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Thread: How to restart? been gone awhile

  1. #1
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    How to restart? been gone awhile

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    Been out of recording for a long long time. First signed up here almost 20 years ago and nearly 10 years since I last logged in. What I miss?

    Back then I had (still have) a Digi 001 and most of the old studio is still intact though collecting dust. Digi still works but only plan on exporting some of the last projects I worked on. Looking to get back in with an emphasis on working with and learning the ins and outs of midi. What are the midi essentials, specifically software?

    My current desktop can handle video editing but the M-Audio Delta Audiophile sound card isn't compatible with Protools and probably a lot of other things. Thinking of a new basic USB interface and Motu micro lite for midi I/O as a start as I want more than one midi input and output. Protools First? Alternative to consider? Interface picks?

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    I am no MIDI guy myself, but it seems less available on interfaces lately. I could be wrong, but most MIDI is done via USB these days.

    I suppose it depends on the output device capability of your gear.

    Sorry I am not the one to answer the question with any real value.

    I do give you props for getting back to recording! Welcome back to the forum Folk!

    Oh, and you only missed a bunch of drama and the change from analog to digital as the common used media. And popular music basically turned into completely over-produced crap... lol
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    Thanks,

    The Motu will take care of the midi I/O. From what I'm reading just about anything in the low price interfaces is going to be miles better than my old 8track analog reel to reel. Yes, still have one in the studio.

    I'm very much an old timer. I started in the late 70's when the first home recording revolution took place with Fostex and Tascam. My first studio had a Tascam 3440a then upgraded to an Otari 5050mkII 8 track. I worked for several years in a corporate studio as the Ops engineer. Started by converting a big analog studio from a Neotek Elite and 24 track Otari with Dolby SR to full on mix to pics with Protools and Avid. Tech'd mobile classical recordings for a bit including early surround sound sessions.

    My studio was set up to support my live sound company (we tracked live as a service) . Needed to make more money to put the kids through college so took a day job in corporate AV. Kids are all on their own now and I'm back to working for myself. Just looking to dip my toes back in for now. Midi is part of a hardware idea I am thinking about working out and need to be able to capture midi output. Midi was always one of those things I said I'd figure out one day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Folkcafe View Post
    want more than one midi input and output
    I do a lot of stuff using MIDI, and I only use one MIDI input and one output. That's because all the sound generation is done using virtual instruments in the computer, rather than via hardware synths. I have one external sound module that I use occasionally.

    Most contemporary DAWs will handle MIDI ok. I use Reaper which is fast,flexible and has low system demands.

    Earlier midi keyboards used DIN connectors for midi. More recent ones (like the one I have), had DIN and USB. The newest just have USB. I have a preference for keyboards that have both, because I like the flexibility. For that reason, I would pick an interface that has midi in and out. Some just do audio.

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    If I was just using a keyboard controller, that would be fine. I've a bunch of old odd ball gear with midi. Stand alone devices that also wrote to memory cards with performances that I am looking to capture. I've a lot of stuff in the studio and like to keep what I am using racked up so swapping cables around would be a pain. 4-in x 4-out is enough to get started and I'm not under any particular budget constraints.

    I also have a box that uses a midi controller internally but doesn't have a midi jack. I'm a hardware engineer so building a buffer amp is fairly easy for me. I've identified the pin outs and will buffer an output again to capture old performances. The fundamental idea is not much different than the occasional restoration work I do with baking tapes to pull tracks from an old session.

    So lets skip hardware as I'm pretty sure on what I am getting. Software is where I am lost. I guess Cakewalk is no longer available. I'll start with a newer version of Protools as the learning curve won't be steep for me. Midi centric software I should be looking at?

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    Cakewalk was abandoned by Gibson, but it was picked up by Bandlabs and is now free. Just Google it and you'll find the download.

    Reaper is a low priced DAW that you can try out for a couple of months to see if it meets your needs. It handles Midi and audio, is very well supported and capable.

