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KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:15 pm

Before we discuss this further...
True 512 patches are a lot for playing. Still it can be problematic for backing needs like midifile / style revoicing. This needs a more static yet extensive sound base. One aspect here is again the library idea and additionally that you are not on an island doing all by yourself but share backings or registrations with others. Maybe professionals or genuine bands don't want this which is understandable - but in the world of just playng for fun and covering songs sharing stuff is an invaluable time saver.


Well, isn't software far more likely to achieve to achieve shared accuracy than a scenario which, presumably, means everyone has to own the same expensive hardware modules?
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:02 am

What do you mean with "shared accuracy"?

As said may times I am finally not about HW vs. SW but how to organize both in a so to say "hyper workstation".

As I said there are several spects, from having a quality soundbase for midifiles and styles that should work ok from scratch yet still being tweakable to your very personal solo sound set - all under one hood.

I know that I'm proposing some ideal thing that might probably never be available. On the other hand I see the islands of HW by the big three and smaller independents and SW workstations like Halion Sonic, maybe Motu Mach 3 and others. Each one tries and competes to become your one and only system and when you start to think combining some would be much better things get really complicated...

To get them all somehow under one hood it needs some common way to control and use them. Just to say "control by midi" is too low level. Bank/Program sound selection is one basic. Instead plugins come with their own soundbrowsers - nice to have - but no reason not to offer the Bank/Program library approach. The same with the idea of "Variations" I've proposed. Maybe .fxp / .fxb files allow more flexibility - still no reason to not use the less flexible cc controller approach in a more standardized manner. All the "map yourself what you need" is great but often overkill to what's really needed.

I admit that looking at things from an organ instrument players view isn't really todays fashion - and indeed I didn't start at this point myself. But what setups finally often end up with is exactly what the organ concept offers for centuries - just the sounds we want today are mostly different from pipes...

Another fashion thing is "recording". I personally am not much interested in the studio aspect. I am satisifed with a simple recording feature for a quick demo or control practise. That's why my own software has no recording button but a background auto audio recording option (alike Cantabile). So playing is never interrupted by operating recording buttons - yet still no idea gets lost.

Maybe this all sounds like "old fart" stuff but indeed what I finally want is getting the new without dumping the good old stuff.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:02 pm

"accuracy" refers to the implicit nature of computers accurately reproducing data based only on common data. Any collaborative endevour is likely to have wider practical use when in a purely software environment. You were intimating that collaboration is more likely when hardware is involved. This is in response to your comment:
One aspect here is again the library idea and additionally that you are not on an island doing all by yourself but share backings or registrations with others.


As samples and sound engine are not shared between VST instances this approach looks quite inefficient to me.


This is a bit of a red herring. For starters, I'm not sure why it would be necessary to duplicate the samples across instantiations in and, secondly, the CPU and RAM load is insignificant for a modern, multicore enabled, streaming sampler. Furthermore, SSD's have extremely fast load times. Lastly, professional samplers can apply control to samples that could be problematic were the same stream employed over several instantiations. One example is where a larger ram buffer is required to allow deeper control of sample start.

What would be cool would be to see hosts like Cantabile have the ability to handle all 64 channels of MIDI that a plugin like Halion can handle - and for the plugin to offer more than just the scant 128 patch locations. Why didn't they offer banks? I'm at a complete loss to explain that. :o

It's different to a HW soundmodule where I can select all sounds in any channel anytime without preparing something to make the bank/program selection work.


I don't quite get this. Assuming you have a HW module with a ton of sounds crammed into RAM, do you familiarize yourself with the entire contents of the module and call up sounds from your memory? Don't you have to know where things are and hit buttons? How is this different from preparing snapshots in Cantabile or some other software host?

I'm just wondering, having been behind some pretty hefty keyboard rigs in my time, the one thing that you have to get together on a live show is the 'choreography' of what is where at any given time. Sounds mapped to certain areas of one of multiple keyboards, or controllers which must be tweaked at a given time - all of these components must be rehearsed and perfected. I'm trying to visualize the vast library of songs and setups that you must memorize in order to be able to call up, what appears to be, a very detailed interpretation of maybe hundreds of songs.

The traditional pub piano player didn't worry about such things. He knew his tunes and all he needed was a piano. A guy with a workstation playing live may rely on a clutch of setups which he thinks will cover any eventuality.

However, you seem to be swimming in a vast pool of material and I'm fascinated to know how you would cope if your dream setup were to arrive. :)
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:00 am

Hi again...

