Best Recording Software

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by John Stafford, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone
    While I'm a satisfied Sonar user for the most part, I've listened to most of the mainstream software out there. I don't know if it's just my imagination, but the demo of Samplitude 7 seems to sound better. I'm just not talking about effects, but simply playing files with no processing. Some say this can't be the case, but my ears tell me otherwise.

    I've seen numerous references to Sequoia (JoeH and Jeremy, Ben too? Sorry if I've gotten mixed up here!).

    I'm just wondering if you use it because you hear superior sound quality, or is it the advanced processing features in Sequoia? I think both versions have the same audio engine, and that's what I'm most interested in.


    Thanks,
    John

    PS I bought Sam7 on ebay (dirt cheap), but I now think it's fake. It hasn't arrived yet, but the seller has some negative feedback from the last few days about selling pirated stuff. I'm not going to put anything on my computer that hasn't come from a credible source.
     
  2. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Maybe this thread should be on a different forum, but I'm interested in Samplitude for classical music alone.

    For complex multitracking I'm sticking with Sonar, as I love the interface.

    Thanks
    John
     
  3. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    John,
    I am only an amateur at this. But when I use Samplitude 7 I find that it sounds better than I was able to make it sound in Protools LE. This might be only me though.

    I find that the workflow suits me very well for what I do, recording acoustic performances and then mixing. (All on an amateur level, mostly for the fun of the musicians).

    Once the packet arrives, we can help you out to find if it is a fake or not. The Samplitude people generally is very helpful. If you live in the US, another place to visit might be http://www.synthax.com, which I believe to be the US distributor.

    By the way, the Samplitude manual for version 7 is one of the worst manuals I have ever seen. Not doing a good job in helping you in using the program. Said to be improved in the upcoming version 8 (which is not quite delivered yet).

    Gunnar
     
  4. bap

    bap Member

    I have Sonar 3 Producer on my computer but use it only for MIDI/GigaStudio stuff when I need to.

    For tracking and all post stuff Samplitude is my preferred software. I find it to be very comfortable to use and good sounding as well. My money is in for v8 upgrade and hopefully I'll soon know what benefits the new version will bring to me. :D
     
  5. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I've been a long time user of Sequoia and it is a product that I strongly believe in. I think I started with Samp at verision 5.5x and I was a Sequoia beta tester before it was released in 5.9 which was its first official release.

    I don't even know where to start glowing, but for me, Sequoia is really the only product that I use seriously for classical work. Between the ability to mix at the object level and the quality of the crossfade editor and to do 4-point edits. The summing engine in Saplitude and Sequoia is also very good. I've been quite happy with the results I've gotten with my mixes. Now, that I have a remote computer so I can record directly into Sequoia, I'm doing the best work I've ever done.

    --Ben
     
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I first started using Red Roaster (a sub-application of Samplitude) back in the mid 90's to make my first CDrs, and soon moved to Samplitude Producer and Samplitude Professional starting with V5. This past month I moved up to Sequoia V8 (although I will keep Samplitude 7.0 around as well on other machines.)

    I'll try to limit my superlatives and stay focused on a few key things without gushing, but anyone who knows my preferences knows that I tend to get up on a soapbox and preach when it comes to Samplitude/Sequioa. :)

    I'll also state up front that I've used Sound Forge, Cool Edit, Fast Eddie (remember that one that came with the DAL cards?), DART, Cakewalk 8, many many others, and most recently Sony Vegas (mostly for video, using the audio mainly for AC3 conversions and last minute tweaks.) They and many others have their good points, and they will get you where you want to go, with some degrees of plus and minuses. I am also not a MAC user and never plan to be, I feel no need to be. I'm sure Pro Tools is just fine, and from what little I know about it, it surely must do a lot of good things to keep so many people happy. (The cost, among other things, always kept me away.)

    All that aside, if you've never tried out Samplitude/Sequoia, you owe it to yourself to check it out and do some work with it. Years ago, it was considered "Deep" and "Daunting" by people who were (like most of us) new to all things computer-driven and digital-audio based.

    It is indeed VERY deep, but most of today's computer-savvy audio folks will have little trouble getting up and running with it, whether mucking around on their own, running a few tutorials, or sitting in on a few sessions with someone who knows the terrain.

