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  • SONOMA WIRE WORKS RIFFWORKS (guitar-centric sequencer/writing tool)

    RIFFWORKS: PROLOGUE

    One of the great things about doing a Pro Review is I really don’t have to have a clue going in about what I’m reviewing. As the whole point is about a real-time discovery process that covers the pros and cons of a product, the only way to simulate a real user’s experience is to have…a real user’s experience.

    So I went to the web site to find out what Riffworks is all about at www.sonomawireworks.com. Normally I wouldn’t quote verbatim, but I couldn’t resist passing this along as it’s going to set the standard by which we evaluate this program:

    “RiffWorks is an inspiration platform...not an editing platform. There are no wave editors and sequencers in RiffWorks, instead the interface inspires people to write songs using a familiar "real-world" interface - it looks like gear! The focus is on playing, not engineering.

    “With RiffWorks, recording musicians can keep their hands on their instrument and minds on their song, rather than on a computer. RiffWorks requires minimal set-up time with no need to continually refer to a manual. Also RiffWorks is the only program available with a feature that lets you set the tempo simply by strumming your guitar.”

    But there are other components as well: “InstantDrummer” sessions that provide backing tracks, although you can also import drum parts through a ReWire-based program. There’s also an online jamming/collaboration/podcasting aspect. Frankly, this all sounds pretty interesting to me. For years, various manufacturers have looked for the “holy grail” for guitar players that would get them involved in computers. Is this the one?

    Let’s find out.

  • Minning Around
    replied
    I've had this program for over a year now and have never been able to get it to work. The meters move when I play but nothing is recorded. I messed around with it for a couple of days and then just moved on. I don't have time to waste on electronic gizmos and I've about had it with the modern world. I think I'll move to Hawaii and just drop out of this ridiculously complicated world. Computers are incredible when they work but I've sort of come to the conclusion that the net result is that life is wasted sittting in a chair. Who needs the frustration?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bensbeenjamin
    replied
    So far, the long and short of this article is that Window's tried it in a niche market but since Mac's are Intel based now it opens up a lot more opportunities for musicians to be more creative w/o having to have a barrier between programs they can and can't use. Back on topic Mac's program is better and more user friendly then the Windows version will probably ever be because it's dependent on certain products to use it with. Considering all that if you are a musician I would highly recommend you buy an Intel based Mac...and I know you PC users are saying but I can buy basically the same computer at a fraction of the cost but when you think about it PC's (Windows) is only going to hold you back since they focus more on the "general" computer users. With that being said save up your cash and buy something that will actually benefit you more in the long run then "saving" money in the short term aspect of it. Thanks Anderton for giving the step by step instructions and figuring out how to work out the "kinks" although I haven't fully checked out what Riffworks capabilities it seems like a great tool for the people without Pro-tools and a Digi board to be able to create music without having to commit to buying all the equipment needed to record. And to you and your's I hope you've had a Merry Christmas!

    Leave a comment:


  • HolySloth
    replied
    ihsoy,

    1. There is no way to copy a layer to another riff. You can duplicate a riff and add to it, but copying layers opens up another can of worms like what if the riffs are different lengths, what if they're at different tempos. I expect we'll do something cool that will make all this work, but for now we like to say you played it once, just play it again You like play the guitar right?



    I've gotten around this by copying the riff, renaming it, and then muting the layers I don't want. Yes, it seems messy, but it works.

    Leave a comment:


  • sgl499
    replied
    I just got this. It won't let me copy layers. Nu'ff said.

    Leave a comment:


  • lakeswimmer
    replied
    hey there! thanks for the attached mp3's. I will download it later cause I am still having problems with my pc now..

    Leave a comment:


  • MWright
    replied
    RiffWorks T4 free guitar recording and online collaboration software now available. Free download:

    http://www.riffworks.com/T4

    Cheers,
    Michelle

    Leave a comment:


  • ShredRex
    replied
    <<Sometimes you have to have some limitations in order to make room for the creativity.>>

    I don't really see Riffworks so much as limited, as optimized to perform a specific function. For capturing ideas, it's really not very limited...it's only when compared to a DAW that you see the limitations, but I never saw Riffworks as competition to a DAW.

    It's like Ableton Live: Some users complain that it doesn't do certain DAW functions. That mystifies me; Ableton Live is a whole other type of software. If you want a DAW, get Pro Tools or Sonar or whatever


    I was back reading over this thread today and caught this.................just wanted to say I can't agree more!