"I'm not sure why it would be necessary to duplicate the samples across instantiations"...
That depends on how the multiple instances are organized any used. But with a common pool for all instances the question gets simply obsolete.

"the CPU and RAM load is insignificant for a modern, multicore enabled, streaming sampler"...
Not everyone always switches to the latest modern gear. I have an older Q8200 cpu with 4GB DDR2 ram.

"SSD's have extremely fast load times"...
That is true. I'm currently investigating this. However it's not as simple as just plugging in such a thing. I would need to upgrade to Win7 from Vista, as Win7 has proper SSD handling while Vista has not. Adding cost for an SSD, Win7 and Halion Sonic sums up to a point where I can get a small HW module as well - probably not sounding as great but without resource and install effort...

..."where a larger ram buffer is required to allow deeper control of sample start"...
Is good to know that there are workarounds. But what I finally would like better is not needing this sort of thought as it is just a technical aspect, not a musical one.

"What would be cool would be to see hosts like Cantabile have the ability to handle all 64 channels of MIDI that a plugin like Halion can handle"
Agreed, yet still this is a technical feature. My idea is getting rid of the view on midi channels and hiding the routing on a deeper level that not every user needs to dive in.

"I don't quite get this. Assuming you have a HW module with a ton of sounds crammed into RAM, do you familiarize yourself with the entire contents of the module and call up sounds from your memory?"
Probably this is a point where you think different than I do. You only think for your personal needs while I think of a hyper workstation where people can create live sets for a single song or a show and can share this. Additionally I am not about ONE sound module but about many sound modules.
Yes I also need buttons - the registration buttons, orginazed as banks. I have an concept for even an higher level with content - I already pointed to this.


"I'm trying to visualize the vast library of songs and setups that you must memorize"
Again you think I'm just dealing with my needs - but as said before my dream is a system that can help sharing library entries. If someone has set up a nice arrangement for a song I want to learn I could get it from him, have the score and registrations instead of starting from scratch.

"The traditional pub piano player didn't worry about such things. He knew his tunes and all he needed was a piano."
Yes, that's about the professional entertainer. But I'm an amateur player and hardly will reach this perfection.

"However, you seem to be swimming in a vast pool of material"
It's not I'm personally swimming in that pool but I dream of a library that can handle such a pool and allows people to share things - like for instance Tyros players can, but without being fenced to a tyros.

I know that some aspects will not meet modern musicians in fields like experimental, electronic, dj and so forth - it's more traditional in what I imagine, but more open than HW like tyros or other organs.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:39 am

"the CPU and RAM load is insignificant for a modern, multicore enabled, streaming sampler"...
Not everyone always switches to the latest modern gear. I have an older Q8200 cpu with 4GB DDR2 ram.


You know - I really think this is very significant.
It wasn't until quite recently that the computers known as laptops came of age. Until recently , laptops were compromised by restrictions of size and weight - and, yes, design aesthetic, which invariably led to compromised performance. Most desktops could run rings around laptops of the same generation.

But now ? There are some extremely powerful laptops available for competitively little money - and suddenly the unreliable world of laptops which you have described in many threads is not nearly as fragile as it once was.
Vista as an OS was a bit of a disaster. My main studio computer has those swappable drive bays so I keep dedicated drives for XP and Vista 64 in case I need to go back to those worlds for some reason.
All I can say is that I breathed a sigh of relief when win 7 came along.

8 gigs of ram in modern laptop makes certain issues just disappear.
Technically, I know that I can achieve more in software, more easily, than any rig i worked with in the past.

Our issues are now organizational.
It seems we are so close to getting it right - and I so wish we could see these organizational tools make an appearance in Cantabile.
There is no reason why a searchable database of song setups should not exist in a modem live host.
There is no reason that endless instructions on how a setup is mapped should not be given an efficient method of housekeeping.
And there is no reason that a well implemented plugin which purports to be a workstation should not give access to all its contents via bank/program change LOL.

For me, this whole conversation is about rapid access to setups.
The memory and CPU stuff is somewhat anachronistic now.
The organizational tools are not rocket science. They just need to appear in the package.

Cheers ;-)
[/quote]
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:30 am

I can't remember having referred to laptops anywhere.

I have looked into prices for modern i7 based laptops with >=8GB of ram and what I've found so far was > 1000€ at best. When I add cost for some software I can also go with an Integra 7 and use my old notebook just to manage the midi aspect. That's some of the struggle I always end up. And finally I haven't got the bucks to spend on either solution right now... :oops:

"Our issues are now organizational."
This is a point I definitely agree. That's what I am about as well.

