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pc software information

31-Oct-2014

Info-line:   [synths]    [sampler]    [drumbox]    [effects]    [mixers]     [mics]     [monitors]    [pc-h/ware]    [pc-s/ware]    [plugins]    -    [links]    [tips]

PC Software For Dance & Home Studio - An Overview


PC software if a huge subject in itself and examining this product section for dance music creation reveals many specific examples of techniques which PC software makes very easy or at least possible with some pratice.

Back in the early days when hardware sequencers ruled the earth, the early PC music softwares were limited to two types. One of these was the sequencer programme which loaded into the host computer (whether an Atari, Amiga, BBC Acorn, Sinclair, etc). These early sequencer programmes were pattern based sequencers and frankly whilst exciting to use because they were new technology they didn't really offer any advantages over hardware sequencers except perhaps when it came to cost. If you already had the host computer a sequencer programme could be more affordable than a hardware sequencer stand-alone unit. The other potential upside for such programmes was the graphical interface onscreen which initialy could be more visualy freindly that the often cryptic & usualy size-restricted LCD or LED display of hardware units.

Coming hot on the heals of commonly available host sequencers were the sampler/sample-editor and/or stereo-editing software prgrammes which began to appear in the early 80's offering an alternative to traditional tape & razor-blade stereo editing. Up to this point 'sampling' was a mystical beast which existed only in more expensive sampling-delay units which offered no more functionality than a simple capture and trigger facility.

Sampling in the way we understand it today means some sort of system or machine which can capture sounds and then play them back in the form of a keyboard pitch system and this sort of tehnology in the early 80's existed only in the esoteric and incredibly expensive early sampler/playback systems such as the Synclavier & Fairlight systems; hugely expensive monster machines which began development in the mid/late 70's and could only be afforded by the wealthy & famous.

Early stereo audio editors and sample programmes therefore tended to be used for studio editing and transfer jobs rather than by musicians although they did lay the seeds of digital software audio manipulation.

So, at the time of the early 80's we had a couple of hugely expensive playable sampler systems; a handful of sample/digital-audio editing softwares and a further handful of sequencer programmes... As the 80's progressed we saw 3 computers become the leading marque's: The Commodore 64, the first Macintosh PC's, and the Atari ST - For noobs it's mebbe hard to understand but Atari became THE leader back than - Mac's were rubbish and Microsoft Windows on IBM PC's didn't exist! - Atari ruled the earth in those days and a handful of sequencer programmes emerged as the main contenders for computer sequencing: DR. T's KCS (Keyboard Controlled Sequencer), C-Lab Creator/Notator (forerunner of Emagic Logic) and Steinberg's PRO-24 (forerunner of Cubase) - It is probably fair to say that once PRO-24 evolved into Cubase the combi of Cubase/Atari became the most popular midi sequencer in the world and the scene was set - Computer/Screen based sequencing was here in force, and whilst hardware sequencer units still offered superb features, reliability and portability, screen based sequencing was here to stay.

PC based sequencing today

Nowadays we've got the main sequencer's such as Emagic Logic, Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk's Sonar, MOTU's Digital Performer - all of which can be considered as general major-product midi & audio sequencer-workstations - Alongside those products we have more specialist products such as Propellerhead's Reason, Fruity-Loops Pro, Ableton's Live, Cakewalk's Project-5 and Synapse's Orion - All of these probably can be classified as sequencers for making dance or releted electronic music rather than as general sequencers for recording rock or other genre's where the emphasis is on recorded audio tracks.

There's no right or wrong product in this list, but where modern sequencing scores is in the ability for such porgrammes to work with patterns of sequenced data, easily identifiable as blocks of music on-screen, and this perfectly suits dance music's remit of being a pattern-based music.

PC based sampling today

In the early days we had products like Digidesign's Samplecell and Lynex sampling systems which required dedicated hardware add-on's to provide physical inputs and outputs as well as onboard RAM memory... Nowadays software sampling has come of age - some software sampler's exist as included units within the host programme which can only run within the host (Reason's sampler is an example). Other software samplers exist in Plugin format, meaning they can be loaded into any host sequencer which works with the sampler's plugin format. Example's of leading plugin sampler's are Native-Instrument's KONTAKT, Steinberg's HALION, Emagic's EXS-24 and Tascam's Gigasampler. Modern plugin samplers can often load a variety of sample formats (including AKAI samples) and have pretty much taken over from dedicated hardware sampler units for studio composition work due to their ease of use.

