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Workflow, Learning Curves, Reason Ableton etc.

permalink   Thu, May 8, 2008 @ 9:22 AM
A bit of background about me: I use Reason 4 alot, with recycle. When I need to work with vocals I plug reason into Sonar. I also plug melodyne into sonar when need be. I use a waves bundle as i reach the fianl stages of a song, along with Harbal (my little secret mastering weapon!). Adobe Audition is in there too at times.

I believe I’ve reached a point where I understand and can work ‘efficiently’ in Reason pretty much 100%, and now things are starting to bug me about it. Namely things to do with workflow, albeit many of these have been partially addressed in version 4.0

Haha the questions are piling up now. ok first one. Does anyone else get annoyed with the ‘finnickyness’ of timing/synching samples in reason? I seem to be spending much too much time switching between recycle and reason and making little adjustments.

(switches topic)
Like alot of us here I think, I now worship at the altar of Melodyne. but perhaps because its in its relative infancy still, I find it too is quite finicky, and the interface when pulling notes around needs refinement. I still use it though because its so impressive with the way it handles pitch. Does anyone else find this?

Another question, are there any committed Ableton users out there? I gave it a try but balked at it, partially because I hate learning curves, but also because I am so comfortable in the programs I already use.

And in general, any workflow tips? Things to avoid, or develop. I use as many hotkeys as i can but I don’t use them all. Particularly I’m thinking of things like, when you stop your mix after having listened to it, what part of the mix does your “play” cursor move back too? Things like that. And CPU intensiveness.

I have a lot more questions, but this post is already so long I think I’ll leave it for now. Thanks for reading :)
permalink   Thu, May 8, 2008 @ 5:14 PM
workflow in the creative process can be a really personal thing.

for me personally I found the Ableton model to match my needs the best (I’ve used all the programs you mention and a lot more extensively). Ableton was the first one where I actually had to read the manual (and from cover-to-cover) but the pay-off for me was huge.

I used to poo on Live’s render engine but they seem to have made a huge improvement in version 7 that came out last Nov. (there’s a white paper floating around their website that’s a must read to get the most of it) The price also sucks and I really wish they host directx, etc. but it all just works for me.
permalink   Surveillance_Party Thu, May 8, 2008 @ 11:20 PM
Ah thanks fourstones. I had a feeling I should be checking it out again but i was kind of reluctant :)
permalink   Fri, May 9, 2008 @ 2:22 PM
I used to use Digital Performer for pro, semi-pro, and enthusiast music making – it was awesome. The flexibility and power in expert hands is unparalleled, IMHO.

When my music making time started to become slivers of time at 2am (kids, career), DP started to feel like work. I decided that I was going to understand why people like Live so much, and consumed the manual and tutorials. For me, it accelerated my music making such that I can really take advantage of those slivers of time, and it is a joy again.

On the Mac, there are several other apps that I rely upon to make flow slippery: IcedAudio’s Audiofinder is one of them.
permalink   Surveillance_Party Sat, May 10, 2008 @ 10:47 AM
ah thank you vo1k1, fortunately I have alot more time available but I can imagine how you’d want to make the most of it when you have a busy lifestyle like that!
permalink   Sat, May 10, 2008 @ 12:41 PM
choices between software are a very personal thing. Some of the dimensions to be considered include the following trade-offs:

* loop based vs. linear metaphor

* audio vs. midi prowess - although some of the classic “sequencers” are very good at both: Cubase, Logic, Sonar and Performer come to mind.

* how friendly, stable and diverse is the eco system for plugins (for some people that is very important, for others less so)

* mac vs. pc (don’t start a flame war!)

* collaboration / compatibility needs (friends, collaborators, paid work)

* cost (while everyone has their own cost ceiling, the argument could be made, that cost is a relatively small differentiator in software, when for example compared with synth or other studio hardware).

I’m less and less opinionated about general “superiority” of tools. I’ve heard people do really neat stuff with almost anything. Heck, I’ve corresponded with one dub-style remixer, who transfers all of his audio source material to 2 inch multi-track reel-to-reel tape, then does all of his FX processing with a big old analog mixing board and nothing but antique outboard fx gear.

In my case, I’m currently using Cubase 4, because it represents a pretty good sweetspot for what I currently prefer. Excellent midi as well as excellent audio engine, excellent plugin eco-system, more linear metaphor, bi-lingual: mac and pc.
permalink   fourstones Sat, May 10, 2008 @ 12:52 PM
may be ot but how would you rate cubase’s stability nowadays? Does it crash? Have you ever lost data?
permalink   spinmeister Sat, May 10, 2008 @ 4:26 PM
I’ve been generally pretty ok,; the occasional time I’ve had grief it’s been mostly a plugin. Sometimes I push the envelope on those. And one of these days I need to go beyond XP Home edition. The 2GB RAM limitation on that one is now the bottleneck (and it only gives about 1.2. GB to applications) because with a quad core CPU I can load kazillions of plugins without the machine even breaking a sweat. It uses the multiple cores very nicely.

However just in case, I always use the builtin auto-save set at 10 minute intervals, so I’ve never really lost a painful amount of work.

So overall, I’ve been very pleased with Cubase, but it’s not a religious conviction, more a pragmatic question of the combination of things. Steinberg isn’t fault free either, but probably much better off again since Yamaha rescued them from Pinnacle.

Cubase is quite feature rich, with a rather good user interface.

The single biggest reason I originally chose Cubase: Steinberg is the maker and holder of the VST standard, which despite some limitations (audio side-chaining finally showed up last year with VST3)is the by a mile most widely supported plugin standard out there, and of course most of those VST makers will test most heavily with Cubase. Lately there are so many excellent free VST’s, too. And there’s is midi excellence in the VST standard.

But again, I’ve never tried to “convert” anybody to Cubase - because I’m too old to be a fainboi - and every tool has it’s shining and it’s ugly moments, if you use it for enough years :-)
permalink   essesq Sat, May 10, 2008 @ 9:13 PM
I’m sure you people are miles ahead of me in terms of your gear and your experience, but I will share a little bit of experience with you. I use nothing but Cubase LE and a little midi controller keyboard plus my regular old desktop computer which is a dinosaur running Windows XP.

When I first started using Cubase I was storing my work files on my hard drive and Cubase used to crash quite often. I then started keeping the work files on a flash drive and I haven’t had a problem since. If you can multiply this scenario over several orders of magnitude it may help you with your crashing problems.

Perhaps I have no clue what you all are talking about, but I hope this might help someone.
permalink   fourstones Sun, May 11, 2008 @ 1:14 AM
Since you’re relatively new to site I’ll ease you into it: the most important thing here is to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

(my authoritative sounding mini Live 7 review is here)
*** Topic deleted by author ***
permalink   fourstones Sun, May 11, 2008 @ 10:49 PM
er, I didn’t mean this to be thread killer - but I was talking about ME, right? and how I pontificate on - forgot the smiley face (again) but I was making fun of ME - we got that, right?
permalink   essesq Mon, May 12, 2008 @ 2:58 AM
Yes Fourstones, hear ya loud and clear…
permalink   essesq Mon, May 12, 2008 @ 2:59 AM
:-) (forgot my smily too ;-))
permalink   Surveillance_Party Mon, May 12, 2008 @ 8:53 AM
haha yeah i understand.