    I can't honestly say it is "intutive" or "user friendly" because I have been using it too long. My learning curve with it stretches back too far to be objective.

    But I can say I will use NOTHING else for serious audio, and as I've stated elsewhere recently: I would seriously consider getting OUT of my line of work if I didn't have this product to use. I am that passionate about it. It does EVERYTHING. (Well, ok, it's not a midi monster app, but I wouldn't use it for that anyway......Cakewalk or something else is much better suited for that.) And, latency can be an issue if you're doing tons of hard-core overdubbing with lots of effects. (But then again, it wont cost what PTs costs, either...)

    MIDI & Latency limitations aside, Samp/Sequoia sounds like NOTHING because that's what it's supposed to do. Until you MAKE it sound like something with EQ, plugins, VST's, MBCs., etc.

    One of my favorite things is to sit down with staunch PT users, and show them what's already included under the hood. (The most common utterance is: "Wow, PT's has that as a plug in, but they make you pay extra for it!") Same with SADIE; I know a few folks who now virulently HATE them (SADIE) for the overpriced, ridiciulously expensive things in their turnkey systems that are already included with Samp/Seq.

    Samp/Seq. is an unbeatable application for recording, overdubbing, mixing, editing, mastering and restoration. V8 also claims to have better AVI implemenation, so I expect to be able to work with audio-for-video projects more and more in Samp instead of shelling back out to Vegas for some things.

    You can also mix in stereo or surround, at any bit depth and sample rate, with the track count going as high as your host PC will allow.

    There are room sims to die for (and users on their forum are always creating more, offering them to members for free) as well as time/pitch correction (independent of each other, if nec) and all kinds of powerful tools, including declipping, noise reduction, FFT analysis (and waveform redraw), dehissing and other goodies on the fly, multiband dynamics, compression, limiting, amp modeling, and some new goodies I've barely scratched the surface on in Sequioa (Elastic Audio, reNOVAtor plugins from Algorithmix, to name two). All of these tools are available on individual tracks as well as the main outputs, and they can be used offline or in "real time" (again, as long as your CPU can handle it...which in most cases, it can.)

    best of all is the sound (or lack thereof) when doing mixes and bounces. (Something to do with the algorithms that Samplitude uses to sum the buses, I"m told.) Transparancy is a good way to describe it; but I prefer "uncolored" and accurate, which is vital in the classical/jazz/acoustic music world. The 24 bit 2-mixes I end up with sound EXACTLY like the multitrack playback, another one of Samp/Sequoia's strong points.

    Ben mentioned the object-oriented editing system, and like a few other "pro" apps, this is truly the heart of the matter. All editing is non-destructive (Unless you decide otherwise) and you can always back out of just about any changes you make. Once you know your way around the app, you can work incredibly fast with this product, and in addition to great mixes, you can do astounding repairs and fixes to thing that are usually considered goners.

    I have had clients literally in tears of JOY over things we've fixed or resurrected or simply polished with this app. Perhaps those other apps can do similar things, but IMHO nothing does it as elegantly as Samplitude/Sequoia.

    I have used it in my studio for years, and in the last 3 years now, I've moved it to my laptop as well (with an assortment of interfaces, the latest is the Mackie ONYX) to record live remotes. Hardware and PC problems aside, the app never crashes, and I am almost tempted to stop running backup MDM tapes. Truly, if you're running a CDr safety and Samplitude/Sequoia on a stable machine (PC or laptop), you're as safe as you can be, the app really IS that stable.

    I know there are other apps out there that do a fine job, but for me it's all about the sound, the stability, the flexibility in the studio, and the workflow from start to finish for any project.

    IMHO, there's nothing better out there, not for this kind of serious music and production work.

    Considering that many of us here are "Lone Wolves" in this genre of (acoustic) music recording, I find it to be a natural application to use INSTEAD of what the rest of the pack is using. (PTs). Throw away your preconceptions and give it a try, this is the app that will puy you in a class by itself, above and away from the pack. (Anyone passing through the Philadelphia area is welcome to contact me for a free demo, onsite or here at my place.)

    Sorry, I'm gushing again...... :roll:
     
  7. bap

    bap Member

    So tell us what you really think, Joe!