Software Synths & Effects

In the early days of Windows & Mac PC's from the early 90's onwards there was quite a variety of stand-alone software synths (which includes drum-machine software). MAny of these were written by enthusiasts and this era yeilded some great sodtware's (many free) for making synth patterns - Some notable standalone software synths/drumboxes were Propellerhead's Rebirth, Software Technology's VAZ, Bram Boss's Hammerhead, Zap's Stomper drum-synth, D-Lusion's Rubberduck etc - The downside was that you had to make your synth pattern, render and save it as an audio file and then load it into your host sequencer or hardware sampler as an audio file for use in your composition; but the advent of the Plugin synth changed all that.

Plugin synths starting with the leading VST-Plugin format soon became the de-rigeur standard offering integration into the host sequencer so you could compose your synth patterns inside the sequencer and hear the resulting synth parts you were creating in-situ as the composition played, just like using a hardware synth in a hardware midi studio! Plugin synths and drum software have now almost taken over from hardware units, and whilst hardware will never die, the affordability and ease of use of plugin synths makes them the most used source for electronic music composition nowadays... For more on Plugin format's, see the Articles section.

Listing candidates for cool plugin synths is pretty hard because there are literaly thousands to choose from, including a massive amount of freeware plugin synths.


Software effects again have come of age. Easy to use in plugin format, they cover every possible type of effect you can imagine and like plugin synths, samplers and drumboxes, they can be used & tweaked in realtime as you compose.



Add your general PC-software comments
or nominate an unlisted PC-software item here!
For listed drumboxes, please leave your comments or review on the actual PC-software product's item page - You can browse all PC-software in the GEAR section - if you have an actual question, try asking on the forums.


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PC-software section comments


Name: Jimmy
Email: SyNtHpLaYa@aol.com
Activity:  No user-activity listed
Date: 24-Feb-01

A very Well designed and classy synthesizer from the inside out. Looks agressive with the Red/Black Scheme, and sounds like it too. When taken into account the purity and rawness the Virus B has, it comes closest of any VA to sheer Analogue power. Without any Effects, it is possible to make a single Oscillator sound huge, and Words cannot describe the fullness of the sound produced when using the 3 Oscillators and its Sub. The basses are amongst the meanest and roundest ive heard in quite some time, and there are many warm pads to be made as well. Will do any type of music style well, as it can be painstakingly harsh, or Gentle as a lamb as well. At the moment it is *THE* Virtual Analogue to have, considering it from the specs/value price-range. No other synthesizer can offer you 24 voices and 16 parts of analogue modelling power for as low as $1199. If you see one, buy it, if not, get on a waiting list. Above All :
Get Infected.


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Name: fabian eduardo
Email: topo86@hotmail
Website:  santiagp
Activity:  No user-activity listed
Date: 29-May-01

muy bueno


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Name: gabriele salati
Email: www.gabtek73@yahoo.it
Activity:  part-timer
Date: 13-Oct-01

i m desperate to know which laptop i should use with a motu audio card.


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Name: empire1
Email: spyasia@hotmail.com
Activity:  part-timer
Date: 28-Oct-01

i have a dell inspiron 8000 laptop, i would like to buy the prophellerhead "Reason" software, to make music, im using "ESS Maestro". can u kindly advise me more about this subject?


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Name: hassen dj
Email: hassendhiaf@inwind.it
Website:  none
Activity:  Professional
Date: 18-Dec-01

dove posso trovare il sito x vedere sonar xl?


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Name: k
Email: here
Activity:  Professional
Date: 23-Apr-02

if you have specific questions ask them on the forums using the link above, people dont answer questions here much


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Name: justin
Email: gr00vearmarda@aol.com
Website:  www.breakbeat.co.uk
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 27-Oct-02

basically I want to start producing some dnb tracks, and would be grateful if you could list what i would need to get started and roughly how much it would cost. many thanks


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Name: michael
Email: frenchy69@comcast.net
Website:  akai mpc2000xl
Activity:  Professional
Date: 04-Mar-04

where in the world can I find a scuzzy external cd rom player for my mpc 2000xl????If you have any hint,please let me know;I've been looking everywhere...NOTHING!!!How am I supposed to read my samples?Thank you for your input.

