Hands on...or Computer Generated?

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What's the way to go?

 
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ScottDigweed
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Postby ScottDigweed » January 23rd, 2004, 7:30pm

99devils wrote:
ScottDigweed wrote:Using rack modules that are intended for studio use in a live context (when you're the only musician performing) is not an efficient nor a safe way to operate.


This is why I'm such a huge RM1X fan. The new material I'm working on will have me running an Akai S6000 sampler, a Nord Lead, an Access Virus, a Waldorf Rack Attack, and a CS1X all from the RM1X. Aside from actually playing parts on the keyboard (which I can do from the Nord or another band member can do from the CS1X), I can control all my sequencing from the RM1X - no hopping from piece to piece. I can also assign the knobs to control any parameter I need on any of the boxes I have - again, no grabbing for a knob on another box. I used a similar setup in 3lb. Mindtrip, but without the CS1X or Attack. I used one keyboard and the RM to run our entire show.


Sounds good. But really, you don't have MIDI latency issues with all that going on?.. I remember using all 16 channels on my old RM1x to drive a JV-1080 and Nordlead and I had some seriously sloppy timing, and I wasn't even using CC's... one (serial) MIDI cable has its limitations especially when you're trying to stuff an entire composition through it...

A lot of people prefer to have self-sequenced boxes like the elecrtibes but I prefer the advantages of using only one kind of sequencer to sequence everything. I don't have to learn the quirks of three different boxes' sequencers this way. There's nothing wrong with using self-sequenced boxes, it just doesn't fit the way I work.


Totally agree. But what if you had a few RM1x's, or more along the lines of what I'm thinking, an EMX and ESX, or as Speedy J uses two SU700's? Then it's no more difficult, but with double the power and flexibility, especially for a live continuous uber-DJ mix... remember, that's a huge consideration for me and people like me that want to do it live...

Obviously I'm a big fan of the RM1X, but I've also been pretty impressed by the Emu Command Stations' sequencing abilities, and they've got much better synth engines too (I don't use the RM1X's synth engine except to rough out parts quickly).


A couple of guys I know at another forum really love their command stations, too. I would be all over that box if I could import .wav's into it... even then, the PX-7 is compelling to me at only $500, it's a monster...

As far as samplers go (you mentioned aliasing and whatnot with the 909)... You have to respect the overwhelming amount of professional musicians and studios who use Akai and Emu samplers over the other hardware boxes out there. The Kurzweils are really nice too, but pricier. I've used or had brief plays with a large number of budget samplers and for the most part I found they either didn't sound as good, didn't work as easily, or had a lot more limitations than an Akai or Emu. Even their lower priced and older offerings sport pro features like SCSI, multiple outputs, high voice count... They're pretty easy to use (I was able to set up a program on an Emu E5000 at guitar center without the manual), they're reliable, and they sound good. As far as I'm concerned, there's a reason why these two companies have pretty much unbroken histories of making good samplers back to the beginning or sampler history :) Roland has left huge gaps, and the mega-underpowered for the price SP-808 was just the first in a line of lame alternatives to the MPC-2000. They haven't made a good sampler in a long time. Korg has never made a good pure sampler.


Word. I do respect the fact that Akai and Emu are the frontrunners in hardware rackmount samplers. But not for my current needs and tastes. I need a box that I can load my own sounds onto and bang and tweak to my heart's content. :D

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Sirken
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Postby Sirken » January 24th, 2004, 6:11pm

i would wait a few months to buy an ion. i've heard it had a lot of bug left in it that are really pissing people off. even more so wait a little while and if they don't fix the ion you'll get a lot cheaper.

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99devils
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Postby 99devils » January 25th, 2004, 9:02pm

ScottDigweed wrote:Sounds good. But really, you don't have MIDI latency issues with all that going on?.. I remember using all 16 channels on my old RM1x to drive a JV-1080 and Nordlead and I had some seriously sloppy timing, and I wasn't even using CC's... one (serial) MIDI cable has its limitations especially when you're trying to stuff an entire composition through it...


No MIDI issues whatsoever. But for a setup as extensive as mine you can't just daisy chain stuff. I use a MOTU MIDI Timepiece to route the MIDI data to its destinations (used to use a MOTU MicroExpress). There's only one device per set of ports. Maybe this IS the reason why I have so few problems with MIDI.

I'd use two RM1Xs if I needed more than 16 channels of sequencing, or if I needed to do a non-stop dance set where I wouldn't have time to change programs between songs.

-Craig

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jdfan
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Postby jdfan » January 25th, 2004, 11:06pm

At the risk of committing heresy, I have a P2 400 Dell I got off ebay last year for $300 that I run Reason on (live). Virtual analog synths, samplers, drum machines, and sequencer. I do 98% of my composing on my desktop machine, tho.

A machine w/ a little more power could readily run Fruityloops or any other VST host (the issue being the cpu demands of the vsts, not Fruity in particular).

I use an M-Audio Quattro and have 1 or 2 stereo pairs (if 2, drums get their own pair) for the PA. In the dozen or so shows we've played in the past 8 mos, we've never had a problem. A friend just got me an Evolution UC-16 (16 knobs -> midi CC) that I plan to use live eventually.

Of course, the downside of using a computer is that there are precious few blinken lights. And it doesn't take a day and an age to set it up. We do use a keyboard live, playing one or more of the keyboard parts live. But we're not really knob twisters, so it's not really an issue for us.

