OT Advice: GB, Logic Express, Logic Pro...

I'm thinking about getting a better sequencer/DAW (sorry if my usage is wrong), but I really don't know if I need one. And if I do need one, what would the benefits really be? My goal is to take full advantage of the VDL:2 software and other packages I have. I'm not much into the recording venue, but I am very interested in anything MIDI. I'm only using GB right now and pretty much have the thing down like the back of my hand.

So my question for the pros out there:
What software would you recommend?
Why?
If I need to clarify what I would be doing... ask a couple questions and I'll try to be more specific...

Thanks in advance!
What would you like to do that Garage Band does not offer?

How much $$$ do you have to spend?

From what I understand, GB is a huge resource hog... Are other programs less of a hog with more options?
-I get warning messages with 5-6 tracks

I would also like to work with things like tempo changes with more ease.
-I'm tired of exporting one section -> Import old Audio to new tempo
-also would like to work with accel and deaccel with more ease

Actively control Plugins
-once you chose your settings with GB, that's pretty much it. (It would be nice to change things like echo, distortion, reverb, etc. without having to create a new instrument)

What options in relation to MIDI would a better sequencer allow?


I would have to save up a little more for Something like Logic, but I have the money for Express.
But if it's a waste of money to go to Express because it doesn't do what I would like it to do, I don't want to get it.
Also, if I'm going to be spending $1,200 for something I won't fully utilize, I don't want to go that route either.

Thanks again... Peace...
I've used Logic Pro extensively, and it's a pretty extensive program MIDI wise.  I haven't used Logic Express, but I think there's a few people on here that use it.

Cubase might be a good option for you as well, and there are multiple versions to suit your needs.
To me, the deal-breaker about Garage Band is that any multi-timbral virtual instruments you host, aren't capable of using their multi-timbral capabilities. So if you load a full instance of Kontakt Player 2 with 16 instruments loaded into it, you have no way to access them in GB. One player, one instrument. This is quite limiting. For VI's that are only designed to play one instrument at a time, this is fine. Just keep in mind GB isn't designed for a huge array of in-depth features. It does what it does very well. If you need more than that you might want to look more closely at some of the ProTools LE systems (you get ProTools for free if you buy something like an M-Box for example), or Logic, or Digital Performer.

I haven't used Logic Express either so I'm not sure what its limitations are compared to pro. The good thing is that if you later decide you want to upgrade to pro, you can do it at a discount. Be ready for a learning curve with Logic though. There are some great tutorial books that can help you get acquainted with its deep array of features:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pro-Training-Logic-Express/dp/032125614X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8798984-2304141?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181110615&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pro-Training-Advanced-Logic/dp/0321256077/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-8798984-2304141?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181110615&sr=8-2

If you want to go the Pro Tools route and have basically no need for multi-tracking audio, check out the M-Box Mini-

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MBox2Mini/

for $295, you get the exact same Pro Tools LE software as the other LE hardware bundles, along with a bunch of included software (such as Ableton Live Lite and Reason Adapted 3) in the Ignition Pack.
[quote author=Jim Casella link=topic=1775.msg8654#msg8654 date=1181110674]
To me, the deal-breaker about Garage Band is that any multi-timbral virtual instruments you host, aren't capable of using their multi-timbral capabilities. So if you load a full instance of Kontakt Player 2 with 16 instruments loaded into it, you have no way to access them in GB. One player, one instrument. This is quite limiting. For VI's that are only designed to play one instrument at a time, this is fine. Just keep in mind GB isn't designed for a huge array of in-depth features. It does what it does very well. If you need more than that you might want to look more closely at some of the ProTools LE systems (you get ProTools for free if you buy something like an M-Box for example), or Logic, or Digital Performer.

I haven't used Logic Express either so I'm not sure what its limitations are compared to pro. The good thing is that if you later decide you want to upgrade to pro, you can do it at a discount. Be ready for a learning curve with Logic though. There are some great tutorial books that can help you get acquainted with its deep array of features:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pro-Training-Logic-Express/dp/032125614X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8798984-2304141?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181110615&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pro-Training-Advanced-Logic/dp/0321256077/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-8798984-2304141?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181110615&sr=8-2


[/quote]

I've just got my computer replaced and I'm considering this again...
Will Logic Express allow for what Jim is talking about up there?
And i'm assuming what he was talking about is plucking strings vs bowing and legato vs. staccato, etc... right?
Kinda like a keyswitch in VDL? for puffies and such?

