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Cubase/Controller Keyboard/Omnisphere
Old 24th February 2018
  #1
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Cubase/Controller Keyboard/Omnisphere

This is one of those help me spend my money threads.

I prefer PC to Mac.

I'm probably going to switch from Studio One to Cubase because my next siege of recording is going to be primarily instrumental and I feel Presonus discriminates against "external hardware" aka synths, workstations, or any device which isn't a soundless controller running VSTis. It basically acts as if these are dinosaurs unfit for their support ... and doesn't even create a proper track for them or allow for seeing program names. Anyway ...

I'm also very attracted to Omnisphere.

And I'd like a 76-key keyboard with a semi-weighted nice feel to it (like the Jupiter 50 for instance). Except unlike the JP50 I'd like some sliders to be able to quickly control volume and knobs to twist for some control of filters, envelopes or what have you.

So ... I'm thinking along the lines of Cubase 9.5, Omnisphere & Keyscape, and possibly a controller keyboard along the lines of a Yamaha XF7 which would undoubtedly also have some usable sounds.

I could open this up to include Win 7 (which I have now and run all day long with zero complaints) vs Win 10 and whether to keep my Mackie Onyx Blackbird interface and Presonus Monitor Station combo vs going for a new solution which will run under Win 10 (Blackbird won't; I love this piece and feel it's been an absolute steal for what I've been able to get done with it).

If someone wants to address those kind of questions too, I'd certainly listen, though first things first, what say ye about the creative potential and the basic interplay of running Cubase 9.5/Omnisphere/and a keyboard like XF7?

Last edited by troggg; 25th February 2018 at 04:37 AM..
Old 25th February 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
I think what you suggest should work fine. I may suggest you take a look at the Roland FA-07 as a controller as well.

I just moved from Sonar to Cubase - I took a look at Studio One, and came to the same conclusion you did - they just don't like hardware. I happen to love hardware - I have several modules, and all work great in Cubase. I know that some people think that setting up the hardware in Cubase is difficult, but I did not find it so. Cubase just provides so many options for Midi and hardware that people think it is complex. I think it is flexible. I also like to use patch names within a DAW, and Cubase is great for this as well. I even made my own patch scripts for all my hardware.

If you do go this route, let me know if you have any questions.

I'm a PC guy as well - I love Windows 10, and would never want to go back to 7.
Old 25th February 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
I think what you suggest should work fine. I may suggest you take a look at the Roland FA-07 as a controller as well.

I just moved from Sonar to Cubase - I took a look at Studio One, and came to the same conclusion you did - they just don't like hardware. I happen to love hardware - I have several modules, and all work great in Cubase. I know that some people think that setting up the hardware in Cubase is difficult, but I did not find it so. Cubase just provides so many options for Midi and hardware that people think it is complex. I think it is flexible. I also like to use patch names within a DAW, and Cubase is great for this as well. I even made my own patch scripts for all my hardware.

If you do go this route, let me know if you have any questions.

I'm a PC guy as well - I love Windows 10, and would never want to go back to 7.
Yeah I'm mystified by the Presonus attitude toward hardware but they won't even talk about it and it aint gonna happen if it aint happened yet. I wasted all sorts of time because S1 forced me to commit to audio long before I knew a part was a keeper or not. Ironically, S1 works like a charm for VSTis and actually has good MIDI timing and will keep running while you try things out. But still light years in the MIDI department from Cubase which I used back when it was SX in the days of yore.

Roland FA-07 I have been looking at. Two things will probably eliminate it: 1) I'd like to have the choice of using a mouse or things like physical sliders and knobs which is why I'm drawn to the Motif XF even though I'm not gaga about the Yamaha sound vs the Roland sound. There are no sliders and few handy knobs on the FA to grab on it though I agree it would appear to offer good value for what's on offer. 2) Roland is like an absentee company; they just don't interact with their customers at all. Yamaha is a clear winner in this area. I had a Jupiter 50 and the company gave it zero love even though it had its strong points. And I guess there's also 3) The path to MIDI nirvana has been blazed between Yamaha and Cubase while it's windy and twisty on the Roland/Cubase front.

I do have some questions.

Which keyboard do you use as a controller and why?

What interface are you running and why?