    I have used e-logic, Steinberg, Soundforge, and Sonar. Now that I use Samplitude I feel that I have 'arrived'. If I am rich some day, maybe I'll get Sequoia. [/i]
     
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay, so I'll admit to being a criminal. I'll probably rot in hell for admitting it. I've used pirated software. :evil:

    I don't know about the rest of you but I don't have $15,000 to buy the various versions of the crap on the market just to find out I don't like it. So, during the glory days of Kazaa, before it became a festering sespool of viruses and spyware, I downloaded:

    Kool Edit Pro
    Pro Tules
    Samplitood
    Vegass
    Wayvlab
    Q-Bass
    N-YewEndo

    and numerous others that I can't spell :wink:

    For the longest time, I used Cubase (and purchased it, based on my "free" evaluation copies) and toyed around with the rest. It wasn't until recently that I began trying various versions of "Big Boy" software such as Pyramix (which I bought a version of Pyramix Native off of Ebay - much like John, I'm sure it was pirated, but was led to believe otherwise during the sale.), Sequoia, and various turnkey systems from people such as Sadie, iZ RADAR, and Genex. So here's my thoughts on the little guys:

    Nuendo, Cubase, ProTools (yes, on Mac- though I'm a die hard PC dude), Cool Edit - they all sounded the same. During a multi-track mix, I could get everything sounding the way I wanted it, but then eventually, when I summed it to 2 channels, it sounded wierd. Levels weren't the same as the output bus meter showed from the multi-track, various distortions began creeping up, and panning relationships just seemed a bit off.

    On to the big boys:

    Genex - awesome sounding system. I truly felt I could get top notch results from this system. However, I would still have to own editing software as the Genex is EXTREMELY limited in its edit capabilities.

    Sadie - something just didn't feel right about Sadie. I don't like proprietary crap. It did a fine job, but I just couldn't justify the $$$.

    Pyramix - love it. sounds great and the native stuff is cheap - pretty limiting though - 8 channels only. :(

    iZ RADAR - love hate relationship. This system, as well as the Genex and the Sadie were systems that I've only gotten to use a little bit in other facilities, but out of all of them, the RADAR was my favorite in terms of flexibility, editing, etc. There was something about the sound though. I can't put my fingertips on it, but it just didn't work on classical for me. I think I could be blindfolded in a room with a mix played back on the RADAR and I could tell you it was a RADAR that did the recording and editing.

    Samplitude (Sequoia): Perhaps one of the companies that I exploited the least in my younger, less scrupulous days. I had an older version of Samp and I didn't dig it too much. However, I was a little green at computer based stuff when I heard it/used it. That being said, I downloaded the free sample of Samplitude a few months ago, and even though I can only do 1 minutes worth of work at a time and can't save, I have had more fun playing with it that any other piece of software.

    John, as you mentioned, there is something wierd about how it just sounds cleaner.

    I just purchased my full Sequoia this week and will be anxiously awaiting it and V8s arrival.

    I don't like spending money, much less $2500 on software, but I do feel extremely confident that this was money well spent!

    Just a couple more thoughts...

    J...
     
  9. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Heh, heh... 3 moderators, 3 Sequoia users....

    Excellent..... :twisted: (said in my best Mr. Burns voice...)

    :D

    Today, I get to deal with the insanity of different DAW formats. Got a project coming in- recorded in DP, Percussion overdubs in PT to the rough DP mixes. Have to export OMFs from DP, broadcast wav's from PT and going to mix in Sequoia after everything has been manually re-sync'd. Ugh...

    --Ben
     
  10. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    What a response! My ears aren't lying to me after all.

    I appreciate all of the responses. It's a pity I can't afford Sequoia, but I've been blown away messing around with the free demo of version 7.

    The room simulator is great. Even the EQ sounds good!

    Thanks everyone,
    John
     
  11. bap

    bap Member

    Get Samplitude then. I cannot afford Sequoia either but Samp is very advanced and sophisticated software. Nothing wrong with it at all!

    Ask Joe. He has been using Samplitude and is just now making the leap to Sequoia.
     
  12. violindave

    violindave Guest

    I'm going to download the demo of samplitude.

    Here's my scene. I just bought a custom PC, plus Nuendo and a ton of other studio equipment. Have my own band and am ready to record my next album - it's eclectic, world fusion, mix of influences from classical to middle east, afro-cuban, blues, you name it. violin, acoustic guitar, plus 'lectric, fretless bass, drums, percussion and plan to throw a bit of keyboards, banjo, accordian, trumpet and trombone on the album just for the heck.

