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HomeAmateur

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Originally posted by Bill H.:

Originally posted by ProfD:

Also, depending on the style of music, workstations tend to yield a 'band-in-box' moreso than a 'record' sound.

This is absolutely not true. You can record from the ground up on a hardware or workstation sequencer just as you can on a computer. And use your own custom sounds. That's the only way I work.

 

For someone starting out, using a computer makes a lot more sense. But it is handy sometimes to just turn workstation on wherever it's located and go.

I agree, one can use a hardware or workstation sequencer and achieve record-quality results.

 

The key is to use multiple sound sources and/or customized sounds.

 

Yet, many folks will do just that, turn on a workstation, call up stock sounds, quantize everything, etc.

 

As a result, between the 'sameness' of the sound source and static nature of some sequenced music, it sounds less like a 'record' and more 'canned' or as Busch said "MIDI cheese". :P

 

Check out the 'professionally done' onboard sequences in most workstations. They have gotten better over the years but I see why they call them 'demos'. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by ProfD:

Check out the 'professionally done' onboard sequences in most workstations. They have gotten better over the years but I see why they call them 'demos'. :cool:

Eh? Excepting that there's not the same facilities as a full "mixing desk/studio" for the mixdown, and actually, even not allowing for that, demos are often fantastic.
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Originally posted by soundscape:

Originally posted by ProfD:

Check out the 'professionally done' onboard sequences in most workstations. They have gotten better over the years but I see why they call them 'demos'. :cool:

Eh? Excepting that there's not the same facilities as a full "mixing desk/studio" for the mixdown, and actually, even not allowing for that, demos are often fantastic.
The musicianship and programming on the workstations is great but the demo sequences still have a 'sameness' of sound.

 

Yamaha, Roland, Korg, etc., have a certain sound. It is part of the reason a musician uses one over the other.

 

'That' sound comes across in the workstation demo. It has nothing to do with studio facilities and/or additional outboard processing.

 

When you listen to a record, there are several layers of sound sources which contribute to the overall sound.

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by ProfD:

The musicianship and programming on the workstations is great but the demo sequences still have a 'sameness' of sound.

[/QB]

what is your point? In some cases we all want to sound similar. Like with grand piano, I'd

like my piano to sound like e.g. original steinway. It's no about sound being the same but about music.

Besides no professional uses presets. These are only starting points, you can do whatever you like with them whether you work with workstation or in big studio.

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Originally posted by HomeAmateur:

Second, for me personally, I have probably the worst short term memory you could have. There are many times when I will spontainioulsy come out with some lyrics or play a chord progression, many times at the same time, and I think, wow, that could be the makings of an awesome song. THEN, about 3 seconds later I have NO CLUE what I just sang or played.

Can't recall who, but I've heard it said by a great songwriter that a melody or lyric forgotten isn't worth recording in the first place. Personally, I find that any original melody or lyric I forget usually finds its way into future recordings, though possibly not with the exact complexion of its original manifestation.
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Originally posted by cliffk:

Can't recall who, but I've heard it said by a great songwriter that a melody or lyric forgotten isn't worth recording in the first place. Personally, I find that any original melody or lyric I forget usually finds its way into future recordings, though possibly not with the exact complexion of its original manifestation.

One veteran songwriter said she calls her voicemail and hums an idea on it.

 

Particularly if you're looking for a hook, if after playing it over and over it's highly forgettable, then it probably isn't good enough, but I think you do have to record/write down your ideas as they come to you.

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ROMpler demos are designed to sell. They "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don't mess with Mister In-Between"--as the song goes.

 

So if they've got a good soprano sax patch to show off, you'll hear it, but not that real sucky bari sax. If a horn patch sounds good doing a particular phrase, you'll hear that phrase. On and on.

 

They never, to my ear, sound like live musicians playing real instruments. But that IS what they're attempting to recreate. Cheese comes when you take a ROMpler patch of instrument and try to make it sound like it's real. Whether that's drums, bass, guitar, horns, strings, it doesn't matter. ROMplers patches contain a single articulation of the instrument. A musician playing a real instrument can use numerous articulations in the course of a single phrase; all seamlessly tied together. THAT is what it sounds so different from a ROMpler patch playing the same notes. Then there's things like legato on string and wind instruments, hammer on and slides on guitar. Even drums take WAY more sounds captured in order to pull it off convincingly.

 

I use a combination of real instruments, advanced libraries which contain superb recordings of many, many articulations, VSL which gives me performance legato, REX and other audio loop formats of live musicians playing real instruments, tools like Vitrual Guitarist/Bassist and Latigo/Darbuka/Strike all which use live musicians to create their patterns, etc. It DOES make a difference.

 

Busch.

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Maybe drums show a few things...

 

1) Alesis SR-16: http://www.synthmania.com/Drum%20Machines/Alesis/SR-16/Audio/Preset%20Patterns/00%20Rock%201.mp3

 

Sounds like a drum machine. Good quality.

 

2) Northstar Drumscapes sample CD: http://www.synthmania.com/Sample%20Libraries/Northstar%20Productions/Drumscapes%20Vol.%201/Audio/001%20CMB%20-%20Fast%20Rock.mp3

 

(Single samples in the first section, then loops.)

High quality.

 

3) Scarbee Imperial Drums XL (48Gb library): http://www.sonivoxmi.com/mp3/Scarbee_sidxl_groove_004.mp3

 

Sounds more like real drums than the SR-16. Mediocre quality.

 

Originally posted by burningbusch:

They never, to my ear, sound like live musicians playing real instruments. But that IS what they're attempting to recreate. Cheese comes when you take a ROMpler patch of instrument and try to make it sound like it's real. Whether that's drums, bass, guitar, horns, strings, it doesn't matter.

To me, for example, a Korg Triton sounds like a... Korg Triton--but that's its appeal.

 

Originally posted by burningbusch:

A musician playing a real instrument can use numerous articulations in the course of a single phrase; all seamlessly tied together. THAT is what it sounds so different from a ROMpler patch playing the same notes. Then there's things like legato on string and wind instruments, hammer on and slides on guitar. Even drums take WAY more sounds captured in order to pull it off convincingly.

They are starting to appear in ROMplers...Yamaha MegaVoices for example. I suspect ROMplers at present are caught between soft-synths at one end eating up (particularly the hobbyist market, where many may no longer be buying hardware at all) for synth-based or more synthetic (i.e., acoustic samples but still obviously sounds like a 'Korg' or whatever) sounds, demand from live players for the 'real' sound of acoustic or electro-acoustic instruments, and today's huge sample libraries at other end.

 

Now, if the goal is to absolutely sound like acoustic instruments, is a sample-based approach really optimal? Or would physical modelling be better? Is it really effective to concatenate various articulations together?

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If your song is good people are not going to worry about whether the drums are real or a sampled kit. Most people don't listen to a song and try to determine if the drums are real. They just listen to the song. For small productions or demos the sound quality of a ROMpler is fine, and much better than many professional recordings from 10+ years ago. For a lot of people just being at a computer can be a distraction.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.

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