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I'm just curious about what gear (both hardware and software) the audio guys out here use. Also, if you could get whatever you wanted, what gear would you use? Here is my gear list: Computer: ADK Computer, Dual Core 2 Pent 2.67 GHz, 3 gigs DDR2 RAM, 3 hard drives totally over 800 gigs of storage Audio Interface: Cakewalk SPS 660 Software: Cakewalk Sonar Producer 6, Acid Pro 4, Reason 4, Soundforge 8, Finale 2006 VST: A bunch of East West sounds Keyboard controller: Roland Fantom X8 Wish list: Computer: Mac Pro 8-core, 32 gigs of ram, 3 tetrabytes of hdd storage Audio interface: Digidesign 96 I/O Software: Pro Tools 7 HD, Logic 8 (on top of the software I already own) VST: Komplete 5, more East West samples That's basically it. My studio is getting better and better, I just wish I had more money to pour into it. I was able to make great strides this past year... but there is always more to do. What about you guys? Thanks, Nathan

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I have a pretty good run down of my software on this page...

my software page

I am using a macbook pro 2.2 c2d with a 7200 rpm hd... 2g ram...

I dj so having a mac desk wouldnt make much sense. if I had the cash I'd buy one but..

lol, the net kinda killed the music industry.

you used to be able to pull descent cash from dance music and raves... now its blah....

people would rather be glued to myspace and facebook than go drop e and *$7# at raves...

what can you do?

well nevertheless... thats is the software I am using


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At the moment I am using the following after upgrading the last couple of months


Amd X64 4800 dual, 4 GB ram, 2 hard drives (total of 500GB)
Audio interface: E-mu 0404

Monitors: some very old Litovel studio monitors from 1961 (but I am absolutely amazed for their sound and accuracy, that is why I use them in combi with a kenwood tube amplifier from 1963 - I never had any better (yeah some 10.000 dollar gear :P) sounding so far)
Furthermore I have a piano and pen and paper (still old fashioned writing somethimes, mainly for non-game projects)

Midi controller: ehmmm.....none (I edit the cc's manually as well I am a clicky person)


Sequencing and editting: Finale 2007 (my precious!), Sonar Producer 7, Soundforge 9 (went back to use 8, since 9e gives me loads of problems with my Waves bundle), Vegas 8 (just upgraded and the new audio features are great!), Kontakt 2

VST: from East West: (Gold XP, RA, Choirs, Stormdrum, Bosie290) and others I have: Tsaiko Drums (from Sean Beeson, get this one!), Etno World Percussion 3
Absynth 4, Atmopshere (just bought this one a few days ago, big fun!)

Mixing and mastering tools: Waves Diamond Collection (still recoverring from this one financially and with explaining my wife it was needed)

Wish list:

A small familly of computers with as husband a MacPro and as wife a macpro notebook to create a mobile recording studio.
A Protools setup
Also more VST instruments - from East West, VSL, Project Sam and Sonivox

There are so many nice things and when reading magazines like SoundsonSound I see so many things I would like to have in the future, but I am pretty settled for the upcoming period. Due to some investments after completing some non-game music projects my studio got a nice set up for both movie and game music, but also for doing some additional mixing/mastering jobs for some students and people who just finished the conservatory and making demo cd's.

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PC: Dual Core Athlon 64, 2GB ram, 2 hard drives
Sound card: M-Audio Audiophile 2496
Sequencers: Cakewalk Sonar Studio 7, FL Studio 7 (barely used now)
VST instruments: Drumkits from Hell Superior, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Silver
Keyboard controller: E-mu X-Board 49
Percussion controller: Korg PadKontrol
Speakers: Altec Lansing 5021s (nice compromise between quality and suitability for games, films etc)
Other: 2 electric guitars, 1 bass guitar, 1 electroacoustic guitar, Pod XT Live preamp/effects/amp sim, Shure SM58 dynamic mic, Samson C01U condenser mic.

