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  1. We'll start celebrating the Chinese New Year next, just to sell shit. Hanukkah, Ramadan, and the annual festival of a randomly picked primitive tribe next. We ought to stop pretending and just celebrate selling shit, because that's what the festivities are all about.
  2. I want to point out something else that is super important, and on topic, kind of. I've realized the quest for branded, packaged inspiration hasn't increased my creativity. The more I hoarded different plugins and sounds, the more it distracted me from making music. Sure, I've been inspired, and I'm not arguing that the million billion Kontakt libraries out there don't have some aesthetic and sense-tickling sound material in them that can be put to very practical use too. But it really is mostly snake oil if you're a hobbyist, and if you're a professional then you're not hoarding and looking for inspiration - you already know what you're doing and what you might want to be doing (or trying to do), and you can't afford to waste time and money on the silly activity of trying to acquire every single sound-emitting digital apparatus on offer out there. The software vendors have realized the hobbyist segment is a gold mine because they don't know what they're doing, and they don't know what they want, so they can sell us anything with enough marketing effort, even the same thing over and over again. I'm arguing that all this might not actually be helping you in the way you think it is, and that pretty much the opposite is true. I say this because I've realized that - in my case at least - inspiration is not a thing that "comes to you", it's not a thing you must wait for, comes and goes on its own whim, or is purely sensual or emotional in nature. One of the most important realizations I've had in my creative endeavors was that inspiration can be labored, and I think realistically you can't be a professional in the creative industry if you can't beat yourself to inspiration when needed, by all means necessary. The most significant function of all these distractions around us that pretend to be our muse, is actually just diversion from the types of activity that would allow us to develop the habits, discipline, focus and mindset that are pre-requisites for the ability to conjure up inspiration and creativity by will. Those things, which involve a lot of not having fun, are the most solid foundation for injecting into the fun any value above and beyond the hedonistic sensations in the moment, and personal fulfillment - but they also cultivate those solitary aspects of enjoying art/creativity, by heightening the sense of continuity and connectedness between your own individual creative experiences, by virtue of the discipline and focus allowing the produce of your imagination to have more of a narrative. You know how in some disciplines the artists/craftsmen dedicate a certain month of the year to specific techniques or mediums, the same could benefit a computer musician. For example, go a full month using nothing but single primitive waveform oscillators in your music, plus just one model of each type of processor, and use only raw, unprocessed samples to overlay with them. Dedicate the whole month to learning how to express your finest emotions using the most primitive elements, and master using the tools you have. Not only would it make you a better producer technically, it might help find or cultivate your style, and in the end you would have a clearer picture of what you actually want.
  3. It is what it is. Although the whole post went off on a tangent, even the tangential stuff relates to Melda, and amusingly everything also relates to the topic of the thread itself. That said, in my case getting shit done of course isn't attributable to Melda alone, but discipline first and foremost. Melda's stuff (and many other things, for the record) just perfectly complements the kind of work ethic in which the "fun" and "inspiration" are the slaves and getting shit done is their master. That's not to say I'm not inspired by and having fun with Melda's tools, but when after all the doodling the big picture starts to emerge and suddenly I know exactly where the project is going to go, i.e. there's a vast amount of focused work ahead (and very little "fun"), then I find solace in knowing that Melda will enable me to seamlessly switch into that mode and keep my racing thoughts on rails. Put it this way... Melda is an environment where I like to be, to do most of the things I like to do in audio, the way I do them best. I could mention a bunch of other individual tools, even vendors, that I would recommend for specific tasks. But none of them are as total about creating an entire internally highly cohesive workshop environment around the processes as Melda.
