Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers?

Posted by: peterws

Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 07:03 AM

OK. So I`ve reached the McCartney Year. "When I get older, losing my head . . ". I have this digital piano which I`m fond of. And I can do simple recordings, put `em on a memory stick in SMF and fiddle on a computer with it. With difficulty so far, but I`ll get there.

Now, I thought how nice it would be to have all this on the one instrument, rather more than to the degree I have at present. So thinks me, "I know! I`ll get a sequencer" only to find out that the local piano shop, one of the biggest in the country, didn`t do `em!

"Everybody uses their computers" I was told. So things have moved on faster than I can keep up. Again . . .Rather like female cyclists who frequently pass me these days, giving no regard to my bruised male ego. . .

So this is where you all come in. And Ebay.

Recommendations please, for fairly basic tweaking, must have a GOOD VIOLIN! Am I asking right? Because I know so little of what these things can do . . . .
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 07:28 AM

Indeed, the computer is the best tool for sequencing/recording. Sequencers these days are usually called DAW (digital audio workstation). They do everything from recording audio, recording midi (raw data, basically notes and controller data like velocity, volume etc.). You could try the most basic (light) versions of Ableton, Cubase or Reaper.

About the "good violin"... that is not necessarily part of a DAW but can be bought from many manufacturers as a VST. This can be loaded inside the DAW and then be played with your DP using its midi out port. Basically connect the midi-out port of your DP to the midi-in port of your computer (sometimes DP's use USB instead), set the DAW to receive data from this midi-in port and your violin VST will play accordingly. In the same way you could use a piano VST such as the often mentioned Vintage D oder Ivory II, which surpass what DP's can do.

Hope that wasn't more confusing than helpful. There's certainly a bit of a learning curve, but it's not as complicated as it sounds if you understand some basic concepts.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 08:10 AM

Thanks. That`s exactly what I needed to hear. The USB stick is what I`ll use. I`m getting quite excited now . . . .I might be able to handle this after all ha ha
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 08:31 AM

If you're an Apple person, also check out the options for iPad apps with a controller. It's a newish and growing area. The college I go to put on an orchestral arrangement show recently, completely composed and played via iPad/controllers. Opened my eyes, but I've not yet dabbled.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 08:43 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
Thanks. That`s exactly what I needed to hear. The USB stick is what I`ll use. I`m getting quite excited now . . . .I might be able to handle this after all ha ha


Not sure we are on the same page. None of what I described has anything to do with a usb stick. It's just a usb cable from your DP to your computer. What model DP do you have?

Of course you could just take whatever you recorded onto that stick and import it into the DAW, if that's what you want. But I don't see how you would then play the violin.
Posted by: Bane

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 08:48 AM

http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/?category=1757
http://www.soundsonline.com/QL-Solo-Violin

and I would strongly recommend you search for Cubase Elements 6 ($100) as your DAW, as Cubase is very versatile if you are working with MIDI. If you would be willing to pay $500 or so for the full version you would get Note Expression 2, which allows you to add articulations to your MIDI data.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Bane
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/?category=1757
http://www.soundsonline.com/QL-Solo-Violin

and I would strongly recommend you search for Cubase Elements 6 ($100) as your DAW, as Cubase is very versatile if you are working with MIDI. If you would be willing to pay $500 or so for the full version you would get Note Expression 2, which allows you to add articulations to your MIDI data.


Oh, I don't know. Cubase is a bit hard to figure out for a beginner. Slightly archaic interface and way too many routing possibilities. Also, the way VST's are set up isn't very obvious and it generally takes more steps to get results compared to Ableton where you basically just drag stuff onto a track and off you go.

I'd probably recommend Ableton to a beginner.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 10:35 AM

I` m thinking of using the violin on the piano at the moment.(DGX620) and attempting to soften the attack to give a more melodious sound . . .Importing from the usb stick instead of the piano is a better option, I think. Then the files can be saved on the computer for future alteration. And then I can play them back through the piano, and make an audio file using the headphone output . . .

I just know yer gonna tell me there`s a much easier method o` doin this . . .ha ha
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/05/12 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
I` m thinking of using the violin on the piano at the moment.(DGX620) and attempting to soften the attack to give a more melodious sound . . .Importing from the usb stick instead of the piano is a better option, I think. Then the files can be saved on the computer for future alteration. And then I can play them back through the piano, and make an audio file using the headphone output . . .

I just know yer gonna tell me there`s a much easier method o` doin this . . .ha ha


True, I'm going to smile

This is what a DAW is for. You record several tracks, say a drum track, a bass, a piano and a violin. You can record all this simultanously or one after the other. Each track is saved with the whole recording project and can then be edited, rearranged and so on.

Think of it as a mixer in a recording studio. Each channel of that mixer goes into a track in the DAW and the various instruments can be recorded seperately. Each track can be edited in real time. You could add a bit of reverb to the piano, use various mastering tools, equalizers, compressors etc. The possibilities are endless these days, even down to beat matching one track to the other.

So it basically works like this: hit the record button in your DAW and start playing your DP. Now the sound of the DP is recorded into one track in the DAW in real time. Make another track. Switch your DP to violin and do the same thing again. Now you have two separate tracks inside your DAW that can be edited separately. When done export it all as one song (usually called bouncing).

Even better, instead of the audio you could record the midi from your DP. This is basically recording your playing rather than the sound. This has the advantage that the midi data can be edited. You can fix mistakes or rearrange notes. This midi can be routed back to your DP so now the DAW will actually play your DP. When your happy with the result you can once again record back the audio from your DP as described above.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/11/12 05:52 PM

"This is basically recording your playing rather than the sound. This has the advantage that the midi data can be edited. You can fix mistakes or rearrange notes."

Oh boy! Bit o` cheating comin` up . . . . smile
Posted by: Bane

Re: Too Bl**dy Old for Sequencers? - 11/11/12 09:30 PM

Ah, come on! Cheatin's fun! grin