Soundtrack Pro - worth it for newbie?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wiseguy27, May 5, 2005.

  1. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    USA
    #1
    This time I have a question about Soundtrack Pro - if you didn't already know, I'm planning to switch to a Mac shortly and am looking for applications that I would need. I'd like to know if Soundtrack Pro is worth buying (for a moment, ignore the cost aspect).

    My usage would be as a "non-professional" (hobby) user and I'd be doing some video editing with Final Cut Express. For this usage, would FCE alone suffice for the audio stuff too? Any great advantages in Soundtrack Pro vs. standalone FCE or others? (I read that Soundtrack Pro integrates well with FCP).

    Thanks :)
     
  2. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    #2
    [Repeating once since there were no responses yesterday. Won't repeat if there are no responses today either]

    Does anybody have any thoughts/suggestions/opinions on the above questions about Soundtrack Pro?

    Thanks! :)
     
  3. davizod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #3
    Soundtrack pro is yet to be released to general public so it is difficult to say whether or not you would need it.
     
  4. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #4
    It does depend what you want to do with your audio ST was originally Garageband without MIDI and with video, from the look of it ST2 is an expanded version of ST slanted towards audio Post-production, i.e. Foley SFX, atmospheres, as well as a loop and audio recording based music facility.

    If you want to make music use Garageband and import into FCE, if it's VO and FX, soundtrack might be better, certainly you can't run video in GB.

    The audio tracks in the Final Cut apps are good for mixing and some editing, but not for raw production.
     
  5. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    #5
    Hey, what do you do? What will you be doing with your Mac?
    I am an audio engineer (working full time, really).
    I work with both Mac and PC.
    My friends are musicians. I might be able to point you in the right direction, if I knew what you were doing, have done, and hope to do.
     
  6. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    In your head.
    #6
    I am not going to post this weekend. So I hope this helps. Visiting a mac audio/music site would help more.

    Thoughts on Soundtrack:
    Soundtrack is almost as friendly as Garage Band. I find is a bit bloated, but I like its’ search, organization features, and samples better than Garage Band. They are really going to have to add features to make it on par with the other pro-apps. (But it was free with FCP, so who is complain.)

    Reason is fantastic. A good mix of old school and new school. My musician friends can't live with out owning the license Reason Home

    Ableton Live is just that. Met the programmers, and their live music is always good. It's a powerful tool that can make music sound beautiful or it can be used to scare away the sprits of Bauhaus or Dataests movements (not a small feet). Catch the Ableton brothers live with Live if you can when they are in the U.S. The will even talk shop.

    Peak is a good substitution for Logic. Bias's SoundSoap is pretty good, on par with Sonic Foundries (PC) Noise Reduction plug-ins (at least for automatic reduction). [/URL]

    Free cross platform editor For a free product, it really is good.

    Cycling 74 Software offers SoundFlower for free. It's a free audio routing program, and it's not as easy as Audio Hijack, but it's free. Use in conjunction with SoundFlower Bed- also free.

    AudioHijack is a great router/recorder. It's easy and allows for easy routing and recording.

    You already know Garage Band, which for the price isn't bad, I don't have use for it or Soundtrack, but I have fiddled around enough with both to know that they are fun to use.


    Side note: There are DJ’s and then there are Turntablests. Likewise in the world of electronica, there are theirs of musicians. The Abelton Brothers are really good. There are electronica artists that are better, but I would say that they are well above average. They don’t just slap samples together with effects, but manipulate the sounds as notes and instruments- just as the best acustic artists do. What makes them different, and sets them apart is that they coded the software that they use.
     
  7. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    USA
    #7
    Wow! :)

    Eniregnat, that was quite a lot of information! :) Thanks a lot for taking the time to explain and list the different applications.

    Thanks Wintermute for the explanation of the differences between GB and ST.

    When I said newbie, I not only meant newbie to the Mac world, but also to sound editing and stuff. I'm not a professional (nor have I been into any multimedia creation/editing) - I'm just an (above) average user who's planning to do some video editing (just as a hobby for myself).

