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Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:31 pm
by steban
Well, the bottom line is my 5-year old PC with 32-bit XP and 2GB RAM running Cubase SX2 is not handling very well my new VSTi instruments, Sonik Synth 2 and Jamstix 3. The symptom was I'd be listening/editing a midi track and the pitch of the note would suddenly drop a note. It would only happen on one track, so suddenly everything was out of tune. It is a horrible problem!

So I installed Reaper 4 on the same box. Supposedly it is lighter weight and solved problems others reported on the web. Thus far, it is working, although I have a lot of unfamiliarity to deal with; however, I was able to export the midi tracks in a Cubase project to a .mid file and then import it into a Reaper project with 0 difficulty.

Unfortunately I am still getting some of that strange pitch problem, but it seems to be not as bad.

Ideally I will move everything to my new Win 7 laptop with 8GB RAM, but that means abandoning my old EMU 0404 and either trying the onboard soundcard or possibly some USB external deal.

But the goodest news is Reaper loads up fast and I think will work as well as Cubase. I am already close to completing my first project, and it sounds great!

It only costs $60.00, and you get a 60-day free evaluation of the full product to determine if it works on your setup.

If money were no object, then I might have preferred a big name expensive system to go with my big new PC and my big new sound card, but it is probably true for me that Reaper is a better fit. It is so much more powerful than I will ever take advantage of, or at least it seems that way to me right now, and I will not be its first ex-Cubase user.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:16 pm
by jaymz
Reaper is good stuff, you should be happy with it.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:43 pm
by steban
Well, I bought a used M-Audio 1814 Firewire Audio Interface on eBay for 112.50 including shipping, no tax. It has 8 1/4" TS line inputs, which is really overkill but you never know.

Now I can route my Behringer mixer to the M-Audio to my Win 7 64bit 8GB laptop and with Reaper go to town, hopefully resolving my old Cubase XP woes.

Alas, I'm going on vacation next week so I won't get to fiddle with anything until August, like porting over my paid for VSTis, but my hope is it will allow me to run them without performance issues.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:32 pm
by steban
So I bought an M-Audio Firewire 1814 audio interface with 8 1/4 " mono TS ins on eBay for $112.50 including shipping and tax to use on my Sony Vaio laptop with i7 and 8GB, and it arrived the day before I went on vacation. I could hear sound from the headphones output of the device, I could see the Control Setup on laptop, and Reaper could see the inputs, but Reaper could not record or play back any sound.

So I had all day yesterday back before I went to work (working now actually) to fool with it, and it turned out to be an IRQ conflict between the firewire port and the wireless card. That took a long time to figure out in Google. So I had rolled back the firewire driver to the legacy version, another apparently helpful action, and after I disabled the wireless the sound worked like a charm!

There are other ways to deal with the IRQ conflict, but actually this is possibly the best way as I really don't need to be wireless when I'm doing music.

It is annoying, though. The problem with external sound cards is you might not want to carry it everywhere you go, so you have to dis/enable the onboard sound and probably the wireless manually, extra steps. But the cool thing is now it is a lot easier to be mobile with the recording. It is still a hassle, but better than a PC.

So my setup is now a mic, a Behringer 8 in 4 out mixer with some effects, a Zoom G1X guitar multieffects box, the M-Audio 8 in 4 out, a USB M-Audio Radium 49 midi controller, an Austin guitar, an Eddy Finn ukulele, a laptop, and a bunch of wires. I'd like to figure out how to mount everything except the guitar and laptop in a large suitcase with wheels maybe that would permanently sit on my desk.

Soon I will be able to actually try to do something with Reaper. One thing I'm noticing is I don't seem to be able to edit wave files within Reaper, so I might need to use a separate wave editor. That may take a bit of getting used to but still surmountable.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:17 am
by cjdenecia
study your new sound setup stebs. before you bring it to the world. if it sounds the least bit wrong to you, it'll sound horrid to us. work it - get it right. learn to use your plug in FX judiciously and learn that your eq is your best friend. compression and noise reduction are also your most important plug in tools.

good luck with it all.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:33 pm
by steban

I have successfully installed my VST Synth Sonik Synth 2 and Jamstix 3 and have been able to record multitrack mixdowns of audio and midi. Yes, I have some experimenting to get everything right, but it is looking pretty good so far. I can actually run my guitar directly into the M-Audio, but I give up the added ease of the mixer's volume control as some effects are louder than others, and it's just too much work to hassle with the Zoom every time.

A cool thing is I have both computers coming through the same headphones now as I used 7/8 in to route the audio out from my old PC. I am noticing the stereo separation more definitively, it seems that way now, plus the new setup is much louder for monitoring. I was worried about some loss of quality, but it has been improved.

It is slowing me down, ceej, but I think it is looking much easier than the last time. I like to get things set and not change them much after that.

I haven't got the Shure SM58 yet, but that might be a step up for vocals, too. I'm not unhappy with my current mic, I always blame it on the singer and mixer, but I don't know better.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:59 pm
by Mark Kaufman
An SM58 (or SM57) will do you good--they are the all-around workhorses, live or in-studio, and should be the first mic in any locker. Good luck with your new set-up, Stebs!

