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I want to get into sequencing...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hidden Driveways, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Hello all,

    I've been involved with recording/synths for quite some time now, but as of yet I haven't done anything with sequencers. I don't know much about them and I'm wondering which ones are better for beginners.

    A friend of mine had this nifty old analog synth with a really, REALLY simple sequencer on it. If I remember correctly you just pushed the sequence button, hammered out a little ditty on the keys, and that was it. It played back to you the sequence you played on the keyboard.

    I don't need something that simple, but it would be nice to be able to start out and pick up how to use it quickly.

    I'm not sure if there is much available as far as sequencers for DAWs, but if there are (and I'm guessing there are many) I have Sonar 2, Wavelab, and Sound Forge. I don't have much $$$, so the cheaper the better. Something FREE would be ideal.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  2. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    Hmm...free/shareware DAW with sequencing on the PC (I'm guessing 'cos of the programs you mentioned you use).

    I dunno...does NTrack do MIDI?

    Otherwise, Cubasis or something like that.

    Anyone else have an idea?
     
  3. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Is Digidesign still offering "Pro-Tools Free"?
     
  4. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Sam,

    If you have Sonar 2 then you already have everything you could possibly need!

    --Ethan
     
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Hi Nate, I have the cubasis, and it works well. There are many features and views. It syncs and drives well to other gear as a slave or master.

    The only thing that I don't care for is it's rather tedious setup, and track view. The track view looks like some kind of waves but are just velocity indicators for the midi.

    Cubasis also provides two digital tracks for your mixer (sound module mix output), or you can use them for adding tracks. There must be something less complex by now. HD, see what they have over on this shareware site .

    Good luck,
    --Rick
     
  6. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    I second the SONAR 2 call. Get that, and you pretty much might not even need external hardware. Up to you to obtain good plugins, though the default synth/oscillators are pretty decent.
     
  7. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Falkon,

    > Up to you to obtain good plugins <

    If he waits for Sonar 3 he can get the UltraFunkplug-inswhich are excellent. But it looks like he said he already has Sonar 2, no?

    --Ethan
     
  8. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Wups, yeah. Overlooked that.
     
  9. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what Sonars capabilities are ..

    BUT

    I have to lean to what Ethan said. You already have this and you already have some knowledge of the software.

    Any one of us here could write a book on this stuff and it might be out of date by the time you read it. It might also be completely off target compared to where you want to be. Sequencers and sequencering started 20 years ago and in some respects the word doesn't fit the task anymore.

    Rather than bore you with ten thousand words, ... I can say that the news is all good.

    Before we advise it might be good to know,
    What synth gear do you currently have ?
    What do your friends have and use ?
    What are your expectations ?

    In the mean time grab a General Midi File and import it into Sonar and just have a look and play. A General Midi File should also play in the Win Media File player.

    a very familiar tune short and sweet with a wobble bit that is good as a demo to something. More later.
    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/JamesBond.mid

    The more you learn about MIDI the better we can help you. I know that seems stupid as if you knew the answers you wouldn't need to ask. Just trust in the people here, learn a little then ask a new question and so on. In no time, so much will begin to make sense.

    A doc from a long time ago
    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/MIDIBAS.pdf
     
  10. Thanks all,

    Unfortunately I'm not at my home computer right now (I'm at "work"), so I can't pull up Sonar 2. I imagine if I open it up and go to Help topics, I can just enter in 'sequencer' and instructions will pop up?

    As far as midi goes, I have some experience. I own an Emu ESI4000 sampler that I control with a Korg 707 (a blue one). I haven't delved into midi files very much. The other day I plugged the 707 into my soundcard and recorded a midi track on Sonar. Then I played the track back and sent the midi cable out to the 707 and triggered the notes in the midi track. And I looped it. Hey, wait a second, that's pretty much sequencing isn't it?

    My expections for sequencing? I guess I just want another arrow in my quivver. I want to experiment. Add sequences to songs that are already partially recorded. Make songs with sequences initally and add other instruments.

