Discuss Notion Music Composition Software here.
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I happened across this DAW from a Facebook post and decided to download the free demo. I was VERY impressed. The sound quality is amazing! It has a very analog sound. The $79 price tag is for a full featured version, not a limited edition.

Also, there's currently a limited time sale for the product for $39.

It might be perfect for someone who's looking to expand beyond Notion into the DAW word, or, like me, is looking for the best sound from the software available. I'm considering using it as a mastering console after using Notion and Studio One to create and polish my work.

Anyway, check it out. I don't get anything from these people for this, I was just really impressed.

https://harrisonconsoles.lpages.co/mixbus-v5-tame/

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:11 pm
There are two versions, but neither of them do ReWire . . . :shock:

THOUGHTS

The advanced version costs approximately $299 (US); but as noted, neither version does ReWire, which in a practical way maps to being unusable with NOTION 6 directly . . .

NOTION External MIDI staves can send MIDI via a virtual MIDI cable, but without ReWire there is no synchronization, which for all practical purposes makes it useless . . .

The idea of being focused on emulating the analog universe digitally is intriguing, but whether this makes sense in a practical way is another matter . . .

[NOTE: In the real world of physical mixing boards or consoles, there is a range of specific sonic characteristics, and when you add digital but nevertheless physical mixing boards, the range increases. From the perspective of software engineering, each DAW application has specific sonic characteristics, and as explained in the following observations, the overall "sound" of each DAW application is different in this respect. Yet, since there are decisions made in software engineering regarding the way audio is handled via algorithms, it's not so easy to guess whether "analog warmth" is a primary or secondary criterion. My impression at present is that there are two general design criteria in this respect, where one is focused on what one might call "purity" and the other is focused on what one might call "bias" or "flavoring"; and in practice each DAW application probably is designed and programmed with consideration for both perspectives or sonic styles. Relevant to this observation is the fact that "purity" maps to observing the rules of acoustic physics in terms of mathematics and physical physics, while "bias" or "flavoring" is focused on the perceptual aspects of acoustic physics. Explained another way, vacuum tubes are warm and blurry, so they affect the way everything sounds. This can be done in the digital universe, but it's not an absolute requirement. With vacuum tubes, there is no other option; but there are many options in the digital universe--especially considering that when you play the music through a calibrated full-range studio monitor system or listen to the music with studio quality headphones, it's all analog, since loudspeakers, subwoofers, and headphones are analog devices and follow the rules of physics discovered several centuries ago by Sir Isaac Newton . . . ]

Nevertheless, as I observed in a different topic, it's obvious to me that different digital mixing boards or consoles have distinct sonic characteristics--something I base primarily on experimenting with Cubase Elements (Steinberg), Digital Performer (MOTU), Live (Ableton), Logic Pro X (Apple), Reaper (Cockos), and Studio One (PreSonus), although primarily Digital Performer and Studio One in terms of hundreds of hours, if not thousands of hours, since my focus on the other Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) applications primarily is to determine whether they do ReWire (which all of them do) and more recently to determine whether they also do ReWire MIDI with NOTION 6 (which only Studio One and NOTION do) . . .

I also have used Reason (Propellerhead Software) extensively, starting with Reason 5; and it has a mixing board or console, hence in some respects is a DAW application, although not in the same way as the other DAW applications (see above), primarily because at least through Reason 9, it only works as a ReWire slave . . .

[NOTE: I suppose it's possible that Reason 10 can act as a ReWire host controller, but I have not checked this and generally think it doesn't act as a ReWire host controller. (UPDATE) I checked the Reason 10 documentation, and based on what I found Reason 10 only works as a ReWire slave, so nothing new in this regard, except that it supports ReWire 2 to some level, although apparently not to the level that PreSonus products support ReWire 2, specifically with respect to PreSonus products doing ReWire MIDI, which as best as I can determine currently is unique to PreSonus products. If you want to do ReWire MIDI, then PreSonus products (NOTION and Studio One Professional) are the way to do this. ReWire MIDI truly is amazing, since Studio One can host all the virtual instruments (native and third-party, which on the Mac includes both AU [Apple] and VST [Steinberg]), which maps to NOTION only needing to have ReWire MIDI staves and no virtual instruments (native or third-party), with this in turn mapping to NOTION being optimally efficient with low system resource overhead, because it only needs to do the music notation and real-time conversion of music notation to MIDI, which it sends to Studio One via ReWire MIDI pipes . . . ]

The big question, of course, is how MixBus (Harrison) sounds in terms of its sonic characteristics . . .

The MixBus versions are digital, as are the other DAW applications (see above), but based on the premise that each DAW application has an unique sonic characteristic, this is intriguing . . .