    I just upgraded to Nuendo 3. I'm getting crashes and weird stuff and it's making me play computer engineer which I just ain't.

    here's some questions for you samplitude folks:
    1. is it truly truly stable?
    2. if I like the demo how can I go about getting a complete setup with computer and probably sequoia [I do plan to do video / film work also] that will truly WORK, no fuss no muss?
    3. Does it have the capability of using external hardware effects as plugins and does this really work?
    4. I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable with Nuendo after just a few weeks. How long will it take me to learn Sequoia. I'm smart but not the most literate on computers. I want to be able to produce music and not get stuck in mechanics.
    5. How is the support, forums etc?

    look forward to your reponses, sorry to highjack the thread, but it came up on a google search on samplitude.
    cheers
    Dave
    http://www.violindave.com
     
  13. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Like any program out there, there are of course a few bugs here and there, but in general, it is very stable. I almost never have crashes and I'm including beta software in there. You'll find some issues still with Effect monitoring while recording. If you record dry, though, you'll be styling...

    http://www.sequoiadigital.com The only approved (by Magix) turnkey operation out there. I own two of them for my recording and in the interest of disclosure, I also help Jeff provide support and demos to some of the potential clients. I don't get anything if you go that direction, but I do have a connection with them...

    Sure... You need to route it out rather than just insert like you would in Pro Tools or similar software, but it certainly is possible (I use a Lexicon 300 on a lot of my stuff). You will need to record the returns back or do a hardware loop for bouncing (bouncing is an offline process so you need to record at some point).

    You can get up and running in an afternoon... There is a lot to learn and you'll be learning and figuring out better ways of doing things for months, but to get started is pretty easy. I've been using it for years and I'm still learning about features I never knew existed.

    From Sequoiadigital, first rate (24 hour support is available). From Synthax, very good... From Magix, well... sometimes not so good, sometimes great. There is a user forum that you'll get developers answering your questions directly, but some of the discussions can get a bit heated sometimes.

    Those that know me know that I'm quite the cheerleader for this software... I really believe in what it can do- even when things frustrate me sometimes. I do try to be unbiased, though, when people talk with me about it. If it isn't the program for you, you shouldn't use it. Try the Samplitude demo and you'll likely find some of the bugs- don't worry about them for the time being, but rather look at the interface and listen to the sound. Sequoia uses the same engine, but adds functionality. If you like Samp, you'll likely love Sequoia (especially with editing). If you don't like Samp, you may have issues with Sequoia... Keep in mind where the differences between the programs lie. If it is a feature in both that you absolutely can't stand, then that means you should probably look elsewhere... If it is a feature (like editing) that is much better in Sequoia, then reserve judgement.

    Hope this helps some...

    --Ben
     
  14. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'll jump in here as well. (anyone who's bored or sick of hearing about Samp/Sequoia at this point, just click past!)

    I'm one of the "East Coast" cheerleaders for Samp/Sequoia, and have recently moved up to Sequoia from Samplitude. My own take on the differences between the two is that Sequoia is the very "Ultimate" audio software from Magix, while Samplitude is essentially the same product with a few features disabled. Perhaps I'm overstating the case, but it sure seems that way. (I'll list some of the featurs/differences below...)

    Samplitude is fairly expensive, while Sequoia is over the top, price-wise. Not sure why such a big gap in the cost, but we'll leave it at that for now. (They claim Sequoia is also multi-user ready for file sharing and multiple user environments, etc. - Very big in Europe, they say - but you only get ONE dongle per purchase, so you can only use it on one machine at a time - the software can be installed anywhere you like, on multiple machines. Having said that, it still costs quite a bit PER DONGLE. So, unless I'm missing something, it would seem to cost a small fortune for an entire business - a radio or tv station, for example - to equip multiple workstations all over the place.)

