My Best/Worst Purchases

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jlgrimes
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by jlgrimes » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:19 pm

Hard to say what my best purchases where but here's a stab:

1. Props Reason (made plenty of tracks with this program. Especially on Windows at times when my main DAW Sonar would be too buggy to make a beat, Reason was always reliable and waiting. Don't use it as much now but it still is a great program. Very easy to use sequencer. Crude buy highly functional instruments. Piano Roll could be better but when everything else is pretty good, I still got stuff done).

2. Ableton Live (Had a love/hate relationship with Ableton at first. It was truly revolutionary when I first tried the demo in how it worked. I realized its potential but there where things I didn't really like. Over time, Ableton added some small/big improvements, while me upgrading to a better Computer made me being the most productive out of Live. Also it took me a little time to learn some of Ableton's quirks but it was well invested. ArrangeView could be better but Ableton Rocks for getting a solid foundation and even fleshing out Arrangements.).

3. Akai MPC 2000. Bought this in 1998. No longer own this but made some great music with this and my Roland Xp50 (no longer own).

4. UAD Apollo. Plugins in that thing is amazing.

5. Studio One. For traditional multitrack Recording/Mixing I love this program. In this area, they really outshine just about every DAW I've used. For making tracks and midi composition, it isn't that great IMO.


My worst purchases:

1. Cakewalk Project 5. This was probably the worst purchase I made. I think this was Cakewalk's answer to Ableton somewhat as it had pattern sequencing, "gapless audio", played "groove clips", and did midi (Don't think Ableton supported midi at the time). I made very few tracks in this. It's midi was somewhat underpowered IMO compared to Sonar, High CPU use for the time, and the audio wasn't really gapless. I think I made only one track in the program I kind of liked. It's GUI IMO wasn't that great.

2. GEIST. A lot of people love this program but I think it is just me not taking enough time to learn it but it seems pretty complicated. I've seen some folks on Youtube doing some crazy stuff with this program but even there explanations seemed to go over my head.

3. Logic Pro. I actually love the included Plug-ins and included Instruments with Logic. Other than that me and this sequencer don't vibe. If only I could use these instruments in Live, I would like Logic more. That said, I made some cool stuff with this, (there Drummer plug-in is actually great), but when I have ideas in my head I need to get out, I go to Ableton or Reason before Logic.

4. FL Studio. Have no idea on what I'm doing when I use that program. That said I know some folks who do some amazing things with this program. In terms of tracks I don't even think I made anything with this program so maybe this was a worse purchase than Project 5.

h3rtz
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by h3rtz » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:07 pm

Best:

- ableton live suite (duh!). Changed my whole approach of making "computer music". Coming from a band background, live was the first software i could jam with. Damn those years i wasted on cubase.

- rme fireface ucx. My 4th audio interface. i wish i would have gotten that one first. Latency is the key.

- clyphX. Not exactly a purchase as its free. Made my dream to be a one man band come true.

- sqier telecaster custom II. I own and have owned plenty of guitars, also some luxury models. The squier is the cheapest and my favourite. Initially I bought it to have a cheap bolt-on guitar i could disassemble to take it as hand luggage on planes. I wish i had a spare one.

- sonic projects ob-x pro II. I was looking forever for that sound. Had a prophet 08 for 3 days, returned it. Couldnt get over how the square wave sounded. Arturia was disappointing too. Also great for those lush yet thundering oberheim pads: korg phenix.

- moog model 15 for ios. Best sounding piece of software i know. Period.

- elektron analog four. Probably the only hardware synth i really need (though i have plenty of others). I wish i would have gotten it sooner. The only problem being...


Worst:

- ... elektron analog four. I bought it 2 days before octatrack mkII was released and when that happened I already knew I made a mistake. One week later the a4 was reduced by 400 euros. Today mkII was anounced and it's to die for. I can't return my unit because i took it out of the country i bought it in. I'm flooding all forums with my luxury problem now to get over my frustration. Didn't help so far, need to flood more. Or play more. It nethertheless sounds gorgeous.

- harrison mixbus. Don't even want to explain why. Ask harrison. They apparently dont like it either.

- cakewalk rapture. Discontinued on mac due to some apple support problem. Cakewalkers, that's not your customers problem but yours. Didn't hear of any other software being dropped because of that. Stick that rapture "pro" where the sun don't shine.

- tascam iu2. Support dropped after 1 year. All my friends who own other tascam interfaces are having problems with theirs too. Never gonna buy anything from that company anymore.

I'll surely come up with several edits once I open my plugin browser.

