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Topic: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

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  1. #1
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    Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Hello there,

    I'm new to this virtual music world. I downloaded GPO4 last night and now realise that to program multi-tracks of orchestral music I need a sequencing program. I was thinking of Reason, but it doesn't support VSTs.

    Which sequencer do you think I should get? I want to be able to include Garritan's World Sounds library in the future. Would Cubase be the one?

    Also, the Ambience effect has stopped working in the Aria Player. It was working last night, but today it makes no difference to the sounds of instruments if it is switched on or off. Any advice, please?

    Thank you
    Scot

  2. #2

    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotPeacock View Post
    Hello there,

    I'm new to this virtual music world. I downloaded GPO4 last night and now realise that to program multi-tracks of orchestral music I need a sequencing program. I was thinking of Reason, but it doesn't support VSTs.

    Which sequencer do you think I should get? I want to be able to include Garritan's World Sounds library in the future. Would Cubase be the one?

    Also, the Ambience effect has stopped working in the Aria Player. It was working last night, but today it makes no difference to the sounds of instruments if it is switched on or off. Any advice, please?

    Thank you
    Scot
    Hi, Scot!

    Welcome to the forum, and the world of virtual music!

    Cubase and Cakewalk's SONAR are the two most prominent Windows-based DAWs. I've used Cubasis for years, but it was always a freebie version I got with something else. Last December I decided it was time to modernize since I have a 64-bit Win 7 machine. I wanted to stay with Cubase since it was the program I already know, but the price tag put me off -- about $600 at the time, although you could probably find some deals out there. I decided to go with SONAR 8.5 Studio, which I purchased from a local Guitar Center for about $200. So far it has proven to be a really solid choice for me, and if cost is a consideration for you, I'd highly recommend that you consider SONAR over Cubase. There are, however two things to bear in mind here:

    1. SONAR comes in three levels, Essential, Studio, and Producer. I chose Studio because Producer has way more features than I would ever use, and I couldn't justify paying the higher price for it. Because you're new to all this, I think Studio would be a good choice for you. You can buy it for $199 online here.

    2. Cakewalk is phasing out 8.5 for their new product, SONAR X1. I would avoid X1 for now because Cakewalk apparently released it with a lot of bugs and problems, and from what I understand a lot of people who upgraded to X1 went back to SONAR 8.5 because the new product was a major pain in the backside. I'm sure that Cakewalk is working on a fix, so if you buy 8.5 now, you can always upgrade to X1 later when the time is right for that move.

    As to the problem you're having with Ambience, that's a head-scratcher. The only thing I can recommend is upgrade ARIA to the current version, which is 1.111. To do that, go to the Garritan Store, log in to your account, then click on Free Downloads. There you'll see the link to download the ARIA Player 1.111 install. By the way, if you do this through Internet Explorer, the file downloads as
    WIN_Garritan_ARIA_Player_1.111[1]. Just replace [1] with .exe, and your install is good to go. However, this weird little problem is only with IE -- if you go through Firefox, the file downloads as WIN_Garritan_ARIA_Player_1.111.exe. Once you install the upgrade, I have a feeling that Ambience will work fine for you.

    You'll find that we're a newbie-friendly group here, so please don't hesitate to ask questions as you go through the inevitable learning curves.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  3. #3

    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotPeacock View Post
    Which sequencer do you think I should get? I want to be able to include Garritan's World Sounds library in the future. Would Cubase be the one?
    After using Sonar for 4 years, I've converted to REAPER in 1 day. Cheap, great, light and powerful.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Hey guys,

    Thanks very much for your help.

    I bought the GPO because I want to start making orchestral music. So I want a good DAW that can use Garritan sounds but also other sounds. I would have bought Reason, but it doesn't do VST, which I think is a bit limiting. Pity, my brother uses Reason and it's an amazing virtual studio. I know there's a GPO refill for Reason, but that's a cut-down version of the full GPO which I have just bought. Also, there's no way of using Garritan's new World Instruments, and I love these new sounds.

    I don't really know much about the differences between DAWs and MIDI sequencing software. I can't really play an instrument but I know my way around the orchestra because I listen to classical a lot, and I will soon purchase a MIDI controller keyboard to play the sounds (badly, hence the need to sequence).

    So, I want something that I can use to generate sounds, sequence, mix and master complete tracks; mostly orchestral but some with synth, beat and acoustic instrument sounds. The only thing I'm not too fussed about (at the moment) is recording and I'm not interested in performing live.