If you're thinking of going the computer route, I'd recommend a newish decent power laptop and Fruity (or any other VST host). Fruity does come w/ a bunch of decent generators, etc. Reason is very good too but some feel it's a limiting environment (mostly folks who collect VSTs like belly-button lint, I think).

Craig, when you going to give up all that HW? ;-)
I have reading comprehension problems. I can't understand Fredgy, no matter how hard he tries.

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99devils
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Postby 99devils » January 26th, 2004, 11:08am

Probably never :)

Funny, that.. The computer programmer not trusting his music to a computer...

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Morpheus
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Postby Morpheus » January 28th, 2004, 3:22pm

judging by the amount of OS problems, and shitty construction i think you have just as many problems nowadays with hardware as software.

remember when a synth didn't need 4 OS revisions?
or cheap spongy plastic keys?

that's what i miss about analogs (my dad sold a few moogs to pay for my upbringing) they were built like a frickin tank.
that's why so many still exist to this day.

i still trust most of my music to a computer. i can easily back it up, and it gives me precise control. Nick writes out a fair share of our synth bits by hand now, but it still gets worked over in the computer.

i think balance is the key for my work with nick, i like the fun of hands on jamming but i will always value precision editing as well.

besides there's still new combinations of sounds to be made. analog, digital? hardware?software? the result is what ultimately matters.

wisp oo
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Postby wisp oo » January 28th, 2004, 4:40pm

well it all depends on what your comfortable with. I came from a point in time where i spent alot of my youth on either video games,or a pc. i like the PC platform,and i feel uncomfortable infront of hardware. I think its silly to argue what in the end has better quality.. look at artists like Aphex Twin.. he went from hardware,to being completely PC based (yes..he switched from Mac).. and there is a noticable mastering and warmth difference.. but can you see the difference of quality of tracks? Being someone who listens to that shit all the time..i cant.

in the end,it all depends on where you feel comfortable. Alot of awesome stuff is done on all hardware,and vice versa. so yeah. i say PC,for myself.

Evil Majick
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Postby Evil Majick » January 31st, 2004, 8:42pm

definatly get yourself an Rm1x
cant say anything bad about these things

for the price you pay, your getting an amazing sequencer

I plan on upgrading to either a rs7000, or an mc 909 soon, but either way im going to keep the rm1x because they just rock

theres so much you can do with them

for the sound your going for I would suggest looking at a novation k, ks4
i havent honestly had the best of luck with mine, but you can get some amazing sounds of it..very dark, harsh

i know dj TRON uses a novation bass station...and his stuff is the core of all evil :-)

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Fat Bastard
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Korg EAmkII

Postby Fat Bastard » February 1st, 2004, 3:42am

Got it finally...not bad. I give it an 8 out 10 for the price. But the Roland SH32 is better for the same $$.

-It's got the same sounds as the MicroKorg it seems.
-small, durable, metal frame

I do, however, not like buttons as mentioned earlier...soft, and just odd. Wish it had the old rotator knobs, instead of the new stick out pots. Seem a bit cheaper...I could be wrong, just preference I guess. Definitley like the new fram better.


wish it had better memory...but I'm new, this is new and inexpensive...

I think I'm gonna go out on a whim, and but the Roland Sh-32, a Mixer, and I'm tossing around some ideas for a sampler...a good cheap one...talking $200-350 price range...

I was thinking about the Electribe S...but it only has 90 seconds mono, 45 stereo sampling time...

should I be looking for more, or with looping should this be sufficient?

I dont know how much a sampler would get used...I like sampling...on software end...

what do you guys think a good hardware sampler would be for around the price I mentioned?

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99devils
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Postby 99devils » February 1st, 2004, 10:30pm

Seriously, I would avoid the Roland. Also, you might want to consider not buying a ton of gear all at the same time. It becomes overwhelming quickly. Work with your new Korg until you know the sequencer front to back, and you can program sounds on it from scratch. Then get a new piece to fill in the holes.

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Fat Bastard
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Korg

Postby Fat Bastard » February 5th, 2004, 2:50am

Had to send the EAmkII in for repair...faaaak!

I didn't want to take a chance. I noticed that the main volume pot was wobblin' like a mother. Only had it for about 4 days, no drops. Used it like three times, thereafter. Again, seems like a great little Analog Synth.

This is my first time buying a Korg product...

tell me they build solid products...normally

Some helpful advice on how I should approach sequencing some sounds with a guy who plays guitar?


Anyone?

ScottDigweed
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Postby ScottDigweed » February 5th, 2004, 6:26am

Repair after 4 days... why didn't they return it as defective and give you a new one on the spot? I would demand this if I were you. Remember, you're the customer... they should strive to make you happy.

The knobs on my Korg gear aren't wobbly.

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Fat Bastard
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Postby Fat Bastard » February 10th, 2004, 2:44pm

Awe [email protected] am i pissed. The repair shop (TSK, i think) said that they cant do anything about it (wobbly knob). Said it's inherant on the product yet all the other knobs are the same, and not wobbly. I'll have to see what Jackson does about it. I've had this unit for 3-4 days.

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99devils
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Postby 99devils » February 10th, 2004, 2:57pm

Have them exchange it for a new one. I'm sure they will.

-Craig

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Fat Bastard
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Postby Fat Bastard » February 11th, 2004, 12:03am

I dunno...I talked with a manager there today, and he said that if the repair man doesnt approve the return they will not exchange it.

Thats bullshit. I paid $300 for the [email protected] thing, and I dont want lose friggin control pots.


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