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MarkP

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  1. I too struggled for a spell when I first looked at CbB. I think the main reason was that I had preconceptions of how things ought to work, and consequently CbB didn't seem intuitive. Preconceptions and intuitions are the Kane and Abel of UI design, of course. The acid test is whether now, after a few months of use, I have a list of things I would like to see changed (I normally do compile such lists). The telling fact is that I don't, and this is chiefly because I am still finding good reasons for things being the way they are. If there is a piece of software that has a great multitude of complex functions and at the same time presents a welcoming intuitive face to the new user without hiding most of those functions, I am yet to see it.
  2. I can't resist adding to this year-old thread... In 1982 my last band split up and I couldn't face trying to build yet another one. I emigrated from the UK to Australia and started a hassle-free, music-free life, despite some gentle pushing from people to start a new band. So the advent of MIDI in 1983 passed me by. In 1987 I was living in the UK again and had heard of MIDI by this time. 'A good idea,' I thought. I saw that this could make me independent of other musicians, so I went shopping for a synth in Rose-Morris on Denmark Street in London. The salesman was keen on selling me an Elka (it could have been an EK44, I cannot really remember), and I was close to buying when I asked him about another synth on show nearby. It was the ESQ-1, and when he mentioned the built-in sequencer, that was the one for me. I had a flight case made for it at Rod Argent's shop just across the street. My first MIDI experiments consisted of just hooking up my synth to friends' synths and amazing ourselves that we could control one from another. Nothing ever came of these random MIDI activities but the fun was immense. All my recording was audio. It was only in 1999, back in Australia again, when I decided to go digital and re-recorded all my synth material using a Sound Blaster card and PC with Cakewalk. The software could capture the MIDI output from the synth, then play the MIDI back to the synth one track at a time, while recording the resultant audio. This way I was able to retain full 8-note polyphony on each track. Still, when I listen to that material now I am not that happy with it. Apart from the songs themselves, I never used EQ, filters, compression or any effects, not even reverb. I am tempted to redo everything, but I'm resisting. I may just do one or two tracks to demonstrate to myself the difference. As others have said, it is a real endorsement of the original MIDI specification that it remains useful nearly 40 years on when so many other standards have ended up being obstacles to progress.
  3. I decided to use your ESQ-1 icon. Thanks.
  4. I had a Fostex X15 too. That, my ESQ-1, and a couple of cables were all I ever used in the 80s. I still have my handwritten notes for how I laid down a click track on the Fostex and then bounced recordings around so that I ended up with 16-polyphony stereo. I had to record the right stereo of all tracks first and then go back and record all the left stereo. Sadly the Fostex disappeared during one of my numerous house moves and the loss wasn't noticed for years.
  5. I count myself as a 22-year Cakewalk user now, even though there was a 20-year gap in the middle of that period. Years ago Chip Grayson of Micrografx gave me a copy of Designer, which eventually became part of the Corel portfolio, so I ended up using CorelDraw for years too. I also had a ZX81 with a Memotech RAM extension. Did you really have 16Mb? I think my Memotech pack was 64 Kb.
  6. I've had another, possibly related, problem with the BBCSO interface (I am using the Discovery version): on occasion the plugin window opens with a black background, elements of the interface are missing or appear different, and none of them work. Closing and opening the plugin doesn't improve matters, but exiting and restarting Cakewalk fixes it.
  7. That makes sense. I can see this job ballooning before my eyes; I am glad there are only two parts for the 32 violins! I think I will literally play this by ear - see how simpler setups sound before making things more complicated. In the mean time I'll investigate the detuning and chorusing options you suggest. I suspected I would have to anyway.
  8. Thanks to both of you for responding. It looks like I have 10-15 new parts to create now. Oh well, so be it. BTW John, I started working through your tutorials yesterday. Thanks for doing them. Cakewalk does not behave quite as I had assumed. I am sure I will be replacing TTS-1 sounds with others, once I've settled on which set to get.
  9. I've created MIDI parts for a brass section in which trombones play in harmony most of the time. This is conveniently done in CbB by putting the parts together in a single clip. A problem arises however when the parts are in unison. At such points I entered just the one note but, because two voices are replaced by one, the power of the overall sound falls noticeably, just when it should focus. I have found that I can double the sound, by entering a second note a semitone sharp and dragging it down on top of the first in the piano roll. Tests with TTS-1 and my ESQ-1 show that this works, even when the two notes differ in duration. There are clearly two voices and staggered note-off events seem to apply intelligently to single voices rather than to both. That's encouraging, but the editing remains messy. To make editing clearer I suppose I could separate parts on to different clips, lanes or even tracks, maybe just at the points where unison is called for, but before I go through all the parts and do this I wondered if there is a better way - is there a recognised 'best' way to handle unison? I am concerned that later, as I try out different virtual instruments, I might run into unexpected effects and have to re-edit; I am not confident note-on and note-off events would work the same way with all plugins.
  10. This is true. I was still somewhat surprised to see all my old program names there on the tracks, and even my original notes preserved in the Notes tab of CbB. There is a template I used when creating new songs that is still usable with CbB today. I had completely forgotten all this stuff but Cakewalk hadn't. You're right about keeping media up to date. I've moved my old files a few times over the years, generally as I've upgraded computers, and after the experiences of the last week I've also resorted to the low-tech solution of keeping programs in a big .ods spreadsheet with a sheet of notes about sysex headers and footers. As long as bytes exist, I should be all right.
  11. I was only a nipper when I got those headphones!
  12. Thanks! Yes, reading up on it, it seems that the battery must be long dead. As soon as I can find someone competent I will get it replaced. I know it requires soldering and I don't trust myself to do that. Good to know your old stuff is still alive and kicking too.
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