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Roland/Yamaha/Korg stuff - Are hardware synths falling behind?


Johnny1982

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damn steadyb:

 

i thought you only were into sports and being a wise-ass at H-C.

 

i pretty much agree with all you've said.

 

i've been using cubase since it first came out (about 15 years). when i first got it, it was midi only. i didn't get 'every' upgrade, but got most, and have the current version.

in that time, i've spent over a grand on it, but it's light years ahead of where it started.

 

about the hardware - my K2600 and A6 come closest to what i'm looking for in a board.

 

yamaha is pretty close to the ideal concept with their plug-in boards, but they're a bit cludgy to use in their current state (i've got an S80 with AN/DX/and VH boards).

 

you can't get at all the paramters without booting up the comptuer.

 

the alesis fusion gets even closer in this regard. AFAIK, you can edt all the paramters from the board. however, while you get an incredible amount of material (and synth types) to work with, there's no provision to add in new types.

i'm not sure how far it goes in the controller department either.

 

what was the topic? :freak:

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Originally posted by mildbill:

the alesis fusion gets even closer in this regard. AFAIK, you can edt all the paramters from the board. however, while you get an incredible amount of material (and synth types) to work with, there's no provision to add in new types.

Nope, but the processing is all done by a 'general-purpose' DSP chip. It's purely software-driven.
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Originally posted by steadyb:

Originally posted by Prague:

Will any of these be useable in 4 years?

Of course they will, and probably updated and better.

]My Quad G5 should be cooking along just fine in 4 years. I had my Dual G4 that long, and have been using Logic for about 8 years now.

 

4 more years might end up being about $1200 (at a $299 version upgrade per year, which will more likely be 3 upgrades in those 4 years, so $900)

 

 

But someone who bought Reason, or Acid, etc. if they bought every single update along the way has spent maybe $500-$800...maybe, and has a program/instrument that is ten times as powerful as what they started with.

 

The rate of advancement in software/computers is accelerating exponentially compared to keyboard/synth hardware. That's just a fact of life.

hey steadyb, thx for stepping away from HC

 

I need your advice. I have a G4 Powerbook, 1.25 Mhz , 1 gig ram. 60 meg hard drive. I have the M-audio Fire Wire 410.

 

I want to get into the Logic environment. Then run AcoustiK

pianos, Scarbee or Mr Ray EP's

 

I will midi my Triton Classic 61 or Rd700sx to the FW410

 

Is the M-audio 410 a weak choice ? I can replace it

 

Will my mac handle the full version of Logic or should I start out with Logic Express ? Will it run the above 3

software instruments ok ?

 

Let me know what I am missing

 

Thanks !

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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You show me a laptop with a screen that isn't gonna break gigging (no, not the way you gig, the way I gig) and we'll talk about PCs taking over. Until then, it'd just be a complete liability.

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Originally posted by Dick Ward (Alias: Mr. Pretentious):

You show me a laptop with a screen that isn't gonna break gigging (no, not the way you gig, the way I gig) and we'll talk about PCs taking over. Until then, it'd just be a complete liability.

There are lots of people using PowerBooks and the instruments on them for live gigs. I've seen several bands in clubs using them, as well as big acts, like Herbie Hancock and Sting using them in concert too.

 

You'll see that happening even more now that the MacBook Pro is out.

 

But I said in an earlier post hardware synths still have the edge for live situations, because for the most part, you're just playing them, and things like automation and other things I mentioned aren't usually the prime consideration.

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Oh no, I'm not suggesting that no one can use Powerbooks. I'm just saying that in a normal gig situation for me, the screen will break. I can drop my JV-1000 (and have) a long ways and a lot of times and it's still going strong. That laptop would be over in one fall.

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Oh no, I'm not suggesting that no one can use Powerbooks. I'm just saying that in a normal gig situation for me, the screen will break. I can drop my JV-1000 (and have) a long ways and a lot of times and it's still going strong. That laptop would be over in one fall. I admit, I'm much more clumsy than most people, and am probably pretty rough on my gear, but that's why I personally either buy gear that I know can handle it (like my JV) or very cheap gear (like my midi controller).

 

Then again, since most people aren't me, maybe they all take awesome care of their gear.

 

 

I still think we're more likely to see Apple make a keyboard with a VST loading OS built in than we are to see everyone carrying around laptops.

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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I think its a little unfair to say hardware is 'falling behind'. Its all about integration now. You have your hardware stuff and your software/computer stuff. I think they serve totally different purposes, at least for me.

 

I would love to take a laptop on a gig, but then again, who's gonna care if my piano sample has sympathetic resonance or half-pedaling as I bang out 'Lady Madonna' or something like that at a bar? I don't know. Its debatable. But like Dick I seem to think the dedicated machines are best for their purpose and once you get into comparisons it becomes waaaaay too subjective to worry about.

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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Originally posted by GregC:

I need your advice. I have a G4 Powerbook, 1.25 Mhz , 1 gig ram. 60 meg hard drive. I have the M-audio Fire Wire 410.

