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#190820 - 08/28/03 02:39 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Starkeeper, I should have added that I like organ sounds/music. So I will often play the B4 by itself (upper & lower manual and bass pedals). I might on occasion add the drums with Live - Styler but that is it.

In general, because my melody/lead voices are all of very high quality, I will often only use the Live - Styler to add drums and bass. As they say less is more!!!

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#190821 - 08/28/03 09:58 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Vquestor Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 554
Frank,
Is Kontakt a higher sound quality sampler
than Vsampler3?(i.e.,why exactly are you using Kontakt instead of Vsampler?)

I am also curious if you had a chance to
try out RT Player Pro yet. I read that it
has VoiceMachine listed as a compatible plugin. Unfortunately, you have to buy
their hand controller to use the program,
and it is a VST host only, No DXi.

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#190822 - 08/29/03 05:21 AM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Vquestor, I have no scientific evidence on whether VSampler or Kontakt is of higher quality. I do know the 'big guys' do not use VSampler. They use Kontakt, GigaStudio, Halion, EXS, etc. Some of the biggest Sample developers and serious composers are using these samplers. Keep in mind that VSampler 3.0 has not been released yet. It is taking forever. If it has good disk streaming it may merit consideration.

For my money I would select Kontakt - for the most part it works as advertised and does a good job of importing other file formats, e.g., Giga, Soundfont, Halion, etc.

The reason I have not tried the RT Player is that it cannot handle DXi or DX effects. V-STack, Cubase SX and other Wrappers provide very good VST hosts. What I need (or would like) is a host that could handle VST, DX and Audio. If RT Player can handle Audio In and VoiceMachine then that is a significant improvement over other Wrappers such as V-Stack. If it can handle VoiceMachine then it is even better than Cubase SX - amazing!!! I am involved in a number of beta testing projects and just have not taken the time to test the RT Player - but I will.

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#190823 - 08/29/03 10:14 AM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Starkeeper Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 1704
Loc: Toronto
Phew! I don't need a vocal harmonizer. So, 1) I would need Brainspawn or Project 5, or console. (Wrapper) 2) Live Synth Pro (DX instrument). 3) Live styler. I then load my samples into Kontakt for the lead voices.
Does Live Synth Pro play XG voices?
Is there a more technical name for "wrapper"?
Kontakt needs to be loaded into a wrapper as well to work?
Starkeeper
_________________________
I play Roland EM20 and Yamaha PSR550

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#190824 - 08/29/03 10:20 AM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Starkeeper Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 1704
Loc: Toronto
Frank, Your second post re: NI B4. NI B4 is a stand alone program (wrapper, Instrument, and samples combined). If you use "Live Styler" then you need a wrapper and Live Synth Pro, correct?
Since I have no experience with soft synths at all, it sounds complicated.
Starkeeper
_________________________
I play Roland EM20 and Yamaha PSR550

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#190825 - 08/29/03 02:18 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Starkeeper, if you don't need a harmonizer then you can very economically build a software based arranger:

Live-Styler for Auto Accompaniment $30
LiveSynthPro & DXi Host/Wrapper $100
sYnerGiGs Wavetable $20
Soundfonts mostly free

So for around $150 (assuming you already have a computer and controller keyboard) you can have sound equivalent to the top end arranger keyboards. Amazing!!!

Now if you have an Audigy 1 or 2 Soundcard you don't need LiveSynth Pro. You just load the sYnerGiGS wavetable into your Audigy Soundcard and use Live - Styler and start playing. This would save a few bucks. In addition you could use the effects of the soundcard, e.g., reverbs, chorus, delays, etc.

If you want to take the next step then Kontakt would be a good choice (expensive). Kontakt can be operated as a standalone softsynth but you usually cannot have more than one application running on the same audio drivers. There is a way around this by operating LiveSynth on WDM and Kontakt on ASIO drivers for your soundcard.

Similarly, the B4 can be used as a standalone or DXi or VSTi. So if you were going to go the route of Kontakt, B4 and LiveSynth then the best approach would be to use a DXi Wrapper/Host, e.g., Brainspawn, Project5 (expensive) or Sonar (expensive), etc.

LiveSynth will play any soundfont wavetable. sYnerGiGS comes the closest to XG. If you have the energy you could build your own full XG Wavetable. I find sYnerGiGs sounds very good on most Yamaha styles and midis. I have made alternate wavetables using sYnerGiGS as my base and improved the pianos, strings, brass, bass, etc. The wavetable I now use for my accompaniment is up around 128 mb.


[This message has been edited by Frank L. Rosenthal (edited 08-29-2003).]

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#190826 - 09/01/03 02:30 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Vquestor Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 554
Frank,
Now that the software end of things is more or less operational, what are your thoughts as far as output structure from soundcard to
PA system?
I would recommend at least 4 outputs so that
each can be tweaked, on the fly, with a mixer(i.e,, one for bass, one for drums, one for melodic accompanient, and one for leads.)
I am particularly impressed by the M-audio
Firewire 410 since it has 8 outputs(1/4",
but unbalanced). Do you think the firewire
interface will have inferior performance
compared to a PCI audio interface?

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#190827 - 09/01/03 02:59 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Vquestor, now you are getting into areas I am not as familiar with. My Steinberg VSL2020 has the following:

S/PDIF
ADAT 2 IN/OUT
Coaxial S/PDIF
Analog 1 IN/OUT

In general, I will take a similar approach and try to keep everything software based including all the Analog In/Out mixing. As a result I will only need one Analog Out to my mixer. To make quick changes during live performances I would setup all my instruments, harmonizers, auto accompaniment, etc. in advance and switch them from my keyboard via channel changes, volume changes or style part changes. In addition, your soundcard comes with a mixer. Finally, I use a Yamaha volume pedal to vary the overall volume of my external Yamaha rackmounted mixer.

I agree, your approach would be better for live performances.

Firewire performs very well from what I have heard on other forums. Firewire works very well for fast Hard Drives (7200 rpm with 8 mb Cache). M-Audio produces high quality sound cards. So you should see very good performance indeed. My soundcard also uses unbalanced analog In/Out. While balanced would give you better shielding and performance, unbalanced will do very well.

Just curious, why would you go Firewire if you have PCI slot?

There are some advantages to running more than one soundcard. It gives you more opportunities to run standalone soft synths.


[This message has been edited by Frank L. Rosenthal (edited 09-01-2003).]

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#190828 - 09/01/03 08:01 PM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Vquestor Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 554
Frank, thanks for your valuable input.

I, of course, have a PCI slot on my desktop, but I was considering the firewire since I may someday have a laptop, and so thought it would be great to just invest in one interface for both(in addition to the
easy connectivity). The PCI is only if I decide to get a six-pack PC instead of laptop. So I just wanted to weigh the pluses and minuses of each.

From your comment about having advantages
for having more than one sound card, are
you implying that a single host with several
soft synth plug-ins using one soundcard is not recommended?

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#190829 - 09/02/03 05:07 AM Re: Frank- FLR2003 status?
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1008
Vquestor, your approach to Firewire is good if you are thinking of using a LT some day.

In general, my preference is to use one host and load the soft synths and effects you need. It is clean, elegant and reliable. There is also less potential for conflict when you use only one soundcard.

I was just thinking if you ever wanted to use Kontakt and the B4 as a standalone together it would be easier with two soundcards. This allows you to use all the manuals and bass pedals of the B4 layered with other sounds from Kontakt. You can do the same thing in a single host but you have to bring up more instances of the B4. In any event, I agree with you 1 host & 1 sound card!!!

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