Mostly cheap and cheerful stuff to be honest. I'd like to have Sonar Producer Edition or to have a lot more VST instruments but I'm not professional or anything so can't justify the expense. I'd also like to have better vocal recording facilities, but getting useful recommendations that aren't based on superstition or trial and error seems difficult.

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Thanks for the responses guys! Kylotan, how is FL Studio 7? I messed around with Fruity Loops 1 way back in the day and it was kinda cool but mostly (if not all) a loop based program. I know they've added alot, so is it worth it now? With the software I have, is it basically redundant?

I was looking at FL Studio 8 and have to admit.... it looks kinda sexy but I don't know if it is worth the money. I might just stick with my current apps and use the cash towards some more plugins.

Jaap, I've heard nothing but bad things about Soundforge 9 so I never changed over. In fact, I mainly only use Soundforge to edit samples for small projects like mobile games or on the DS. Aside from that, it just collects virtual dust on my hard drive. :)

Take care guys!


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I was quite happy when I heard all the new features. Multichannel audio, 5.1 possibilities, noise reduction included as well as the Izone plugin. I wish I had waited a lil more and read what people experienced.
In the beginning it was ok btw, but as soon as I bought the waves bundle it became messy like hell.

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I need to get the Waves Bundle at home. My last two in-house gigs have used Waves and I love them. The things you can get it to do are great! Which one do you have? I have used the Gold bundle at both places. Another great bundle is the GRM Tools which can also produce some amazing sounds, especially for sound design.

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I have the Diamond bundle and also the GTR3 plugin and loving them like mad haha.

I never really digged into the GRM tools. Have to check it out :)

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Original post by nsmadsen
Kylotan, how is FL Studio 7? I messed around with Fruity Loops 1 way back in the day and it was kinda cool but mostly (if not all) a loop based program. I know they've added alot, so is it worth it now? With the software I have, is it basically redundant?

I expect it has very little that Sonar Producer 6 couldn't do. I got it back when I couldn't afford expensive software like Sonar, and only ever really used it for programming bass and drum tracks for my guitar recordings. I can't comment on how good all the synths and so on are, as I never used them. I get the feeling that FL Studio really shines in the synth department, which is not something I've ever had much experience with or need for.

When I started using SoundFonts with FL Studio the editing tools were easily good enough to let me create some nice backing tracks, and the way in which you arrange the loops was quite handy. I expect it is possible to get some really good results out of it. But these days, now I have Sonar, a couple of decent VST instruments, and a Korg controller for entering percussion in a fluid way, I do all my work in Sonar.

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Cool thread. Here's my info:

Intel E6600 core 2 duo
2 SATA HDs in a RAID array, ~500GB total
Various cooling solutions to get it as quiet as possible

3 19" LCD monitors linked together with the Matrox TripleHead2Go

Sound card:
EMU 1212M

FOSTEX PM0.4 monitors
FOSTEX PM0.5 Subwoofer

MIDI keyboards:
EMU Xboard49 keyboard MIDI controller
Yamaha P-60 digital piano

Cubase SE3
A ton of Voxengo plugins
Garritan Personal Orchestra
WIVI horns & trombone
Eastwest "Halls of Fame" IR set

Other stuff:
SAMSON C-control (it's a small control room patcher/mixer)

Here's a demo:

I don't do this for a living so most of the gear is lower-end (but still pro-quality) stuff. I've got enough equipment that I don't really need anything else right now except more time and more skill at composition. :-)

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My setup is basically all about the orchestra!

I have a few non-orchestral libraries.


