Music Technology :)

James McFadyen

New Member
This thread might be a bit geeky for some people, but here goes.......

Anyone here interested in music technology?

I'm looking to exchange ideas!

I record bands and artists while also doing some of my own stuff.

I've got lots of sample libraries, including the Miroslav stuff, Symphonic Voices, etc, etc and I use them quite often to 'record' my scores.

I'm especially into the Ilio Virtuoso Strings, really classy, although I want to get my hands on the Vienna Symphonic Cube (Full Set Pro Edition) but I don't exactly have over £3000 to spend! But it's fair to say it would be money well spent, if any of you have ever heard the Vienna samples, they are simply stunning - in fact breathtaking! Totally realistic, but mind you, the amount of programing it must take to use them u'd probably have to give up ur day job to fit the hours in! :wink: and at well over 200GB, I'd need to buy a few hard drives while I'm at it. I think i'll wait! :cry:

In terms of music production, I've got the Waves 4 stuff - again super stuff, sweet EQ, Tight compression and the legendary L2 Limiting!

What synths do u lot use and how much on u rely on software! I was very pleased to see that the Novation Bass Station has just been released as a VSTi (called V-Station) of which I am the proud owner of - squelchy '303' bass lines here I come! :wink:

For dance drums I have the Waldorf Attack and a HUGE array of single shot drum samples!

I am eager, though to get my hands on SampleTank 2, because SampleTank 1 is really cool and 2 is just taking it that much further!

I do a lot of sampling but hate setting up loop points - that annoying click of a bad loop point is hard to get rid of sometimes, anyone else have that problem?

My host software is Cubase SX 2 - A totally hot piece of software!

My sampler is Halion 2, again totally hot but eats up RAM, despite it's revolutionary streaming technique!

Anyway, what's ur kit line-up and what do u do with it?

James McFadyen

New Member
Nice one Moira!

Actually I have a Yamaha PSR-620, It's getting a bit past it now, it was a great keyboard when it first cam out too - but I've now joined a rock band (playing keyboards) and I am forced to take it out gigging!

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
Love Music Technology! :D
I did the MATT course a few years back- recommended if you're into that kinda stuff!

My "kit" line up so far on PC consists of:
Computer Software-
Sibelius 2 (for brass/wind/ orchestra/ piano/ random other ensembles, that I can just write in as notation... no keyboard used)
Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 (for audio stuff)
Cubase VST 32 5 and SX- for audio and midi stuff... writing songs, dance music etc etc...
Fruity Loops Studio 4 for sample muck-abouts...
and Sound Forge to muck about with things...

Soundcard Details: (recently purchased!! :D)
Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS... Lovely piece of kit! Great sounds all round... Separate audio boxy thing to record instruments striaght into the computer (this is £200 worth of soundcard etc)

Away from the computer, I have a Yamaha MD4S (which is a 4 track mini disk recorder system...) very good for "one-man-band" recordings... etc...

Also use the Yamaha PRS 510 at the mo with the comp software whilst here at uni, and have the Yamaha PSR 8000 at home which is absolutly fantastic!

Think that's it!


Active Member
Well, I'm still a huge fan of the MOD and XM formats of music, I used to use Soundtracker back in my Spectrum days, I had Protracker for the Amiga, and FastTracker on my old DOS PC. For Windows though, MPTracker is pretty damn good.

If you've never used a Tracker before you'll probably find it very daunting, but the music files are tidgy (Go on John, tell them how amazingly small the XM files are! 27Kb for a 2minute XM, was it?), and once you're into it, it's like ABC.

James McFadyen

New Member
Yeah, the PSR-8000 is some beast ain't it.

I've used Soundblaster Cards and I don't go near them now - I've taken a real disliking to the ADC DAC (Digital and Analogue converters) somthing seems to go ary with the frequencies - especially the high-mids around the 2-6Khz!

I've not tried the Audigy, but the specs are good and at least ur getting 24bit recording and playback as well as really high sample rates, and sure the converters arn't exactly Appogee, but hey they're good enough for the home studio, right!

I used to use Fruity Loops and I sometimes use SoundForge for mastering(or at least to top-and-tail audio edits/tracks) I've got the Waves Masters Bundle, which is Phase Linear - yea no more dreaded phases problems with EQ and the likes!

What sort of stuff do u use for Dance music, Naomi - like drums, do use any 909 sounds or similar dance drum kits?

Do u use any soft synths?

Do u have any sample CD's, like the Ilio Virtuoso Strings, or the Miroslav Orchestral Sample collection, if not are you interested in getting them and using them?

I've got a Roland MC-303 which, although becoming dated now, it still has a lot of workable sounds on it!

Future Music (the magazine) are always doing drum samples on their CD's - I've got about 3000 (royalty free) samples just from Future Music alone!

Are u thinking of buying anything else to add to your current kit list?

James McFadyen

New Member
Oh yes I remember my Amiga days - PROTRACKER! Ah yes, they were classic times.

The Amiga was a great little machine, I wish I had kept mine now! But I don't think i'll be buying another one.


Active Member
Still got mine... going to be adding it to the Game Room at some point! If I can find it....

(Game Room currently consisting of Ingersoll Pong Console, TI99/4A, Spectrum +2, SNES, Saturn, N64, Playstation and Dreamcast)

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
Ooooh yes the 8000 is a beast alright! :)

I never used to go near the SoundBlaster cards... hated them... Had the Yamaha XG card before I upgraded my computer and the old card wouldnt fit in the new slots in the MotherBoard... :(
The soundcard I have now is a great piece of kit... but of course doesnt have the XG touch... worth the money all the same...

