GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:51 pm

Very nice. I assume it will provide a significant part of the sound of this year's GRcade Christmas Number Wun?

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Kezzer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:06 pm

For some damn reason I want a resonator guitar.

Also want a new amp, some effects pedals and a steel string acoustic.

But alas, money.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:24 pm

I'm getting the gear acquisition syndrome. I'd like a new electric and another bass.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:41 pm

Oblomov Boblomov wrote:Very nice. I assume it will provide a significant part of the sound of this year's GRcade Christmas Number Wun?


Absolutely :toot:

Kezzer wrote:For some damn reason I want a resonator guitar.

Also want a new amp, some effects pedals and a steel string acoustic.

But alas, money.


I've never played a resonator. For some reason the look of them has always put me off, which is stupid as they sound great.

I use a pod X3 for all my electric self indulgent needs. I haven't actually used my amp for years now, although that's mostly down to consideration for neighbours.


Squinty wrote:I'm getting the gear acquisition syndrome. I'd like a new electric and another bass.


Tell me about it, I'm thinking of getting my first bass this year too :dread:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:25 am

Kezzer wrote:For some damn reason I want a resonator guitar.

Also want a new amp, some effects pedals and a steel string acoustic.

But alas, money.

You really don't. My brother bought a decent one, probably dropped around £400. It has "that" sound and it's fun and he played it for a good while but I've never seen him use it in about a decade (I'm pretty certain he sold it), and he's pretty serious blues guitarist (and well regarded guitar maker).

Maybe you can "borrow" one and sell it when you're done?

I think you'd be better off with a nice glass or metal slide.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Lime » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Does anyone have any experience with using an iPad with a midi instrument?

I'll be getting an Ipad pro for my sheet music needs, but I also realise there are a load of apps (synths, sampled/modelled pianos) and other music production apps that will be interesting to get stuck into.

Initially I saw there is a bluetooth/midi adaptor (saw one by Yamaha) which seemed good - but then it crossed my mind that lag could be an issue. There seems to be conflicting comments on this, I just can't get a definitive answer.


So assuming it could be an issue, I need to consider a wired solution.
I'm looking at the iPad pro 2018 so it has a usb-C interface. My Fantom X8 has both midi sockets and a USB type B socket. Will a usb type-C to type B cable just 'work'? Can I use a hub and connect up other things too?
If I want to record audio directly in from an SM58 or say a guitar 1/4 inch jack type cable, what would I need?

Also, If I want an 'audio out' this'll need to be via usb-c too, since Bluetooth speakers/audio will lag too.

Any guidance would be very handy! If there is a kind of 'overview' website that would be good start, most of what I have seen makes some assumptions about what you know with regard to this stuff. I need to start from scratch so I don't buy stuff that isn't needed.

Thanks guys!

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 am

Apple started to lock down USB compatibility a while ago and there are weird hacks to get it to work with my iPad 2. You have to plug in a powered USB hub to the dock>USB adapter which disables Apple's bullshit power limitation there, and then you can plug in whatever you like (even a wired computer keyboard). iOS supports CoreAudio which handles MIDI, it should be a case of if you know the app supports external controllers/keyboards just plugging it in and connecting your iPad to a PA/audio interface from the headphone jack or use a bluetooth adapter. Wherever you use Bluetooth yes there will be a delay.

Honestly I have no idea with the new iPads, but I'd check sites like SoundOnSound, Future Music or Create Digital Music.

A cursory browse over at CDM for a few things going on with the iOS front suggests that, yes, you do just plug in a MIDI device with an appropriate USB -> USB-C cable. https://cdm.link/tag/ios/

You don't necessarily need a brand new iPad Pro for it though.

If I want to record audio directly in from an SM58 or say a guitar 1/4 inch jack type cable, what would I need?

For that I think you would need something like an iRig, but you could just get a new USB audio microphone. The trouble with audio stuff comes down to latency but as Apple has never had much of a problem with this thanks to CoreAudio drivers being part of the OS in both OSX and iPad it shouldn't be too bad.. I wouldn't go layering up tonnes of stuff and I would definitely do some latency compensation in a proper DAW later. But for things like recording samples and doodling on a keyboard it's probably fine.

