First Successful experience playing live with my new PR2008 Virtual Arranger Workstation

Ok folks, I want to share with you that after months working on this topic, I finally have something stable and I had the first real experience playing live with my new PR2008 Virtual Arranger Workstation. and it was awesome.

First of all, let me describe my current setup, and following the guidelines of Frank Rosenthal (from the Virtual Arranger list),  and I will call it : PR2008 Virtual Arranger Workstation: (sounds cool!)

 Hardware:


1. Dell Inspiron 1520.

   2GB ram, 120GB HDD (7200rpm),

   Intel dual core processor (7300).

2. M-AUDIO Fast track pro (USB sound card).

3. M-AUDIO axion 61 as controller


Software


1. Windows XPsp2 (tweaked for audio) (this was really time consuming)


2. OMB 10 as an arranger

 

3. MIDIYoke  (to connect OMB and Reason).

    I spent almost 1 month testing different VSTi instruments, and none of them work stable

   inside OMB, so MIDIYoke is the way to go for stability and flexibility    (and it is free!!)

 

4. (Optional) MIDIOX for real time advanced midi message transformation.

    so I can filter and transform MIDI messages coming from OMB to Reason, and I  can take advanced control ... an example:     in my case I am using it to simulate  the start button for styles (not provided by OMB). (I took a MIDI CC, and transformed in a C10 Chord)

 

5. Reason 4.0. 

 

I am using the NNXT sampler, to play sound fonts, and reason refills (bass, keyboard, piano),

   and to play my own samples coming from my   Roland JV1010 and Korg O5RW (I will sell them soon).

 

 Notes:

 

I am also using the reverb, compressor, mixer and real time midi  Automation provided by reason... so I can control the patches,  reverb,. volume of my bass,  drums, and so on from my controller ...

 

After a lot of time playing with Kontakt,    The final motivation to choose Reason over Kontakt was performance....   I can start my laptop in less than 20 seconds with everything in  memory and consuming less than 20% of the processor .. it is  really awesome and stable.

 

The performance of Reason is as good, that I can use it with the Laptop sound card (sigmatel) and the ASIO4all driver , for non real time Situations such as: listening styles, play sequences ... and so on... 

 

So now I can do a lot of stuff with Reason, OMB and the sequencer when I commute in our Skytrain (subway train in Vancouver, BC).

6. In term of sounds, I am using synergy GM Soundfont for the drum parts of my styles, and works good enough for my contemporary Christian music. Bass and strings are coming from free Reason refills, and for pianos and main instruments, I am using my own samples took with Wavelab from my own Roland JV1010 and Korg 05RW modules. 

For my acoustic piano, After evaluating many options such as: truepianos, a couple of reason refills, the NI grand piano … I can say that in general the performance of the VSTI instrument was not really good for my goals.  So I ended using a couple of free soundfonts coming from internet (see resources). 

So far, everything is going good. I already have my first small set of organized styles per category; most of them were coming from free PSR2000 and PSR9000 styles from the net; because the ones designed for Tyros and other PSR have too much yamaha stuff (xg, megavoices and so on).

After this long technical journey (almost 4 months), finally I started to use my PR2008 arranger at church the last month (I am Catholic), and the results were really good.  I also have to mentioned that I used to play with a Ketron SD1, so I was looking to reach a similar quality of sound

For now , I am trying to keep it simple : 

Just drum and bass parts of the style are activated for now, plus my main instruments and a couple of modules in Reason (reverb, compressor).

 

Next steps:

 

a. take many backups !!! and document the process.

b. sleep and share time with the family ... this was so time consuming...

c. organize the huge amount of styles for my main songs , in my commute time :)

d. customize a bit more Reason remote features from my controller

e. Experiment a bit more with reason toys (NNXT sampler, and effects)

f. Enjoy with all this crazy stuff !!!

I feel that I finally get flexible, mobile, light and Powerful setup that I was looking for. (and I am just starting …) 

I will keep you posted about my progress, but so far I am already sell my Ketron SD1 on ebay.  

Regards,

 

Pedro Rozo


Some Useful Resources from my Personal Reseach:

 
sio4All driver:                            www.asio4all.com

MidiYoke                                   http://www.midiox.com/

OMB                                         http://www.1manband.nl/omb.htm

Reason 4.0                                http://www.propellerheads.se/products/reason/

Dell Inspiron 1520 Web Site

                http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspnnb_152x?c=ca&cs=cadhs1&l=en&s=dhs

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3821              

M-Audio FTP web site                http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackPro-main.html

M-Audio Axiom 61 web site        http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Axiom61-main.html

Tweaking Windows XP for sound            

                                     http://www.audioforums.com/resources/windows-xp-optimization.html

                                    http://www.musicxp.net/tuning_tips.php