Monday, February 05, 2007

Spectrasonics and its Pro-Users



I have talked quite a bit of what is out there for free. Free and of high quality.  From effects to virtual instruments each with their pluses and minuses. On the other side of the fence there is quite a bit of expensive software. At first,  said software rubbed me the wrong way because I figured it should be much cheaper than rack gear but often not or not that much cheaper. There are two main issues that I need to solve to sustain my composition efforts.

  • supporting arrangement / embellishment
  • drum track/ groove

I suspect that in my particular case , given my strengths and weaknesses as a musician etc,  that embellishment of tunes i.e. secondary comps/lines other than the primary comp/lines  I do with the guitar will be a result of the use of guitar synth generating midi to be later converted to audio and of the use of a step sequencer such as Fruity loops.

The other issue is the one of laying out the drum / percussion parts. That deserves its own post. Its a huge problem and I fear that there is not one single simple solution. More on that later.

Out of the various commercial companies out there that attempt to address the above there is one in particular that seems to stand out to me. Specifically, two products by Spectrasonics :

  • Stylus RMX — a Groove machine
  • Atmosphere — an intensely complete synth/sampler



Although not cheap they seem to give you quite a bit for the money. I’ll let the reader check that out at their site. At least for now  . Another major reason though that I can’t seem to get past is who uses Spectrasonics. Artists such as:


  • Lyle Mays of Pat Metheny
  • Chic Correa
  • Al Jarreau
  • George Benson
  • Mary J Blidge
  • tons of hip hop
  • movies such as BloodDiamond
  • tv shows such as 24
  • and it goes on ….

the list is quite impressive. The capabilities and resources that come with Spectrasonics are as well quite impressive. Stylus is selling for $289.00 and Atmosphere for $399.00 , not cheap but less than the price of a lot of guitar and synth hardware i.e. not so expensive as to scare me off , yet expensive enough to really study the pros and cons.

I would love to hear feedback on Spectrasonics or on alternative strategies to handle the issues I mention above. thanks.

As always please leave feedback on my forum.

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