Optimizing VDL2.5 / external sample workflow

Hey all,

An original indoor show I'm writing for the upcoming season has really made me revisit my workflow, particularly because it requires a high amount of sampled playback.

I have found that although I'm very efficient at writing pit parts in Sibelius/VDL2.5, when I add sampled playback or recorded material everything grinds to a halt.  For example, because I don't own any modern audio solutions other than Kontakt Player 2.0 I usually end up recording an mp3 of the mallet track with wiretap pro, then dragging that into garage band, and then playing around with what instruments/samples they have available to see if I can get an idea of what the finished product would be like.

This just takes way too long, and minor changes to the notated parts really make things unproductive by having to rip another mp3, insert back in, line it up again, etc. 

I was wondering of the Mac-specific audio solutions out there (Logic, Kontakt, etc.) what would be my best bet for trying to centralize everything?  If there's no cure-all solution what do some of you guys that rely on samples heavily do when composing?  All the back and forth and spending hours of wasted time a session is really starting to get to me.

Thanks!
[quote author=drumcat link=topic=2032.msg10308#msg10308 date=1192141973]
That's an awesome writeup.  I'm looking forward to Cubase provided their 4.1 is at least decent.  I expect that I'll see a lot of the same conditions.  It's really good to know that Logic is capable of all of that, especially knowing that IMO Sibelius and Finale have both drastically dropped the ball.  Again, IMO, all any sequencer has to do is add decent notation, whereas a notation program has to offer all sorts of digital audio.  Wishing the audio stuff wasn't that important is a serious flaw in their collective thinking.

Bravo on the jump.
[/quote]

I'd be on the lookout for more Sibelius integration with Pro Tools in the near future.  Avid bought Sibelius (Avid also owns Digidesign) earlier in the year, and Pro Tools has been slowly adding more and more export to Sibelius features in each 7x release.

It wouldn't surprise me that you would be able to run both programs in an integrated environment by next year or so.
[quote author=TylerDurden link=topic=2032.msg10337#msg10337 date=1192255830]
I'd be on the lookout for more Sibelius integration with Pro Tools in the near future.  Avid bought Sibelius (Avid also owns Digidesign) earlier in the year, and Pro Tools has been slowly adding more and more export to Sibelius features in each 7x release.
[/quote]


Man... every year I feel more and more like I got on the wrong horse a long time ago.  Ugh.

:-)


-Dedicated Finale user since 1998...
At least it's easy to get away from Finale...  Everything else is very easy to learn.
I must be the odd man out. Finale was a piece of cake for me to learn. I took a 1 week summer workshop for Finale, bought it about 6 months later and went right to work. Sibelius is a different animal. I just can't get my mind around the app. Same thing with Logic vs. Digital Performer. I worked with a sequencing program called Musicshop for about a year and a half, switched to DP and went right to work. A couple of years ago I took a Berklee online course that used Logic5 and it took me most of the course to really get comfortable with the layout.

Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me if Avid/ProTools didn't intergrate Sibelius and then drop support for it.


Ted Boliske
[quote author=ted_boliske link=topic=2032.msg10405#msg10405 date=1192829825]
Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me if Avid/ProTools didn't intergrate Sibelius and then drop support for it.
Ted Boliske
[/quote]

Bingo.  Suddenly it will be a part of a ProTools Suite.  I can't see them releasing Sibelius 7, or maybe not even 6.  At least not in its current form.  It's too powerful to not add to PT, and it's still strangely midi-weak to leave out the technology.  I thought by now they'd at least have a lane.

I always imagined that I'd see a DAW one day where the lane would change to a staff.  Or Sibelius would sort of ";flip"; a staff backwards to reveal the midi code, and again to show the audio.  Seriously...  you can't draw velocity.  Think about that...  It's fantastic for notation output; don't get me wrong.  It's also adequate for audio sketches.  It's just strange that there's no piano-roll, no controller lane...  nothing.

Anyhow, it's unimaginable to think that Avid bought it to leave it alone.  My guess is that Sibelius will continue on with notation stuff, and in parallel the notation technology will get integrated as it can into PT.

No, Ted.�� You are not the odd man out.�� I used�� Sibelius for a few years and loved it.�� Also had Finale.�� And for obvious reasons I use Finale and now....I can't understand Sibelius sometimes.�� LOL�� Oh well different Animals I guess.��
I've been a die hard Finale user for a long while now.  I bought Sibelius 2 when it came out, but could never make the switch.

I'm sure I'll buy Sibelius again if Digi integrates it even more, but I'm happy with the workflow I use now.

[quote]It's too powerful to not add to PT, and it's still strangely midi-weak to leave out the technology.  I thought by now they'd at least have a lane.[/quote]

Pro Tools prides itself on a super easy interface that is very simple.  There are two windows, the edit and mix window.  They have been very against adding any more layers to the initial program.  Plus, Digi is very good at getting people to buy a lot of their crap for a lot more than what it's really worth some of the time.

