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STYLUS
Old 31st January 2003
  #1
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007's Avatar
 

STYLUS

Anyone using this yet? I recently bought it, with much anticipation may I add, but somewhow I feel it's a bit of a letdown. The sounds themselves are nice, though, imo, a tad overcompressed on some loops, but it's the integration within ProTools that I find less than intuitive.

As I rarely use loops in my music (usually will for jingles and deadline work), my incentive to rush out and buy Stylus was the fact that it came packed with tons of kicks and snares, hi-hats and cymbals and numerous percussions.
I was stoked at the idea that I could pull up an RTAS like Stylus, directly in ProTools, and tap out some beats when inspiration strikes (like one would play the ReDrum in Reason). But no.

These drum hits are not keymapped as kits, you have to have a separate Stylus interfaces open on different tracks for each of the sounds that will be used in your drum pattern, so you can't just tap a simple beat in real-time, having 3 different sounds triggered by 3 keys on one midi channel.
It's 1 Stylus for your kick (yes, there are about 40 per bank, different ones all across the kb, but still), 1 for hats, 1 for snare, etc...
What's the point of having 1000 kicks and snares when you can't play them together! Hats-off for all your hard work, Mr. Persing, but seriously, this seems like a big omission.

Of course, then it's one Aux track for each Stylus MIDI track so you can hear the damn thing, resulting in half a dozen tracks just for a medium arrangement of drums. A bit disapointing, no?

Otherwise, yeah, it's a fab program, looking forward to adding Atmosphere to the fun.
Old 1st February 2003
  #2
Gear Head
 

It is such a pity that Spectrasonics felt the need to stupidly treat every sample. They all sound way to over processed thus I now find the thing useless.

I hear the other one is exactly the same. (atmosphere))

Its also a pity that on RTAS the timing is sloppy. More crap PT's stuff to deal with.

i have a theory regarding the super clean toppy sounds on stylus.

imagine in a store when the sale sguy is demoing for someone. The drums will all sound very impressive on their own. Shiny, bright, and punchy for the most part. The buyer is impressed, buys it takes it home tried to fit the sounds in a track.........Problems!

I have even uninstalled the program, now. I did a couple of tracks using only stylus drums and they were awful. sounded nothing like one of my usual productions.

Buyers beware of this product. In a track it simply doesn not fit unless you are in to super clean production which a lot of Americans are.


Far better off with a CD rom.... and a sampler virtual or hardware.
Old 1st February 2003
  #3
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007's Avatar
 

Wow,

and I thought it was just me! The loops sound like they're grasping for air, and those hits, particularily the hi-hats, yuk...
I'll keep Stylus in there for the occasional jingle that needs to be submitted yesterday, but for my own productions, I'm with Robinhood, better spend my money on Kontakt or the forthcoming Mach5 sampler, not feeling bound to someone else's grooves. A good effort that falls short of practical, and now to say that Atmosphere is the same way, oh my, I'll stick with my MS2000...
Old 4th February 2003
  #4
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007's Avatar
 

wow, a whopping 2 people from this forum use Stylus! (lol!)

Nah, I know, it's still quite a new product, I was just hoping to hear more
opinions, perhaps something enlightening about the program that I may have overlooked....
Old 4th February 2003
  #5
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tunesmith's Avatar
 

I actually rather like Stylus.

The tempo maps are great for setting and rocking. I think the loops are useful... although I agree that I wish there was more variety of sonics available.
Old 10th February 2003
  #6
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007's Avatar
 

anyone else have some thoughts on Stylus?
Old 10th February 2003
  #7
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Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by krou
anyone else have some thoughts on Stylus?
I thought it'd been talked about here before, have you tried a search?

I've heard it and had various chats with people about it.

It's just a useful little plug-in as far as I'm concerned. I'll probably buy it at some point. I wouldn't rely on it (or any single drum bank for that matter), I agree with the people who find it a bit 'nichey' and 'manufactured' but i'm not a snob about these things. It's got it's place.
Old 12th February 2003
  #8
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007's Avatar
 

Upon doing a search I indeed came across some prior discussions about Stylus, thanks Renie. In a recent project I had toyed with a few of the Groove Menu loops at 120bpm, made for a nice backbone to a track that contained mostly acoustic drum samples, one that I had started in Reason.
After a few hours I ditched the loop and decided to make my own from the hits provided (Add-Ons menu).

