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Topic Options
#1993312 - 12/01/12 05:50 PM Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW?
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
Hello.

In order to get a lot more voices for my Kawai MP10, as well as for recording & mixing tracks (since something like a Yamaha Motif, or Roland Fantom workstation are out of reach) I am considering, or leaning towards, purchasing Avid's Pro Tools 10 (DAW software) as well as an appropriate audio interface (hardware to go from analog to digital signals). As I understand it, a correct match here with the DAW software, as well as with the computer hardware platform, will help avoid latency problems.

The Kawai MP10 does have a USB to host port, however after looking through the hardcopy MP10 documentation, I do not know what version of USB (1.0, 2.0, or 3.0) my MP10 came with. The version was not listed in the documentation, or near the port itself.

The hardware platform, that I will be installing the DAW software on, is an intel i7 3.4 GHz desktop PC with 8GB of RAM; with two USB 3.0 ports; with a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card; with a 1 TB sata hdd.

From what I have read, the USB 3.0 is full duplex and its bandwidth is about 4.8 Gbps, which again from what I have read is faster than a Firewire port.


Does anyone have any experiences in setting up a DAW?

And/or does anyone have any experience/expertise with the following:


- DAW software (Avid Pro Tools 10 and/or others)?

- correctly matching the audio interface with the DAW software?

- implementing DAW virtual instrument plug-ins?


Have any Kawai MP10 owners done something similar?


Thank you for your input.
WJS.


Addendum: For others, who may be starting out like me, I found some good introduction links (below):

5 Steps To Building Your DAW (thanks to sweetwater.com)

An Introduction to MIDI (by the MIDI Manufactures Association)

The 15 best DAW software apps in the world today (musicradar.com October 2012)


Edited by WippenJackSpring (12/02/12 12:39 PM)

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#1993341 - 12/01/12 06:37 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
I've never set up a DAW. But I do use virtual instruments (piano libraries).

Your computer is way more than adequate.

The USB speed is not relevant. The data transfer rates required for sending MIDI data from piano to computer are extremely low.

If you use an external USB-attached sound card, the data rates (computer to sound card) are higher, but still very low compared to USB's capability. So no worries there.

The version of USB won't matter at all. Just plug in, install the driver (if any), and go.


Edited by MacMacMac (12/01/12 06:38 PM)

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#1993351 - 12/01/12 06:46 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
RafaPolit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 263
Loc: Quito, Ecuador
Wippen,

What you are asking is fairly common among users here, so I'm sure most of us have experience in one way or the other with your current situation.

First of all, when using a DAW you have two different aspects of it, which fall into two different realms.

MIDI Implementation:
- Used to record data of your performance (not audio!)
- Used to control the Virtual Instruments in your computer

Audio Implementation:
- Used to record audio of different instruments, including, but not limited to, your DP
- Used to hear what is being produced inside the DAW.

So... the MP10 is both a controller for the DAW as well as a tone generator. The audio interface is both a A/D interface for IN analog sounds (such as a guitar, or microphone, or the MP10) as well as a D/A converter for outputting sound to your speakers, monitors, or, for instance, back to the DP to be heard inside the DP internal speakers (in which case the MP10 would have a third role of being the sound output of the entire setup).

With that in mind... consider this:
- Midi data is very slim. It has note on, key velocity, note off info, and pedal on, pedal off info... not much more (special messages to control Effects or tones, but they are sent very rarely).
So, even USB 1.0 had enough bandwidth to manage all the info a MIDI data throughput could carry. So you need not worry about that, just think of it as a very efficient communication system between the MP10 and the computer.

That data of you playing in the keyboard is processed (very little process if any at all!) by the DAW and then either recorded, or re-distributed to a virtual instrument. At this point, the MP10's work is done as is the USB Midi's work. From now on, its your computer the one doing the crunching of numbers. That requires fast processors, lots of RAM, fast Hard Drives and a good audio interface. This was a problem 5 or 7 years ago. Now a days, most systems handle every part of this procedure nicely, and your system specs are very, very good! So you need not worry.

