Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Audio, MIDI and other software, not including effects or instruments
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PD GOOD
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Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by PD GOOD » 15 Mar 2016, 18:53

I'm starting over with home recording from scratch. I previously had a very nice system with DP, Altiverb, Kontakt and lots of other nice pricey software. Then I upgraded my operating system. Long story short - was getting tired of writing/recording anyway and not worth the trouble to try to undo (and pay for) fixing the horrible mess of the new OS (crashes and needs for upgrades etc.)

10 years later, I've got the itch again, but I suspect much has changed. I'm looking at DAW software as well as drum editors, and sample players. Currently running a Mac Mini with OS 10.8.5, but will upgrade that before I start buying software. I see the big post on El Capitan and take it that not everyone has updated their software to match. Sound right?
I will record both audio and midi. I have tons of samples from the old days - but currently no sample player.

All recommendations are welcome for building the new system. Here's what I've found so far along with questions....and PLEASE correct me where I'm wrong.

DAW
Pro Tools -Pluses: a lot of folks have it. A friend has it so there is someone to answer questions. Minuses: $600. Lacks AU support. Questions: Does it require an external sample player to play midi files?

DP - Pluses - I had it before and knew it inside out. Should be quickest to learn. Minuses: Crazy expensive. I might be able to upgrade but I'm on a new computer and it's been 10 years - not sure about that. Question: Does it require an external sample player to play midi files?

Logic Pro X - Pluses: Affordable. Does not appear to require an external sample player to play midi files. Minuses: The Apple video makes it seem like it MIGHT be a simplified version compared to DP and Pro Tools. It could just be the video, but I don't see a very sophisticated midi window or much detail on onboard effects.

Reaper and Reason - I don't know enough yet to even post questions. Hard to argue with Reaper's price but what can't it do? More research needed on my part.

Question for all of them: What are the quality of the effects? When I had the old system, i bought several EQ's before I found a quality one. The Apple on board stock stuff was really poor at that time.

Well that's a lot to ask all at once. Sorry if I've been too long winded or posted in the wrong place. I'm kinda rusty.

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G
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by G » 15 Mar 2016, 23:59

Welcome back.
PD GOOD wrote:I see the big post on El Capitan and take it that not everyone has updated their software to match. Sound right?
Not exactly. Each post is only as current as each individual update. That's why links are provided, so you can double-check. I've found that most software is now good. Hardware-wise, I was lucky. Again, double-check before buying.
PD GOOD wrote:Logic Pro X - Pluses: Affordable. Does not appear to require an external sample player to play midi files. Minuses: The Apple video makes it seem like it MIGHT be a simplified version compared to DP and Pro Tools. It could just be the video, but I don't see a very sophisticated midi window or much detail on onboard effects.
Logic Pro X is not simplified at all. Its UI is being updated to be more friendly, which is a good thing. It's still one of the most powerful DAWs underneath. Logic's MIDI editing is far superior to Pro Tools, which has excelled as a recording DAW but not so much as a writer's tool. Logic also has some of the best effects and instruments built-in for that crazy $199 price.

The only other DAW that I've used in the last two decades, besides Logic and Pro Tools, has been Cubase. I left it for Logic + TDM in 2000 and enjoyed 1) blissful stability and being able to save my work before crashing, yet 2) a major learning curve. Hence, the making it easier for newcomers (which I fully endorse) since Apple bought Emagic. Cubase had some clever things here and there, but so does Logic. At the time, it was a wash.
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PD GOOD
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by PD GOOD » 16 Mar 2016, 03:51

Thanks for the updated information - very helpful.

Does Logic - or any DAW - act as a sample player? What I mean by that is, can you load your own samples and trigger them in the midi editor the same as you would in a stand alone device such as Kontakt?

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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by G » 16 Mar 2016, 14:42

Absolutely. Kontakt is a sampler plugin. Logic includes EXS24 mkII, its own sampler plugin. Its not as full featured as Kontakt, but it's still a standard format for which you'll find a lot of compatible sample libraries (or as you say, build your own). Logic also includes UltraBeat, which is a drum machine plugin that can both synthesize sounds and load samples. Lastly, in one of the most recent free updates, Apple added Alchemy (formerly of Camel Audio), a synthesizer that manipulates samples -- and can load EXS24 sample instruments.

Check out the Logic Pro X Instruments User Guide and Effects User Guide here for more info.

http://www.apple.com/support/logicpro/

Edit: And I completely forgot about the brand new Drum Machine Designer, as well!
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PD GOOD
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by PD GOOD » 16 Mar 2016, 17:59

Thanks! That's good info. The presence of a sample player within the program is a huge plus, especially given that Kontakt it more than twice the cost of Logic.
Do any of the other DAWs have a sample player within?
DP, ProTools, Reason, Reaper?
And speaking of Reaper, is there anything it can't do? Only knock I've been able to find is that it has an ugly interface.

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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by G » 17 Mar 2016, 04:24

You know as much as I about these other DAWs right now. MOTU does make a sampler, for instance, but I don't know off-hand if it's included when you buy Digital Performer.
MacBook Pro 15" (2016) . UA Apollo x6 + Quad . macOS Catalina . Logic Pro X . TwistedWave . FCPX . PS CC . Affinity Suite . Get Info

PD GOOD
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by PD GOOD » 17 Mar 2016, 09:22

I've learned that Motu makes MachFive but I don't think it's included. It has a $459 price tag.

One thing is becoming clear: Logic is a lot of product for the money. Same thing can be said for Reaper.

Where performance matters (and price is not the priority) DP seems to be very popular. Every brand has its fans but from what I'm reading by those who have more than one DAW (or have worked with more than one), it seems to have won the hearts of the majority.

djbabyboi
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by djbabyboi » 18 Mar 2016, 14:55

No one has mentioned ableton live yet so I will add to the list. I was a logic 9 user before I moved on to Ableton live. Live had a really great built in sampler. It's all about workflow for me. You can drop a sample from either the built in browser or the finder directly into a MIDI track and the sample will automatically be loaded inside a sampler plugin. You can cut/copy and paste an entire plugin chain onto another track (as opposed to option+click and drag) Both Logic and Ableton have built in MIDI effects, and support AU.

I find that between logic and ableton, editing clips is better in ableton.

Pro tools is great for recording. PT has the Audio Suite, where u can make nondestructive edits to audio clips. Really good for Vocalign plugin. While it's true that PT does not support AU, you are able to load VST/AU into a 3rd party plugin called Patchworks by Blue Cat.

Another Audio Utility worth looking into is called 32 Lives. This enables you to run 32-bit versions of AU plugin in a 64-bit-only DAW.

Each DAW has something another cannot offer. Perhaps you can try them all in demo and see which one has the best work flow for you.


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PD GOOD
Posts: 33
Joined: 13 May 2004, 09:29
Location: Nashville

Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by PD GOOD » 18 Mar 2016, 17:26

Thanks for the great info especially the utilities. Those are golden! This gives me some new ideas to consider which is just what I was hoping for from this thread. :)

djbabyboi
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Re: Starting over. Suggestions welcome.

Post by djbabyboi » 18 Mar 2016, 18:13

No problem dude I'm happy to help


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