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Topic: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

  1. #1

    Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background


    I am an amateur classical music composer who is interested in (starting to) compose electronic music. In addition to standard ‘modern’ composers (Ligeti, Penderecki, Rakowski, Reich) I like Radiohead, Bjork, Du Yun, etc.
    Interested in combining electronic music with traditional ‘classical’ instruments.
    I currently use Finale 2011 with Garritan instruments. Playback is good though my main reason for using Finale is to create quality, easy-to-read notated music for performance by humans.
    I’ve read a bit online about various DAWs and other music software. Find it slightly confusing but becoming clearer. I’m a PC guy and am looking mainly at Cubase 6 and (maybe) Reason. I also really liked the sounds in OmniSphere but that’s probably a bit too much for now while I get started.
    Any thoughts on how a noob should progress? Is there any overlap between Cubase and Finale? I wouldn’t use Cubase for notation or traditional instruments – more for synth type sounds, drums, loops, and things like that. Also, what is the difference between OmniSphere type ‘synth’ apps and Cubase? It seems like they are the same but, from what I’ve read, people seem to treat them as different apps. i.e. Seems like you can record cool sounds, loops, etc with both. How are they different? Lastly, I usually enter music by hand – no midi keyboard – but was told I’d need one for OmniSphere – though not Cubase.
    Sorry about all of the questions and being a bit all over the place. I’m planning to purchase Cubase within a week – figured that’s the best way to really get going with this.
    Sincerely appreciate any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

    Finale can use VST plugin instruments which would include most synth type sounds. If your main goal is for music notation, then Finale is all you need. Now if you want to have more control over the mix of the sounds for a final product, then you would need a sequencer program such as Cubase or Cakewalk Sonar.

    Cubase is for playing back recorded MIDI and audio tracks. It can trigger VST instruments such as Omnisphere. Finale should also be able to trigger Omnisphere.


  3. #3

    Re: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

    Cubase has many editing facilities and is very versatile. It also has score writing but rather limited in this.
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX

  4. #4

    Re: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

    Omnisphere and Cubase are not the same at all.

    You're correct about Omnisphere; it is a basically synthesizer (a very complex and versatile one). Cubase, however, is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) which you would use to record and manipulate MIDI data and audio.

    Think of it this way; Omnisphere is the sound source, Cubase the recording environment. That's a vast oversimplification, mind you, but should make the difference clear.
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  5. #5

    Re: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

    Take a look at Reason 6 for an all in one package, including recording: there is a world of electronic refills to suit your taste: the Sonic Flavours folks have many good ones and then there is the Miroslav Orchestral Gold to mix orchestral with the synth and ambient sort of sounds.

  6. #6

    Re: Noob to Electronic Music -- from a classical background

    Think of it this way...

    A Notation program is for music that you see. A Sequencing program / DAW is for music that you hear. While both types of program serve both functions, they specialize in the function I just described. Finale is for notation, Cubase is for sequencing / recording. Many who need pro looking scores / indiviual parts and professional sounding recordings use both types of programs.

    Omnisphere and Reason are instruments that reside in your computer. They'll work hand in hard with a DAW. Both offer a lot of versatility, both can do acoustic instrument sounds but specialize in more electronic type sounds.

    Good luck- 'hope that helps!
    Greg McGuirk - music director
    Bennett Innovations
    an employee owned company

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