Technology v Old School

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Technology v Old School

Postby Quinnx. » 12:38, 1 June 2016

Aint technology great!...
I thought I would examine how we do music and the pit falls that we all face as the years go by what we blindly put our faith in only to be let down in the long run and what we can do to protect our investment in the future....


Aint technology great!... (or is it?)

It allows us all to bring the power of music into our bedrooms
Boot up any computer connect a controller and boom! its all at your finger tips

and if you happen to have real hardware fantom g, integra or anything else you can also benefit from a simple USB cable.

At least thats how it should be..
However as computers move forward your hardware stays the same and then suddenly.. you went from xp, 2000, 8, 7, and finally 10

now how is everything working.. ?
you find that any hardware that relied on computer drivers no longer is compatible because no one will release a new driver.. even though the hardware is still as good today as it ever-was, you can no longer use it. and that super usb audio 32 channel board becomes a brick!


Time to bring back the old method of doing music:
as long as you have Audio outs and a MIDI din your gold, more audio outs the better
get yourself a multi channel mixer/daw that works without needing a computer

Start thinking of your gear as an independent setup that works without a computer
Leave your computer in a corner somewhere an only rely on it if you need at the very end of the process.
So what kind of minimal connectivity should we have for the computer.. none if possible, hopefully your hardware daw will allow exporting to a generic media.
If you do need to get audio to your computer.. get yourself the least expensive audio solution/box
in this way your only connectivity to you computer is a single dispensable box which may become obsolete leaving the rest of your Gear a solid workhorse that is future proof.

Whatever you purchase, ignore anything that relies on computer tech to make it happen
it should do it all right out of the box (old school)
Main points to get

1) Audio outs/in

2) 5 pin din Midi

So what about
There no doubt of the power that is available here and in some ways your protected better because you don’t need cables or drivers to use these and this can also be your DAW.
But what happens if you upgrade to windows(X)
or your computer finaly fails and you need a new motherboard/cpu ram etc...
chances are your new motherboard will be different as will your cpu and we all know what happens then..
you need to do a complete rebuild because you cant just take your hard drive out of one computer and place it in another (Blue screen)

Only 2 solutions will work..
when setting up your computer based soft synth/Daw
build a second bare bones system identical in every way so when your original system fails you have a back up..
However this will only work once then your back to the system rebuild.

Solution 2:
Virtualize your DAW
Use a virtual machine to drive your Soft synths and Daw
Advantage of doing this is 10 fold..
You never have to worring about any hardware compatibility issues or rebuilds
you can take your DAW to any computer and work with it
you never have to worry about any version of windows

Technology v Old School?

Old school needs remain in that domain to stay strong.
Mixing and matching to a computer only creates headaches and in the end will be money and time wasted.
If you buy gear.. keep it as close to old school as possible
ignore bells and whistles that rely on computer tech..

Soft Synths/DAW
Don’t put your eggs in one basket
plan ahead and virtualize

comments welcome:
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby MrSteveVee » 14:00, 2 June 2016

Ahh the ever debating argument, hardware, software or both! Personally I like hardware. As a (now retired) IT guy that developed software for 40+ years I much prefer nice knobs and sliders that I can play with rather than a mouse and a screen.
Funny, I loved computers and software development all my life (and still do) but when it came to music I found it was just a turn off. So I invested in a Motif XS may years back, had great fun but hated the GUI so a few years later after much deliberation got the Fantom G as well. Wow what a revelation! The G is far superior in so many ways and such an underrated keyboard.
So yes old school for me. For a few years I had the Motif and Fantom plus the PC Audio output all plugged into a Korg D888 mixer. I tried Cubase and Reaper DAW’s but always went back to this setup using the sequencers in the keyboards. As I learned the G more and more I found that the G was always taking the lead and I was using the Motif less and less for sequencing.
I am now transferring all the midi songs from the Motif across to the G so that the G is now the central hub and the Motif is used as a remote. It’s not that hard to set up so that each song loaded on the G remotely changes the Motif patches.
Just lately I have swapped the Korg D888 mixer for an old Yamaha 4 track (tape) mixer I had hidden away purely because it allows two stereo ins has two aux outs that are routed back into the G line Ins so that the G is now used to record and mix the final song as well as driving all the midi’s for both itself and the Motif, awesome! In fact, if a 2nd hand Motif XS rack was not as rare as hen’s teeth I would probably buy one and sell the Motif keyboard.
Do I still use the computer? yes to transfer Midi files and load up samples to the G apart from that its hardware all the way and I have no driver, latency or software redundancy at all :)
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Quinnx. » 21:47, 2 June 2016

Theres no doubt that the G can do it all and if used as the hub for everything else will negate the need for a computer completely for both production and performance.
And definitely can be Old School

Alot of people make the mistake of seeing their computer as the hub and build around it, only later on to find their gear falling out of favor because computer technology has left them behind.

