Just updated the CD list, don’t ask me what – I can’t remember the thirty or so I’d picked up since my last update, just did a cut and paste from the text file I keep the names in.
I should also add Edgar Froese’s – Aqua, Synergy’s – Electronic Realisations for Rock Orchestra and Tangerine Dream’s – Stratosfear to the LP list but I just couldn’t be bothered at the moment as I’m kernackered after finishing the item below – Adagio in G Minor, not as complex as I thought it was going to be and fun to do except when you get to the final mix *shudder*
Auctions used to be somewhere where you could go for a bit of a bargain, but not anymore – they’ve become places where people try to get retail or inflated prices depending on whether or not the item is new or “vintage”.
I regularly wander auction company listings looking for keyboards/synths but usually never see any so it’s back to eBay to troll the never ending shite and bullshit prices. Let’s look at say a Korg Kronos 88 – retail is around the $5,500 mark +/- a bit and what is eBay full of? Yep new Korg Kronos 88’s for that price. I’m confused, where is the bargain that an auction is supposed to bring, sure as hell not anywhere near advertisers of Korg Kronos’.
That’s the new stuff what about ‘vintage’ and I use the term loosely. Let’s look at ermm a Korg M1 there is one retailer/spammer on eBay who seems to think they’re worth a small fortune (or their ego is as inflated as their prices on all their stuff which is fucked up) as in $500 to $600+. My personal opinion on the M1 is one of “BLEH” if you want something like that get a T2EX, but I digress. Other sellers look on eBay to see how much they’re selling for, see this idiots pricing structure and follow suit – my response to that is “BAHAHAHA you cretins!” As far as I’m concerned a mint and I mean MINT M1 is worth no more than $350 as they aren’t a rare piece of kit, and if you don’t like my offer then piss off I’m not that fussed.
There was one there the other week that had a dead keybed, broken keys and a fading screen and they wanted $300 as a starter – give me a break sheesh.
It seems to me that if you put the words keyboard and synthesizer together people assume they’re on a winner – you know the type, find a cheezy Casio at a garage sale for ten bux, take it home, grab a few snaps and stick it on eBay for ten or twenty times the price when in reality the damn thing is a door stop, nothing more nothing less.
Ehh I’m bored now, rant over 😉
Upper management decided that due to the fact I’m a dinosaur I have to look at a DAW as I tend to do a fair bit of composing/engineering here at home on the analogue synth’s then send the stuff off to the studio for final processing. That said, it was suggested I look at a DAW, that way I can (or should I say “THEY CAN”) find it easier to manipulate so the end product is easier to sort.
If you know me you’ll already know my opinion on suits so I won’t bother going in to that again, I’ll just be doing a comparison between the three DAW’s that are in the title. Now personally, I hate them (DAW’s that is). No let me rephrase that I tolerate them, as I find it easier to find the sound I want by turning a knob or pushing a slider than waving a computer mouse around. But to get them to shut the (insert expletive) up I’ll be comparing three. Propellerheads Reason 7.1, Acoustica’s MixCraft Pro 7 and Cocko’s Reaper Version something that escapes me and publishing my thoughts here just to prove to those who pay me I have actually looked at them 😉 it’s not going to be a real super in-depth review, just my personal view so take it or leave it.
So me being me – captain negative bastard, I’m going to start with the con’s as I found them, the computer I’m using them on is a Windows 7 64bit system with a dual core cpu and eight gig of ram. Apart from that I’m computer knowledgeable but far from a geek – so on to it.
Reason: No support for VST’s which is madness in this day and age as Arturia do some brilliant stuff and I actually enjoy tinkering with Korg’s Legacy, but neither will work in Reason so that to me is a big no major failing.
MixCraft: Regularly crashes due to the fact that a lot of VST’s are 32bit and from my understanding they themselves acknowledge the issue. Sadly a lot of the better VST’s are 32bit and they aren’t being ported to 64bit so if this issue will ever be sorted who knows. I’ve actually had it lock up my machine to the point where CTRL/ALT/DEL don’t even work so a forced restart is needed.
Reaper: I found I had to troll through too many drop downs to get to what I wanted, whether that was a VST a filter or an FX.
Now as for the good bits, I’ll start with midi. All three found what I have plugged in at the moment, the Moog Little Phatty, Roland RS and Korg MS2000 which run through an E-MU 2X2 well the Moog has a USB also so – they also found the Arturia Beatstep and Keylab 61 but that would be expected considering the latter two bits of hardware are essentially made for DAW’s.
As for audio in, I run everything that isn’t midi capable e.g. the modular, guitars, voices etc through a Behringer mixer, I also run the three listed synths through it too as I find there are sounds there that just aren’t available and I just couldn’t be bothered hunting for a similar sound in the DAW’s (yes there’s the dinosaur again).
Reason finds audio in (I use ASIO) without a single hiccup, both Reaper and Mixcraft took a bit of dickin’ about. I actually gave up with Reaper, it used to work but for some reason it now refuses to. Mixcraft however was happy enough to find the audio but the volume was so low and the help files were too vague so I gave up on that too.
Exporting audio, now personally I like Mixcraft for that as you get a number of choices be it FLAC or WAV or MP3, why anyone would export a serious file as an MP3 escapes me but ehh it’s there.