I could see them integrating a ";Pro Tools ready"; version of it that is more geared for film composing, where Digi is really starting to make a huge mark.

Notation is the only thing Pro Tools' MIDI sequencer is missing compared to other softwares.  Some of the features might be a bit more buried, but it is just as complex and functional as Cubase and others.
I equate Finale with users who really like windows. They wants a million menus, buttons, and features. Every job has a button and every button has (one) job.

Sibelius is more friendly to mac users. Simplicity, less buttons, less menus, BUT you'll be hunting around in the manual everytime you want to do something advanced.

In light of recent posts, I may just convert to Logic for notation :) I fell in love with Logic's audio goodness last year and if I can do all my notation there, it will save a lot of time exporting midi data to make audio files.

Also, I don't think anyone is going to buy out apple anytime soon.... :)

[quote author=perpetualpoet link=topic=2032.msg10412#msg10412 date=1193005661]
I equate Finale with users who really like windows. They wants a million menus, buttons, and features. Every job has a button and every button has (one) job. [/quote]

Be sure you don't lump everyone who uses Windows in as those who ";really like windows";.  I use Windows because of the overwhelming ubiquity of it, but it comes at a price of course.  If I could build a computer from scratch and put OSX on it, I would.  But I can't; it seems that Apple is too good to let people like those of us who won't buy their hardware use their OS.

The sad thing is that I spec'd my built PC at Apple.  I saved $2400 by building one myself, and it has superior cooling in that it's very quiet.  So I'm not paying $2400 for a fancy, louder case and OSX.

But if you sold it for $200, I'd probably make the jump.  Actually, I'm certain I'd make the jump.  But I can't rely on Apple hardware price premiums.  That's what is making me stay with Windows.  If you think about it, that's pretty freakin' lame.
FWIW I used to build all of my PCs before I switched to Apple, and at the time I got my first powerbook the dell and acer lappies that I built to the same specs ended up being $500-800 more.

What on earth kind of computer are you building that there's a $2400 price difference between them? :P  I'm sure you could build a system cheaper, but jeez.
[quote author=perpetualpoet link=topic=2032.msg10412#msg10412 date=1193005661]
I equate Finale with users who really like windows. They wants a million menus, buttons, and features. Every job has a button and every button has (one) job.
[/quote]

This is just not true. I began using Finale in 1994 on a Mac. I only use a Windows machine at work. It is also important to remember that when Coda (the company name before MakeMusic bought it) released Finale it was a Mac only app, just like the Adobe products. Finale was intended to be a graphics/page layout program with limited playback capabilities hence the 'Save As Midi' option. Sibelius was written from the ground up at a time when computer capabilities were expanding rapidly and playback was much easier on the system as a whole.

Didn't mean to send the discussion off topic.


Ted Boliske
Ted,

Right on the money, Man!
I didn't mean to cause offence with all the finale mac lovers out there :) I'm just saying the sibelius design layout is similar to how macs are doing things nowadays. Perhaps everyone is customizing their programs so this is not true, but if you look at things like MS word VS Pages, pages has only a few buttons visible and all the menus are hidden but in word by default, there are lots more tool bars and menus visible. (even the mac version)  Or in the OS itself, window puts a lot of the power right infront of you, to the point where if you don't know what you're doing, you could mess some things up if you ended up in the wrong folder, but in Mac OS X, they hide most of that stuff from you, and even if you do move or delete something important, it still usually works! (as long as you don't empty your trash that is) 

So anyhow, I was just stating design similarities. :) I have a PC, a mac, windows, and finale. And i'm not 100% satisfied :)
Going back on topic, I was wondering what is everyone's perfered method for rhythmic input into Logic. In sibelius i'm currently pressing the key I want on my MIDI controler and holding down the corresponding number on my keypad. Then I usually export MIDI from sibelius into logic and mess with it there.

Is there a similar way to do this in Logic? If the workflow is smoother by putting in the sounds, then getting the notation as a result, are there more options than playing in stuff in real time and/or clicking a whole lot in the scroll view? Neither one of those sounds very appealing in comparison to sibelius' current method.

Perhaps for an example, what is the fastest way to put in a bar with two 8ths, a triplet, 4 16ths, and a quintuplet?
No problems Charlie and no offense taken. It's just that I see this argument that Finale is so Windows like while Sibelius is much more Mac like that people need to know the history. Just like drum corps and drumming and life, know your history.

Anyway, in Finale I keep most of the menus closed except when working in them.Even Simple and Speedy Entry stay closed because I use the key commands or number pad to select note values and such. While I'm not a Logic user, I should say that I basically work in Finale first then save as a midi file and open up in Digital Performer to make audio files. I have much better control over the audio elements such as panning and can refine dynamics, eq, etc. this way.


Ted Boliske
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