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Old 07-20-2018, 01:47 PM
John Fowler John Fowler is offline
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Question New to EastWest

Hi, I have only recently become aware of EastWest products, and I am very interested in both Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs. I have downloaded the User Guides and Quick References for both. along with the Play manual, but I did not find all the answer to my questions in them.
I have six questions (for starters), plus this one: Is it best to start a thread for each, or else just list them all in one post? Since I don't yet know the answer, I'll just give the first.
1.) What is the difference between Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs? I notice that the former lists a boy's choir and the latter does not, but I got the impression from online demos that the latter has capabilities that the former does not.
Thanks for any help anyone can provide!
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:29 AM
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Hey John,

feel free to put them all in one post, if you like.
Just make sure to number the individual parts,
then we can easily differentiate.

OK, Symphonic Choirs vs Hollywood Choirs. I'll
start with the technical differences:

SC Gold: 9GB - VotA 1GB, 16-bit, 1 mic-position
SC Platinum: 39GB - VotA 2GB, 24-bit, 3 mic-positions

HC Gold: 8GB, 16-bit, 1 mic-position
HC Diamond: 59GB, 24-bit, 5 mic-positions

The Symphonic series is more "out-of-the-box" in comparison
to the Hollywood series, which is quite dry, allowing for more
editing options.

SC is divided into SATB with soloists, whereas HC is divided
into Men / Women only.

The Manuals:
SC: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...irs_Manual.pdf
HC: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...ser-Manual.pdf
Wordbuilder: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...uick-Guide.pdf
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support - E-Mail: lorenz@eastwestsounds.com

Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On DAWs - "On Drives" is being Updated
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.40, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii

Last edited by LMW; 07-25-2018 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:40 AM
John Fowler John Fowler is offline
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Thanks! Dry would be preferable, but the online samples of SC sounded really good to me, and with more flexibility in the SATB separation, I think I would start with SC, but wouldnít rule out getting both. Fewer mic positions shouldnít be much of a problem for me, assuming that I can set up different groups in different tracks and mix them later with any desired stereo location. But that assumes some answers to my other questions. Iíll re-list (1.), since I left out part of it before about WordBuilder.

1.) What is the difference between Symphonic Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs? Same WordBuilder in each?
2.) Online video suggested (I think) that .wav files can be generated, but manuals don't mention this; what's the deal?
3.) MIDI file input? If not, does the "Play" program appear among MIDI devices for standard sequencers?
4.) iLok needed? If not, then must one uninstall on one machine to install on another? Can that be done?
5.) Any plans to make solo voices work with WordBuilder?

My main concern is getting MIDI data into SC/Play. The manuals donít mention MIDI file input, which would be my first choice. Otherwise I guess I could play my MIDI files from a sequencer that accepts Play as a device. I gather that I would have to run as many instances of Play as I have MIDI tracks, with each Play set to respond to one of the MIDI channels. Is that right?

I donít have a DAW per se, although maybe what I have amounts to a DAW: Windows 10 computer, some decent synths (currently USB), and a couple of wave-file editors, GoldWave and Audacity. What I have been doing for years is using GoldWave to capture line-in audio in .wav format and editing from there to make stereo CDs. I have digitiized a lot of old LPs and audiocassettes that way. For my own music, I play the MIDI files through (currently) Sonar into my synths and from there into GoldWave.

What I would really like to do (first choice) is: read MIDI files into SC/Play, massage the vocals as in the online demos, then export a .wav file for each track, so that I can load those into GoldWave or Audacity and mix/massage them further. Is that feasible? I seem to recall an online demo mentioning exporting to .wav files, but the manuals donít mention it.

That seems like enough (I hope not too many) questions for now. Thanks for any advice that anyone can provide!
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:47 AM
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1.) What is the difference between Symphonic Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs? Same WordBuilder in each?