1st edit: only typos so far :wink:

2nd edit: novation mininova. Never got that thing to sound bigger than a shoebox. Maybe it was me. But i don't think so. I even hated alt-j for endorsing it at first (their debut album became one of my all time favs later).

alpertt
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by alpertt » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:50 pm

Best:
Maschine
Excellent factory soundbank, if you already dont own, very good intro for Komplete. Fun to play instrument, i lose myself playing-improvising for hours many times.
Excellent hardware-software integration.
Excellent browsing-tagging-finding sounds. (I even use it sometimes for a "finder". For a spesific sound, i open Maschine, find the sound i want and use it outside of maschine).

Worst:
Maschine
The company seems disinclined to support their product. To be happy, you have to accept it as is (not how it was promoted).
It lost many existing features with the paid upgrade from 1x to 2x. Unacceptable, we actually paid to downgrade Maschine!

It lacks fundamental features like realtime time stretch, proper automation, proper macros, proper sequencer..
And when you skip this features and want to use it in a DAW, you notice it sucks in a DAW also. (Recent updates still didnt fixed this imo).

NI lies. Basicaly they trick you they are sorry, they will make good updates anymore. And you notice all they do is promoting their new hardware (Jam). And Maschine gets leftovers after Jam.

(I still like Maschine at some level. I accepted it as is. But i am not going to spend a cent to NI untill they behave.)

jlgrimes
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by jlgrimes » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:42 pm

alpertt wrote:Best:
Maschine
Excellent factory soundbank, if you already dont own, very good intro for Komplete. Fun to play instrument, i lose myself playing-improvising for hours many times.
Excellent hardware-software integration.
Excellent browsing-tagging-finding sounds. (I even use it sometimes for a "finder". For a spesific sound, i open Maschine, find the sound i want and use it outside of maschine).

Worst:
Maschine
The company seems disinclined to support their product. To be happy, you have to accept it as is (not how it was promoted).
It lost many existing features with the paid upgrade from 1x to 2x. Unacceptable, we actually paid to downgrade Maschine!

It lacks fundamental features like realtime time stretch, proper automation, proper macros, proper sequencer..
And when you skip this features and want to use it in a DAW, you notice it sucks in a DAW also. (Recent updates still didnt fixed this imo).

NI lies. Basicaly they trick you they are sorry, they will make good updates anymore. And you notice all they do is promoting their new hardware (Jam). And Maschine gets leftovers after Jam.

(I still like Maschine at some level. I accepted it as is. But i am not going to spend a cent to NI untill they behave.)


I have a love/hate relationship with Maschine. It has excellent sounds and the Drum synths are nice. Browser is great.

Sequencer is kind of weird though. Decent for scratchpad recording but nonintuitive arrange functionality. Also I find integrating it with Ableton kind of nonintuitive as well. Maschines Piano Roll is horrible as well.

Push 2 sequencer seems much better IMO.

Mezzos
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Mezzos » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:53 pm

Best:
Moog Sub 37
Prophet 08
Serum

Worst:
Maschine (Wish I had a Push...)
NI Komplete

Shift Gorden
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:00 am

Adding Omnisphere 2 to my best purchase list. Why did I not get this sooner? I really, REALLY dig it!

Stace30
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Stace30 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:55 pm

Best:
Upgrade to Komplete 11 - One of the best moves I've done yet, Reaktor Blocks are fantastic (as well as the other gems).
Upgrade to Omnisphere 2 - Great purchase, the Orb, I love it.
Genelec 8010's with Genelec carry case - I just go round to my mate's and set up really quick, off we go!! love them, great sound.
KRK 8400 Studio Headphones - These are quite simply, Amazing!
MPC Touch - A lot of fun.

Worst:
Presonus Fire Studio 26x26 - Technically I won this in a Computer Music mag competition but Presonus' drivers for it were awful and then they discontinued the bloody thing! The bums!!
NI's Kore 2 - I loved this thing but then NI went and discontinued it!! The bums!!
Live 10 Suite 10.1, M4L, MPC TOUCH MPC software v2.4, Reason 4, Komplete 11, i7 Laptop, 12g Ram, Win 10, Adam A7's & Genelec 8010's - Joined Forum in 2006.

Machinesworking
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Location: Seattle

Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:59 pm

Best-

Buying a Memorymoog as a teenager for 1100 in 1986. Thing is ridiculously expensive on ebay now, and no software company has emulated it with any success.

RME Fireface 800- RME are a great company, bought this in 2005, it hasn't had an issue and RME regularly update the drivers. I can't say enough about this as a reason to love a company. Using it with a OWC Thunderbolt hub, works perfectly.

