is this the worlds most expensive

sequencer

http://site.magix.net/english-uk/home/professional/sequoia-9/?version=deluxe

read it and weep - would i buy it ? - yes if i could afford it -

Dr J

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is this the worlds most expensive, sequencer


Nope. I think SAWStudio has it beat?

SAWStudio (Full Version) $2,500

Would I buy it? No. I can’t have toys that are worth more than my wifes car… :D

D

PS Don’t forget ProTools HD… $$$$$$$

I have been using Samplitude 8 SE, a cousin of of Sequoia, for a couple of months, and am very pleased. If it wasn’t for the price tag (How much is Logic and Protools, anyway), I would get Sequoia. I am very pleased with Samplitude 8 SE, BTW (available somewhere on the Magix website for $49), and so far, effects send envelope drawing on individual tracks (not needed very often) is the only thing I have found it lacking apart from n-Track, and there are ways around that.

Samplitude really shines in its sound quality - this is far beyond anything I have experienced yet! Stability is rock solid, many common tasks are very easy and quick to do (and undo!), and I am actually shelving n-Track in favour of Samplitude 8 SE.

The most expensive sequencer…? How about an IBM Blue Gene cluster machine running Logic Pro…?

:D

regards, Nils

Sequoia is $3000. But PT is more, isn’t it?

Hey Nils,


How steep is the learning curve and have you found many buggies yet ?


Thanks,

Ted

Quote (Ted Roberts @ Oct. 25 2006,19:37)
Hey Nils,


How steep is the learning curve and have you found many buggies yet ?


Thanks,

Ted

Hi Ted.

Having about 6-7 years' experience with n-Track as a basis, I have found the learning curve of Samplitude 8 SE about as flat as a pancake. Once you get used to everything being an object in this prog, you can do everything n-Track does, plus a bit more. The only thing I haven't been able to find is the capability to program volume envelopes for individual Aux sends, but there are ways to be found around that, as I have stated in a previous post.

Samplitude 8 SE even sounds better than n-Track. I know that everybody would tell you that 'Digital is digital, so there's no difference as to how it sounds', but when it comes to summing individual tracks together into a stereo bus, it does matter excactly how these summing calculations are performed by the software. Samplitude 8 SE seems to have found a more 'well-sounding' way of summing individual channels.

Regarding bugs, I haven't found any grave ones yet. Sometimes I would get a hiccup when doing a lot of precise adjustments to volume at large magnification, but it went away when I ticked a 'Optimise for Best ASIO Performance' checkbox in the settings. Once in a while, the volume envelope nodes will leave small artefacts (one pixel or so), but nothing of n-Track magnitude (display not updated, adding envelope node instead of moving existing ones etc.).

The volume envelope nodes even displays the timing, and is adjustable to within one sample(!) depending on the timing resolution set in the track window. This gives a tremendous amount of control over the placement of volume envelopes - try adjusting a stereo pair excactly identical in n-Track - that is just not possible.

I think I have had one single crash during the time that I have been using it, and that was from a bad VSTi not allowing more than one instance at any one time, so that fault was entirely mine...

During the last few months, I have really put this program through its paces - tried things I have been shying away from in n-Track for years due to its stability problems, and I am still in the continuing process of phasing out n-Track in favour of Samplitude 8 SE.

regards, Nils

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Samplitude 8 SE even sounds better than n-Track. I know that everybody would tell you that ‘Digital is digital, so there’s no difference as to how it sounds’, but when it comes to summing individual tracks together into a stereo bus, it does matter excactly how these summing calculations are performed by the software. Samplitude 8 SE seems to have found a more ‘well-sounding’ way of summing individual channels.


Unless they’ve found a new way to add, I don’t believe this. I don’t doubt that your results are better in Samplitude. It’s just not the summation.

But 2 plus 2 should always be 4, and I’ll argue with anyone who says otherwise. (OK, I know it’s not that simple, but I do understand the details and the issues.)

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The volume envelope nodes even displays the timing, and is adjustable to within one sample(!) depending on the timing resolution set in the track window. This gives a tremendous amount of control over the placement of volume envelopes - try adjusting a stereo pair excactly identical in n-Track - that is just not possible

Well, you can use a group. So I wouldn’t say it isn’t possible, it’s just less convenient.

Quote (learjeff @ Oct. 23 2006,14:59)
Sequoia is $3000. But PT is more, isn’t it?

yup. and nope. The HARDWARE cost of an HD system does. Not the software.

A Porsche costs more than a Buick and a Buick more than a Chevy Cobalt.

