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Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

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Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby Dee » Thu May 02, 2013 9:30 am

Being a lazy git AND finding my DAW based setup quite cumbersome is leading me to consider buying a new workstation (Kronos, Motif etc.,....not sure what yet).

I absolutely love VSTs - but while the likes of Ilya Efimov is stunning it takes a few minutes to load up....add that to the boot up of the PC and other moments of sitting around means that sometimes I am frustrated before I sit down to compose, jam or record (new PC with SSD drive........ :headbang:)

I'm probably blowing off steam and trying to think of an excuse to buy a new synth (currently using a controller keyboard) but the immediacy of being able to turn on and play is appealing. I will still keep my DAW setup and will no doubt use it but has anyone else found themselves using a top synth as a controller keyboard but also as an immediate way to get access to top quality sounds.

I'm ranting a bit so I'm away in to a corner to sit and calm down.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby Richie Royale » Thu May 02, 2013 9:34 am

I don't think you need an excuse to buy a new synth. :D or an old one ;)

My set up contains both VST instruments, digital synths and analogue ones. I like a broad pallette to choose from rather than just one source or workflow. I just wish I had more time in general to use it all.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby The Elf » Thu May 02, 2013 9:44 am

Typically I go switch my PC on and fetch a drink or something. When I come back it's ready to go. If loading the DAW bothers you that much then put a shortcut to the DAW into the 'Startup' folder and it will load as soon as Windows is up and running.

I like one or two (ahem! :D) hardware synths around, but if I had to load a couple of virtual synths to start work it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. That said, I most often work with something like my Kurzweil K2600 for simple composition - it's just easier that way than poking around on-screen menus looking for sounds.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby Scramble » Thu May 02, 2013 10:17 am

Definitely a good idea to have at least one hardware synth, for quite a few reasons.

If you're worried about inspiration drying up while you wait for boot up, have a cheap recorder on hand along with your keyboard. I sometimes just use my camcorder to record a new song so I don't forget it -- the good thing about a camcorder is that it's just two button pushes and you're recording.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby chris... » Thu May 02, 2013 11:27 am

I just "suspend" my computer these days - means it's ready to go in a couple of seconds.

Only time I "boot" it is after essential OS patches.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby CS70 » Thu May 02, 2013 1:26 pm

Well, for putting down ideas quickly I find the microphones in the mobile phone the best thing in the world. No startup altogether, and you can catch musical ideas anywhere. No quality at all, but at least I remember them! Only backside, the way the other walking guy looks at you when you're whistling into your phone while walking in the park..

For jamming over or proper recording - sleep mode and the "lets go make a cup of coffee" (or tea if you're of a British inclination) technique work just fine. Especially with an SSD drive, the startup time from standby should be a matter of a couple seconds?

Also for the DAW, I found that pruning plugins I weren't using and preparing a couple of templates with the correct I/O setup on a track helped somewhat.

But of course if u need an excuse for new gear, I have plenty as well! :)
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby yeahtuna » Thu May 02, 2013 1:32 pm

chris... wrote:I just "suspend" my computer these days - means it's ready to go in a couple of seconds.

I wish my interface would allow me to do that. What are you using? A do have an SSD and that makes a world of difference.
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby Shostakovich » Thu May 02, 2013 4:12 pm

I have 2 physical HDDs on my PC, and the DAW sits on one of them with no internet, other programmes or whatever. It loads really quickly, and I wish the main drive was anywhere near as fast!
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Re: Thinking of going back to a hardware setup.....

Postby OneWorld » Thu May 02, 2013 7:09 pm

I never got rid of my hardware synths/samplers, but really like VSTs too, eg the way Kontakt can be up and running in minutes, compared the epochs that pass by waiting for a hardware sampler to get up a head of steam.

I was much more productive way back in the day when I had a hardware synth/keyboard, hard disk recorder and Cubase on an Atari. It is just the plethora of hardware/VSTs we have at our disposal that makes the creative process stutter, I spend more time looking for that 'silver bullet' patch than I do examining different/alternative chord progressions etc And sadly, I can't play anywhere near as good as I used to because if I fluff a note, no problem, I fix it in Cubase.

I was at a friend's house today, he wasn't seduced by the technology, got a reasonble synth, with a built in sequencer, and over the years his playing has improved way beyond anything he thought capable.

I have improved the flow somewhat by setting up templates, and Cubase is in the Windows StartUp Folder. I am trying to figure out getting th best out of my control surface so the buttons operate transport controls, and that helps somewhat. What I haven't been able to do is write a script, or batch file, that loads Cubase and then the template with rewire activated and the Reason, Reason starts to load before Cubase has settled down and it send Cubase into a tailspin

I also bought a Zoom R24, instant switch on and it's ready to go. I also bought a reasonablish tablet computer and think that is the way to go for me, now that more and more song creation software is appearing, but the mic on this particular tablet is bobbins. I don't expect pristine audio from it, but would have like at least something more representative of the audio I play into it. But am sure some tablets will come along with a reasonable microphone just as they have acceptable quality built in cameras now.

But if yo go down the DAW + hardware route, I can't see how that will speed things up? I think while an SSD shaves a few seconds off boot time, it isn't that considerable when compared with say a dedicated trimmed down boot music partition on a HDD. While the whole thing is waking up, why not practice a few scales? Or even better, as mentioned, make a cuppa
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