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Slider
05-06-2005, 10:15 PM
Hi. This is my first post here. For over three years I've been writing music on a cheapo Yamaha PSR-GX76, (which I taught myself how to play, after receiving it as a Christmas gift in '01). I must have a couple *thousand* compositions recorded into my old Cakewalk Home Studio 2002. But now I want to get the best sounds I can find, and *finally* have realistic instruments playing my songs, so that I can produce a quality demo to shop around...

A month ago I bought a Korg Triton LE Workstation, after having been impressed, in the music store, by its arps and its ambient sounds, string ensembles, etc... But I've been reading reviews lately, and the consensus seems to be that Korg's piano sounds... are terrible. I don't really hear it, but, if I'm going to be making a demo for industry people, I'd better try to tailor it to what most of them think is quality sound. So, I thought, 'Gee, what about those sample CDs they sell at that EastWest site? Maybe I can add those great sounds to my available voices'. Thing is, I haven't the slightest clue how this all works. I'm absolutely new to it. I'm not the kind of "newbie" who's been a musician for thirty years and who's merely new to this *brand* - I'm *absolutely* green when it comes to sampling and sequencing. All I've ever done is hit 'record' on a Cakewalk track, and play my keyboard, and then apply some delay effects, etc. That's it. (Just so you get the picture.)

Anyway, so I've been scouring the web (and this site) for two-and-a-half days, trying to get an explanation of how these breathtaking sound libraries are actually utilized/triggered -- and, after reading reams of FAQ's, and doing all sorts of searches, and reading my Korg's manual, and talking to a snobby, singularly unhelpful putz at a local music store..., I can't seem to get a simple, straight-forward explanation of how one gets these sample CD sounds to be triggered by a keyboard. I thought the idea was, since synths play samples, all you'd need to do to expand your pallette of sounds is buy more samples and load them *into the keyboard* and PLAY THEM.

But now I'm finding out that you have to go through a sampler on the computer (like GigaStudio) to even read the files(?). I also want to get the Cakewalk Sonar 4 upgrade, so I searched Cakewalk's site (and forum) for mentions of EWQL, and I see them talking about "Oh yeah, I can't wait for Symphonic Choirs!", and "EWQL works great with Sonar". Well, what does "works great with" mean - there's no mention of Sonar (or other big names like Cubase, etc) in the compatibiliy list on the EW site's "Sampling Basics" page - just things like GigaStudio, Halion, Ensoniq... No one seems to say how they take these sample CDs and actually make songs with them. What am I not understanding here? It does say (on that same "Sampling Basics" page), that, quote:

["some producers seem to delight in maintaining a barrier of MYSTIQUE AROUND THE PROCESS, but the concept of sampling is really very simple... A sampler is essentially a synthesizer into which you can record your own sounds to use as raw material rather than relying on a set of factory samples or waveforms... Once a sound has been recorded into the sampler's memory, which uses the same type of RAM (Random Access Memory) as a computer, it may be PLAYED BACK FROM A KEYBOARD, at any pitch, just like a conventional synthesizer patch."] Well, that's what I want. The thing I don't get is, I don't need to "record sound into the sampler's memory" - these EWQL sounds are *already recorded* right? - why can't I just load them into my keyboard or into a program like Sonar and just start cutting and pasting the piano notes and choirs where I want??

I know, I have some big big fundamental misunderstandings about how this works, but keep in mind, whatever giant thing I'm overlooking SURE ISN'T MENTIONED ANYWHERE IN THE HUNDREDS OF WEBPAGES I'VE BEEN CONSULTING TO FIGURE THIS OUT.

Sorry for yelling. :) It's just very frustrating trying to get Basic Info, when everyone seems to talk such advanced tech talk on most of these boards, I feel like an idiot for even asking such questions. But hey, ya gotta start somewhere. And the answers I ultimately get will determine whether I can go this route (these sample libraries), or whather I'll have to just sell the Korg and buy a Yamaha Motif ES, which has the great piano sounds onboard already (and drums, and guitars...). Thing is, at some point, I want to get these incredible EWQL choirs and orchestras into my compositions, so, if someone here would be so kind as to go back to "elementary school" with me here, and explain the basics - the specifics - of how the CDs' sounds are actually BROUGHT INTO A COMPOSITION, (using a keyboard? or do you have to compose by cutting and pasting one note at a time in a software program? I hope not - that would take forever), and how the CDs are actually organized (is there a separate file for every conceivable note in the chromatic scale?)..., that type of thing - I would SO appreciate it. Thanks.

