PDA

View Full Version : What can $500-$1000 buy me?


Meteo Xavier
09-28-2009, 06:14 PM
Well, the fall part-time job I thought had slipped out of my grasp just showed up again unexpectedly and it looks like I could come into some decent money here.

Since upgrading myself into a decent music-maker is my number one concern right now, it is only fitting that this money, which I have little else to really spend on, should go towards that. I have between $500-$1000 conceivable budget to spend here.

Because I'm planning to work a wide range of styles and not particularly interested in trademarking a certain style, I need very general versatile stuff - whatever I can get. I fully understand I can't get the absolute cream of the crop going so general and with a budget as limited as that, but thats fine. I just need to be able to make tracks with believable quality where the instruments work well with each other and help minimize any extraneous effort and time-wasting.

I'm already planning to get EWQLSO Silver (Silver is what Nutritious uses, so you can imagine why I'd want that version), and maybe some good monitor headphones that Dannthr recommended me.

Here is what I generally lack (aside from what EWQLSO Silver can offer me):

- Decent, believable pianos
- A good PROG Hammond organ sound, the kind that you hear whirling and screaming in a lot of Pink Floyd and Motoi Sakuraba tracks (maybe B4 II does something like it. I don't know)
- Acoustic guitars and electric guitars, though I'm not in a huge rush for the electric.
- Good, mystic harps
- Vox, Vox, Vox! I'm a choir freak. From the synthie washes to the Celtic chanting. Anything I can get here of decent quality is essential.
- Reliable acoustic drums. Maybe that one Zircon did.
- Good ethnic stuff so I can do Middle East and Japanese music. I have some stuff here already, but it only seems to really work as loops and samples.
- Any further electronic samples, sounds, and soundscapes so I can do Metroid Prime style tracks. Again, I have a start here, but I'm missing the atmospheres. I considered Spectrasonic Atmosphere.


Its really not a good idea right now to be concentrating quality into one thing here, so narrowing it down to just spending the budget on one or two really high quality things is not going to work. I need my foundation to be wider and filling in the holes before I can build something on top of it.

Anything else I might need to be able to really get to work on decent-quality track writing? Recommended FX and processors and so forth to get a more professional sound going?

zircon
09-28-2009, 06:16 PM
Keep in mind QLSO now comes with PLAY, which is very CPU-intensive. You may want a better computer first; what do you have now? Also, depending on the kind of music you're doing, VSL Special Edition may be a better bet than QLSO. The former is a lot "warmer" with more realistic legatos and a more close, personal sound, while the latter is better for Hollywood type stuff. However, QLSO is also quite overused.

The Vagrance
09-28-2009, 06:28 PM
If you can, I'd recommend getting actual studio monitors as opposed to headphones. Granted, you might not be able to for whatever reason but if you can they're well worth the money and I highly prefer them to headphones.

Also the B4 II is a pretty wicked organ simulator, it sounds a bit thin sometimes but if you work with it you'll get some stunning results.

theshaggyfreak
09-28-2009, 06:54 PM
I admit, I LOVE Reason and pretty much everything you need can be accomplished with it and a handful of good refills.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Propellerhead-Reason-4-Premium-Edition-Bundle?sku=500286

That will get you pretty damn far, IMHO. While the orchestral samples that come with Reason are usable, you can always do better with the refills from Miroslav or Garritan. BTW, there are lots of examples of some of the Reason premium refills on propellerheads site (http://www.propellerheads.se/).

Meteo Xavier
09-28-2009, 07:55 PM
Keep in mind QLSO now comes with PLAY, which is very CPU-intensive. You may want a better computer first; what do you have now? Also, depending on the kind of music you're doing, VSL Special Edition may be a better bet than QLSO. The former is a lot "warmer" with more realistic legatos and a more close, personal sound, while the latter is better for Hollywood type stuff. However, QLSO is also quite overused.

VSL Edition is quite a bit more expensive and probably more than I really want to work with right now. I discussed EWQLSO with Usabellchan, he uses the gold edition, and he told me its all about the hard drive memory, not so much the resources it uses. Is Play something you can turn off?

My computer? Brad built it, and he put in a dual-core processor of which the name escapes me and 4gig RAM. It has worked extremely well so far and I don't imagine it would struggle too much with EWQLSO, more so at least with Colossus which is not even close to that level of quality yet still costs me over 100MB for a harp or a violin each.