    I was checking out the Apple website and reading about the pro applications like Final Cut, Motion, DVD Pro and Soundtrack Pro. I did wonder whether ST Pro was similar in any way to GarageBand, but from what I read it seemed like GarageBand was more like an independent tool to create music (without any kind of direct integration with Final Cut) and Soundtrack Pro with music/sound editing/creation (having integration with FCP).

    I have no clue about audio creation or editing, except that I do know what good music sounds like (don't we all? :D). I also feel it's fun to make music.

    I was planning to get Final Cut Express or Fiinal Cut Pro and was pondering whether the addition of ST Pro would help make things easier/smoother or "much better" in any way. :)

    I will be getting a Mac shortly, and I guess I'll have some hands on experience using the packaged tools that come with Mac OS X.
     
  8. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    #8

    Don't sell yourself short. It kind of sounds like you want to try you hand as making movies or videos (music?). If that's the case screw the technical stuff and concentrate on the story. You can get templates for screenplay formats online. With out a good story, you don't have much.

    If you have the story, then lets jump to the next thing, sound. Anybody can rent a good camera and lighting kit. With out good sound, what ever you create will be second rate. If I were going to spend money on my own equipment, I would first get a good miniDV camera, and then my investments would be on sound equipment. You can always transfer great sound equipment to what ever equipment you purchase down the line. The same can't be said for lenses and cameras.

    I am not going to write that iMovie and iDVD are anything like FCP and DVD Studio Pro. There are lots of differences, but unless your serous about it, I wouldn't spend my money on FCP or any pro app, unless I could make it pay off.

    FCExpress will import and re-time stamp iMovie media. There are some losses in doing so, but it is possible. FCP (at least 5) won't import iMovie.

    What I would do is this, start off with iMovie and Garage Band. Use the least expensive stuff and maximize your contact with it. Remember that, as far as video goes, there are only two transitions that are used, fades and cuts. Anything else is superfluous. FCE will give you more control and more tracks, but you will loose the easy interface (as though gui non-liner is really that complicated these days).

    As for SoundTrack Pro, I think that the only real difference is that it doesn’t sound as hokie. It is really similar. I think they molded Garage Band after SoundTrack, as SoundTrack was bundled with the last FCP suite before GrageBand was debuted.

    Lastly, enjoy your self. This kind of thing becomes an addiction. Have fun, take a breath, and don't forget your significant other. My girlfriend is very supportive of my art projects. I think she is supportive because it makes me happy, sane, and because I don't forget her.

    Post Script: I gave you my prefrences for software. The free programs arn't bad, and there are some great free plug-ins, though you get what you payfor.

    Some other things that might help you: 44.10kHz- CD recording rate. Video 48.00kHz. This will help you with some potental audio problems when resampleing. If you decide you want to work with compressed audio, or you are wondering if a recording method will work for you remember the Nyquest Theorem. It is a guide, not a law. (Perhaps this is too much right now.) If you have questions ask.
     
  9. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    Thanks for your detailed reply again. As of now, I'm still undecided about ST Pro. If I decide to go for a package deal, then I may probably get the FC Studio. Otherwise I may just stick on to FCE.

    I'm interested in what you said about sound equipment. Could you please provide a little more information or point me to sources about those? I know a lot of work goes into sound engineering, but I don't know anything about it (one thing I have going for me is that I studied electronics and computer science, so most technical stuff in electronics/software is not new to me). FYI, I don't plan to make "plays" or stuff like that - it may be more like short home movies, or short documentary style videos of places or things I see (pretty amateur level stuff - may not have a storyline :)).

    I will be getting a good miniDV camera (most likely a 3 CCD one) soon after my Power Mac reaches me (expected within two weeks). That's another loop I have to get into to decide which one I "want" and which one I can afford right now. :D Apart from a tripod, I think I may require an external microphone for the camcorder (lenses and filters will come in later). Anything else that I should specifically look for?

    As a side note, be it photos or videos or music, my usual preference is towards higher (or highest) quality, and the little that I do with ripping audio from CDs is done with the highest sampling rate possible. :) I also take pictures at the highest resolution my camera provides (which is 5 megapixels) and do use the manual controls often (although it's not a digital SLR). Although compression is good and has its own advantages, I usually prefer higher quality (which in most cases could mean lower compression).
     

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