OT: I got the Edirol PCR-80...

goshep wrote on 2/25/2005, 8:33 PM
and now I need some recommendations for soft synths. I'd like something affordable and entry-level that will accomodate future plug-ins (i.e. Edirol Orchestra.)

Also...Spot, you mentioned I can record straight to the Vegas timeline. Does this mean I don't need expensive (and complicated) sequencers/recorders?

To be honest, I've no clue what I'm doing. I've always been interested in scoring my own music so I sort of jumped into it.

BTW, the PCR-80 looks great sitting here doing nothing! :)


nickle wrote on 2/25/2005, 9:12 PM
Get ready for some steep learning and head bashing.

Here you can download Sampletank free with 11 free instruments.


You can't play midi in Vegas. Maybe you were thinking of Acid?
goshep wrote on 2/25/2005, 10:26 PM
Thanks nickle. It seems a bit daunting now. Maybe some suggested reading would help as well.

nickle wrote on 2/25/2005, 11:21 PM
You are about a month behind me if you are just starting out so I'll tell you what I learned.

I hope somebody will correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.

If you want to play your keyboard to compose, you need some software and there starts the head bashing.

Acid 5 supports softsynths so you could play into it and add loops to fill it in. I have no experience with it.

If you don't have a decent soundcard you will get latency and the sound comes out the speakers a second after you play a note, which is bad.

High quality softsynths (like the Sampletank) don't have the latency that GW wavetable and soundcard builtin sounds have.

I bought a Chaintech 7.1 soundcard which uses the Via Envy 24 hs chipset that is used by M-audio Revolution 7.1 and another quality card I forget the name of. Chaintech is about $20.

In Cubase I had a choice of Asio, Wdm or MME drivers. Asio is lowest latency and worked great.

In Cakewalk Home Studio ($149.plus $50 for VST adapter) the softsynths don't play on Wdm and Asio doesn't work so I have to use MME, but there is no latency anyway.

Cakewalk allows you to play the keyboard and record your music then export. It has built-in DXI softsynths.

If you download Cakewalk Home Studio it has a tutorial to get you started playing midi right away.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 2/26/2005, 12:32 AM
As others have pointed out, Vegas does not support soft synths or MIDI. Download the demo of ACID Pro 5 for that capability. I would recommend getting a pro level audio card that supports ASIO. At the low end, you can pick up the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 for $99. Stay away from game cards, they are not optimized for recording (just playback). If you don’t like ACID, Cakewalk is good but the learning curve is high. Something like Mackie Tracktion might be a lot easier to learn and is fine for recording MIDI using VSTi’s.

If you want a VSTi that’s expandable get a sampler like NI Kontakt You can just keep adding libraries of sounds. I personally stay away from IK Multimedia (makers of SampleTank) because their license is non-transferable. If you grow out of the program, you can’t sell it so it’s now a very expensive door stop. (a dead-end purchase if you ask me)

MyST wrote on 2/26/2005, 3:38 AM
KVR has free VSTi to download. I've downloaded some and they're pretty good.
Triangle II


Re: the soundcard. If you think you're ever going to do surround sound, be careful before you invest in a stereo-only pro card.
I have Acid Pro 5 and it's a great program. It also comes with 3 softsynths and loops.
The great thing in Acid is that they have some really good loop libraries aimed at video editing.
Cinematix series
Anything "Ambient"

goshep wrote on 2/26/2005, 9:30 AM
Thanks for the tips guys. Is the M-Audio Delta 1010 a good choice? My brother just got one but hasn't even opened it for lack of time. I could probably use his indefinitely. As for VST, I've seen some packages that use DX and some that ue VST. Is either better in terms of performance?
My primary use will be classical arrangements and cinematic scores. I'm really impressed with the sample works I've listened to. I don't anticipate recreating them anytime soon but that's my goal if it helps to point me in the right direction.
I must've misunderstood Spot about playing into Vegas. Perhaps he did mean into Acid. I'm too lazy to dig up the old thread. Can Vegas features be controlled via MIDI i.e. shuttle, etc.?? Bahh what do I know? I'm excited and overwhelmed all in one.
Thanks again. I should probably post this on the audio side too but this side just feels like home and some of you guys are just as experienced with audio as video.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 2/26/2005, 10:11 AM
The M-Audio Delta 1010 is excellent. I would borrow that if you could. DXi and VSTi are different technologies. Some hosts, like ACID and Tracktion only support VSTi. Some, like SONAR, support DXi and have a wrapper for VSTi. I’m not aware of one being better than the other as far as performance goes. Many VSTi’s come in both formats so I use Kontakt as a VSTi in ACID and as a DXi in SONAR and I don’t notice any difference.

> Can Vegas features be controlled via MIDI i.e. shuttle, etc.??

Yes, Vegas supports control via MIDI so you could use the faders on you MIDI keyboard controller to adjust volume faders in Vegas. (or buy a Mackie controller)

goshep wrote on 2/26/2005, 10:22 AM
Thanks JohnnyRoy!.

One more bump and I'll let this thread fade away.

Anyone else?

Last call for advice...
nickle wrote on 2/26/2005, 10:33 AM
With softsynths there are lots of noise makers rather than instruments. Many are weird sounding organ sounds played through a machine gun.

For orchestral try to research what sounds (insruments) you are getting in the package.