At present I dont have any plans to buy any more stuff... cant afford to right now...

Incidentally... My brother has a lot of great music software he uses for samples, writing electronic music and a great soundcard system... All I can remember on that is that the card and front panel etc are made by yamaha and it's worth £1600!! He uses Cakewalk soundware and fruityloops etc... He's made some fantastic music!

I tended to either play in the drum stuff into the PSR 8000 then onto PC for my dance music or just grinned and bared the sounds on the PC and made them better afterwards with sound forgers etc... either that or live playing! Havent written any dance music for a while (must beeeee 3 or 4 years or so now...) however, if you're interested in what I did, I can try sort out getting a cd or mini disk together for you (or anyone else for that matter) to have a listen.

James McFadyen

New Member
Naruco said:
however, if you're interested in what I did, I can try sort out getting a cd or mini disk together for you (or anyone else for that matter) to have a listen.

That would be great, Naomi! - CD please! :wink:

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
When I started using the software, I was at school, and the teacher was heavily into the EMagic stuff. So on the old Ataris we had Notator, then when we upgraded to PC's, the school went out and bought MicroLogic.
Both programs interacted really well with our Fostex (Is that spelt right) hard disc recorder.

When I got to uni, the uni was using Logic, a more advanced program of what we had at school This was great, I already knew how to use it all!! The only catch.....IMacs. stupid Mcintosh computers blah blah blah.....
The uni also had it's own recording studio, with the mixing desk hooked up into Logic as a sampler. Easy, yet good.

As payment for helping a teacher mate out with a Jazz revue a few years later, I was awarded with a copy of Logic Platinum, which has served my perposes fairly well until I got my Sibelius.

The best sound card I used was the original SB16 with my old 486DX, but at school we had access to Roland DM5's (Drum modules), and Roland, Korg or Yamaha Midi controllers.

Considering I only (at the moiment) use Sibelius etc for notation, and not playback, I am not too fussed with updating my equipment.

James McFadyen

New Member
oh yes - SB16's with a super-fast 486DX - The power at your fingertips, eh! :wink: I bet the same machine made ur tea for u, or was that the one that did ur housework for you? :wink:

Anyway in all seriousness, I guess u were using Logic for MIDI programming - I've only used Logic a couple of times, I'm just to attached to the VST way of things, there are even distinct advantages of using a VST-based system rather than ProTools!


Active Member
Ah ok I have soundforge as well...forgot about that.
Use it when I put my minidisc recordings onto CD.
OK so I am into technology....yeeha never too old :wink:

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
That 486 was a darn fine PC!!! did the job right up until I went to uni....then I decided playing Quake II over a LAN was more important, so I upgraded.

Logic, like every program, has its ups and downs. Part of the downs were the fact that I was trying to use it as a notation program when it's primarily a sequencer! It's a pain to use without a MIDI keyboard. Click-dragging is only fun for so long, y'know. I never liked the printout, but it was better than the old Notator.

I once had a quick fiddle with Cakewalk and I enjoyed that, but sometimes computer programs are like Bomb cars. They may look like garbage, be antiques and take a while to start, but if you get to know that car intimately, you don't mind it as much.

James McFadyen

New Member
Yeah Cubase is the same, it's pants at music notation, in fact Logic is way better than Cubase in that department. Although certainly nowhere near publisher standard.

If all ur dealing with is MIDI messages running to the sounds on ur soundcard, an old crappy computer will do! even a 486 will do this no probs whatsoever, it's when u start adding softsynths and effects as well as mix automation - all in realtime and before u start with the sampling, u find CPU (and RAM) are eaten up really quickly - there's bouncing, but that really is a last resort.

Of course a good monitoring system is needed for intense audio work, more hifi and consumer speakers start rolling off at about 80Hz (using distortion techniques to boost the percieved level of the bottom end), when u really need to hear much lower when mixing to hear what the bass and sub bass frequencies are doing. All this said, you've still got to tune your room, find the best spot for ur monitors and keeping them at least a metre from wall and away from corners.

In my previous setup, I had a pair of 10" Tannoys (the prototypes of the Little Golds!) which were positioned perfectly to my mix position, I then tested the frequencies on them finding out that I had a rather severe phase cancellation at 100Hz (affecting frequencies bewteen 96Hz and 105Hz) I had to move the speakers another foot away from each other to eliminate this phase problem!

I'm trying to think of my next buy and I really can't make up my mind!


Active Member
Fishsta said:
Still got mine... going to be adding it to the Game Room at some point! If I can find it....

(Game Room currently consisting of Ingersoll Pong Console, TI99/4A, Spectrum +2, SNES, Saturn, N64, Playstation and Dreamcast)

You can get emulators for most of these. I recently downloaded a spectrum emulator for a bit of nostalgia. Great fun! If you've got some old tapes, you can even record them in as .wav files for that authentic "15 minutes to load and the computer crashes at 14mins 55 seconds" touch


I'm just getting into Music Tecnology at the moment, I've got loads of programs and very little idea of what to do with them. I've really got interested since I started teaching, it's the perfect way to get the kids attention but as yet I don't know enough to really go for it. How would I go about finding out stuff from an absolute beginners angle (bearing in mind that I don't have too much time just to sit and play!)???
I'd also be interested to know what people think of a program I've come across called AudioMulch. Apperently it's great and very easy to use (looks very complicated but not that bad apparently) but with my limited knowledge I've come up against a bit of a brick wall.

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