We have the following music tech setup and wondered how this stacks up with what everybody else has out there?
XP Pc based
VST instrumentation only - from NI Bandstand
Alesis IO2 USB Mixer
M-Audio Keystation USB Keyboards
On the whole our setup works fairly well but I do seem to get constant problems with students not getting any sound and/or midi - I think this is largely due to the students unplugging either the keyboard or mixer whilst Cubase is open or (recently) with dodgy USB leads.
What sort of issues do others encounter and has anyone got a failry stable/reliable setup?
Hi dhicks - VST = Virtual Instrumentation, usually based on samples of real instruments that are played when a key is pressed on the music midi keyboard.
Depending on what version of Cubase you have, it may or may not come with any VST instruments included with it. If it has, it will probably be Halion. You can get some reasonable freebie VST instruments if you do a google for them but the best ones cost I'm afraid!!
We use bandstand which gives you a reasonable quality standard midi set
Hope that helps
dhicks (30th June 2009)
t'other day I went past our music Dept and they were recording singing onto Digital Camera's... I don't think anyone can beat that for a setup
Dom_ (30th June 2009)
I would think that the teacher would mean VSTi as the VST plugins dont have to look much at the harddrive as they are raw processing plugins usually. A VSTi usually accesses a large collection of data files to reproduce a more realistic sound than can be achieved through standard FM Midi. If its a VSTi issue it couldbe permissions related :s
Our setup here is 4 *hand me down* iMacs with OS9 and one XP computer with 128MB ram which is so slow the hard drive thrashes when you click the start menu.
Just incase anyone has a home PC setup with cubase or any VST plugin app... I found an awesome plugin, it emulates a JCM900 and is a great sub for a real guitar amp in a home setup. Defo not perfect but its acutally better than all the paid for ones ive tried and the best part about this one is it was free. Its a uni project from the US. I cant remember the exact site so I would Google JCM900 VST as it will be there somewhere!
Last edited by Jamo; 30th June 2009 at 01:36 PM.
VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology if memory serves - otherwise known as plugins.
We use 10 XP based machines with Cubase Essentials 4 Education, and Sybalius 4 (soon to be upgraded to 6) with USB midi keyboards.
Our students don't seem to go too in depth into Cubase. Just fairly basic midi composition.
Interesting to see that a few of you have sibelius installed - what are the main attractions of it?
Does nobody else encounter the constant problems I have with students unplugging the midi keyboards - just curious if it's only an issue here for some reason
Our school runs Cubase SE, we use the general Midi sounds (microsoft GS wave table ) that comes with the computer, triggerd via a USB keyboard, the only problem using external Midi devices (in this case the GM sounds from the motherboard) is you cant export the whole song as a file. This is where VSTi's (virtual studio technology instruments) are handy as they route the audio through the cubase mixer you can manipulate it with FX's and EQ and also export it.
General Cubase problems include
notes getting stuck on. this is caused by the sequencer receiving the note on message (the signal sent when you press a key) but failing to get the note off message (the signal sent when you release the key) this is cured by going to the MIDI drop down menu and selecting reset.
keyboards not working: if a USB midi keyboard is plugged in after cubase has been opened the sequencer will usually no accept input from it, its the same if you pull the USB lead out half way through you work. just save your work and reopen cubase.
For a truly awsome set up get Reason as well. you can sync Reason with Cubase via the ReWire protocol and use all the Reason instruments and sequence it in Cubase. this is the setup i use at home and it works really well. there are also loads of free VSTi's out there.
Last edited by majeeko; 30th June 2009 at 02:40 PM.
[QUOTE=majeeko;352151]the only problem using external Midi devices (in this case the GM sounds from the motherboard) is you cant export the whole song as a file. This is where VSTi's (virtual studio technology instruments) are handy as they route the audio through the cubase mixer you can manipulate it with FX's and EQ and also export it.QUOTE]
Exactly right Majeeko - it's one of the reasons we use the VSTi's as we can export the mixdown within Cubase and apply VST filters and effects on the way, Also, the sound quality of the VSTi's is very high compared to GM sounds
The main problems I seem to encounter are:
Unplugged midi cables leading to non-connected midi keyboards - plus I then have to log in as admin to re-install the drivers once they are re-connected
On our M-Audio midi keyboards it's actually possible to plug in the type B USB connector the wrong way up!! This of course means they dont work!
Students accidentally re-assigning the midi out channel by random pushing of buttons
All good fun - not!!!
Symbiosis (30th June 2009)
Thats interesting re the guitar FX as each of our music workstations has one of these attached that allows real audio to be recorded along with midi:
Two XLR mic inputs (powered if needed) and two line inputs - they work fairly well and cant be beaten for the price I think
I use a cubase and reason setup for home too, though my mate (who is a pro producer/record label owner) swears by Logic
I have the M-Audio USB keyboards connected to the a spare motherboard usb header, therefore the students cant change the usb port its plugged into. Once drivers have been installed by the administrator the students can use the keyboard without problems.
Cheers JohnR - had thought of that but unfortunatly I dont have any internal USB ports apart from one on a PSI card bought specially to attach the Cubase dongle to.
Also, I guess they could still yank the cable and disconnect it - where's there's a will I guess
www.mypspace.com/cursingcaroline for my music efforts /End shameless plug
I used the Motu 828 for inputs, with a proper ASIO soundcard device you should be able to get the latencys to less than 100 samples which is unnoticable even when laden with VST effects.
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