Midi: All three seem to take midi files without argument, in Mixcraft you even have the choice of seeing it in the midi edit feature as a score (I compose some really complex stuff at times – scary) which is a real treat, BUT that’s as far as it gets, either I missed something or Mixcraft can’t handle automation, tempo etc. a good example would be Rossini’s ‘Dawn’ from the William Tell overture. The time sig is 3/4 and the tempo is from memory 54 or there abouts. Loading my comparison midi in to Mixcraft saw it tag the time sig as 4/4 and 120bpm ermm not quite right is that, Reason and Reaper handled it fine. As far as editing a midi file I must honestly say you can’t go passed Reason, both Mixcraft and Reaper were too frustrating – as they say less is more and Reason has that.
Addons: Reaper and Mixcraft make use of VST’s along with inbuilt stuff so essentially your bank of instruments is all but endless oh and Mixcraft also has Izotope Mastering Essentials which I happen to like. Reason on the other hand does come with a fair bit but to get the most out of it you have to obtain refills and and rack extensions which can become expensive.
End Bit: Which one is the better? None really (the dinosaur’s back) but I suppose I have to pick one. Reason has its stability, Mixcraft looks and feels better and the ability to utilise the squillions of VST’s out there, Reaper is cheap hmmmm a toughy.
I think I’ll have to lean toward Reason only because of its stability, if Mixcraft was more stable or the 32bit/64bit issue wasn’t then I’d be leaning toward that instead. If I had to give them a rating out of 10, Reason would get an 8, Mixcraft a 7.90 and Reaper a 6.5.
I was sitting here trolling through some classical pieces – mostly Rossini for something to start the new album with and then it hit me, William Tell Overture part 1 Prelude Dawn, talk about gob-smacked. I’ve heard it a million times before and just took it as a nice peaceful piece of music but as I’m listening to it, the next door neighbour who has only lived there a few days came home from work and was greeted by his daughter (probably around 3yrs old I’ve no idea) with a hearty ‘Daddy Daddy I love you.’
Now you’re probably sitting there thinking so what, well I’ll tell why what (huh?) he is profoundly deaf and for me to hear his daughter over the top of ‘Prelude Dawn’ gave to me a new vision of that 2 minutes 45 seconds (give or take) of music. Instead of a peaceful morning dream sequence, the way I’ve always seen/heard it, it became a subtle audio visual feast and for that one simple fact, that being I can hear I can honestly say ‘Thank God’ – if I couldn’t hear music I think I’d go spare.
Anyway the youtube video attached to this is Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Prelude Dawn is obviously the beginning to approx 2:45/50, enjoy.
Go figure, even though it was the Roland that hit the deck yesterday, I just finished plugging in all the midi cables etc and had a spare pair so I thought I’d try the T2ex Korg again as it’s been a real pain and I’ve never successfully managed to get the midi working correctly with that – anyway long story short, plug the cables in to the Korg and WALLOP working midi WOOHOO 🙂
Replaced the EL (backlight) in the Korg last month with a nice new blue one and decided to continue recording some stuff for the album and what do I see when I fire the Korg up? Yes you guessed it, a naff display.
It worked perfectly when I originally fitted it, damn I even took a damn sight more care than I normally do when I’m fixin’ stuff as the Korg T2EX even though old, is my all time fave piece of kit for a few reasons, one is obviously the sounds and two my youngest picked it up for me – ehh call me sentimental, or just mental 😉
Anyhoo, email sent to the mob I bought the EL off to see what they can do if they’ll do anything. Keep an eye open here coz either way I’ll be commenting, beit good or bad on ’em.
This is the backlight as it is now, pic one shows it as it is, pic two highlights the problem – oh and no I’m not taking better pictures, I couldn’t be stuffed moving the Moog from the keyboard stand that’s above the Korg.
Originally created to remind one and all of the 11th day of the 11th Month 2012, the poem was written in a matter of moments and is from the heart – I put no real thought in to it whatsoever.
Fast forward to April 2013 and I find myself revisiting ‘Lay Your Weary Head (Old Soldier)’ not to glam it up but to add, modify, enhance what was simply a poem to those that fought on all fronts in all wars.
For the poem and a transcript of the narrative, click here to Continue reading
I am still yet to receive my Roland Synth from the couriers so I called them. Below is a rough but fairly accurate text of the conversation I just had.
Me: Can you tell me where my parcel is please?
Them: Have you a consignment number?
Me: Yes (gives it to her).
Them: Umm One moment.
Them: Can you give me the size and a description of what it is?
Me: 139cm x 24cm x 10cm and 11 kilos.
Them: Does it have any distinguishing features?
Me: Well it’s a brushed aluminium vintage synthesizer, oh 88 key.
Them: Anything else?
Me: It’s got a birth mark just below middle C
At this point she hastily said she’d look for it and ring me back then hung up. I’m sorta wonderin’ if she’s also psychic as well as thick as she didn’t ask for my number.
Update 15th November: Still haven’t got it because Allied Express have lost it again – it’s either in Melbourne or Sydney they’re not sure, plus they have now told me not to contact them again but to go through my booking agent. Incompetence thy name is Allied Express.
Update 16th November: It’s official, Allied Express have lost my Roland RS-9 and I now have to go through proving to QBE that I deserve to be given my insurance claim.
In a word “Gutted.” ;-(
Or in more than one word FUCK ALLIED EXPRESS AND THE FUCKIN’ HORSE THEY RODE IN ON!!