This is why keeping it old school will save the the day if your a Gear freak, and then you can just see your computer as another tool to be used at the end of the process.

However if you are a virtual/software freak, your best chance of survival is keep it there in that digital domain and dont change your platform OS for the sake of change, and don't invest to heavy in anything other than simple basic controllers that use old school (MIDI din) forget USB or if possible make sure your device works with standard midi messages and not proprietary which will require drivers of some sort.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby middle c » 08:25, 3 June 2016

I could not resist this conversation, I confess I'm a gear hog. I have been doing this since the early nineties, you know the route, Music stores, Product shows, NAMM, etc. Started with a simple setup Roland JV 80, MC 50 sequencer and a 4 track Tascam. I will not list the gear between then and now, but I still have most of it. For me MIDI is what I use most, its just so flexable and easy to store and recall. However a little over a year ago I thought I had to evolve to a DAW, and after hours of research settled on Studio One. Quinnx is right old school is the best way, I love the hardware. The problem I have is after playing around with those wave tracks you can cut and duplicate and splice and add effects and on and on with those wave tracks, and its almost like a drug, there is so much you can do with those things. This is a great topic to discuss. I'm going to bed and sleep on this.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Quinnx. » 17:20, 3 June 2016

yeah i love the whole cut copy paste is a great thing and its as you say like a drug and pulls you in to a point where you say.. well this aint so bad.. and before you know it your adding more computer tech and you start to get that warm fuzzy feeling that distracts you Until BAM! it all stops working and you realise you have just pilled a whole lot of time and dollar into a "money pit" that keeps getting deeper and deeper.

and lot of the time.. I find im spending more time either fighting with the technology or even worse.. Im completely distracted by it and forget im suppose to be writing music not playing with it like a new toy..
dont know how many hours i have spend just playing and experimenting with this stuff.

If I was to pick something that is my weakness when it comes to giving in to technology it would be Ableton live. I try to keep a balance but it keeps pulling me in..

But I did pull away and bit the bullet and dedicated myself to using my Fantom G as my central device with other Hardware built around it.. and finaly got to a point where the computer was not needed at all and i was doing music and not being distracted or just playing with tech..
Luckly the fantom is a workstation so no external DAW required and all old school gear fits right in and works swimmingly. (I just need to find me a cheap external midi sequencer to add to my setup)
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby middle c » 08:34, 4 June 2016

I am rethinking my setup, I love my Fantom G8. I wanted the G7 but couldn't find one, I prefer synth keys so I sometimes slave it to my XP30 for organs and aftertouch when recording audio. Check out the link on this MC50. Its not the MK2 so no standard midi but its a great unit. I still use mine every once and a while. ... Swt7pXN3Yl

Found a MC50 MK2 also, not sure on the condition of these units, its the disk drive you want to check out. ... 1858577399
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby CoppensHans » 19:58, 7 June 2016

i'm going to buy me an Arturia Matrix Brute...
What a beast
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Quinnx. » 18:58, 10 June 2016

CoppensHans: Than synth looks like beast, should get you some true analogue deep synthesis there..

@middle c

Yeah synth keys do have an advantage that you don’t have to make much effort to get a note out..
Im using my Fantom G6 as the hub for everything else using nothing but standard midi and regular audio.
So my G is my DAW for both midi and audio don’t need to switch on any computer to get any work done..

in fact.. i find myself moving forward alot better when im dealing direct with Gear rather than a computer..
where as every-time i have tryed doing it with a computer i always get distracted or have the start dealing with compatibility issues and USB this and that..

I think the G is a breath of fresh air when it comes to centralizing everything and of course its a beast when it comes to sound creation/manipulation.
For a while i was all for leaving my G behind and going pc DAW/virtual everything and dont get me wrong, its a powerfull setup with hi end multicores etc.., just too many distractions it hard to focus in.
for now im gonna keep pushing forward Old school and stay focused.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Synthtron » 02:27, 16 August 2016

I wish there was a real follow up to the Fantom G. The FA series are not it. I have a Fantom X6 and did not get a chance to grab a Fantom G. It did not stay on the market long enough for me to get and I hate eBay. The Fantom G had the features I was looking for and it was to me an upgrade to the Fantom X6 having more MIDI and audio tracks. I have been dabbling with the computer DAW (Sonar and Cubase) of and on for several years but I have a hard time writing music because I am sick of computers and computer issues. I definitely prefer the more old school approach but the problem I have is that I cannot get a sequencer to handle over 20 pieces of MIDI/synth gear like a computer can. I have a MV-8000 that can give me 32 MIDI channels but even that is a pain in the butt with its slow hard drive speeds.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Quinnx. » 19:20, 18 September 2016

Yeah for sure.. computers tend to distract you from music creation because you spend more time tweaking than production, i find now that i have disconnected from the computer, when I now sit down to the Fantom I immediately get in to the zone and start creating music with no distractions..