 

I want to get into the Logic environment. Then run AcoustiK

pianos, Scarbee or Mr Ray EP's

 

I will midi my Triton Classic 61 or Rd700sx to the FW410

 

Is the M-audio 410 a weak choice ? I can replace it

 

Will my mac handle the full version of Logic or should I start out with Logic Express ? Will it run the above 3

software instruments ok ?

 

Let me know what I am missing

 

Thanks !

I currently run a G4 PowerBook 1.25GHz just like you, but with 2 gigs of RAM and an 80 gig HD (I think you meant gig too, not meg), and run Logic 7.2 with no problem. I've used it to do clinics, and store training on Logic, and it's the only thing I need to bring when I'm asked to come play keyboards for someone in the studio. The days of ripping apart my studio at home to go do a session are long gone. I just shut the lid on the laptop, grab a 4 (or 5) octave USB keyboard under my arm, and I'm out the door. And with that alone it's like walking in with a semi-truck full of keyboards. I have whatever sound that's needed.

 

Rhodes. Wurly, clav, B3, (as "old" or "new" as you want them to be) synths, samplers, Sculpture, Ultrabeat, Korg Legacy stuff, Arturia, Green Oak Crystal (free), all in my laptop. It's a blast, and it makes you way more inclined to say yes when friends call and ask you to record with them, because you don't need a cartage company to go there.

 

 

As far as your mention of Logic's Environment... while it's still there to do some cool stuff, in Logic 7 (and 6 for that matter) you need never even go there. All the instruments, including 3rd party ones can just be called up right from the main arrange page.

 

So far, it has been my experience that the MOTU stuff has the best OSX drivers out there, and with the lowest latency.

 

From what I hear, the M-Audio stuff is cool but I can't speak from first hand experience.

 

Hope that helps.

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Originally posted by Dick Ward (Alias: Mr. Pretentious):

I can drop my JV-1000 (and have) a long ways and a lot of times and it's still going strong. That laptop would be over in one fall.

That's why you get AppleCare. ;):P

 

Actually the JV-1000 thing reminds me of a funny story...

 

I was on tour in 1992, and one of the keyboards I had then was a Korg 01/W. We were playing a large club in Montreal (don't remember the name), and when the guys were loading out the gear they rolled the T1 (safely packed into an Anvil case) and the 01/W (unsafely sitting on top with no case whatsoever) into an 8 foot tall stack of cases of beer on a pallette. The beers came crashing down on top of them, and the 01/W was filled with beer. After draining out the beer, and letting it dry out overnight as we headed to the next town, I fired it up at the next gig and it worked but with a few keys not working. The thing is, we had about 6 more gigs until we would be in New York, where Korg would replace the beer soaked keyboard. Each night, more and more keys stopped working, until by the last gig before NYC, only the top octave of the keyboard would still play. With some VERY creative transposing of the keyboard and individual patches, I was still able to pull off the gig.

 

Chalk one up for hardware keyboards.

 

Originally posted by Dick Ward (Alias: Mr. Pretentious):

 

I still think we're more likely to see Apple make a keyboard with a VST loading OS built in...

No, we're not.
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There are some really nice things about software. There's the whole freeware thing, but more importantly, once you've got a setup, it's very easy to just add another instrument that interests you. That add-on costs much less than a new piece of hardware and takes no more physical space than its manuals and installation discs.

 

Originally posted by GregC:

I want to get into the Logic environment. Then run AcoustiK

pianos, Scarbee or Mr Ray EP's

Pretty sure Mr Ray is a Windows VST only. Scarbee and Akoustik are fine though.

 

 

By the way, steadyb, do you know why Apple is being so silent thus far on their 30th anniversary? :wave:

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Originally posted by Jazzed:

There are some really nice things about software. There's the whole freeware thing, but more importantly, once you've got a setup, it's very easy to just add another instrument that interests you. That add-on costs much less than a new piece of hardware and takes no more physical space than its manuals and installation discs.

 

 

By the way, steadyb, do you know why Apple is being so silent thus far on their 30th anniversary? :wave:

Another thing is, (and I've been on the other side of this too) If I am working on a song, and using 30 different softsynth instruments on it, aside from the no noise and no grounding issues thing, I have ONE thing turned on and using electricity ...the computer. I've worked in studios with 20+ synths and in addition to all 20+ drawing electricity, you's also have a mixer (or three), MIDI interfaces, outboard gear, etc. ...as many as 50 different things plugged in. Thats a lot of Furmans, power strips, wall warts, ground lifts, and cables ...don't forget cables. 2 MIDI cables for each one, two audio cables for each one, an AC cable for each one, and a patch bay (or three) if you want any kind of routing flexibility at all.

 

 

Or...

 

1 - CPU

1 - Audio interface

1 - Controller keyboard

 

 

Hmmmmm....

 

...unless you get your electricity for free, well...

 

 

re: Apple 30th anniversary... I haven't heard a thing. I check the rumor sites just like everyone else.

