Balancing winds and percussion/individual tracks

Good morning!

No matter how much I tweak, play with, adjust my VDL2
and Sibelius, the outcome when combining wind and
VDL2 percussion scores is less than satisfacotry,
particularly when trying to balance winds and
percussion.  Obviously, there is great limitation in
adjusting individual voices/channels as well.
Can you folks recommend a user-friendly, lower
end and priced mixing/sequencing program that
would allow me to take the individual tracks and edit them
so that the end result is more musical and as a result,
satisfactory?  And please forgive me if I have misused
some of the terms like track, mixing, et al.  I look
forward to your replies!

Take care!
Neal

Neal Flum
Associate Director of Athletic Bands
The University of Alabama
A good friend of mine works as a sales rep for Digi and they are going to be doing alot of cool stuff in the future.


thanks so much for all the info, this is really helping me out
No problem Jim.

I'm also excited to see what Digi has up their sleeves for Sibelius.  They might drag me away from Finale again...
[quote author=tylerdurden link=topic=1370.msg6118#msg6118 date=1159847087]
Jim, FXpansion offers a VST to RTAS wrapper.  It works great, and the only very rare issues I've seen with it have come from a few of the free ";home made"; VST's floating around on the net.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VSTRTASWrap/

There isn't an AU to RTAS one that I could find.  Which plugins do you have that arn't RTAS compatable?  Most of the AU ones that I've used also include VST, so that would be a workaround for that as well.

[/quote]

Cool - I've heard about the FXpansion wrapper and it's good to know it's reliable. I remember looking into it before I dove into the world of Logic, but didn't get too far with it. I actually spoke too soon...for some reason I had it in my head that the Spectrasonics instruments weren't RTAS compatible, but they are. Now that i'm thinking back on it, one other reason I switched away from Digi a few years back was that it took them a while to adopt OSX. Not an issue now of course. I'm also curious to see how they incorporate Sibelius functionality.

Thanks for all the helpful info!
[quote author=Jim Casella link=topic=1370.msg6115#msg6115 date=1159819508]
One reason I gravitated toward Logic is that it uses Audio Units as its plugin format where ProTools LE required RTAS. It seems like a few of the plugs that I use regularly don't come in RTAS format. Tylerdurden, is there is a way to wrap VST or AU plugs within the ProTools environment? That was one of my understandings from earlier versions of Digital Performer when they leaned toward the more proprietary MAS (motu audio system?) format which isn't as universal. I believe DP has since fully adopted AU, though with many things, there are probably some details I'm not aware of.
[/quote]

Jim, FXpansion offers a VST to RTAS wrapper.  It works great, and the only very rare issues I've seen with it have come from a few of the free ";home made"; VST's floating around on the net.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VSTRTASWrap/

There isn't an AU to RTAS one that I could find.  Which plugins do you have that arn't RTAS compatable?  Most of the AU ones that I've used also include VST, so that would be a workaround for that as well.

[quote author=FSmith link=topic=1370.msg6116#msg6116 date=1159841599]
I mainly do midi mock-ups for film. Do alot of marching, indoor, and drum corps mock-ups as well. I don't do much audio recording. I don't have much use for it right now. mostly just use pen & paper.

I've just recently thought about looking into pro tools because of its strength in the industry. My school is pretty much split with logic and dp. All the sound design guys use logic, film guys use dp, and the engineers use pro tools.

However, Hans Zimmer prefers cubase, so I'm just trying to feel around.
[/quote]

It basically comes down to what you're comfortable using.  The DAW companies these days basically have the same features, its just about what your workflow is and how much you want to spend.

I do some odd and end post production work, and I found that Pro Tools was the easiest to use for that.  The way they handle audio regions and organization makes the work quick and easy. 

Be warned that Pro Tools M-Powered is not compatable with the DV Toolkit expansion pack, which is geared towards Post Production work.  Pro Tools LE is the only version that will accept it.  So if you need the Feet.Frames and Timecode rulers, I'd go with Pro Tools LE.  If you are just using Quicktime videos, both will work fine then.

A plus for the MBox 2 is that you get the interface, software, and the Ignition Pack for a fairly cheap price.  Since you're a student, the academic version of the MBox2 kit is only $350.  This also includes the Ignition Pack, which gives you-

-Ableton Live Lite 4 Digidesign Edition
-Propellerhead Software Reason Adapted 3
-FXpansion BFD Lite
-IK Multimedia SampleTank 2 SE
-IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE
-IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ
-Celemony Melodyne uno essential
-Bunker 8 REX File CD
-Pro Tools Method One Instructional DVD
-One-Year Membership to Broadjam.com
-Free Three-Month Trial Subscription to an Industry Magazine


I mainly do midi mock-ups for film.  Do alot of marching, indoor, and drum corps mock-ups as well.  I don't do much audio recording.  I  don't have much use for it right now.  mostly just use pen & paper.

