Sign in to follow this  
UnderwaterExplosions

Sequencer vs. Acid, FL, etc.

Recommended Posts

I happened upon this forum while researching products and you folks seem to be the most knowledgeable that I came across. I'm considering purchasing either a sequencer or a software program to create original electronic music; i.e. I won't be using loops. I know Acid Pro and FL specialize in loops, but aren't the newest full version capable full orchestrations and arrangements, as well? A friend of mine has a Yamaha RM1X and he has made dozens of fairly well-layered ambient/experimental tracks. He even has a self produced 'album' with excellent sound quality. He just took his sequencer to a family member's recording studio and transferred his saved tracks. Anyway, that or a similar sequencer is what I'm considering unless these or any other sofware programs are equally extensive. The thing is, I'm a former musician who is now a quadriplegic. I have some basic use of my hands/fingers, but no fine motor skills; certainly not enough to play a traditional instrument. With practice, I would be able to operate the RM1X just fine, but would love to do everything at the computer, which I'm in front of all day anyway. Any knowledge you care to share comparing software to sequencers would be very helpful. Thanks. P.S. Acid Pro 6.0 retails for $375 ($300 new on Amazon), but there are multiple listings of new "full" AP6's on ebay for $199. These aren't pirated copies they e-mail you either, they're actual hard copies, UPS delivered. I know there must be a diffenerce for them to be discounted so much, but what is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hello and welcome to GDnet! (Please tell us your name!)

I would seriously recommend you propellerheads.se Reason.

It is a very good (PRO quality) fun and yet easy to use package. It is not a DAW it is a sequencer that uses its own modules.

The good thing is that it has Hundreds of cool buttons and you can automate them all with the mouse in the supplied sequencer.

The good thing is that once you use it you can't stop using it because it is really fun and fun and ... fun :p



I did this music using Reason only:
http://www.musicbypedro.com/Andreus.html

It is trance but you can any style of music using it.



The best thing is that if you then want to use a good DAW later, like SONAR, CUBASE, Ableton Live, LOGIC, Digital Performer, etc, you can continue to use Reason at the same time! Because Reason is made with rewire technology you can then control many aspects of reason within the host DAW.

Also take a look at Ableton Live, it is so good looking and excelent for live performances, but also fun to use for composing!

Please feel free to add me on msn:

pedro.camacho@jazzclube.com

if you need any more help!

Kind Regards,

Pedro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Pedro, just wanted to say that that music sounds great!

On topic again: I use Reason too and I think it rocks! You should at least try it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, Pedro. My name is Billy. Thanks so much for the help. I've now looked around and that Reason software was looking perfect. But I saw a couple of reviews that implied it has limited keyboard sounds and I couldn't find anything that says how many 'voices' it has. It also looks like it has limited percussion sounds. For example, the Yamaha sequencer I mentioned before has over 700 MIDI voices and more than 20 different drum kits. I'd really love to do it all on my computer, but I want to make sure I have at least several hundred voices and plenty of different percussion sounds. I couldn't find anywhere that said exactly how many sounds were included. Do you know or know where I can get that informaion? Thanks again.

P.S. Great song, btw. Reminds me of ATB.

ETA: I also found out Reason doesn't allow time signature changes or even tempo changes within individual songs. I could live without the sig changes, but not being able to change tempo sounds very limiting. So now I know I'm looking for software that functions as a full sequencer with plenty of voices (keyboard and percussion) and lets you change tempo and time signatures, although I may have to live without this feature. But I still can't figure out how many voices Reason has. Anyone know? Thanks again for your help.

ETA II: Okay, I just found out the voices on Reason are about as unlimited as it gets, so that's good. My only hesitation now is I'd like the ability to change tempo at will.

[Edited by - UnderwaterExplosions on October 21, 2006 1:06:35 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just to balance the Reason reviews:

The downsides of Reason are that it doesn't support VST and VSTi (extension software that simulate effects and musical instruments), you have to use what you get with the package and the refills. Most people find that sufficient, but many others can tell what songs were made in Reason by recognizing its sound banks.

The other problem is that I've heard some professional musicians complain the sound quality isn't perfect as compared to other sequencers, and I've heard complaints the knobs on EQs and stuff are hard to fine-tune.

Other than that it's a great package that has many followers worldwide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm torn between Reason and Ableton Live. I'm assuming both are fully functioning sequencers with plenty of voices and drum sounds compared to hardware sequencers. I could get a cheap copy of Ableton Live 5.0 LITE version, which the seller claims to be upgradeable to the full 6.0 version. Are Reason and Ableton Live very similar? I saw one discussion where someone indicated that they are very different, so can someone explain those differences?

ETA: Now I'm looking at Cakewalk Sonar 6. Bah! I wish they were all basically the same thing (like different brands of a DVD player), so my decision could be made much easier. All input is greatly appreciated.