See above. The Wordbuilder has been improved from SC to HC and
features quite a few new things, which are only available in Play 6. Please
check the WB Quick Guide: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...uick-Guide.pdf

I think I would start with SC, but wouldn’t rule out getting both.
Have you considered getting our ComposerCloud? You'd be able to get all the libraries
for a small fee per month, try them out, and after checking which ones you prefer,
you can cancel the subscription (AutoRenewal OFF in your account) and
then purchase it outright. Or just keep the subscription going.
http://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud


2.) Online video suggested (I think) that .wav files can be generated, but manuals don't mention this; what's the deal?

The EastWest samples (the sound files) are saves in the proprietary
.ews format in the EW "Library Name" Samples folder, which is the
second subfolder of the EW "Library Name" folder.

These files can only be loaded into the Play engine. You would require a DAW
to export as .mp3 / .flac / .wav. Play itself does not have such an export function.


3.) MIDI file input? If not, does the "Play" program appear among MIDI devices for standard sequencers?

Play cannot handle MIDI file input. The samples themselves are triggered via MIDI data, true, but
there is no window into which you can play a MIDI file (ProDrummer is the exception to the rule).

What you'd need is a DAW! Only in Cubase / Logic etc. can you directly input
the MIDI file and then also edit it. This is not possible via Play itself.

I don’t have a DAW per se, although maybe what I have amounts to a DAW:
Audacity lacks MIDI support and is not VSTi compatible (link). I didn't find
anything concerning GoldWave and VSTi, but I'd say the same, precisely
because I didn't find anything.

Note: VST and VSTi are not the same thing!

Sonar (Cakewalk) is a DAW. You can use that. Play would load as a VST plugin
into Sonar. You then open Play in Sonar, load the patch in Play, input the MIDI
file onto that track where Play is loaded, tinker around, export to .wav and then
you can load the .wav file into Audacity / Goldwave, if this is your preferred
workflow.

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) can refer to either an electronic device or application
software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. Read up on it on
Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_workstation

I have a short post on DAWs here: http://soundsonline-forums.com/showt...55728&p=786114

I gather that I would have to run as many instances of Play as I have MIDI tracks,
with each Play set to respond to one of the MIDI channels. Is that right?

Yup, that's one way of doing it. Or go multi-timbral. Please strg / ctrl F in the manuals.
Play 5: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/m...tem-Manual.pdf
Play 6: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...ser-Manual.pdf


4.) iLok needed? If not, then must one uninstall on one machine to install on another? Can that be done?

We use the iLok / PACE security software to protect our libraries. An iLok account is therefore
necessary. You can create one for free here: https://www.ilok.com/#!registration

Please submit the iLok account ID to your soundsonline.com account in the according field.
If you do not have one at the time of purchase, our system will automatically create
one for you based on the e-mail address provided to us. You would then have to head
over to iLok.com and reset your password. https://www.ilok.com/#!recover

A physical iLok key is not needed. You can activate the license as a Machine License
directly to your computer. If you intend to purchase an iLok key, please make sure
that it is of the 2nd or 3rd Generation (the latter is better). Due to the age of the
hardware, iLok 1 is simply no longer properly compatible with our products.

A simultaneous activation of a license on two locations is not possible. You would either
have to use the iLok key - unplug / plug-in as required - or move the Machine License:
  • Please download and install the latest iLok License Manager on both computers
    - https://www.ilok.com/#!license-manager. Note that the program iLok License Manager
    is not the same as the iLok.com website. The program is required!
  • Login to that application using your iLok account ID – not your soundsonline.com account
    information. If you forgot your password, you can reset it here: https://www.ilok.com/#!recover
  • Locate your license under the “All Licenses” tab, which you can find at the top of the window. Then
    proceed to right- / control- click on it and choose the option “Deactivate”. Allow the blue progress bar
    to finish. Your license is now deactivated.
  • Now locate your licenses again on your other computer. Right- / control-click on It and this time
    select the option “Activate”. You are now required to choose the activation location. This can either
    be a physical iLok key (iLok 2 / iLok 3) or the computer itself for a “Machine License”. Confirm
    and wait for the blue progress bar to load.
  • Your license has now been re-activated and the internal license certificates reset. You can now open
    the Installation Center again and proceed to download the Play engine or the libraries. Or reopen Play
    or whichever DAW has Play in it. You should now be good to go!