It sounds like you're trying to do quite a lot with quite expensive options. Couldn't you pick up a small Focusrite interface and do some of these things on a computer? iPads are great for portability and performance but, I wouldn't really seriously consider putting lots of money into iPad Pro and overpriced adapters just to do it on a small touchscreen. You'd be better off using your iPad for sheet music and playing with synthesisers and maybe recording something with a standard USB microphone and then getting a proper audio/midi set up on another machine. Honestly you could probably get an OK 2 in / 2 out USB or FireWire or Lightning for the price of some of those iPad adapters and then plug standard instrument cable / XLR studio stuff into that.

Edit: Think you want an iRig Pro I/O but that will set you back around £130 which is ridiculous for a single input :dread:

You can get a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with a copy of basic Pro Tools for less money. The pre-amps are likely to be better and you get loads of free plug-ins from Focusrite's "Plug-In Collective" offers too. And it should even work with iOS because it's a class complaint audio device: https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... h-an-iPad-

Focusrite are a fairly serious pro-audio company, these things are not toys. But generally the smaller and more packed the little portable gizmos get the worse the actual performance and value is. It'll work but I would put my money elsewhere, speaking as someone who's always got a lot for my money by building custom audio computers and stuff like that until I eventually just went with one of the rackmount solutions that gives me more I/O than I'll ever need and connects to my ageing Mac with a single cable without throwing a weird driver fit every other time - but I paid £350 for that and that's still considered cheap.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Lime » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:20 pm

Green Gecko wrote:Loads of useful stuff


Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed reply.... sounds like you identified some serious 'project creep' here - I must remember that the core requirement was for managing sheet music and composition notes - and the only iPad of suitable size is the pro 12.9".

Several glossy youtube presentations later and I am getting sucked into a world of what is effectively 'being sold to' rather than thinking about what I already have, and making the most of it. I do like the look of that Ravenscroft 275 piano app tho', it does sound nice.

It's tempting to get carried away with what 'should' or 'might' be possible, but you're right - compensating for a lack of interface options on an iPad by spending £100s is definitely me getting carried away with the fact that I might be able to afford it soon (my Dad passed away last year, leaving me with an inheritance, some of which I promised him I would spend on music gear).

My Fantom X8 has a full sequencer and allows for 8 audio tracks on top - I might be better off at least digging further into what that's capable of before ending up with a Frankenstein's monster's worth of adaptors, cables and crap. I also have a decent PC that if I got a decent DAW for it would allow me to do the stuff I needed to.

Thanks GG! As always you deliver the goods!

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:48 pm

Yeah man. I bought GarageBand for iPad and some other stuff, I used it once. It's fun to play on an iPad and you can totally record a session with one, but building a studio around it just isn't for me. Then having to put the compositions on cloud storage or email them to myself and other weird gooseberry fool.

I've been sorted on the digital audio front for years, stepped up from stuff like M-Audio PCI interfaces (no longer made) for loads of (unbalanced and not great pre-amps as they were just integrated circuits) IO, I connected that to a Behringer mixer I eventually blew up at university that had 8 direct outs which was unheard of for the price (so I could live mix with EQ/faders and record at the same time). Eventually I went full hog for what was at the time the dog's bollocks (FireWire) and it's still so stable I've almost never had issues with it, although I think the cracks are starting to show with my old OSX installation (occassionaly my mouse and keyboard will stop responding completely which is more like to be a Mac/motherboard problem).

The device is Saffire Pro 40 - Focusrite stilll sell it but it's still FireWire 400 so you need a PCI card in a PC or an old laptop to run it.

I've also done the small portable USB thingy with M-Audio FastTrack Ultra, that was always dodgy because there's something wrong with the power switch/supply and getting the OS to detect it was a nightmare. So I finally said strawberry float off to USB problems with CPU interrupts and other things and used a more dedicated channel just for audio things (FireWire) which worked out well.

Now it's all USB 3 or Lightning. I'd still recommend one of Focusrite's USB interfaces as well if you want to record instruments or studio microphones, but it sounds like most of what you want to do is on board with your "master" type keyboard/synthesiser/workstation, which is the way things kind of worked before DAWs running on OSX/Windows were a thing and that beast still exists. Just.. expensive, and lots of knobs/faders (might have a full colour screen and suchlike now).

If you are coming into money the best thing you can probably do is upgrade your monitors or get more analogue instruments, and generally improve your signal chain. Like for example upgrade everything to balanced XLR if your set-up supports it. Almost totally kills noise in recordings and improves dynamic range which is one of the best things I ever did. My setup supports 24-bit 192-KHz (I think, I never record in it) but interconnects and general mic/instrument sound quality tend to be overlooked.