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:43 pm
by ingolee
steban wrote:some effects are louder than others, and it's just too much work to hassle with the Zoom every time.

You might try sending the guitar in clean and adding effects later at mix time. That helps if you are not depending on the effect sound to guide your playing.

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:31 pm
by steban
Inspired by a spoken word song I heard only because it was recommended in a thread by Krispy, Attack of the White Lotus, I believe, and excessive noodling with my new audio setup, and of course way too much free time, and the title of a Robert Hunter song, Tales of the Great Rum Runners, here is another spoken word song.

All that notwithstanding, I think it is pretty original and entertaining anyway. I will not compare this song too stringently, mine is by far the looser arrangement. What we have in common is storytelling, and I hope you enjoy it because it is a long story and longer song.

I wouldn’t call it a great mix or good mix even, but I respect it as pretty darn good for as easy as it was for me to achieve. There are aspects that are scary how neatly they turned out considering the considerable chaos that went into their creation. As I am still having an extra day or so stymied by a glitch uploading, even here, I could not resist adding another sung vocal part, which I think pushes it squarely into the experimental category of rock, or at the very least certifiable overkill, even though I think it is an unexpectedly pleasant rock listen and might still upload into Rock subcat sci-fi.

I’m giving Reaper a double thumbs up!


tales of the interstellar fur traders

striking out along the eastern shore
we were delighted to find other villages
taking advantage of the excellent fishing
and fertile soil where minor tributaries
finally reached the tangerine sea

their language had taken a tangent over time
Zs were sapped of their ZAP and all the vowels except for A
felt slightly shifted as if leaning to the left in a funny way
everyone would always get a good laugh at each other’s expense at first
and then we’d get down to the business at hand
what they have to trade for our treasure of trinkets
information, entertainment, and nanotechnology
they couldn’t get enough of the solar powered scrolls
with the latest petabyte of fresh content
we offer a preview, a glimpse of Gilligan’s Island
the ironic symbolism shines brightly in their hungry eyes

it boggles the mind how we now fly cargo ships at warp speed
to all the colonized Class M planets with clockwork regularity
to return full of furs and timber and rare metals, stones and bones
woven goods and carved knick knacks
the difference in the early sublight days when the journey alone consumed lifetimes
and yet it was then when the steady stream of interstellar fur traders
as they came known to be, as they came to be known, began in earnest
because even though generations had thrived on strange new worlds
developing technologies and unique resources also of value to Earth
time and time again it was the allure of the most primitive items
that resisted manufactured replication that consistently filled the hulls coming home

in hindsight it is not at all surprising that the demand for low technology items
encouraged a developed devolution to a pioneer spirit embracing the frontier ethos
returning honor to honest work, pride in craftsmanship, love for a peaceful end of the day
to warm in front of the fire while watching a little mindless TV or playing a video game
or reading a new eBook by your favorite author
things had come full spiral, these people wore beards and beads and carried rayguns
isolated in their neck of the galactic woods, some dreaming of going back or further
many content to be left alone aside from the traditional trading

so how was it that man did not live up to his well-deserved reputation
to demonstrate his inhumanity to man, to not take war to the stars
certainly there were many cries of alarm, calls for action, corporate greed and political power

plainly speaking, the shortsightedness of those feeble evil planners
could not withstand the time the distance required
and the people who made the trip
released from any consequences for not following foolish orders
would rectify the situation and alleviate the tension en route
invariably arriving with a healthy attitude and sincerest welcomes

these brave souls became the first interstellar fur traders
yes, outlaws in some jurisdictions and times
but fundamental right outlasts uncivilized tendencies as the decades flew by
and each new arrival of stuff, although feeding our urge to conspicuously consume
achieved much more, somehow entangling the ideas of our species, ennobling the purpose
for our existence, and forming the basis for our hope that we shall succeed

at the end of the day we had exchanged our boxes of gizmos for a large load of pelts
many of a color found on no other planet due to the permanent blue orange glaze in the sky
tonight we party with the locals and sleep as privileged guests in their homes
everyone eagerly hearing and telling the tales of here and far away places
as is the tradition on every planet when the interstellar fur traders arrive

a ship would arrive every year, almost always an all new crew
as there were radiation hazards in space, even in a field of warped space.
usually a handful of passengers would stay as about the same number boarded for flight
and occasionally a fur trader would opt to stay
meet somebody or fall in love with a place or both
it was never encouraged nor denied if it happened
and it happened almost every trip to somebody
it is as if it has something to do with the universal nature of love

and the rest of us must also feel drawn by that same inexplicable force
and so we would return home to our previously happy lives
bringing a nice paycheck to go in the bank and further tales of the interstellar fur traders

Re: Cubase Won't Fear the Reaper

PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:27 am
by steban
The upload issue resolved! Muchas gracias, senor cj. Now I have to do a few more reviews if I expect anyone to ever listen to a long song like this. Well, a lot of reviews, actually. I usually can't review when in the heat of the music creating moment.