If there were a Pop Quiz and the question was to describe my impression of the sonic characteristics of the mixing boards of each of the DAW applications listed in this post (except MixBus, which I have not used, so far), then my answer is that with the exceptions of Live (Ableton) and Studio One (PreSonus), they are more along the lines of warm and perhaps like what one might expect when working with vacuum tube based technology--which literally and physically is analog . . .

It's been a while since I have done anything with Live (Ableton), but my recollection is that it is in what I call the "clean, crisp, tolerant" category, although not so much as Studio One Professional 4 . . .

I prefer "clean, crisp, tolerant", and this is one of the reasons Studio One Professional 4 is now my "goto" DAW application . . .

The "tolerant" aspect refers to being able to add more tracks without needing to remix everything, and in some respects this is a bit subtle, allthough once you realize the importance it's very obvious . . .

When a mixing board is not "tolerant", each time you add a new track you need to revisit the entire mix and at least all the volume levels for all the track sliders . . .

My experience over the past few months with Studio One suggests that this mostly is not necessary with Studio One, which is the reason I use "tolerant" in this context . . .

The reason "clean and crisp" are important is equally subtle; and the high-level version is that I have a lot of high-quality third-party effects plug-ins that emulate vacuum tube hardware, mostly T-RackS 5 (IK Multimedia) and a few others, which I use to add what I call "vacuum tube warmth" and at times a bit of "vacuum tube blur", the latter being mostly to enhance deep bass and singing . . .

Explained another way, when a digital mixing board basically is "warm", it complicates the producing and audio engineering when using vacuum tube emulating effects plug-ins, which instead of being (a) adding vacuum tube warmth to clean and crisp becomes (b) adding vacuum tube warmth and blur to already warm and blurry. . .

In other words, it's like reverberation and echoes in the sense that it's easy to add them but nearly impossible to removed them when they are embedded in already-recorded audio . . .

When I want vacuum tube warmth or blur, I can add it in Studio One; but if I don't want it, then it's not there, which is the "clean and crisp" aspect . . .

In some respects, this is a bit subtle; but here in the sound isolation studio I want to control everything ruthlessly, and I can do this with Studio One and NOTION, as well occasionally with some real electric guitar . . .

If I want something to be vacuum tube warm, then I make it vacuum tube warm; but when I don't want vacuum tube warm, it's not there by design, which makes using and controlling vacuum tube warmth and blur a decision I make rather than a decision arbitrarily made by the DAW application, which is where "clean, crisp, tolerant" becomes paramount here in the sound isolation studio . . .

I am curious to discover the sonic characteristic' footprint(s) of the MixBus DAW application(s); but without support for ReWire, this mostly is a curiosity type of thing here in the sound isolation studio . . .

As time allows, I plan to download the MixBus demo and do some experiments with it . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by michaelmyers1 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:08 pm
My experiments lead me to the same conclusions. The MIDI editing capabilities are nil, and if, as you say, there is no support for Rewire then there is limited usefulness. So far I have only been able to use it as a mixing/mastering console where I've imported into it audio files generated either by Notion or by Studio One, but as far as that goes, I am VERY impressed with the sound quality.

The manufacturer claims that this is a result of their work on generations of audio analog/digital mixing boards, their approach to summing technology etc. All I know is that the sound is very warm and comfortable.

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by michaelmyers1 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:12 pm
Here's a track mixed and mastered using the DAW:

phpBB [audio]

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by fabiobiolcati1 on Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:22 am
michaelmyers1 wroteSo far I have only been able to use it as a mixing/mastering […] but as far as that goes, I am VERY impressed with the sound quality.

As it seems it is aimed to this, it looks great.

———————
Fabio Biolcati
Notion5
VSL SE 1 & 1+; 2 & 3 SE Strings
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2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac
4GB RAM
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by Surf.Whammy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:02 pm
michaelmyers1 wroteHere's a track mixed and mastered using the DAW:

phpBB [audio]


WOW :+1

THOUGHTS

There was a thunderstorm about a month ago, and even though I have everything protected by Tripp-Lite surge protectors, there was a transient lightning strike that zapped one of the loudspeaker units (15" woofer and high-frequency horn) and my cable modem . . .

[NOTE: The Tripp-Lite surge protectors protected everything else, including the Mac Pro, but none of them tripped, which in some respects makes no sense. It must have been a short but intense transient spike rather than a significant power surge. The loudspeaker unit actually started smoking, so it's fortunate that I was in the sound isolation studio at the time. Whether it would have burst in flames is unknown, but it certainly was smoking. I cut the power to everything quickly, but the cable modem and one of the loudspeaker units were zapped. Now I turn-OFF everything when I'm not in the sound isolation studio. In fairness to the Kustom loudspeaker folks, I left the Kustom loudspeaker units ON continuously for at least five years--other than a few times when the electric service was not working due to hurricanes, blown transformers, and so forth, which at most were for a few hours, one day, or in the case of hurricane Rita was a few weeks, as I recall . . . ]

I rent the cable modem and the cable company replaced it at no charge with a better unit, so everything is good on the cable modem side; but I have not replaced the zapped loudspeaker unit, yet (but I have a replacement unit that I will install when I'm not so lazy) . . .

