Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: March 2007

March 1, 2007

Good sweet baby jesus...

by Chris Randall

I just saw Burt Bacharach on "Later w/ Jools Holland" (it's obviously a c. 2005 episode) with Rufus Wainwright, doing "Go Ask Shakespeare" off Burt's "At This Time" album. Now, up front, I don't care for mid-tempo love pap one tiny bit. And I don't care for Rufus Wainwright the other tiny bit. However, I have two questions:

1. Who was the bass player at that gig? I assume it's the same one on the album.

2. What the fuck was up with his tone? It was a large helping of pwncakes covered in awesome sauce. It was completely off the hook, the best live bass sound I've ever heard. The sound on the Jools Holland show is uniformly spectacular to begin with, but this bass sound just grabbed me by the ears and jammed its knee in to my face. Holy shit.

Now, caveat: I've listened to the album version, and it isn't near as huge. Anyone know who that guy is and how he gets that shit? Must... have... now...

March 1, 2007

Some more C4 impressions...

by Chris Randall

Now that I've had a few days with Cubase 4, I'm ready to offer up some considered opinions. In no particular order:

1. They took out Quadrafuzz. ZOMGWTF? And DirectX plugs are gone. This is a minor annoyance, but really, they're DirectX, so who the fuck cares?

2. The new synths pretty much suck ass. Note to Steinberg: go buy a copy of Logic, look at all the included synths, and rip them off. Seriously. The new synths actually suck _more_ than the old synths, IMO. I think someone from Native Instruments consulted on the note priority of the polyphonic ones, because it's just as odd as their stuff. Maybe I'm in the minority, but when I play a four-note chord, I kind of have a hard-on for all four notes playing. Or at least the same three playing consistently.

3. Stability and CPU usage in general is down quite a bit. There are notable exceptions; the amp simulator plugin rocks my CPU to the tune of 30% or more. That's a little bit unnecessary, I think. But in general, it feels firmer.

4. I feel like they reworked the audio engine a bit. I can't honestly give any empirical evidence in this regard, but it sounds _tighter_ to me, and the summing is a little bit less murky. I A/B'd the same project in Nuendo 3 and Cubase 4, and the summed result definitely sounded a bit clearer and tighter in C4. This is purely subjective, of course.

5. I like the preset browser for the VST3 plugs. I also like the new export window, and most of the other bells and whistles that comprise the majority of the upgrade. I still haven't tried the Studio Manager thingy, so I can't speak to that.

In general, I feel that C4 is a step in the right direction. No major problems to report, and it seems happy in Vista.


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