Master Computer:

Athlon 64 X2 4600+,
2GB DDR2 800
150GB 7.2krpm
350GB 7.2krpm
150GB 10krmp

(Relevant) Master Computer Software:

SoundForge 8
Guitar Rig 2
Guitar Rig 3

External Hardware:

Sony MDR-7506
AKG C1000S

Slave Computer:

Athlon 64 3200+
4GB DDR2 800
40GB 7.2krmp
3x 74GB 10krmp
Audiophile 2496

Slave Software:


Sample Libraries:

WGS Modular Clarinets
WGS Modular Oboes
WGS Modular Flutes
WGS Modular Bassoons
WGS Modular French Horns
SAM Solo Sessions
SAM Trumpets
SAM Trombones
SAM Horns
Prominy LPC Clean
Alex Pfeffer's DISTORTED
Sean Beeson's Tsaiko
Pingus Waves
Scarbee Black Bass
Kontakt 2 Libraries
custom made libraries


My Slave computer ONLY runs Kontakt. It's the most stable computer I've ever used, never crashed in the year and a half I've had it.

Currently, I get around 320 to 400 stereo voices in Kontakt, which is pretty good.

What I would really like is SampleModeled's THE TRUMPET, I would like SoniVox's Flying Hand Percussion, maybe one of the True Strike Libraries, I would probably like CineToms or one of the Bela D Media Anthologies...

I would like some altiverb, hahah, I would love Ozone or some kind of mastering suite and I have use for iZotope's RX.

I would love one of the Waves suites, for sure... I'd like to have the latest interation of SONAR Producer.

I would probably get use out of other orchestral libraries like Sonic Implants or VSL, but I want to stick to Kontakt at the moment, I'm not interested in moving over to plain VST or any of the proprietary sample engines like PLAY or VI. :(

My wish list, though, can't be complete without asking Native Instruments to switch to 64bit and have modular MIDI ports, limiting it to 4 MIDI ports is silly and evidence of lazy programming, and I would like Native Instruments to integrate VSTfx in their interface, I would love to be able to run Guitar Rig INSIDE Kontakt.

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Here's my gear:

PC Intel C2Quad Q6600 2.4GHz
8GB RAM (by XP 64bit with FXTeleport)
5xSATAII 7.2rpm (250+250+160+80+500GB)

22" - HP w2207h
17" - Samsung 173P+

Audio interface:
E-MU 0404 USB

M-AUDIO Keystation 88ES

a pair of Roland DS-5

AKG K240Studio

Cubase 4 Studio
Kontakt 3
EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Pro XP
EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold Pro XP
EWQL Symphonic Choirs
Stormdrum 2
Ministry of Rock
Voices of Passion
VSL Upright Bass
plus some free stuff

PC to run it all smoothly. Another pair of speakers plus a subwoofer and Cubase 4 upgrade for 5.1 mixing. A room dedicated for all this stuff.

Everything in time, 2 years ago I almost had nothing ;)

- Piotr

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Hey Piotr,

How is the VSL Upright Bass? Is that the downloadable one? Is that in the Vienna Instrument format or is it in another standard sample format?

Nathan, which EW sample sets are on your priority wish list?

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My PC:
- Athlon XP 3000+, 1GB memory, 250GB Internal HDD
- Two external WD MyBook USB2 HDDs (750GB total)
- RME Hammerfall sound card and MultiFace breakout box.

It may seem severely underspec-ed, but I'm not a fan of upgrading when it's not necessary

Cubase SX3
Ableton Live 4
EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Silver
Toontrack Drumkit From Hell Superior and Custom & Vintage
Wusikstation 3
A whole bunch of free plug-ins

Korg PadControl
Edirol Midi keyboard (pretty crappy, but useful for piano and synth lines)
Evolution UC33e fader controller (hardly ever used)

Outboard gear:
Roland XV5050 Synth
TL Audio PA-1 Tube Mic Preamp
Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro

Mics etc
Shure SM57 and SM58
Haipheng Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic (Neumann ripoff, but it's quite good)
SE Electronics Reflexion Filter
Three different mic stands.

Musical instruments:
Ibanez UV777PBK
Ibanez K7
Ibanez SRX705
Jackson Kelly Standard
Takamine classical guitar w. digital preamp
Taylor acoustic guitar w. preamp

Line6 HD147
2 Mesa Boogie half-back vertical 2*12 speakers
VOX AD15VT (surprisingly un-crappy for semi-distorted sounds).