- Slider

dubaifox
05-06-2005, 10:31 PM
Don't feel too bad. Unless you actually see how these EWQL programs work within a sequencer program, it is hard to imagine it because invariable people will start using words and descriptions for which you have no exsisting knowledge.

Is there anywhere you can go to see one of these set-ups?

Anyway, you are using a computer right? Not just the sequencer on your Triton. You can't install these sounds onto a keyboard, it has to work on a computer.

If you have a computer then you install the massive sound library onto it (say EWQL Storm Drum)

Then when you load up your sequencer (Sonar, Cakewalk, Digital Performer or Pro Tools) these libraries appear on audio tracks. You then create a midi track and assign it to EWQL Storm Drum.

Then when you play your keyboard which is connected to your computer, you then get the sounds of Strorm Drum.

Try downloading a demo of some program. Going through the installation process of all of the will really make you understand how it all works.

It is Brilliant. You will be amazed.

Good luck!!

jphilpit
05-06-2005, 10:39 PM
Let me start you out with a Guide I wrote for EWQLSO. It's a PDF you can download at no cost. And it explains in over 100 pages most of what you need to know.

Click here to open the PDF. (http://www.soundsonline.com/EWQLSOGuide.pdf)

While I would encourage you to upgrade to Sonar 4 from CakeWalk Home Studio at some point, you will be able to use Home Studio for small projects to get the feel of how the sampler works with a sequencer. (I started with Cakewalk and now use Sonar.)

Anyway, read through the Guide. Then when you get Silver, play with Silver and Home Studio together and use the Guide to figure out how to use it.

And keep asking questions here. But maybe a little shorter next time. ;)

Welcome to the forum,
John

Composer
05-06-2005, 10:43 PM
I see some people have already responded - nontheless, I will post this anyways, because I think it is a very simplistic idea of what you can do with Silver, and you may find it helpful - and I spent the time writing it damn it! Maybe it will help. If I appear condescending at all, it was not my intention!! :)

This is all you need to do. Buy Silver because it comes with a very nice piano, and some very nice orchestral sounds, and is cheap.

To play Silver:

1) Buy EWQLSO Silver

2) Install it on your computer (anything with over 512mb of RAM will do - 1GB or higher recommended).

3) Double click the EWQLSO Silver icon, wait for the standalone VST program to launch, load the patch of your choice (piano, flute, violins, whatever).

4) Play Away

To record a EWQLSO Silver:

1) buy Silver

2) buy a sequencer (Cubase, Logic, Sonar, Digital Performer)

3) Install both.

4) Open the sequencer.

5) Open Silver from within the sequencer (very simple, find out how to do it in the sequencer's manual or ask here).

6) Load the instrument you want into Silver

6) Assign a track to EWQLSO Silver

7) Record/play enable track

7) Record away

You can record as many instruments as you want.

Slider
05-07-2005, 06:05 PM
Hey, thanks for your help, everybody. And thanks for the PDF, John. I just finished reading through the whole thing. Quite illuminating. Still wrestling with a few concepts and terms, but, I'll get it eventually, I'm sure.

And thank you Brahms (and indeed Liszt) for the suggestion of Computer Music magazine.

I did notice something about a couple of your responses that leads me to a question. After reading what you stated, dubaifox, namely that I just needed to "install the massive sound library [example was Storm Drum] onto it [my computer]" and then "when you load up your sequencer (Sonar, Cakewalk, Digital Performer or Pro Tools) these libraries appear on audio tracks. You then create a midi track and assign it to EWQL Storm Drum", I was very encouraged. In fact I almost got misty reading the next line ("Then when you play your keyboard which is connected to your computer, you then get the sounds of Strorm Drum."). That's precisely how I hoped it worked.