    Here's a question for ya... If I record two or more midi tracks, with my set up (M-Audio Delta 10-10 soundcard) I can only trigger one midi device at a time (except for the Thru port on the keyboard). Is there a way to trigger more than one keyboard at time if you have multiple midi tracks? Or do you have to go track by track, sending the midi track to the keyboard and recording it's output on another track?

    As far as keyboards go I also have a Korg Mono/Poly and a Farfisa VIP. Both of them blind to the midi world.

    I'll play with that general midi file next time I get a chance.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  11. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Yo HD, This is a response to your question on multiple midi tracks. I currently own 2 multi-port midi interfaces ( but I rely solely on 1 ), a MOTU midi express & MTP A/V. My setup consists of various midi modules. I use a Roland A-70, 76 key controller as my master keyboard which is connected to the MTP A/V's midi in (port 1). My other keyboard is a Ensoniq ASR-10 ( w/ the floresent display ) which is used as a secondary controller/sound module. My rack consists of a Kurzweil K2500RS module, Roland JV1080 w/ expansion cards, Korg Triton Rack module, Emu Planet Phatt module, TC Helicon Voice Prisim module, and a aging Korg 01R/W module. Each module consumes 16 midi channels. So if you have 8 or 9 midi outs coming from your midi interface, each out represents 16 channels for a total of 128 or so channels. I use Cubase SX and can access any sound or midi track at any given time. The best part is once you get the hang of it, you can do some amazing things that you can't do with audio. You have total control over certain perameters such as velocity, after-touch, sustain and etc. And this will also help you understand some of the fundimentals of music better. Don't listen to anybody that say's "midi sounds too robotic or anything of that nature to downplay it". Experiment some more and you'll see a bigger world exposed right at your fingertips. :D
     
  12. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Sam,

    > I imagine if I open it up and go to Help topics, I can just enter in 'sequencer' <

    For best results you'll do well to spend an evening reading the manual, especially the Getting Started section. Sonar is a deep program that does a lot of very cool things. Time spent learning the basics will be paid back in spades. I'm not saying to read every single word - that would take a month to digest. But learn the basics, then come back here with questions.

    > If I record two or more midi tracks ... I can only trigger one midi device at a time <

    How many different parts do you think you need to record all at once? This is the key point. With any overdubbing process you play one part at a time, then mix them all together later. It's rarely necessary to record more than one part at a time!

    --Ethan
     
  13. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Once again I'm right with Ethan,

    ... and yes it is rare that people record more than one midi track at a time but it is possible. In time you will understand the differences and requirements.

    You're on a PC ?? .... with a sound card ??

    please download that Genereal Midi File and work through your instruction manual and assign Sonars midi port to the soundcard. This may all happen by default. You should hear exactly what you will hear from Windows Media Player. You must have some monitoring of the sound card to hear the sound card. No sound up the midi cable.

    Once you get past this little step the penny should drop on what is called MULTI-TIMBRAL.
    Sure the Sound Card's Synth board may sound like crap but that doesn't matter as we are now standing on the edge of a world of Softh Synths that will blow your mind.

    A modern laptop with a new software package ( I don't want to give any names or influence you here ) with just the free give-away soft synths loaded makes for a very impressive demonstration. AND not a keyboard or sound module in site.
     
  14. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    Everyone has pretty much given the answers. To summarize:

    - The ability to get multiple parts over MIDI is more up to the tone generator than the sequencer. I can't remember the 707 clearly but I believe it was an "M1" spin off so it probably has a "Combi" or "Multi" mode. That mode is where you'd setup different sounds on separate MIDI channels.

    - Softsynths are a really good way to expand one's tonal "quiver". Compared to hardware synths, they're inexpensive (no hardware!) and sound decent.

    - Keep that Farfisa and Mono / Poly. Instead of sequencing them, simply, as you've probably been doing, record them into Sonar.

    - Let us know what kind of sequencing things you want to do and perhaps we can offer specific solutions.
     
  15. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    Hey, I just heard about Traktion today...might want to check it out!
     

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