The sound of DAW

My last post was about regexps and to my surprise got appreciation from quite some people. I have considered to continue the topic in sequence (so without ‘interruption’ by other topics) but quickly decided against it. I blog whenever I feel like it and because I think its fun, and not because of the attention alone. So today I want to dive into the sound of DAW.

However: you can expect the next part of the regexp tutorial upcoming weekend. I’m going to keep that schedule for tutorials; during the week I can prepare all the parts and snippets and in the weekends (probably not every week) I’m putting it together and will publish it.

Now back to our regular program…

DAW trailers

What ever happened to my beloved DAW trailers ?

When I bought my Casio keyboard, now quite some time ago,I knew up front what model and what type I wanted. The only thing I didn’t know up front was how the keyboard would feel and how it would sound exactly. Of course I have seen many demonstrations and such on YouTube but still; even that doesn’t really give you a good impression of the sound.

So… On to the music store I went and although I know my way around a keyboard somewhat I asked a salesman if he could give me a demonstration so that I could get an idea about the sound which the machine could produce.

I then got to learn the DAW market and quickly noticed that several bigger names used their own software to produce some musical score which could go with their demonstration or trailer. Take Ableton Live for example, why would you want to upgrade from their Intro version to the full Live version?  Well…

I think the musical score with this video is quite cool. Sounds good, gives you a good impression of some of the stuff you can do with Live and I think it may very well appeal to many people.

And yes, although I’m well aware that its probably quite an effort if software companies like Ableton or the Propellerheads would also need to produce some musical scores besides the work they already need to do to get the software developed and introduced in the first place. But still, sometimes I think it can really add up.

Take for example this Reason 4 trailer I came across by accident last year… At the end, a quick remark about the score itself; it was all done by using Thor. I think trailers like these can give newcomers a very good and solid impression of what a specific DAW can do:

And well, I think the Propellerheads still hang onto the idea when taking a look at their promotional videos for Reason 5 (the 5 movies which they released every 24 hours during 1 week). Almost every one of them was accompanied by a very decent soundtrack. Some of that stuff was of pretty high quality indeed. Take for example their video which introduces the Kong drum designer:

While it gives you a nice music score to listen to it also gives you a very good impression as to what you can expect from their drum designer. I really think that combining music with a demonstration like that makes it not only informative but also fun to watch.

Well, but it does look like the good days are somewhat over, although I haven’t searched very extensively I never did manage to find a trailer about Reason 5 (so one which is a bit in the line of the Reason 4 trailer).

(hardware) Synthesizer demos

And now that we’re on the subject, what about some synths themselves ?

When looking at the demo for the Yamaha MM6 (which I’ve shown recently in a blog post) all you basically see is a sales person in disguise (Bert Smorenburg), at least that’s my opinion on the matter. And while he does a good job on giving you an impression of the several things you can do with an MM6 its still more aimed at demonstrating several presets by playing small sound snippets. Personally I’m tempted to say that a regular performance can give you a much better impression of such instruments.

Like, for example, using another favorite of mine; the Roland SH-201:

Simple, to the point and in my opinion not overdoing it.

Synthesizers, hardware or software, are all about music or about music related aspects (take sound design). So I think its only logical, although it maybe hard, to get some music demo’s going as well. In the end I think a good sounding demo can go a long way. It may even make people easier remember a certain product..

Its the final demo I’d like to share in this (rather short) post…  Also something I mentioned in a previous post as well, but ever since I came across this demo (with thanks to Synthtopia) the music stayed with me. Obviously tastes for music can differ per person, but even so I think the way they totally bring the sound “into” the demonstration is pretty nifty:

I even traced back the origins of this music score (in other words; I read the information which comes with this video ), and you can find it on this soundcloud page.

Summing up

Maybe I’m overreacting, I dunno, but when I look at the latest DAWs, take Reason 5 and Cubase 6 for example (I know; Reason isn’t really a DAW), I really wonder if we’ll ever get these kinds of trailers again. I really think a good tune can go a long way, maybe even positively influencing people by giving them a certain feel for the product which might even make them remember it a whole better than while starting off a whole tutorial on all the new features it has and how this might “positively influence your workflow”.

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4 comments

  1. I know nothing about synths i only like synth music. if u want my pick? that fl studio ‘fall silently’.

    Ur evil 😛 i think i might even pick it up, its a good song i think!

  2. me again…

    sorry but u used most of this stuff already. not complaining here itdoes add up I guess.. still; I WANT NEW STUFF 🙂

    or maybe that is probably ur point 🙂

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