If You're not using Samplitude...
You should be.
I've spent the last few days working within Samplitude Pro X Suite, and it is simply fantastic.
Those of you who follow the general mindset that all DAW's are the same should give this program a try.. because once you do, you won't think that way anymore.
I've been using Sonar for a hundred years now, I started using Cakewalk Pro back in the mid 90's when I was doing quite a bit of MIDI production and at that time, Pro Tools was shaky on the integration of audio and MIDI. In fact, my engineering peers at that time who used PT had to also use Digital Performer just so that they could work on the midi end of their productions.
I went with Sonar because it did integrate audio and midi very well. As the years went by, I got to know it inside and out. I also continued to work with PT quite a bit as well, because I had clients who had projects in that format, who would bring their tracks in to me to either mix or add tracks to.
Several months ago, I decided to give Samplitude a try. There was a thirty day trial period, so I figured I had nothing to lose.
What I didn't realize at that time was that besides having nothing to lose, I had everything to gain.
I decided to do an apples to apples comparison.
I took tracks - exactly the same tracks - and imported them into Sonar, PT, and Samplitude.
The difference was like night and day.
In comparison, here is what I found:
Sonar "does something" to the audio... and not in a good way. I don't know what it is technically, but I can tell you that the result is a "smeared" and "phasey" sound..
Pro Tools wasn't much better, except it seemed that I needed to use more of a particular processor (stock PT Plugs) to get the desired results I was seeking... so if I wanted to add sparkle on top, I needed to add more of the desired frequency range than I did in Samplitude.
When listening in Samplitude, the difference was immediate - as if someone had flipped some kind of "sonic truth" switch. The audio was crystal clear, defined, tight... imaging was beautiful.
It is incredibly accurate, sonically tight, defined - and without adding the "clinical sterility" that I've experienced in PT.
(Sonar didn't add any of this sterility, in fact, it went the opposite direction and added smeared frequencies, and overall sonics were ill-defined. Imaging was also smeared...)
(I know I keep using that word but it's the only descriptive term I can come up with that describes what I'm referring to)
I have no idea as to why this is...whether the difference is in the coding, or the architecture of the busing, or what... I don't know enough about the technical side of program development to know "what" code can cause "which" issues.
All I can say is that since I began working with Samplitude, it's as if someone "cleaned" my audio playback with some kind of "sonic Windex"... LOL... I think Tim Dobear from Magix described it in similar fashion when he was trying to explain the differences between Samplitude and other DAW's to other engineers who were skeptical.
This is not the result of a suggestive psychology, it's not a "placebo".
The difference is there. It's true, and I'm here to tell you that it most certainly is very real.
I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I don't work for Samplitude, I get no commissions from them... and neither Sonar or Avid has done anything to me personally to make me turn against them out of spite.
This is strictly about the quality and accuracy of audio, and the power and efficiency of the programs that help us to achieve what we want as engineers.
I would suggest that anyone who doesn't believe me take Samplitude for a test drive.
Yes.. okay... there's a learning curve... as there is with any new platform. But those of you who are experienced with DAW-based production shouldn't have any trouble getting used to it after a few days. Also, the internet is filled with great instructive how-to videos for Sampitude.
So far customer service has been fantastic. Queries are answered within minutes, problems solved in a very respectable time span. Go ahead and tell me truthfully that you've had the same experience with Avid. ;)
Also, the stock plugs and processors are fantastic. Also included are many VSTi's, one of which has really impressed me - Vandal - which is a guitar amp/cab simulation, with a full range of foot-pedal/stomp box effects. The modeling in this VSTi has really impressed me, and that's not an easy thing to to do, considering that for the most part, I pretty much HATE all guitar amp sims. LOL
But Vandal is pretty sweet. As of this writing, I have yet to open or experiment with the other VSTi's that come with the package... there's a whole collection of synths I haven't even opened yet.
Great sounding Reverbs, Delays, Compressors, Limiters, BSC, vintage processing emulation... is all included in this package, and all of these processors were coded for this platform.
Based on what I've experienced thus far, I'm fairly confident that I can get rid of pretty much all the plugs/processors that I've accumulated over the years... and that includes libraries like Voxengo, Waved Diamond, Blue Cat, etc. I simply don't need them anymore.
That's it... you can believe me or not, I understand your potential skepticism... as I used to be quite the skeptic myself in terms of DAW platforms and "differences".
But I urge you to give this program a try.
PT has become the standard in digital audio production... but it shouldn't be.
It should be Samplitude. There's simply no comparison in terms of quality, fidelity, processing and efficiency.
We might as well have the best guy to help on this. I've asked Tim to chime in.
While we wait for Tim,
It could be your CP is lagging, unable to make smooth processes because something else is running in the background.
Check your General Settings in the preferences John. I can't load Sam in where I am so I might have the wrong terms to advise.
In General Settings you can optimize the DAW. There are some important steps/options there that might need to be tweaked.
Just curious, what else is loaded while you are testing Samplitude? What have you done so far ? How many tracks are loaded...
Other than this, how are you doing so far?
This DAW is no toy, it needs to be loaded into an optimized PC. It will take TIME to re-curve your brain and get onto the workflow (DON'T GIVE UP!)
Its very much like a big beautiful recording console with so much more than you see at first glance.
I exported COmfortably Numb from Cubase into Sam. 31 tracks.
OK, I had my browser open during this! I was viewing tutorials and stuff. OK, my bad!
Cubase would have barfed if I did that. Samplitude just had rough faders. No skipping!