I've just recently thought about looking into pro tools because of its strength in the industry.  My school is pretty much split with logic and dp. All the sound design guys use logic, film guys use dp, and the engineers use pro tools.

However, Hans Zimmer prefers cubase, so I'm just trying to feel around.
One reason I gravitated toward Logic is that it uses Audio Units as its plugin format where ProTools LE required RTAS. It seems like a few of the plugs that I use regularly don't come in RTAS format. Tylerdurden, is there is a way to wrap VST or AU plugs within the ProTools environment? That was one of my understandings from earlier versions of Digital Performer when they leaned toward the more proprietary MAS (motu audio system?) format which isn't as universal. I believe DP has since fully adopted AU, though with many things, there are probably some details I'm not aware of.
Yes, Pro Tools expanded a ton on its MIDI functions with version 7.  Pro Tools has about the same MIDI functions as Logic, except that they bury them a little more than Logic does.  I used to do all of my sequencing in Logic, then transfer everything to Pro Tools.  Now with 7, I've almost dumped Logic altogether.

FSmith-What are your needs for it?  Are you just sequencing, or are you going to be recording as well?  Are you using a MIDI controller, or USB?

Also, don't rule out Pro Tools M-Powered.  It gives you a wide variety of interfaces (M-Audio) to choose from, and if you're a student you can get a huge price reduction off of the M-Powered software.  The software is basically the same as LE.

Pro Tools can get confusing with tempos, since there are a few different modes.  What kind of problems were you hearing about it?  A lot of people don't know about the Tempo Ruler, or how to put Pro Tools into Manual Tempo mode.
I haven't done as much midi sequencing with Pro Tools as I've done with Logic, but I've always found the Pro Tools interface to be very clean, simple, and easy to get around in. Editing audio in Pro Tools is wonderful. I've heard they've added many enhancements to midi functionality as well, but I can't speak from experience on that. I've been up to my earlobes in Logic, which rocks, but has a nifty learning curve to start feeling at home with.

One way to get your feet wet with Pro Tools is to purchase something like an M-Box which has decent preamps, and comes free with ProTools LE. You need the hardware connected to run the program anyway, so considering you're getting a high quality DAW and a nice audio interface, it's a good deal.
I've never used pro tools, but all the kids I know that use it love, except that is harder to control tempo with a sequence, like it dp's conductor track window.

what do you think, tylerdurden?
[quote author=FSmith link=topic=1370.msg6082#msg6082 date=1159519411]
Jim, I agree with the sax stuff,�� have you looked into Candy.�� Key introduced my to the samples and I love them.�� Its has great samples to use for wind parts.��

GB is great, but I have found that�� if I want the most control when editing midi data, use a pro. sequencing platform.�� I use DP and logic.�� Although DP 5.1 (in my opinoin is much better).�� ��Its definetely worth the investment to learn because it will give you the most out of any midi sequence or audio recording you would need.

side note; motu is great, but I'm looking into changing to digidesign.�� I might be introducing a new thread, but doe anyone have any thoughts on this?


[/quote]

Pro Tools works great, I do almost all of my sequencing with it.  7x added and expanded on a lot of MIDI functions, and Pro Tools is starting to become more of a power MIDI wise.

Feel free to PM me if you have any Digi questions.
Gotcha!  Thanks Gabe...

DR
[quote author=Dave Ratliff link=topic=1370.msg6088#msg6088 date=1159547092]
[quote author=FSmith link=topic=1370.msg6082#msg6082 date=1159519411]
Jim, I agree with the sax stuff,  have you looked into [b]Candy[/b].  Key introduced my to the samples and I love them.  Its has great samples to use for wind parts. 
[/quote]

What is this [b][i]Candy[/b][/i] you speak of?

[/quote]
Yellow Tools Candy is a Saxophone sample library that can be used standalone or via plug-in.  I know they have it at Sweetwater for around $350.  High quality sax sounds.

Gabe
[quote author=FSmith link=topic=1370.msg6082#msg6082 date=1159519411]
Jim, I agree with the sax stuff,�� have you looked into [b]Candy[/b].�� Key introduced my to the samples and I love them.�� Its has great samples to use for wind parts.��
[/quote]

What is this [b][i]Candy[/b][/i] you speak of?
Pro-Tools definitely has a hold on the high-end studios, but for the home studio I would say all of the available programs can get the job done.  I am often switching back and forth from PC to Mac so I see a digidesign mbox in my future.
Jim, I agree with the sax stuff,  have you looked into Candy.  Key introduced my to the samples and I love them.  Its has great samples to use for wind parts. 

GB is great, but I have found that  if I want the most control when editing midi data, use a pro. sequencing platform.  I use DP and logic.  Although DP 5.1 (in my opinoin is much better).  Its definetely worth the investment to learn because it will give you the most out of any midi sequence or audio recording you would need.

side note; motu is great, but I'm looking into changing to digidesign.  I might be introducing a new thread, but doe anyone have any thoughts on this?

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