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What's the best software for music production? (Forums : Sound Design & Composition : What's the best software for music production?) Post Reply
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RJL
RJL
Sep 1 2008 Anchor

I've got an midi controller keyboard. I've got an Xfi fatality soundblaster card with the front port for putting in stuff like microphones or an electric guitar.

I've also got garritan personal orchestra, but found that this program only plays the sounds and gives me no way of arranging or recording them.

So i'm asking;
1. What would be the best tool to pair with garritan to reocord and mix the sounds it's offers.
2. What software program do I need to make my soundcard function as a computer based guitar amp, so that I can record off my electric guitar directly to the computer?
3. Is there any other software I would need to make orchestral music, especially the incorporation of vocal choirs if possible?

Edited by: RJL

Sep 1 2008 Anchor

Well I would suggest Cubase 4, it includes VSTi support, so you can use virtual instruments like orchestra samples.
More info there: Steinberg.net

Don't know if your model soundcard do have ASIO drivers, but is needed to have a good sound for recording and a low latency.
As for plug in the guitar into your pc, if your soundcard have a jack in, then you can use it but you will need a software to change distortion and effects. I would suggest Guitar Rig 2, which is a simulation of an high range of guitar amps, even bass. But software is always software, I would suggest instead a physical virtual amp, like PODxt (www.line6.com).

For orchestral virtual instruments you can check Soundsonline.com where you can see all the East West products, including stuff for choirs, you can even make them speak words.

This stuff is not cheap, you have to spend a minimum of 5000$ to get started with all you need.

Sep 3 2008 Anchor

Neurological is correct for your #1 and #2 Question, however for #3 i would choose a combination of FL Studio 7 or 8 (price range $100-$550) and Sony Acid Pro 6 (About $99).

FL Studio (formally Fruityloops) is the best for Orchestral composition, you can compose the entire song in FL right down to the 65,556 Track mixer and built-in effects.
Acid Pro works hand-in-hand with FL Studio aswell, where you create the samples with or without effects in FL Studio, export them as very high quality .WAV's, and play around with the looping and arrangements in Acid Pro.

Hope this another source of help for ya :)

Flstudio.com
Sonycreativesoftware.com

Peace, Jenkins

Sep 4 2008 Anchor

The "best" program is whatever program you're more comfortable using, and whatever programs work flow you dig better. Also a lot has to do with the style of music you'll be doing. You need something flexible to your needs. So asking what is the best program is irrelevant.

Neuro was correct for soundcards though. There's plenty of entry level cards on the market that are cheap and are of good quality. Again, buy one based on your needs. How many in's and out's are you going to need? Going hardware based for your guitar would just make more sense, as you should free up as many resources as you can when it comes to your DAW.

However, I'm gonna have to disagree with Jenkins. While FL may be great for your average user, or someone who creates hip hop or dance, it lacks in terms of orchestral music. Especially if you want to get "serious" with your music. The interface is clunky, there's no notation options, doing live recordings can be tricky, and editing can be a pain.

I use Cubase. I love the interface and workflow. I can change "work spaces" between my mixer, editor, and instruments all with the touch of a button. Editing both MIDI and WAV is simple yet very deep. Live recording is a breeze, and so much more.

There's lots to choose from though. Sonar, Cubase, Neundo, FL, Audacity, and more. Pick one you like.

David

Sep 4 2008 Anchor

I forgot to say I suggested what I use :D. But yeah as RoninSeraph said, there are plenty of good sequencer. Sonar is a good one but less intuitive, I think Cubase and Nuendo are the most user friendly and powerful, but yeah you have to spend moneys for this stuff is not cheap.

As for the guitar I said line6 products, but if you wanna start with something cheaper you can go for Behringer V-amp pro. For audiocards Xfi Fatality soundblaster is not the better choice. I personally use an M-Audio Firewire 1814 which is aroud 600 USD (I paid it 400 euro), but there also other options like a PCI soundcard, I used in the past M-Audio Delta 66 nad it was pretty good. But there are plenty of soundcard models out there designed for music recording, some Edirol and Terratech stuff are good too.
It all depends on your needs.