The only problem is, I then read jphilpit's reply, which says "you will be able to use Home Studio for small projects to get the feel of how the sampler works with a sequencer". Well, I know the Cakewalk product is referred to as the "sequencer", and programs like Kompakt are referred to as "samplers", right? So, does that mean that when dubifox says "load the ...libraries onto [your computer]", he/she (sorry, not sure yet :) ) actually means "buy a program like Kompakt or GigaStudio which can *read* these files, and *then* load up your sequencer and these libraries will show up as audio tracks."? I'm trying to calculate how much money I need to spend on everything, and I need to know if I need to buy something like a Giga...

Composer's post was very helpful, and it seems to reinforce the idea that I need a "standalone [sampler] program" in addition to my sequencer (and in the case of something like "QL Guitar & Bass", Kompakt isn't included, as it is with the orchestral stuff, right?). Also, while I understand the part about opening Silver from within the sequencer, I don't get the line "load an instrument into Silver" - I thought Silver was the library where the sounds came *from*, not what you load sounds *into*. And I don't get why there's no mention of a Kompakt or a Giga in your (Composer's) instructions - just the sounds and a sequencer... Anyway, I'll get it straight one of these days...

I also need to know what other mods I need to make to my setup, to optimize (or at least improve) my music production experience. I have a Pentium 4, 2.66 GHz, 1.00 G of RAM. And to tell ya the truth, before I started thinking about getting the best sounds for my compositions, I never gave the issue of sound cards a single thought - but, according to my Device Manager, I have something called "Sound Max Digital Audio", as well as "Legacy Audio Drivers", and a "MPU-401 Compatible MIDI Device", and about 80 gigs free on one 110 Gig drive, and about 50 free on my other 80 G drive. Any (all?) of these cause for concern? Thanks for your insights on this, and on my other befuddlements.

And don't feel like you're being condescending - I just trained a bunch of people at the IRS how to process hundreds of types of tax forms, and I don't care what background any of these people had (blue collar, white collar, well-schooled, ill-schooled) - you had to hold ALL of their hands like little babies until they got it. :) (and btw, I'll try to keep my posts more brief in the future, but I have to lay a bunch out here at the outset, so you have enough to go on when you're composing your helpful responses. Thanks again.

- Slider

Composer
05-07-2005, 06:11 PM
That reminds me! You should subscribe to the new Virtual Instruments Magazine that is launching in June. The first issue will have an article entitled "The World of Softsynths and Samplers". The table of contents says this of the article: "A big overview of this exciting new musical medium. Getting started- what's available, the various product categories, what to expect from different computers, and generally how to integrate software-based musical instruments into your universe."

Sounds like a good way to get started. Go to www.virtualinstrumentsmag.com to subscribe and look at the table of contents of the first magazine (not yet shipped).

Composer
05-07-2005, 06:18 PM
Composer's post was very helpful, and it seems to reinforce the idea that I need a "standalone [sampler] program" in addition to my sequencer (and in the case of something like "QL Guitar & Bass", Kompakt isn't included, as it is with the orchestral stuff, right?). Also, while I understand the part about opening Silver from within the sequencer, I don't get the line "load an instrument into Silver" - I thought Silver was the library where the sounds came *from*, not what you load sounds *into*. And I don't get why there's no mention of a Kompakt or a Giga in your (Composer's) instructions - just the sounds and a sequencer... Anyway, I'll get it straight one of these days...


Just read your reply. I don't see any reason for you to buy Kontakt or Gigastudio - they just aren't needed. If you want to do orchestral stuff stick with EWQLSO Silver or Gold because they come with their own Kompakt player. If you want to do more contemporary stuff get Colossus (granted, its a bit more expensive), because it also comes with its own Kompakt player. You don't need Kontakt or Gigastudio - forget they even exist for now and only look into instruments with their own Kompakt player (like any of the newer products from EW).

Basically, Silver is a "mini" version of Kontakt (known as Kompakt) that comes with its own set of sounds. These are the only sounds it can play. Silver's Kompakt player can only play Silver's sounds. So Silver is where the sounds come from (its own bank) and it is what you load the sounds into (its own Kompakt player).