  4. Yes indeed, it was one of the plugins I got before the upgrade. It's part of my standard toolset now, and I dig it very much. Initially it felt bizarre, but now I find it very convenient. It's not as quick to get off the ground as Nerve, and doing simple stutter effects isn't as straight-forward (AFAIK), but for more complex, intention-driven rhythmic composition it is superior to anything else I've tried. It's probably not a coincidence as I understand that Mr. Melda actually plays [actual] drums. I realize that Melda may not be for everyone, for various reasons. However I would encourage anyone to give Melda a chance in good faith and without prejudice. I got reasonably lucky with second-hand purchases, someone using my singly shared referral code in a most generous single purchase, the upgrade paths and coinciding sales, and was able to get to MCompleteBundle relatively cheap. The funny thing is, after the fact I've sold almost every other plugin from the dozen different vendors that Melda rendered redundant, and even after the inflated second-hand prices applied to my sold stuff I didn't just recoup some costs - I didn't even barely roughly break even - I actually made more money from selling the stuff I no longer need, than I spent on getting from no Melda to all Melda since the dawn of history til the end. Not only that, but every plugin has the same idiomatic functionalities, layout and matroshka-like mutual containment possibilities, so instead of feeling constantly disoriented by the various different GUI's from different vendors (sometimes from the same vendor!!), when I'm using Melda's "tool framework" I feel like my mind is set on achieving tasks instead of contemplating what this particular skeuomorphic analog emulating compressor tastes like on the sides of my tongue, and does it smell more like the compressed cushion of that couch from the 80's garage band space where the alcoholic lead guitarist chain-smokes Camels, in contrast to that other plugin with the smell of airborne carbon from the wings of a butterfly that died of radiation burns at Chernobyl while landing on a water lily. As powerful as the arousal of imagination and the psychoacoustic effect of the more visually "exciting" GUI's may be, I've found that enjoying myself and getting shit done have little if any correlation. The truth - and this is My Truth - is that more often than not, being productive and having fun are mutually exclusive. Finding a healthy balance between the two, i.e. "sequencing" them in time in a way that syncs with other rhythms of your being, while keeping them compartmentalized but cross-pollinating, seems quintessential to keeping oneself in motion, i.e. getting good shit done. But I never say, after my most productive sessions; "Now that was fun!" - but rather something along the lines of "Phew. Ain't I glad all that dirty work got done." Then I'll feel good about it afterwards. If I'm just jamming, "tasting", "smelling", improvising, being creative, experimental, not getting shit done... I'll feel good in the moment, then afterwards I'll feel neutral, and the rational thought goes "That was fun and useless." YMMV and so on. This is not passing judgement on what's more important; having fun or getting shit done. Those are just labels. What is important is how you think and feel about the process, and I realize that ambiguity is a tell-sign of being close to my local optimum, a process which involves alternating between tedious work and hedonism. I feel only that which must be created through pain may give justification to that which gives pleasure. But hey, I'm an average westerner from the Christian Europe, what can I expect? So just to recap; Since I accepted Melda as the one true God, I have more money, more time, more fun, and I'm more productive. I also sin less. But enough propaganda, I promise. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, and take into consideration that it's a product of mixed feelings of disappointment in the whole audio software industry and its intertwining of un(or anti-)realistic marketing rhetoric, offering form over function, selling people's own creativity and imagination back to them by fooling them to think the magic comes from their factory packaged in a box with a price tag, and disappointment in myself for having chased the dragon for as long as I did buying into that garbage, and feelings of delight from having - after many gimmicky and self-gratifying digressions - [re]discovered my workflow and focus. To anyone who actually read this ramble: Get back to work. And pay your tenths.
  5. Melda keeps record of the money you've spent on their stuff, and 70% of it goes toward reducing upgrade/bundle prices. For purchases through their shop they know exactly what you've spent, and for purchases from a third party they assume -50% discount. That way, bigger steps on the upgrade paths are always cheaper compared to smaller steps. It also means that whenever you buy Melda licenses from a third party, if you can get a price that is 35% (0.7 * 0.5, i.e. "70% of 50% of full price") of the full price, you're breaking even (not "losing" money). In this deal you pay 24%, so with one or more of the following premises being true; you want the particular plugins you want any bundle wherein one of them is included, now or at a later time you want an enhanced version of any or all of the individual plugins (which often come with a "Turbo" prefix or a "MB" (multiband) postfix) via upgrade you're winning regardless. There are some pitfalls however, such as upgrading to a bundle and then not being able to upgrade individual plugins acquired in the bundle to their more advanced versions, which you might have been able to do at a much lower cost had you chosen a slightly different upgrade path.
