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Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

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Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby cooky1992 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:22 am

Hi all,

My band has a lot of synthesizers involved, when playing live, we currently use midi keyboards and a laptop on stage, this is highly irritating to set up and sound check, is there a way of getting the computer synthesizer sounds onto a keyboard so there is no need for a computer live?

If so, what sort of keyboard is needed, and any other equipment?

If not, are there any other alternatives?

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Chevytraveller » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:42 am

Would be helpful to include more info.. what plug-ins/sounds are you trying to re-create?.. some sounds may be easy enough to reproduce with with hardware synths, but some others may be unique to the plug-ins creating them.
the more complex/unique the sounds, the more you will need to spend for a hardware solution.

:D
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Matt_Moose » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:17 am

I'm assuming the sounds are from plugins on the computer. It depends what software is generating those sounds. If they're just general MIDI sounds from the PC's soundcard, pretty much any old module will have the GM set.

In this month's mag (Feb, near the beginning I think) there's an advert for some hardware that you can install Kontact (or similar) on - ie a hardwarre module that takes the software plugins. Fine if that's the hardware for the software plugins. Apologies if the details are slightly off, but I'm suggesting a general principle here.

Otherwise, you need to get a synth with onboard sounds (or module) and audition them all so that you can re-create all the performance patches (which is another issue again...)

But more info on what you've got, and what you want to acheive would help.
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby cooky1992 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:32 pm

Its the synth sounds on the z3ta+ synth vst in sonar.

Just interested to see if these can be transfered to be used with no computer
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Shreddie » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:36 pm

Cooky, it would be helpful if you could give us more information such as what type of music you do and what plugins and sounds you use as there's many different kinds of equipment that are more suitable for some jobs than other stuff.

However, there's three basic ways I can think of doing things the way you want...

1) Use audio backing tracks along with live keyboards... That's easy but not ideal.

2) Sample the sound on your computer into a sampler or sampling keyboard... This is capable of good results but can be very time consuming.

or

3) (And this is the one I would choose.) Forget the sounds on your computer and either find similar patches or recreate them on hardware synths.

As for what kind of synths you need, that depends very much on what kind of music you do and what kind of sounds you use. A good 'all-rounder' option would be one of the workstation type synths from the likes of Korg (the M3 or M50), Roland (the Fantom, Juno-G or Juno Stage) and Yamaha (Motif or MM). There are also a large variety of very capable second hand workstations available such as the Alesis Fusion. Workstations are usually sample based synths (though the Alesis Fusion has several kinds of synthesis in addition to sample based) so they can be good if you need sounds that are based on real instruments though they can do electronic style sounds too (but as they're sample based, they're not quite as versatile as VA or analogue synths for that stuff)... If you don't need full workstation features (sequencer and maybe audio recording) there are synths available which don't have those features though they sometimes lack other features that you may find useful.

If your music is more electronic in style then analogue and vitual analogue synths may be well worth a look. There are lots of these about... Available from the likes of Access (Virus), Alesis (Micron), Clavia (the Nord range) Korg (Radias and Microkorg) and loads more, it would be impossible to list them all! For real analogue theres Dave Smith instruments (Mopho, Tetra and Prophet) as well as many others including loads available second hand.

If your music is more beat based then the Akai MPC series will be worth looking into.

Have a look at the Keyboard...

And Keyboard workstation reviews on this very site to see what's about.
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Shreddie » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:45 pm

Ooops, a bit of a cross posting there... If you're using Z3TA+, take a look at virtual analogue synths... You will find that they're not capable of everything that the plug-in does but you'll find that they can do other things besides... Every synth is different at the end of the day so you can't expect them to be capable of everything that others can do... That's why I have six.
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Matt_Moose » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:17 pm

I was thinking about the Muse Receptor2 - but even basic version is pricy. http://www.museresearch.com/receptor2.php

But then there's also the SM Pro V-Machine:
http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/sm-pro-v-machine-vst-vsti-hardware-playback-module--58148
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby MarkOne » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:27 pm

Shreddie wrote:That's why I have six.

... and a cape :smirk:
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby cooky1992 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:34 pm

thanks guys, i think the best two options to be honest are to go for a sampler keyboard and spend ages sorting that out, (worth it in the end)

or we're gonna have to shell out for one of those playback module's

thanks for the advice guys :)
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Shreddie » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:48 pm

MarkOne wrote:
Shreddie wrote:That's why I have six.
... and a cape :smirk:
And a beard!
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby un_quantized » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:56 am

Z3ta+ tends to be laden with fairly contemporary dance and electronica type sounds.

One of things to watch for is that the Z3ta+ patches are generally laden with effects - timed delays, reverb, chorus and phaser/flange.

You'll need to program these as two separate entities. It will help to go into Z3ta's effects section and turn all the effects off so you can listen to the raw synth sounds. You'll find most analogue-type synths will have very similar sounds available to the raw sounds, but the effects will have to be matched to re-create what you have been used to in Z3ta+

Sampling won't work so well if you samaple the z3ta with the effects on - for example timed delays wont be in time any more except at the original sampled pitch, and other effects will also sound odd when pitch-shifted. You might come up with some interesting new sounds but they won't behave in the same way as the original patch.


Shreddie wrote:
MarkOne wrote:
Shreddie wrote:That's why I have six.
... and a cape :smirk:
And a beard!

With the type of noises Z3ta+ makes, a baseball cap, some shades and those rather neat headlights would be par for the course, I think ;)
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby un_quantized » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:57 am

And facial hair limited to the very carefully sculpted variety
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Fibes » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:34 am

Shreddie wrote:Cooky, it would be helpful if you could give us more information such as what type of music you do and what plugins and sounds you use as there's many different kinds of equipment that are more suitable for some jobs than other stuff.

However, there's three basic ways I can think of doing things the way you want...

1) Use audio backing tracks along with live keyboards... That's easy but not ideal.

2) Sample the sound on your computer into a sampler or sampling keyboard... This is capable of good results but can be very time consuming.

or

3) (And this is the one I would choose.) Forget the sounds on your computer and either find similar patches or recreate them on hardware synths.


No.3 is definitely the easiest option. Depending on how you are using z3ta option 2 may not give you the results you need, could take forever, and tweaking will be painful to say the least. I've tried something like option 2 in the past and unless you're keeping it really simple it really is like boxing yourself into a corner. :round1:

A modern VA like the Virus/Lead/Ion/Blofeld etc should easily get you 80% of the way there on anything z3ta does - in a lot of cases you may find the UI leads you to create even better sounds.
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Re: Any help appreciated, with live synth sounds

Postby Shreddie » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:46 pm

un_quantized wrote:With the type of noises Z3ta+ makes, a baseball cap, some shades and those rather neat headlights would be par for the course, I think ;)
Looks can be decieving my friend... I'm a lab coat and cape owning bearded hairy metaller type to look at who listens (mostly) to chilled/ambient and classical music but (mostly) makes electronic music!

I don't own Z3TA+ but I think it's pretty cool for a plugin!
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