Skip to main content

Unstable Software

Producing music on a PC involves at least four major concurrent applications: the Operating system, sound processor, sequencer and synthesizer. And more if you use more than one synthesizer.

Naturally to get the most out of the system we often push that combination to the limits and we experience system crashes on a regular basis.

In our case the operating system is XP with all the available updates. Hard restarts often require a second restart to get the mouse cursor moving but many music crashes will only respond to a hard restart. Our sound processor is Creamware both the software application and the DSP processors on the sound card - we have our ticks and moans about it but when it is up and running it is very very good - it can even handle a little bit of sound processing overload without throwing a hissy fit. When they occur these often they involve loosing the ASIO sound interface i.e. silence.

We use Cubase SE as our sequencer and that fits our needs very nicely but that too has hysterics from time to time on its own account. The interface with the synthesizers is called VST and is another one of the weaker links in this complex chain. It offers enormous flexibility but at a cost. This is definitely software where it pays to keep saving your work as you go along.

We use two main synthesizers the Arturia Moog Modular V which provides the Syn Marimba as well as the obvious and offers hundreds of others. We also use a ROM Player called Ravity which provides the steel drum sounds and some of the other pads we use. Our Harp sounds come from a NuSoft application which is a software emulation of the physical instruments and the Celtic harp is particularly lovely. Of these the Moog is the most complex and processor hungry and occasionally goes belly up. But it is the most wonderful sound source that we could wish for. I don't think we would have got into this business it if it had not existed.

But you can see that we have an unstable three legged stool standing on an uneven floor so we get used to accidents happening and we make haste slowly. We are getting fairly close to completing the More Bach collection of arrangements and should complete the recordings next week.

Popular posts from this blog

Introducing Children To Music… Strategies For Success

While we struggle to restore full menu fuctionality We thought you'd like to hear about a more uplifting topic: Introducing Children To Music - Strategies For Success I've heard a million parents lament the fact that they didn'’t get their children interested in music sooner. There are also hundreds of adults out there that wish they had learned how to play an instrument when they were younger. Studies actually support the idea that music stimulates certain brain connections and can actually help children grow smarter! Music also provides an invaluable outlet for safe expression of feelings and emotions, and can also serve as an important learning tool throughout your children's lives! Music helps educate in many ways, by developing children'’s memory skills and nourishing their spirit. Now, some children are a bit resistant to music at first, but you can easily find ways to encourage them to enjoy music in many different forms early in life. You need to si

Bigdaddy's in the Wings

Friday's customer mystery is unresolved ... But meanwhile, word on the SEO street is that, the next major re-index on Google, code name Bigdaddy, is being prepared and a few of our keywords seem to be in play. Since Jagger we have already seen our most competitive keywords drift back into effective obscurity but the rest seem pretty secure at the moment. It looks as if this could cause some further erosion but nothing too exciting. Our sub-menu problem isn't helping people to move around the site so we must get to the bottom of it. The response from support hasn't been too helpful so far but we shall persist. The production software problem is also proving intractable - technology is great when it works but more than a tad frustrating when it don't.

We're Back with the Symphonies

I can't believe it has taken so long but we are finally there and two Beethoven Symphonies have been published. An early bird has already bought the first movement of the Fifth! The hubris of recording these wonderful pieces on new world instruments caused me to pause for some time but each time I listened to them I heard something new and the overall effect was so positive I have pressed ahead. Inevitably some of the machinery was a bit creaky after such little use - not least my memory for where I had put things. We also bought a new player which is taking a little time to bed in - not helped by browser quirks on this PC which refused to play them - sorted now! We're looking to develop the use of play lists as a way of promoting sales but there is a bit more work to do on that. The auto play of the excerpt from the first movement of Beethoven's 5th is a temporary celebration and will be replaced by a more controllable solution later this week. After the repair work