Right now I can guarantee you that buying a whole new computer, new speakers or new DAW is quite simply out of the question. I had to do earlier this year and it was a nightmare made flesh.

avaris
09-28-2009, 09:27 PM
Spectrasonics Omnisphere...zomg

dannthr
09-28-2009, 09:29 PM
If you can, I'd recommend getting actual studio monitors as opposed to headphones. Granted, you might not be able to for whatever reason but if you can they're well worth the money and I highly prefer them to headphones.

Also the B4 II is a pretty wicked organ simulator, it sounds a bit thin sometimes but if you work with it you'll get some stunning results.

I suggested headphones since he was on a budget, when possible, you should get monitors but if you get monitors, you should also look into treating your space to ensure you don't get sympathetic resonances or destructive spatial elements that will adversely or surruptitiously color your sound.

Headphones are a good way to stretch a dollar and get some measure of decent audio monitoring done. Also, it doesn't wake the girlfriend.

I would like to recommend Kontakt, since it comes packed with some fair to decent samples (including some old VSL samples) and it will open up the door to great sales like this one:

Lyrical Distortion - Intimate Auditorium Guitar 2 -- only $10 (http://www.lyricaldistortion.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21&zenid=b60b06bc2c02deb8880214d156f196a6)

Harmony
09-28-2009, 09:36 PM
Lyrical Distortion - Intimate Auditorium Guitar 2 -- only $10 (http://www.lyricaldistortion.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21&zenid=b60b06bc2c02deb8880214d156f196a6)I want to be on whatever mailing lists you're on! For $10 that's a great sounding guitar.

theshaggyfreak
09-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Right now I can guarantee you that buying a whole new computer, new speakers or new DAW is quite simply out of the question. I had to do earlier this year and it was a nightmare made flesh.

Well, with Reason, you can always Rewire it to whatever DAW you use since pretty much every DAW has that ability. The one nice thing about Reason is that it's really CPU efficient and Propellerheads support has always been good to me and my friends. I honestly can't say the same about NI.

I suppose I'm a pretty heavy equivocator of Reason since it pretty much replaced all other VSTi for me. I like the fact that I don't have to think about upgrading so many plugins when a new version comes out. Your mileage may vary, though.

Meteo Xavier
09-28-2009, 11:47 PM
Here's a question, what about Miroslav?

Zephyr
09-29-2009, 12:29 AM
If you're referencing IK's Miroslav Philharmonik Orchestra I'd advise otherwise, I'm not a fan of the Sampletank type player, and the library isn't too great in my opinion.

HoboKa
09-29-2009, 12:48 AM
Spectrasonics Omnisphere...zomg

Ug I still need to get that. But I can't now that I had to get rid of my Visa T-T

Nicole Adams
09-29-2009, 04:35 AM
Here's a question, what about Miroslav?
Years ago, I used the Miroslav ReFills quite a bit. I thought they were okay, but there are much better options available, in my opinion. I'm sure Miroslav would be good for layering, but for a standalone orchestral library they sound pretty raw.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 04:45 AM
Years ago, I used the Miroslav ReFills quite a bit. I thought they were okay, but there are much better options available, in my opinion.

Well, what are the other options? I'm up to four now and none of them seem to be the right choice.

EWQLSO is a great sound for a cheap price with a huge flaw called PLAY EDITION.

Philharmonik has good sound for low size but costs a lot and no one seems to like it despite good reviews.

Dannthr introduced me to Complete Classical Collections 2nd Edition which is a decent price and seems to be pretty good, but I played with a demo of it and it didn't sound great to me at all.

Then there's VSL Special Edition which seems to be the best overall, but might be too expensive and too big for my computer.

For a lot of quality VSTs, its pretty difficult to ascertain a proper decision here...

Nicole Adams
09-29-2009, 05:01 AM
I'd either go with EWQLSO or VSL, but you're right about PLAY. You can get Miroslav to sound pretty good, but it would require a bit of tinkering. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but in the long run I would think the other two options (esp. VSL) would be a much better investment.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 05:39 AM
I'd either go with EWQLSO or VSL, but you're right about PLAY. You can get Miroslav to sound pretty good, but it would require a bit of tinkering. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but in the long run I would think the other two options (esp. VSL) would be a much better investment.

