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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

rjuly Tue, 12/23/2014 - 02:05

audiokid, post: 422634, member: 1 wrote: (NOTE: I'm not in my multitrack studio now to test this)

I'm not quite following you here most likely because I've not tried to record into a subgroup. Just a guess, Subgroups bypass the AD or midi input as it can contain multiple tracks bused into it. Just curious, when trying to record into a bus, is the input AD the same as the pre assigned to it?

I always create subgroups or AUX as you describe ( Drums, Bass, Guitars, Keys, Vox, Harmonies, efffect) , assign their DA Stems (1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 etc) to the analog console/summing box or simply, the master bus...
The bus audio resides on the track lanes. You won't see audio on the subgroup lanes but you can include automation, plug-ins, extended processing there too.

Did that help?

I am hoping to be able to record at several points along the signal flow paths at the same time. In the DAWS I have used, particularly Reaper and PT, If I send a signal to a channel, via aux or bus, I can click record and have the destination track record a sound file from the audio being routed to it. In this case with Sequoia, what I am trying to do is to create a hierarchy of sub-mixes (stems) that combine down to a stereo channel. This stereo 'master' channel would than be sent to another channel, on which would go all the mastering plugins. That mastering channel would then be assigned to another channel to record the 'Mastered' version. Ideally, as the at each stage of sub-mixing I would like to be able to record the outputs of the subgroups (Drums, Guitars, Bass, Vocals, etc..) and have the audio routed on to the next sub-mix. So... as an example, a source track - say a Kick drum (along with all the other drums) - is routed to a 'Drums' subgroup track(recorded), then the output of that channell is sent to a stereo mix subgroup track(recorded), then likewise to the mastering chain track, then to the mastered track(recorded). This way I should be able to simultaneously have stems for the mix, the mix itself, and a mastered version recorded on the same pass. Of course all of this depends on being able to record the output of a subgroup (input of a subgroup channel).

rjuly Tue, 12/23/2014 - 02:53

audiokid, post: 422634, member: 1 wrote: (NOTE: I'm not in my multitrack studio now to test this)

I'm not quite following you here most likely because I've not tried to record into a subgroup. Just a guess, Subgroups bypass the AD or midi input as it can contain multiple tracks bused into it. Just curious, when trying to record into a bus, is the input AD the same as the pre assigned to it?

... sorry... I didn't address the first part of your response...

The process I am describing is internal to the DAW. the signal does not traverse any D/A or A/D. It is quite common among various DAWs to be able to send signals to a channel and record them internally. I just haven't figured out how to do so with Sequoia - likely to be pretty obvious once I know how :-)

rjuly Tue, 12/23/2014 - 04:56

So, it seems that this cannot be done in real-time with Samplitude/Sequoia. Rather it must be done offline using 'Track Freeze' to sequentially freeze first the stems. then the master track, then the 'mastered' track. No problem, just a different perspective. The primary thing I need from Sequoia is the pristine sonics and the VCAs, and those, it delivers in spades.

bigtree Tue, 12/23/2014 - 09:51

rjuly, post: 422656, member: 48681 wrote: ... sorry... I didn't address the first part of your response...

The process I am describing is internal to the DAW. the signal does not traverse any D/A or A/D. It is quite common among various DAWs to be able to send signals to a channel and record them internally. I just haven't figured out how to do so with Sequoia - likely to be pretty obvious once I know how :)

Gotcha,

I don't want to confuse you but I'm pretty sure its simpler than what you are doing right now.
I do this with VST's and audio.
Explaining this is going on memory and a different workflow but I'm thinking all you do is disable the output of the "Master Bus " Master Inactive".(I use two DAW's ( One with the Master Bus always Inactive) so you might have to get creative with my process. At least you know its possible.
When the Master bus is Inactive... the channel routing is more fluid. Once the Master Bus is Inactive, you should be able to assign existing track(s) to a destination input channel and record it internally.

I do this all the time with VSTi's and audio tracks that I am layering or replacing.

bigtree Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:04

Maybe this will help:

NOTE: when the Master Bus is inactive: and you are attempting to Export a track or song (CTRL+E) will produce an empty track. In other words, a track will appear to be Exporting but will always be empty on playback.

This is related to what you are wanting to do, but backwards. What I mean here, I believe you may need to make the Master Bus Inactive so the internal audio can be recorded internally.
Hope that helps.

rjuly Mon, 01/05/2015 - 14:44

Ok, I have been using Sequoia now for about three weeks, and have only just begun scratching the surface. This software is no joke. It has its own clearly defined workflow and is not as flexible as some other DAWs, like Reaper, but the workflow, although rigid, is very, very well thought out. Most of all it sounds excellent. Let me just repeat that... IT SOUNDS EXCELLENT!!! The soundstage is wide-open and the image precise and coherent. I just didn't realise how open and coherent the others weren't, until I heard it. The sonic difference is marked with Reaper and Logic Pro X, and marginally better than Pro Tools (which I hate for other [corporate facist] reasons, and also it's just not as good). The object oriented architecture gives you crazy, crazy amounts of control, without being unwieldy. It gives full feature-set control of every single separate audio clip object if you want it, in an ergonomic interface. It's even worth having to run it on windows OS, and I don't say that lightly. All in all, a premium product, in fact the best I have ever used. It does have a steep learning curve, and will not appeal to those are not willing to take some pains over learning its intricacies, and are willing to conform to its workflow, but if you care about pristine sound and yearn for a professional grade toolset, this DAW delivers in spades. The great thing is that Samplitude delivers the same exact quality with a slightly reduced feature set, at a greatly reduced price.

bigtree Mon, 01/05/2015 - 15:07

rjuly, post: 423237, member: 48681 wrote: I just didn't realise how open and coherent the others weren't, until I heard it.

