mac musicans please help...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by g30ffr3y, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. g30ffr3y macrumors 6502a

    g30ffr3y

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    buffalo ny
    #1
    hi guys... a year and a half ago i got a 933mhz quicksilver powermac and a protools digi001 with LE 5... from day one i was disappointed with protools since it would not run under os x... finally it did with the release of LE 6... then when i upgraded to panther it didnt work again til a patch was released... again disappointment... i run reason through protools with rewire and it all works nicely, but i constantly get buffer interupts... i am a realist and know that one day i will get a g5 rendering my digi001 useless... i dont want to buy another proprietary audio interface and continue to give digidesign my hard earned cash only to hurry up and wait for things to be supported...

    recently i got a copy of logic 6 to try out but i cannot run it thanks to the xskey password... fine... i just wanted to try it out along with cubase before i decide which program i would like to use in the future...

    can anyone who uses either of these programs give me the skinny on whats good and whats not so good... using reason is important... i also use cakewalk on my pc for sequencing and then use protools as a clock to get my work into protools... would logic or cubase or anything for mac be a comparable sequencer to cakewalk... i hate the midi in protools...

    whichever program i choose i would like to use plugins and my own interface [preferrably firewire so i can use it on my powerbook and whatever computer comes next]

    is this even reasonable???
    any advice is awesome, i am certainly not a pro, but i like to have the most reasonably advanced tools at my fingertips...

    thanks guys.
    geof.
     
  2. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #2
    hey man, i'll give you my 2 cents. i'll start by saying that i've been making music on the Mac for about 7 years now and do it professionally as a sound designer and music composer, mostly for television commercials. i've used Logic since i started, somewhere around version 3. obviously Logic, and others, have come a long way and recently there's been a huge leap in technology on the music side. the possibilities are infinite, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. i've used Logic, Cubase, and ProTools for extended periods of time and i chose Logic over any other time and again. for me it was the unbeatable handling of MIDI, the Mac optimization, the nice UI, and software synths that are exclusive to Logic. ProTools has had basically zero MIDI capabilities, very little support for soft synths and samplers, plus all the annoyances of their proprietary hardware and software update issues. Cubase, to me, is just a joke. just my opinion but i think it's a toy. and regarding ProTools; i never undertood what all the fuss was about. all it really offers is great timing (not that the others don't) and solid performance (not any more). outside of that it's just a silly and expensive system to invest in. moving on, while Logic is now owned by Apple, and has recently caught up with (and passed in many ways) ProTools for true multitrack studio recording purposes, i have pretty much abandoned Logic altogether and am now doing 99% of my work using nothing but Ableton Live and Reason. Ableton Live has seriously changed my entire working method, speed up my workflow, and totally blown away and rebuilt my whole idea of what writing music should be. it's the most inspiring piece of software i've ever touched. and unlike any of the other "big" sequencers, it's incredibly easy to use. every feature is sitting right in front of you on a single screen. infact it's so easy to use you'll probably have a hard time getting it in the beginning. i did, i kept looking for it to be hard to use. sadly, that's what i grew to expect from audio software. instead, what can take hours to accomplish in Logic, i can get done in 30 seconds in Live, no joke. and best of all, i'm enjoying myself the whole time. you can literally record, ad fx, timestretch, and a million other things, all in realtime and all without ever having to press the stop button. it's amazing. seriously check this software out and spend some time with it. you won't be sorry, and probably won't go back to anything else again. occasionally i still need to fire up Logic for the sampler or some special effect but i get by just great with Live and Reason, and it's awesome ReWire support. if i need a VST synth i just launch Plogue Bidule and play away ReWired right into Live. it supports SMPTE, MIDI timecode, 24bit/96khz audio, ReWire, and it will allow you to do things with audio that you never thought were possible, all in realtime. it just simply rules. and no, i don't work for Ableton. it works for me!
     
  3. g30ffr3y thread starter macrumors 6502a

    g30ffr3y

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    buffalo ny
    #3
    wow, thanks man... ive always looked past ableton live... i dont know why exactly, but now perhaps i will take a better look at it... i love using reason so its good that live and reason can play nice together... whats that vst program about??? i noticed that logic has all sorts of softsynths you can add, does Live allow that??? im going to check out live on the web, but thanks for the pointer... its so aggrivating when we cant have nice things...
     
  4. tripswitch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    lovely sunny UK
    #4
    Well, I've had to use all the mac sequencers in my 10 years in the industry and I've settled on Logic for my main system. Rewire integration is tight, I use Reason all the time, never had a real problem with it. Cubase has become riduculously difficult to use and seems to get more unstable with evevry update, so I'd seriously give it a miss nowadays. Logic does everything I need and the built in plug ins are pretty damn good, although I tend to use Native Instruments plug in synths most of the time, totally stunning kit!
    Logic is pretty easy to use, only the environment is a bit trick, but most people don't use this much, once its set up, you don't really have to touch it again.
    Check out the MOTU 828 MKII for a quality firewire audio interface, great sound, really reliable. If thats too much for your budget M Audio (Midiman) have their Firewire410 which is cheaper than the MOTU, but still great sounding, build quality feels a bit cheapo though. Apparently, they're introducing a new lighter spec version at the NAMM show in January, UK price about £ 230, could be good.
    Hope this helps, have a great new year!
     