Ok, so how good does a computer need to be to handle PLAY EDITION fairly well? My computer specs, I don't know if I wrote them down earlier, are 4gig RAM, 3.0 Intel Core Dual Processor, XP SP3, and like I say it handles a LOT more than my old computer used to and even handles quite a bit from Colossus, which is a bloated piece let me tell you.

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 05:42 AM
IK Miroslav? Eh, it's not bad, exactly, but you'd be better off trying to track down a copy of QLSO Kontakt edition, or Vienna Symphonic.

Also, remember that Komplete 6 comes out here in a couple days.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 06:02 AM
you'd be better off trying to track down a copy of QLSO Kontakt edition.

Easier said than done so far. I can't even find sponsored links for 'em.

Nase
09-29-2009, 10:09 AM
No one ever mentions Kirk Hunter.

http://www.kirkhunterstudios.com/purchase.html

The Emerald version is a good deal right now. Seems like the hard drive version for the same price is gone by now though.

closeout sale @ $150, i assume they're abandoning it because its patches aren't as flexible as Ruby's. at 25 gb, it's quite comprehensive though.

Ah, you need Kontakt for it I guess. or would the new Kontakt Player be able to load it? I haven't checked it out.
Kontakt is pretty much a must have though if you want to build up a good sample library.

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 12:53 PM
Easier said than done so far. I can't even find sponsored links for 'em.

nah, you'd be better off looking in stores. call Guitar Center and have them do a chain search for you. or sam ash or something. most places will ship to you.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 02:27 PM
I just talked to both and it didn't take them long to shoot me down :P. I looked through that Kirk Hunter site but I couldn't find any Audio Demos at all.

I'd say just for simplicity's sake to narrow it down between VSL Special Edition and Philharmonik. Is VSL going to be too big for my computer though? I still have a good 400GB of hard drive space that I'm not likely to fill, but naturally one has to be concerned with such an enormous and costly program to be purchased and not returned going on his computer.

Nase
09-29-2009, 02:42 PM
I looked through that Kirk Hunter site but I couldn't find any Audio Demos at all.

top menu:
products | purchase | listen

take a wild guess! ;)

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 02:48 PM
Its no secret I have a talent for missing the Elephant in the Room.


EDIT: Ok, lets try this then. I'm looking at MOTU now. They have an Ethnic Instrument with great Mp3 demos (at least) and a Symphonic Instrument which is about what I'm looking for at $300 each. Has anyone tried any of these?

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 05:20 PM
I have both. MOTU Symphonic is pretty decent, although it's kind of unstable in FL, similar to PLAY, so there's your catch 22 on that product. MOTU Ethno I'm not as impressed with compared to say, QLRA. Also, both require an iLok to use.

Also, did you specifically ask GC to do a chain search? Or just have them look in store? I can tell you the one here in Knoxville does NOT have QLSO Kontakt version in stock, but if you just ask for an Assistant Mgr, they can look it up across the chain. There's a chance you may still be able to track one down. Stores sometimes have left-over or discontinued inventory that they don't carry on the website.

If you've narrowed it down between Philharmonik and Vienna, go with Vienna. 400 GB is plenty for now. And hard drives are cheap nowadays. I used a 500 GB external drive for a long time before building my new PC, so really, there's no need to worry about running out of space.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Its not worth tracking down. Vienna might be the way to go I guess. How good is it on CPU and RAM and so forth? The money isn't technically an issue, I just don't like spending it, but the resources are.

Additionally, and I'm coming down to the end of the wire here I assure you, what about MOTU Ethno? I understand its probably not great compared to others, but by itself? It sounds like the kind of stuff I want, but are there issues there too

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 06:06 PM
I don't own Vienna, but I'm sure it's no worse than any other comparable plugin. 4 Gigs of ram is plenty, though you might want to invest in jBridge (it's like $22 or so) to help make better use of your RAM.

Ethno actually crashes consistently on my machine for whatever reason, so I haven't touched it in months.

PrototypeRaptor
09-29-2009, 06:44 PM
I own QLSO, Kontakt, and some ProjectSAM libraries...
If you want the best brass in the biz (IMO), ProjectSAM is the only way to go.

If you got Kontakt and the ProjectSam brass library you'd be good for a while - the VSL string samples that come with Kontakt are great. (and the woodwinds are passable)

It's a bit expensive, but the sam brass really is 100X better than QLSO.
(YMMV, of course.)