The part you will need to learn a bit about is your DAW. There are several key aspects of setting up a DAW:
- You need to configure the MIDI input (and output) devices.
- You need to configure the Audio input and Output ports (and probably name them so that they are more intuitive to you, or use the default ones)
- You need to configure the output ports and match the output sound to your output monitors, headphones, speakers, etc.

If you are going to use the DPs onboard sounds, the most common setup is a MIDI loop:
- The actual playing of keys on the DP does not produce any sound (usually called Local OFF, not sure about Kawai's naming system), instead, you are inputting those notes to the DAW and the DAW is sending them back to the DP. That sent back notes actually trigger the DPs sounds.

This has many advantages.
- You can change the sound from within the DAW, and record that Program Change so future opening that project will use the correct sound.
- You can re-route that sound to use a Virtual Instrument
- You have to change less the settings for DAW playback.
The only donwside is that you need the DAW open and configured in order to hear sound. Most modern DPs auto-detect if the loop is present and turn the local ON or OFF automatically, but I'm unsure how Kawai manages this.

Now, into the Analog realm:
- If your audio interface is USB, then the speed of THAT connection is really critical. USB 1.0 will be good for stereo sounds and not much more. Any type of multi-track input and such requires at least USB 2.0.
- If you are using external monitors, perhaps its better to rout everything through the interface (I/Os permitting): connect the DP audio OUT to the interface INs and use the external monitors.

This can get really long really fast, I believe that addressing individual aspects of your needs and questions would be easier than addressing the entire DAW+DP+Computer universe! smile

Hope this helps a bit,
Rafa.
edit: I started writing before Mac's answer, so please forgive any duplicate info.


Edited by RafaPolit (12/01/12 06:47 PM)
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

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#1993356 - 12/01/12 06:57 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: MacMacMac]
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
Thanks MacMacMac.

With regards to the virtual instruments (piano libraries) that you mentioned, did you purchase or download some free virtual instruments?

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#1993357 - 12/01/12 06:58 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8858
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Great post Rafa!
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1993360 - 12/01/12 07:02 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, you should be a staff writer for PW, Rafa.

And, since someone suggested in another post that this subject should be available as a sticky thread, perhaps you might be willing to develop something?

It might help get questions answered before they're asked ... again and again and again. Such how-to threads are common on other boards, but they're not at PW.

Opinions?

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#1993362 - 12/01/12 07:05 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: RafaPolit]
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
Wow.

A lot of good info. that I certainly was not aware of. Thanks so much. I will certainly have to dig into it.


Do you have any feel/preference for make & version of any particular DAW software package(s)?




Edited by WippenJackSpring (12/01/12 07:16 PM)

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#1993366 - 12/01/12 07:16 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Quote:
If you are going to use the DPs onboard sounds, the most common setup is a MIDI loop:
- The actual playing of keys on the DP does not produce any sound (usually called Local OFF, not sure about Kawai's naming system), instead, you are inputting those notes to the DAW and the DAW is sending them back to the DP. That sent back notes actually trigger the DPs sounds.

This could have some minor drawbacks with Kawais MIDI implementation: the MIDI input is not quite equivalent with DP's onBoard MIDI synthesis, SympatheticResonance is not present with MIDI in.

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#1993368 - 12/01/12 07:25 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Deleted


Edited by Ojustaboo (07/29/13 06:25 PM)

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#1993371 - 12/01/12 07:43 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: Temperament]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8858
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Temperament
SympatheticResonance is not present with MIDI in.


Not on the CA51, no.
However WJS's MP10 (and other modern Kawai instruments) should implement this correctly - i.e. string resonance is applied when playing MIDI.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1993469 - 12/02/12 12:58 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: Ojustaboo]
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
I am sure you are right.

I'll check into the Steinberg Cubase 7 package.

Thanks.

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#1993574 - 12/02/12 09:44 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Hi,

I have experience with ProTools 7 LE, Cubase 3 and Reaper 4 (which is the one I use now).

