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Topic: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

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  1. #1

    Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Right now I write alot of music for Jazz Bands, Symphonic Bands, etc. all sheet music on Finale that is then perform by the ensemble, but my aspirations are for music for film, radio, etc. I want to get a sample library and set up a little MIDI studio as I don't have an orchestra at my disposal (wouldn't that be nice!!). Where do I begin with that? I took a couple electronic music courses in college where we used Pro Tools and had synthesizers set up? But sadly I don't remember enough of it, and I didn't do the set up of it, just the programming.

    And so what do I need? I really like the sounds of Sonic Implants, East West, and Vienna Symphonic Library (probably in that order) and then I am assuming I need something to communicate with them, THOUGH some of them say that they contain a virtual instrument...can I use pro tools with any/all of them? I have read that Sonic Implants uses Giga Studio, does that mean ONLY Giga Studio? Can I use Pro Tools with Sonic Implants?

    With both of these I need a MIDI keyboard, which right now I have hooked up to a USB port to be used with Finale? Will that work with the sample libraries too?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Hi, the only experience I have with the particular brands you mention are a single inexpensive download from Sonic Implants, and the included VSL stuff that came with Kontakt 2, but you can certainly trigger the sounds on a midi keyboard.

    Pro Tools users could tell you more about compatibility issues, and there are also file format conversion tools available. You just need to check out individual sample collections and see what they require in terms of host apps. Good luck.

  3. #3

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbmusic
    Right now I write alot of music for Jazz Bands, Symphonic Bands, etc. all sheet music on Finale that is then perform by the ensemble, but my aspirations are for music for film, radio, etc. I want to get a sample library and set up a little MIDI studio as I don't have an orchestra at my disposal (wouldn't that be nice!!). Where do I begin with that? I took a couple electronic music courses in college where we used Pro Tools and had synthesizers set up? But sadly I don't remember enough of it, and I didn't do the set up of it, just the programming.

    And so what do I need? I really like the sounds of Sonic Implants, East West, and Vienna Symphonic Library (probably in that order) and then I am assuming I need something to communicate with them, THOUGH some of them say that they contain a virtual instrument...can I use pro tools with any/all of them? I have read that Sonic Implants uses Giga Studio, does that mean ONLY Giga Studio? Can I use Pro Tools with Sonic Implants?

    With both of these I need a MIDI keyboard, which right now I have hooked up to a USB port to be used with Finale? Will that work with the sample libraries too?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice!!
    Mac or PC?
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  4. #4

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    I have a PC 3GHz Pentium processor, 1 GB of RAM

  5. #5

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    There are three main ways to play the samples that you mentioned: GigaStudio, Kontakt, and built-in players.

    For SI, go with Giga. They've implemented some Giga-specific tricks.

    For VSL Opus 1/2, you can go with Giga or Kontakt.

    The upcoming VSL libs come only within proprietary built-in players.

    For EWQL, you get a built-in player that is compatible with Kontakt.

    The built-in players are fine, if you are tweak averse. But they can also lock you in, if there's a problem. Those libs typically come with copy protection, so you can't edit the raw samples. Giga and Kontakt both give you more opportunity to mix and match libs, and customize your setup and sounds.

    I hope this helps.

    -JF

  6. #6

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Thanks that does help, but also gives me more questions:

    If I get EWQL and then later get VSL or another other sample is there a program where I can use them together? Can Kontakt use samples from both libraries I assume? When you say I can't "edit" the libs that means..??? I can't change the filters and the settings to alter the sound?

    And you mention copyright? Say hypothetically if I were to compose a jingle for toothpaste and I used one of the sample libraries do I need to credit them for the commercial? How does the copyright work with all of that?

    Once again thanks to everyone for helping me figure this out!!!

  7. #7

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbmusic
    If I get EWQL and then later get VSL or another other sample is there a program where I can use them together? Can Kontakt use samples from both libraries I assume?
    Yes, you can load both in Kontakt.
    When you say I can't "edit" the libs that means..??? I can't change the filters and the settings to alter the sound?
    Opus is open, so you can edit the raw samples, if you need to. EWQL has copy protection, so you can't open the waveforms. I don't own K2 or EWQL, so I don't know exactly which programming features that you can tweak and which you can't.