[Edited by - UnderwaterExplosions on October 23, 2006 12:17:22 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want full control over everything from synthesis to sequencing, variable tempos to VSTs, check out cSound. It's free, but has QUITE the learning curve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love Reason becasue it comes with a full colection of exclusive made "plugins" (Maelstrom is a synth made for reason only and is one of the best synths you can come across). I say "plugins" because they act like plugins but can only be used with reason.

It really depends on what you want to do.

Let me sum this (best programs):

Easy of use: Reason
Fun to use: Reason / Ableton
Looks: Reason / Ableton
Power: Sonar6 (It is the sequencer I use)
Functionality: Sonar6
Flexibility: Sonar6
Live Music: Ableton

All 3 programs are VERY different. Ableton and Sonar both are DAWs. Ableton is better for live performances (although perfectly excellent for composition and Sonar is THE powerhouse for composition, although not THAT easy to use, or good looking!)

Reason is a different story, see Reason as an instrument itself, it can work as one of your many instruments inside Sonar or Ableton. But it is an instrument with a lot of power and self suficient.

Acid is not good yet, as a DAW.


Forget hardware (Yamaha RM1X), today's computers are powerfull enough to make EVERYTHING in software which has a lot of benefits.

Example: With Sonar/Ableton you can get a software plugin with all Yamaha RM1X sounds or equivalent and the good thing is that you can also put like 5 RM1X playing, + Pianos + Other synths + orchestra, etc, etc all running at the same time (if you have the enough memory!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Pedro, just wanted to say that that music sounds great!

On topic again: I use Reason too and I think it rocks! You should at least try it :)


Thank you very much. (please register!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, thanks again, Pedro. On another forum, a user replied with similar input as yours. He said Reason is great as a powerful collection of software instruments, but doesn't compare as a sequencer. He said I'd be best with Reason (for the instruments) and Sonar so I don't have to deal with the limitations of the Reason sequencer. That would be terrific, but it's impossible. I don't have that kind of money; I can only get one. Does Sonar not have that many different voices of its own? If it's THE powerhouse for composition, that makes it sound like it has enough instruments by itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem is that Sonar itself has no sounds at all, or almost no sounds at all.

If you buy the producer edition you will get some cool plugins on this new Sonar6 but the best sounds are in other plugins which you have to buy as well.

This is why, perhaps, Reason is better for fun composing because it already brings an enourmous collection of sounds. Ok not the best quality, but that is because normally people do not do any production on it.

For example, Andreus was composed using Reason 2.5 (an older version) which had lower quality instruments, yet later I brought the sounds to Sonar and used some top quality plugins to improve sound quality (iZotope Ozone and Waves SSL). Well the result is pretty much professional quality. So it is not fair to say, Reason sounds bad.

In this version Reason has some already good mastering "plugins" and, if you spend enough time to learn them, can let you make some serious good stuff.

There are some professional composers that only use Reason today.


The good thing on Reason is because later you can buy Sonar or Ableton (Ableton controls very very well Reason in rewire mode) and still use Reason together with Sonar (they will be completely synced). This way you never waste money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Pedro Camacho
The problem is that Sonar itself has no sounds at all, or almost no sounds at all.

If you buy the producer edition you will get some cool plugins on this new Sonar6 but the best sounds are in other plugins which you have to buy as well.

This is why, perhaps, Reason is better for fun composing because it already brings an enourmous collection of sounds. Ok not the best quality, but that is because normally people do not do any production on it.

For example, Andreus was composed using Reason 2.5 (an older version) which had lower quality instruments, yet later I brought the sounds to Sonar and used some top quality plugins to improve sound quality (iZotope Ozone and Waves SSL). Well the result is pretty much professional quality. So it is not fair to say, Reason sounds bad.

In this version Reason has some already good mastering "plugins" and, if you spend enough time to learn them, can let you make some serious good stuff.

There are some professional composers that only use Reason today.


The good thing on Reason is because later you can buy Sonar or Ableton (Ableton controls very very well Reason in rewire mode) and still use Reason together with Sonar (they will be completely synced). This way you never waste money.


As Pedro has pointed out, setting-up a professional studio isn't just a one step procedure. Once you have the sequencer, you still need the sounds, and even if you have Reason, your creative abilities can be slightly limited unless you are willing to work around some of the limitations of the program itself.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all the info. I have a bid in on the Sonar 6 Producer Edition, which you said comes with some plugins, but it looks like I'll have to purchase some other plugins. Any idea how much they cost? I saw your comment about THE powerhouse for music composition and thought it would be a good thing to get. Hopefully (if I win the ausction) I'll be able to find some less expensive plugins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please remember that there are other composition powerhouses around:

Cubase (pc / mac)
Nuendo (pc / mac)
Sonar (pc only)
Digital Performer (mac only)
Logic (mac only)


All these programs are very very good. I prefer Sonar but it is just a personal taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this