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  • #46
    The final backing track option is a metronome. Click on the attachment to see the metronome window. This is pretty basic: You can choose the sound, the level, and the pan position. And yes -- it will run along with the other backing track options. However, you can't choose a different sound for the downbeat; it's just louder than the other clicks.
    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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    • #47
      We've gone through the major aspects of Riffworks, although we still have a ways to go before we can consider this review to have covered everything. But I must say I'm a bit surprised there hasn't been more interaction from readers. I'd like to think it's because I'm explaining everything so well no one needs to ask questions , but I don't think that's the case. Actually, I think that people might not quite know what to make of this program, and that's probably why Sonoma Wire Works wanted a Pro Review: To explain as much as possible what Riffworks is all about.

      Clearly, this is intended to be a user-friendly environment for guitarists. But like all other attempts to bring the average guitarist into recording with computers, it cannot overcome a basic, fundamental problem: Computers are not a user-friendly environment for guitarists. While a guitar player might look at Riffworks and feel reassured by the familiar transport buttons and effects, if they can't decide what kind of interface to use and how to deal with Riffworks' Audio Setup menu, there's a problem. This is the same problem faced by IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Waves, and all other companies trying to convince guitarists that computers are the way to go.

      Let's face it: To work with an amp, you 1) turn the power on, 2) plug in the guitar, and 3) adjust the knobs. To work with a computer, turning the power on is just the start. Especially with Windows machines, you better know how to install drivers, and you better know to set the system priority for "Background Services" if you're running ASIO. Nor are Mac users immune; many don't realize that the Sounds icon in the system preferences section won't take them where they really need to go, which is the Audio and MIDI setup section under Utilities.

      Then once that's figured out, they have to understand the concept of buffering, samples, and latency...and that's assuming they've gotten past the interface stage of things.

      So programs like Riffworks face a difficult task right out of the box. Furthermore, few (and Riffworks is no exception) include comprehensive, hand-holding instructions for guitar players that delineate the pitfalls of using computers. In the case of Riffworks, although the documentation is excellent at getting you started quickly, it doesn't provide the kind of computer background that the beginning guitar player needs. Nor does it provide an overview of Riffworks' philosophy, which I think would be helpful to those trying to wrap their heads around the program.
      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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      • #48
        Okay, I do know about computers...and I have a wonderful studio with pro level programs. And I use a lot of them! I can work my way around Sonar, Acid, Pro Tools, Live, Cubase, Vegas, Samplitude, Digital Performer, and many others. So do I need Riffworks? No.

        But do I like Riffworks? Yes. It's just plain fun, and doesn't take anywhere near the amount of setup time and fussing around as other hosts. Turn up the guitar, choose an effect, click record, and you're creating a riff...with a backing track, then combining those riffs into songs. As an idea generator (or capturer), Riffworks is like taking a vacation from complicated programs.

        Honestly, Riffworks is not at all what I expected. I thought it was going to be a toy, but features like ReWire, REX file players, and cool effects work take it out of the toy range. I thought it was a lot about online collaboration, but while I admittedly haven't explored that yet, I feel Riffworks justifies its existence all by itself.

        So will I use it once the Pro Review is over? Actually, I think I will. It takes me back to the days of just punching record on my 4-track, playing some guitar, then deciding I wanted to take it further. I doubt that I'll develop full-fledged songs on it, but certainly, if I come up with something I like, I can mix it down and import it into my favorite "major league" host. But there is a lot more to it, like the Riffcast component, so my assessment may be premature. I sure wish some Riffworks owners would chime in as to what they think of the program...after all, this is a Pro Review!

        Anyway, I'll be swamped shooting videos at AES for the next several days, so I won't have much time to play with Riffworks, although I will be checking this thread. Any Riffworks owners out there? Let us know what you think.
        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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        • #49
          Mr Anderton (Reminds me of the Matrix for some reason) I'm Rich and I am an avid Riffworks user. Having Riffworks from the inception with a Line 6 Guitarport. I have also upgraded to the Standard edition and now use a Toneport. I have written many full songs with this program and do as you have stated by Editing my work with Adobe Audition 1.5 and 2.0.

          I must say that Riffworks is an ideal no fuss program designed especially for guitarists. I own many different programs Adobe Audition 1.5 and 2.0, Propellarhead Reason, Ableton Live, Acid Pro 6, and a few others. As far as simplicity Riffworks wins hands down. Also the ability to synch drums is by far way easier than any midi application and most of the drum packages sound as real as can be.

          The simplicity though is the best part. I can watch tv and play my guitar and find a riff I like and before I lose it. I just plug in and go. It is truely plug and play. Fire up the program plug the guitar in and hit the record button. That simple. It also has great quality and as you have stated excellent effects. And yes it does bring the fun into playing. Also It makes me personally want to play more because it's not a hassle to get set up to record. So my playing has improved alot and fast.