I mention this to explain that at present I am listening only with studio quality headphones (SONY MDR-7506, a personal favorite) . . .

With this in mind, without any doubt or hesitation, I am vastly impressed with the sound of your Dvorak piece--not a little bit impressed, but vastly impressed . . .

As you know, my general perspective on what I call "classical symphonic music" is that the dynamic ranges are nearly absurd, which basically maps to the "ppp" sections being inaudible and the "fff" sections being overwhelmingly and annoyingly loud, where my general solution when listening to such music played in the Lincoln Towncar audiophile quality sound system is to turn-on the compressor-limiter to level everything . . .

When listening in the sound isolation studio with headphones, i have to work the volume level nearly constantly or to record it with Screenflow (Telestream) and then import the audio to Studio One so I can put a dynamics-crushing compressor-limiter on it . . .

I did not need to do this with your MixBus mastered Dvorak piece, which I think is a bit amazing . . .

I can see by the vertical bars in SoundCloud that there is a wide dynamic range, but (a) there is balance and (b) I can hear the softer (not so loud) sections and the loud sections, which here in the sound isolation studio qualifies as an impressive accomplishment for "classical symphonic music" . . . :+1

I am curious to know whether you used any compressor-limiters or other effects plug-ins in MixBus (not in the imported audio tracks, but in MixBus proper) . . .

Based on the Dvorak piece, I think the idea of using MixBus (Harrison) specifically for mastering is intriguing, more so than it was before I listened to the Dvorak piece . . .

I wonder whether there is any advantage to getting the advanced version of MixBus in this respect?

If there is, then I suggest it's something to consider, because this definitely without any doubt is working very well for you . . .

My perspective is that when I can hear the pianississimo and fortississimo sections without needing to adjust the volume levels constantly, this is excellent . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. The idea of using a different DAW application or processor for mastering is not unusual . . .

T-RackS 5 (IK Multimedia) supports this for formal mastering, where you import the master stereo tracks from the DAW application and then do the mastering work separately and independently of the DAW application; but I don't usually do it this way, since for the songs I post to YouTube I am happy with skipping the mastering step, which for me is easier, at least for YouTube music videos . . .

The songs I post to YouTube are not the final mixed and mastered versions--need to save something for paying customers, presuming one actually has paying customers--but so what . . .

The rule here in the sound isolation studio regarding YouTube music video sound is that if it's at least "ballpark" to a few hit songs I use as references, then it's fine with me . . .

Another reason is that going from the mix for what at present is "ballpark" with respect to being the official version is a good bit of additional work, since I reserve a few bits and pieces, as well as enhancements, for the official version of songs, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by michaelmyers1 on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:53 pm
Surf sorry to hear about your lightning strike. Hope everything is back on track for you.

Thanks for listening to the Dvorak piece and for your positive feedback. I've been working to improve my recordings from a sound engineering standpoint. It's a lot to learn!

For this piece, I used Ozone 8 to master, which includes a very transparent dynamics processing module. It's very subtle, however, I can't say that you're hearing only the HMB. That said, it's so subtle that there is very little difference if I bypass the Ozone and listen to the tracks straight up.

I have some other examples I've mastered over the last couple of days as tests for the HMB. I'll post them here for anyone that might be interested to listen.

PS: Paying customers. That's funny!

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:51 am
michaelmyers1 wrotePS: Paying customers. That's funny!


it is funny and at present true . . . :P

THOUGHTS

The first audio product I created was a science fiction radio play ("Extreme Gravity: Volume One") that is based on a science fiction novel I started writing in early-1987 soon after I got a personal computer and discovered that I had no idea what to do with it . . .

[NOTE: This is an excerpt from "Extreme Gravity: Volume One"), which was done on an Apple PowerBook with the music being done with a Fender Stratocaster and an Alesis ION Analog Modeling Synthesizer . . . ]

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[NOTE: These are excerpts from "Extreme Gravity: Volume Two", which was done a few years later, after I got my first drumkit. I had played drums a bit here and there since high school, but I never actually had a drumkit. Instead, when the various musical groups were practicing and everyone took a break, I would experiment with the drummer's drumkit. So I knew how to play drums but didn't; have a drumkt until about 10 years ago. It took me about a year to configure the drumkit, which I did using the laws of mechanical physics, ergonomics, and acoustic physics, which included making custom 22" drumsticks using oak dowels--with the idea being that longer drumsticks map to more efficient motions and less reaching. The cymbals, wood blocks, and cowbells are stacked, which makes it possible to play a set of them in one downward motion . . . :+1 ]

Image

phpBB [video]


phpBB [video]


This was a month or two before I got Windows 1.1 and started learning about Windows programming; so it was a PC running MS-DOS, not Windows . . .