Please note that I'm talking about the license itself. You can install the Play engine
and the library on two different computers. Only one would, however, be activated
via the license!


5.) Any plans to make solo voices work with WordBuilder?

The Symphonic Choirs library will not be changed. What might happen in a
long, long time, in a galaxy far, far away, is another Solo Voices library.


Ok, I think I covered everything you mentioned? Hope it helps, John.
Have a great Sunday.
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support - E-Mail: lorenz@eastwestsounds.com

Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On DAWs - "On Drives" is being Updated
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.40, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii

Last edited by LMW; 07-25-2018 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:58 AM
John Fowler John Fowler is offline
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Thanks for the very detailed explanation! You have made it clear that I have some homework to do before I catch up with the state of the art. Assuming I can mention some brand names without breaking any forum rules because of the context of using these with EastWest products: I started with MS-DOS Cakewalk eons ago, moved to WinCake, and never needed anything more advanced. My projects always involved creating MIDI files with software I wrote myself, then playing them through WinCake into fairly decent synths. If I needed wave files, I just took the synth audio line out into a computerís line in and had GoldWave capture and digitize it. GoldWave is a shareware program with many similarities to Audacity but available many years before Audacity came along.

Not to inflict my biography on everyone, but this should make clear what Iím looking for. I have recently been writing vocal music for which SC and HC are highly desirable. I have complete MIDI files for each piece, and I got Sonar LE bundled with my newest (but no longer very new) USB synth. However, I didnít need any of Sonarís advanced capabilities, and its complexity led me to stick to WinCake as a MIDI driver into my synth. Your excellent response led me to go look at the Sonar Userís Guide seriously for the first time, and I think Iím getting the hang of the modern approach.

So I gather that what would need to happen is: I install SC/Play as a VSTi in Sonar, one instance for each MIDI track; load my MIDI file into Sonar; play through the SC/Play VSTi, and I gather that Sonar can export the final sounds as wave files. Is that right?

If so, Iím still puzzled about how each instance of SC/Play buffers the music, if it does. You may have answered this already with:

Sonar (Cakewalk) is a DAW. You can use that. Play would load as a VST plugin into Sonar. You then open Play in Sonar, load the patch in Play, input the MIDI file onto that track where Play is loaded, tinker around, export to .wav

Clearly every single note has to be massaged with WordBuilder, so this doesnít happen in real time. SC/Play must remember what was done to every single MIDI note, so it must have everything in memory, right?

If thatís anywhere close, then does each SC/Play instance capture everything after the first time the MIDI file is played (or even simply loaded into Sonar), then one edits with WordBuilder until every note is set up correctly? I think I can almost guess the answer, but I'd rather not guess.

Thanks again for your help!

Regards, John
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:09 AM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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Hi John!

I'm afraid I don't have the time for a detailed post on how exactly the WordBuilder works right now, but I don't want to leave you hanging, either. Here's a very quick and dirty way of describing it:
  • In WordBuilder, you enter syllables. When notes play (in real time) on the MIDI track assigned to PLAY, the first note (or chord) that plays triggers the first syllable, the first note/chord triggers the second syllable, and so on.
  • If you have a three-piece chord (C-Eb-Bb) and the choir is supposed to "glide" on the same syllable for one note (C-Eb-A), you need to enter the syllable twice. Holding C and Eb and changing Bb to A would otherwise result in only the A triggering the next syllable, i. e. your voices singing two different syllables.
  • You can assign a Keyswitch (pressing a key on your piano that's outside the playable range, e. g. C5) to the reset function. This resets WB to the first syllable. Doing this at the start of your track means that WB always starts from the beginning.

