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Midi sequencers, anything like Opcode?
Old 20th September 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 
Gazdatronik's Avatar
 

Midi sequencers, anything like Opcode?

I have used a Mac and an Opcode studio 4 midi interface for years, and something finally gave up. Not sure if the Mac serial port in the G3 has passed on or the Studio 4 has kicked the bucket.

What I liked about Opcode Vision was that it was fairly foolproof. It just worked, with zero latency, no matter what, every time. One single click to change instrument control. Stuff like that.

I have since tried a great many trial softwares that are nice and modern that work with my Win10 PC, and while they "work" its obvious to me that the midi support is more of an afterthought, and more emphasis is placed on the VST/workstation/full music production aspect of it all.

Tried others such as Sakiju, SEQ24, and a few open source midi sequencers made by people in Norway, etc.

The one I have had the most luck with is Reaper, which works, kinda, but have many issues with. The looping/overdubbing is weird, The terminology for certain things uses the wrong word for things I am familiar with, and I cant get my metronome clicks unless the "wave out" instead of the dummy soundcard is selected and then I get latency, which I try to reduce by making the buffer smaller, but then the tempo slows to a crawl as the machine struggles to render a few metronome clicks.

I find I am fiddling with stuff more than I am using it, almost as if the program is incomplete and I am having to finish "building it out" to get it to be useful.

Now, my complaint isn't just with Reaper, its the one that worked the very best out of all of them, but still a real teeth puller. Simply getting midi thru requires too many mouse clicks on every channel and wading through preferences for other stuff that has nothing to do with what I need.

I'm familiar with older versions of Reason(2.5 and 3.0) and those look and feel kinda like Vision but has no midi output, and the sequencer is not as indepth, so while its ok, its kind of a jail, plus the computer it is installed on, my multitrack recording rig is from 2002. Ancient, yes, but handles the recording part swimmingly. VST's? Not so much, at least not in great quantities.

I did dig up an old program I had, Midistudio, circa 1993, that I had never used, and it worked almost, except has recording time issues and the loop control is not available in real time.

I have a 8 pin mini din serial cable, to test the old mac with. I will happily buy another Studio 4 if the Old mac turns out to be ok, but long story short, I am open to other ideas for sequencers that'll work on the modern PC so I don't have to depend on 25 year old computers to get my work done.

Thanks all
Old 22nd September 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 
Gazdatronik's Avatar
 

Never mind, I downloaded a trial of cubase 9.5, has a pretty good Vision-like feel. I was able to get a little sample track together with all my hardware synths without any anxiety or latency in just a few minutes.
Old 23rd September 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
When Opcode bit the dust, I moved to MOTU Digital Performer (the 2408 had just come out, which made that decision a no-brainer). There are some things that I still miss from SVP, especially the sequences/sub-sequences single key triggering, but DP has admirably served my needs for the last 20 years. Cubase is similarly mature, but you might kick the tires on DP as well while you're migrating.
Old 24th September 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 
Gazdatronik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
When Opcode bit the dust, I moved to MOTU Digital Performer (the 2408 had just come out, which made that decision a no-brainer). There are some things that I still miss from SVP, especially the sequences/sub-sequences single key triggering, but DP has admirably served my needs for the last 20 years. Cubase is similarly mature, but you might kick the tires on DP as well while you're migrating.
That was my next program to try. Whichever wins may well be whichever is cheaper. I figured that maybe since Cubase has been around as long as Vision maybe, just maybe, the old style code survived.
Old 24th September 2019
  #5
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While new things have been added over the years, the fundamental workflow of Digital Performer, which I found to be very similar to SVP, is still the same. I suspect the same is probably true for Cubase. MIDI is definitely not an afterthought with MOTU - it's still a core part of the workflow and has some of the most advanced MIDI functionality you'll find in the current landscape. In fact, there are some who gripe that it hasn't changed enough to embrace some of the newer conventions, though I think they made some nice additions with DP10. I've never used Cubase, so I can't speak to how much of its early DNA is still present, but I don't think you'll go wrong with either choice.

No matter which one you go with, you're almost certainly going to have an adjustment period that will have moments of severe frustration. I know when I need to work in something other than Performer, I keep trying to hit my standard workflow key commands or figure out how the hell I'm supposed to route something or configure a group. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and try to stay patient when converting.

MOTU isn't cheap, but they do have a discount price for competitive upgrades. If your Studio 4 is the issue, I can definitely recommend the MOTU Midi Timepiece AV as a replacement. I have four of them running my studio and everything's rock solid. You'll have to find one on Ebay or Reverb as they're out of production, but they generally weren't hard to find the last time I was looking. MOTU does still support them with driver updates, but I'm a Mac guy and can't speak to how they behave on Windows.

One final thought... if you're otherwise happy with your G3/Studio 4 rig, it might be better to just look for replacements and stick with what's been working for you for years. There have certainly been many advances made since Opcode went away, but if you haven't been needing them so far, maybe it's better to stay with the system you know.

In any case, best of luck!
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