There was a word processing program called "Wordstar", and it was the only thing that appeared to be logical to do with a personal computer . . .

So, I started writing a science fiction novel . . .

At the time, I was doing mainframe programming; so the concept of having a computer at home was totally new, strange as that might be . . .

In the late-1970s I had an Atari computer that I used to play some type of space game, but the PC was the first personal computer that I acknowledged as not being a toy . . .

In the early-2000s, I had an Apple PowerBook--which I got primarily because it was needed to make the newly released iPod work (which I still have, and it continues to work nicely)--but after experimenting with Mac OS X, I realized I could use if for music . . .

So, I got a MOTU 828mkII external digital audio and MIDI interface, and it included a copy of AudioDesk (MOTU), which is the lite version of Digital Performer; and this is what I used to do the science fiction radio play . . .

I also got an Alesis ION Analog Modeling Synthesizer to make "outer space noises" but soon discovered that for some unknown reason all the white keys sounded good with the electric guitar I had composed and played in real-time on the fly as music, where one reason for doing this is that the rules for music are different from the rules for audio books, primary of which is that companies cannot rent music without paying royalties, which is not the case with audio books . . .

After I finished the science fiction radio play and had it manufactured, it became apparent that nobody was interested in it, which was a bit of a disappointment . . .

Not being discouraged by this, I devised a strategy that soon led to selling eight copies . . .

At the time, I was participating in the Apple stock investing board on Raging Bull; and as I recall, Apple stock was selling for $25 a share . . .

I had been following Apple stock and the company in general for quite a while, and I was convinced that Apple was going to release a tablet computer, which nearly everyone at the time thought was a rather goofy prediction of the future . . .

Since it was possible to post links, I had posted some links to songs; and I had the idea that I might be able to sell some copies of my science fiction radio play if I added a bonus . . .

In this instance, the bonus was the promise to use the power of my mind to cause the per share price of Apple stock to increase from $25 to $100, but only if eight copies of my science fiction radio play were purchased . . . :P

I was in one of my odd moods at the time, and in some respects it was more of a joke than a serious offer; but then one of the people sent me an email saying that he purchased eight copies and wanted to know when I was going to increase the price of Apple stock to $100 a share . . .

A deal is a deal; so for the next few months I spent at least 12 hours a day in bed doing directed dreaming, which is the way I use the power of my mind to make things happen . . .

People who are reading this but do not know me might think that I am making this up; but I assure such folks (a) that this actually happened, (b) that I did the required directed dreaming, and (c) that Apple stock increased to $100 a share . . .

Of course, now those $100 shares are worth something around $1,200 a share; but a deal is a deal . . .

So yeah, it's not so easy to find paying customers . . .

Lots of FUN! :+1

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Lawrence on Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:52 am
My subjective opinions about MixBus:

The Good:

It's based on Ardour, which is arguably the most inexpensive "truly" professional level audio daw in existence. I bought it for $1, but you can get it for free if you compile it yourself,

It's mixer (architecturally speaking, MixBus version aside) is one of if not the best out there, having many of the things that are all over many other products feature request lists. It works more like a real recording console than any other daw that I'm aware of. There is really nothing missing there in it function wise. The people who designed it are quite obviously very familiar with studio recording.

MixBus adds Harrisons DSP to Ardour which is not available otherwise. Harrison's DSP is - very - good, the EQ,s comps, saturation. If they released those as VST or AU plugins they'd easily compete with anything out there on the plugin market, but they're not going to do that.

It supports scripting, which is always better than not as users who are inclined can add useful things, and the scripting interface is not terribly difficult and pretty powerful.

The Bad:

There's always a ying and yang with things like this and in this case the focus was on audio recording, editing, routing, mixing, which they nailed, but along the way didn't really keep up with many modern UI workflow methods. There's way too much clicking required in a lot of cases so coming from a modern UI like Studio One it feels slow.

For me it crashes a lot on Windows. It may be more stable on OSX, not sure.

Midi, yes, it's still building that up kinda and it really doesn't yet compare to the usual suspect modern sequencers..

Summary:

MixBus is a good thing for the money, especially if you just use it to drop in audio stems and mix with the Harrison DSP. Short of perhaps using your favorite reverb and delay plugins, you don't really need much of anything else and the "conventional" mixing approach lends more to critical listening, not having 1000 plugins all over the place distracting from that.

I'd personally never use it as a full time production daw though, Ardour's general workflow is a little dated for me and I can't go back there, but the mixer - even without MixBus - is outstanding. Monitoring, routing, soloing, cueing, it works like the real thing.


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