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Originally posted by soundscape:

Many corporate environments are still using Windows 2000; I read the average time to replace a PC right now (business or home) is 4 years. Your system may well not run new software in 5 years, but I can't see why it's going to stop working with what you've already got.

4 years for a computer? Not even a fresh EE grad will take a job with 2000 as the OS. Since the OS comes with the computer, that's probably a 800MHz PC. Completely lame. No engineering, graphics, or any company of repute is using such an old machine. If your studio is using one, your competitor is using a better one. Anyone can easily acquire a new one.

 

Return on investment for computers and software is very poor. You may get plenty of use out of it, but it has ZERO resale value.

 

I have a 1.8GHz, 38GB laptop. It's a late 2002. I'd be lucky to get even $500 for it. with all of the software thrown in. By Fall2006, it will be worth even less.

 

The market for the single-user, at home or in a studio is fine for the single computer option. Also fine for the minimal-keyboard-use type of live music.

 

A full-scale live keyboard player needs an 88, along with at least 3 or 4 other sets of keys (keyboard manuals). Trading/selling/reselling/upgrading of hardware has a reasonable return on investment.

 

As for the $6000 workstation keyboard, I can agree. I never did buy into the all-in-one keyboard, either. My keyboards have alweays been in the $800 to $2500 range (the ION being the cheapest). But all of them have a good resale still. And will for quite a while.

 

My computer ($2300 new) will be junk in less than two years. No one will ever buy it.

 

I can understand why you are advocating the computer. It's your job.

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Originally posted by steadyb:

Or...

 

1 - CPU

1 - Audio interface

1 - Controller keyboard

 

That's a completely lame setup for a full-scale live keyboardist. Not even the same market. But, you are in a different market than I am.
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Originally posted by Prague:

I can understand why you are advocating the computer. It's your job.

Sorry, that has nothing to do with it. Go back and re-read my posts.

 

Originally posted by Prague:

[/qb]

That's a completely lame setup for a full-scale live keyboardist. Not even the same market. But, you are in a different market than I am.

 

Again, re-read my posts. I'm talking about the studio mainly, not live.

 

But if you're going for the Rick Wakeman thing, then a dozen or more keyboards onstage is probably the way to go for you.

 

If I stopped working for Apple tomorrow and got a full artist endorsement with Roland, Yamaha, and Korg, I still wouldn't change my studio setup.

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Originally posted by steadyb:

I think Dave Bryce will vouch that my opinion on this come from the musician/songwriter I am, not from any Apple employee point of view. (even if he doesn't happen to agree with my opinion)

 

I'm not just talking about Logic, I'm talking about ALL the cool software that's out there, on both platforms.

 

Logic, Sonar, DP, Cubase, Native Instruments, Arturia, Korg, M-Audio, and so on and so on.

 

For the studio they can't be beat.

 

Noise free, no grounding problems, FULLY automatable, totally recallable, programmable, and easy real time control of parameters with just about any USB keyboard that has a few knobs and sliders.

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Ironically, the cost of a single ticket to get in to shows which rely on multitudes of computers on-stage and off for sound and visuals, is about the same amount earned a night by local musicians who claim they couldn't possibly risk their performance to these "unreliable" machines.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by steadyb:

I'm talking about the studio mainly, not live.

Right. Live is a completely different market than the home market.

 

In one song, I usually have at least 7 different sounds. Some need a weighted, some not. But they all have to be immediatley accessed and played live.

 

I would probably need at least two computers, not to mention all of the full-capability controllers with pedals, etc. So, there's no advantge.

 

Plus, computers aren't designed for audio. All of the perpherals needed make for more hardware. along with all of the keyboards, themselves.

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Originally posted by Matocaster:

How could this thread have gone this far without a single mention of Openlabs Neko64 and Miko?

Hmm, good point. I don't think it's quite there. Just looking at user interfaces alone:

 

http://www.korg.com/oasys_gui/oasys_Virtual_GUI.html

 

compared to...

 

http://www.openlabs.com/gen2_pu4.htm

 

Sorry (to Open Labs' claims), but that's not "elegant". It's a mess. Some of the virtual instrument's interface is "chopped off" in that view.

 

Why wait for one of the big three to lead the pack?
Hmm, I thought the original point of this thread was the direction the big three would be going in?
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Originally posted by Dick Ward (Alias: Mr. Pretentious):

Oh no, I'm not suggesting that no one can use Powerbooks. I'm just saying that in a normal gig situation for me, the screen will break. I can drop my JV-1000 (and have) a long ways and a lot of times and it's still going strong. That laptop would be over in one fall. I admit, I'm much more clumsy than most people, and am probably pretty rough on my gear, but that's why I personally either buy gear that I know can handle it (like my JV) or very cheap gear (like my midi controller).

My PowerBook has survived a few 'knocks'. It fell off the desk and onto an open drawer once. Not even a scratch to show for it!

 

OTOH, there's a bit of a dent above the DVD drive where I kept leaning on it. :(

 

Apple do seem to like making the "pretty jewellery" type of hardware over the bulky and rugged. For that, it's all about the Panasonic Toughbook.

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