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Everything posted by Moseph

  1. Bump -- My final mixes are in! *dusts stray notes from shirt*
  2. Yeah, the expression maps are something about Cubase that definitely interests me. Though you can achieve something similar in Sonar by using drum maps to label and route keyswitches (and honestly, if this couldn't be done, I'd probably have switched to Cubase back when they first introduced the expression maps). Actually, one of the reasons I initially got Sonar rather than Cubase was because Sonar didn't use dongle-based copy protection (which is still true of it); I was opposed to USB keys at the time, and though my views on that have now softened somewhat, I still find keys to be a nuisance.
  3. I use Sonar and wish I used Cubase. EDIT: To elaborate, I have stability problems with Sonar and it's missing some MIDI CC editing features that would make my life easier. And its video file compatibility sucks.
  4. Yeah, notation software is really terrible for working with pure MIDI data. Finale/Sibelius do the visual aspect extremely well, but the MIDI/audio features are only just good enough to get by for temps and mockups, and I'd never try to use either of them to create a commercial-release-quality audio file.
  5. Yeah, it's probably just reading the first core or something like that. Sonar had some similar weirdness with the CPU meter several years ago until they changed how it displayed.
  6. I get up at 2:30 (am) and work for a few hours before heading to my day job.
  7. Also (and it sound a little humorous to say this), buying sample libraries is a skill that you develop by buying sample libraries. Over time, you get better at evaluating demos, reviews, and companies' descriptions to figure out just what exactly you'll be getting for your money. And there are nuances to samples (e.g. wet samples vs. dry samples, 5 GB libraries vs. 85 GB libraries) that you may never develop opinions on if you stick to free stuff. I hesitate to list "it will make you better at buying samples" as a reason to start buying samples, but if you anticipate building a collection of purchased sample libraries in the future and are just trying to decide whether to buy your first one now or wait, it might be a consideration.
  8. (TL;DR -- It's better to know what specific benefit a software purchase will have for you than to buy something with the abstract hope that it will make you sound "better." But if you don't know how to evaluate software in relation to your abilities, one possible solution is just to throw a bit of money around and see what happens.) It really depends on what you mean by "improve." You can learn all of the important stuff about music production with free software -- by which I mean you can understand how all of the generally-used audio production tools function and can make music that sounds good in the sense that the composition is excellent and the production techniques (EQ, compression, balance, etc.) are spot-on. But you spend money on software when you find software that gives you a particular sound (or ease of use, or whatever) that you can't get otherwise and when having that sound (or whatever) is worth the price to you. The trick is to know enough about your abilities to be able to evaluate software and understand what its benefit will be to you if you purchase it. And so I think the time to purchase a piece of software is when you can both justify the expense to yourself and can articulate why you want to have it in a more detailed way than "I hope it will make me sound better." As an example, I spent ~$700 maybe six years ago on an orchestral library -- my first major sample library purchase -- and have never regretted the expenditure. My justification for the purchase at the time was that I was not satisfied with the orchestra sound that free software could give me. My level of satisfaction in this case was based on my judgement that I could make the the expensive library sound more like a real orchestra, which I could tell because I had the listening/production experience to evaluate the software I had vs. the software I wanted to buy vs. a recording of a real orchestra. I didn't buy based on some nebulous notion that I needed to spend money to sound "better;" I bought based on the understanding that the specific purchase I was making would change my sound in a specific way. I think maybe the problem you're running into is that you don't yet know how to evaluate your own abilities well enough to know how new software will affect those abilities. And if you've hit a wall with this and think new software may help, the best thing to do might just be to buy some software and see what happens (this assumes you're willing to risk the money on experimentation). And the first step in that case is to ask yourself, "What software specifically do I want, and why do I want it instead of all the other available free or non-free software?" And in answering this question, you may find that you've articulated something about your abilities that you only knew instinctively before -- or at least have learned something about your musical interests. EDIT: And this whole discussion leaves aside the fact that each piece of software has its own learning curve, which in some cases can be very steep (I'm looking at you, EWQL Choirs). It's possible to be good at music production generally but still to find yourself at a loss for what to do when dealing with a particular sample library. Even professional composers create forum threads asking how to get X sound from Y library.
  9. I'm right now seriously considering buying LA Scoring Strings and/or the Sample Modeling brass set to improve my orchestra template, so my thought process may be helpful to you. IMO, the time to upgrade your samples is when you can discuss the specific ways in which your current samples fall short and the ways in which the new samples will address those failings, and you are at the point where spending money to fix the situation actually seems like a good idea to you. For example, some of my motivating issues are that my current VSL brass section has a lot of awkward velocity layer breaks that make it a pain to program, and I'm not comfortable with how the horns and trumpets sound when used for solo lines. And my VSL strings have neither divisi nor the lush Hollywood-style timbre that I want. For discerning sample problems vs. production problems, it may help to step back temporarily from whatever samples you're currently using and try to write a track using, say, just several instances of one synth. Don't try to be realistic in any way; just try to make something that sounds good. If you find that you still run into the same sorts of problems that you do when using samples, then your sticking point is probably production technique and/or composing ability.
