The more I get into my music, the more I realize I needed to broaden my ‘sound base’ either via new synthesizer modules for FL Studio or sample libraries for a more ‘ready to use’ kind of thing.
Synths allow the most flexibility because they can create practically any sound you want and the sound’s duration doesn’t change based on pitch (well, technically it can). The drawback is… well, learning how to work the damned things. If you’re not willing or able to learn every facet of every knob, you’re stuck with presets that can often cost a good penny. At least with presets, it’s easy to modify the sound a little rather than starting from scratch.
With samples, you have a ton of ‘ready to use sounds’ that are just drop and go. With modern DAWs, you can easily slice and dice them to make interesting patterns and new sounds. The drawbacks are that full libraries are expensive and you don’t know what’s inside them until you buy them, then you might find you just spent $X and only like a handful of the sounds, as well as the fact that a sample may or may not be in the key you need, and slowing / speeding the sample causes audio artifacts (think Alvin & the Chipmunks).
I budgeted some of my money to buy either a new synth or a few packs. I downloaded a demo of Reaktor from Native Instruments because some people had suggested it, and with it came a demo of Guitar Rig 5, something I didn’t need because I already have a guitar effects processor. Wasn’t thrilled with Reaktor from a price perspective, and went to uninstall it but decided to putz around with GR for poops and grins just to see how a PC based effects rack would work.
Literally, a $200 mistake.
I like my Zoom G3 pedal. It has everything I needed and for <$200 I couldn’t pass it up. I like that it has USB out so that I can feed my guitar directly into my computer, which is what I’ve been doing for writing some songs. The problem is that while the sound is awesome when plugged into an amp, it was “meh” at best when run through the computer.
But Guitar Rig? OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!! I spent hours last night just playing with the demo. The sounds were simply amazing, from the death metal crunch to the lightly distorted blues, to twangy country, to jazz clean reverbs, and to the crazy, weird sounds of pitched delays. Give the samples a listen – I was able to get practically the exact same sounds (the difference being my guitar).
Not only that, but it has a loop machine as well as 2 ‘tape’ decks for recording my performances and playing them back against another set of effects or feeding into FL Studio for… well, whatever I want!
Right now, I’ll have to keep using my Zoom G3 to act as the interface between my guitar and the computer. I’ll need to save up money to buy NI’s controller but that’ll be a few more months (unless I can find some logo work to do quickly) so that I can do wah wah and other effects. As long as I put the G3 into ‘tuner’ mode (which acts like a bypass), everything is good.
I wasn’t looking for that, but dammit I found it. And while doing Electronic Dance Music is fun and exciting, I’m really a guitarist at heart and want to focus on music that I can play against.
Now… who needs logo design and would like to send me cash?