My wishlist: Time and space to use all of it - moving around has left me challenged for space and setting up/tearing down all of this stuff just takes too long!

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Original post by Dannthr
Nathan, which EW sample sets are on your priority wish list?

For starting out fresh, I'd definitely check out the Complete Composer's Collection. For around $1000-1200 you'll get SEVEN packages (some of which usually cost around $400-500 a piece)! It is a great deal and provides a wide spectrum of samples to work with. Right now it is on sale for $995 and with the buy one get on free deal, you can pick out another set to work with as well! Check out the details here.

Keep in mind however, that some of these packages are not being updated with EW's new PLAY sampler. Instead EW has made newer versions of those packages that are greatly expanded and sold separately. Also the NI Kontakt sampler that comes with these sampler packages will not work on a Intel-Mac. For that you either have to wait for a PLAY upgrade (if one is being made for that package) or use Kontakt 2.2 or later. I use Kontakt 3 and am pretty happy with it.

I hope that helps!


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Um, Nathan, no, heheh, I wasn't looking for advice, man, I was talking shop.

If you'd looked at my post, you'd have realized that I have 4 of the 7 packages in the Composers Collection and if you'd have spent any time on the Sounds-Online forums, you'd realize that I have almost a thousand posts there.

I'm pretty familiar with their products.

I was asking, in reference to your post (as I've read every post in this thread) what packages are on YOUR wish list.

Currently I use Kontakt 2 with some of the updates but not all of the updates as I make my own sample libraries and it gets harder to create compatible instruments when you create new libraries in the updated formats.

I refuse, however, to upgrade to Kontakt 3 or any new interation of Kontakt until Native Instruments cleans up their act and makes a 64 bit version with modular MIDI ports so I can have more than 4 at a time, since I often want to have a SATB choir ALONG with my 40+ piece orchestra.

It would also be nice if Kontakt included VSTfx support for their fx inserts or at least supported their OWN fx, like Guitar Rig, which is far more versatile than the guitar fx they included on Kontakt 3.

They're just lazy.

Anyway, like I said, I'm curious which EW libraries are on your wishlist, on your original post you said:

Wish list:


VST: Komplete 5, more East West samples

Why East West?


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I am using the following hardware:

1 Host PC: Intel Quad, 2 GB RAM, several HDs, Focusrite Saffire audio-interface, Win XP Home

2x Slave PC: AMD X2 3800 with 4 GB RAM each, Win x64

the machines are connected via FX Teleport and Gigabit LAN


East West Symphonic Orchestra Gold + Gold XP, East West RA, East West Stormdrum 1, East West Percussion Adventures, Project SAM True Strike 1, Project SAM Brass (complete collection), VSL Opus 1&2, VSL Epic Horns, Westgate Flute + Oboes, X-Treme FX (Ultimate Soundbank), East West Symphonic Choirs, East West Voices of Passion, Cakewalk Rapture, Spectrasonics RMX with all S.A.G.E Expanders, Altiverb, Cakewalk Sonar Producer Edition 7, Tsaiko, Cinetoms, Cineharp...... hhhmmm... did I forget something ?

keep on rockin '


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Jochen, if you use RMX, then you should know that Sean released a version of his Tsaiko library through 9Volt called ACTION DRUMS: Taiko Edition. Sean put together some BAD ASS taiko loops, though I'm not a fan of loops myself, Sean did some great work.

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Dannthr- Oops my bad. I would love to have the two other PLAY libraries Gypsy and Fab Four. Adding to my wish list I would LOVE to have:

Plug ins: GRM Tools and Waves Gold (or Diamond) bundles.

Samples: I've also been hearing some great things about Project SAM and am eager to give them a shot.