    Many interfaces will come with a version of either Cubase LE or Protools First. Both are good for recording although they will limit you in some ways (Max 16 tracks, etc). Full versions of Pro Tools will let you either go for a perpetual license, or a monthly subscription model. I think Cubase is just a straight purchase, but they have several versions.

    FL studio is another popular one. Again, there are several versions. Presonus has Studio One, and a lot of people use Ableton, especially for programming. It seems to be built for looping.

    A lot will depend on how you want to use your DAW, and what workflow feels natural to you. I found Reaper to be easy to work with, and since this is a hobby for me, I wasn't going to spend $500 or more for a Pro Tools or Cubase setup. $60 and I was good to go! I have copies of Cubase LE 4, 5 and 6 but prefer the way Reaper operates in comparison.

    Hope this helps.

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  10. #7
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    Anyone that can be out of something for 10 years has a little seasoning.

    I've had an idle period or two in my life. No indictment, there.

    Lessons learned:
    Don't throw good money after bad. Just because you've stuck with it doesn't mean you need to stick with it.
    So sure, if you're comfy with Dig001, then fine, have at it. Maybe feel good about being familiar.
    But be ready to pitch it. It was obsolete last time you logged in, let alone now.

    The computers in 10 years? Sheesh! No contest. The software? While it's much nicer to look at, there's almost nothing you can do today you couldn't do then. Just today, you can do it a bit faster, easier, and with fewer keystrokes and mousing.

    So....
    Getcha a new box or at least upgrade some. Now's your chance to build up a system that will way outperform what you had for way less money than what you spent even then.

    Reaper.
    I can't recommend it enough.
    Reaper.
    There's a jillion YouTube vids on it. So you get an almost-free firebreathing DAW with basically free video tutorial.
    You didn't mention your complement of synths or modules for midi, but midi was old 10 years ago. So my advice is to either a) decide you wanna be a vintage collector or b) audition a few VST plugs and don't look back. I'm in the throes of that right now, myself. I got some oldies.

    Today, you can keep it in the box. Racks and cables are almost becoming a thing of the past or certainly nothing like it once was.

    You just missed the great Mixer Fire Sale when people sold analog mixers for literally 1 cent on the dollar. That's mostly calmed down, at least in my field of vision.

    You can get better sounds from some plugs than from most rack synths. You can get better plug-in effects than most rack stuff from when you started.

    A controller keyboard, you want. I still have my main midi keyboards going back to 1988 (Yamaha KX-88). Not going anywhere. That and any of the 100-buck interfaces out there and you're back making more music than you could have done with a rack in days past.

    Dunno how far "out" you were, and dunno how far "in" you wanna get, but it's a good time.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponder5 View Post
    Anyone that can be out of something for 10 years has a little seasoning.
    My time was the 70's. First real synth in the studio was the crumar orchestrator. I had hoped to make a career out of it but the money just wasn't there. I studied electronics, computers and acoustics and ended up with a very interesting career and hobbies. Currently I am in corporate AV, specializing in video conferencing.

    In my early years, I stumbled into a job in a corporate studio that was transitioning to digital. This was the early years. The creative director had gone to school with Bob Ludwig. He had just left the Masterdisk to start Gateway Mastering. I was introduced to him and his engineering team. They graciously detailed how they had solved all the various technical challenges and Bob went over how they came up with the acoustic design of the studio. The job had afforded me the opportunity to study like crazy and get paid for it. I also saw this digital era the same way as the 70's hardware revolutionized home recording. My ability to earn a good living in the studio was not meant to last and it didn't.

    So to start, this is primarily an archival project with some really old hardware. My studio work included archiving really old formats such as 2 inch open reel video tape. So hardware has been ordered. I've identified some software to start with and will just give it all a go.

    Thanks everyone for the input. As with a lot of things, I'll just start with a bunch of experimenting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Folkcafe View Post
    First real synth in the studio was the crumar orchestrator.
    Still got mine.
    Okay, not my original. Had to go down the same path you did and then buy it off of ebay when I had bucks.
    But I call it mine.

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