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Transition from hard to soft (ware)


ProfD

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I have an Akai MPC which is the king of hardware sequencers IMO. ;)

 

If anybody is familiar with the MPC and/or has gone soft without missing a beat (pun intended), let me know. :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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I slowly incorporated the laptop. I played with it a bunch at home, then at practice, then finally at gigs. I still don't use it to it's potential, but I am getting there as my confidence grows. I still have a fallback plan of hardware, 'cause stuff just goes wrong sometimes. The second battery was a "must-have", I've found, as the power supply on my particular laptop (Dell Inspiron) introduces noise. Having 2 batteries gets me through a gig comfortably.

 

Jay

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Talking of which, is the "sample-accurate" timing of DAWs (using plug-ins) really the case? I suppose I could (and will later) easily test it myself--but it seems many still rate the MPC for "tight drums" over most anything else.

 

Are you asking about software synths, or just sequencing?

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The irony is that I started out with a computer sequencer, acquired a few hardware sequencers (onboard with a few keyboards), and I've always prefered the flexibility I get with the computer-based sequencers.

 

Don't get that Dell. You'll have IBM (I Bought a Mac) envy. :P

 

All kidding aside, you still probably should consider getting something more powerful than a Dell Inspiron if you intend to use it for any serious music projects. Although the XPS series (formerly Alienware) notebooks would be great, they might be overkill unless you intend to get into full orchestrations, scoring, and lots of post-processing. Also, you might want to consider (provided this is in your price range) getting a laptop with a dual-core processor and getting at least 2GB of RAM on it.

 

You'll thank me later for the suggestions.

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Originally posted by soundscape:

I could (and will later) easily test it myself--but it seems many still rate the MPC for "tight drums" over most anything else.

 

Are you asking about software synths, or just sequencing?

The reputation of the MPC (60, 60II, 3000) is well deserved when it comes to drum programming which makes it harder for me to give it up.

 

I'm considering software for sequencing and sampling and I'd keep my S80 synth/controller.

 

Everything goes if I decide to get a MotifES8. ;)

 

Originally posted by dp2:

Don't get that Dell. You'll have IBM (I Bought a Mac) envy. :P

 

All kidding aside, you still probably should consider getting something more powerful than a Dell Inspiron if you intend to use it for any serious music projects.

 

Also, you might want to consider (provided this is in your price range) getting a laptop with a dual-core processor and getting at least 2GB of RAM on it.

 

You'll thank me later for the suggestions.

Thanks dp2. Point taken. I already have a Yamaha DAW for audio recording.

 

The laptop would mainly be for the purposes above. I'm still researching it. Got my eye on a dual-core, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HD, 17" monitor unit if I decide to go that route. :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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If you're trying to reproduce a hardware piece using software you might be disappointed. If you approach software with an open mind and look into all the tools that are available you might find that it changes the way you work/compose. For drums I primarily use DrumeCore, Strike (fantastic but Protools only) and Stylus RMX--they are nothing like programming an MPC.

 

I would caution against the Motif ES8 if you're looking for tight drum programming. I had issues with it where, using certain percussion samples, it would mess up big time.

 

Busch.

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I use that laptop 'cause I already owned it. I maxed out the RAM (512Mb) and installed a DVDRW. Other than that, it has had the OS (WinXP Home) re-installed after wiping the hard drive (professionally), and will never see the internet again. My desktop, another PC, has never been on the 'net, and has never had a serious incident causing me to sweat losing my material due to viruses, etc.

 

I use the laptop via US122 to run B4, Minimonsta, Atmosphere (BIG program, really a CPU hog with this little RAM. On my studio PC with 2Gb, it's a breeze), MoogModularV, CS80V, TimeWarp2600 and Traktion2. I want to install the Korg Legacy Collection, w/ Digital add-on, but I have to wait to save the money. I need to replace my studio controller first. Too many options, too few places to look at them from the middle of the coast of Maine. What to do...

 

If I were to buy a laptop specifically for gigging, I would take some time doing the resaerch, looking into the Sweetwater Creation Stations, among others that are optimized for music.

 

Jay

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Hey Busch...I'm thinking of an Omega 8 for 1st quater/after the Holidays. You've got one, right?. There's no where around here to go monkey around with one and it's a pretty big purchase for me, so.....do you love it? Is there any add on that you'd suggest...2600 or midimini add ons, etc.??
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Originally posted by linwood:

Hey Busch...I'm thinking of an Omega 8 for 1st quater/after the Holidays. You've got one, right?. There's no where around here to go monkey around with one and it's a pretty big purchase for me, so.....do you love it? Is there any add on that you'd suggest...2600 or midimini add ons, etc.??

I don't know, do you think it sounds any good? :D

 

Telling Ocean Feel

 

The demos they provide are just like crusing through the presets. I need to send mine into get the tune-up as it exhibits some of the bugs found in the earlies units. I ordered mine with a single ARP 2600 filter which is very cost effective. How many times are you going to use it for single note bass/leads? A lot probably. You can do that with the 303 and 2600 filter. I don't know how that approach would work with the MIDIMINIAFY option.

 

Yes it is one bad-ass mofo. A luxury item for sure. But you're worth it.

 

Busch

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Originally posted by jay da cop:

If I were to buy a laptop specifically for gigging, I would take some time doing the resaerch, looking into the Sweetwater Creation Stations, among others that are optimized for music.

 

Jay

I've taken a look at the specs for several of those workstations; I like the specs for a few of them I've seen, and dislike the specs I saw for most of them.

 

The main things you're going to need to focus on are the amount and speed of the RAM, the amount and speed of the storage, the audio interface, and optionally the number of USB/FireWire interface (for expansion) available. Most CPUs today are reasonably powerful enough for most stand-alone, music applications.

 

Things get more complicated when one starts running various plugins, etc. One needs to pay attention particularly to the memory footprint (or how much memory is used) of each running program and plugin. Another thing to keep in mind is that the memory footprint will increase--sometimes by a lot and really quickly--depending upon the complexity of the project(s).

 

I noticed that some of the MacBook Pro laptops are shipping with 5400 RPM harddrives. :( While that might be fast enough for most business applications (like MS Office), it's often not fast enough for most multimedia applications (like many music programs). I'd recommend getting at least a 7200 RPM harddrive, and if you're constantly working on lots of large projects (like full orchestrations, etc) I'd recommend getting a 10000 RPM harddrive if you can swing it.

 

Additionally, dual-core processors can help speed things up for large projects.

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First it was a matter of managing a room full of MIDI stuff i.e. keyboards, drum machines, samplers, sequencers, etc.

 

Now, we have to make sure the computer has the proper processing speed, RAM, hard drive space, plug-ins, USB, Firewire, VST, RTA, VSL, DSL, etc.

 

Sounds like the configuration headache shifts from hardware to software too. ;):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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