Question about Kontakt 2...

Hi,

This spring I'm going to take the plunge and purchase Kontakt. Everything I've read about it makes it sound so useful when working with VDL2. All I've done to this point is enter notes in Sibelius, open an instance of VDL2 and have them playback. Essentially, I want to carry on doing the same thing, but want more sound options and want to better run VDL2 and record those files for students, etc...

But I have a few questions I can't seem to find the answers to.

1. The sound libraries available on Kontakt 2 sound great. Can I access them for sounds when I'm writing a score in Sibelius?

2. Would I be able to use VDL sounds and Kontakt library sounds at the same time?

3. Can I save as an mp3 file or do I need another program for that?

4. If I purchase Kontakt, would there be much of a reason to also purchase Sibelius' version of the Garitan Personal Orchestra?

5. Any opinions on which library is better?

6. If my basic set-up is as follows, am I good to go for writing/arranging and for creating audio tracks: (?)

      a) sweet computer with lots of RAM and a killer processor speed
      b) Sibelius 4.0
      c) VDL2
      d) Kontakt 2

I think all of my anxiety stems from worrying about spending unnecessary amounts of money and also from purchasing something that doesn't fully do the job and contracting a severe case of buyer's remorse.

I'm sure you can tell that I don't know a tremendous amount about all of this, so if I'm missing something or you can think of another direction to go, I'd be glad to hear the suggestion.

Thanks in advance!
ER
ah ok  thanks for clearing that up.
[quote author=Coach link=topic=921.msg3708#msg3708 date=1135219524]
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I thought I remembered hearing that Sibelius will be out with that VST support for audio files shortly...I think around the time the�� expanded Garritan sounds come out.
[/quote]

That's not the case.  I think integrated VSTi support will be a Sib5 thing.  Finale and Sibelius tend to be neck and neck about such things. 
[quote author=erath link=topic=921.msg3704#msg3704 date=1135202144]
1. The sound libraries available on Kontakt 2 sound great. Can I access them for sounds when I'm writing a score in Sibelius?

2. Would I be able to use VDL sounds and Kontakt library sounds at the same time?

3. Can I save as an mp3 file or do I need another program for that?

4. If I purchase Kontakt, would there be much of a reason to also purchase Sibelius' version of the Garitan Personal Orchestra?

5. Any opinions on which library is better?

6. If my basic set-up is as follows, am I good to go for writing/arranging and for creating audio tracks: (?)

�� �� �� a) sweet computer with lots of RAM and a killer processor speed
�� �� �� b) Sibelius 4.0
�� �� �� c) VDL2
�� �� �� d) Kontakt 2

[/quote]

Let's see if I can knock these out...  some of my answer may be opinion; take it for what it's worth.  They should be pretty good, since I'm procrastinating from work...

1. The sound libraries available on Kontakt 2 sound great. Can I access them for sounds when I'm writing a score in Sibelius?
As stated, a virtual cable is needed.  Of course after you're done with a sib score, you can export the score to midi, and work on it directly.  However Sibelius 4 is limited to the cable requirement.

2. Would I be able to use VDL sounds and Kontakt library sounds at the same time?
Yep.  Under Kontakt 2, you just directly load them up.

3. Can I save as an mp3 file or do I need another program for that?
There are 2 ways to get audio from midi -- rendering and real-time recording.  If you use a program such as Sonar or Cubase, you can render out audio faster than real-time.  It essentially makes a wav file, and pastes all the samples on top of one another at the right spot.  No hiccups in audio playback that way, so for complex things, it's the way to go.  Otherwise, Jim's point about Audacity is great.  It's a freebie.  Even your Run > SNDREC32 can record.  Just check with your sound card settings for good recording.  For MP3, there are many free encoding options.  I'll assume you can get from a wav to mp3.

4. If I purchase Kontakt, would there be much of a reason to also purchase Sibelius' version of the Garitan Personal Orchestra?
Hard to say...  GPO is a pain using a different controller for volume than normal (CC1).  The Sibelius version works automatically in Sib, but you can't load it into Kontakt.  If I had to vote, I'd actually suggest that you look at EWQLSO Silver first, then Standalone GPO, and third SibGPO.  However, knowing these things, you'll have to make that call.

5. Any opinions on which library is better?
Depends what for.  Seriously.  I happen to like the EW library better for symphonic instruments, but I also am interested in 5.1 and other stuff; things you may not be interested in.  At the budget level, I'd take EW slightly over Garritan, but it's more about taste.  Try the demos!  A lot of focus is on strings, but I'd assume you want band instruments.  Here's the other thing -- see if the Kontakt library is sufficient.  Maybe it's enough of what you need.  If not, then you can see what you need after that.  K2 is 15GB of instruments...