They all drive…just different rides.


right?

god I love Porsches

Nils’ comment is not the first I’ve heard about Samplitude ‘sounding better’. The guy who wrote “How to Make a Demo Quality Recording in your Bedroom” (Peter L. Alexander) says so too. FWIW.

learjeff, I agree with you that addition is addition, but then again, the result depends on what you add together…

The summing algorithm in Samplitude 8 SE has several enhancements over ‘standard’ DAW programs. Firstly, everything is calculated in 32 bit floating point. Now I know that many DAW programs (including n-Track) does that, but nevertheless, not all VST plugins do… Secondly, and here is the big difference IMHO, Samplitude uses linear-phase processing throughout, thus no errors due to accumulated phase unlinearities will destroy the added signals.

For work done in n-Track, I routinely use Samplitude 8 SE for the mastering stage nowadays. It shines no matter what the ‘official’ explanation is…

regards, Nils

Hey Nils
You mentioned about the 32 bit floating point on everything with Samplitude. I thought Ntrack used 32 bit floating point since version 3. Can you give me a better understanding of how Ntrack is different in that area? I looked at Samplitude briefly and thought it was a little to much for me to relearn for what I wanted to accomplish. But I am curious as to how difficult it is to record with one program and master with another. Thanks

I record into an Alesis HD24 and mix with Samplitude. I also like the sound of Samp.

Here’s a Samp(le)

http://music-tom.com/iraq.mp3

Quote (Nils K @ Oct. 27 2006,02:49)
learjeff, I agree with you that addition is addition, but then again, the result depends on what you add together…

The summing algorithm in Samplitude 8 SE has several enhancements over ‘standard’ DAW programs. Firstly, everything is calculated in 32 bit floating point. Now I know that many DAW programs (including n-Track) does that, but nevertheless, not all VST plugins do… Secondly, and here is the big difference IMHO, Samplitude uses linear-phase processing throughout, thus no errors due to accumulated phase unlinearities will destroy the added signals.

For work done in n-Track, I routinely use Samplitude 8 SE for the mastering stage nowadays. It shines no matter what the ‘official’ explanation is…

regards, Nils

VST and DX plugins get 32-bit floating point as input and provide 32-bit floating point as output. All the VST code I’ve seen in the process of doing some VST development is either 32-bit float or 64-bit float, with some cases where developers switch to integer format in order to speed execution, but that’s an extreme case because converting to integer and back to floating point is not the cheapest operation. Furthermore, modern floating instructions are nearly as fast as integer (well, almost half as fast), so there has to be a lot of processing before there’s a benefit. Finally, most complex DSP algorithms require wide value ranges which isn’t provided by integer math. As a result, integer math in plugins is relatively rare: it’s harder and doesn’t usually work as well.

The linear phase stuff relates to the EQ. So, as I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a difference in EQ. It’s the EQ that’s likely to make a big difference, not summing.

Summing is just adding. Faders are just multiplication. There are two wrinkles; you can get more accurate results two ways:

1) Use a single multiply rather than two multiplies to represent the track (or group) and master faders. n-Track does this, and it provides less error. But the error we’re talking about here is insignificant.

2) Use of 64-bit accumulation rather than 32-bit accumulation. n-Track does this. (Not in V3; I think it came in somewhere in V4.)

Really, it’s not the summation, it’s the EQ, plugins, or dithering.

Of course, plugins count too, but you can use any plugins on any DAW so I’m ignoring that part. If someone says Samplitude’s plugins sound better than n-Tracks, well, that’s a reasonable opinion to hold. It’s also a testable proposition since you can use plugins in either DAW. If someone says Samplitude’s summation sounds better than n-Track’s, then either Samplitude is doing something it shouldn’t be doing (to “enhance” the audio somehow – and I doubt it is), or they’re simply imagining the difference. (Or it’s a difference in dithering algorithms, of course.)

Hi Nils :)


Thank You for your quick and thorough response, I really appreciate it.



Ted

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[learjeff] If someone says Samplitude’s plugins sound better than n-Tracks, well, that’s a reasonable opinion to hold.
It’s also a testable proposition since you can use plugins in either DAW. If someone says Samplitude’s summation sounds better than n-Track’s, then either Samplitude is doing something it shouldn’t be doing (to “enhance” the audio somehow – and I doubt it is),


I use the same effect plugins in n-Track as I use in Samplitude (apart from SIR, which I cannot get to work in n_track no matter what I do). Most of them sound better in Samplitude in a way that is simply hard for me to explain - I’ve succeeded with using effect combinations in Samplitude that just sounds harsh, girtty, or muddy in n-Track - using the same effect plugins, same settings, same effects order, same hardware etc.

I just report my findings. Whatever explanations there is, I get from reviews and articles I quote, as I am not smart enough to make up these things myself. One article mentioned the summation algorithm, and compared it to the likes of Logic and Pro Tools, and I guess I just bought it on face value…

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… or they’re simply imagining the difference. (Or it’s a difference in dithering algorithms, of course.)