Moseph
09-29-2009, 08:43 PM
VSL has a nice feature that lets you kick unused samples out of memory for any instrument, so once you get the part for that instrument programmed, it may be possible to reduce its RAM footprint from (say) 120 MB to 10 MB without freezing the track.

I have VSL, although I haven't used it for any major orchestral projects yet, and I'm running on a three-year-old Core 2 Duo (laptop) with 2 gigs of RAM, with the samples on a Firewire drive rather than an internal one. I haven't had any issues with it.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 09:07 PM
Alright, I'll settle on VSL. I guess I'll just get MOTU Ethnic since I can't find another good ethnic library (QL doesn't count, Its $500 and has PLAY EDITION)

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 09:20 PM
once again, I can't even get Ethno to work in FL. So far, I haven't had any problems with PLAY on my system, so I'm not entirely sure that you're making the best choice there... But maybe it's just my machine.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 09:36 PM
What system are you running, Jimmy?

big giant circles
09-29-2009, 09:40 PM
The hardware specs are comparable to yours. Running Windows 7 and FL9.

Meteo Xavier
09-29-2009, 09:52 PM
I'm not running Windows 7 or FL Studio 9 on mine, plus I got an email from the MOTU sales and they tell me there shouldn't be a bug or anything with FL Studio 8. I can run like 20 instruments if I watch what I'm doing.

Course, if you say PLAY is not a problem, then there really can't be any reason I shouldn't just get EWQLSO Silver... I could get Silver and RA then. Does RA have that round robin or alternate playing samples too?

Edit: Looks like it does. Cool. I'm not digging how little Celtic stuff it has, but I suppose it would likely be a better buy in the long run. I can just use VSL harp for that kind of stuff, right?

I wish EastWest just had something where you could just ask what their return policy is if there turns out to be a problem or I can't use it.

dannthr
09-30-2009, 01:51 AM
VSL has a nice feature that lets you kick unused samples out of memory for any instrument, so once you get the part for that instrument programmed, it may be possible to reduce its RAM footprint from (say) 120 MB to 10 MB without freezing the track.

I have VSL, although I haven't used it for any major orchestral projects yet, and I'm running on a three-year-old Core 2 Duo (laptop) with 2 gigs of RAM, with the samples on a Firewire drive rather than an internal one. I haven't had any issues with it.

You can do that in Kontakt, it's called PURGE.

OT:

RA is a great library, and with PLAY's legato scripting it's even better, but RA, comparably speaking, is very superficially sampled. A lot of time stretching/pitch shifting, which isn't bad, but now-a-days it's not up to snuff. Nonetheless, when I first got choirs and RA I thought my go to would be choirs, it ended up being RA--it was just the right thing to put a little lemon twist on an orch composition.

Really good frame drum in RA.

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 02:40 AM
Well, I gotta make a choice here because I've spent two days on this. I either need to do Quantum Leap Silver Orchestra and RA or MOTU/VSL Symphonic and Ethno. I don't want PLAY and iLok at the same time.

big giant circles
09-30-2009, 03:26 AM
Play and MOTU instruments both use iLoks.

zircon
09-30-2009, 03:39 AM
So does VSL. IF you want to avoid that stuff, please just get Komplete 6. Kontakt 4 has great orchestral samples and is easily expandable, and the amount of other content you get is just insane for the price. You really can't go wrong with it.

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 03:41 AM
*Click. Boom.*

Alright, I'll just get MOTU for the ethnic and EWQLSO for the orchestral. That should save me enough money. Can I use the same iLok for both?

big giant circles
09-30-2009, 03:46 AM
Yes. Your MOTU instrument should come with an iLok with the code already on it. You can just register that with your iLok account, and put any other licenses on it.

But like Andy's saying, if you want to avoid iLoks, just go for Komplete 6. It's pretty well rounded and reasonably priced.

At any rate, remember to use the zzounds affiliate link. Lowest price, free shipping, no tax, all that.

Link - http://www.zzounds.com/a--925434

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 05:21 AM
I guess I can't argue with those recommendations. If Komplete 6 will let me effectively cover all my bases and get a good foundation so I can get some real work done, its a good price for it. I'm not just in love with the samples like I am with MOTU, and it will make it impossible to buy your drum VST, Andy, because I was wanting that one for its sounds and to thank you for the support you've given me the last year plus by sending my money your way.