  6. I don't want to own more software than I actually have use for. I couldn't possibly put them all to use and hope to be productive shuffling between them. Studio One is great. I was actually going to get that one, because I demo'ed it and it allowed me to be instantly productive. But the trial ran out, and by the time I could afford the full version, coincidentally Cubase was on sale, so I checked it out, and it did nearly everything that I liked about Studio One. The rest of the decision was based on a few things: familiarity with Cubase (version 3 or 5) and its backward compatibility (I have some old projects), good reputation, senior agent in the business, renowned for its MIDI editing facilities (I work mostly with MIDI), and the videos I watched. I thought Cubase's development had become stagnant, but version 10 looked every bit as modern as any other DAW (most importantly; Studio One). Another thing is that Studio One crashed every now and then on my computer. Honestly, all of them (DAW's) crash here and there. Cubase has crashed once so far, during almost four months of use. It doesn't prove anything, and I couldn't possibly know it beforehand because I couldn't demo the thing without the dongle, but I'm damn happy about the stability regardless. Feature-wise, I think I would do fine with Studio One. I like simple stuff, simple tools, my workflow and my methods are very simple. I just click in MIDI and adjust parameters in the mixer and instrument and effect windows, plot automations, and so forth. Bread & Butter stuff for me. But simple, little things, when done properly or improperly may ruin or save your day. What I like in both Cubase and Studio One is the responsiveness of the UI and especially the piano roll, and moving between different work spaces such as the arranger, piano roll and mixer. Fanboyism is idiotic - these are tools that you use. You use them because they do what you want, not because the high priest demands a sacrifice. If you find something better, you make a judgement on whether the transition is worth your time and money. The longer you've been using a tool, less likely that is to be the case. I just can't imagine a feature that another DAW could innovate that would make me interested, and most likely that is because they don't exist (or are too scarce to waste any thought on) - I've found a comfortable way of working and Cubase accommodates it the best. And for the record it's common sense to presume that any vague opinionated statement is just that; an opinionated statement, with vagueness implying the author's awareness of its subjectivity. I never said Cubase is the best, just that it's the best for me, which is as close as we can get to a statement being factual, as the statement is about my preferences.
  7. I stopped looking for the best DAW since I got Cubase on their anniversary sale this summer. I tried almost every other DAW and Cubase is the best, and has everything I need and a whole lot that I don't. Upgrading to MCompleteBundle on Melda's recent anniversary sale made me completely lose interest in any extramarital effect affairs. One one hand I wish I'd found them sooner, on the other I'm aware that only after digging through the whole garbage dump and gold mine and trying most notable brands am I able to appreciate what, and how, Melda does. I love using them, and I love not caring about the new shiny stuff that's on sale from other vendors. Have new shiny toy? I have MXXX. Try to impress me. The only things I care about now are samples and HALion and SampleTank expansions, and FM synths, which all I have plenty of too. Mostly keeping an eye out for vocal sound patches and rare instruments, with obscure tunings.
  8. Here's how to turn off the pop-up ads that Corel brings straight to your desktop to spite you: https://community.coreldraw.com/talk/coreldraw_graphics_suite_x8/f/coreldraw-graphics-suite-x8/55410/how-can-i-turn-off-these-annoying-ads/272227#272227
  9. Just in case someone is still banging their head against the wall trying to import ST2 stuff into ST4, here are more detailed steps: Extract the ST2 sound pack (e.g. C:\temp\PACK\). In SampleTank 3 Settings (gear icon, top right corner), Preferences tab, check that the DISK PATH is the same as in ST4. In SampleTank 3, "hamburger" icon above the keyboard, far left: Import Legacy Instruments... Name collection NAME. Browse to C:\temp\PACK\ and deeper until you get to the folder that contains the final subsections* - or if there are none, the instrument files (.stip .sth .sti .stw). Import. This should take a while as it scans and converts each instrument. When it finishes importing, there should appear new folders DISK PATH\Imported Instruments\NAME\ with .st3i files, and DISK PATH\Imported Samples\NAME\ with .pak files. Close SampleTank 3. I'm not sure if this is necessary, but I did it to ensure ST3 and ST4 would not try to access the same files concurrently, and give ST3 every chance to write the new database. In SampleTank 4 Settings, Sound Content tab, check that DISK PATH is included (or add if necessary), then Rescan Instruments (below directory listing). In SampleTank 4, go to the instrument browser (I like to go through the mixer and click on the empty space on top of each channel), click the folder icon (top left corner, next to "LIBRARY") to change to folder view, scroll the left pane way down and click "Imported" (not the ST4 one, but the other with the keyboard graphic). * SampleTank 3 will replicate the directory structure beginning from the directory you browse to, and call that root directory by NAME, so e.g. in case of World Instruments Collection I would browse to dl-worldinstruments-st-yourname\World Instruments\World Instruments Collection\ where the subdirectories Ethnic Percussion, Ethnic Stringed and Ethnic Wind are located, and name it "World Instruments Collection". In case of Acoustic Guitar Collection 2 I would browse to dl-acousticgtr2-st-yourname\Acoustic Guitar Collection 2\Acoustic Gtr 2\ where the instrument files are located, and name it "Acoustic Guitar Collection 2". This way you get a clean tree structure in SampleTank.