  5. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #5
    no problem. lots of people look past Live because it doesn't cost 2 grand or because it doesn't take 3 years to learn to use. the bottom line is Live is all pro and capable of just about anything. only thing those coming from a traditional sequencer might miss is the lack of direct support for softsynths and MIDI. it does support MIDI, but in a different way, i can't really describe it here, you'll see. anyway there is a little app called Plogue Bidule which basically acts as a little ReWire mixer and virtual rack for your VST synths and samplers, plus a lot more, and it easily ReWires into Live. the big difference with Live is that it's an AUDIO sequencer, not a MIDI sequencer. you're working with Audio only, which once you get used to it and stop drooling, is SO much better than staring at MIDI data on the screen. it's very comforting to see wave forms rather than dots. and again, what you can do to the audio will blow you away. it basically turns audio into elastic which you can bend and shape to your will. here's what i suggest: go to http://www.ableton.com and download the demo. spend some time with it and please READ THE MANUAL. it will give you a good idea of what is going on and what it's capable of. so many people just fire it up and never look at the manual and then give up assuming they feature they want isn't there when in reality it's actually right in front of them. it's just so easy that you can tend to look right over it. anyway, check it out. maybe you'll like it, maybe it's not for you afterall. from what i've seen over the past few years Live is like the SAAB of software; People who test drive it, usually buy it. :)
     
  6. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #6
    logic is anything but.

    it's a very important consideration for one to try out all avaliable software (in this case, sequencers) before buying one. I found this out the hard way with Logic 4.x series. I had to switch from Opcode's Vision Pro software in 99 when gibson bought out and gutted Opcode. At the time, I had several friends who used Logic and swore by it, I tried it out a couple times with them and it seemed allright. certain ways of working i thought were much more sensical than they were in vision. Of course, there was a lot of differences that I thought were very odd.
    anyway, i made the plunge and picked up L4. What a mistake. let me tell you, that program is anything but logical. I found myself fighting with the program every time I opened it! There were so many bizarre and unusual conventions in the U/I for the program it drove me up the wall. The way i judge a program as "well-made" is how long you can go from installation before you're forced to get out the manual. I never, ever once made it through a session without having to dig into that damn book. And the book itself makes about as much sense as the program. Don't get me wrong.... it's an extremely powerful program with features out the wazoo... but if it's so confusing to you it turns counter-productive... what good is that? That's why it's important to try out software before you buy it, because you sure can't return it once it's open.
    But basically, you have three programs to check out:
    Logic 6
    Cubase SX 2
    Digital Performer 4

    After struggling with logic for so long and being so turned off by it, I went to just recording bands instead of working on my own stuff because of constant problems I had with all kinds of things. Finally, DP4 came out for mac so I hung out with a buddy of mine who is a DP stalwart and I was hooked. The program made sense, things were I expected them to be, and most of all... it worked. His system didn't crash at all. I know a lot of people have had problems with it, but in my experience, that's true of any program. Ive heard plenty of people bitch up a storm about L6 and SX as well, but you still hear an equal amount of people say it works great. So again, it's important to try them out.
    One of the best things about DP4 is now they support audio units and MAS, so you've got two whole worlds of plug-ins avaliable to you, which is true for L6 as well but that's just emagic's in-house plugs. Reason works so well with DP4 i couldn't be more pleased. the rewire implementation is kinda odd in the fact that you have to have a seperate midi and audio channel for whatever reason device you want to bring in (i bypass the reason mixer completely so i can run each reason module through its own channel in DP and run plug-ins if i so choose) Timing is solid and routing as flexible as it is for anything else.


    Guitar Center sells Apple computers now. It's not a sure bet that they will actually have anything installed on them, but I would say your best bet would be go to a GC on like a tuesday night when nobody's there and sit down with the Macs and see what they have loaded. Ideally, they should have all three but obviously no guarantees.


    One more reason I recommend DP over the others: No dumb ****ing dongles!!!!! i can't tell you how much that stupid access key for logic made me mad! I was constantly worried about it getting stolen when I wanted to use it with my laptop. it's so tiny anybody could swipe it if i wasn't looking! DP just uses CD authorization with your SN, another nice plus if you want to use it on your laptop and your studio machine and not worry about having to remember the damn dongle or if it's gonna get ripped off or loosing it.


    but again, make sure you try out all of them so you don't regret blowing a wad of cash on something you end up hating that keeps you from making music.

    one last thing: DP works really well with MOTU interfaces, obviously, but with core audio a lot of interfaces work really well. I would recommend you check out some firewire audio interfaces like the MOTU 828, presonus firestation, tascams 1884 and digidesign's 002. those are all at least 8 channel interfaces like that Digi 001 you have. there are also several mixers with firewire options like yamaha and tascam that will allow you to transfer up to like 24 channels of audio across the firewire connection. that's frickin' sweet!
     
  7. g30ffr3y thread starter macrumors 6502a

    g30ffr3y

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    buffalo ny
    #7
    hey guys... thanks for all the advice... i am currently jumping through the usual hoops of trying to get my "obtained" software to run... ive got DP4 and Live... i think "trying out" logic is a lost cause, which is a huge dissappointment since i was looking forward to giving it a test run... today im going to try and sort out the interface issue, i will not be going with a digi002... once again, thank you, these boards are great, you guys are great, ill post again once i try this stuff out...

    "heading towards a g5... c'mon dual 3 gigs..."
     

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