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Notion SLE vs 3

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

Notion SLE vs 3

Postby russcript » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:12 pm

Hi ,
I am looking to buy Notion to use primarily with GPO, so it seems the obvious choice would be the SLE version.
but since the SLE version does not support any other VST Instruments I'm not sure if the full version wouldn't be better because I will occasionally need to use another instrument such as guitar or synth.
has anyone using SLE come up with a viable workaround for this? such as
NotionSLE through ReWire to DAW to VST?
I know its inconvenient but for occasional use it might work?

also are there any others issues to be aware of between these two versions. :?:

any input appreciated, Thanks!
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:59 pm

Re: Notion SLE vs 3

Postby Surfwhammy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:04 pm

russcript wrote:Hi ,
I am looking to buy Notion to use primarily with GPO, so it seems the obvious choice would be the SLE version.
but since the SLE version does not support any other VST Instruments I'm not sure if the full version wouldn't be better because I will occasionally need to use another instrument such as guitar or synth.
has anyone using SLE come up with a viable workaround for this? such as
NotionSLE through ReWire to DAW to VST?
I know its inconvenient but for occasional use it might work?

also are there any others issues to be aware of between these two versions. :?:

any input appreciated, Thanks!

As a bit of background, I had a good bit of formal music training as a child, which included singing in a liturgical boys choir (which is the way I learned to sight-sing classical music, but treble clef only since at the time I was a soprano), but once I started junior high school (now called "middle school") I switched my focus to Rock and Roll, with the general instrument progression being string bass, electric bass guitar, and much later electric guitar, which included focusing on learning songs by ear and using what I later learned is called the "Nashville Number System" where everything is based on simple integer numbers instead of classical music notation and formal music theory, which for the most part was the consequence (a) of there being no sheet music for the songs I liked, (b) of being a teenage mutant, and (c) of realizing the FACT that teenage girls like musicians a lot . . .

The playing by ear and relating to music mathematically and geometrically strategy continued for another half century until earlier this year when I embarked on an project to make sense of Flamenco music, which soon led to discovering the stellar Flamenco song "Bulería" (David Bisbal) and deciding to use it as the conceptual foundation for a quite silly Flamenco song in the new subgenre I created and call "Surrealería™", which uses the traditional 12-beat Bulería rhythm pattern for the verses and choruses but has a 36-beat rhythm pattern for the interlude, during which for the YouTube music video I plan to do a Flamenco Dance and Mime reenactment of The Mayan Story of the Creation of the World™, while wearing ballet tights with an impressive codpiece, pointy-toed slippers, and a Venetian mask while juggling unshucked corn cobs, since I have an odd sense of humor, really . . .

[NOTE: This is the best YouTube music video for "Bulería" (David Bisbal), and his singing is superb! ]


And although I have a fantastic drumkit with a virtual festival of Latin percussion instruments, I soon realized that playing Flamenco rhythms is a bit beyond my current abilities as a drummer, which mostly is a matter of not focusing so much on kick drums, so I did a bit of research and noticed that there are computer-based music composition software systems, which his the way I discovered Notion SLE, since I get a lot of software from IK Multimedia . . .

[NOTE: Probably as the consequence of playing electric bass and guitar for so long, I have outstanding arm and hand dexterity, but I mostly tap my feet in a straight beat or work a motion effect pedal with one foot, so while the Really Bigger Drumkit™ has double kick drums and one of the kick drums has a Duallist Single-Foot Double Pedal (which is mind-bogglingly fast), my strategy for recording was to use the KORG Triton Music Workstation (88-keys) to create a set of tracks for reference tones for tuning the various instruments and to create a pair of synthesized kick drums at a steady beat as "click" tracks, so that no matter what I do with the real kick drums, there always is a steady beat, which works nicely . . . ]

So, I started with Notion SLE, but after working with it for a few hours--without reading the owner's manual, since part of the "playing by ear" thing is that one never reads owner's manuals--and discovering that I already knew enough about music notation to hit the ground running, I started focusing on sound libraries and soon realized that while Miroslav Philharmonic (IK Multimedia) is nice, there are a lot of other sound libraries, some of which are stellar for the types of instruments I need for Rock and Roll, DISCO, Flamenco, Heavy Metal, and so forth and so on, with the result that I decided to upgrade from Notion SLE to Notion 3, which I did . . .

Around the same time, IK Multimedia had one of their "group buy" extravaganzas, where the more people who participate by purchasing one item, the number of free items increases and is applied retroactively, which in this instance mapped to getting nearly all the add-on sound libraries for Xpansion Tank 2 for a total of about $30, since I had $15 or so in what IK Multimedia calls "JAM Points", which then led to upgrading to Sample Tank 2.5 and even more sound libraries on DVDs . . .

And I like the fact that I got the London Symphony Orchestra sound libraries with Notion 3, along with some other stuff . . .

