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Dario D

Choosing a composing/music app

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I've been doing quite some digging around, but can't decide which of the following apps would be best for my needs... Pro Tools LE 8 (I'll be using an X-Fi Xtreme Gamer sound card, at least for now) Sonar 7 Producer I want access to samples such as this (http://www.eastwestsamples.com/details.php?cd_index=1128), which is why I'm only looking at the above 2 apps for now. Any suggestions, and things I need to know? The music I want to make will pretty much be like the examples in that link above, and I'll be using Vista/7 64-bit (I really don't think my Mac Mini will like running any of these apps. It doesn't even like Google Earth).

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I don't know much about composition software I just wanted to chime in and say I LOVE EastWest.

These packs are excellent:

Goliath
Ministry of Rock
Gypsy (omg the violin is amazing)
Symphonic Choirs
Symphonic Orchestras
Ra
Voices of Passion
Silk
Stormdrum 2

Be aware though, if the pack you want is not on sale wait for it. They offer package bundles all the time and I could have gotten my above collection for MUCH cheaper.

EDIT: Also, make sure you have a dedicated harddrive for the samples.

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There are lot of music site available on internet which provide free downloading, u can find these site with the help of any search engine or music community. But they doesn't always have every song you want so you might have to keep checking there sometimes to get it.


[Edited by - jpetrie on December 15, 2009 11:03:18 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by Dario D
Pro Tools LE 8 (I'll be using an X-Fi Xtreme Gamer sound card, at least for now)


Unless things have drastically changed and I'm not aware of it, Pro Tools will not run with a 3rd party soundcard like an X-Fi. It will only run with Digidesign sound cards like the Mbox or Digirack 003.

Quote:
Original post by Dario D
Sonar 7 Producer

I want access to samples such as this (http://www.eastwestsamples.com/details.php?cd_index=1128), which is why I'm only looking at the above 2 apps for now.

Any suggestions, and things I need to know?

The music I want to make will pretty much be like the examples in that link above, and I'll be using Vista/7 64-bit (I really don't think my Mac Mini will like running any of these apps. It doesn't even like Google Earth).


I have Sonar and for basic music production it is okay. I find it rather clunky and a resource hog myself but I haven't upgraded to 8 yet which is supposed to be much more smooth and efficient in regards to CPU resources. If you're wanting to do any post-production with film then I strongly urge you to stay away from Sonar. The video support and features offers are total crap and years behind competing apps. (Literally!) However if you don't ever suspect you'll be doing post production for film, then Sonar should be fine.

Both should run East West just fine and Pro Tools 8's midi functions and features just got a really nice overhaul.

The biggest thing you need to be able to run East West (and others) well is ALOT of ram. Max it out if at all possible because you can never have too much! :)

I hope that helps,

Nate

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Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
Unless things have drastically changed and I'm not aware of it, Pro Tools will not run with a 3rd party soundcard like an X-Fi. It will only run with Digidesign sound cards like the Mbox or Digirack 003.

I could be wrong, but I think ProTools HD is what requires the high-end hardware, whereas ProTools LE is the "lame edition" for more mainstream users.

[Edited by - Dario D on December 8, 2009 1:59:53 AM]

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Ah, I see.
$500 for the mid-range Mbox 2. :( How many channels is it a good idea to have, if you're working on tracks with full orchestra? Looks like the mid-range MBox has "4x2", whereas the Pro has "6x8".

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Original post by Dario D
How many channels is it a good idea to have, if you're working on tracks with full orchestra?


I'm not sure if you mean MIDI channels or "tracks" in a project? Regardless, there is an 'upgrade' you can purchase to 'unlock' more instrument tracks, which is insane, to me. Normally, it's either 24 or 48 tracks (I can't remember... I swear it was 24 stereo tracks and 48 mono tracks). The add-on gives access to 64 tracks instead.

What I had issues with, is if I wanted to compose for full-orchestra using the midi editor, I ran out of track space. Other apps, like I know Reason 4, has unlimited track amounts. This seems like a major flaw for PT8, as you have to tack on $300 or $400 more for the upgraded version to get more track space.

Frankly, I consider PT8 not so much a 'composing' tool as it is a tracking/recording/effects tool. I'd like to know if there is anyone out there that actually uses PT8 to compose by itself - because I doubt there are very many.

I have had a rough time with PT8 on many fronts. I can't recommend it to anyone personally unless they have money to burn and they won't feel like they needed the money for something else - like food lol

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I use Logic Pro, and I absolutely love it. It comes with tons of really great VST's, loops, drum machines, synths and effects plugins, plus the EX24 sampler with which you can use almost any sample library on the market. Some complain about the learning curve - it's really not so bad in my opinion, especially the versions from 2008 forward. Anyway, even if it's slightly less intuitive than some other programs, you can do absolutely anything with it, so it's worth the extra effort.

In terms of VSTs, I like:

Sonic Implants for strings
Dan Dean for woodwinds
Stylus for drum loops
Nine Volt Audio's Action Drums:Taiko edition for those fabulous thunderous taikos (you can pull these right into Stylus - really awesome!)
Quantum Leap East West Symphonic Choirs for chorus/voices
Spectrasonics Omnisphere for synths and ambient sounds

That's my two cents. :)

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I'm not sure about Pro-Tools for Midi Composition - I always thought of it more as a post-production/multi-track tool.

I'd have a look at Steinberg Cubase (more geared towards composing) or Nuendo (post & composing).

There's some other composing tools to have a look at as well:
Cakewalk
Logic
Digital Performer
Reaper : www.reaper.fm

It's all very personal which tool you feel most comfortable using. I use a combination of Nuendo and Renoise depending on the project.

Renoise is not your traditional sequencing software by far. If you're familiar with "mod tracking" approach to writing music you won't have too much trouble getting used to it. http://www.renoise.com

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