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#146570 - 06/23/05 02:16 AM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
RMepstead Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 1555
Loc: Wootton Bassett - Wiltshire - ...
Many thanks to Rikki; Bluezplayer; and Starkeeper who were kind enough to recognise that if you ain't been there then you don't understand; and it's a great temptation to take advantage of Scott's plea for help headed 'Need soft synth crash course'to educate meself and probably many others 'listening'...Apologies Scott but hopefully you got something out of it too!
Best wishes
Rog
_________________________
Roger M

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#146571 - 06/23/05 12:51 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Hi Rog

I'm glad you stepped in. It is a brand new world for me also. The language seems all Greek to me.

I suspect I will go at this slowly over a period of time. I suspect that if I can actually manage to read up on all of this and actually understand it, then maybe this will stand a chance for me. This ought to be interesting because I tend to be a poke a button and see what it does to learn. I am not much of a reader of manuals. Impatient maybe, I'm not sure. With these programs there can be a lot of hidden things, like the directions Rikki gave me about hit start, press backspace, press "V" etc. That is not a combination of things I would have just tried by poking around. So, in the end for me this looks like a long term thing.

Scott

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#146572 - 06/23/05 04:31 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5076
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Scott & Roger,
it was a whole new world for me also. I've used some music software over the the years , mainly the odd sequencer & BIAB, software that helped me edit & create styles for my arranger keyboards.
Basically I still don't know the first thing about computers themselves, but I have tried to familiarize myself with the software required ( asio drivers, virtual midi cables vst hosts etc etc) to be able to run the software realtime arrangers ( omb, livestyler, jammer live) and the softsynths ( be it freebie soundfonts, softsynths like hypercanvas or the more expensive software samplers). I've been avoiding the more expensive options as I'd like to be able to work out how inexpensively it can be done and still sound good. That's a complete turn around for me , as all my arranger keyboards have been top of the line for the last 10 to 15 years . I've always had latest model kn plus either a roland, korg or yamaha.
Every couple of years , it was a case of eagerly awaiting to see what new functions and styles the new models had. A lot of the time the changes were not all that dramatic, a few new styles , better quality sounds, better speaker system and some new functions that I probably didn't need, but had to have.

Brings me back to my software arranger. I can use whatever midi controller I choose, be it a dedicated controller keyboard, my digital piano with those wonderfull 88 keys, a synthesizer/workstation or even an arranger keyboard, be it one of the inexpensive psr's without editing facilities, only one intro/ending and a couple of variations, heck , you can turn it into a full fledged arranger with 3 intro's /endings, and 4 variations, plus some style editing/creation function, the top of the line doesn't have. You can add additional voices by way of softsynths.

It's a whole new world. One where the system won't be redundent unless xp computers dissapear & OMB, Live Styler & Jammer Live don't work on whatever system replaces xp one day. Meanwhile the programs are functional as is,( hopefully we get future upgrades) we can upgrade computers, sounds, create/convert styles, upgrade controllers & speaker systems.

As you said Scott, it's a long term thing, even if something better comes along in the meantime, there's no need to get rid of what you've already got, most of it resides in your laptop/computer. I've still got my old win 98 computer for the odd bit of software I didn't want to spend the money on upgrading.
It all takes time, there again , did you guys learn all the functions in your tyros/ kn's within a a matter of days. I think most of us learn what's required for our specific needs, untill such time as we want to delve deeper.

best wishes
Rikki
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

SX900, P121 Piano, PA800, Band in a Box 2019
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#146573 - 06/23/05 07:29 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Hi Rikki

Yes, definately a long term thing. Even though I typically do not like the idea of having to tweak each and every voice, etc. This has peaked my curiosity. I guess it's the idea of not being stuck with whatever the kb companies decided to come up with. And at the prices they want to put on them. The new Korg, Roland and I'd be willing to bet the Tyros 2 are going up in a price range I don't want to have to be addicted to buying them when I'm sure none of them do exactly what I want and there will be all kinds of things on them that I would have no interest in.