It was quickly apparent that using the single hits sounds better than their looped sum from the actual "loops" folder. The outcome is a more human and less squashed sounding beat, not to mention the rewarding factor of having created the pattern yourself.

On the downside, it did suck to have to draw in the notes on 3 separate tracks (kick, hat, snare) with a corresponding audio track for each, versus tapping away a beat to get a more hands-on feel of the rhythm. I e-mailed Spectrasonics about the issue and they confirmed that it's something (kit-mapping on 1 midi channel) they're working on for a future upgrade. Very cool.

I hope to get Atmosphere in a few weeks, looking forward...
Old 13th February 2003
  #9
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

FWIW,

I have Stylus on my remote rig (PT LE/TiG4 550), and have similar feelings: I also will be using this pgm for quick productions, but feel that the palette is quite narrow in scope - it has some usefulness, but will be dated sounding very soon. I've just started with it (couple of days now) and feel it will pay itself off with making a couple of stock music ditties, but I am also less than impressed with it overall.

YMMV
Old 15th February 2003
  #10
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007's Avatar
 

I just came across another little Stylus nag. If it's user ignorance, please feel free to tell me where I went wrong...

As you have to open separate tracks for you kicks, snare, hats, etc., it would make sense to keep these in mono, if one so chooses, no? When you pull the RTAS menu you can see that Stylus has a Mono or Stereo option, so obviously, for most drum parts I want a mono aux track, but when the Stylus interface appears, the mono track I had just created all of a sudden became a stereo one, just like that.

So here I find myself with a stereo kick, stereo hats, stereo snare....WHY? Sounds horrible to boot!

At first I thought I screwed up when creating the tracks so I started over and sure enough, this keeps happening, WTF? Can I not have a simple mono kick drum track using Stylus?

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

thank you kindly...
Old 16th February 2003
  #11
Quote:
Originally posted by Robinhood
It is such a pity that Spectrasonics felt the need to stupidly treat every sample. They all sound way to over processed thus I now find the thing useless.

i have a theory regarding the super clean toppy sounds on stylus.

imagine in a store when the sale sguy is demoing for someone. The drums will all sound very impressive on their own. Shiny, bright, and punchy for the most part. The buyer is impressed, buys it takes it home tried to fit the sounds in a track.........Problems!
THANK YOU!
I've had this opinion for a long time.
The overall majority of sample CD purchases are made by semi pro or hobbyists. They are most impressed by sample CD's that sound like a finished product.
Spectrasonics are probably the industry leader in sample based products but I find most of their sounds way too produced and over complicated.
I might spring for Atmosphere although I'm slightly chewing my nails. I will confidently avoid Stylus - which I had previously thought might be useful for the odd hi-hat or percussion add on.
Old 18th May 2004
  #12
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remo's Avatar
 

This is slightly OT but can anyone suggest are really good drum sample CD for dance/house production? I'm mainly after single hits, not loops and the drier and less processed the hits are the better. As a reference for the style I'm after, think deep progressive house ala' the Global Underground CD Deep Dish Toronto. Producers like Hipp-e, MAW, Inland Knights, Sultan & Tonedepth.

I'd love to get 1 really good CD that has masses of top quality single drum hits..


thanks,
Guy
Old 18th May 2004
  #13
Gear Head
 
copal's Avatar
 

while i don't find it quite as usefull as i *thought* i would when i bought it, i do use stylus fairly often. i tend to mutilate the loops and layer several of them to get something usefull - and more often than not, i'll end up re-programming a drum layer or two to replace the stylus instance (thereby just using stylus as a starting point).

i've found the individual hits to be not nearly as usefull as i thought i would, considering the weight of the stylus instance itself. however, the other noises (string squeaks, drill sounds, etc.) are a different story.

as far as sample kits go, i would HIGHLY recommend the Sonic Implants Drum Sessions and Drumkit From Hell (in that order). the Sonic Implants samples have some wacked out kits that have definitely added some spice to my stuff...

- copal
Old 18th May 2004
  #14
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007's Avatar
 

wow...haven't seen this thread in ages! lol...

Copal, can you tell me more about Sonic Implants (link), is it standalone or a library of kits you load in sampler, etc.?