What kind of tools do you imagine for Cantabile? That's a point you make me curious... :roll:


"There is no reason why a searchable database of song setups should not exist in a modem live host.
There is no reason that endless instructions on how a setup is mapped should not be given an efficient method of housekeeping."

Now I am on track with you - that's what I meant. Just it does not exist - and it's difficult to accomplish because it needs to migrate so many things. But honestly I guess that no big development has interest in such a thing that will make stuff more replaceable and does not bind users in certain directions.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:32 pm

Sorry, I kinda figured that when you were describing the shortcomings of computers for delivering realtime audio reliably, that you were referring to laptops. Do many people use desktop computers for running Cantabile live?

Anyway, FYI, I just did a quick search at a place I shop and found this:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7616784&Sku=S170-155173
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:51 pm

...when I referred to shortcomings I referred to the windows OS, not really computers. Most of todays soundmodules are computers as well...

Well, I live in europe, probably notebooks are less expensive in US, especially when you find the state with the lowest tax. Anyways, I do actually not plan to invest in new HW. But some software I can run on my machine is tempting. However I know the limitations of my current pc, I have some Kontakt stuff which sounds great but does not work well the way I'd like it to work... and I fear I would end up with Halion Sonic in a similar way.

Actually I will investigate further what I can accomplish with my own software stuff any anything free on the net.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:01 pm

Well, I found out that my Halion 4 license allows me to run Halion Sonic - and, shock - horror - Halion Sonic only responds to midi program changes when in General Midi mode and only the sounds within that narrow selection can be selected via patch change commands!
To make matters worse, it appears that the Chain facility only allows control on a 'next' and 'previous' basis. There is no way to directly access the 128 multis in the list. What an omission!

I am flabbergasted at such an oversight in an instrument aimed at the live player.

Halion 4 is barely better in this area, allowing a maximum of 128 programs to be available for patch changes.

Fortunately for me, my live setup has permitted me to fill two Halion 4s in a 'locked' state (entire bank does not load on subsession change) which has the potential for 256 patches, each of which can contain many sounds accessible via controllers or key switches - plus the potential to run further instantiations in a similar fashion or to have one instantiation which loads from disk those sounds which are suitable candidates.

My conclusion is that although the oversights are frustrating and mystifying, there are simple workarounds which afford limitless access to sounds and that we come back to the core issue of being able to file, navigate, and call up sessions in a fluid and reliable way. It's all about housekeeping.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:46 am

I thank you for your investigations, I enjoy that, much apprechiated!

The performance list approach seems to be a very common concept for live performance. It's good to have that. Just I agree to you that random access is an option live performers should have too.

You know I am not a fan of preloading things. But I know pretty well too that preloading or caching can be technically very appropriate. However I find the strategies we are offered are not really clever. I use caching in my software too to load styles in backgroud that were used during the last session (I even consider a more statistical approach base on usage over multiple sessions). This approcach is almost unnoticeable to the user but in most cases overcomes even a small wait of 1-2s (on my machine) and makes switiching styles appear instant. Compared to sample libraries the memory consumption for this luxury is negelgible... On the other hand requesting a not cached style does not interrupt performance either, just the old style needs to run some bars longer 'til the new style has been cached. Not to mention that making all this happen was much more complicated under the hood than just writing the style loading routines itself - but I think it was woth as it gives me the best behavior I can think of - and a no brainer usage experience when I start plaing...

I know I'm a bit mad of this - but your investigation shows as well that there is still plenty to do with stuff when you look a bit closer.

BTW. this discussion in conjunction with my observation of new keyboards showing up let's me think I should consider another live players usage scenario - a kind of "stage piano" or "combo" mode. Roland silently transferred the organ type registration approach to it's keyboards (Vr 09 combo keyboard) and synths (Jupiter 50 / 80) and I start to think preloading sounds in combination with a bunch of always availiable basic sounds/instruments can be very useful. Indeed I might have underestimated the players who use Clavia boards for long - for the strengths of direct access to essential sounds and effects without much preprogramming.

Also technically such a combo mode would just be a variation of my more complex registration concept ease of operation is an important key feature (that explains why different keyboard designs still sell even if the core sound generation is more or less the same).

So besides the initial discussion about Halion Sonic things get inspirational beyond that for me. Thanks!
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
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