It's worth getting an iPad to experiment with if you can afford one. I just find touch input pretty horrible for most uses and have loads of MIDI controllers (faders, knobs etc - one keyboard has 22 knobs and 9 faders which is ridiculous). The situation I'd most find myself wanting that set-up is travelling while making music very deliberately or having to fit into tiny studio settings. My brother in Kyoto does a lot of that (got lots of attention from Ableton and Teenage Engineering lately) but he uses a Zoom H4N to capture samples to sort out later, Ableton Push + MacBook and Akai MPCs. So he can't really get around the need for tactile controls either... Once you take that out of the picture the appeal of iPad for audio is a bit more restricted. But it's probably amazing for no computer set-ups and controlling synthesisers and maybe a bit of multi-tracking. Some people use that for live performance too. At home in my studio though.. I just don't see a place for it. Maybe some of the more innovative touch-based synthesisers.

Oh and tell me about the adapters and cables and crap. I have several crates full of old audio crap. I use about 10% of it... :dread:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:13 pm

Been mucking around with the automation function in Reaper for the last few hours, doing a cover of something from a video game.

This is a great feature. Automated panning and volume control is fun to use. I've got this wee bit at the end of the track where I've quick swelled the volume on the guitars as the track is ending. It sounds really interesting.

Might give the automated FX a bash tomorrow.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:23 pm

I really must get on with buying reaper. I used it in trial mode for my Christmas noise last year, and I really got on with it apart from the rubbish reverb, which I just couldn't get anything decent out of. Garage band was so much easier in that regard, very easy to just put the desired amount on, but in reaper I could never get what I wanted. Reaper also started recording at some odd strawberry floated up slow speed, but I'm putting that down to it being in trial mode for so long that it's built in to stop working properly.

I'm writing a lot these days, so I'm hoping to get 10 or so really strong tunes together and record them all back to back. I used to do a lot of gasrageband stuff, but all but about 1 of those tunes are pretty gooseberry fool now.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:01 am

I've been "evaluating" Reaper occasionally for the past 10+ years and it's never done anything weird like that. It probably had something to do with a sample rate conversion error. Make sure you're recording at the same sample rate as the project settings, as it actually supports multiple sample rates in one file (it should be labelled on the waveform if its doing that). And that matches what your audio device is running at (in Windows it defaults to 16-bit 48KHz which is DVD audio standard and some video formats but, oddly, not WAV, FLAC or other common audio formats).

For third party Reverb I use Focusrite and all kinds of things, I prefer the simpler anlogue-style models with 3 knobs and I cracked Waves Complete a while back because I'm never going to have £2-fucking-thousand to drop on it. The L3 is a seriously useful plug-in for making live recordings listenable.

I only tend to apply very little reverb to make some recordings sound less close or DI'd, in some cases I prefer a small delay. But I do have some absolutely ancient classical guitar recordings that actually sound magical because I applied some long ass reverb in Steinberg WaveLab back then. Sounds like a concern hall or something, and (a bit uncomfortably) sounds more disciplined than my more recent style of playing which is more rubato and improv, or at least I tell myself that. (I used to be pretty disciplined playing things like Bach or F. Sor, Carulli, Guiliani etc regularly for a good 10 years)

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:32 am

Ad7 wrote:I really must get on with buying reaper. I used it in trial mode for my Christmas noise last year, and I really got on with it apart from the rubbish reverb, which I just couldn't get anything decent out of. Garage band was so much easier in that regard, very easy to just put the desired amount on, but in reaper I could never get what I wanted. Reaper also started recording at some odd strawberry floated up slow speed, but I'm putting that down to it being in trial mode for so long that it's built in to stop working properly.

I'm writing a lot these days, so I'm hoping to get 10 or so really strong tunes together and record them all back to back. I used to do a lot of gasrageband stuff, but all but about 1 of those tunes are pretty gooseberry fool now.


I like the stock reverb on it for some stuff, but you can add a load of free reverb vst's to it as well. TAL make some good ones.

It's a good investment once you get to grips with it. It certainly speeds up some things for me. The only issue I've had is latency. After extended use, it seems to go off a bit. I've yet to get that sorted.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Heskimo » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:22 am

Like Gecko, I've been "evaluating" Reaper for absolutely ages with no weird problems, so it's certainly not some built in "trial" thing, their free evaluation policy really is as good as it's made out to be. I will actually buy a license at some point though, I'm just waiting for the software version to roll over to 6 so I get all the way until the end of 7 on one purchase.

