Just a quick question? So in my band when we are gigging out and about we use mainstage (part of logic) with a midi controller for all our synth, piano, organ etc sounds and it works like a dream. We are about to record our album and im wondering what are the advantages of using a keyboard synth like a Wurlitzer electric piano or a MOOG Voager instead of using software synthesis through logic?
Also what do you think is the best way to record a certain logic synth sounds, is it better to program it all into logic and then play it through into to protools as a stereo audio file or program it into protools??
a Wurlitzer electric piano is not a synth,
it is a box with METAL tines in it, hit with HAMMERS!
This is why it is better.
Sorry i realise that a wurly is not a synth i was just meant in comparison to a logic version? Im more interest in the difference in a software synth like ES1 in logic or a hardware synth like a MOOG or a Korg?
so you're not using logic studio at all, just mainstage?
Obviously the biggest advantage of doing it in software is that you can
save the midi, quickly sort any mistake and play around with presets/FX
pretty quickly. Having said that - hardware synths often sound better (though
no always! Try tuning an electromechanical piano!) and have the joy that
you can just turn them on and play!
I tend to stick with software these days though. It's just easier.
Old electric pianos and synths only sound better on recordings if they're in good condition and behaving themselves. They'll cost you a fair bit to buy and maintain if you don't have them already.
There is no need whatsoever to go near protools if you're looking to record using the sounds in logic. Plenty of producers use logic and logic only - it'll do everything you need to record an album. We're currently finishing off our album and from recording to mix it will have been done entirely in logic pro.
For a live set up the reliability, price and versatility of a midi controller through mainstage outweigh the sound advantages of vintage keyboards and pianos. The wurlys and rhodes modeled in logic are incredible too.
Apologies if I grab the wrong end of the stick here but:
First of all, if you are gonna play the actual keyboard line live, it looks cool as hell, but is a bit of a test if, like me, you never got past Grade 4.
Second it depends on what you're running Logic on and how much your computer/laptop/etc is already doing. I'd be worried about lag myself, and driving a keyboard and making it do the work is preferable to overworking your box.
One alternative is to mix down entire lines and just trigger them as samples when playing live.
Maybe running a 3 year old PC with Vista has soured my view* but I would be sceptical of lag when driving soft synths and sending MIDI signals live.
* yeah it has for sure.
Thanks for your input guys. I just wasn't sure if there was noticeable sound quality difference when recording hardware vs software. Unfortunately the guy mixing our album needs the tracks in pro tools so i was thinking that we could program in logic and play straight in as audio to pro tools. I know it seems a bit awkward but i far prefer the software synths in logic than pro tools. Our biggest challenge is making each sound unique and not just relying on the presets which can be tempting when the sound good!
As far as live goes, Mainstage is a beast it has never let is down and its so versatile, one minute you can be playing a big trancy lead part and the next a smooth wurly! We are running it on a 2.4 Macbook and works like a dream.
Definitely agree with Deci about the joys of hardware synths. Having said that, a Nord Electro makes the whole process pretty painless and sounds amazing... though ironically it's basically a soft synth built into hardware. I still think I'd go for software though, the cost and ease of use just make em a winner.
I spent some time tweaking Vista when I first moved to it, and haven't had any lag problems since. The latencies I'm getting are around 5ms, which is grand for live performance, provided you don't mind the fear of something hanging half way through a gig!
I think what he is wanting to do is record the midi performance. Sounds like you're using mainstage as a collection (or rack) of synths. When you're doing this, mainstage is just playing the midi performance straight and not recording the performance. What you want to do is go into logic studio, and record the performance on a midi track which has an output instrument of your soft synth. This midi performance is just a record of the note information you plated (ie the note, velocity of the key being hit, duration etc), when played back it will play the exact same performance.
The advantage of doing it this way is you can quantize the performance, correct mistakes in a take etc. as well as the effects and processing detailed above.
Once you have the midi performance you can create a digital mixdown of it to an audio file and do whatever you like with it.
Dont see the need for pro-tools though, logic studio is a fully functional DAW just like pro-tools. Like comprachio said, theres loads of people who just use logic, its the only daw i use, with a couple of 3rd party soft synths.
ah see the need for pro-tools now. in that case just create the audio mix down of the track, right click the midi region> export as audio (i think this is the option). itll create the audio version of it and add it to your project bin.
You can still record everything in logic and then just export all the individual tracks - logic does this easily. As long as they're all named properly dragging the project into pro-tools for mixing will be a piece of piss.
As sacred hearts says, just go into logic 8/9 and record everything to MIDI tracks. All the mainstage instruments and presets can work in the logic sequencer. If the person mixing is recording your drums/vox/guitars then you can always just record your keyboard parts live into pro-tools using mainstage but make sure you use a decent soundcard for the line outs.
Unless you're using a computer older than time itself you'll have absolutely no latency playing out MIDI through mainstage. Triggering samples of prerecorded keyboard parts would be a nightmare unless the band plays to click.
it really depends what you are after.
A real wurlitzer piano, for instance, will probably have some of its notes a bit out of tune,
probably its keyboard action will be a bit uneven along the length of the keyboard,
basically it will have things "wrong with it".
And to tweak the sound of it you have to experiment with different amps, different pedals and FX units, etc etc.
And you have to play every note you want with your fingers.
Whereas a sample-based or physically-modelled one,
all the tuning and action will be "perfect",
you can probably tweak the sound quite a bit,
and you have total MIDI recall of everything you do.
If you want nice clean polished stuff and no fuss and ability to recreate it all on stage with your eyes shut, you'll probably prefer the soft-synth.
If you wanna dig in, get messy, let the instrument dictate what you play and interact with you (working around / incorporating all the quirks and dodginess it has into the music), you'll want to use a real one.
You'll need more space and stronger arms.
true. You'll also need the money to buy some of them as well. I'd love to have a Wurly, mkII rhodes and some older synths but its very hard to justify the cash:(