    Which package would do this for me?

    I have an HP desktop, Athlon X2, 2.8GHZ dual core processor, 3Gb RAM and 1T hard drive.

    Thanks.
    Looking forward to more audio chat with the community :-)

  5. #5
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    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    PS My HP desktop runs on Windows 7, 64 bit :-)

    Soundcard came with the machine (bought at PC World's Xmas sale just before New Year)

  6. #6

    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Hi Scot

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotPeacock View Post
    ... I want something that I can use to generate sounds, sequence, mix and master complete tracks ...
    The full package versions of all the top name DAWs below will do all that, though they may vary with the amount and quality of extra built-in plugins they come with, though you can always buy more of what you specifically need in the form of extra VST's/VSTi's and sample libraries ... if you're left with any money after buying the DAW.

    Having a quality and fully featured DAW like Reaper that actually costs less than the package you now realise you want to host in it, and which is light on system resources, makes it unique. You can always upgrade in to a high end program in a few years time when you've learned the basics which are (or should be) common to all DAWs.

    Eventually, if you progress to recording whole CD's, say, you might want to buy dedicated mastering software.

    You might do well to buy a better soundcard suitable for audio (rather than gaming, as the standard PC cards are) ... good standalone USB soundcards that will do start around £100 - but generally aren't found in PC world!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotPeacock View Post
    ... the Ambience effect has stopped working in the Aria Player.
    I wonder if the effects send level for each instrument has been turned down to 0?

    Though you should also be aware that the Ambience only returns through the first (master) stereo channel, so that too may be relevant here.

    Peter

    PS ...

  7. #7
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    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Thanks Peter. I'll have a look at Reaper. My brother recommends Cubase but maybe that's too much to take on at first. Aye, I'll look at getting a better sound card. Which ones are recommended?


    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Jeffrey Gale View Post
    Hi Scot



    The full package versions of all the top name DAWs below will do all that, though they may vary with the amount and quality of extra built-in plugins they come with, though you can always buy more of what you specifically need in the form of extra VST's/VSTi's and sample libraries ... if you're left with any money after buying the DAW.

    Having a quality and fully featured DAW like Reaper that actually costs less than the package you now realise you want to host in it, and which is light on system resources, makes it unique. You can always upgrade in to a high end program in a few years time when you've learned the basics which are (or should be) common to all DAWs.

    Eventually, if you progress to recording whole CD's, say, you might want to buy dedicated mastering software.

    You might do well to buy a better soundcard suitable for audio (rather than gaming, as the standard PC cards are) ... good standalone USB soundcards that will do start around £100 - but generally aren't found in PC world!



    I wonder if the effects send level for each instrument has been turned down to 0?

    Though you should also be aware that the Ambience only returns through the first (master) stereo channel, so that too may be relevant here.

    Peter

    PS ...

  8. #8
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    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    PS Thanks for the tips about the effects send levels. That's what the problem was. Doh!

  9. #9

    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    I got a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB soundcard which is sufficient for entry level purposes.

    There are other makes such as M-Audio. It's worth talking direct to a reputable music dealer who know about audio and there have been several related threads on the forum over the last year - you'll learn a much here by getting used to the search facility.

    USB makes it portable if you want to use it elsewhere (e.g. for mobile recording on laptop).

    Higher spec cards mainly differ by having more inputs and outputs, I think, which you won't need yet.

    Your current card should be ok for the short-term with any DAW so long as you have the Asio4All sound drivers installed, which you may have installed already, though it may give you problems over time.

  10. #10

    Re: Ambience/reverb problems and questions about which sequencer to get

    Any DAW recommendation is pretty subjective. I use Sony Creative's ACID Pro 7 but that's only because of my workflow and the type of work I do. Its MIDI features are pretty good but they may not be your cup of tea (it doesn't have a traditional staff view for its MIDI, for example).

    There are a huge amount of options available in the professional/prosumer level of audio interfaces. Just about anything from Echo or M-Audio is good. What you'll have to decide, as Peter mentioned, are the amount of I/Os that you'll need and the type of interface. If you want something "permanent," you'd probably go with a PCI option. If you want to go mobile with it, a FireWire or USB interface would suit you.

    Quick note: I wouldn't be surprised to see USB 3.0 audio interfaces sometime soon so you might want to wait to see what happens before making a decision.

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