live 9 before you get started.

NOTE: The screenshots below were taken on a Mac. Don’t fear, Windows users, everything will be mostly in the same place. Also, I’ve changed the color of the software (kind of a cool feature in Live) so don’t be put off if Live looks a little different on your machine.

On Mac, go to Live > Preferences. Click on the File Folder, and then turn on Audio Units. You might turn on the other options if you have other VST plug-ins. Again, Windows will look a little different (you’ll want to go to Options > Preferences), but this is the general idea. 


2. Selecting the ARIA Player

Now that Live has the ability to use 3rd-party plug-ins, it’s time to use them.

If you don’t already have a MIDI track created inside Live, you’ll need to create one.

Go to Create > Insert MIDI Track. If you’re used to a more traditional DAW view, select the Arrangement View. To do so, click the button with three horizontal lines, like this: 


This is what a track looks like in Arrangement View: 

To load the ARIA Player, select this newly created MIDI track (to do so, you can click just about anywhere), then look to the left side of Live. Under categories, select Plug-ins, then in the Garritan folder, select the ARIA Player. 


Your MIDI track will automatically rename itself to your selected plug-in. You’ll notice the ARIA Player has come on screen, and there is now an ARIA Player box in the lower left corner of the screen – as seen below:


TIP: If, like me, you inadvertently close the ARIA Player, and want to reopen it, click the wrench icon on the box above.

Now that the ARIA Player is loaded, it’s time to load your instruments and rout them.

3. Routing ARIA Channels into Live

If you’ve used other DAWs like ProTools or Logic, you may have noticed that the ARIA Player offers several variations of output configurations (Mono, Stereo, and few different Multi-Output options). In Live, the only option available is Multi-Output 16 Stereo. Having a Multi-Output Plug-in is helpful for saving computer power —  it makes more efficient use of resources than it would to load 16 different ARIA Players.

Within the ARIA Player, all sound is routed to outputs 1 and 2 by default. You can change this by clicking on the “1/2″ setting on each channel. In this example, I’ll be routing 4 stereo outputs.


Right now, the Flute is coming out from 1 and 2, the Tuba is coming out from 3 and 4, the Violin is coming out from 5 and 6, and the Shakuhachi is coming out from 7 and 8.

Now, how do we create new tracks for the tuba, violin, and shakuhachi? Luckily, Live is pretty smart and this process is easy. Start by creating three new audio tracks (Create > Insert Audio Track).

On the first of these three new audio tracks, select the “Ext. In” input and select 1- ARIA Player. You’ll notice the output sets itself to “Post Mixer.” Select 3/4 ARIA Player. (Your MIDI track with the ARIA Player automatically uses output 1/2).

On the next audio track, select the same input, 1- ARIA Player, and use the next stereo output, 5/6 ARIA Player. Continue this process and always select the next output. My results look like this:

4. Routing MIDI from Live 9 into the ARIA Player

Multiple outputs are great, but they don’t do you any good if you’re not using multiple inputs. You’ll want to send MIDI from Live into the ARIA Player. Again, Live is pretty smart, so this will be an easy process. In this example, I’ll show how to set up 4 inputs.

The good news is, you already have the first input ready go from the setup in step 2. Next, we’ll create 3 MIDI tracks to set up your additional inputs. (Create > Insert MIDI Track)

By default, a new MIDI track will look like this:


Below the In | Auto | Off section is our area of focus. Select “No Output” and select 1-ARIA Player. You’ll notice the box below has switched to “Track In”. Select “Track In” and select 2-ARIA Player. For the Next MIDI track, set “No Output” to 1-ARIA Player again, but set “Track In” to 3-ARIA Player. Continue this process and select the next ARIA Player input.

When ‘m done it looks like this:


Now you’ve successfully routed your MIDI ins and audio outs, so you are up and running with Garritan Sounds in Live. Please let us know how it’s working for you via Facebook or Twitter.

Nick Morris is part of the MakeMusic Customer Success team, originally from Minnesota and now relocated to Colorado. He graduated from McNally Smith College of Music, receiving his B.S. in Music Production.

Nick enjoys finding new music to listen to and designing sound patches in his free time.

Garritan Update: August 2017

Garritan Update: August 2017

When Gary Garritan released the original Personal Orchestra in 2004, he set a lofty goal: to “bring the power and majesty of the orchestra to every musician.” Over the ensuing 12 years, the delivery of further sample librarieseach an achievement in its own right continually reinforced the Garritan name as synonymous with “simplicity, sanity, and affordability.”

And here’s some great news: our work is just beginning.

My Journey with Garritan

I recently took on the role of Product Manager, Audio/Notation, placing me in the driver’s seat for all things Garritan. It would be an intriguing challenge for anyone. I have to admit that I’m particularly thrilled to have been entrusted with the Garritan legacy. I began at MakeMusic as a customer success representative. My initial roles were to troubleshoot notation issues for our Finale customers and assist students and teachers in using SmartMusic. In early 2012, shortly after MakeMusic acquired the Garritan Corporation, I was among those chosen to provide Garritan support. In addition to answering phone and email inquiries, we also spearheaded the creation of an online knowledge base.

As we developed this resource, my product knowledge and appreciation for Garritan libraries’ capabilities deepened.  When a tech writer position for SmartMusic and Garritan became available, I was again chosen for the role.

My first project was to collect sources in order to produce the PDF manual for Garritan Harps. This was a real eye-opener into how sample library development worked. A few years later I was doing QA testing and contributing to the Personal Orchestra 5 documentation including our first online-only user manual. Today online manuals are ubiquitous, but at the time it was exciting to be able to continually improve the manual and provide users with the most up-to-date help resources.

On the Horizon

Today, I’m delighted to concentrate my focus on the virtual instrument world. I’m eager to play a role in the next generation of Garritan development. In the short term, we’re focused on leveraging our vast archive of samples to provide a consistent, low-impact playback experience across the entire MakeMusic ecosystem. We’ve got all these great sounds: it’s time we put them to good use.

Concurrently, we are also exploring possibilities for new libraries as well as making significant improvements to existing ones. We have no shortage of great ideas, from which we want to prioritize by what will best serve our customers. For example, should we extend the palettes of libraries like World Instruments and GPO, invest in making a standalone Convolution reverb plug-in, or provide groups of instrument patches in an a la carte fashion? To best answer these and other questions, our plan is to reach out to you.

Through user surveys and other market research, we plan to find out what you like about our existing libraries. Perhaps more importantly, we’re also interested in what kinds of tasks you wish you had a better solution for. I believe there’s a great opportunity for discovery in an industry that has reached maturity.

Even with all the changes in the digital music universe, our mandate remains clear: provide a reliable, simple, and affordable virtual instrument experience for music creators. It’s a vision that guides all the work we do and assures me that we’re making something that matters.

Jon TschiggfrieJon Tschiggfrie was once described by a professor of philosophy (rather hilariously in error) as “a cat who could really cut a rug.” Despite his ineptitude on the dance-floor, Jon managed to complete a vocal and classroom music degree and in 2011 joined the MakeMusic team.

Since moving to Colorado, Jon has continued pursuing his interests in choral composition and preserving the American steam calliope tradition (no, seriously, check out the photo above).

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