Is Windows 10 really annoying with making changes to your system via "forced updates" or just really annoying for people too lazy to figure out how to deal with that?

What is going on with that security thing with Intel processors? I ask because I'm due for a complete PC update although it's not something I have to do right away because my present system still gets the job done. I don't necessarily need the ultimate PC since I trust myself to track but not to do final mixes as I know folks who do that infinitely better than me. So I don't need to run 6 zillion plugins although I would like to run Omnisphere smoothly.
Old 25th February 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
1. My controller is the Roland FA-08. It is the only keyboard I actually have, so I guess that is the "why" I use it. I actually set it up using the knobs and everything to control Cubase, but I have since graduated to using a Nektar P1 Panorama as a control surface. Amazing device for very little money.

2. My AI is a Focusrite 18i20 2nd Gen. Again, I really like it. I started with a Tascam, but moved to the Focusrite last year.

3. It depends on what "flavor" of Windows 10 you end up with. The "Pro" version gives far more flexibility in putting off updates. I'm an IT guy by trade, so I actually use the Enterprise edition. Quite honestly though, I've never had an issue with the updates. What I do, however, is prevent Windows from overwriting vendor drivers, which can be done in any version of Windows 10. Win 10 to me is the most stable OS I've ever used.
Old 25th February 2018
  #5
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What do you think of the Nektar P6? Is the keybed kind of questionable compared to Rolands on the level of JP50 and FA-07?

If I go the controller route, P6 seems like it has the most advanced integration with Cubase.

I do like your combo idea with FA-08 and P1. I'm sure that covers a lot of ground for you. Hadn't thought of that! In my case I'd choose FA-07 and P1 which would give me a sweet keybed and plenty of sliders and knobs.

I also am attracted to Korg M3-73 since I remember liking it in stores when it came out and I am a fan of Karma -- it's something I've always wanted to explore.
Old 25th February 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
What do you think of the Nektar P6? Is the keybed kind of questionable compared to Rolands on the level of JP50 and FA-07?

If I go the controller route, P6 seems like it has the most advanced integration with Cubase.

I do like your combo idea with FA-08 and P1. I'm sure that covers a lot of ground for you. Hadn't thought of that! In my case I'd choose FA-07 and P1 which would give me a sweet keybed and plenty of sliders and knobs.

I also am attracted to Korg M3-73 since I remember liking it in stores when it came out and I am a fan of Karma -- it's something I've always wanted to explore.
I can't really comment on the keybed of the P6, as I have never played one. I'm a piano player, so the action is important to me as well. I initially chose the FA series instead of a straight controller, as I wanted to just play sometimes without booting everything up. I just got the P1 a few weeks ago, so I am still in the learning stages with it, but the integration with Cubase is amazing. It controls VSTi and effects as well, right from the encoders. It is much easier to use than attempting to use the FA to control Cubase. I love it.

This is what my setup looks like.
Attached Thumbnails
Cubase/Controller Keyboard/Omnisphere-2018-02-24-14.30.03.jpg  
Old 25th February 2018
  #7
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Once again I applaud your two-is-more-versatile-than-one approach; it really makes perfect sense. Don't know that I can afford it immediately, but I'm already visualizing it.

I noticed that in Spectrasonics videos for Keyscape, all the many players they show have a choice between using a piano action Roland A88 controller or a Novation Launchkey controller. Obviously A88 for weighted action and Novation for fast organy runs ... but its essentially the same two is better than one principle.
Old 26th February 2018
  #8
Gear Nut
Good luck with your decisions! If I can help in any way, let me know.
Old 26th February 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 
Havoc911's Avatar
 

I love Omnisphere. You might consider Zebra from U-He as well.
Old 26th February 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havoc911 View Post
I love Omnisphere. You might consider Zebra from U-He as well.
Can you tell me your setup which enables you to run Omnisphere effortlessly enough that you love it? DAW? Keyboard controller?
Old 27th February 2018
  #11
Gear Head
 
Havoc911's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Can you tell me your setup which enables you to run Omnisphere effortlessly enough that you love it? DAW? Keyboard controller?
I'm currently running an Intel i7-6700 @3.40GHz with 64GB RAM. Omnisphere is still residing on a 7200RPM SATA drive. I'm on Win 10 Home 64bit and I use Cubase Pro 9.5.10 with Dtouch software controlling my touchscreen. My controller currently is an Alesis Q88, although I'm seriously considering the Komplete Kontrol as an upgrade. The Q88 isn't bad. I find it's action is playable enough to use with a piano and get a decent performance, yet it's not so heavy that it's hard to play a fast arpeggio on a synth.

