Ableton Live, Presonus Studio One and Sonar Training
The links above cover the other areas that I can help you with.
I'll help you get started with using Live, Ableton's excellent software package. This programme takes a different approach to music making but is excellent fun and you can get great results very quickly. It lacks some of the niceties of the other major Digital Workstations but has a lot of benefits.
Presonus Studio One
Studio One is produced by Presonus who make Audio Interfaces (amongst other things). It comes in 4 different versions so you can get started at any budget. These are Free, Artist, Producer and Professional. Free has limited instruments and effects and you cannot use VSTs but it gives you a great introduction into how to use DAWs and it's just a few clicks away. You only need to give an email address and then download the software. It's a small download (100Mb) and some content if you need it (which you really do, but it's only another 200Mb). It took a total of 10 minutes and I was recording. Go to Studio One. Also this download allows you to demo the full version for 30 days. This is available for PC or MAC. Windows XP, Vista or 7 and MAC Intel only OS 10.6.8 onwards only.
Also Sonar is Cakewalk's Workstation that is gaining ground with PC users, Sonar X3 is the new version and is including some fantastic new instruments and effects. With some great built in effects and is VST compatible. If you need help getting started give me a call.
If you would like affordable tuition from an experienced Music Tech tutor please give me a call or email me. See the link below.
Giga Studio was a high quality sampler for standalone use or as a VST inside of a DAW such as Cubase (now discontinued). See Tascam's web-site for details.
It is used mainly where multiple samples need to be played simultaneously. Because of the high quality of the samples used it often can be installed on many machines and sometimes using midi to trigger these as sound modules is not accurate enough.
If this is the case it may be better to use a Local Area Network (LAN) and a piece of software to trigger the samples over the network, meaning exceptionally low latency times if the system is set up correctly. It isn't always straightforward but if you want to program orchestral pieces using sample libraries such as the Vienna Symphony library you may have little choice.
I have helped a composer in South London, who has TV credits including music played on Channel 4, set his 5 PC system up using Teleport and a LAN.
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