          So if anyone is interested in the program I strongly rate this a 9 out 0f 10 and the only reason for the 9 is because I like to use Adobe Audition to Master my songs. If I wasn't into editing now and just laying something down you can get an excellent mix with it and I would then give it a 10 out of 10. Granted I'm a novice musician. Still learning how to record and master. However with that in mind I have some really good songs that I've recorded and totally have enjoyed the final product. Cheers to Sonoma Wire Works

          My Music
          http://www.soundclick.com/strychninekid
          Not all my stuff is here. Also would love to chat it up about this some more

          With Respect

          Rich Konkler

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          • #50
            Craig, I also D/loaded a version of Riffworks 2 (given by the company as a promo) and same problem with the password. It took quite a while (3 days) to get a response from them to change the password.

            As this was a freebie - no problem for me, but imagine it being an important session, that could be quite annoying.

            Another big gripe I have with the program so far is the way it handles the drum samples. First off you pay for these loops so they should be available as some more standard format, say acidized files that can be ported in other software. Also unless you get a proprietary drum loop you can't bring yours in and set the song to that. If you can - I haven't found a way to do it properly yet. In my case - I have a drum machine and several Acid drum libraries so it is redundant to spend extra cash on plain drum loops.

            On an up note - the Matt Sorum drum loops are actually quite good.

            One more problem I encountered was loading the community sessions where you collaborate through the user forums. The software crashed on me several times while loading them. They eventually loaded but something seems buggy in that part of the module.
            ========================

            http://www.descentintomadness.com

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            • #51
              <<Also unless you get a proprietary drum loop you can't bring yours in and set the song to that. If you can - I haven't found a way to do it properly yet. In my case - I have a drum machine and several Acid drum libraries so it is redundant to spend extra cash on plain drum loops.>>

              I hear you, but there are two ways to get in drum parts: ReWire and a REX file player. I think the best solution for people like you or me (I also have a lot of acidized files) would be to add an Acidized file player module. In any event, part of the deal with Riffworks is that the drum loops have to be able to stretch, but as to why they chose REX over Acidized files for a format is something they would need to answer.

              Just for kicks, I tried taking a WAV file and changing the suffix to RX2 just to see if Riffworks would load it, but I couldn't fool it.
              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #52
                I know they did have some server problems as of late but seem to have them squared away. That could be part of the Rifflink problems you incurred.

                I agree it would be nice to have an acidized reader Or loop player as well. I use Reason thru Rewire when not using Instant Drummer and for me it works well. However the whole concept of this program for me is to keep it simple. But those would enhance the application for sure.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Craig:
                  RE: ReWire
                  You asked if we can handle 4 ReWire devices simultaneously. RiffWorks can handle it, the question is, can your computer. You'll be running 5 audio applications and they all need memory, so how much RAM you have will be critical. The minimum requirements for RiffWorks say 512MB, but you need to add the minimum for the other apps you'll be running to that. So I'd start with a 1GB min and probably more like 2GB if you want to run 4 simultaneously.

                  Each Riff remembers it's loop start position for each ReWire device. ReWire doesn't have any way for RiffWorks to tell Reason what song to load (we wanted to do that) but as you mentioned that could cause some load time while you're playing which would be bad.

                  jjbraunius:
                  RE: support
                  You mentioned we took 3 days to get back to you with your forgotten password. First, we are working on getting white-listed with all the major email providers. Your replacement password email probably went into your spam filter. Second, we try when we can, but we don't have the staff to be here 7 days a week. We don't charge a production tool price and we don't expect people to approach an "important session" expecting to have instant support. We do try to support people as quickly and accurately as humanly possible.
                  RE: loop formats
                  There are lots of loop formats. We chose to support REX. At the time, the Acid-WAV format was not an open standard, since then Sony has made it more available. We are considering adding support for that in the future. Our drum content partners have loop libraries available in many formats including REX. You can purchase their big libraries ($$$) with the same content so you can use them with other applications, or you can purchase InstantDrummer sessions for $10 each that work with RiffWorks.
                  RE: collaboration
                  RiffLink is in beta. It says that everywhere. There are still RiffLink bugs in both the application and on the server. But people are still having a lot of fun with it anyway. Sorry it wasn't up when you tried. Our ISP has had some very bad problems with their network and power in the last week or so that caused some RAM in our server to go bad. We have decided to move our servers to a much higher reliability facility (also more expensive) because of these problems. The RAM has been replaced and the server is back up now. The server move will take place this coming week and should be more or less seemless with only a few hours of transition while the DNS entries are propagating.