Cheers!
Old 24th November 2018
  #12
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
1. My controller is the Roland FA-08. It is the only keyboard I actually have, so I guess that is the "why" I use it. I actually set it up using the knobs and everything to control Cubase, but I have since graduated to using a Nektar P1 Panorama as a control surface. Amazing device for very little money.

2. My AI is a Focusrite 18i20 2nd Gen. Again, I really like it. I started with a Tascam, but moved to the Focusrite last year.

3. It depends on what "flavor" of Windows 10 you end up with. The "Pro" version gives far more flexibility in putting off updates. I'm an IT guy by trade, so I actually use the Enterprise edition. Quite honestly though, I've never had an issue with the updates. What I do, however, is prevent Windows from overwriting vendor drivers, which can be done in any version of Windows 10. Win 10 to me is the most stable OS I've ever used.
Hi Husker,
This is interesting, I’m thinking of starting and entire new rig and Cubase 10 and the Roland Fa-08 or on my list. I have a few questions if you don’t mind. What exactly can the Roland do as a controller in Cubase? Basic transport controls? Also, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to this synth on YouTube and to me it sounds really smooth but with a nice over body and midrange to the sound. Would you say this is accurate? Also, as a three Oscillator VA synth, it seems to sound very good, to me even better than some of the lastest analogs, for my taste at least. The keybed is quite nice imo. Worth $1800 brand new?

Also, what’s your opinion of the built in sampling and clip launching in Cubase 10? Can you record your own samples and trigger them like Abelton with a basic start and stop like Abelton? I’m researching this now looking at the Groove Agent system. Thanks for any info.
Old 24th November 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Hi Husker,
This is interesting, I’m thinking of starting and entire new rig and Cubase 10 and the Roland Fa-08 or on my list. I have a few questions if you don’t mind. What exactly can the Roland do as a controller in Cubase? Basic transport controls? Also, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to this synth on YouTube and to me it sounds really smooth but with a nice over body and midrange to the sound. Would you say this is accurate? Also, as a three Oscillator VA synth, it seems to sound very good, to me even better than some of the lastest analogs, for my taste at least. The keybed is quite nice imo. Worth $1800 brand new?

Also, what’s your opinion of the built in sampling and clip launching in Cubase 10? Can you record your own samples and trigger them like Abelton with a basic start and stop like Abelton? I’m researching this now looking at the Groove Agent system. Thanks for any info.
Sure. I can't answer any of the questions on Cubase 10, as I haven't migrated to that yet - still on 9.5

The FA can do the "Basics" in Cubase:

Control on FA-06/07/08 Function in DAW
> (play) button Start Playback
o (record) button Start Recording or record-standby tracks
|< button Return the current position to the beginning
<< (rewind) button Rewind
>> (fast forward) button Fast-Forward
[] (stop) button Stop recording or playback
Pad 1-8 Emulate the Mackie Control surface function 1-8 buttons

This article helped me when I was getting it set up:
FA-06 FA-07 FA-08: Using DAW Control Mode – Roland Corporation

I ended up buying a Nektar P1 to control Cubase. I like it far better as a controller than the FA. Just for the simple fact that it has far more functionality.

As for the FA itself - I rarely use the synth, as I have other options. I also purchased an Integra 7, which overlaps all the FA sounds. The FA to me now is really just a Midi controller to me. Quite honestly, I have thought about selling it and just getting an 88 key controller.

The sounds on the FA are great to me, its extremely reliable, and I love the action. I grew up as a piano play, so I can't stand the "synthy" action on so many controllers. Depending on what you want to do, the FA would probably great for you.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Old 24th November 2018
  #14
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
Sure. I can't answer any of the questions on Cubase 10, as I haven't migrated to that yet - still on 9.5

The FA can do the "Basics" in Cubase:

Control on FA-06/07/08 Function in DAW
> (play) button Start Playback
o (record) button Start Recording or record-standby tracks
|< button Return the current position to the beginning
<< (rewind) button Rewind
>> (fast forward) button Fast-Forward
[] (stop) button Stop recording or playback
Pad 1-8 Emulate the Mackie Control surface function 1-8 buttons

This article helped me when I was getting it set up:
FA-06 FA-07 FA-08: Using DAW Control Mode – Roland Corporation

I ended up buying a Nektar P1 to control Cubase. I like it far better as a controller than the FA. Just for the simple fact that it has far more functionality.