    Both Seq. & Samp are now Dongle-protected with V8. (Fair enough, then...) Use it on any machine you like, but don't lose the dongle, or you're SOL. (Mine has a BIG keyring on it now, so it's not going to fall out of a shirt pocket or carrying case. The times that I DO move it, (location recording, etc.) I immediately string it on the power supply cord of my Firewire Hard Drive, so one doesn't travel without the other, and both get VIP treatment as well. (Hey, I made a funny there...as any Samp/Seq would get the joke! :? )

    But you're still looking at two choices: Samp or Sequoia. Either can be installed on home or laptop computers, or dedicated work stations. They are native applications, and you don't need much more than that, although like with any of these apps., you're wise to disable things that rob resources or not use any other Windows stuff when doing audio. Of course, it's always recommended you get the fastest machine you can, but it'll run on a fairly "slow" P4....even a P3 in a pinch.

    I've used both Samp 7 & Seq 8 out on location with my Firewire interfaces (for Preamps and HD storage) and it all works rock-solid, seemlessly. (the only problems I've ever had were cables, power cord issues - as in: kicked out of the wall! - and the usual pilot error things early on, like turning off HD & Laptop power saver features, etc.)

    I will say that if I had to start clean, with $ as no object, I'd sit down with Sequoia Digital and find out what they can do for you, with a turnkey system that does it all right out of the box. (I am NOT affiliated in any way with them, other than my emails and posts here with Ben, I get nothing out of this recommendation...I just know excellence when I see it.)

    I met them all at AES SF last fall, and the product they turn out - both the host computer & the software - Sequoia - is second to none. Their tech support is phenomenal, as well. I saw a LOT of slack jaws at their booth, and I'm sure hoping they'll do well in the future. (Magix - the European/German parent company of Samp & Seq. doesn't do ENOUGH promotion in this country, IMHO. It's up to Synthax & Tom Sailor, or Jeff at Seq. Digital to carry the banner, I guess....)

    Now, on to the features, some of which Ben has already covered:

    1. it's just about bullet proof for tracking & mixing. You can auto-save when doing edits and mixes, so in the rare times you do encounter a crash, you're usually safe.

    2. I've heard a lot of complaints on the users forum about real-time effects and latency during recording/tracking. I don't work with it that way, and I can't comment on it specifically. If this is an issue for you, you should know about it.

    3. Same with MIDI. I never use Samp/Seq for MIDI (I fire up Cakewalk the rare times that I do...) I"ve heard it's a LOT better in V8 for both Samp & Seq., so one can only hope. God knows it would go a long way to shut up the chronic complainers on the Samplitude Users forum about it. There is a new MIDI feature in V8 called "Robota" that looks like a lot of fun, as well...if you need that sort of thing.

    4. Users Forum. As Ben already mentioned, there is a PRIVATE, closed users forum for Samp & Sequoia., and it's an odd place. It's of course run by and screened by the Magix dev team, but it's anyone's guess how often they read it and comment. Sometimes they're spot-on, sometimes they're slow to respond. And even then, the responses are not always what you want to read. (As Ben can attest). To be fair, there is a HUGE language gap between all the users around the world expressing themselves in English, and that's ok, it's always worth learning something new that way from a user who's got a completely different perspective. However, there are often huge time-wasters bitching about a feature or a function that doesn't quite do exactly what THEY want it to do, and then the whining & sniping (and time wasting) begins. It's a bit Orwelian too, in that you're never quite sure who's reading, who's responding, and who's going to CENSOR you if you go too far. For now, it's fairly quiet and calm over there, since the V8 is just about to hit everyone's doorstep, if the latest promises of delivery are true. (We'll see!)

    The delay over the arrival of V8 has been VERY VERY hotly debated over there as well, and it's been one big disfunctional international family for a while now, since the summer of '04. Hopefully, that's done with V8....for now.

    As for the features...there really isn't enough room here to list them all, so please feel free to email me privately to know more. Here's just a few:

    1. Four-point editing. Sequoia has this, Samp does not. (See the Sequoia web page for more info). Tough to explain this in a few lines, but it's a "Source/destination" editor setup where you can quickly (with keyboard/shortcuts) select in and out points for a wav file, and just as quickly "Paste" the selected material on a new timeline, with pre-selected (and infinitely adjustable) crossfades. Those who work with it regularly can FLY with tedious editing tasks like VOs, or long session takes - removing lulls, false starts, and anything else you can imagine. It's a really amazing feature, something you have to see in action to truly appreciate. (Oh, you can do this with MULTIPLE tracks as well, so you can also pre-edit 5.1 or stereo mixes this way, too...it's not limited to just a single or stereo wav file. Stunning!!!!)

