• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Choosing a composing/music app

This topic is 2976 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love these conversations, because I'm always learning more. I'd like to throw in my two cents, as well.

My set up at home is an MBOX2 with PTLE 7.4. Because I'm a tight budget, I use it for everything: composition, MIDI, recording, editing, etc.

Its MIDI functions aren't nearly as flexible as some other programs, but you just have to learn to work arounds and be creative. If you don't have enough tracks, you could always record from the hard/software samplers, bouncedown and then reimport the tracks to open up more.

I also use Audacity as my digital audio editor for more fine tuning issues. But as yjbrown mentioned - it's a preference issue. I started on Pro Tools, I've used Digital Performer (better MIDI) and a couple of other programs. Once you learn a program's weaknesses, you can be creative and come up with interesting solutions.

-George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, unfortunately, I can hardly be called "musically inclined". I can mash my way through a song (I've done a few), but me writing notes on paper, where I can't hear them, is not the most greatest of most great ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like to write on walks, so I take a digital recorder with me, and I sing the parts in as I walk down the street--probably a strange sight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Dannthr
I like to write on walks, so I take a digital recorder with me, and I sing the parts in as I walk down the street--probably a strange sight.


Me too man most of my ideas come while walking, i feel like a knob humming a tune into a recorder hah. About 25% of the time they also come to me when I am almost asleep, so I start recording and really annoy my girlfriend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Jay Taylor
About 25% of the time they also come to me when I am almost asleep, so I start recording and really annoy my girlfriend.


Haha! Same here! Only my ideas tend to wake me up at 3 or 4 in the morning, and I have to get up and either hum them into my recorder or go into my studio and write them or I'll lose them by the time the sun rises. Drives my husband crazy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Dannthr
I like to write on walks, so I take a digital recorder with me, and I sing the parts in as I walk down the street--probably a strange sight.


Not only did Beethoven sing to himself while he went on walks through Vienna, he also used to sing obnoxiously loud while playing the piano in his apartment. :)




Dario, if you're interested in composing for a full orchestra using EWQL samples, make sure you have at least a million gigs of RAM. Ok, so not a million, but you will need an exorbitant about because of how demanding the samples are.

http://www.soundsonline.com/EastWest-Quantum-Leap-Symphonic-Orchestra-PLAY-Editions-pr-EW-177.html

You also have to manually integrate the sound libraries with those programs that you're looking at - EWQL doesn't come with any installation software that does that for you.


Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cubase 5 or logic 9 are much better for midi based composition, and cubase has some amazing vst plugins and packs coming out for it at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do fine with Sonar 7 Producer edition. But which app is best for you will depend a bit on your composition style. If you don't have a composition style yet then there's not much to choose between the apps, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by grhufnagl
@jjandreau:

Would one of the new 27" iMacs handle it ok with a Quard Core i7 and 8GB of RAM?



I would say you're all set, these were the recommended spec requirements for the mac:

Mac Pro Quad-Core Xeon 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM

If you've got quad i7's, then you should be more than fine.



Happy Searching!


jj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll also add that if you use East-West, be prepared to sound like every other young aspiring film/game music composer. My honest advice would be to learn a decent bit about actual composing first, and also a bit about mixing, before jumping in and buying hundreds of dollars worth of software that you'll stumble through for a while, and then even when you stop stumbling through, your work will still likely sound very close to what your contemporaries are doing. What learning composition will do is help you to not only develop your own sound, but it will help you avoid the pitfalls of instrumentation that everyone else does, therefore you will, by default, develop favorite ways of doing things and in doing so create your own sound. I used EWQL for a year, but then relegated to Reason 3 because of the lack of uniqueness in sonics that my compositions had. Since then I've created much more inspired work with reason, and I can get it and its (albeit, sometimes crappy) synths to sound way better than I could ever get EWQL to.

My suggestion would be to start out with Garritan Personal Orchestra. It's cheap and you can get your feet wet.

If you really want to spend the big bucks, then don't bother with a second-rate orchestral library like EQWL. Get the Vienna Symphonic Library. Not even EWQL Platinum compares to that.

But let me iterate... it's not the software that makes the composer. I'd still advise you to learn how to compose before jumping into this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello;

ProTools requires a ProTools supporting sound card, HD system already comes with a soundcard itself, you add on your DSP cards to it. MBox 2 is a great soundcard to pick but you can work on any M-Powered M-Audio card as well for cheaper solutions, since they also support ProTools LE.


However, ProTools is the most "user friendly" and "capable" program I have seen so far. Especially for editing, its a gem.


East West libraries are great in their value/performance ratio. Everyone loves Vienna Symphony but paying it 10.000 USD is unnecessary. East West fills the gap of "need for professional sounds" and "without spending a fortune" quite well. If you are working on big AAA productions to cover your expenses that much, its most probable that you will be asked to record live anyway and you would be using VSTs for demo-purposes. For projects that accept VSTs, using Vienna Symphony is not price effective, even though it sounds really appealing.


However, if you are unsure of your composing skills and mixing skills, having the best VSTs won't change much. Also, if you are to start working on things new, I suggest going on for a studio / home studio monitor first on your expenditures list.


Your Mac Mini can run those applications but you won't be able to use any plug-ins / VSTs. ProTools especially loves to use any resource it sees. If you copy a file to your phone, it even creates a DigiDesign core directory and database there as well.


Also note that if you learn how to work on EQ's well, and how to use a compressor effectively, you can make out better sounds with cheaper VST's than an expensive one's default tones. Especially the mid frequencies almost always need a "touch" in VSTs. If you know how to work on EQs well, you can make East West sound way over its standart performance as well. To be sincere, I worked with worse live orchestras than East West standart performance on a Midi, even without velocity touches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement