I always compare Podium to Logic…it’s “marketing position”, being such a serious app, I think is best described is the asnwer to the death of Logic on the PC. To that end including top-quality plugins that ONLY work on Podium (like Logic does) is a good idea. My suggestion is do as Logic did back in the day (3 years ago): have the plugins included as part of the installer (actually part of the Podium executable), but they need to be unlocked with a code that you’d purchase here. I’m guessing they wouldn’t add too much to the size of the Podium executable/installer, since they’re synths/effects and not romplers, but no one really cares about size much anymore anyway. (for SOME things…)
That doesn’t solve your demo song problem though, if the plugins aren’t unlocked your demo can’t use them…but at the same time, a lot of sequencers don’t come with demo songs. If they do (like Digital Performer), they play the computer’s built-in MIDI synthesizer. Why not try that, if you think demo files are important? More important I think is “Podium in action” type demo movies on the site, showing a song playing, all the different windows opening and showing the song while it’s playing, etc. And a list of pros using Podium. Maybe a couple interviews with them. Getting good callout quotes like “As serious as Logic, but without the Apple bullshit” or “Crystal clear transparent mxing engine” etc.
And if there’s a beta test to sign up for these soft synths, LET A BROTHA KNOW! hahah
Thanks guys for the props! If this music thing ever buggers out I’ll try my hand at being a salesman.
I’ve started a song in Podium. I want to work through the whole process and see what I really think about it. So far though it has been very positive and I guess with what I save on Podium I could put towards a good control surface and some quality plugins.
Do that, take a song from beginning to end in Podium and post here and let the fellas help you whenever you run into a “how the hell do I do this?” moment. It’ll get you over the hump fast. Keep in my mind your first song in Podium will take a lot longer than you’re used to in Whacktion, but by track number 3 you’ll be on fire.
Check out that M-Audio ProjectMix I/O…motorized control surface and soundcard all rolled into one. And it’s better than the Tascam version because it has a scribble strip (the LCD display), which you absolutely need when using faders.
Regarding Tracktion. It was my 1st DAW and like losing your virginity, that first one/time holds a special a place in your heart.
Hahahah. Awwww! You popped your cherry on Tracktion! That’s not bad though, you wouldn’t have wanted to start on Cubase 1.0 or Notator…or like me, on ScreamTracker I think it was. Darrrrrk days. Still though, the only place in my body I hold for MY first girl is somewhere in the colon area…wretched sow that she was.
I come here and get a session of tough love counselling.
That’s what I’m all about cause that’s how people get ME to see the light. A lot of people need to justify their purchases and posessions even though deep down, they know something’s better. I used to be like that. It took pros, people I respect, to point at my setup, laugh, and tell me what’s REALLY up. And then I finally come around. Tech support people who are PAID to help musicians should be nice and coddling and understanding…your peers should just tell you like it is and get under your skin to get you motivated. Besides…it’s good practise for how nasty the commercial music world is! Woooooooo.
Allow me to try to help you with this…I actually own almost EVERY sequencer from Logic to ProTools (as in bought, no crack action) and I’ve weighed them all.
Admittedly, for the last two years I’ve been using Logic 7 to sequence and Pro Tools 6 (now 7) to mix. On a Mac. Not because I wanted to, but because evvvverybody I work with does. Now keep in mind I do this for a living, so I can’t always use what feels best for me, due to people needing to see certain things in your arsenal (software and hardware) to be able to trust their projects to you for remixing or engineering, whatever.
About the Mac platform, I say this: OS X is a whole lot better than Windows. There’s all the usual bla bla bl’blaas about how it has no viruses, etc. But what’s never mentioned is the intangibles, how generally sitting infront of a Mac for the monster 12 hour plus sessions that we usually have to do on a regular basis seems less taxing than it does on Windows, for your eyes, for your fingers, for your body, and for your mind. It’s just a very pleasant, well-made, unobtrusive OS.
That being said: Macs are overpriced and proprietary. No one wants to say it, but it’s true. They cost too much for what they offer (when compared to equivalent PC performance), and you can’t upgrade with anyone else besides Apple. If you want to get a faster computer, you need to buy a whole new computer.
On top of that, Logic is VERY very hard to use if you come from ANY other sequencer. It is fabulous for MIDI work, and naturally once you figure it out you’ll be flying with it, but it took ME at least a month, and I pick up new things in seconds usually. On top of that, it has a lot of legacy features which aren’t so useful anymore, but you need to understand them to use the program (i.e. the Environment). Finally, Logic doesn’t sound very good raw compared to other sequencers. ‘Nuff people will argue this. Whatever. I have them all. You CAN get it to sound just as good as anything else, and it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day since you have to get your final product mastered anyway, but I like my stuff to sound good while I’m working on it, to stay enthused.
Still though, for budding musicians, a $500 Mac mini comes with GarageBand 2 with piles of plugins, it is an attractive choice for a lot of people in that category. Logic + ProTools is basically THE professional choice, at least here in North America. But I think that’s for no other reason than because it’s familiar, and everybody’s trying to be the same as everyone else.
Now: Traktion. Let’s not fuck around, shall we? Traktion SUCKS. Everyone knows it sucks. Back when Jules had the big idea and released Traktion 1, it was a revolution in sequencer design. I bought it the day I found out about it. For the first couple weeks you’re telling all your friends about it. You’re messing around. You’re having fun.
But then it comes time to do WORK with it. In other words, produce a song and get it sold. The limitations become apparent. Hi, I’d like to run a bus for a verb plugin? WHAT THE HELL? Racks. Racks are so counter-intuitive, their very inclusion negates the simplicity of the main Traktion concept.
No worries, Traktion 2 is coming out soon, it’s got Mackie behind it, bla bla. Now don’t lie: after waiting, what, a YEAR for it to come out, anticipation…then it finally comes out. NOW you can change COLORS! Now it has shoddy support for a Mackie Control! Now it comes with a few so-so plugins. But alas…what is this? RACKS???
Traktion 2 was the biggest let-down in software history. The message baords prove it, with people selling off their licenses daily at utter losses.
Traktion (I know I spelled it wrong all this time) is fine for the very very budding, wet-behind-the-ears musicians, but you can’t do serious work with it. That’s all there is to it. The very FACT that you’re looking elsewhere (here) proves it. If you miss Final Mix, use Waves L2 or if that’s too expensive, use Izotope Ozone (I actually like it better).
Now onto Cakewalk/SONAR. It sucks. Forget about it. (Naw actualy it doesn’t suck, but who uses that? I don’t believe for a second Chuck D. does, Cakewalk paid him to say that!)
Cubase/Nuendo. First. Cubase has a bad rep of being the sequencer of choice for “basement D&B producers”. In other words being the Kia of the high-end sequencers. I’ve owned it and been upgrading since 1.0…and all the way back then, I was a basement producer! The software has come a LONG way, that’s all there is to say. The current SX 3 version is pretty much the best sequencer on the PC (notwithstanding Podium!), in terms of performance, ease of use, sound quality…pretty much everything. You can take a production from the spark in your subconcious all the way to mastering if you so wanted to, and it feels good all the way through.
Because of this bad rep, Steinberg released Nuendo. And don’t mistake it: Nuendo IS Cubase with a different color scheme and support for some high-end digital video devices. When you buy Cubase, you’ve bought the Nuendo sound engine and everything else associated with that quality level.
Pro Tools. It’s like this: if you’re rocking a ProTools|HD system, you’ve got the best there is. And you would not even LOOK or THINK elsewhere (maybe a secondary app to do your MIDI work). If money is no object to you, then there is no other choice…remember though, this IS an almost $20,000 investment to get everything you need to run a decent studio. Even professional producers choose to let the STUDIOS pay for this and use other solutions for their home studio (aka project studio).
ProTools LE/M-Powered? It’s not bad, straight up. You can get involved for about $350, picking up the software and the cheapo M-Audio Delta 44 (which isn’t a bad soundcard, believe it). The most obvious limitations are the 32-voice limit and the MIDI functionality (however, if you think Traktion has adequate MIDI, then you won’t miss anything).
And now (fingers are sore) Podium: Make no mistake, Podium is a work in progress. It’s also as complicated as Logic is to get into. But here’s what’s good about it:
– It is the most stable sequencer there is. (<--read this again)
– 64-bit mixing (I know Traktion has that too)
– It has enough functionality to take you from concept to execution (now especially with offline bouncing)
– The price is wayyy cheap for what it’s offering
– It sounds good
– It supports MIDI hardware very well (which Traktion doesn’t)
– It’s a great MIDI editor (which Traktion isn’t)
And finally, it’s got Frits behind it. Frits will not dry you out like Jules has. For as long as this site’s been up (about 2 years now I think) Frits has been answering everyone’s questions and fixing everyone’s little issues with their weird-ass plugins (sory guys hahha) every day, non stop. The boy never takes a break. Check out the version history…see the dates between versions and the massive features of each one. Frits is determined to make this happen, he’s responsible, and he’s got the serious coding skills to implement the top-tier features…he WAS the first on the block to do 64-bit mixing, you know!
Anyways I can’t type anymore or I’ll never play a keyboard again. But I hope this answers some of your questions, and makes your decision a bit clearer…it’s all about what your music’s targeted for at the end of the day…are you a hobbyist? A garage band burning CDs for the concerts? A basement producer? You’ve sold one song? You’ve sold 10 songs? You do this for a living? You’re god damn Dr. DRE! That’s the real issue that decides your sequencer needs.
I am still debating as to whether or not I should be going ahead with the purchase of the this product. I am still kicking the wheels per se, but over the last couple of weeks haven’t had the time to spend with Podium. So for what it’s worth, here’s my 2 cents.
Darcy. It’s 90 bucks. You’re not buying a car. There’s no better sequencer at that price, and you know it. Buy it already.
Did I mention it’s…*90* bucks? (That’s less than $100.)
Sorry fellas I definitely didn’t mean to come off like an asshole.
What I REALLY mean to say is let him implement the major features needed so that they generally work for the majority of users, THEN let him go back and add all the little things that take care of specific needs of rare plugins.
Like, for example, when a potential customer is looking at a list of features, they want to see “Offline Bounce”, then they want to see “This Feature”, then “That Feature”. Then they buy. Then later as they’re using Podium, they have a specific need and request it on this forum. But if the feature’s not there at all because Frits is working on just one feature and trying to handle every little exception to it, then a customer may pass right by.
Of course it’s all up to Frits what he wants to do and not do, how he prioritizes. But he said this year he’s quitting the job and working fulltime on Podium. So he HAS to see some money this time round. I want to see him make that money too. I feel to do this he’s gotta get all those “marketing features” done right away, so he can legitimately claim he has them, then advertise.
Very VERY few plugins require realtime rendering to work correctly; less than 1% of all available plugins. I recommend this be a very low priority for Podium development and focus on other features that are more important in making Podium a top-tier contender. After all, anyone using these sort of plugins can always record the audio/bounce it like they’ve normally been doing up until now.
As a whole, I think it’s important for all of us to stop bogging down Frits with requests to support the idiosyncracies of cheapo/archaic/free/low-end plugins and their requirements, and let him focus on the big issues necessary for Podium to compete on the grand scale, specifically the things listed in his Future Development thread.
I mean, we all want to see Podium make it to the big time, don’t we?
Option A please! Seems the most straightforward.
That sounds like a serious bug. I’ll fix it for you for 90US$ 😉
Joke OF THE YEAR! Bwaaaaahahahahhahaha
Like Super Crunchy says, I think a technical term sounds better than “phantom”. Damn, why not just call it “poltergeist” hahah.
Seriously though, I’ve always thought of Podium as a very technical and very serious, no-nonsense sequencer. I think a term fitting to those qualities, like “reference” or “alias” or even the very obvious “linked sequence”, or simply “link”, would be better.
Very happy to hear you’re going full-time on this, Frits. This time it’ll be magic. I would specifically focus marketing on Logic users who decided to switch to another sequencer instead of going for the Mac platform. There’s a lot of them, and Zynewave’s got that no-nonsense, 100%-for-professionals feel.
Prosoniq’s a bit pricey considering that it only does one thing: time stretch. It’s not even a plugin, it’s a standalone app that you run on wave files. About $300 US if I’m not mistaken.
Your best bet for Traktor is to check out the demo to see what I mean. It doesn’t have any markers, it records in realtime. You basically use it as if you were a DJ doing a live set. If you’re not up on that kinda stuff I recommend getting a good DJ, renting two Pioneer CDJ-800s, a mixier, and let him do the mix for you. Or her, I heard there’s like, 4 female DJs in the whole world HAHAH .
Awww thanks Frits! I’m just playing tho. I wish there was an emoticon for sarcasm!
We do this all the time at the studio. You use Native Instruments Traktor to do this. And everyone’s right, don’t use the time-stretch algorhythms. In this situation, you speed up the master tempo and the pitch actually goes up as well. This isn’t time-stretching, it’s just regular old speeding up the recording. It’ll sound fine.
As for the best time-stretching it’s Prosoniq Time Factory. It’s capable of time stretching full instrumentals within a few semitones without noticeable artifacts. Used it to take a full song from 120 to 124 without problems.
I never get a response whenever I post on this board, I don’t what I’ve said to piss everyone off, but I hope this helps!
I’ve been in this situation before, not necessarily to create classical music, but to employ “realistic” strings in certain productions without having to contract an orchestra.
The consensus among all the producers I know is to hire a violinist for the violin parts, and you can use sample library strings for your backup string section. Obviously this is because the violin is often the highest-mixed element in the section, and because of it’s almost impossible-to-recreate portamento which is key to the realism of a violin solo.
I’m thinking though that may not work for classical, where there is no pianos and drums and other pop elements to mask the fakeness of the backing strings.
In any case, even though I haven’t tried GPO one of the major studios here in Toronto took it back to the store and won’t use it anymore, claiming there’s stereo phasing issues with it?! I think that’s pretty odd coming from a professional package, but that’s what they said.
The movie scorers I know swear by Vienna Symphony Orchestra, I know there’s like 20 versions of that package I don’t know which is “the one”, but these are vast, vast sample libraries with hundreds of phrasings for each instrument in the various sections, so with intricate programming and sound selection (and I assume a whole lot of track freezing) you can create highly realistic orchestral scores. Another key is to make proper use of your Waves IR-1 convolution verbs, using realistic chamber impulses and individually affecting each instrument in proportion to how they would be physically arranged from the mics in a real chamber.
Finally, I’d suggest, even though I’m using a Mac now and can’t even try it, Synful Strings. I’ve been hearing serious things about this, and the demos sound pretty unbelievable: http://www.synful.com.
This is a sensational feat of coding. Congrats and bravo, Frits!
I’m a little concerned that all the new sequencer projects that are on the go these days–Podium, Tracktion, the Linux whatever it’s called–are all targetted towards amateur users. The word “amateur” is not used here to be demeaning, it’s used to indicate the amount of functionality the user requires (and whether the user makes a living off producing music or not).
You can tell this not only from the featureset each program comes with, but also from the amount of default or factory-included presets they come with…you’ll find studio setup files and host compatibility with virtually every FREE and cheapo VSTi/plug-in made, but Traction, for instance, was strangely incompatible with Hypersonic, Battery and Kontakt (for a while), and I know a number of other expensive, professional-level plugins. I asked for a fix to the Hypersonic problem in Tracktion for almost 4 months before I finally just uninstalled Tracktion from my computer (and found out Jules finally fixed it like a few days later!).
The point here is this: producers who make money/make a living off their music need a certain number of “pro” features that admittedly will take the developer more time to complete then filling small requests like “improved coloring for velocities” and other trivial stuff. Pros need to be able to control their sequencers with their Mackie Controls, HUIs, and Tascams. Yes. All pros use these. They do not mess around with mice. Pros in the electronic/dance/hip hop/R&B genre need ReWire support. Pro scorers need movie import, SMPTE sync, notation functions. Etc.
New sequencer developers may have discounted these pro users as never being potential customers because they make enough money to be able to afford the Big Boy sequencers. This is an ignorant and plainly wrong assumption. Many people who are stuck on the Cubase/Nuendo upgrade path are VERY tired of being screwed over and over again, paying almost half a grand for updates that plainly do not work as advertised…basically being treated as paying beta testers. Many people who are Logic lovers have a bad taste in their mouth from Apple’s poor treatment of them: 1) forcing them to switch to Mac’s (and paying $3000 for hardware that’s about $700 for the same speed on a PC); 2) after many users bought each of Logic’s legendary plugins seperately (and spent thousands), suddenly Apple offers Logic Pro with all the plugins included for the price of ONE plugin, 3) Apple attempting to simplify the plug-in standards arena (and in typical Apple arrogance practically announcing “this is the be-all and end-all of plugin formats”) introduces the Audio Units format and discontinues support for VST, expecting all Mac developers to get onboard. Meanwhile Pro Tools says “no, we’re gonna stick with RTAS”, PC developers think AU is a more convoluted and difficult platform to develop for than VST…so all Apple’s done is FURTHER complicated the market.
Even if you consider the “official alternative sequencer” (SONAR)…that program has come a long way, but it’s still a little unstable and most importantly, SONAR’s biggest weakness is its reliance on the decrepit DXi plugin format. SONAR doesn’t natively support VSTi’s, and uses an adaptor to access them. The adaptor doesn’t work well with plugins that offer up multiple mono and stereo outs (such as Battery).
Perhaps ANOTHER reason to conisder developing for pros is that pros CAN afford your program no matter what you charge for it. And pros DO buy their software, and usually multiple copies for their home studio, studio proper, and laptop. Amateurs, let’s face it, the majority of them use cracked software and feel no guilt about it since they don’t make money with it. Many other amateurs who are working their way up to semi-pro level buy these “studio in a box” kits from people like M-Audio and E-Mu, which COME WITH sequencing software like Live and Reason and sometimes Cubase Lite or whatever it’s called.
Pros want a REAL alternative. Pros WILL pay well for it. Pros DO talk to their pro friends and convince them to buy software they like. And new seuqencer developers like Frits and Jules are in the perfect position to capitalize on this oppourtunity because, through mediums like these message boards, they are in DIRECT contact with their users..a sense of community is felt. And nothing makes pros AND amateurs feel more comfortable and happy. (Actually, that last bit is a lesson Jules seems to have forgotten.)
Anyways, that’s my argument for the inclusion of pro features.