Zebra 2 - gift that keeps on giving, updates etc.

Soundtoys 5 bundle - bad interfaces, amazing sound completely makes up for it.


Worst-

Kore, Rig Kontrol, NI hardware in general. - NI give up on software and hardware they don't make enough money on, not even bothering to write drivers for them, Rig Kontrol is probably doomed to bugs in the next OS update, Kore already is gone. Rig Kontrol is a nice solid piece of hardware, but they can't be bothered I guess. I bought Maschine Studio, but I figure they make so much money of Maschine I'm safe there. Needless to say NI are as bad as M-Audio and Apogee when it comes to abandoning hardware... Kudos again to RME and Metric Halo for supporting 15 year old gear with no complaints from them.

Crysonic- got caught by them, never buy this shit.

Alchemy- a couple months later they get bought by Apple and get integrated into Logic. Same thing happened to Pluggo, but at least in my case Max 4 Live covers that to a degree.

NI Komplete is a mixed bag for me, I tend to forget to update all songs I'm working on or have finished but want to keep around as a project etc. with the latest updates, and after changing computers OS etc. you end up with songs asking for Kontakt 3 when you haven't had it installed in years etc. Not all developers do this, but NI always rename their upgrades leaving you needing multiple versions of their plug ins to retain compatibility.... Compare this to Zebra which in 12 years has only had one incompatible update.

digitalgeist
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by digitalgeist » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:47 am

I've owned a lot of gear since I started in 1997 but I think my most current rig is the best I've had considering all the challenges I had over the years.

Best purchases:

Komplete Kontrol S61 (by far)

NI Komplete Ultimate 11 - so deep and so much material!

Omnisphere 2 - speaks for itself

Elektron Analog Rytm/Four/Heat - Overbridge of DEATH!!! :twisted:

Push 2

Audio Damage Dubstation (v1.5 then the v2 upgrade - their whole suite of stuff is great)

Output Analog Strings - amazing sounds with very little effort - already mapped to the Komplete Kontrol app/plugin!

Spitfire BT Phobos - difficult to program but worth the effort

Spitfire Olafur Arnalds libraries - I have both and they're great for ambience

Valhalla DSP plugins (I have them all) - hands down amazing sounds esp for the money!

Korg KP3 - sold it a while back but it was so much fun to work with live, so immediate for improv builds

Roland JP-8000 - my first "real" synth, so easy to program since every function had a knob or slider!

Yamaha AN200 - Anybody else use this little groovebox? You could reverse the sequence with the touch of a button!

Cakewalk Metro V - bought on eBay, my first DAW.


Worst purchases:

XLN Audio RC-20 - haven't had much success adding it to a track or come across an instance where it's done a job better than something else I've had

Novation Zero SL MKii - their proprietary mapping software was a nightmare for me, after a couple of gigs I sold it for an APC40

Waldorf Blofeld - gassed for this a while back, got it, found it hard to program and didn't think the sounds beat the Virus TI at the time

Moog Slim Phatty - maybe it was my unit but the oscillators were constantly out of tune by 20 or so cents, enough to make recordings terrible and have to be adjusted if I didn't catch it and manually retune

Behringer 12-track mixer - first mixer I ever bought, learned what phase distortion was because everything running out of it was completely out of phase (ruined some of my oldest material but live and learn)

Alesis MMT-8 - I bought this on two occasions trying to be Orbital I guess. Manual was on the lid of the unit! Too freaked out to do a hardware show with it though.

MPC 1000 - modded it with the JJOS and a hard drive, did a couple of gigs with it and then realized I could do so much more with Live and a laptop.
--
Thanks!
Alex K/ Digital Geist

http://www.digitalgeist.com

Stace30
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Stace30 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:34 am

Machinesworking wrote:NI give up on software and hardware they don't make enough money on, not even bothering to write drivers for them
Indeed. +1.
Live 10 Suite 10.1, M4L, MPC TOUCH MPC software v2.4, Reason 4, Komplete 11, i7 Laptop, 12g Ram, Win 10, Adam A7's & Genelec 8010's - Joined Forum in 2006.

Stromkraft
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:12 am

Stace30 wrote:
Machinesworking wrote:NI give up on software and hardware they don't make enough money on, not even bothering to write drivers for them
Indeed. +1.
Or alternatively forces you to update your OS before you may want to because they drop support (at least on Macs this is true).
Make some music!

kitekrazy
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by kitekrazy » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:30 pm

Worst - Finale 25 , bought it on the assumption they would import pdf scores. They changed their mind. They can't get 64 bit development right.