If this is something I am imagining, so are all my band members… - I’d rather live within a beautiful but plausible illusion than in an ugly reality. BTW, Dither shouldn’t be an issue until the final rendering onto 16 bit.

Then there’s the stability issue. I haven’t had a single crash with Samplitude yet, but n-Track still breaks down on me repeatedly and unexpectedly, even doing standard tasks.

[to Ted] You’re welcome.

regards, Nils

regards, Nils[/quote]
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I use the same effect plugins in n-Track as I use in Samplitude (apart from SIR, which I cannot get to work in n_track no matter what I do). Most of them sound better in Samplitude in a way that is simply hard for me to explain - I’ve succeeded with using effect combinations in Samplitude that just sounds harsh, girtty, or muddy in n-Track - using the same effect plugins, same settings, same effects order, same hardware etc.

I just report my findings. Whatever explanations there is, I get from reviews and articles I quote, as I am not smart enough to make up these things myself. One article mentioned the summation algorithm, and compared it to the likes of Logic and Pro Tools, and I guess I just bought it on face value…


Hi Nils K:
Do you think this is something we should pursue with Flavio in a way to see what he can do to resolve this… I know you use some pretty Hi-Tech Plugins… But I’m somewhat surprised that you are unable to run SIR in your n-Track Editor… and… that it works in other editors that you use in your set-up…

I don’t have SIR installed and set-up to run in any DAWs I use now that I’m at-and-using v5 builds of n-track… Before v5 and when i used SIR I had all the IR Samples that i used on a CD that I loaded and applied to tracks… I did it that way cause I’ve had an issue getting SIR to locate the IR Samples… in the past… Running SIR that way worked great for the set-up I have…

If and when I get back to tracking, I hope I don’t have any issues using SIR… I used to lean on SIR quite a bit… in the past… for reverbs.

Bill…

Nils, are you using EQ in the two DAWs? Or a plugin EQ that’s the same for the two?

BTW, another hypothesis would be that maybe with Samplitude for some reason you just dial up a better mix, due to control layout or something.

I respect your observation, though, and sorry if I sounded snippy. Just trying to figure it out, and I really don’t think it could be summation. There is no phenomenon that is more linear and predictable and less subject to a “better way”.

Correct that dithering doesn’t matter unless you’re dithering. However, incorrect that dithering only comes into play when mixing to 16 bits, at least in theory. When you play back you’re listening in 24 bits. The 32-bit format has more info, and some has to be tossed when converting to 24-bit fixed format for the soundcard. Dithering is appropriate here in theory. In practice, those low bits are so insignificant in 24-bit format that I doubt it matters. Of course, bad dithering settings could cause a worse mixdown (e.g, over-dithering). n-Track has a control whether it dithers by default (when you’re listening). By default this is off (though it probably should be turned on for folks using 16-bit soundcards). Do you have this on or off, and does Samplitude offer a similar control? Is it possible that it dithers on playback?

I just don’t buy the “summation algorithm” argument, because I know the math, and there just isn’t much wiggle room. Especially now that n-Track uses 64-bit summation! Multiply and add is multiply and add. Unless you’re doing something wrong, you get the same result. With one caveat that I won’t go into here, and which fades into insignificance with 64-bit summation.

Learjeff, I use the built-in track EQ both in n-Track and in Samplitude 8 SE, and my observations pertain even if I just keep them flat… - No offense taken by your comment, BTW. :D

What I meant about what you sum was that there may be some difference in the latency paths the signals in the two applications take, and maybe a greater effort is taken as to keep those identical between tracks in Samplitude than in n-Track, although I cannot for the life of me figure out why - shouldn’t this be a matter for the ASIO driver?!?

I checked the dithering settings, too, and no, dithering is off in both apps at 24 bit, so that’s not it…

Bill, when you get back to SIR eventually, do try using the pre-delay feature if you haven’t tried it already - I have just discovered that it makes a world of a difference when using larger reverbs… - it adds just that touch of realism you would want in a ‘real’ space…

leker, regarding recording in one app, and mastering in another, it is really not that difficult to do. Be sure to pre-master (the final mix before applying any mastering) in as good a quality as possible in the recording app - 32 bit float or higher is preferred, even if your soundcard is unable to reproduce it. Then you have the best possible material to work with in your target (mastering) app.

regards, Nils

Hi Nils K:
I really got a lot of mileage out of the SIR IR utility… Then he posted v 1.011… I think that’s where I’m at now… If there is a later version I am not there… But as n-Track v 5.0 settles in I’ll get back to the Impulse Response reverbs… It always worked well for me… And yes… the pre-delay when used on “groups” gives a nice “Taste” to the “End Product”…

Recently, I’ve been playing with “Phasing” and “Stereo Imaging” plugs… as opposed to reverb plugs… for some of the tracks I’ve been playing with…

Bill…