    And you mention copyright?
    Nope. I mentioned copy protection that doesn't let you edit the wave files. However... there are (nominally) no limits on what you can do with your composed works. If you compose it and perform it with one of these libs, you retain full rights. You can't, say, re-sample the lib, EQ it and sell it as your own library, of course.

    It's good to read the license agreements though. Each lib can differ. VOTA (Voices of the Apocalypse) had/has a limitation that you couldn't/can't use it in movie trailers in the US. Such limitations are rare though...

    -JF

  8. #8

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Next question(s):

    Do I have to play all of the music into Giga or Kontakt? Is there a way to link up Finale to either of the Sample Libraries? I have read that people program in the music instead of playing each line, how does that work?

    Sorry for my ignorance with all of this, but I am excited about the potential of setting all of this up and want to get it figured out!!!

  9. #9

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Nope, you don't have to play all of the music yourself. You can, indeed, program it.

    I'm a pianist. A pretty damn good one, but for some reason I just don't enjoy playing the lines in as much as I do sequencing it by hand (err.. by mouse).

    I have no clue about notation programs at all, so I'll leave that up to somebody more knowledgeable.

    But you could use the MIDI capabilities of ProTools (you did mention you have PT, right?) and sequence in the lines without having to play them. I don't use PT but I imagine it must have a piano roll or something similar. Basically, as the name implies, it looks like the paper that goes through a player piano. A piano roll. It's a grid with all the notes on the Y axis and then measures and beats on the X axis. And you can use Kontakt (or whatever sampler you're going to use) as a VSTi/DXi/RTAS/etc inside of your chosen host, and enter the notes into the roll by hand.

    Furthermore, many of these sample libraries require some fine-tuned use of keyswitches and MIDI controllers that are somewhat impossible to coordinate all at once in real-time. Especially if what you're composing requires, say, a keyboard with aftertouch or an expression pedal, and you don't have one of those available to you. So often data like that will be manually programmed later on, after the initial performance has been recorded via MIDI.

    Thus, it is possible to both play in your music, as well as manually tweak it and program other data later on in a sequencer.

    I find I like to doodle with musical ideas in real-time, but when it comes down to the actual recorded performance... I prefer having more precise control over how it plays out.

    Plus I just feel cooler when the whole thing's done, and I've built every scrap of data by hand. Like whittling or something. I took a plain block of empty piano roll nothingness, and carved me out a symphony. Sorta poetic.

    I guess some people find it super tedious or musically soulless to do it this way, as I've discovered more and more sample-based orchestral composers who play in every line via MIDI. It's really not my thing, though.

    Go ahead and ask anything else you like. Hell, I've probably managed to just confuse you further. Mentioning keyswitches and expression pedals and the like. But I've found the NS boards to be filled with all manner of folks of differing expertise, who will lend a hand whenever able.

    -Tom

  10. #10

    Re: Rookie and I'm trying to figure this all out

    Dear Sherbmusic,

    It is possible to link up Finale or Sibelius or some other notation package. There are a few possible approaches:

    1) Work in Finale, and use a MIDI Yoke (e.g. Maple) to route MIDI internally to your sampler. You may even find this is not necessary since I'm fairly sure that Giga at least exposes its MIDI ports internally. It should just be a case of setting up each instrument in Finale to point to the correct MIDI channel that has the correct instrument loaded on it.

    2) Work in Finale using the built-in sounds (probably not that nice...), then export the piece to MIDI, and tweak it in your sequencer.

    One caveat: Finale, Sibelius and any other notation program is just that - a notation program. In most cases you can get them to give you a realistic approximation of the most, but if you are looking for hyper-realistic renditions, you will almost certainly need to work in a sequencer in the end, since a lot of tweaking is involved, at a level that goes beyond what is usually available in notation programs. You may well find yourself programming keyswitches (which are effectively MIDI note on signals) into your score to change articulations (which makes your score not look as pretty). If you are looking for very realistic scores, I would suggest a combination of approaches 1 and 2, where you work in Finale to get the notation, dynamics etc. input, then export MIDI to your sequencer, where you can do fine tuning and work out your articulations for individual notes. Depending on the MIDI rendition and performance features of Finale (I use Sib), you may want to replay a few of the more important/exposed lines. This approach would basically mean that you would need to use both routes 1 & 2.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind Regards,

    Nick.

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