A note for use some VSTi with ORchestral sampls, if you are gonna to buy some East West stuff remember you need a high amount of Ram, some of the latest product require more than 4 gigs, especially the new PLAY technology. Also prepare your HD because one these products can take away more than 10 gigs. For example the Platinum Orchestra is around 300 gigs of hd.I suggest to have two 500 gb hd SATA 2 in raid 0 for better performance. Or go for Raptor hd and use another to install the samples.

Edited by: Neurological

Sep 15 2008 Anchor

I use FL. It's a neat tool for beginners, but also packs plenty of complicated features for more experienced users.
Oh, and the EDIROL orchestral VSTi is a great orchestra-synth.

Sep 20 2008 Anchor

I've been useing FL for years and know it to the last tip, but there are three weak point that are not prone to improve:

· Support for hardware synths and grooveboxes is just acceptable, or even mediocre. Main reason: It has no SysEx recorder such as the one Sonar has.
· Support for audio tracks is good but interface is not properly planned. The more audio tracks you have, the more difficult becomes to work on FL.
· Not too good for Orchestral works, no matter real audio or sampled. Main reason: MIDI support in FL is, on the whole, just acceptable.

Sep 20 2008 Anchor

I would recommend Cakewalk's SONAR. It (for me) has been much more stable than Cubase. I switched from Cubase 3 years ago and have never looked back.

Having said that, different users have different opinions, and it all depends on your workflow.

BTW - going RAID 0 for disk intensive applications such as the Eastwest Symphonic Orchestra libraries is risky. Those applications utilise DFD Streaming (Direct from Disk) -which means your hard drive is constantly being accessed. If the RAID 0 fails, then you will have big problems (not to mention having to install that huge sound library again). The only reason I mention this, is because I learnt the hard way! You'd be much better off buying those 10,000 RPM Raptor drives which are just amazing. Or you could go overkill and get the 15,000 RPM drives!!

Sep 21 2008 Anchor

fourteentoone wrote: I would recommend Cakewalk's SONAR. It (for me) has been much more stable than Cubase. I switched from Cubase 3 years ago and have never looked back.

Having said that, different users have different opinions, and it all depends on your workflow.

BTW - going RAID 0 for disk intensive applications such as the Eastwest Symphonic Orchestra libraries is risky. Those applications utilise DFD Streaming (Direct from Disk) -which means your hard drive is constantly being accessed. If the RAID 0 fails, then you will have big problems (not to mention having to install that huge sound library again). The only reason I mention this, is because I learnt the hard way! You'd be much better off buying those 10,000 RPM Raptor drives which are just amazing. Or you could go overkill and get the 15,000 RPM drives!!


The East West stuff are no using DFD anymore, now they use PLAY technology which is designed on work also on Raid 0. Also on Kontakt driven samples is it possible to deactivate DFD.

But yeah the Raptor would be cool anyway.

Edited by: Neurological

Sep 21 2008 Anchor

Agreed that with the Kontakt samples it is possible to deactivate DFD, but then you need a monstrous amount of RAM - which coincidentally, the PLAY engine also needs.

The PLAY engine's interface is also a bit sucky in my opinion.

And anyway....why use Eastwest when you can have SYMPHOBIA (which I acquired last week - fabulous product). Eastwest Orchestra may be banished from my production suite now that I have Symphobia and VSL.

Sep 21 2008 Anchor

I was planning to go on Symphobia and VSL too, but for now I've just the money for food and water :D.

Sep 21 2008 Anchor

Out of DAW's so far I've tried Fl, cubase, sonar, Pro tools and Adobe Audition. I must say Pro Tools is my Favorite, though as it's locked into Approved hardware which I wish but no way in hell do I have I'd recommend Adobe Audition for a DAW as it's the next closest.
If your doing Orchestral work (which I'm assuming you are thinking of when your after high quality samples) Get some real notation software like Finale or Sibelius.

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