Indeed.
A pleasure having another user standing here. And I just posted the upgrade to Sam pro x suite and you popped in so how coincidental but welcoming.

One of the biggest pains for me is comparing my experiences, knowing how well this product sounds, how awesome the plug-ins are, and as you mentioned, the object editing is really nothing short of brilliant! I feel pain hearing what people are doing and spending on other platforms. Its hard keeping my mouth shut really. Even my experiences with hybrid compared to the other DAW's, this system was meant to integrate like a console!

Sequoia as a capture DAW is absolutely the Bomb.

Its expensive but the cost for all good gear, top level products always are. But, we usually end up learning more and saving money in the end with gear that works. This DAW is leading, not following or posing as the alternative budget. This software is all I need. Rock on Magix!

Nice to hear your praise. Don't worry about over doing it either, and you are welcome to invite more Sampliquoiers . We're on the move to make audio better sounding.

bigtree Mon, 01/05/2015 - 15:28

@rjuly,

Do you have the current upgrade which includes / replaced the parametric EQ for the EQ116 on the channel strip? I thinks its just been released for Sequoia 13.

I have Version: 13.0.1.30 which is the older version.

DonnyAir Tue, 01/06/2015 - 01:59

rjuly, post: 423237, member: 48681 wrote: It does have a steep learning curve, and will not appeal to those are not willing to take some pains over learning its intricacies, and are willing to conform to its workflow, but if you care about pristine sound and yearn for a professional grade toolset, this DAW delivers in spades.

I strongly suggest that you check out videos by Kraznet on YouTube. His videos are clear, concise, and have helped me countless times in understanding many aspects of the platform.

To date, I have yet to find any Sam subject left uncovered by him. He's a mountain of knowledge, and the way he explains things is fantastic.

Here's a sample... one suggestion, he was making many of these videos back when S11 was popular, so you might want to temporarily change your menu layout to that of 11, it makes it easier to follow his instructions.

In fact, I'll post the link to the directions on how to do that first:

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Here's the example... I just started with Fundamentals Part 1 so you could see how intuitive he is:

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rjuly Tue, 01/06/2015 - 07:08

audiokid, post: 423240, member: 1 wrote: @rjuly,

Do you have the current upgrade which includes / replaced the parametric EQ for the EQ116 on the channel strip? I thinks its just been released for Sequoia 13.

I have Version: 13.0.1.30 which is the older version.

I have the same version 13.0.1.30. I will certainly be checking for that update this evening! Thanks.

rjuly Tue, 01/06/2015 - 07:11

Question about VCAs. My understanding is you can assign a VCA channel (not a regular audio channel acting as VCA master) to another dedicated VCA channel as its slave. I have done so, but when I mute the master, it does not mute audio on the slaves, although the mute buttons on the slaves do go on. Do I perhaps have some arcane setting set incorrectly?

rjuly Tue, 01/06/2015 - 07:34

DonnyThompson, post: 423252, member: 46114 wrote: I strongly suggest that you check out videos by Kraznet on YouTube....

Yes, I have been looking at them since before Sequoia arrived (the only way I could stand the wait...); excellent resource, and there are not many others. It's great how calm and measured his delivery is - chills you right out so you can pay attention. Personally I have no issues with the learning curve - you get out what you put in... I was just making the point that Seq/Samp are not for the faint of heart. I appreciate the efforts that you and everyone else has made to light the darkness... World needs way more of that.

rjuly Thu, 01/08/2015 - 01:33

rjuly, post: 423269, member: 48681 wrote: Question about VCAs. My understanding is you can assign a VCA channel (not a regular audio channel acting as VCA master) to another dedicated VCA channel as its slave. I have done so, but when I mute the master, it does not mute audio on the slaves, although the mute buttons on the slaves do go on. Do I perhaps have some arcane setting set incorrectly?

*Bump* - Any thoughts on this?Should the slaved VCA channels not be muting their dependent tracks when their master gets muted?:
VCA MSTR [mute button clicked]->VCA DRUMS[mute indicator active]->Audio channel Snare TRACK[not muting] but...
VCA DRUMS[mute button clicked]->Audio channel Snare TRACK[mutes]

bigtree Thu, 01/08/2015 - 08:45

rjuly, post: 423378, member: 48681 wrote: *Bump* - Any thoughts on this?Should the slaved VCA channels not be muting their dependent tracks when their master gets muted?:

Can mutes be assigned the same way volume, panning automation is assigned per track or group?

rjuly Thu, 01/08/2015 - 11:08

audiokid, post: 423388, member: 1 wrote: Can mutes be assigned the same way volume, panning automation is assigned per track or group?

I haven't seen any 'mutes' parameter for automation. Maybe mutes are considered volume in a sense. The VCAs are not directly associated with automation per se, but they can be automated. When I assign a track to a VCA channel and click the mute button the track mutes, as you would expect. When I assign that VCA channel to another VCA channel and mute the second VCA channel, the mute shows on the first VCA channel, but it does note mute the child audio track. Try it, and see if you get the same behavior...

bigtree Thu, 01/08/2015 - 14:02

I am having problems updating as well. I think there is an update bug that isn't allow the New VIP templates to update. Its been suggested I contact support.

Curious, what EQ in on your Channel strip? Is it the EQ116 or the Parametric?