Slider
05-07-2005, 06:51 PM
Okay, I now get how "Silver" contains both the library itself and the means (Kompakt) to play the sounds in the library. And you say the newer EW products all come with their own Kompakt-type player. In fact, I just tested your assertion and picked a product at random (happened to be "Beats Cuba", from EW's "Top 20 Sellers" list), and yes, it comes with something called Intakt. But, better yet, I stumbled onto a great explanation at the very bottom of the page, after the "system requirements", which reads:

[IMPORTANT: To avoid confusion, we would like to point out that the Native Instruments software powering the Zero-G Virtual Sound Modules is not a "PLAYER" but an INSTRUMENT. The software included is a complete Virtual Instrument called either KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT or INTAKT INSTRUMENT, which are specialized and streamlined versions of the NI KONTAKT sampler and also use the KONTAKT audio engine. Neither the KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT nor the INTAKT INSTRUMENT should not be confused with the much more basic "KONTAKT PLAYER" interface as included with some other companies' products, which is simply a 'player' of libraries in Kontakt format and has very little editing functionality. That is obviously very different from the KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT or INTAKT INSTRUMENT, which include the most used controls from KONTAKT and even many powerful new features, and allow massive editing of the included sound library. The KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT and the INTAKT INSTRUMENT, one of which which powers each Zero-G Virtual Sound Module, are much more powerful creative tools than the "KONTAKT PLAYER".]

That's very clarifying. Thing is, with older things like "QL Guitar & Bass", there's no mention of an included player/editor like a Kompakt or an Intakt. So, for those CDs, would I need to get something to read the files before Sonar can deal with it, or can Sonar do it all for me?

- Slider

ELP71
05-07-2005, 07:17 PM
I don't have anything to add, but I must say that this thread will help a lot of people out in the future.

ToddK
05-07-2005, 07:31 PM
Okay, I now get how "Silver" contains both the library itself and the means (Kompakt) to play the sounds in the library. And you say the newer EW products all come with their own Kompakt-type player. In fact, I just tested your assertion and picked a product at random (happened to be "Beats Cuba", from EW's "Top 20 Sellers" list), and yes, it comes with something called Intakt. But, better yet, I stumbled onto a great explanation at the very bottom of the page, after the "system requirements", which reads:

[IMPORTANT: To avoid confusion, we would like to point out that the Native Instruments software powering the Zero-G Virtual Sound Modules is not a "PLAYER" but an INSTRUMENT. The software included is a complete Virtual Instrument called either KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT or INTAKT INSTRUMENT, which are specialized and streamlined versions of the NI KONTAKT sampler and also use the KONTAKT audio engine. Neither the KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT nor the INTAKT INSTRUMENT should not be confused with the much more basic "KONTAKT PLAYER" interface as included with some other companies' products, which is simply a 'player' of libraries in Kontakt format and has very little editing functionality. That is obviously very different from the KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT or INTAKT INSTRUMENT, which include the most used controls from KONTAKT and even many powerful new features, and allow massive editing of the included sound library. The KOMPAKT INSTRUMENT and the INTAKT INSTRUMENT, one of which which powers each Zero-G Virtual Sound Module, are much more powerful creative tools than the "KONTAKT PLAYER".]

That's very clarifying. Thing is, with older things like "QL Guitar & Bass", there's no mention of an included player/editor like a Kompakt or an Intakt. So, for those CDs, would I need to get something to read the files before Sonar can deal with it, or can Sonar do it all for me?

- Slider

Yes, the included player thing is relatively new.
I suggest getting a program called CD Xtract. This will take any sample
in any format, and convert it to whatever software sampler you choose to
go with.
I highly suggest Kontakt 2.
So for instance, say you have some old Akai S2000 sample CD's that you still
want to use. No problem, pop them into your computer, and use CD Xtract
to convert them to NKI's for Kontakt 2! :D

TK

Slider
05-08-2005, 06:49 AM
Thanks for the tip on CD Xtract, and Kontakt 2. I think I'll order something like Silver or Colossus, each of which comes with Kompakt, and then register the Kompakt, and if I need something more at some point, I can get that good deal on Kontakt 2. I actually found a very helpful newbie guide at Native Instuments's site. Cleared up even more things for me.

I'd still like to get feedback from someone about my "modifications to my computer setup" question (toward the end of my second post in this thread). To my list of features, I should add that I'm using Windows XP. Thanks.

- Slider