    2. Object-oriented editing. (This has been covered quite a bit elsewhere...you can search this forum for more info, as well.) In essence, you're working on a represenation of a wav file, NOT the actual wav file itself. It's non-destructive edting; you can always undo what you've done. (You can also work on the wav file directly in a different view screen, and this is of course DE-structive editing.) (BOTH Samp & Seq)

    3. Tons of Room sims, DSP, stereo (to/from Mono) enhancement, advanced dynamcis, multiband Dynamics, EQ, FFT (real time and offline, etc.) BOTH S&S) New Amp sim and other goodies in both, as well.

    4. Elastic Audio. (I THINK this is offered with both Samp & Seq). A real god-send for anyone who's got to fix a pitch change - droopy choir recordings, etc. You get a separate view area to redraw the pitch curve to bring it back to pitch - without changing tempo. The new algorithms are great; within reason, it's totally clean and undetectable, even for a lot of classical stuff. You can also change tempo without pitch, in the "Resample" features...with both Sam & Seq.

    5. DVD-A creation is now incluced in V8 (in BOTH products, I THINK...) 5.1 and stereo mixing, of course, plus so much more...tons of restoration tools, too: Noise reduction, dehissing, declicking, and it will of course work with most plugins. (Check out Algorithmix.com for what THEY offer...including the reNOVAtor plugin - for Sequoia only).

    Out of time for how, there's SOooooo much more to list, this is really everything you can possibly use for tracking, mixing, editing and mastering. I honestly can't think of anything that comes close to it. (SADIE and PT users really flip out when they find out what's under the hood with this software - INCLUDED - instead of pricey add-ons.)

    And best of all, if you've got any PC/digital audio chops, you'll probably be up and running with it fairly quickly, as Ben said... plus you've spend a career getting to know all the ins and outs of it. (plus you'll have plenty of folks you can ask for tips and tricks, right here.)

    We're ALL still learning more about it every time we use it, it's that deep and powerful.
     
  15. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'll jump in here as well. (anyone who's bored or sick of hearing about Samp/Sequoia at this point, just click past!)

    I'm one of the "East Coast" cheerleaders for Samp/Sequoia, and have recently moved up to Sequoia from Samplitude. My own take on the differences between the two is that Sequoia is the very "Ultimate" audio software from Magix, while Samplitude is essentially the same product with a few features disabled. Perhaps I'm overstating the case, but it sure seems that way. (I'll list some of the featurs/differences below...)

    Samplitude is fairly expensive, while Sequoia is over the top, price-wise. Not sure why such a big gap in the cost, but we'll leave it at that for now. (They claim Sequoia is also multi-user ready for file sharing and multiple user environments, etc. - Very big in Europe, they say - but you only get ONE dongle per purchase, so you can only use it on one machine at a time - the software can be installed anywhere you like, on multiple machines. Having said that, it still costs quite a bit PER DONGLE. So, unless I'm missing something, it would seem to cost a small fortune for an entire business - a radio or tv station, for example - to equip multiple workstations all over the place.)

    Both Seq. & Samp are now Dongle-protected with V8. (Fair enough, then...) Use it on any machine you like, but don't lose the dongle, or you're SOL. (Mine has a BIG keyring on it now, so it's not going to fall out of a shirt pocket or carrying case. The times that I DO move it, (location recording, etc.) I immediately string it on the power supply cord of my Firewire Hard Drive, so one doesn't travel without the other, and both get VIP treatment as well. (Hey, I made a funny there...as any Samp/Seq would get the joke! :? )

    But you're still looking at two choices: Samp or Sequoia. Either can be installed on home or laptop computers, or dedicated work stations. They are native applications, and you don't need much more than that, although like with any of these apps., you're wise to disable things that rob resources or not use any other Windows stuff when doing audio. Of course, it's always recommended you get the fastest machine you can, but it'll run on a fairly "slow" P4....even a P3 in a pinch.

    I've used both Samp 7 & Seq 8 out on location with my Firewire interfaces (for Preamps and HD storage) and it all works rock-solid, seemlessly. (the only problems I've ever had were cables, power cord issues - as in: kicked out of the wall! - and the usual pilot error things early on, like turning off HD & Laptop power saver features, etc.)