So back to the problem at hand, having to deal with many midi devices....

Surely you dont use ALL 20 pieces at once?
so on the X you have upto 16 which transmit internal and external at the same time
and with the G you have 16 int/ext total 32

So lets get creative and double what you have on the X/G

Heres what i would do...

Use the lower range to control the 1st set of 16 channels
and use the upper range to control the 2nd set of 16
or at least have a setup that 2 devices share the same channel but in a keyboard split
in this way you get upto 32 controllable devices.
and with RPS and sysex you should be able to get even more creative
so from that perspective.. sky`s the limit
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Andy Keys » 00:30, 19 September 2016

Hardware synths + MIDI patchbay. Happy Andy.

- Any synth can be plugged into an audio interface.
- Any notebook can be written in, stating "synth v, channel w, CC x, values y & z".
- Music > Programming.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Striple » 15:51, 1 December 2016

Nice to see this topic, it means it's not just me!

Had a Juno G for 12 years or so now, and lost count of how many times I have gone through the 'that thing there looks like it could do a better job'.

12 years on and here I am once again back at the Juno knowing what I will get, knowing the buttons to press, not having to google forums just to find out how I get to the preferences of some glitzy PC program so I can then spend the next 3 days delving into the rocket science known as assigning inputs/outputs/devices in an eternal loop of head trauma, and with a 50-50 chance that they will still be assigned when I turn the PC on again, and that's if I remember to turn X and Y button on, and Z button off.

As for being a songwriter and needing to grab moments of inspiration, forget it.

Every time and right now, I end up back at Juno
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby Lunar » 01:30, 2 December 2016

I've spent the last 2 months transitioning from a hybrid HW/DAW set up to purely hardware. Got rid of my Kronos (because it is basically a complex DAW with a 73 note keyboard stuck on the front) and invested the proceeds in a Sequential Prophet 6 - a beautiful synth - with my FA-06 as master & main sequencer. A 4-way MIDI thru box on the back of the FA splits into into the Prophet, a Motif module, and my faithful Gaia (really, I love that little synth) with thru 4 reserved for the DeepMind 12 whenever it gets released. Audio outs go into two synched Zoom R24 units, with the Prophet going through the Boss Space Echo pedal first. The studio boots in 60 seconds including UPS power conditioner, it doesn't have facebook or you tube to distract me, nor does the studio lock up on me and go blue when it gets too hot. I just open the window.

Been using a DAW with varying degrees of frustration for what seems like forever, the final straw coming when my computer decided to lock me out of the system the day of mixing a project for a client which cost me a bit financially, not to mention 4 hours on the phone with tech support. Going back to a hardware/old school only way of doing things actually makes making music fun for me again. No more wearing the "I.T. tech" hat. Configuring MIDI & getting everything to work together flawlessly is all part of the fun of making electronic music, not part of being a computer engineer. The difference being MIDI is designed to integrate quickly, no drivers, no downloads, no fuss. I've also noticed that without the huge array of plugin effects on your average DAW software, my mixes sound a great deal cleaner, sometimes less is more.

Edit; I should add that although the Kronos is a do-it-all workstation like the Fantom G was, the reason the FA won over it is because unlike the Kronos, the FA is just so simple to use. 10 months with Kronos and I was still reaching for the manual. The FA learning curve was more like 10 hours.
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Re: Technology v Old School

Postby o carl » 20:58, 6 December 2016

I like Roland axial, so it is free to get newsound and waveform.

it was so expensive to get new sound and waveform to korg M1, to bye PCM card-set. so that option never get used.

i Think Roland juno ds 88 is a new korg T1. so new Tech is great develop from great old korg workstation idea.

To get a dreamsyth like korg T1, to affordable price. You have to waith 20 years. and search for pcm-card in 20 years too. so i really like my new Roland juno ds 88, all workstations Dream, that new technology make it possible with a affordable price.

casio myabe produce ther super.synth again. they have all Tech avaible now, great piano action, sd.card store, great sequencer, casio in new Tech would be a great workstation. hope casio produce that with lighting guide keys patent.

[CASIO CZ-5001 workstation], daw-controler, a new Roland fantom X8, or a new Yamaha motif 8 ,or a new low price korg kronos
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