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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.

http://pro.magix.com/en/samplitude/overview.459.html

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.

FWIW
d/

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Comments

DonnyAir Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:24

I don't know John... (but thanks for explaining that process.. itt seems likea cool feature).

I've never used a process like that in my workflow.

Either Chris - or Tim Dolbear - needs to chime in here on this one...

TimDolbear Sun, 08/03/2014 - 10:51

Hi, Nothing in samplitude to do this as easily as Cubase does. But with out sounding condescending, that is not something we get request to do as most all of our users are recording real instrument on songs that are done, i.e. producing. Also Samplitude and Sequoia are made for recording, editing, restoration, mixing, mastering, CD creation and Broadcast. Its really not the best as a writing sketch pad. It does do midi, very well in fact, and I use it for composing, and never really wanted a garageband style song creation thing...MAGIX does have a product call Music Maker that is made for doing what you are asking. Again, not trying to sound condescending or anything, just info.

If you get board, check our my Web show

[[url=http://[/URL]="

&feature=youtu.be"]View:

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&feature=youtu.be"]View:

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Its all about producing and I use Sequoia/Samplitude through out.

JohnTodd Sun, 08/03/2014 - 11:23

It's cool. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I'll give Music Maker a try. I'm looking at the website now. Can you tell me quickly, will I be able to export the midi files for my drums, bass, and synth (for example) from MM so I can load everything into Sam to do the finishing on it? I'm thinking do the sketchpad stuff in MM and then switch to Sam. What do you think?

Thanks!
-Johntodd

bigtree Sun, 08/03/2014 - 12:55

John, fwiw, you may already know this but I have been producing music like you do for years ( since the 80's) . When I got into Samplitude, it took a while to re-curve a few ways I do stuff, mostly midi based creation. Its everything I need now. I actually tried both Cubase and Sonar for the very reasons you and most people go that way but the sound of the acoustic music always suffered. Its like those DAW do EM better, but seriously lack in the sound. After discovering Samplitude, forcing myself to make the choice that is was real music (vocals and guitar for me) that had to come first, followed by my midi skills, I realized it was more a process of adapting. But there is no reason you can't use Cubase, Ableton, FL etc for specialized creation
tools too. I mean, do what ya got to do!

As Tim put, the software is the king for real music, midi takes a second seat but its no slouch either! Transient detection tools are really cool. Take live music and turn it into midi.
There is so much here, keep going. No matter what the outcome, you will only gain more knowledge.

Tim, I haven't used the matrix section much (is that only for Sequoia?). Isn't this similar to what John is talking about though? A matrix of all your samples, loops, session takes etc enabling simple click of a box or drag into the time line?

Just more links:
http://www.samplitude.com/en/category/workshops

DonnyAir Sun, 08/03/2014 - 14:43

I've recently had a chance to re-amp a few guitar tracks using Vandal, and I'm really liking the results... and that's coming from someone who doesn't generally like guitar sims.

I've used them over the years - GuitarRig, Amplitude, etc. - as temporary production tools - such as recording crunch rhythm and lead guitars if I get an idea late at night or early in the morning, and don't wanna piss off the little woman by cranking up my Fender HotRod DeVille.. LOL... but in the past I've always gone back and eventually re-tracked those guitar sim temporary parts using real amps and mics. And while that is still my main preference, I have to admit that I'm really liking the Vandal VSTi, and I can see using it for permanent tracks as well... and in fact, I already have.

One was with a track I recorded using my beloved '94 Fender American Tele ( see my avatar pic to the left) and a Line 6 Spider 1x12" combo - which I usually just use for rehearsals, so when I tracked it I wasn't crazy about the tone, but I felt it was just a temporary cue track anyway...and at the time I didn't wanna bother setting up my DeVille, which weighs in at roughly the same poundage as a baby Brontosaurus.

Anyway, just playing around, I re-amped the track using Vandal and a clean Fender amp combo sim...I was tickled by the program allowing me to also choose the types of speakers I wanted inside the amp..LOL. I chose a 2x12 U.S. Ceramic speaker type. The end result was more than just "useable", it turned out to be a great sounding keeper track.

Of course, Vandal is not the reason I got Samplitude. But it - along with the great sounding stock plugs that come with Pro X Suite - is a nice added benefit.

I haven't even opened the synth library yet.

JohnTodd Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:02

I'm sold on Samplitude. This will be my new DAW.

I;ll be going through a transition as I have many outstanding project on Cubase.

Help me "Future proof" my stuff. After I finish a song in Cubase and have it mixed/mastered and released to the public, what should I do? I don't want to keep Cubase installed with all it's stuff. Should I render out the individual .wav tracks and just archive those? I figure I can always load those into whatever DAW I'm using 20 years from now if I need to re-up them, right?

DonnyAir Mon, 08/04/2014 - 06:18

I wanted to do a comparison of Samp's GR plugs with a third-party collection, just to see how they stand up against something modern... all my other GR plugs are from Waves, Voxengo, etc., and, they are 32 bit and pretty dated. So, last night I downloaded Slate's VBR rack, on a 14 day trial, with the intent of giving them a truly fair comparison.

