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Starship Krupa

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Everything posted by Starship Krupa

  1. G8CM was also my go-to, and the first time it went on sale for $29, I jumped on the "full" version. Truth be told, I haven't made that much use of the extra features in G8 (if it could do the Gatey Watey thing, it would be the only gate I need), but I thought it was such a great tool that I wanted to check it out, and I also wanted to give them some money. My love for (and investment in) Unfiltered Audio products is testimony to the value in companies' doing these giveaways. My favorite plug-in houses, the ones I've spent the most money on, Meldaproduction, Glitchmachines, and Unfiltered Audio, are all ones I was introduced to via their freebies. I found them so useful that it created enthusiasm as well as trust that I'd get my money's worth. After all, if the freebies are so useful, the paid versions must be amazing, and they are. With the Sandman Pro bundle, don't neglect Instant Delay. For me, plug-ins like Sandman Pro are so deep, with so many functions and options, that having a version that's a subset can help introduce me to those features, and also help prevent falling down a rabbit hole. There are times when I just want a bit of ear-tickling stereo ping-pong delay, and Instant Delay does that quickly without introducing too many possibilities. BYOME is a world unto itself. It's like their version of MXXX, where the developer throws in everything they have. It's intimidating, the kind of thing I'd never get all the way to the bottom of. I passed on SpecOps last time around, but for, effectively, $9, why not. It's true, when I get blocked creatively, I turn to these plug-ins and inevitably, something interesting happens. I have these projects with names like "BYOME test" or "Convex test" that are jumping off points. I put a couple of evocative chord changes (gotta add them 7ths for emotional resonance 😁) into Piano Roll, fire up Sandman Pro and start going through presets.
  2. I'm not spending another penny on compressors, EQ's, limiters, gates, reverbs, saturators or channel strips. I'm very happy with what I have in those categories. On the other hand, those one-of-a-kind FX that open a whole new set of sonic possibilities, I'll never stop acquiring those when the prices get low enough. So: if I didn't own them already, I'd be all over the Unfiltered Audio stuff that's now on sale at PA. G8 is hands-down the best all-purpose gate I've seen (Boz Gatey Watey is the best specialized one), with a very useful display of what exactly is getting gated. The Sandman Pro bundle with Instant Delay is so so good for creating those ear-tickling syncopated stereo delays with a season of the glitch. $14.99 is way too cheap. BYOME gives you so much in configurable modules, you can pretty much roll up versions of the rest of their stuff. It has a slew of factory patches by Glitchmachines.
  3. Yes, was it ambiguous? I, like you, would like it to function more like Windows Explorer. I think by "CW VST layout" you mean the Plug-In Manager? The reason I don't use that for organizing my layout is because when I did, newly installed plug-ins with no category information embedded in them weren't showing up in the Browser. If I organize them in the Browser itself, I still get them in the category "Uncategorized."
  4. Requires full version of Kontakt! Good one. Ya got me this time.
  5. I would like the current interface to be more scalable in regard to visibility on large high resolution monitors, but I am a Skylight fan. As with other things Cakewalk, it took some time for me to realize how flexible and useful it is. It wasn't readily apparent to me that most of the views could be floated in their own windows. As a 2-monitor user, I always have something on the second monitor, usually either the Console or Piano Roll. I like the way that I can have multiple views in the Multidock and just click on a tab to switch between them. Being able to drag them out of the Multidock is great, too. Now when I use other DAWs I feel like I'm constrained in a box. Waveform especially feels like a straitjacket. Ableton Live is okay, but still restricted. Its interface is kind of Skylight-y, except without the ability to float the different views, at least in the Lite version I have.
  6. What makes you think this? There is a stable release now that came out about 60 days ago. How often do you usually get updates of your audio software? Other companies take way longer to issue updates than BandLab. Some even years or never. Usually with Cakewalk, when it takes longer than usual the next release will include some fab new features. Now that most of the longstanding bugs have been dealt with, we've seen biggies like the Arranger Track and Articulations Map. Maybe there's something new in the works. Maybe the developers took some time off. Whatever, 2 months is not a long time to wait for an update of DAW software.