Even the idea of just using Super Quartet interests me a lot. To me there is nothing better than a great sounding combo.

Found another free VST host. It's a very good recording software that I've used. Here's the link with reviews.
http://www.download.com/Audacity/3000-2170_4-10325373.html?tag=lst-5-14

Best
Scott

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#146574 - 06/23/05 07:35 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
I am wondering how you soft synth arranger players are doing as far as your computers crashing, locking up, fluttering, etc. Is this a problem, to any degree? Or, is it REALLY safe to think one can perform live and do as well as if it were a hardware arranger kb?

I also noticed, even though at this point I still prefer Live-Styler that some styles are too large for it, where they will play in OMB. However, it seems to me that in OMB it sometimes requires a few extra steps to get a style and be ready to go. Just like the hardware versions, not one is "ideal."

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#146575 - 06/23/05 08:34 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5076
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Scott,
haven't tried Live Styler recently , so can't comment. If you really prefer using it, you could always use omb to edit the style down. Let's face it, compared to the price of keyboards, these programs are relatively inexpensive.
I use my styles in a funny way, I prefer to edit the style to suit a song/songs. I prefer creating my own intro ( if possible ) in that way, if the style suits 3 songs, each one would have it's own intro. Omb stylemaker can also be used to create a "fade in " intro & "fade out " endings.
OMB has presets( registrations)
There's basically 3 steps involved when picking the song you want to play
On main voices page
hit start
press "backspace " key on computer
then pick any of 60 presets you have setup ( preset: includes style, voices etc required to play that song ( even includes the settings for scanned sheet music, and the speed for it to scroll through,). I name my presets by song name , rather than the style I'm using.
ie if I wanted to play Blue Danube, my preset would be called Blue Danube, my settings would be style Vienna Waltz, tempo??voices etc. This way I'm only looking for a song title rather than having to set up the waltz style, picking voices, tempo etc before I can start to play.

If 60 presets isn't enough, each of these can be used as a sub menu for another 60. So you could have settings for 3,600 songs at your fingertips. It's an extra button push though.

Not sure if you've found the preset function. I didn't realize it existed for quite some time.

best wishes
Rikki

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott Langholff:

I also noticed, even though at this point I still prefer Live-Styler that some styles are too large for it, where they will play in OMB. However, it seems to me that in OMB it sometimes requires a few extra steps to get a style and be ready to go. Just like the hardware versions, not one is "ideal."
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

SX900, P121 Piano, PA800, Band in a Box 2019
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#146576 - 06/23/05 09:00 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Thanx for the info Rikki

The style preset idea sounds good to me. Although I set up voice presets or OTS for a specific song once in a while, what I usually like to do, is to give the style the song name and then I like to be able to easily pick from about 50 preset voices on the fly. I don't always play the songs the same way, and I probably wouldn't remember what OTS settings I had used unless it was a specific specialty number.

So, my question is, will I be able to have a bunch of preset voices set up that will be easy to get at on the fly? Will the presets only do single voices or can I save 2 or 3 layered sounds to a voice preset? If so how many voice presets would be availabe?

Thanks again for your assist.

Scott

P.S. Rikki, I think you should get a job working for OMB. haha

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#146577 - 06/23/05 09:06 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5076
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Scott,
it can be a bit of a pain tweaking the voices,but , unless you only use onboard styles , or 3rd party styles written for your particular keyboard, you'd find you need to do a bit of tweaking anyway, if you use conversions or even styles from other models from the same company.. They're making keyboards less & less compatible. I had to tweak my kn5 styles when I swapped to the kn7. Had to tweak psr styles for use on my 9000pro.

I'm planning on using a soundfont for my styles, when I get my font all edited and set up the way I want, I won't need to touch those styles again, unless I upgrade the odd instrument within that font. If something better comes along, I'll have the option of leaving those styles as is, and use whatever new soundsource for newer styles. Unlike with a keyboard, you can't just keep adding one after the other ( I'd have about 50 by now) a new softsynth does'nt take up any physical space and doesn't cost as much either.