I was going into it with an open mind, totally non-biased, and willing to give them a completely fair shake... Except I can't authorize it without an iLok 2 / USB dongle. WTF? :confused:

Why in the world would they care about protecting a TRIAL version of their program? That seems to be overkill, a bit paranoid, and more than just a little ridiculous to me.
I have no other need for an iLok, so why would I go out and spend $50 just to try software?

Let me try your software, for the limited trial period. If I ended up liking the program, then fine... I purchase the dongle. along with your software, IF I think that the total investment is worth it, or of value to me.

But it's ridiculous to expect a potential customer to invest $50 into a device (that they have no other use for) in order to simply try a program.

Personally, I don't use any cracked software of any kind - (yeah...see.... I'm kind funny that way... I believe that if you want something, you should actually pay for it, although I realize that this is an antiquated notion, from a bygone era, before everyone and their Uncle felt a sense of entitlement to get everything they could ever want for free)

So, I completely understand and support copy/piracy protection.

But for a software trial? o_O

I-M-H-B-Q-P-O-O, of course. ( In My Humble But Quite Pissed Off Opinion)

d/

bigtree Mon, 08/04/2014 - 11:51

I see where you are all directed.
We are in the app generation thinking every daw should be made to hold our purchases no matter how good they really are, Right?

No wonder pro tools is popular and so it goes.

10 years down the road you/we are still holding onto waves and mind set, thinking we can do A/B of these plug-ins. I have my thoughts on that, are we kidding?

So, Do we spend more time creating a daw that will host all the products and look to one that has most of it all? Then, tred lightly with the DNA. I mean, how many kinds of potatoes do we need in the soup?
Should every daw be coded to work with low end or do you think this is even possible?

If I wanted a daw designed to be a shelf for all the supporting games, I would still be using pro tools.

There are two roads,

bigtree Mon, 08/04/2014 - 12:11

I see where you are all directed.
We are in the app generation thinking every daw should be made to hold our purchases no matter how good they really are, Right?

No wonder pro tools is popular and so it goes.

10 years down the road you/we are still holding onto waves and mind set, thinking we can do A/B of these plug-ins. I have my thoughts on that, are we kidding?

Q:
Do we spend more time creating a daw that will host all the products or look to one that has most of it all, Then, tread lightly with the basic DNA and only trust those in the same direction. I mean, how many kinds of industrial potatoes do we need in the organic soup?
Should every daw be coded to work with low end or do you think this is even possible?

If I wanted a daw designed to be a shelf for all the supporting games, I would still be using pro tools.

There are two roads, Avid and all the main stream plugs or boutique and specialized.

Less is more.

DonnyAir Mon, 08/04/2014 - 12:18

Hmmm.. I don't know what happened, I replied but my post just went "poof" and disappeared. LOL

I'm not "holding onto waves" at all. In fact, I've been pretty clear that I'm more than happy to never have to open up another Waves plug ever again after hearing what Samp has to offer. ;)

I just thought a comparison would be interesting, and I thought I should use something a little more current than the antiquated Waves collection that I was using back when I was in Sonar.

It's no deal-breaker for me. As I said, after hearing Samps plugs, I'm quite happy to use them exclusively. :)

I just thought it would be interesting and fun to compare the stock Samp plugs with another popular 3rd party plug maker.

Damned sure not gonna go out and buy a $50 ilok dongle just to try a piece of software, though. ;)

d/

bigtree Mon, 08/04/2014 - 13:28

Hi,
Waves, Slate, UAD etc are as examples of third party plugs. I'm not quoting you or anyone on this point, Donny. I'm commenting about where digital audio goes sideways.

Isn't there a DAW that does the supermarket plug thingy really well already? Isn't that called Pro Tools, then go shopping!
Pro Tools is the ideal product. UAD is the benchmark for the latest trend and everyone is following the ant trail.But, are all these plug-ins responding the same way in every DAW? I have my doubts.
UA was smarter than Avid. Avid tried to force us to buy their DAW and cards where UAD opened walmart up to everyone! Now everyone can have the exact plug. Again, I have my doubts.

What I keep wanting to ask, If we were to buy a real analog console, would we all be switching out the channel strips like plug-ins?

After 35 years in pro audio, I still don't get why you all are buying so many plug-ins and expecting them to match up evenly from DAW to DAW, code to code with precision.

Attempting a plugin comparison to whats stock in Samplitude is just bazaar to me.

Chris Perra Mon, 08/04/2014 - 14:09

I'd say Cubase on a pc is the daw of choice as far as plug in integration. There have been many times when Uad worked on that platform and not on a Mac or Protools at first.

Although they discontinued DX plug ins a few years ago. Cubase had some problems with 32 bit plug ins running on 64 bit platform. They have that worked out now though.

Testing tracks between Cubase 7 and the Samplitude demo not running any plug ins just straight audio.. which was tracked in Cubase.. I noticed Cubase had a louder playback than Samplitude by a few Db.. Samplitude has 180 notches of pan vs 200 in Cubase and rendering the same song Samplitudes version was 1.04 db louder..

They sounded super close.. Samplitude had a slightly tighter bottom end like they roll of around 35 to 39 hz a bit.. Cubase was a bit more fluffly in the bottom end but was almost matched with a high pass around 38 hz. That bass difference made Samplitude seem a tiny bit clearer and cleaner in the top end as well.