Personal rant: So I worked on another short film last night and enjoyed everything except the DAW I was working with: Sonar. Sonar does many things very, very well but video support is NOT one of them. I've contacted Cakewalk many times about beefing up their video support. The major problem is the cursor placement in Sonar is static. In other programs (such as Cubase, Logic, Digital Performer and Pro Tools) the cursor placement is active. Meaning I can click on a section and drag my cursor back and forth while the video will playback in relation to my cursor. Sounds like a very simple feature, and it makes working with film (especially sound design work) MUCH, MUCH faster and easier. I've worked with all of those programs I listed above and several of the versions are 3+ years old now and they STILL had this feature. Sonar is Cakewalk's flagship, supposed to be its best product and yet... it is years behind the curve with relation to working with film. This also affects us game guys when we want to "score" a sound effect to an animation going in game.

Sure you can use the "+" or "-" keys to jump frame by frame, but that becomes a major pain especially when dealing with larger projects. Frames are usually 24 to 30 per second. The film I did last night was 7 minutes long, and I had to press "+" through most of it. That took a LONG time and was very disruptive to my work flow. Some may disagree with me, but I think once you've experienced active cursor placement with video- you'll never want to go back. Morale of the story: if you're wanting to do a heavy amount of film or animation work (video or game) then don't use Sonar. Okay, my rant is done. :)

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I agree with you on that one Nathan. I have been working on a few movies the last months. as well and Sonar just gave me a plain headache.
Beside the things you mention there is also a problem with importing .mov files if they have a certain kind of codex. It refuses to play. If that file is converted to .avi it crashes non stop.

I am thinking seriously to go with Nuendo soon due to this lack of functionality with video since it doesn't look that cakewalk is going to improve the features in the near future for this.

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Yeah, I agree.

Earlier this year I scored a 5 minute martial arts short in Sonar, it was a pain.

Especially since my version of Sonar (Studio 5) didn't even have a video track. Supposedly, Producer 7 does? I'm pretty sure it does.

That would make mickey mousing a lot easier to pull off, if you can see all the frames linearly laid out, like in a video editor.

I think what I ended up doing was setting up a separate "mickey mousing track" and went through making a mark when the mickey mouse hit was on the beat and adjusting tempo when it wasn't so that it would be.

I don't know if I could do a feature like that, but hopefully, there wouldn't be that much mickey mousing in a feature.

It's martial arts, crazy sword-fighting and kung-fu stuff, you have to do a little mickey mousing ;)


My shitck on Project SAM.

Their full on sample libraries are brilliantly recorded, but they have archaic programming. I would say, some of the crappiest programming around for the price. Having purchased their Brass, I would almost say they're worth it. Although, I am sort of wanting to (since their samples are unprotected) script my own SAM instrument files in Kontakt, since they do have legato samples included, just no legato scripting.

As far as their FX. Their FX are bad ass, but it won't be long before you hear them everywhere. As far as their orchestrator tools? I am annoyed at them, I don't want to ALWAYS write woodwinds in tutti. They sound good, but it's all ensemble.

Like everyone else, I want them to return to their roots and create actual woodwind and string libraries.

And like everyone else, I wish they'd update their programming.

Their True Strike libraries, on the other hand, sound brilliant. I would definitely want TS2.

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Dannthr- Just a side note did you know I live in Westminster and work for NetDevil in Lousiville? We probably only live about 15-20 minutes apart if you're in Boulder. You actually wrote me at my ND email a while back looking for work. I'm interested but don't have any overflow yet. I'll keep you in mind. I mainly wanted to make sure you knew we were both local.

Also, to all that responded on Sonar: AMEN! Great points all around and I wish Cakewalk would hurry and listen to some of it's supporters (or soon to be non-supporters)!

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Oh yes, I remember now.

I was just off the heels of helping out Richard on Highlander.

Hopefully this summer I'll be able to actively pursue work again.

Sean Beeson mentioned you guys were pals, do you have AIM? I host an infrequent audio chat from time to time with Sean and some GANGers and GAFers.

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