So, no. SC/Play doesn't buffer the music. You can change how the note that comes in in real-time is supposed to be treated, and once you've done a bit of trial and error, everything happens in real-time.

Does that help a bit?
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:29 AM
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Hey John,

MS-DOS Cakewalk? That's definitely been some time.
I'm not getting much on Google for WinCake? That's just one of the older versions
of Cakewalk / Sonar, right? Otherwise I'm only getting a specific fileformat,
the WinCake.INI file (link), which controls the basic configuration on startup.

I have complete MIDI files for each piece
Great.

and I got Sonar LE bundled with my newest (but no longer very new) USB synth.
I'm not quite sure, which version of Sonar that is. We have a minimum requirement
of Sonar v6.2. The latest one is available via the Bandlab Assistant or here.

However, I didn’t need any of Sonar’s advanced capabilities, and its complexity led me to stick to WinCake
I myself use Cubase, and I don't think I use many of the advanced features. The
basics of Sonar aren't very hard to learn, imo, and you should easily get a grasp of it.

I install SC/Play as a VSTi in Sonar, one instance for each MIDI track; load my MIDI file into Sonar;
play through the SC/Play VSTi, and I gather that Sonar can export the final sounds as wave files. Is that right?

Correct.

Play will install automatically into the correct VST folders, which Cakewalk will
then scan upon startup. To open the Play VSTi, you'll just need to open Play as below:

To open the Play window, click on the "Piano"-icon next to Play 1 (currently hidden beneath
the drop-down menu). In the open Play window, select your patch of SC / HC. Then drag
and drop the MIDI file from your Windows Explorer into the field adjacent to the one (↑)
where Play is located.
Double-click on that MIDI file to then open the piano-roll. You can then further
edit the MIDI data, or add MIDI Continuous Control (CC) data, to further improve the
realism of the samples.

At this point, I'd really recommend having a look at the library manuals:
These explain in detail how to use the CC data properly for the individual
libraries.

SC: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...irs_Manual.pdf
HC: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...ser-Manual.pdf
Wordbuilder: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...uick-Guide.pdf

Play 5: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/m...tem-Manual.pdf
Play 6: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...ser-Manual.pdf

And here are the overview videos:
SC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A9IZxFJPyA
HC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqFO4x57xlw

To export as audio: File > Export > Audio... - I'd recommend unchecking "Fast bounce"
for the final mix. This will slow-down the export time, but it will be easier on the CPU,
and result in a better mix. If "Fast bounce" is selected, the CPU will do it's utmost
to export as fast as possible. Depending on your computer specs, this might actually
result in lower quality, if some data is skipped or processed too quickly.

If so, I’m still puzzled about how each instance of SC/Play buffers the music
The samples themselves are partially loaded into your RAM and partially streamed
from the harddrive.
You can change the ratio via Play > Settings > Streaming > Cache Level.

Clearly every single note has to be massaged with WordBuilder, so this doesn’t happen in real time.
It happens in real-time, which is why we have minimum requirements for our Play engine.
  • PC MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
    Intel Dual-Core i5 2.7 Ghz or above
    8GB RAM or more
    Windows 7 or later
    Sound card with ASIO drivers
    7200 RPM or faster (non energy saving) hard drive for sample streaming
  • PC RECOMMENDED SYSTEM
    Intel Core 2 Quad, or AMD Quad Core 2.66 GHz or above
    16GB RAM or more
    Windows 7 or later (64-bit Windows/Host Sequencer)
    Sound card with ASIO drivers
    SSD (Solid State Drive) for sample streaming

SC/Play must remember what was done to every single MIDI note, so it
must have everything in memory, right?

Most of that is actually controlled via MIDI data and MIDI CC in Sonar. And yes,
again, this is why we have minimum requirements.

then one edits with WordBuilder until every note is set up correctly?
Correct. I'll just recommend the manual again.