    You get some folks on the Sonoma boards making requests for features and functions they consider to be missing, one guy wants everthing patched right awat (always make me laugh).....but yet RW does what it is advertised to do.....and more. If you want those features and functions go get Pro Tools.....

    RW is an amazing proggy.....limited? No........
    A DAW? No..........

    There ya have it. Work within the parameters you are given.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anderton
    replied
    Thanks Michelle, that's great! Now more people will be able to know what we're talking about

    Leave a comment:


  • MWright
    replied
    I thought some of you following this thread might be interested in checking out the free edition of RiffWorks that we just released:

    [Edited link to current RiffWorks T4 free recording software]
    http://www.sonomawireworks.com/T4

    Michelle (with Sonoma Wire Works)

    Leave a comment:


  • Anderton
    replied
    <<Quick disclaimer - I work for the DrumCore guys>>

    Not to hijack the thread, but I've just starting working with DrumCore in anticipation of doing a review. It's very clever...and the idea of using it as a "development system" for Riffworks backing tracks is pretty cool.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShredRex
    replied
    Originally posted by jjbraunius
    Shred, do you like the sounds you're getting with computer modelling software? I for one cannot find anything that sounds convincing to replace a kranked amp sound. For $150 I got a Sansamp TRI-OD analog pedal/modeler and Hughes and Kettner TUbeman ($300) that sound light years ahead of anything computer generated I've tried, even on outboard modelers. I use PC plugins for the other effects such as delay, reverb, chorus, etc. but for distortion everything comes up short IMO. On clean tones I guess some of these are useful but I still don't like any of the distortion modelers out there.


    Funny you should mention that as well........LOL I found with the guitar port and gear box I was getting decent tones. But nothing that really did it for me.

    Recently I have been running my Behringer GMX 212 into riffworks via the guitarport and adding no other colouring at all. All the effects are also coming form the amp. And for the first time I am getting MY sound into the recordings, what I hear when I sit and play through my amp. Without having to crank the amp and mike it. So for now the modelling software is not even installed on my computer.

    I was trying several modellers, Gear Box, Amplitube, Guitar Rig........but the sound from my amp is better. Once I was able to get my bass tones and drum sounds in Reason all sorted out, I started to get the overall sound I was looking for.

    I guess I stick with Riffworks because I know how to cut and paste my songs together in no time at all. It takes me longer to program the drums and bass than it does to do anything else. At least now I am not constantly tweaking to get a sound I like, and the songs sound more consistent.

    Check out the couple of songs I have on myspace. The song called Last Chance was a modelled guitar sound. The song called Riding on E was the amp direct. Just give you an example of what I am talking about. Although Last Chance has a pretty decent sound, so it may not be the best comparison.

    http://www.myspace.com/shredrex

    Leave a comment:


  • syntropique
    replied
    Hi,

    Yup, I think the RiffWorks and Live comparisons are dead-on. RiffWorks is coming at the use model based on those of us that play guitar.

    Quick disclaimer - I work for the DrumCore guys - but I use the REX player for helping with drum tracks. Then I can just export my loops as Rex and slam '
    em in there (ours and whomevers').

    Now I just need to be able to use the backing tracks Live via my pedalboard ;^).

    --kT

    Leave a comment:


  • jjbraunius
    replied
    Shred, do you like the sounds you're getting with computer modelling software? I for one cannot find anything that sounds convincing to replace a kranked amp sound. For $150 I got a Sansamp TRI-OD analog pedal/modeler and Hughes and Kettner TUbeman ($300) that sound light years ahead of anything computer generated I've tried, even on outboard modelers. I use PC plugins for the other effects such as delay, reverb, chorus, etc. but for distortion everything comes up short IMO. On clean tones I guess some of these are useful but I still don't like any of the distortion modelers out there.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShredRex
    replied
    Originally posted by jjbraunius
    Shred - obviously you haven't tried N-Track and Mackie Tracktion that are in the same ballpark (or less) in price.


    No I have not, in fact I just read about N-Track this morning. There are a ridiculous number of programs available now a days.....hard to keep up on them all. Remember I am still a noob here.

    As I mentioned back in my other post, I was looking at recording software for guitarists. Not so much along the lines of general recording programs. The main benefit behind the packages geared to guitarists was the bundling of hardware and amp modelling, with the recording software.

    N-Track has definately peaked my interest though.....I would never drop Riffworks for it. But it is a very affordable alternative.

    My biggest complaint with Riffworks is fact I cannot encode mp3 directly form the software.

    Leave a comment:

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