Mac Pro setup for midi virtual orchestra & VST instruments

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jrichman63, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. jrichman63 macrumors regular

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    Pacifica, CA
    #1
    I'm looking to buy the next version of the mac pro and I wanted to know if there is any advice on creating a - Mac Pro setup for virtual orchestra & VST instruments. If you have a setup for this please post the specs.

    I also can't determine which sample sets are the best and how they differ. Which is the best sounding and which is the best for real time performance?

    -Sonic implants
    -Vienna VSL
    -Eastwest

    I'm assuming Logic Pro is the way to go

    Thanks I look forward to this forums insight.
     
  2. Jessy macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2006
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    NE Ohio
    #2
    Logic is awesome, and kills all the other DAWs hands-down, but while its sampler is CPU-efficient, it kind of blows in every other respect (user interface / human engineering). As such, I use the MOTU Symphonic and Ethno Instruments for most of my sampling requirements. They're cheap, sound fantastic, and have great UI. If you desire greater editing, you can also get their MachFive sampler, which is a heck of a lot better than the EXS in Logic.

    Also, you can't use VST instruments in Logic. It only supports the Audio Units format. If, for some reason, you NEED to use a VST-only plug-in, fxpansion makes an AU to VST converter. However, what you seem to be talking about are libraries anyway, so plug-in format is kind of irrelevant. The ESX24 (or any other modern sampler worth its salt) should be able to import whatever format you throw at it.

    I hope to see a serious overhaul of this aspect for the successor to Logic 7. With any luck, it will also come with a great sample library that will negate my need for the MOTU stuff. I hate having to deal with dongles.

    You definitely don't need a Mac Pro for running a ton of instruments (though it couldn't hurt)...the 2 Gigs of RAM and usage of fast drives (preferably flash-based), combined with the slowest of even the Mac Minis, will do an awesome job for you. I'm going with one of the new iMacs myself, and switching to a MacBook when they get graphics cards and support more RAM.
     
  3. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #3
    Few things..

    Logic doesn't "blow" other DAW away.. it doesnt even support midi clock correctly. Anyway, either Logic, Cubase, or DP would all be good choices. Beyond that is simply personal preference.

    Also, Vienna is the best choice in that list. You can't load Vienna into Logic sampler and even if you could I doubt all of the features would translate over. Vienna has their own player available in VST and AU. East West is good but since they moved to their own new player (instead of using Kompakt) I have read about a lot of bugs in the software.
     
  4. Jessy macrumors regular

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    NE Ohio
    #4
    I was not aware of that. But how is MIDI Time Code even useful in a modern studio?

    The amount of control and ability to create whatever you want you have in Logic is greater than any other DAW. But what's key is the integration between all of its included components. And soon, I doubt it will even be ugly anymore, once it has been properly Apple-ized. Still, the only nicer-looking DAWs I know of right now are Pro Tools, which of course is worthless, Digital Performer 5 (but not by much for the most common tasks), and the king of them all for looks, Garageband, but of course that's as worthless as Pro Tools but for different reasons.
     
  5. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #5
    Saying any DAW is great than others is very ignorant. All DAW have some features over others. Not 1 has it all! Maybe for you personally.. but that is just you NOT everyone.

    Anyway, midi clock is important for syncing tempo between the DAW and hardware. I use it to sync tempo on all of my hardware synths for arps and fx (useful for hardware fx units as well) and tempo + start/stop commands to my Future Retro Revolution synth. It is insanely necessary for electronic music and hardware. If you are a straight up audio workstation then it is not as important by a long shot.
     
  6. mspman macrumors regular

    mspman

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    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #6
    Well, all those are great, but I use Finale 2007 for my musical adventures. The Garritan Personal Orchestra is great, imo. And, I believe that Finale 2007 is about a 25% discount over Logic Pro, if I remember correctly.

    http://www.finalemusic.com

    I suppose there are different tools depending on what you want.

    Full disclosure: The Chief Marketing Officer of MakeMusic is a dear friend of mine. :) And if you're all fired up to buy Finale 2007 - please don't. Wait a couple weeks. ;) ;) *nudge* *nudge*
     
  7. Jessy macrumors regular

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    #7
    The OP specifically asks about virtual instruments. I don't think that saying Pro Tools is inferior to Logic is out of line at all for this case.

    I mainly make electronic music and wouldn't dream of touching "hardware" synths or effects anymore. As far as I'm concerned, the G5 processor made all of that obsolete.

    Also, Finale is awesome, but I can't justify the cost of it when Logic (and Digital Performer) has a very nice notation editor included.
     
  8. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #8
    Software synths make hardware obsolete for you... that is a preference of course. Lots of hardware destroys software in sonic character..

    Also, sure Logic vs PT for midi is a no brainer but I was more refering to DP and Cubase and Logic..they are all designed around creative environment for virtual instruments. They are all pro apps in design and features and would recommend the poster try them all out if possible. You wouldn't go wrong with any of these three. I would pick one of these three that best suits how you like to work.


    ALSO to the poster. Check out www.gearsluts.com. It is a big community much based around pro audio and recording in general but has a huge base of users using VSTi and these kind of library plugins.
     