    I will say that if I had to start clean, with $ as no object, I'd sit down with Sequoia Digital and find out what they can do for you, with a turnkey system that does it all right out of the box. (I am NOT affiliated in any way with them, other than my emails and posts here with Ben, I get nothing out of this recommendation...I just know excellence when I see it.)

    I met them all at AES SF last fall, and the product they turn out - both the host computer & the software - Sequoia - is second to none. Their tech support is phenomenal, as well. I saw a LOT of slack jaws at their booth, and I'm sure hoping they'll do well in the future. (Magix - the European/German parent company of Samp & Seq. doesn't do ENOUGH promotion in this country, IMHO. It's up to Synthax & Tom Sailor, or Jeff at Seq. Digital to carry the banner, I guess....)

    Now, on to the features, some of which Ben has already covered:

    1. it's just about bullet proof for tracking & mixing. You can auto-save when doing edits and mixes, so in the rare times you do encounter a crash, you're usually safe.

    2. I've heard a lot of complaints on the users forum about real-time effects and latency during recording/tracking. I don't work with it that way, and I can't comment on it specifically. If this is an issue for you, you should know about it.

    3. Same with MIDI. I never use Samp/Seq for MIDI (I fire up Cakewalk the rare times that I do...) I"ve heard it's a LOT better in V8 for both Samp & Seq., so one can only hope. God knows it would go a long way to shut up the chronic complainers on the Samplitude Users forum about it. There is a new MIDI feature in V8 called "Robota" that looks like a lot of fun, as well...if you need that sort of thing.

    4. Users Forum. As Ben already mentioned, there is a PRIVATE, closed users forum for Samp & Sequoia., and it's an odd place. It's of course run by and screened by the Magix dev team, but it's anyone's guess how often they read it and comment. Sometimes they're spot-on, sometimes they're slow to respond. And even then, the responses are not always what you want to read. (As Ben can attest). To be fair, there is a HUGE language gap between all the users around the world expressing themselves in English, and that's ok, it's always worth learning something new that way from a user who's got a completely different perspective. However, there are often huge time-wasters bitching about a feature or a function that doesn't quite do exactly what THEY want it to do, and then the whining & sniping (and time wasting) begins. It's a bit Orwelian too, in that you're never quite sure who's reading, who's responding, and who's going to CENSOR you if you go too far. For now, it's fairly quiet and calm over there, since the V8 is just about to hit everyone's doorstep, if the latest promises of delivery are true. (We'll see!)

    The delay over the arrival of V8 has been VERY VERY hotly debated over there as well, and it's been one big disfunctional international family for a while now, since the summer of '04. Hopefully, that's done with V8....for now.

    As for the features...there really isn't enough room here to list them all, so please feel free to email me privately to know more. Here's just a few:

    1. Four-point editing. Sequoia has this, Samp does not. (See the Sequoia web page for more info). Tough to explain this in a few lines, but it's a "Source/destination" editor setup where you can quickly (with keyboard/shortcuts) select in and out points for a wav file, and just as quickly "Paste" the selected material on a new timeline, with pre-selected (and infinitely adjustable) crossfades. Those who work with it regularly can FLY with tedious editing tasks like VOs, or long session takes - removing lulls, false starts, and anything else you can imagine. It's a really amazing feature, something you have to see in action to truly appreciate. (Oh, you can do this with MULTIPLE tracks as well, so you can also pre-edit 5.1 or stereo mixes this way, too...it's not limited to just a single or stereo wav file. Stunning!!!!)

    2. Object-oriented editing. (This has been covered quite a bit elsewhere...you can search this forum for more info, as well.) In essence, you're working on a represenation of a wav file, NOT the actual wav file itself. It's non-destructive edting; you can always undo what you've done. (You can also work on the wav file directly in a different view screen, and this is of course DE-structive editing.) (BOTH Samp & Seq)

    3. Tons of Room sims, DSP, stereo (to/from Mono) enhancement, advanced dynamcis, multiband Dynamics, EQ, FFT (real time and offline, etc.) BOTH S&S) New Amp sim and other goodies in both, as well.