What are your system specifications, if I may ask? If you're not sure,
you can type "System Information" into the search-bar of your computer
and send me a screenshot (PM or mail is also perfectly fine - just click on LMW).
For short, you can also just check Settings > System > Info. This will give you
lesser information, but still enough. This doesn't include the harddrive, though.
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support - E-Mail: lorenz@eastwestsounds.com

Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On DAWs - "On Drives" is being Updated
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.40, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii

Last edited by LMW; 07-25-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:12 PM
John Fowler John Fowler is offline
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To Dominik:

Thanks! But I guess I wasnít completely clear, assuming that your answer addresses my last question: does each SC/Play instance capture everything after the first time the MIDI file is played (or even simply loaded into Sonar), then one edits with WordBuilder until every note is set up correctly?

I wasnít asking how to use WordBuilder, for that I try to follow the advice frequently given to newbies, ďRead the manual.Ē As a software developer myself, I know the frustration of being expected to explain something thatís spelled out in a Userís Guide, so I really appreciate your willingness to overlook that, but my question is more about something I have not been able to find in any of the Userís Guides, and it stems from my lack of familiarity with VSTiís. I do have some experience with MIDI sequencers, however, and in the online demos for SC and HC, Play looked very much like a MIDI sequencer to me, hence my question on why the manuals donít mention reading in a MIDI file.

To Lorenz:

MS-DOS Cakewalk? Thatīs definitely been some time.

Right! I started coding around 1965 on IBM 7094s, first PC about 1982 (CP/M-86!) and got into MIDI years before the advent of General MIDI, Macs, MS Windows, etc.

Iīm not getting much on Google for WinCake? Thatīs just one of the older versions of Cakewalk / Sonar, right?

Right again. I think it was the first Cakewalk for Windows, and it still runs fine on my air-gapped Windows XP desktop.

Iīm not quite sure, which version of Sonar that is. We have a minimum requirement of Sonar v6.2

The copyright date on the manual is 2004, but they donít specify a Sonar version, probably because they want to use the same manual for more than one version. That Windows XP machine isnít booted up at the moment, so I canít just look at what the program says, but if I go ahead with this project, I think Iíll just get the latest 64-bit version. My current main machine is a Lenovo Windows 10 machine, 4GB RAM, terabytes of hard drive. I see you have a minimum requirement of 8 GB, so this might be my excuse to buy a new machine. On the other hand, if you need that much RAM for performance purposes, maybe I donít need as much, since other than short-interval sound checks, I am not interested in real-time performance, rather my intention is to get everything into wave files for downstream mixing. Thoughts?

Clearly every single note has to be massaged with WordBuilder, so this doesnít happen in real time.
It happens in real-time


Sorry, I was vague there about ďmassagedĒ. I should have said ďeditedĒ, i.e., what the demos show happening in WordBuilder.

Thanks for your very detailed response!

Regards, John
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:36 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Wow, excellent advice and tips from Lorenz! Jeez, I remember using Cakewalk 2.0...in like 1992!

John, in addition, what are your computer specs? And are you using a dedicated soundcard or audio interface? I have a suspicion you are still running in 32bit.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:04 PM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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My response was to this "if" statement:

Quote:
If so, I’m still puzzled about how each instance of SC/Play buffers the music, if it does.
In explaining how the WordBuilder works, I was hoping to make clear that there is no buffering inside PLAY whatsoever. The MIDI doesn't go "into" PLAY (as a file); it's on a track in your host program, and PLAY only receives what you play back in real-time.

You were assuming this doesn't happen in real-time, which is why I explained (a bit too in depth, maybe?) the WordBuilder process.

The main takeaway was supposed to be: MIDIs don't reside in PLAY; individual notes are being sent as you play back. PLAY doesn't have to remember any MIDI notes, but just remembers syllables that then get "triggered" by what's happening in your host.
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