                  dug

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by dug


                    jjbraunius:
                    RE: support
                    You mentioned we took 3 days to get back to you with your forgotten password. First, we are working on getting white-listed with all the major email providers. Your replacement password email probably went into your spam filter. Second, we try when we can, but we don't have the staff to be here 7 days a week. We don't charge a production tool price and we don't expect people to approach an "important session" expecting to have instant support. We do try to support people as quickly and accurately as humanly possible.
                    RE: loop formats
                    There are lots of loop formats. We chose to support REX. At the time, the Acid-WAV format was not an open standard, since then Sony has made it more available. We are considering adding support for that in the future. Our drum content partners have loop libraries available in many formats including REX. You can purchase their big libraries ($$$) with the same content so you can use them with other applications, or you can purchase InstantDrummer sessions for $10 each that work with RiffWorks.
                    RE: collaboration
                    RiffLink is in beta. It says that everywhere. There are still RiffLink bugs in both the application and on the server. But people are still having a lot of fun with it anyway. Sorry it wasn't up when you tried. Our ISP has had some very bad problems with their network and power in the last week or so that caused some RAM in our server to go bad. We have decided to move our servers to a much higher reliability facility (also more expensive) because of these problems. The RAM has been replaced and the server is back up now. The server move will take place this coming week and should be more or less seemless with only a few hours of transition while the DNS entries are propagating.

                    dug


                    dug - I can just settle for plain old audio .wav file import, acidised or not as long as there is a way to lock the tempo once the wav file is imported.

                    Another point I didn't make is that RW doesn't have an alternative authentication method - say call a landline and get unlock code. Some music makers prefer to keep their machines away from the net.
                    ========================

                    http://www.descentintomadness.com

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by jjbraunius


                      dug - I can just settle for plain old audio .wav file import, acidised or not as long as there is a way to lock the tempo once the wav file is imported.

                      Another point I didn't make is that RW doesn't have an alternative authentication method - say call a landline and get unlock code. Some music makers prefer to keep their machines away from the net.


                      Importing any type of files opens up a whole slew of features in order to make it really right, which is why we haven't done it yet. Be assured it is on the list.

                      There is a way you can activate a machine that isn't on the internet. You have to have another different machine on the internet, and a way to copy a file from that machine to the one you want to run RiffWorks on, like a USB thumb drive or burning a CD or even a floppy drive if you still have one of those.
                      1. Run RW on the machine NOT on the internet. A browser will come up with an URL in it (which won't actually load since you're not on the internet.) Write down that URL, or copy the link on to a thumb drive.
                      2. Go to a machine with internet access. Enter the URL in a browser. This will download a file called riffworks.swwact.
                      3. Copy that file to the machine not on the internet and double click it. RiffWorks will install it and be activated.

                      So far, we have had 3 total requests for this ability, so it's not really a popular request, but we took care of it anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I've used riffworks for about a year. It's flexible, the sounds you get out of it are great & for the money it's a real bargain. Plus for IT ludites it's a great introduction to guitar technology.

                        Regarding the quality, I've got 12 tracks uploaded that can give you some idea of the versatility of what you can do. (all linked in my sig)

                        As mentioned by other respondants it's great for getting an inspired moment immediately down. You can change anything you like later. I have a huge file on RW just for ideas.

                        There are drawbacks with it if you want to use it proffessionally but the new version 2 has gone some way to resolving them by focusing on the production end & being more flexible with mixing. I'm still finding great things with the programme 12 months on.

                        Nagging problems - It doesn't handle change in tempo well, due to the bit by bit recording method. There are a coupel of effects such as wah & volume which can only be done if you have 3 hands. Lastly I'd like to see a method of colaborating & importing with other people made easy into the software.

                        All in all 9/10.
                        HAVOC51 website * HAVOC51 soundclick * HAVOC51 Myspace

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                        • #57
                          Riffworks made it possible for a recording dummy like me to crank out CD quality stuff, nuff said. I was able to record my first song in less than 24 hours!! Mind you over time I am getting better, learning how great it is to have Reason and Riffworks together, and incorporating other programs to sweeten the final product.

                          But make no mistake, Riffworks is a winner. Super easy to learn, and use......very flexible as well. You will be amazed what you can do with it.

                          Check my stuff out here http://www.myspace.com/shredrex all done using Riffworks and Reason.

                          In addition the Sonoma forums are a super resource, Dave, Dug, Randy & Michelle are always there to help out..........plus there is a super collection of community members.

                          ROCK ON SONOMA!!!
                          Not everyone believes what I believe, my beliefs do not require them to.
                          ShredRex Music
                          My Riffworld Page
                          My YouTube Channel

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by ShredRex
                            Riffworks made it possible for a recording dummy like me to crank out CD quality stuff, nuff said. I was able to record my first song in less than 24 hours!! Mind you over time I am getting better, learning how great it is to have Reason and Riffworks together, and incorporating other programs to sweeten the final product.