  10. Painter is more an art application for digital drawing and painting. Paint Shop Pro is for photo editing. I don't see any photo management applications in this bundle, like there was Photo Manager Deluxe in the last.
  11. sarine

    Melda 39

    It does what it says, in addition to what it didn't say (i.e. give 10% to the referrer). The forum looks clean when there's this one guy pasting his referral code, but what if we all did the same on every Melda thread? At some point everybody would agree that it meets the criteria for spam. Besides pragmatic reasons, I think it's dishonest not to disclose your affiliation when giving out these codes, and such conduct is generally frowned upon. Except that that's not all. You're also trying to add value to your Melda account. Just say it loud and clear right from the beginning, and I have no problem with it.
  12. sarine

    Melda 39

    It's common courtesy to disclose that there's personal gain in handing out these codes, as you receive 10% of the price back in credits. It's common courtesy because first of all because posting referral codes has the potential to turn into advertising spam (you profit from the activity, but the forum doesn't), and because someone might prefer to give those credits to a person they know. When you just propagate the code without disclosing that it's actually your personal referral code that earns you credits that can be used to purchase Melda products, those who are not yet Melda customers - i.e. the ones who can use your code - will think it's just a coupon.
  13. This "sale" seems permanent. I bought many of these months ago at the same prices. The sounds are good, they have the grit and realness to them that is absent from the more current, "higher quality" sound packs. With a little know-how you can still do much of the same stuff with these as you would with the "better" sounds. There are imperfections, some invited (e.g. what counts as 'grit') and some uninvited (e.g. more or less severe unevenness in dynamics of different sampled pitches of the same instrument that are not attributable to physical characteristics of the instrument). They also don't come with elaborate scripted simulations of real instruments' behavior that some more current synth/rompler VI's use now (something that can be considered both good or bad), and there are not a hundred takes on each sample made using a hundred microphones from every possible angle in an acoustically engineered space. That's not to say a lot of that same processing can't be done with your third party effects. In any case you're advised to know and respect the limitations. There is a lot of overlap between different sample sets, so a potential buyer may want to do a little research on that prior to purchase, if only to avoid the disappointment from paying for duplicates and cluttering their sample library with them. I have HALion 6 but I find myself going back to Sonic Reality's SampleTank 2.x sounds again and again, because they often strike the best balance between real, pure and clean, and although I mostly want the "real", this baseline also gives me nice degree of freedom in processing the sound to any other direction without dedicating half of the processing chain to carving out a pragmatic base timbre and then restoring and re-restoring it by means of filtering and saturation/distortion along the way, like I often found myself doing when using "hyperrealistic" (i.e. overprocessed) sounds as the base. YMMV of course, but in my case these "ancient" samples still beat the higher-fidelity alternatives as the working material of choice, and at these prices Sonic Reality's sound packs have been insanely good bang for buck. P.s. You can use the free SampleTank 3 Custom Shop version to import these SampleTank 2 samples, and save them as SampleTank 3 packs, which you can then import into SampleTank 4. Works like a charm here.
  14. No, but what I know is that on my computer nearly every iZotope plugin is a lagfest and generally speaking I don't think UI design is where their talent manifests, and UI programming certainly isn't where their effort is directed. But I have used their mixing & mastering tools so little that my opinion would not be interesting in that regard. I get the impression that those are their main products anyway, so I'd expect more effort on that front. What I like about Metric AB is that with regard to UI layout and performance it's the exact opposite; extremely slick, responsive, effortless, and light. It's fun to use, unlike the horrors I've experienced with iZotope's stuff. I'm not against iZotope in particular and still use some of their plugins for the shortcuts or sound they provide, but at some point I kind of woke up to the fact that I dislike the actual act of using them, and only endure it because I know when I'm done tuning them I can shove them to the background and forget about them.
  15. This is the only PA plugin that I haven't put up for sale. ADPTR Audio - Metric A|B - Mixing With Mike Plugin of the Week
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