Appealing to experts for the next step...

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by 70s Rocker, Jun 9, 2006.


  1. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Equipment: Fast Sony PC, Firepod, 2 Eureka preAmps, GrooveTube, R0de and KSM32 mics, Powercore Firewire for plugin processing.

    Programs: WaveLab 5.0, Sonar 5 pro, Reason 3.0
    Plug-ins: Master X5, Powercore included plugins, Sony Oxford Bundle Inflator, etc.
    VSTs and such: BFD, Atmosphere, Gitano personal orchestra, Steinberg the Grand

    Expertise: I learned how to Master first having made many 2-tracks recordings direct to DAT with the Eurekas and the KSM32s. I used WaveLab after coming in from the Dat through the Firepod to my PC. (I traded my VS-2480 to go totally computer.)

    Next step: Learn Reason and Sonar or switch to ???. Also considering going to a MacBook instead for portability.

    Dilemma: I have limited time and there are so many programs.
    1) Should I stay with Sonar 5 pro and spend my learning curve there?
    2) Should I stay on a PC or go Apple?
    3) Should I instead go to another recording program?
    4) Given the choice, should I learn Reason or the recording program first?

    Objective: All I want to do is lay out a drum track and then add instruments one at a time for songs I've written with vocals last. Utility and ease of use are important, but not at the expense of quality. Any thoughts appreciated! It's not important to me to have Protools because the industry uses it - unless that really is the way to go.
     
  2. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    I am sure some of the other guys that are knowledgable in this area will chime in too. Many opions are helpful in trying to figure out what is best for yourself.

    Well you seem to have alot of choices. Let me first say that there are many great programs for cutting demos to Albums. I personally think the engineering and mixing ability are far more important than the platform. However a great easy to use program will help facilitate that.

    I use and prefer ProTools and definitely on a Mac. ProTools just doesn't run as well on PC because it was written for Mac. I think that is true for most software. There are many things that just aren't as good on a Mac too as a PC because they were coded originally first for a PC.

    In my professional experience Sonar, Logic, and Cubase just don't sound better than Protools. Nuendo sounds great and that is written for a PC. The thing I like best about ProTools is the plugins. They sound far better than the plugs I have tried for other software. The software is also not as hard to use as most claim. If you can use another DAW and know how a mixer is laid out you can do it without a huge learning curve for all of the simple recording and mixing tasks. DON'T FORGET the mics, mic-pre's and the converters and clock source are HUGE factors in the sound of what you are recording. My home rig for writing library music for TV and Flim is a DIGI002 clocked off a RME ADI8-DS and that box also serves as 8 channels of high quality A/D-D/A conversion.

    DISCLAIMER, I do not work for Mac or ProTools but have worked as a professional recording engineer as my main income for almost 8 years. I hope this is helpful.

    Best of Luck,
    Chris
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I think you'll find all the software has a learning curve. It sounds like you have a pretty nice rig and if it's free from performance issues (glitches), I'd be inclined to stick with it a bit longer. I haven't used Sonar but I've used Cubase, Cakewalk, Samplitude and a few lesser know ones and all seem similar at least in their basic operation.

    Maybe try some free programs like Krystal or Reaper before doing anything too drastic.
     
  4. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I'd stick w/Sonar - we use it in the studio, and while it may be slightly sonically inferior to a full-bore PT system, it's certainly not any worse than PT LE, and it's way easier to use, especially if you've already got it and know how to use it.

    I wouldn't change platforms either, unless you're planning on doing it commercially and/or have a need to be compatible w/other studios which are running a professional PT rig.

    Reason is a really cool program also, and is VERY easy/intuitive to learn. I went from zero experience to having a finished soundtrack piece for a pretty major company's annual sales meeting in under 5 hours.

    And as Chris said, engineering chops are very important, but what trumps even that is having a great song and knowing how to arrange it.

    Loudboy
     
  5. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks all. I'm very impressed by the responses and the time you took to give me some good input!
     
  6. therigaletto

    therigaletto Member

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    I use Pro Tools 7 and I love it. But if you are doing alot of mastering then one thing to think of is Protools Le does not bounce in real time. I know this wasnt one of your exact questions but I thought I would toss in my 2 cents.

    P.S I love the ease of Reason 3 also! Buy it and love it!
     
  7. covert

    covert Member

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    A very reasonable approach.
    Use what you have till there's a reason to change.
    What you learn will to some degree carry over to any other programs of a similar type. I'm talking about concepts and prcesses, not keyboard shortcuts.
     
  8. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    100% Agreed. Well put Loudboy. A great song is the most important thing. PERIOD.

    Also, Reason is an awesome program. I also use Ableton LIVE for some things as it is easy and has alot of really easy to use looping features like Reason.

    My last thought. Sometimes we can put too much thought into what program to use instead of just making music and having fun.
     
  9. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Your "last thought" is key to my approach. I tend to over-analyze!
    I'm thinking my first song on Sonar (which I haven't used yet) should qualify for a demo. That's just not very realistic.
    For those that have used both, would you dig into Reason first or Sonar? I know one will help with the other, but which is the best to dive into first?
     
  10. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    You should resign yourself to learning Sonar--it's very intuitive and there is plenty of online help available if you have questions. Concentrate on making good music and stop worrying about success--you can't have the latter without the former.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I agree. Sonar ought to be fine for what you want to do, unless you already don't like it for some reason.
     
  12. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I had no preconceived notion either way. I just bought Reason and Sonar and have never opened them. I used WaveLab extensively.

    The only reason I brought it up was the guys at Guitar Center telling me EVERYBODY uses Protools. If that was the case, I'd be willing to go that route instead.

    Since I have Sonar, I'd rather not spend the money - especially given the input here.

    Once again - I very much appreciate the help. I'll dive into Sonar as soon as I catch some free time ... maybe 2007(ha)?
     
  13. dmbandtimmy

    dmbandtimmy Member

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    Can Pro Tools be used with the Firepod ?
     
  14. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    No, I understand you have to get one of their interfaces.
     

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