After I get my fonts sorted out for the styles, next step may be suitable softsynth for melody voices. At the moment I'm content playing my digital piano, but in the future , who knows.

As for prices going up, here in Australia , they seem to go up by $1,000 for each new model. ( KN7 had a retail of $7,000 Australian Dollars, Tyros had a similar price tag) not that I payed anywhere near that, for my kn. So I'm happy to have found a cheaper alternative that keeps me content.


Quote:
Originally posted by Scott Langholff:
Hi Rikki

Yes, definately a long term thing. Even though I typically do not like the idea of having to tweak each and every voice, etc. This has peaked my curiosity. I guess it's the idea of not being stuck with whatever the kb companies decided to come up with. And at the prices they want to put on them. The new Korg, Roland and I'd be willing to bet the Tyros 2 are going up in a price range I don't want to have to be addicted to buying them when I'm sure none of them do exactly what I want and there will be all kinds of things on them that I would have no interest in.

Even the idea of just using Super Quartet interests me a lot. To me there is nothing better than a great sounding combo.

Found another free VST host. It's a very good recording software that I've used. Here's the link with reviews.
http://www.download.com/Audacity/3000-2170_4-10325373.html?tag=lst-5-14

Best
Scott
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

SX900, P121 Piano, PA800, Band in a Box 2019
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#146578 - 06/24/05 05:41 AM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Scott, one hears alot about reliability of PCs and Windows XP.....but not to worry. Performers in high places use them all the time:
http://www.daviddas.com/
And many others.

If you setup and run your system like I do you would find the PC/Windows XP as reliable if not more so than any hardware based system. I have 2 computers. One of my computers is for general purpose and all editing and the other is used solely for performances (no editing, no online stuff, tweak for optimum multimedia/music use, etc.). I have never had a failure during performances. The only time there are difficulties is when installing new software. Once you get the new software up and running the reliability is as good as ever. So ..... not to worry.

If you look at my system you can do layering, splitting, etc. for your melody or lead voices. I use a separate synth for this purpose and usually of much higher quality. I use Kontakt and very high quality virtual instruments. I set it up on a per channel basis, e.g.,

Channel
1 Jazz Organ
2 Flute
3 Trumpet
4 Sax
5 Strings
6 Piano
7 Vibes
8 Jazz Guitar
Etc.

I usually set these up to fit a genre of music, say jazz, etc. and will load up a different multi instrument for say country music. It works for me. I switch channels from my Roland A37 with the press of 2 buttons.....fast and easy. In future, once Kontakt will beable to accept program change numbers, I will switch over to this approach, i.e., change instruments by sending program change number from my controller keyboard. Now there are many variations on this theme and that is what is good about this....you find your own best way.


[This message has been edited by Frank L. Rosenthal (edited 06-24-2005).]

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#146579 - 07/02/05 01:43 PM Re: Need soft synth crash course.
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Hi Frank

You mentioned about the idea of using Hypercanvas for accompaniment and Super Quartet for melody. Suppose I want to make some combo style and melody settings. Can I use Super Quartet to do both? I guess my question is can I use the same voice at the same time in the style and in the lead?

Also, I'm looking at the control panel of Live-Styler which I seem to be drawn to the most. I keep thinking of the idea of using a touch screen on it's controls. Any input on this is appreciated.

It seems to me that touch screen and tablet laptops would be handy but it seems they would be more expensive than the standard laptop and also possibly more fragile.

Another thing I am wondering is where do you find a case that fits say a Edirol PCR-80 or a MK-461c.

Wondering what kind of kb stand set up would work out the best as far as light, stable, being able to position the laptop front center etc.

I have also mentioned over on the onemanbandgroup forum that I think it would be a super idea if people working on tweaking sounds and styles could have a way of sharing that data, pooling all the resources out there instead of every man for himself. I would think there would be someplace where people could upload there settings for Hypercanvas, another for Super Quartet, another for Kontact, etc. I would imagine that this data would then work either on Live-Styler and also OMB?

Thanx
Scott

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