Recommened software...?


I am a proud owner of Virtual Drumline 1 and have used it to record 2 outdoor percussion shows and 2 indoor percussion shows. My current configuration is Windows XP with Finale 2004 and Home Studio 2004.

My current process of arranging/recording notating is VERY tedious and time consuming (most likely because of Finale 2004, plus converting to MIDI, plus loading it into Home Studio, plus recording each track separately, plus adding electronic keyboard sounds for the mallet parts and live recordings for some other parts, then mixing, etc). I am sure there is a better way than Finale 2004 and Home Studio 2004 to construct really high quality battery/pit music in audio form as well as in paper (notation) form.

If you were to chose the BEST Windows XP scenario (software to use) for Virtual Drumline 2, what would it be? When I mean ";best";, I am looking for: efficiency, easy of use, best features, ability to notate ANY kind of situation, etc). Is Sibelous the way to go? I've heard it's easy to use compared to Finale. Also how about Mixing the instruments together... Gigastudio? Is that the ";mixer";?

Thanks for any help! I look forward to your response.


Jim convinced me to switch over to Sibelius 3 about 2 years ago and I haven't looked back since. I can still use Finale if I have to, but since the switch I've constantly wondered how I got by with Finale. Sibelius seems more user friendly to me.

As for sequencers. I've been looking at purchasing Sonar 4 (either the studio or producer edition). I've used the demo of it and I'm really impressed with its ease of use. The ";freeze"; feature is a blessing if you don't have enough RAM to edit everything at once.

So in conclusion, I'd go with Sibelius 3, Sonar 4, VDL:2. If you're wanting to add in some wind sounds as well, you can go with Kompakt or the East-West Symphonic Library. Although, Sibelius 3 does come with a Kontakt player that you can upgrade from Silver to Gold with wind sounds. Only problem is that Kontakt player only runs in Sibelius whereas the Kontakt player that comes with VDL:2 can run as a stand alone or run in a host program (like Sonar).

I agree with Bill 100%. Sonar 4 is the way to go (in Windows) for sequencing/mixing/recording. I bought it 2 months ago and it's awesome. It functions in so many ways. VERY powerful. Not only can you use it to mix/edit/record etc. AFTER your arrangement is done, you can use it to ";host"; your various virtual instruments and/or samplers. I would not go the GigaStudio route. I bought thatabout 8 months ago, and it is all but completely unused now. If you want a really powerful sampler, I would go with Kontakt 2 (not sure if it has been released yet). You already have Home Studio, so you should have a start as to the interface of Cakewalk.
As far as notation goes, I am a Sibelius faithful and highly recommend it, but it really is a matter of preference. Both programs are powerful. Good Luck


Could you explain to a laymen like me what a sequencer, etc. does? For example, if I had VDL 2 and Sibelius and Sonar 4, what could I do? Currently I have Finale 2004 and VD1. What am I missing out on? Thanks!!

i have trie4d both and i prefer sibelius. for the same reason bill had said. its mopre user friendly

A sequencer is an incredibly powerful program that will do more things than even I'll end up using in my lifetime.

The way I use it is that I can write an entire score in Sibelius and save it as a MIDI file. I can the import that file into Cakewalk. From there, I have Sonar running as a host program with multiple versions of Kontakt being hosted with all the sounds I need loaded in already. So now I can clean up my play back, make sure releases happen exactly where I want them, etc. And with Sonar 4, I can ";freeze"; my work. So for example, say I'm working on a full band score. Well, my computer would not be able to handle that many samples at once. So I can work on as many as my compute can handle, freeze that part, work the next part, freeze it. Keep doing that till I'm done editing. What Sonar is doing, is putting all that information in a temp file so I still have it and when I'm ready, everythign will play back at the exact same time as a wave file thus eliminating recording each track, then mixing them together and praying I lined everything up properly.

Quick basic rundown. It can do so much more as well. I can go in and using a display feature it has and alter exactly where I hear a sound, or where a cymbal roll might release, etc.
I use Cubase SX on PC. Like Sonar, it imports the MIDI file and creates a track for each instrument. Then I load Kontakt for each track and pick the VDL samples. With these programs you can fine tune the dynamics and make your recording more life-like than the original score in the notation software. If needed, you can still open an editor within Cubase and see the notation and tweak it. On a Mac, Logic can do the same thing.

A lot of people use Reason on both Mac/PC so it's comparible to going into edit mode (the red, orange, blue bar icon) and then using the Pencil Tool to shape the velocity of each note.
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