Peace


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Name: Tim Cowart
Email: bowiestation@yahoo.com
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 21-Mar-04

I am trying to load my cassette recordings from a tape deck into the computer.Now,I am using the left/right line out on the tape deck connected to the single line in jack on the soundcard.When the recording is finished and I check it with my media palyer,all the sound comes out of the left channel and hardly any sound comes out of the right channel--this is still the same when i convert the wav. file over to mp3---can anyone help ? is this problem associated to the cheap soundcard ?


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Name: Dave
Email: rubberfrog@earthlink.net
Activity:  part-timer
Date: 02-Dec-04

hey, I'm wonderring if anybody would know of any dxi or vsti midi sequencers that could run inside of sonar as a midi effect. I wanted a plugin that could control changing sequences from a keyboard while recording live. Possibly with multiple time signatures. something like cyclone but for sending midi information


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Name: livio
Email: lbsoli@yahoo.es
Website:  dancetech.com
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 26-Feb-05

jjk


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Name: Dave Barrell
Email: david.barrell@tns-global.com
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 10-Mar-05

Im trying to get my Mixer or Amp to connect to my PC. So i can record sets on the PC to burn on to CD.


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Name: rui calças
Email: rui.apc@netcabo.pt
Activity:  Professional
Date: 28-Sep-05

Hello, i'm a portuguese music producer and composer.


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Name: sara
Email: sarahdarocha7@hotmail.fr
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 24-Nov-05

vosse podie-me inviar a letra da vossa cansão horas ao luar
Obrigada


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Name: ANESH
Email: ANESH112@HOTMAIL.COM
Activity:  No user-activity listed
Date: 10-Feb-06

Hi there...Plse could you tell me how to Remix music and software to use.


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Name: JoeMulligan
Email: paljoey54@yahoo.com
Activity:  Professional
Date: 18-Feb-06

How do I get SONAR 3 Studio to interface with my Edirol ua-25? It won't link to the software.


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Name: Alex
Email: a_l_e_x___@hotmail.com
Website:  http://www.virtuasonic.com/synesthesia.htm
Activity:  Professional
Date: 01-Jun-08

Convolution is often associated with reverbs, but Synaesthesis offers much more than this. Sometimes it is not easy to realize that convolution has more possibilities than reverb emulation.

Synaesthesis is a collection of impulse response files designed for electronic musicians and sound designers in search for new possibilities of transforming and spicing up their music and sounds that turns any convolution engine into a powerful multi-FX processor.

Check out the audio demos and get a some free demo IRs.


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Name: Abhi
Email: biggerearrings@yahoo.co.uk
Website:  www.myspace.com/lunarsounds
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date: 04-Jun-08

Hi there,

My drummer has pro tools and logic software and we're currently recording our new demo using these. We are essentially a guitar band with a dancy edge but want to make one of our tracks quite electronic sounding, especially the drums with distorted electric guitar. Drums and guitar have already been recorded and are raw at the mo. Any ideas on how to 'dancify' them? We've got the ideas but any advice on what software to use for pc?

Ta very much for your help.

Look forward to your reply.

Abhi


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Name: jerryjones
Email: jerryvi4@aol.com
Website:  AOL
Activity:  Professional
Date: 05-Sep-08

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK


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Name: admin
Email: here
Activity:  Professional
Date: 10-Sep-08

test add comment to section pc hardware


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Name: admin
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Name: admin
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Name: admin
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testing pc software section comments - this is shared with pc-hardware so both comments display together - all things pc-ware-section in one comment id


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Name: Victor
Email: quesnelcowboy@yahoo.ca
Activity:  part-timer
Date: 09-Feb-12

I would like to be able to read my Roland MC 50 3 1/2 in floppy on my pc. I have not found a download to make this happen. Does it exist?


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Name: admin
Email: here
Activity:  Professional
Date: 27-Feb-12

search our sampples/files/manauls section for "mc50" (without the quotes

there is super-mrc maker package in the files library, which might help.