I've even been using it to edit video with. It uses VLC to deal with the video and you can edit it as easily as the audio. Obviously there's not as much customisation as in dedicated video editing platforms, but it does what I need for now. It's insane how much nonsense you can throw at Reaper and it just goes "yeah alright then" and gets on with it :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Mafro » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:12 pm

Quite tempted to get one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/AKAI-Professio ... way&sr=8-1 Comes with Ableton Live Lite.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:29 pm

Green Gecko wrote:I've been "evaluating" Reaper occasionally for the past 10+ years and it's never done anything weird like that. It probably had something to do with a sample rate conversion error. Make sure you're recording at the same sample rate as the project settings, as it actually supports multiple sample rates in one file (it should be labelled on the waveform if its doing that). And that matches what your audio device is running at (in Windows it defaults to 16-bit 48KHz which is DVD audio standard and some video formats but, oddly, not WAV, FLAC or other common audio formats).


Do you know what, I bet that's it. I vaguely remember messing about with settings like that. I'll have a look around and hopefully that'll fix it. Thanks :toot:

Squinty wrote:I like the stock reverb on it for some stuff, but you can add a load of free reverb vst's to it as well. TAL make some good ones.

It's a good investment once you get to grips with it. It certainly speeds up some things for me. The only issue I've had is latency. After extended use, it seems to go off a bit. I've yet to get that sorted.


I'll also look in to this. Thanks.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:42 am

Yeah it ususally isn't noticeable because Reaper automatically converts all recorded samples on the fly but if things are too slow or too fast that would definitely indicate a sample rate conversion error because of the maths, if 44,000 data points per second in a waveform is getting chewed at 48k or even 96k or higher and vice versa it will sound slower/faster and have weird "grinding" sorts of sounds if it's slow. You can't really tell in the other direction it just sounds slightly too fast.

Oh and totally check out some free VSTs that are out there or buy some for better reverbs. I think only Logic is really regarded as having good plug-ins bundled in. I like the simplicity of Live too as they are very musical and interactive but I don't tend to use that for Reverb either, I just know I can probably get an altogether better/richer sound from more fancy plugins, but I also like the utility of those basic reverb effects. They are also very low CPU overhead so you can stack them or add them as much as you want and it won't make any difference to your CPU which eventually effects how low your latency can be at before you start getting clicking and popping artefacts which destroy live recordings.

Also check put Reaper's free javascript format as anyone can make one (Reaper runs entirely on JavaScript which is part of the reason it's so damn fast and light), there are a lot of those too I think they are just called JS/Repear plug-ins. You just download them and add the files to a directory probably in Documents/Reaper.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:50 am

Yeah, the plugins just go in directory, you scan the directory in Reaper and that's pretty much it.

I love hunting down free VST's. I would suggest trying a few out before you start to record your songs, Ad7.They are never going to be as good as paid ones, but there's some decent ones if you are doing music projects. So far the best ones I used are,

MT Power Drum Kit (this thing is actually great, I was using Hydrogen before for drums, and this is WAY better)
Sonatina Orchestra Plugin
TAL Noisemaker
TDR VOS SlickEQ

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Mafro » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Green Gecko wrote:.

You'll know this. What sort of MIDI cable to I need to connect my Rock Band 3 keytar to my MacBook?

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:00 am

Mafro wrote:
Green Gecko wrote:.

You'll know this. What sort of MIDI cable to I need to connect my Rock Band 3 keytar to my MacBook?

There are two types, in-line MIDI to USB sort of adapters (so like a cable) and USB boxes that you can plug stuff into with an additional USB cable. Later is useful if you switch them around.

Assuming the Keytar as a standard MIDI port try this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roland-UM-ONE- ... 00967UN50/

If it doesn't work return it for this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Audio-1-Out- ... 00007JRBM/

If you want a box try this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Audio-Midisp ... B00006I5HD

There are loads of cheap cables I've never heard of, it's not a complicated bit of microprocessing. But cheaper ones might introduce a delay which is extremely annoying.

You might be able to find those cheaper on some other sites, try Absolute Music, Dolphin Music, IntaAudio, Guitar Amp Keyboard but Amazon will probably ship for free so similar price.

Absolute Music have the Midisport for £10 less than Amazon here: https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/m-audio ... rface.html. Product hasn't changed in years but it should work.

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