Liquid Notes - requires java, not sure how I would use it.

CM Subscription from My Favorite Magazines. Uses Google Play = sucks, Only way to unsubscribe is calling them and I live in the US.


Best - TRacks group buy, Plugin Alliance vouchers.
Sonar Lifetime updates - I don't use Sonar much but it will always be there.
Stigmatized Drummer - best metal drumkit for Kontakt.
Avoiding every sale out there thinking it's a one time offer. This field is so competitive everything repeats or gets better.

acYm
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:38 am

Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by acYm » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:56 am

Stace30 wrote:NI's Kore 2 - I loved this thing but then NI went and discontinued it!! The bums!!
it still works just fine to this day, and is still the best featured control surface for VST. we make much better templates for Kore than they do for NKS...
getting hard to find, though...

Stace30
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by Stace30 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:35 am

acYm wrote:
Stace30 wrote:NI's Kore 2 - I loved this thing but then NI went and discontinued it!! The bums!!
it still works just fine to this day, and is still the best featured control surface for VST. we make much better templates for Kore than they do for NKS...
getting hard to find, though...
Please forgive my ignorance as I'm not the most knowledgeable geezer when it comes to the Kore2, I know I can install the 64 bit version for Windows 10, but I loved the morphing of all the Komplete VSTi's presets. I'm now on Komplete 11.
Live 10 Suite 10.1, M4L, MPC TOUCH MPC software v2.4, Reason 4, Komplete 11, i7 Laptop, 12g Ram, Win 10, Adam A7's & Genelec 8010's - Joined Forum in 2006.

EnjoyRC
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Re: My Best/Worst Purchases

Post by EnjoyRC » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:55 pm

This forum thread made me think twice about some purchases. Arrrggghhhh.

Best of my musical purchases:

Software:
- Ableton Live. For my live performances, I couldn't live without it. Owned every version since v2. (see join date to the left)
- Omnisphere 2. This VST finds it's way into EVERY track. Eventually added it to my startup default template.
- Trillian. This VST finds it's way into EVERY track. Brilliant Basses.
- Synthogy's Ivory II. Amazing Pianos.
- Serum. It sounds so REAL (like hardware).
- Logic Pro X. Very intuitive workflow.
- iZotope's Ozone 8 & Neutron 2. Love the workflow they create. And the quality sound.
- ToonTrack's Superior Drummer 3. Finally, they brought the search functionality from EZdrummer to Superior Drummer.
- Music Lab's RealGuitar & RealStrat. Great guitars with AmpliTube 4 behind them. I have a need to sequence guitar parts.
- Output's Exhale. Refreshing new sounds.

Hardware:
- Push 2. Perfect companion for using Ableton in a live enviornment.
- Korg Kronos 88. Primary Live Performance keyboard.
- SOLEMAN. SourceAudio's Soleman programmable MIDI foot controller. Can make it do anything.
- Behringer DeepMind 12. Puts a smile on my face each time a program a new patch.
- MOOG Sub 37. Definetly authentic and a keepsake.
- MOTU UltraLite mk4. Rock solid IO for Live or Studio use. Added the Behringer ADA8200 ADAT breakout.
- iConnectivity's iConnectAUDIO4+. Very versatile for my mobile setup.
- Behringer X-Touch & X-Touch Extender. Instant love here. Minimal configuration needed for Logic Pro X.
- Fishman's ToneDEQ. Very easy to use Acoustic DI. Easy to get a great sound.
- Radial DIs. Every Radial DI I've purchase is a TANK. And works perfectly.
- Roland A-800Pro. Nice MIDI Controller without the unwanted auto-mapping all the time.

Worst purchases in my past:
- M-Audio's Keystation 88. Aweful keybed. Now I'm using the Kronos 88 keybed.. WOW!
- Korg Electribe II. Just wasn't that special.
- Korg minilogue. Just wasn't that special.
- Alesis SamplePad 4
- FL Studio Producer. Thought it would be a fun tool on Windows.. NOT.
- M-Audio's Venom Synth. wish it was better than it was.
- NI Maschine. I can do most of it's features in Ableton Live with Push 2.
- DigiTech's iStomp. What a pain. Then iPhones updated...Arrrgghh.
Last edited by EnjoyRC on Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
MacBook Pro (MacOS 10.14.x) Surface Pro (Win 10)
(STUDIO I/O) MOTU UltraLite mk4 (w/ADA8200), (LIVE I/O) Behringer X Air XR18
Ableton Live Suite 10, Reason 10, Studio One 4

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