    4. Elastic Audio. (I THINK this is offered with both Samp & Seq). A real god-send for anyone who's got to fix a pitch change - droopy choir recordings, etc. You get a separate view area to redraw the pitch curve to bring it back to pitch - without changing tempo. The new algorithms are great; within reason, it's totally clean and undetectable, even for a lot of classical stuff. You can also change tempo without pitch, in the "Resample" features...with both Sam & Seq.

    5. DVD-A creation is now incluced in V8 (in BOTH products, I THINK...) 5.1 and stereo mixing, of course, plus so much more...tons of restoration tools, too: Noise reduction, dehissing, declicking, and it will of course work with most plugins. (Check out Algorithmix.com for what THEY offer...including the reNOVAtor plugin - for Sequoia only).

    Out of time for how, there's SOooooo much more to list, this is really everything you can possibly use for tracking, mixing, editing and mastering. I honestly can't think of anything that comes close to it. (SADIE and PT users really flip out when they find out what's under the hood with this software - INCLUDED - instead of pricey add-ons.)

    And best of all, if you've got any PC/digital audio chops, you'll probably be up and running with it fairly quickly, as Ben said.

    You could spend a career getting to know all the ins and outs of it, plus you'll have plenty of folks you can ask for tips and tricks, right here.

    We're ALL still learning more about it every time we use it, it's that deep and powerful. As you can tell, I can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  16. violindave

    violindave Guest

    2. I've heard a lot of complaints on the users forum about real-time effects and latency during recording/tracking. I don't work with it that way, and I can't comment on it specifically. If this is an issue for you, you should know about it.

    3. Same with MIDI. I never use Samp/Seq for MIDI (I fire up Cakewalk the rare times that I do...) I"ve heard it's a LOT better in V8 for both Samp & Seq., so one can only hope. God knows it would go a long way to shut up the chronic complainers on the Samplitude Users forum about it. There is a new MIDI feature in V8 called "Robota" that looks like a lot of fun, as well...if you need that sort of thing.

    [/quote]

    Thanks guys for the informative responses!

    I'm not interestd in recording with effects in real time. Although I haven't had a chance to use it yet due to crashes Nuendo 3 has a new feature where you can create an FX plugin out of an external fx box and use it as an effects send right in the program. I have a Kurzweil KSP8, some old upgraded LXP15s and some old delays etc I'd like to use in this way. Got the idea maybe Samp/Sequoia can do that but not sure.
    Does it work like that?

    For midi I also have Cakewalk proaudio 9 and would porbably upgrade it to Sonar 4 and use that. How easy is it to transfer midi files from say Sonar into Samp/Seq?
    cheers!
    Dave
     
  17. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    You can absolutely use your outboard boxes. The routing takes a bit of doing, but it is certainly possible. I use a Lexicon 300 in a fair amount of my mixes...

    As for midi, you can import from other programs, but being on the audio end of things, I don't know much about how to do it. In Version 8, they did massive MIDI improvements and a number of my more midi-inclined friends tell me that they can finally do the whole process in Samp/Sequoia... I'll take their word as I'm kind of a midiot here...

    --Ben
     
  18. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    With multi-track classical stuff, do you guys mix to stereo first, then edit, and apply effects, mastering, or do you multi-track edit?
     
  19. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I always edit multitrack then mix... Doing stuff in the 2track domain doesn't always work. For classical it usually isn't a problem, but for jazz it almost never works. The nice thing about editing multitrack is when acoustics change due to an audience, I can compensate for it in the edits (especially if I have ambience mics).

    --Ben
     
  20. violindave

    violindave Guest

    Downloaded the demo of Samplitude 8 tonight. Wasn't as bad as I thought it might be to figure out how to do anything, though it will obviously take me a bit of study to really be able to use it.

    Are there any good books or videos or online courses in Samplitude or Sequioa?

    How bad is the manual?

    I did a little test tonight with the demo, not sure if it was valid or fair. I ripped a track of a CD into both Samp and Nuendo3.
    I played the track from the CD, then from the wave file in Samp, then from the CD then from Nuendo

    Maybe I'm imaging things but to me it sounded like Nuendo took off some off the highs and muddied them up. This particular CD sounds too digital for my liking and too compressed so Nuendo actually warmed it up but it also closed in the sound and muddied it up and more importantly altered the original. Samp sounded pretty much exactly like the CD to me.

    Is this a fair test and does this corroborate what any of you hear in the difference between Samp and Nuendo or other programs?
     

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