Out of those, for a first dive into the DAW world I recommend you start with Reaper, mainly because you can download the full, unrestricted version for a 30day trial and the private license is comparatively cheap to obtain if you decide to stick with it.

My personal experience with ProTools was that it was the most finicky to setup, but I liked the workflow a lot when I eventually got it to work properly on my PC.
I later switched to Cubase because I wanted to work with more than 24 audio tracks in a project, but never really got into its workflow. It felt somewhat unintuitive to me, and like it took me too many clicks to achieve certain tasks. Your mileage may vary!

With Reaper I am currently really happy. But as stated before by others, that's totally a personal preference thing and also depends on what you use the DAW for.

Good luck!
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1993578 - 12/02/12 09:57 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: Aeons Holle]
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
Thank you Aeons Holle for sharing your insight into DAW.

My local "Guitar Center" (guitarcenter.com) has been pushing Avid Pro Tools 10, but of course they may. or may not have an incentive for doing that.

Yours is the second reference to Reaper, so I will check that out.

Thank you.

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#1993636 - 12/02/12 12:32 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
To be honest, they all do the same thing, most of us just fall into using one because it came bundled with a piece of hardware they bought or because a friend gave them a hacked copy. It's just a matter of practice and familiarity.

I've heard people say that Cubase is "unintuitive", but I think that is a repeated myth to a large degree - people just say it because people say it. I've got a computer with Reaper, Protools, Logic and Cubase on it - and they are all more or less the same to deal with. The difficulties arise when we get rusty in our use of any particular one of them. The one you use the most will seem the most intuitive. I have used Cubase the most of those 4 suites and lo and behold, it is the most intuitive for me! I'd say go with what most of your music-making friends are using for the simple fact that you will have more assistance around you - and that's honestly half the battle when you are first getting started with DAWs.

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#1993671 - 12/02/12 01:49 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: ando]
WippenJackSpring Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Idaho, U.S.A.
That makes sense.

Thanks.

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#1993719 - 12/02/12 03:29 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Lots of good thoughts and advice from ando there.
Regarding the "repeated myth" I'd just like to add that in my case, I have actually used Cubase the most as well so far, but still liked it the least. smile But if I stick with Reaper for a few more years it will obviously overtake Cubase in overall time of usage. So I think it might also be the other way round than ando says - the DAW you find the most intuitive you will use the most in the end!

While all DAWs do indeed the same things, most do them a bit differently from each other, which in the end leads to different people preferring different DAWs. For example the guitarist of my current band who produced our last album works with Cubase - when we recorded my parts at his homestudio I quickly realized that he has a different approach to recording than me, and he seemed to get along with Cubase very well.
As I said, it's personal preference and your mileage may vary. smile


Edited by Aeons Holle (12/02/12 03:31 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1993736 - 12/02/12 03:40 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: Aeons Holle]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Aeons Holle
Lots of good thoughts and advice from ando there.
Regarding the "repeated myth" I'd just like to add that in my case, I have actually used Cubase the most as well so far, but still liked it the least. smile But if I stick with Reaper for a few more years it will obviously overtake Cubase in overall time of usage. So I think it might also be the other way round than ando says - the DAW you find the most intuitive you will use the most in the end!


Good point, I suppose it can go both ways - the one you use the most is the one that frustrates you the most because recording can be frustrating! There are certain processes and procedures that will, by definition, have to exist somewhere out of sight in a series of menus somewhere. DAW software is so damn powerful these days the sheer number of options is bewildering. Maybe the level of intuitiveness relates to the functions people use most and how easily accessible they are. As you say, they all present the same features in a different way so depending on how you think, maybe some software appeals more than others. I still think recent versions of Cubase are just as efficient as Protools, and in some cases, moreso. The early versions of Cubase were certainly very clunky indeed - and that reputation seems to have followed them to the present day. I do believe it is vastly overstated at this point though.