As for the FA itself - I rarely use the synth, as I have other options. I also purchased an Integra 7, which overlaps all the FA sounds. The FA to me now is really just a Midi controller to me. Quite honestly, I have thought about selling it and just getting an 88 key controller.

The sounds on the FA are great to me, its extremely reliable, and I love the action. I grew up as a piano play, so I can't stand the "synthy" action on so many controllers. Depending on what you want to do, the FA would probably great for you.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the info. What synths or software are you using to not use the Roland anymore? Seems like you wouldn’t care for the keys on the Nektar compared to the 08! I’m still looking at other options too, along with a controller for Cubase, basic stuff, I’ve considered maybe Maschine for its sampling capabilities and too also control basic functions for Cubase. I’m surprised to hear you don’t use the 08 much, the EP and fantasy like sounds seem unique in that machine. How’s the VA synth engine for making your own patches? Thanks for your input.
Old 24th November 2018
  #15
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Thanks for the info. What synths or software are you using to not use the Roland anymore? Seems like you wouldn’t care for the keys on the Nektar compared to the 08! I’m still looking at other options too, along with a controller for Cubase, basic stuff, I’ve considered maybe Maschine for its sampling capabilities and too also control basic functions for Cubase. I’m surprised to hear you don’t use the 08 much, the EP and fantasy like sounds seem unique in that machine. How’s the VA synth engine for making your own patches? Thanks for your input.
The Nektar I have is the P1, which is a Cubase control surface. It has no keys. I use the FA as my primary Midi controller.

I also have a Maschine (Mikro version) that I like quite a bit as well.

I have yet to find a sound that is in the FA but not the Intgra, so I usually just use the Integra.

I also have a Moog and a Nord A1R as well. For soft synths, I have Komplete 12 CE, all the UHe synths, UVI VV2, as well as the Arturia collection.
Old 24th November 2018
  #16
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
The Nektar I have is the P1, which is a Cubase control surface. It has no keys. I use the FA as my primary Midi controller.

I also have a Maschine (Mikro version) that I like quite a bit as well.

I have yet to find a sound that is in the FA but not the Intgra, so I usually just use the Integra.

I also have a Moog and a Nord A1R as well. For soft synths, I have Komplete 12 CE, all the UHe synths, UVI VV2, as well as the Arturia collection.
Thanks for your feedback I appreciate it.
Old 25th November 2018
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Thanks for your feedback I appreciate it.
Happy to help. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Old 16th June 2019
  #18
Here for the gear
 

CuBase-Win10-Rolands Integra7 (Integration) &GP3

Hello Husker;

You seem to have a great understanding of Cubase. I have a WIN 10 laptop with 4 SSD's in it and Cubase. ( for tons of VST's) In that SKB case I also carry a INTEGRA 7, which I am controlling with the ROLAND protocol of PC's MSB & LSB etc....

What I am excited about is that I understand Cubase does a nice job of seeing the VST software in a way that allows the Integra 7 to work/appear under the “hood” of Cubase. ( As a VST Plug IN)

QUESTION: Was it hard to get the INTEGRA talking to cubase and what was your process.

I also just bought a program called Gig Performer3 that is distributed by Ilio.
It is a very low CPU load usage and manages all the VSTs on the computer. GP3 evidently doesn't talk directly to Rolands Integra7, but I am looking towards the possibility thatit will be able to talk to Cubase & more importantly the INTEGRA housed within cubase.

Do you use gigPerformer3 BTW?

Thanks
KB/ PianistDallas
Old 17th June 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
I use Cubase with Omnisphere and Keyscape with a Studio Logic SL 88 Grand.

It's a brilliant combination, the SL has three sensors per key and a lovely wooden weighted keybed for the white keys, the fake ivory has a lovely warm touch, IIRC Nord put the same keybed in their expensive stage pianos.

I way preferred the SL to the Roland A88.
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