  7. What sample rate and bit depth are you recording with? What sample rate and bit depth are you using on the export? The higher the numbers on these, the larger the file. That said, exceeding 2 GB for an audio file is rare. What happens if you export as FLAC (which is the lossless format I use)?
  8. Another thing I realized about singing that seemed obvious after it came to me is that it's not necessary for me to "belt." Some of my favorite singers like Elliott Smith, Tom Petty, Nick Drake, and (Reprise era) Frank Sinatra seldom got their volume very much above normal speaking level (with exceptions). They let the mic (and the LA/2A) do the work, and the result is that it sounds more intimate and less strained. So I don't have to be able to do Roger Daltrey, Freddie Mercury, or Robert Plant in order to sing rock 'n' roll effectively. Nick Drake and Elliott Smith often got down almost to a whisper, to amazing emotional effect. It can even compel the listener to work harder to hear the vocalist, and therefore pay more attention to the lyrics. Next time I get on the mic, I'm going to take John's suggestion to pay attention to where in my body my singing voice is coming from. And yes, using the mic in your collection that most flatters your voice (and try all of them, you might be surprised and find that your SM57 is The Answer).
  9. There you go. Answers to help you weigh the matter of "do I address this by building my mixing skills or my singing skills?" I feel kinda sheepish saying this now, but a few years ago, when I decided to really start singing, at first it was an exercise in learning how much I didn't know after winging it for decades. Somehow I was of the belief that I either had singing "talent" or not, so I should just go with what I had and see what I could make of it. Fortunately, my ability to focus on imperfections got the better of me and I just kept recording the same song over and over and over, like for a period of a couple of weeks every day or so I'd try again to get a usable take. I noticed a bunch of stuff, like on listening to my playbacks, I would do some in one register, then some in another, like I didn't even know what the singing melody was supposed to be even though I had written the song. It turns out that my sense of being in tune was pretty good, I wasn't singing sour notes, they were on key, just kind of whatever my voice wanted to do with the note. One of the things I find fun to do after getting a lot of takes of the same instrument is to unmute ALL of them just to get a laugh. So I started to do this with my "discarded" takes and I started to turn into this huge men's choir. Kinda sounded like the Moody Blues on a camping trip. I could hear my technique getting better over the weeks, the later takes had things like vibrato and held legato notes. Well DUH, what I hadn't realized is that the voice, just like piano or guitar or bass or whatever, is an instrument that you make better by practicing. Singing and recording the same song over and over again for a couple of weeks got me able to do some cool stuff like extending my range, singing in (intentional) harmony, pay attention to phrasing, breathing, all this stuff I took for granted having previously only "sung" in the very forgiving environments of church congregations and inadequately mic'd underground rock shows. TL/DR: Moral of the story: singing improves with practice just like any other instrument. Mixing skills are necessary to make singers sound their best. You have takes with irreparable flaws: the clipping. Anything else can be patched up pretty well, levels, plosives, whatever. But clipping is so baked in, even with RX it's hard to get rid of it without losing transients in the highs. You have total access to the singer, you. Studio time is presumably free-to-no-cost. If it were me, I might do both (and sometimes I do exactly this): Comp together the best vocal track you can from your pieces, then use that as a guide vocal (and/or insurance), and try some new "pressure's off" takes. Set up the popper stopper like Gary says, get a glass of water, set up a music stand with your lyrics, lower the lights, turn the input knob on the mic pre 1/8 counterclockwise from whatever you think is "safe," put it in comp/loop mode and let it roll. Don't have to even do whole takes, just step back and let it come around again if you blow it. It will be easier with the guide vocal you comped together. Give yourself permission to improve as a singer rather than beating up on your voice for being "pathetic." And breeeeeeeeathe.