My last question then is how much I could afford, in resources, to use Komplete 6. I sometimes need to a lot of instruments going and I have some of these in previous versions already but I have yet to really, really go nuts with it.

Edit: Is that Komplete 6 price time-weary? Do I have only a certain amount of time before it jumps up in price?

big giant circles
09-30-2009, 06:04 AM
As far as I know, no. The price is static.

And again, to be fair, while MOTU is decent, and I'm sure the demos/samples you've heard sound good, they're often professionally arranged, and you usually find achieving the same results is more difficult than you imagined. Also, bear in mind that stuff like MOTU and Philharmonik are kind of old/dated. I don't think either incorporates round robins, or at least if they do, then not very well. Plus, MOTU symphonic does not have loop points on their samples, so all your sustained patches have an ending point, so in some cases, you can't sustain a note as long as you might need to. Also, look at the size of the library. More samples = more realism (usually). MOTU is like, I can't remember, 7 or so GB while Kontakt or QLSO or Vienna are like 30+.

You seem to be overly concerned with using your computer's resources. While I appreciate where you're coming from, you're just going to have to learn to work around this issue. Your computer is fine. If you start to run out of memory, just bounce your tracks. This is nothing new. All kinds of remixers/composers deal with this constantly, so just learn to be smart with your plugins. If you expect to be able to have 3 of every single plugin you own open, with a crapload of processing, then you're going to have to drop about 10,000+ on a super computer.

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 02:37 PM
My concern for computer resources goes back to my last computer. When I bought Z3ta+, the RAM usage was minimal but the CPU was constipating to say the least. I couldn't run but less than 3 z3ta instruments at any one time. Kompakt was easier but again I had no idea how little I could run then.

And I was lucky, I got both those for cheap. I won't be able to do that here and VSTs aren't easy to just return for money back.

Like I say, the price is not the problem. Numerically, I could afford all those mentioned here. Its the investment that is my concern. Getting that time and money back.

The real reason I could go on and on with, but thats enough for now.

I'll email MOTU on their return policies. To hell with it, I'll just get Komplete 6 AND MOTU ethno and if Ethno doesn't work I can (hopefully) return it properly.

avaris
09-30-2009, 02:47 PM
If you're wanting to sell a VST make sure to check if there is a transfer fee and if you can resell it. Then def make a listing on the market place at KVR.

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 03:15 PM
Ooh, thats actually a really good backup plan. Thanks, A.

Nase
09-30-2009, 07:01 PM
My concern for computer resources goes back to my last computer. When I bought Z3ta+, the RAM usage was minimal but the CPU was constipating to say the least. I couldn't run but less than 3 z3ta instruments at any one time. Kompakt was easier but again I had no idea how little I could run then.

Generally, synthesizing or processing a sound on the spot takes up cpu, while sampled sounds take up ram. So unless there's some heavy fx chain on the sampled instrument or the plugin uses a hybrid approach (or it's just awfully programmed, dunno), you mostly have to worry about your ram resources.

with FL's ram limit, my more dominantly sample based .flps end up using all the ram while the cpu meter barely reaches 50%, often much less. Disk streaming included.
I'm using Kontakt/Sampletank though, but I can only assume that the CPU use of Play is bad considering it's a sampler/rompler. I'm pretty sure it's not comparable to CPU hogs in the synth realm.
I mean, how bad can it be?

Meteo Xavier
09-30-2009, 07:09 PM
Well, I guess what I'm just going to do is get Komplete 6 on their recommendations and then the headphones and then MOTU Ethnic. If I don't like/can't use Ethnic, I'll sell it on KVR. Its just another $300. I pocket like $400-500 a month anyway and my christmas bonus can cover it too.

I'm look at Sony MDR-5706 (I think thats right) for my headphones. Dannthr recommended 'em and he's been one of the most helpful and accurate so far.

dannthr
10-01-2009, 07:42 AM
My recommendation was to shoot for a $100 pair of cans:
http://www.sweetwater.com/c412--Headphones

I personally use the 7506s, but I'm sure the Sennheiser (HD280 PRO) and the AKGs (K240 STUDIO) are comparable.

Can't vouch for the Direct Sounds...

I feel comfortable with the 7506s detail and frequency response, even though I know it's got a slight curve on the lows and highs. (If you have the opportunity, you could probably find some local place to try these out--although most headphone shops are geared toward consumer audiophiles and carry phones like Grados (which aren't bad, just not necessarily what you're looking for)).