Sorry if the questions seem trivial... but anything outside of Garage Band, VDL, and Sibelius is brand new terrritory. All the talk about Kontact and such often times confuses me on here.

Thanks in advance yet again... You guys always have great info for me! Peace...
You can compare Express vs. Pro here:

http://www.apple.com/ca/logicexpress/comparison.html

When it's listing number of tracks and input channels, this is not related to the number of MIDI tracks you will be using.  Express should be more than enough for you.
I've been reading several threads about Logic and I've been thinking more and more about adding it to my workflow.  All I'm looking for is better control over audio recordings, and from what I've read so far Logic Express should work for me.  I'm not sure that I need a heavy duty DAW with gigs upon gigs of samples for what I do, which is just writing for drumlines and bands.  (By the way, the comparison link above is no longer available.)

Are there any contrary opinions out there?  Is there something I'm missing about a great need for Logic Studio?  I know that $500 is a great deal for everything you get, but $150 is pretty good when I could get it now.  :D  I could probably swing Logic Express now, Studio would definitely have to wait.

Thanks for the input.
It shouldn't matter.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?s=alpha&fnode=home/shop_mac/software/apple&nplm=MA801LL/A&mco=81DAE6B0

That's the difference in price, correct?  If express doesn't meet your needs, you can just pay the difference later.  In the meantime, unless there's a specific need, I'm guessing that express will probably work.  I've never heard anyone here say ";go with pro"; for anything other than all the extra instruments, and such.  It's a compelling deal, but you're not losing anything by going for express first, it seems...
[quote author=drumcat link=topic=1775.msg10654#msg10654 date=1194584380]
It shouldn't matter.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?s=alpha&fnode=home/shop_mac/software/apple&nplm=MA801LL/A&mco=81DAE6B0

That's the difference in price, correct?�� If express doesn't meet your needs, you can just pay the difference later.�� In the meantime, unless there's a specific need, I'm guessing that express will probably work.�� I've never heard anyone here say ";go with pro"; for anything other than all the extra instruments, and such.�� It's a compelling deal, but you're not losing anything by going for express first, it seems...
[/quote]

I used to be in the same boat as Tuo. I started with sibelius, I was happy for awhile but then once I realized the limitations of the sound export, I went to garageband. I was happy for awhile, then once I realzed the tempo and plug in limitations, I upgraded to Logic express 7. I was pretty happy for a long time with it. It's great for VDL stuff and occational band stuff. But now that I want to do more with virtual instruments and plugins, i'm going to upgrade to Logic studio.

Drumcat really nailed it. If you're mainly doing VDL stuff, logic express kicks booty. It offers all the tools and basic effects that you need to make quality recordings. The only big difference between LE and logic pro is the additional instruments and plugins, but if you don't use those and want to save cash, LE is the way to go. Althogh if I were you, I would take a class or buy a few books because the interface takes a little getting used compared to GB.
Thanks guys.  I may pick up a book or two to for some upcoming holiday reading. 

I guess now all I have to do is decide which to get first, the Sibelius 5 upgrade or Logic Express.  Decisions decisions.  :)
FWIW, I don't think you'll want Sib5 once you go to Logic.  If you go to Logic for composition, there's really no reason to go to Sib5 given you have 4.1...  Sib5 is all about VSTi, and the frustrating way that they implement it.  If you work within Sibelius and don't have a clue about midi, it's great.  If you get the concepts (and it sounds like you do), it's very confining. 
Well I have to admit I've been so ingrained in Sibelius for so long I can't imagine using anything else for composition.  Not that I'm against the switch at all, just hard to image.

Plus, everyone else I write for just sends me a Sib file and usually wants a Sib file in return (with at least an mp3 of the audio).
Anyone know if Logic exports MusicXML?
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