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Name: roger manning
Email: intercomms@blueyonder.co.uk
Activity:  Professional
Date: 08-Aug-12

i am looking for drivers for amt8/unitor8 for serial or usb 64bit platform


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Name: supernova777
Email: chrisnova777@gmail.com
Activity:  Professional
Date: 15-Sep-13

does anyone out there have the reason 1.0.1 update for os9?


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Last added comment

Name: Blagoje
Email: blaza@baulink.net
Activity:  part-timer
Date: 16-Sep-13

Dear
I need a software that would let me open the VST plugins in real time a VST host applications which allow me to use the microphone with the plugin at the same time.
whether we may be able to recommend something


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PC-Software
     Classics  

Here's a selection of classic PC-Software

Bram Bos Hammerhead

Check this & download it if you're using a PC.... A wicked 32 bit soft synth drum box.... and believe me it sounds HAAAARD !!!!... iT'S FREEWARE... and once you've created patterns or songs, you can ...

Propellerheads REBIRTH RB338

Hey !!!....Check this other one out... a totally software based TB303/TR808.... All the controls are in realtime !!.... and it also sounds as good as any 303 clone module, but with this you get two o...

Master Zap 'STOMPER'

Check out the wicked STOMPER - somthing of a cult programme amongst PC music-makers - it's free and gives you everything from drum sounds & games hits blips and noises, to even 303 type patterns with ...

Emagic EXS24

Emagic's EXS24 sampler comes included with some Logic Audio packages. It's really a great sampler, knocks spots of most hardware units, check it out!! ...

Steinberg Halion

Halion is Steinberg's wizzkid VSTi sampler - this review is a BIG page load at about 1500kb, but lot's of clear piccies and full proper details... check it out!! - This'll show you all the parts and w...

Emagic Logic Audio 5

The mighty Logic Audio comes of age with new version 5 - Here's the full sp on the new main features and how it all works! ...

Digilogue BlueCompressor

Part of a free bundle of plugins, a brilliant free/contribute-ware compressor from Digilogue. - dx & vst ...

Waves RCL Renaissance compressor

Classic & well respected Plugin compressor, the Waves RCL... dx plugin. ...

Ohmforce Frohmage

Free resonant filter with a twist from Ohmforce - well worth checking out! ...

Steinberg CUBASE SX

Steinberg Cubase SX - Next generation Cubase going up from Cubase VST, the Cubase SX series went all the way to Version-3 which introduced track Freeze amongst other things - Probably the worlds most ...

Native Instruments KONTAKT

Native Instruments KONTAKT now at version 3, is a top flight sampler for PC & MAC with Up to 256 stereo voices, 16-part multitimbral, and 32 outputs per plug-in or standalone instance. ...

Chris Gill SUPERWAVE P8

superb free 2 osc' vsti made with synthedit. Like a sorta roland-oberheim crossbreed, with 7 supersaw detuning controls and it comes with a great bunch of presets. This is superb! - get it downloaded ...

Bioroid Creakbox

The best freeware TB303 vsti you can get I'd say! - superb! ...

AudioRealism ABL Bass Line Synthesizer

Now this IS the best TB303 bassline software plugin in the world - as accurate as you could hope for considering all real TB303's are subtly different & with a 100% authentic interface & sequencer - A...

Kjaerhus Audio Classic Compressor

Free VST PC compressor plugin with 'Hard' & 'Soft' knee (works with all sampling frequencies too.) ...

D16 Group Phoscyon

Superbly versatile and accurate tb303 plugin synth with additional features. ...

D16 Group Drumazon

Super 909 clone drum software which plays from internal sequencer or triggerable from midi note data like a regular drumbox plugin. ...

Waves SSL Bundle Native

WAVES SSL Bundle Native, plugin version of the extraordinary sounds of the legendary SSL 4000 series: SSL G- Equalizer, SSL E-Channel, SSL G-Masterbus Compressor, for Mac and PC, CAUTION: requires PAC...

Antress Modern Plugins Modern compressor

freeware vst compressor plugin. ...

REFX Vanguard

reFX presents VANGUARD, a new breed of virtual analog synthesizers. VANGUARD is the long awaited replacement for your old 19" hardware gear which you will never use again after you have tried VANGUARD...




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