Software and computer for classical composing

Discussion in 'Computing' started by H0bgawblin, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. H0bgawblin

    H0bgawblin Guest

    The Software:

    So I'd like to stick to PC if possible because my brother works for Microsoft and I get Microsoft software for 90% off. So, from what I've read. The pc standard mixing software is acid pro. In acid pro can I compose classical music via notation? Does acid pro have the ability to provide me with decent quality synths (strings, brass, winds, piano, ect)?

    If not acid pro for synths and classical composing, how about finale? then I could import finale files and touch up things in acid right?

    The Computer:

    So sound cards are important and intel mother boards proffered from what I can discern. So, what sound card would get me decent results for maybe 200-300 dollars.

    The Budget:

    $3000 US for a computer (built by myself to save money), an 88 key midi controller, Computer monitor, sound card, and software like finale and acid pro.

    What I need:
    I do not need to record instruments at a very high quality. I play jazz fusion guitar as well as metal. I would love to have a fantastic sound, but it's pricey and not something I need right this moment. What I do need is the ability to create music worthy enough to go onto a professional portfolio. Again, the music will be primarily orchestral or big band sounding. So, I need good synths.

    So, can anyone help me? It would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Burgundia

    Burgundia Guest

    I don't know where you got the idea that Acid Pro is the industry standard for PCs, because I'm pretty sure Pro Tools is more widely used for tracking & mixing. Acid is a loop-based program, so if you're writing orchestra music that might not be such a good fit.

    That said, none of the big name DAWs really come with professional portfolio quality orchestral samples. For a good orchestral library on a budget, try Vienna Special Edition, or East/West Gold, both of which are around $500.

    Also, don't forget monitors (aka flat response speakers)...that will be at least $500/pr unless you can get them used. You can also try mixing with headphones: I started out with a pair of AKG K240s back when I lived in an apartment with thin walls.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    H0bgawblin, I think you are talking about two different things here. Classical composing needs a good transcription and synthesis package, and the best one of these I have used is Sibelius, which I much prefer to Finale.

    The other aspect that you touch on is audio interfacing, recording and mixing, with implied looping and MIDI facilities. There is no all-round outstanding package for this, but Cubase does well in most of these areas, and is better at MIDI work than many of the others. You could also try Reaper, which is very low cost and remarkably versatile.

    As for an audio interface, you have to be a little more specific about number of channels, how many microphone inputs you need, FireWire or USB interface and so on. You clearly need MIDI I/O, but do you have guitars or other instruments to plug in? How much of your budget are you prepared to use on the audio interface?
  4. H0bgawblin

    H0bgawblin Guest

    Your post was a very big missing link in my understanding of how this works. I am guilty of having two threads of almost identical subject matter, but you've answered something that I haven't put a finger on.

    The interface I was thinking of getting was RME's (I think) the Fireface 800, but it's 1.5 grand. I mostly record at my school with an 88 key roland and I have in mind a controller that is very similar. I play guitar and sing as well. I have a mic, and an acoustic guitar as well as an electric. I am a tenor that is smack in between heroic and lyric.

    I was told an interface is something that will limit if your purchase is skimpy the first time around. Also, that the interface acts like a soundcard. Other than that, I have no idea as to what I'm supposed to look for in an interface other than a really expensive thing that looks completely foreign.

    I read up on the cubase notater thingy. It should get me by until I save enough for finale. Or if I could save 500 bucks on an interface I could get it all together immediately.

    Thank you so much for the response, I wasn't sure if a question like this belonged in home studio or pro studio. You might also save me months of saving money for a private digital composing studio. I don't record instruments much really. I have plans to though. Right now it's mainly trying to compose on something that doesn't sound like it belongs on an NES. I've been composing on guitar pro, bleh.
  5. Shadow_7

    Shadow_7 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2010
    What's your target media? CD? Then only 2 channels, 16 bit, and 44.1kHz MINIMUM. If you're not going to be recording drums or ambiance (7.1 surround) then you really don't need a lot of channels. Unless you like watching 7.1 surround sound movies and the likes, then by all means. 5.1 is really 6 channels of audio. 7.1 is really 8 channels of audio. Not that you have to get something with 8 inputs, if all you need is 8 outputs. Although it might be hard to find a good one with a mismatched number of inputs to outputs.

    Echo layla 3G or something like it. 6 channels of 1/4" balanced inputs, 2 channels of MIDI / line / or XLR. Decent quality, but not quite pro if you're into that boutique sound. Many means to an end. It really depends on your needs. Are you going to be doing most of your work at a table in starbucks? Or plugged into your own power substation at a facility?

    Echo Digital Audio Corporation

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