I'm intersted in getting Battery with their Synthetic Drums and Studio Drums libraries, but I'm open to other options. Thanks!
Old 18th May 2004
  #15
Gear Head
 
copal's Avatar
 

krou,

i thought this thread looked old :-)

you can find the sonic implants drum series here. it's definitely one of my best purchases, and i would recommend at least giving it a shot. while you may want dry/unprocessed drums, there are a ton of kits included, and some of the processed sets are so tweaked that they sound perfectly at home in a techno/industrial setting.

their Atsia collection has also gotten some pretty good reviews...sounds nice on the demo...nice enough to order later this week, actually...

- copal
Old 18th May 2004
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I've been using all three of the spectrasonics plugins for quite a while...

Stylus....I totally agree that it's over produced. The majority of the loops are a whole piece of music on their own. They're overcompressed and hyped. However there are some really useful percussion loops, electronic effects and hits. I think its a useful tool and definitely worth the price of admission.

Atmosphere...I rarely find a use for it outside ambient mood type stuff. It's interesting. I love the vocal noise sounds. Again its a good source of little bits and bobs for pop.

Trilogy...This is the REALLY useful one. The upright bass sounds fabulous and although there are bass lines that just cant be programmed, it finds its way onto a lot of my stuff.

If you do commercials or pop, have no live room, and or like to work really fast, I think they're a useful collection for little outlay. If you like live sources and do mostly bands or very organic type stuff, check out trilogy if anything at all.

J
Old 18th May 2004
  #17
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

I agree that used with 'everything else' these things can be another useful source of sounds.

I agree with everything levelled at them, they are over produced....but that's cool when you want to add some over-production!
Old 19th May 2004
  #18
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I thought stylus was useful for some stuff I did. The pre-processed thing is a benefit to somebody who is just quickly throwing stuff together such as a music library I did. For legit music production, it's not so cool.
Old 23rd May 2004
  #19
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maks's Avatar
 

hey Remo,
u might want to check this guy out and purchase his sample cd.
Old 23rd May 2004
  #20
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maks's Avatar
 

oh yes the link...duh?
http://www.thomaspenton.com
Old 26th May 2004
  #21
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remo's Avatar
 

anyone who lists "nomad" as one of their character definitions... you gotta wonder lol

thanks for the tip.. look like a good library! just what I was after
Old 3rd July 2004
  #22
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remo's Avatar
 

just a follow up on the Thomas Penton CD.. I got it and its really good. He's a nice guy and he shipped the CD REALLY FAST!! Its got HEAPS of single hits on it... all good usable sounds. So anyone looking for a single hit drum sample CD for Dance production this should be on your list. I've already used it heaps.
Old 3rd July 2004
  #23
What are the loops like?
Old 4th July 2004
  #24
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bigbaby987's Avatar
i use stylus strictly for percussion and secondary drums....period...
Old 4th July 2004
  #25
Esession
 
gfantsaez's Avatar
 

As a writer, I like Stylus a lot. Sometimes it's just to get a groove and idea to write to and then when I do full production, I'll play the Stylus loop for the drummer as an idea to start with but replace with real drums if the budget and the track warrants it.

Stylus is all about processed sounds. When I'm doing something poppy - I usually start with a groove menu in Stylus.

I realy LOVE all the Spectrasonics stuff. Atmosphere is amazing and Trilogy is great as well.

For non-processed drums for programming - I like BFD and Battery.

I also use Mach Five with various CD-ROM libraries such as Impact Drums, Clearmountain, etc etc etc

For non-processed loops that I import as audio and use the time compression tool - I like Mads Michelson, Joey Kramer, Phil Gould - those are good loop CD's without all the schmutz that Stylus has. Though again, sometimes I like the effects...

my two cents...
Old 9th July 2004
  #26
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remo's Avatar
 

the Thomas Penton CD is 97% single hits (one shots). As for the loops, they are all really good but mostly made up of congas and bongos (there are only about 30 loops on the CD). So... don't buy this disc if you want loops. This disc is all about construction kits.
Old 9th July 2004
  #27
Ta mate!
Old 11th July 2004
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

I tried Stylus for inspiration one night for a couple of pop/dance remixes. That was a waste of two hours and $300.

I think Spectrasonics is like a lot of companies that ten years ago would have been selling $99 sample CD's and are now selling $300 plugins of the same samples.
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