  10. p. 484, "Using the Smart tool on automation" has a diagram that shows the different hotspot areas of a clip and a list of the modifier keys. Since the Smart Tool is what we mostly stick to, this page is the one to tack up over your desk if you, like me, find yourself mystified by what causes the Smart Tool to switch modes. Then there's pp. 1110-1118, "Creating and editing automation envelopes." That's the meat 'n' p'taters guide. For the individual tools, the applicable ones have their own pages. p. 488, "Using the Select tool on automation," p. 491, "Using the Move tool on automation," p. 495 "Using the Edit tool on automation," p. 505, "Using the Freehand tool on automation," p. 512, "Using the Line tool on automation," p. 513, "Pattern tools," p. 517, "Using the Erase tool on automation." Memorizing which tools are attached to F5-F9 has helped my Cakewalkin' immensely, especially when I can't get the freakin' Smart Tool to behave. Those keys would be some of the first Cakewalk-specific assignments I would have someone new to Cakewalk learn. I wish I had done so for the years I spent flying up to the Tools module in the Control Bar or calling up the HUD. The Smart Tool does so much different stuff that I can forget that there are dedicated tools that don't switch modes on me depending on where I click. Then the section on automation, p. 536 "To raise/lower an audio Clip Gain envelope," and another biggie, pp 544-546. I appreciate your asking, because it made me go through and find all these sections that I had kind of stumbled upon earlier. So now I have a list to refer to. As can be the case with that 1080-page monstrosity that is the Ref. Guide, the information is spread out and duplicated. Guaranteed, if you read those 20 various pages or even just skim them, you will pick up at least one new "hey!" automation editing move. It's another one of those areas of Cakewalk that you can get really fast and precise and creative with if you put in the time. A problem I have is that it's hard to retain stuff like this if I don't use it very often, and my frequency of doing automation makes the learning process go slowly.
  11. To get any help on an issue like this, you must provide your system specs (check my sig for an example). Other information: what driver mode you are using, ASIO, WASAPI, etc. If you have a favorite plug-in (or plug-ins) that go in every project you do, have you checked for an incompatibility? You can do this by a process of elimination, just take them out one by one and see if things get more stable. Bridged 32-bit plug-ins are becoming less and less supported and should be avoided in a 64-bit DAW like Cakewalk. Although Cakewalk claims to be able to run them with its internal bridging, it's kind of an "at your own risk" practice to do so. Is there a certain operation that happens right before a crash, such as adding or deleting a track or a plug-in or hitting Play or whatever? Are you on the latest version? Run BandLab Assistant and make sure. If your issue were due to inherent "bugginess" in the software, topics about it in this section and elsewhere would be blowing up, and they're not. That's good, it's probably a sortable issue, and if it's not, then the developers need to know so that they can fix it. (and yes, it wouldn't hurt to go into Preferences and set Cakewalk up to auto-save every 5 minutes or so, at least until you feel you can trust it)
  12. There are a few different choices. I always cut vocal phrases into clips, so if necessary, I do what you do, which is clip gain automation. Another technique, which John mentions, and is used by Craig Anderton and Mark McLeod, is to just have Cakewalk normalize them. I believe that this is peak normalization, though, which may not address your issue. Since you're experiencing tedium editing every clip, a plug-in might be better. There are ones that analyze the signal and "ride" it so that everything comes out near an average level: W.A. Production Outlaw is on sale for $7.90. Waves Vocal Rider and Meldaproduction MAutoVolume are a couple others. These two go for around $50 each (the Melda one can be had for $10 off if you sign up for their newsletter, plus another 20% off if you use a referral code-ask and I'll post mine). Outlaw and Vocal Rider are both 4-knob affairs, MAutoVolume (predictably) has more controls and includes a sidechain that can be used to make sure that the vocal (or whatever) always stays on top of whatever comes in on the sidechain. I will say that once I cracked the Cakewalk Reference Guide and learned some of the shortcuts and modifiers for editing automation, my automation work is going much faster and is less tedious.
