Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

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Spector
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Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Spector » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:42 pm

Back many years ago, I used to record with analogue equipment so primitive I sometimes used a pedal to do overdubs. Having my curiosity aroused by the professional sounding rubbish that clogs up soundcloud, I got information overload in a music store regarding the use of Cubase and plug in voices prompted by a midi keyboard that are way ahead of anything I heard all those years ago. It was too much to take in, so I wonder if anyone here could elaborate on the best (and cheapest) way to get into this way of recording, as well as where to get decent and cheap sound plug-ins. I know I need a midi keyboard and interface, but what else? Since it's so computer intensive, I'm guessing someone on here would know a lot more about it. Chiptune does, but he's banned!
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IronMaidenRule
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by IronMaidenRule » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:07 pm

Well my modern music recording is about 10 years out of date at the moment, that is when I did my degree in Music Production. In terms of software, there is a free alternative in the form of Reaper, used it for a few projects and had very little issues with it:

http://www.reaper.fm/

Next you will want a half-decent audio interface for your computer to cut down on the Audio Latency, there is many good USB varieties out there and some come bundled with free software, I recall M-Audio being good but I still used an old EMU 0404 PCI Card in my setup.

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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by ZeroCipher » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:12 pm

I use Ableton Live 9 - you can get trial/evaluation/stripped down versions for free (you can pay for an intro version I think it was £60 last time I checked, I may have a copy though)

I used to use Cubase 5 myself, which is also good but switched fully to ableton now just because its gotten better.

A good free/affordable DAW is one called Reaper I think it may still be free for personal use (not commercial licence but even then its cheap)

It can be computer intensive depending on how many plugins you use my laptop is an AMD duel core, 8gb ram (HP DV6), 1TB HDD. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface (about £150) and a small midi keyboard I got for £30. But sometimes I can run hot on a few tracks.

On the plug ins front, you can get demo version which last a period of time per session, a good one for guitars I have found is 'Guitar Rig' multiple effects and amp emulations (like the line 6 pods) a lot of programs will come with some basic plug ins too. You can scour the net for other free ones.
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Doddsy
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Doddsy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:24 am

Well come to VST based music - now has never been a better time to get into it - so much free stuff on the net.
Getting a decent spec PC and a decent audio dedicated sound card like M-Audio is a must have if you don't have these then you are wasting your time and money.
To get started I'd recommend you get computer music magazine from future publishing it has a free music studio on the DVD.
Final note - VST's are great but you still can't top the sound of analogue hardware synths.
Last edited by Doddsy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stvd
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by stvd » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:43 am

For free (& paid for) vst's, http://www.kvraudio.com/ has them all.
Well, a very large selection at least.
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Spector
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Spector » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:48 pm

The thing is, I'm not sure what I need here. I have a digital 8 track from a few years ago, but it aint PC compatible. However, is it possible to get a DAW that will play 16 tracks at once? I wouldn't need any more. Do you guys still use track bouncing like I did back in '66? :lol:

Maybe I just need the sounds and I can play them into the 8 track, but I'm not sure it's practical. Also, recommend me a good midi keyboard that's cheap. Thanks :)
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stvd
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by stvd » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:45 am

I bought a Yamaha PSS480 for about £25.
It doesn't have the functionality to control modern software (no extra knobs and wheels) but
For just straight playing, through midi, it's good enough for me and the vst's make it sound like something
100 times the price.
Some of the newer usb controllers have more control but, usually, less keys .
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Doddsy
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Doddsy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:51 am

Spector wrote:The thing is, I'm not sure what I need here. I have a digital 8 track from a few years ago, but it aint PC compatible. However, is it possible to get a DAW that will play 16 tracks at once? I wouldn't need any more. Do you guys still use track bouncing like I did back in '66? :lol:
DAW's do let you record into them - guitars vocal etc and they act like a digital recording studio working along side MIDI gear and VST instruments. The good thing is that you can add VST effects to the signal path that you have recorded and use as many as you like depending on your computer capabilities.
Really you don't need your 8 track recorder.

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Bluce_Ree
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Bluce_Ree » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:29 am

I'm going to try and get into this. I think the free version of Ableton might be my best bet.

Previously everything I've done has been on OctaMED. The Amiga version and then the PC version. I've got no idea about the technical stuff but I do have good instincts when it comes to putting together beats and decent note choices.
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by gman72 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:55 am

I use Ableton Live 9 Suite.
Awesome program and pretty easy to use after a few sessions. I use my Lenovo laptop with 6Gb of Ram and an ASIO Focusrite Scarlett midi interface. I wanted the extra Ram to make things run smoothly.
I use plug in soft synths like Massive and Absynth along side my many hard synths.