My PC is very much optimized. I'm a former Prof. of CompSci., etc. I built this PC and have it tweaked to the hilt. Except that I have a browser on it to check the weather.
being said, Weather is usually always running in the background, a bad java program? I would never use that on my DAW, John.
You need a smartphone for weather these days. ;) Joking aside, I would take that off if I was you.
Very true. The Mrs. has said she wants to buy me a PC for "everyday use and watching movies". :love:
Happy Wife, happy life!
JohnTodd, post: 417977, member: 39208 wrote: My PC is very much optimized. I'm a former Prof. of CompSci., etc. I built this PC and have it tweaked to the hilt. Except that I have a browser on it to check the weather.
you now have 31 tracks, all mono?
Create 2 Aux track too - (Reverb, Delay)
In a few I'm going to email you a link to a test run I just did. My ears and brain are shot for the day, but I think it already sounds better than the Cubase version.
I'm running an HP quad core/2.8g processor with 8 meg of Ram. I also have several other DAW platforms residing on the same PC (Sonar, StudioOne, Harrison MixBus, PT, as well as Sound Forge and a few other 2 track editing progs...)
And Samplitude runs seamlessly and effortlessly on my system.
My latest go at this re mix ( again but this time in Samp) involves 48 tracks... and not one hiccup... not even a sniffle.
It runs great.
8meg of ram ?? or 8gig ? ;)
Mine is a quad @3.8Ghz with 8Gig of RAM, and Sam runs much better than Cubase.
How in the HECK can Samplitude Pro X boot in about 4 seconds while Cubase takes about 3 minutes?
JohnTodd, post: 417998, member: 39208 wrote: Mine is a quad @3.8Ghz with 8Gig of RAM, and Sam runs much better than Cubase.
How in the HECK can Samplitude Pro X boot in about 4 seconds while Cubase takes about 3 minutes?
Yup. I found the exact same thing as well, compared to Sonar.
Although it might be that I haven't directed Samplitude to load every single plug on my computer. Just a guess.
And truthfully, after hearing Samp's processors, I don't even need to have it load all those vst's; waves, voxengo, fabfilter, or any of the other plugs I have. I'm more than happy with what comes stock in Samp.
pcrecord, post: 417992, member: 46460 wrote: 8meg of ram ?? or 8gig ? ;)
LOL... my bad... 8 GIG
LOL... 8 meg... as if I could even run a calculator app with that.
Ok guys, I took time to import the same tracks to Sonar X3 and Samplitude Pro X
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Don't say it's not mixed right, it's not a mix, just the plain tracks, no volume changes, just panning.
Let me know it you hear a difference and please let a side the placebo effect ;)
BTW, those tracks were made in a 10x11 room with the Liquid Safire 56, an Octopre and a ISA 2
No discernible difference to me, at least not that I can hear in these tracks. The again, you were using X, and I based my findings on Sonar 7.2.5, and PT 8.
Yours is also not nearly as dense of a mix as I'm used to working with either, especially in relation to the current tracks of "Still See You", which incorporates several electric guitars, a B3, 3 synths, multi layered backing vox, lead vox, bass, piano, acoustic guitars, etc.
Perhaps this is where the difference lies, in that the more tracks the project has, the more Sonar was smearing the sonics, and the more clearly Samp played them.
Or, it was an issue related to the version of Sonar I was using.
As a side note, I have to say I liked the song that you used, PC... very hooky, fun.
We should have a workshop in a while. I'd like to see you guys use Samplitude for a while, then talk about how to improve your/our mixing.
I'll try to mix the song in both DAW next week
Does Sam have an "Arranger Track" like Cubase does? Maybe it has a different name in Sam? I'm loving Samplitude and really want to ditch Cubase, but as a composer I really need an arranger track.
I'm not sure what that is, John... could you elaborate?
OK, let's say I'm creating a new song.
1. I get an idea for a riff. I play it a few times on my guitar. I figure out the tempo and set it on Cubase.
2. I record the riff with the click track running so it all lines up on the grid.
3. I repeat all this a few times creating the chorus, verse, intro, and changes/breakdowns, the outtro, etc.
4. I go to the various places on the timeline and create the drum parts, then the bass guitar parts, and some synth.
I now have a completed rhythm section for the song, but it's all scattered and out-of-order and does not repeat.
5. I call up an Arranger Track on Cubase, which sits on the timeline like any other track.
6. I go to the various sections, say, the Verse, and on the Arranger Track I draw a box with the pencil, and label it "Verse".
7. Same thing for all the other parts: Mark and label the Intro, Bridge, Chorus, changes/breakdowns, outtro, etc. Just whatever the song needs.
8. Now everything is labeled and Cubase knows what each and every section is, according to how I have labeled them, but they are still scattered.
9. I call up the Arranger Track's Inspector. This is the place where you would put plugins if it were an audio track. But on the Arranger Track I tell it the order I want things put in, like this:
2/ Verse X2 (play it twice)
5/ Verse X2
8/ Chageup #1 X2
9/ Changeup #2 X2
11/ Chorus X16 (for a fade-out later on in mastering)
So now Cubase knows the order and repititions I want.
10. In the Arranger Track Inspector, I push the magic button and:
11. The entire timeline is wiped clean, and all the sections are cut/copied and pasted onto the timeline in the correct order with the correct repetions. I can now play the entire song from start to finish! Every musical item I have programmed in so far is now on the timeline. In this example, that would be a scratch guitar, perfect drums, perfect bass, and perfect synth parts.
I save it all to a new file, open the new file, and begin the long process of perfecting the song, adding parts, tracking vocals, and putting in the official guitar parts, solos, etc.