  13. Well, you can sort of have the Quadcurve EQ experience in your FX rack: https://www.kvraudio.com/product/tinyq-by-lkjb
  14. More information is needed in order to help with this endlessly-asked question. I've had issues with it myself. System specifications? What audio device are you using? Latency settings? WASAPI? Shared? Exclusive? Define "crappy." Distorted, thin, treble-y bassy, muffled, shrill, crackly?
  15. When I was first dipping my toes into virtual instruments, I was kinda skeptical, but then my friend pointed out that my synths were all basically single-function computers with a fraction of the processing power and memory and storage of my desktop DAW computer. These days, my CS6X is mostly on controller duty (which task it was designed to be great at).
  16. Maybe it was you I was thinking of. Category: Cakewalk dudes whose names start with "L" and who tear it all up on "the computer they let mom keep when she retired" class notebooks. Much respect. Some Jim Roseberry thread ripping rocket sled, well, sure you can do DAW work on it, or the latest hot gaming notebook, but to do it on "the sales staff all got upgraded and they asked us if we wanted these for our kids to do homework" computers is tuff. That's where my "mobile rig" came from, an office sale of retiring road warrior notebooks, my friend snagged a couple for his kids and I guess the kids were due to be gifted better systems, so I wound up with my Dell Inspiron(?) E6410. Now with 8G of RAM and an i7 CPU, dawg. It gets warm and the battery life is krep, but it Cakewalks pretty good. It gets a little hectic with the Track View and the Console or PRV open so it forces me to think in a more organized fashion about the stages of a project. And since I enabled SpeedStep, it now actually overclocks itself when under a heavy processing load. With SpeedStep off it would never go over its rated clock speed. The computer that my friends kids couldn't use for school a few years ago. I dropped it on concrete once and thought it was done, but nope.
  17. Actually there are some preferences that are per-project: recording mode for instance. You'll find them in the Project section of Preferences and I believe they become set to whatever they were in the project when that project is loaded again. Perhaps Mark would like more preferences to be that way?
  18. There are a few ideas that come to mind. First is that 32-bit plug-ins were never designed to be hosted by a 64-bit DAW. They require an extra layer of processing called a bridge in order to work in Cakewalk. Unlike the VST spec itself, there were and are no guidelines whatsoever for implementing bridging. The keepers of the VST spec would tell us just don't do that. Second is that any 32-bit plug-ins that you can't find 64-bit updates for are likely to be like me, aging and no longer supported by the people who created them. While the Cakewalk engineers will usually work with currently supported plug-ins and their developers to at least figure out whose product needs to be patched so that they can work together, that's impossible to do with abandoned software. While I believe BandLab does own the code for the bridging software, I suspect that it's been a long time since anyone looked at the code, and the chances that the current Cakewalk development team is going to open it up and try to make it work better are nil. They are focused on other areas, and there's just not much demand among the user base to make it work better with old versions of 3rd-party software. So, maybe it's not a great idea to remain dependent on 32-bit plug-ins. Even the best tools can wear out and break, forcing craftspeople to acquire new ones. Also, if you do have both the 32-bit versions of BFD on your system, and the software is throwing messages telling you that doing that may destabilize your system, and your system is behaving erratically in some related way, I'd say that getting rid of the 32 bit version of BFD is worth a try. And count your blessings there's a 64-bit version.
  19. It just goes to show me: Cakewalk all by itself is pretty sippy on resources. As long as you don't insert any plug-ins, it seems like you can run it on Salvation Army computers. I think many would marvel at the notion of useful DAW work getting done on a Core 2 Duo with 4G of RAM. Somehow I suspect you guys aren't mixing these projects on your Core 2 Duo systems? Although I am pretty sure Ludwig is with that dang magic laptop of his. "Yes, I'm running 85 instances of Trackspacer on this collaboration between the Mormon Tabenacle Choir and the Vienna Boys'. I'm just careful to freeze tracks." I'm looking at this project where I'm using 18 tracks, half of them muted, and I have to crank the latency up on my i7 with 16G of RAM. But. I just counted and I have 40 plug-ins inserted on various tracks and buses. When I hit that FX button to turn them off and record another track, it works just fine at 4ms latency. But good heavens can it grind to a halt when I'm trying out FX. Oops, left the latency on 4....