6. If my basic set-up is as follows, am I good to go for writing/arranging and for creating audio tracks: (?)

      a) sweet computer with lots of RAM and a killer processor speed
      b) Sibelius 4.0
      c) VDL2
      d) Kontakt 2

RAM is more important than CPU clockspeed.  Once you have Sib4, you're ready to write and arrange.  Adding VDL2 and K2 will enhance it greatly.  Finally figuring out how you want to capture your output will be the last step.  Truly, that's just a detail.  I'd think you'd want to start by doing all of the other things first.  By doing so, you'll again figure out what you need.  Maybe you don't need anything that costs.  Maybe you need a lot of power.  You can always try the free stuff first.  It is, after all, free.  If that's not meeting your needs, then go spend the money.

There is one other piece that you haven't mentioned yet.  The midi keyboard is important, too.  I'd suggest that if you have room in your studio to get at least a 49-key, 61+ is best.  You will find that a keyboard is imperative for entering notes with any efficiency.  As all the VDL2 notes are mapped, you will find that this is BY FAR the way to enter notes.  I'd suggest buying a keyboard in every instance!  There are plenty out there to be had at all pricepoints - just make sure that you can move up and down octaves.

A final nice thing, and it's not always *necessary* but a good idea -- get a sound card that isn't ";on-board"; your motherboard.  Sometimes it's called an ";integrated"; sound card, you are stealing memory and CPU and usually getting low quality with those.  A standard Audigy 2 kicks butt for me, but I only output to a desktop 5.1 and have no input needs.

http://soundsonline.com
http://garritan.com
http://cakewalk.com
http://steinberg.de
http://m-audio.com
I think Finale is ahead of Sibelius in terms of making an audio file straight from the program with VST's, but I think that will be coming�� up in a future Sibelius update... that is the Making of audio files with all supported VST instruments.�� [b]This might be only wav or aiff though[/b].�� I know that right now you can ";save as�� audio file"; in Finale 2006b using ANY supported VST... Meaning you can load Kontakt into Finale 2006b as a VST, load your instrument banks/tracks, and Finale will use them to make your audio file.�� Personally, I use Audacity or Cubase SE.�� Sometimes I will import into iTunes and ";convert to mp3";.�� I only use Kontakt to hold the sounds I want.�� Cubase SE will only make around 20 mp3's and then you need to BUY an upgrade.�� I just make the aiff and then�� use Audacity to convert it to mp3.�� HOWEVER, I think a converted file from iTunes sounds better than from Audacity...at least on my computer.  Having just figured out the Kontakt 2 program changes stuff, I think its awesome!

Oh - I use Bidule to connect Sibelius and Kontakt 2 also.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I thought I remembered hearing that Sibelius will be out with that VST support for audio files shortly...I think around the time the�� expanded Garritan sounds come out.

Good answers Gabe. The answer to the question of creating audio tracks is no. Kontakt 2 is a sampler, wheras to create audio recordings, it's best to use an audio recording program. The ";best"; way to do this is with something professional like Sonar, Logic, etc. The cheap and easy way to do it is with a freeware audio recording program such as [b][url=http://audacity.sourceforge.net/]Audacity[/url].[/b]

Using Kontakt 2 is a great way to have more of a ";one stop shop"; for playing back sounds. Keep in mind, it's an actual sampler, intended for programming and such, so it's not going to have as basic of an interface as the VDL2 player. But it will give you much more power, and can allow you to play different libraries at the same time within the same interface.
1. The sound libraries available on Kontakt 2 sound great. Can I access them for sounds when I'm writing a score in Sibelius?
YES, VIA VIRTUAL MIDI CABLE.

2. Would I be able to use VDL sounds and Kontakt library sounds at the same time?
YES, SINCE VDL WILL LOAD DIRECTLY INTO THE ENGINE, NO NEED FOR THE VDL PLAYER.

3. Can I save as an mp3 file or do I need another program for that?
I THINK YOU CAN, I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE SINCE I USE SONAR TO PRODUCE MY AUDIO TRACKS.

4. If I purchase Kontakt, would there be much of a reason to also purchase Sibelius' version of the Garitan Personal Orchestra?
ONLY IF YOU PREFER THE GPO SOUNDS, I DO BUT KONTAKT'S LIBRARY IS PERFECTY FINE.  ALSO, YOU CAN ONLY USE THE GPO/SIBELIUS SOUNDS WITH THE SIBELIUS GPO PLAYER, YOU CANNOT LOAD THEM INTO KONTAKT 2.

5. Any opinions on which library is better?
GPO IN MY OPINION, BUT I OWNED GPO PRIOR TO THE SIBELIUS ADDITION AND CAN USE THE SOUNDS WITH SIBELIUS VIA KONTAKT 2.

6. If my basic set-up is as follows, am I good to go for writing/arranging and for creating audio tracks: (?)

      a) sweet computer with lots of RAM and a killer processor speed
      b) Sibelius 4.0
      c) VDL2
      d) Kontakt 2

YOU LOOK PRETTY GOOD THERE, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ";CREATING AUDIO TRACKS"; PART WHICH I AM NOT SURE KONTAKT CAN DO.  THERE'S NO NEED TO GO OUT AND GET SONAR THOUGH, THERE ARE SOME PRETTY DECENT MP3 ENCODERS BOTH FOR MAC AND PC, WIRETAP FOR MAC AND #1 SOUNDRECORDER FOR PC.
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