                            But make no mistake, Riffworks is a winner. Super easy to learn, and use......very flexible as well. You will be amazed what you can do with it.

                            Check my stuff out here http://www.myspace.com/shredrex all done using Riffworks and Reason.

                            In addition the Sonoma forums are a super resource, Dave, Dug, Randy & Michelle are always there to help out..........plus there is a super collection of community members.

                            ROCK ON SONOMA!!!


                            What other recording "dummy" software have you tried to make the comparison? I don't see how Acid Music Studio, Magix Musicmaker, Apple Garageband, Acoustica Mixcraft, N-Track, Mackie Tracktion and even some freeware apps as Reaper are much harder to learn.

                            Just an observation - I was a total noob once upon a time and got hooked on Acid as my first audio DAW. In comparison Acid is so much simpler to bring in drums, bass and just record your own track on top of that. It is just a matter of hitting the record button.

                            Riffworks in comparison is much complex for a starter as far as I am concerned. Actually even after being an audio pro it took me a while to make ends and tails of it, actually because of the oversimplification and totaly unorthodox design. What I mean by this is that there's no other app like it on the market, which is either a good or a bad thing, depends which way you look. I've grown accustomed to recording apps having similar look and feel so for me that was a hindrance. To be fair - in one hour I was recording with it, no prob.!
                            ========================

                            http://www.descentintomadness.com

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                            • #59
                              Granted I am not seasoned pro like yourself, I have very limited exposure to recording on my pc. The few programs I have used did not make the experience very entertaining. I made the mistake of going to a local music store and shopping for recording software without doing any real research. The guy I know there hooked me up with what he described as idiot proof recording software called Guitar Tracks Pro 3. He told me for a guitar player just getting into home recording it was the best thing going. Man was I disappointed!!! I also dabbled with Sonar Home Studio and Music Creator. And if that was supposed to be easy to use, entry level recording software then I can go without. Plus I did not find the quality of recording was any better using GTP compared to RW.

                              I can admit I am not the most patient person ever.....but I found GTP to be very cumbersome to use, and the interface not very user friendly, and don't get me started on Amplitube. SHS was in essence not much better......MC just didn't work at all for me. I have also messed with Fruity Loops, Reaper, Audacity and Audition too in various capacities.

                              But from a guitarist's perspective (which is the key here right) I found RW to be the perfect solution. The interface is what I liked most, yes maybe oversimplified and unorthodox, (maybe a good thing in all actuality) but effective. I find the integration and support for rewire devices very handy and a definite plus. The instant drummer is easy as pie to configure, and if you use any of the Line 6 hardware and Gear Box, there are plenty of ready to use presets for everything from guitar to bass to vocals.

                              * I should mention I use the GuitarPort to record with RW, I am a big fan of the GP!!!

                              Did I mention I love the combination of Reason & RW, I could not be happier. But to each their own......what works for me may not work for you. I had no problem getting a great guitar sound out of RW, with software like Gear Box, or using plugins (GR2)...or by running my amp directly into the software. The quality of recording is great, with minimal effort.

                              Basically I cut and paste a few riffs together, mix to riff....export to wav. Most of my recordings are simple 3-6 guitar layers, one bass layer, instant drummer sessions....or bass and drums in Reason. I get good mixes and basic editing in RW, but still run the wav through Audition for mastering and subsequent conversion to MP3.

                              But honestly it all starts recording the guitar parts in RW.....I often sit and practice/play with RW open ready to capture anything I may play that I want to keep and build upon later.
                              Not everyone believes what I believe, my beliefs do not require them to.
                              ShredRex Music
                              My Riffworld Page
                              My YouTube Channel

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                              • #60
                                Thanks for the review and the comments so far...it has been interesting reading.

                                I've got the Line6 version of Riffworks, using it with my XTL via USB.

                                So far, I'm just using the demo mode, because I'm trying to figure out a couple of things before purchasing.

                                1. Is there any way to copy a take from one riff into another?
                                I've had a couple of occasions where I have been noodling around doing recordings, and thought, "Wow, that would sound pretty cool on top of this other section!" but then can't copy or layer various riffs after recording?

                                2. As noted, part of what makes the product so cool are the Instant Drummer modules, and the ability to tweak them on the fly. What is the general user consensus of the add-on drummers?

                                Basically, I enjoy being able to get a nice sounding drum track with minimal tweaking and just start jamming along, but I'm concerned that the programs simplicity might just be holding it back from being a real killer app!

                                Thanks,
                                mike

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