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#1993766 - 12/02/12 04:49 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: ando]
Aeons Holle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Yes, that may well be the case.
As I stated in my first post I used Cubase 3 back then, and for sure there will have been many changes for the better until version 7.
Just as Reaper 4 surely has come a long way since the early versions. wink

So indeed my experience regarding Cubase should be taken with a grain of salt.
But in any event, my main reason for recommending Reaper is their unlimited trial version and cheap license. Due to this, it basically just doesn't hurt to try this one first to gain some experience with DAWs.
_________________________
Kawai CA95
VI Labs True Keys: Pianos
Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D, Italian Grand, Grand Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D, The Giant

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#1993772 - 12/02/12 05:00 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
Cubase has midi editing down IMO. After working with that nifty context menu on the right mouse button, cutting and glueing together midi parts like it was childs play, it's really hard to go to other DAW's. Piano roll is excellent too.

But I can say here that Ableton is a lot more intuitive for pretty much anything else. It's just so much easier and more logical to create a track with a VST connected by just dragging the VST into the work space. Cubase has that rather odd VST instruments menu and everything needs to be routed around, it's not intuitive at all. Of course Cubase also has a lot more mixing possibilities so I guess this can be forgiven.

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#1993783 - 12/02/12 05:25 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I don't know why we even use the word "intuitive". We aren't using intuition, we are using knowledge, and we are talking about ease of use. None of it responds to vagueness of thought. You still have to understand the various things a DAW does on a conceptual level. You have to understand routing, mixing, editing, layouts etc.etc. It's just that some features require more or less steps to accomplish them depending on the program being used. There are strong points with all of them - that's why they exist and sell well enough to keep going.

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#1993796 - 12/02/12 05:40 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
Gigantoad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 336
In order to learn new software, we are using intuition. After that, yes we use knowledge. But even then the term "intuition" is usually used to describe how much of a hassle some tasks are in a given software. If you need to dig through too many menus and the work space becomes cluttered with windows, this could be an indication for unintuitive design.

Countless UI designers and usability experts have a job because intuitive software sells better.

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#1993820 - 12/02/12 06:49 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
o0Ampy0o Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/12
Posts: 473
In the context of technology "intuitive" is used to describe how naturally a system of methods is designed. If the approach is alien to every experience a user has it is counterintuitive. The idea is to come up with something that allows you to navigate through procedures using logical experiences mirrored everywhere. A simple toggle style on/off switch is intuitively designed if it works as expected.

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#1993974 - 12/03/12 03:59 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: MacMacMac]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Yes, you should be a staff writer for PW, Rafa.

And, since someone suggested in another post that this subject should be available as a sticky thread, perhaps you might be willing to develop something?

It might help get questions answered before they're asked ... again and again and again. Such how-to threads are common on other boards, but they're not at PW.

Opinions?


If somebody will go for it, feel free to include my info on the free MIDI software for PC, which I evaluated, and which came out to be very suitable for learning about MIDI and especially for editing the event list! Not exactly DAW software, but very useful tools for the MIDI newby.

As a free DAW software, Audacity might be a recommendation, but it would be better if others, really working with it, comment on this.
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#1993986 - 12/03/12 05:21 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: o0Ampy0o]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: o0Ampy0o
In the context of technology "intuitive" is used to describe how naturally a system of methods is designed. If the approach is alien to every experience a user has it is counterintuitive. The idea is to come up with something that allows you to navigate through procedures using logical experiences mirrored everywhere. A simple toggle style on/off switch is intuitively designed if it works as expected.


What somebody finds intuitive is still based on what their previous experience with software has been. I came to DAW software after being qualified in analog studios and dealing with analog means you develop a very thorough understanding of routing and buses etc. For that reason, Cubase was a walk in the park even though I've met others who can't seem to work it out. It may also come down to individual minds and how they structure their thoughts. In the same way people organise their homes, people may gravitate to a certain software application because it's compatible with the way their would organise things. If you want to call that intuition, you can, I suppose. I personally dislike the word intuition used in technology because it smacks of marketing buzz. Corporations try to sell us the idea that our gadgets know what we want and anticipate our next move. I hate that stuff.

The best thing to do in order to introduce yourself to the various DAW platforms is to go in Youtube and watch a few tutorials. It will give you a feel for how things are put together. There are tutes on pretty much every DAW software package.