I have been told that Fruity Loops is good for beginners too.

I got into Ableton after a background of Multi-trackers and the slight change in the way you record threw me at first but now it feels very right. With Ableton mixing is mainly done on the fly as you're recording. Using midi is great though as you can go back and tidy up performances after the event and even hot-swap your sounds because Ableton retains the midi info once you've actually recorded it. This works with midi keyboards but guitars/vox etc will be audio tracks but you'll still have a high level of editing - much more so than a multi-track device will offer. You can use Melodyne to edit vocal performances where needed.
One thing that I found though is that your finished song will still require mastering as it will be quite quiet compared to officially released recordings. Ableton comes with a fairly basic limiter that can be used to aid mastering but its not really very good and starts to distort after a point. I found some much better mastering tools online and my tunes are now loud and proud.
I'm happy to talk through the details of my set up with anyone that's interested. :D
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gman72
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by gman72 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:14 pm

Spector wrote:The thing is, I'm not sure what I need here. I have a digital 8 track from a few years ago, but it aint PC compatible. However, is it possible to get a DAW that will play 16 tracks at once? I wouldn't need any more. Do you guys still use track bouncing like I did back in '66? :lol:

Maybe I just need the sounds and I can play them into the 8 track, but I'm not sure it's practical. Also, recommend me a good midi keyboard that's cheap. Thanks :)
There's no real need for bouncing anymore, with Ableton you've got pretty much unlimited tracks and it can be set to play as many or as few as you wish. I highly recommend leaving the 8-track behind because it doesn't take long to get into which ever DAW you choose and its an absolute world away from multi-track recording - not least in sound quality.
Latency of midi sounds is not a problem with Ableton either, coupled with a Scarlett midi interface all latency is virtually removed with the correct routing of sound sources. I don't know if any of this sounds complex to you but really once in practice it isn't... tutorials for Ableton abound online and even on youtube I was able to find tutorials for everything I needed to know.
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by flatapex » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:59 pm

stvd wrote:I bought a Yamaha PSS480 for about £25.
It doesn't have the functionality to control modern software (no extra knobs and wheels) but
For just straight playing, through midi, it's good enough for me and the vst's make it sound like something
100 times the price.
Some of the newer usb controllers have more control but, usually, less keys .
I did my music gcse on something similar, the school had about half a dozen different models and I was one of the few keyboard players doing gcse music. Back then I was making dance music and I wanted to be a music teacher
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oli_lar
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by oli_lar » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:43 pm

stvd wrote:I bought a Yamaha PSS480 for about £25.
It doesn't have the functionality to control modern software (no extra knobs and wheels) but
For just straight playing, through midi, it's good enough for me and the vst's make it sound like something
100 times the price.
Some of the newer usb controllers have more control but, usually, less keys .
Not necessarily, if they are midi controls you can usually assign them to functions on software. Would definitely consider getting a modern midi keyboard if I were you though, much more flexible and ergonomic, lots of options and well priced too.

If you like your hardware synths use Midi Quest, great program that allows you to save patches and so on to your computer - using internal memory/floppy disks etc on older hardware can be a nightmare.

If you are used to hardware try Propellerhead's Reason, it is laid out like hardware. FL Studio aka Fruityloops is quite easy to get to grips with.

If you want to try a particular 'DAW' buy an older version as they are usually very cheap compared to the latest one.

On a similar subject does anyone here have a modular synth?

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Katzkatz
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by Katzkatz » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:00 pm

Go retro - get yourself an ST - preferably an STE or maybe even a Falcon. Hook up the MIDI keyboard and you're away! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I jest. The last time, that I ever did any music stuff was with OctaMED and NoiseTracker on the Amiga. I had a schoolfriend who was doing GCSE Music and he bought a MIDI interface for his Amiga to use it with.

The only thing that I sort of know about current music technology, is that you can get USB music keyboards. It can free-up the MIDI sockets - should you need to do so.

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station
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Re: Cubase, Pro Tools and modern music recording

Post by station » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:49 pm

Watching a video on guitar 'virtuoso' Allan Holdsworth on using (two) Atari ST's and Cubase:

https://youtu.be/ZQu_O4nKK0I?t=83
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