  10. Have you tested the headphones on something besides the computer?
  11. I chose my OCR forum name back before I was a ReMixer, but then wanted my ReMixer name to be my real name because that's what I use for other music stuff that I do. But the real name field takes care of that nicely, so no handle angst for me.
  12. I got it on sale for $47.50 last year. It was in September, but I can't recall whether it was just a random sale or if it was themed or yearly or something. But it's totally worth it even at full price.
  13. I use AKG K702s (basically the same thing as K701s) and can vouch both for the burn-in period and the difficulty in driving them. I run from an E-MU 0404 USB interface without a separate headphone amp, and I sometimes can't get a loud enough level when listening to things that are mastered at a very high dynamic range (e.g. certain types of classical music, some movies). It hasn't been enough of an issue to force me to get a headphone amp, though.
  14. I am neither a lawyer nor a YouTube TOS expert, but if you're remixing their stuff, their copyright claim is almost certainly justified even if you're adding your own material.
  15. I got stuck partway through and never finished it. I guess that must have been back around 2008 when I was talking about the soundtrack in this thread. I have kind of been meaning to check out the Steam port, though. I'm interested in hearing what's been done with the music.
  16. Agreed. My life got so much easier when I figured out how to use Sonar's drum maps to set up labeled keyswitches on separate tracks from the music (sort of like Cubase's VST expression thing). It's become so much a part of the way I deal with keyswitching that I tend to forget that not everyone does this/has a DAW that can do this.
  17. If I ran into a situation where I needed to do a bunch of layering, I'd probably add a second identical keyswitched track. For occasional layering, though, I don't bother with this. VSL, which is what I use for most orchestra stuff, lets you set up layered/crossfaded articulations within the master patch and trigger them with keyswitches -- so when I need to layer, which isn't all that often, I usually just do that.
  18. Regarding keyswitches vs. individual tracks, it really just depends on your workflow preferences. Using individual tracks makes it easier to blend articulations. I generally use keyswitches because I find them to be more convenient.
  19. I have degrees in both commercial/electronic music (bachelor's) and composition (master's) and I don't regret getting either of them. Certainly university study is helpful for almost anyone who's interested in pursuing music (excluding, of course, people who just don't work well in a school environment), but it's definitely not strictly necessary. And the time/cost of getting a degree is too high for it to be a realistic option for some people. If you're considering going to school for music, I'd suggest that you should think of your goals more in terms of personal development and less in terms of whether you're guaranteed a job (because you're not). If you're interested in guided study of composition but school isn't an option, I'd suggest getting in touch with the composition faculty at any universities in the area and asking them whether they have any composition students who give private lessons. University students are often looking for extra money/teaching experience, and their rates for lessons will be a lot lower than what you'd pay for school.
  20. The tone is too midrange oriented. EQ it. Example mp3 (at 0:05). This is the EQ curve that I used:
  21. http://store.dontcrack.com/group-buy/?id=5 Plug & Mix group buy ending in a few days. Bundle of 40 plugins, currently 74% off ($129).
  22. I signed up for their mailing list a couple months ago when they were giving away one of the libraries free to advertise the bundle and was hoping against odds that the bundle would be in the sub-$150 range when released. $300 still seems like a decent price to me, but I just don't use REX loops enough to justify the purchase. If you use loops a lot and the included loops look relevant to your musical interests (the collection seems very guitar-oriented), it could be worth it. The $100 MSRP for the individual libraries strikes me as a bit high, but again, I don't use REX loops much, so I'm not really sure what the REX market looks like.
  23. Yeah, generally the sound is a little more flexible if the samples are dry, but that can also make it difficult to get the samples to sound good at all. You need to be very confident about your reverb-selection skills. I've also heard arguments that artificial reverb still isn't good enough to equal baked-in reverb from a good hall, so there are differing views, certainly. I prefer dry samples, but a big part of that is because I use VSL as the base for my orchestra and VSL is extremely dry; I find that dry samples are easier for me to mix in with VSL to my liking than wet samples. If you're working with only EWQLSO Gold and not trying to combine other libraries with it, I can't see the wet-sampling being an issue unless you're just generally unsatisfied with the sound of it. And even if you are combining, there's no guarantee that it will be problematic. Plenty of people still prefer using wet samples even when combining libraries.
  24. I have a pair of these too, and they're awesome, but the ear pads have now disintegrated on mine.
  25. I almost never compress the master channel more than 2:1, but that's for orchestral music. Other genres might need heavier compression.
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