  9. Jessy macrumors regular

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    #9
    I just like getting stuff done. Feel free to use tape to your heart's content as well. :p
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #10
    you're not quite coming through. please turn around and bend over so i can hear you better.
     
  11. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #11
    "getting stuff done" has nothing to do with your preference of hardware of software. Software can be a bit faster but some people that is not as big a concern as others. Depends on your situation.

    Tape isnt even made anymore. That is quite a radical and silly comparison.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    rubbish. the DP notation editor is crap. have you even used it?
     
  13. jrichman63 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Pacifica, CA
    #13
    Mac Pro based virtual midi orchestra

    OK let's reel it back in now a bit.

    Recap: I'm trying to mock up a next gen Mac Pro that is a powerful midi orchestra.

    I've discovered a few things:

    over a 1000 and pro level packages:

    -Vienna VSL (minimal reverb because of close range mics to capture articulates must add in reverb synthetically after words) ( it is said to be preferred for solo instruments and small groups)

    -Eastwest EWQLSO (reverb in recordings) (small articulations lost) (it is said to be preferred for large orchestras to back up the solo instruments)
    $1500

    -Sonic implants SniVox (giga studio & kontakt2) 3000 bucks entire library

    -DVZ out of the question Hardware needed and PC only

    Under 1000

    -Garriton Personal Ochestra GPO

    -Mirslov Philharmonkic ( i've here good things Farily cheap $300ish) originally $3000 when it was the top dog

    -Motu symphonic instruments

    -Apple orchestral 99bucks no solo strings!
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #14
    if you haven't already, check out:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum

    it's chock full of people composing and discussing sound libraries. i'm considering purchasing GPO, which seems to be well-respected, but am holding out for my Sibelius 5 upgrade which will include some GPO sounds. so i'll know better then if i want the full GPO package.
     
  15. sangamc macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2006
    #15
    you statement is laughable.

    i use both logic pro and pro tools LE extensively. from reading your comment its seems like you came to your conclusions not from experience or actual use of either, but from message boards full of other posts like yours
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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  17. minton macrumors member

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    #17
    The more the merrier - play your midi through all the libraries, including the instrument articulations specific to each library, and then just ride the faders to get the sound your after. Although going a la carte means compression /equalization /reverb /panning to get a cohesive mix. The eastwest stuff is known for having a lush hollywood sound, GPO noted for Brass, Kirk Hunter for strings, VPO for woodwinds ... yada yada yada
    The future lies along a different path:
    http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/products/brass/controllers.html
    http://www.synful.com/

    ... for Sibelius 5 to come out and steal the thunder. With VST & AU hosting, now I'm definitely on board.
     
  18. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #18
    I hope you are kidding.. large libraries are the future..and present. Arturia Brass is ok.. but doesn't sound very real (I own a copy). I played with Synful about a year ago and it wasn't very real sounding at all. These apps can be great for mockup work but the final product will either be done by a real orchestra or a nice large sample library.. they both sound eons better than the links you listed.
     
  19. scottlinux macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

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    Sep 21, 2005
    #19
    I'd go with either:

    - East West Gold (Platinum is overkill, and the Gold samples are a good picking of the exact same Platinum samples).

    - VSL VI Special Edition

    Everything else sounds 'budget/cheap,' IMO. Though people do some amazing things with the $200 packages. Definitely check out demos. Some comment that the East West strings sound 'commercial,' while the VSL strings sound more acoustic/natural. But you can make any samples sound the way you want for any particular situation, when it comes down to it.
     
  20. jrichman63 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2006
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    Pacifica, CA
    #20
    scottlinux Thanks that was helpful. I'm also review virtual instrument mag too for info.

    How much post editing is needed to make those sound good, being that they are complex libraries (VSL and EW)? Should I expect to play the phase out and it sound great first run (live)?


    Check this!
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54432

    and
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54445



    Author Topic: Re: East West or Vienna? I need help
    Daryl
    Senior Member
    Daryl is off the scale
    Join Date: May 2004
    Posted: 06-29-2007, 04:52 AM | | Reply With QuoteQuote
    In answer to the original question, here are my views (leaving cost out of the equation):

    1) EW can get you a particular sound very quickly.
    VSL can get the same sound, but it will require more work.

    2) EW needs very little reverb.
    VSL needs a quality reverb to work well.

    3) EW always has the same sound
    VSL has the flexibility to work in many different acoustics and styles.

    4) EW is pre-panned.
    VSL is not.

    5) EW has no interval legato samples.
    VSL does.

    6) EW uses Kontakt, which may or may not be to your taste.
    VSL uses K2/Giga etc. for the old products, and the VI sample player for the more recent instruments. In terms of ease of use, this sample player is the market leader.

    D

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54445&page=4
     
  21. Voy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    #21
    AU or Kompakt Access to EWQLSO Gold, Symphonic Choirs & Colossus

    I can't seem to gain access to the above software that I purchased - either via Logic Pro or Kompakt. The file folders come up in Kompact - but they are only images & .html folders. And in Logic Pro - there is no AU interface for these three. How can I get them to come up?? Stinks if I can't use this expensive software that I purchased (EastWest) I have a Mac Pro.
     

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