  20. Obviously not standard Cakewalk behavior. What happens if you turn "read automation" off on the track?
  21. I've long thought that when buying speakers or monitors, I should blindfold my self and have a friend guide me around to audition various speakers. I wonder which ones I would like the best. It would eliminate looks bias and also get the ears a bit more pricked up.
  22. This indeed. Mongoose is the best one I've used. Another freeware possibility is Monomizer LE, which is similar to Soundspot MSW2 and part of a 5-plug-in free bundle. It may look at first as if you have to sign up for their mastering course to get them, but scroll down and you can get them by giving them an email address.
  23. A friend of mine is clearing unused stuff out of her place and gave me an original Beats Pill, the little pill-shaped Bluetooth speaker by Beats. I already have an Altec Lansing Mini LifeJacket that I like to use for referencing mixes as well as casual listening, so I'm psyched about this other little guy. The clarity and even stereo image of this little guy surprised me. Given that its 4 drivers are about the diameter of a 50 cent piece, it doesn't have the notorious Beats bass bump.
  24. My first PCi interface was a Soundblaster Live that I got for my pre-SONAR Cakewalk rig back in 2001. I was all excited about it, sprung for a 3rd-party daughterboard so that I could S/PDIF in and out from my DAT machine, yada yada. Then I found out about bit perfect audio processing (as opposed to the Soundblaster, which resampled everything even if you ran it at its native 48K), bought an $12 CMedia 8734-based cheapo card, and made a little daughterboard on perfboard to enable the S/PDIF. The difference it made on transfers from the DAT literally brought tears to both my eyes and those of my girlfriend, whose album I was transferring from a DAT to the computer for CD burning. She had heard the result through the SB Live and was sort of happy with it, but when I played the non-resampled version, she started crying and said that it was the first time she had heard the album sound like that since they did the final mastering. Ever since then I have been a fiend about not having my digital audio go through needless resampling. I know that the algorithms have improved over the last 2 decades, but you're still at the mercy of the CODEC. Even the media players on my computers use either WASAPI or ASIO so as to bypass as much of the Windows mixer as possible. And I hold the opinion that Creative Labs deserved to go the way of the dodo after what they did with the Live. The main chip on it was an excellent hunk of LSI, and if they hadn't crippled it with carp like that resampling business, it would have become legendary. About 15 years ago a friend gave me an old Echo Darla rig, the one with 2 line ins and (I think) 8 outs, because, y'know, everyone would much rather have multiple output channels than input channels. I got it going on a hand-me-down blue Power Mac running Ubuntu Studio. My current computers have PCi slots, so I could try it out, but I'm fine with my Firewire interfaces. I still believe that Firewire was/is a superior technology for A/V use due to the fact that it can transfer and receive simultaneously rather than relying on raw speed. I can monitor through Cakewalk just fine while I'm tracking as long as I disable FX, and you can see in my sig that my DAW system is not the latest rocket sled. I have an old M-Audio Audiophile Firewire interface on my shop computer, a Core 2 Quad, and it keeps up just fine. I have to crank the latency up to be able to mix on it, but it's still holding its own. I suspect that its USB 2 ports wouldn't do as well. I got into Yamaha YMF744-based cards for a while, due to the fact that you could get them to support Yamaha's (also mostly squandered) excellent Sondius physical modeling technology. They could be had just as cheaply as my generic CMedia card and also didn't resample 44.1 streams. A reed player friend of mine was blown (ha ha) away by how good the onboard XG wind sounds were when I played them from my keyboard. The way they articulated with changes in velocity and aftertouch was amazing.
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