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#1994043 - 12/03/12 09:23 AM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: ando]
djwayne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 123
I have Cakewalk's Sonar X2 and I love it. Great for midi recording and has many effects plug ins, and some very high quality plugs available seperately at a modest cost. I'd say downlaod the free trial version and see if you like it...most DAW's have trial versions available, so try 'em out, and see what you like the most.

Fair warning ...Pro Tools Trial version requires you have an iLok on your computer. Costs around $40-50 bucks.


Edited by djwayne (12/03/12 09:33 AM)

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#1994175 - 12/03/12 02:27 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: Gigantoad]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3786
Loc: North Carolina
In the field of usability I can highly recommend Jakob Nielsen's online Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability. There he focuses on web usability, but much his work applies well to other things.

His partner Donald Norman wrote the 1985 seminal volume "The Design of Everyday Things".

Together, their Nielsen-Norman Group (NN/g) offers a wealth of information on usability.

Some of their results seem quite obvious, and some not. But all of it comes from live studies and research.

The NN/g folks are, perhaps, among the "countless UI experts" that Gigantoad referred to:
Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
If you need to dig through too many menus and the work space becomes cluttered with windows, this could be an indication for unintuitive design. Countless UI designers and usability experts have a job because intuitive software sells better.

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#1995157 - 12/05/12 06:08 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: WippenJackSpring]
goldlot Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Pittsbubrgh, PA
This is an excellent primer and I hope I can get my question answered here instead of starting a new thread.

I am in the market for a console digital piano. I am also interested in using a DAW to access VSTs (such as Galaxy Vintage D) voices but play them back THROUGH THE BUILT IN SPEAKERS of the console. External speakers/studio monitors are not an option in the room I will place the piano.

Eventually I would like to use the same setup to record other instruments (strings, brass, drums, etc) with the DP as a controller, to accompany me on piano (in home only and just for fun). I have a HP Folio laptop with an i5 processor, a solid state hard drive and 6 gigabytes of RAM - plenty of horsepower but only an earphone jack for audio out.

So that leads to a series of questions.

Do I need an external sound card to voice the VSTs?
What kind of connections would I need on the console for playback, stereo RCA jacks?
Should I buy a mixer just to connect the laptop to the piano?
Is such a setup available on console pianos? If so, which lines and how much should I budget?
Is anyone else here doing this in a home, non studio setup?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/advice.

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#1995172 - 12/05/12 06:58 PM Re: Any advice for setting up a Digital Audio Workstation DAW? [Re: goldlot]
djwayne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 123
Originally Posted By: goldlot
This is an excellent primer and I hope I can get my question answered here instead of starting a new thread.

I am in the market for a console digital piano. I am also interested in using a DAW to access VSTs (such as Galaxy Vintage D) voices but play them back THROUGH THE BUILT IN SPEAKERS of the console. External speakers/studio monitors are not an option in the room I will place the piano.

Eventually I would like to use the same setup to record other instruments (strings, brass, drums, etc) with the DP as a controller, to accompany me on piano (in home only and just for fun). I have a HP Folio laptop with an i5 processor, a solid state hard drive and 6 gigabytes of RAM - plenty of horsepower but only an earphone jack for audio out.

So that leads to a series of questions.

Do I need an external sound card to voice the VSTs?
What kind of connections would I need on the console for playback, stereo RCA jacks?
Should I buy a mixer just to connect the laptop to the piano?
Is such a setup available on console pianos? If so, which lines and how much should I budget?
Is anyone else here doing this in a home, non studio setup?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/advice.



Yes I'm doing this in a home studio...inputs and outputs to and from the computer, I use an M-Audio Fast Track USB interface...costs about $120 bucks but well worth it. It has a mic and guitar jack input, stereo out and headphone out as well. Newer keyboards have USB connections you can use to connect directly to your computer. I have East West's Symphonic Orchestra sample program along with Ivory II and I'm all set. With this simple setup I can do just about anything I want....

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