[NOTE: For reference, I use a 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro with 8GB of memory (8x1GB) and approximately 5TB of hard drive storage, running OS X 10.6.4 and Digital Performer 6.2 (MOTU) for the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), and I have a lot of advanced plug-ins for doing a variety of producing stuff, including T-RackS 3 Deluxe (IK Multimedia) which has excellent meters and a lot of high-end compressors, along with some of the advanced plug-ins from Wave Arts and the Melodyne Editor (Celemony), so everything is done on the Mac, which is the best way to do music and video, where it is useful to understand that I started doing Windows software engineering with the first version of Windows and did everything possible to get music stuff working on a Windows machine for quite a while until I discovered the Mac and was quite surprised to learn that stuff literally "just works" on the Mac, in part because Apple does all the primary hardware and operating system stuff with the highest quality components and so forth, which maps to it working together without requiring one to mess with a virtual festival of third-party computer cards, drivers, and other nonsense, none of which works together in any practical way. I use a MOTU 828mkII Firewire audio interface to get real instruments and microphones digitized and fed to the computer, and I also use it to do some of the processing for DIgital Performer, with the result that I can run a virtual festival of heavy plug-ins with at least 50 Digital Performer stereo tracks while simultaneously using Digital Performer as the Rewire controller for Notion 3 when all the Notion 3 instruments are spread across so many sound libraries that it takes a few minutes for all of them to load, yet at present this uses perhaps 15 percent of the 8-core processors on the Mac Pro, which is an excellent reason to get a Mac Pro, although an iMac is fine so long as you do not go completely over the edge with respect to using heavy plug-ins, such as AmpliTube 3 (IK Multimedia) and Panorama 3D (Wave Arts), which are two of my favorites and one of which is more than enough to overload an Apple 20" iMac 2.1-GHz G5, hence the decision to get the Mac Pro . . . ]

So, after discovering that I have known enough about music at least for half a century to do computer-based music composition without having to give it much conscious thought, I have revised by recording strategy to begin with what I call a Notion 3 "basic rhythm section", which can be as simple as a set of reference tones for tuning and a pair of stereo kick drum tracks for establishing a steady beat (my flavor of a "click" track) . . .

Then I either add more instrumentation to the Notion 3 "basic rhythm section" or I switch to recording real instruments in Digital Performer, but after I have recorded the Notion "basic rhythm section" tracks as soundbites in Digital Performer, which I do via controlling Notion 3 with Digital Performer as the Rewire host controller or whatever . . .


The Rewire rules are a bit strange, but if you do a few experiments and are good with computer science stuff, it works and you can develop a procedure which works very nicely . . .

In particular, I am quite fascinated at present with musical embellishments and ornaments that I call "sparkles", which typically are short phrases of notes that happen every once in a while in a song at what appears to be random places, and sparkles serve two primary purposes, one of which is to add texture and the other of which is to capture and focus the listener's attention via what essentially are strange noises . . .

So, regarding your question, I think that whatever works best for you will be fabulous, but my best guess is that pretty soon you will want to get Notion 3, since the full version is where you have the most FUN, so from my perspective it is more a matter of which path makes the most sense in terms of total cost . . .

If costs less to start with Notion SLE and then to upgrade to Notion 3, then that works, but if it costs less simply to start with Notion 3, then this also works, but it is very important to get the boxed version of Notion 3 (which probably is the only version), since you want the sound libraries that come on the DVDs . . .

And for the play by ear folks, the key bits of information are as follows:

(1) There is a tool palette in Notion 3 that has all the music notation stuff, and while all of it might not make sense immediately, you can learn what all the squiggly things do, and you can learn the various durations of notes and what the little flags at the tops or bottoms of the lines of notes indicate . . .

(2) When you put a note on a clef (where a "clef" is the one of the small sets of horizontal lines), you hear the note played by whichever instrument you have assigned to the clef, which is vastly important when you are a play by ear musician, and when you drag a note upward or downward you also hear the note as it changes in pitch, so you literally can play by ear in Notion 3, and this also applies to chords (which simply are a vertical stack of notes), where depending on the location of the mouse cursor when you click, you hear a single note or you hear the full chord, which is very useful . . .

[NOTE: Most of the time, I put a bunch of random notes on a clef and then move them downward or upward until I like the way they sound, except on treble clefs where I can get notes a bit more precise without actually hearing them, since I can sight-sing treble clef stuff, although more as a baritone or tenor, which I only discovered late last year after realizing consciously that my cojones dropped over half a century ago, at which time I no longer actually was a soprano . . . ]

With a sufficiently powerful computer, you have the ability to switch back and forth among the DAW (which is what you will use to record real instruments and singing via microphones) and Notion 3 (which is what you will use for computer-based music composition of instrumentation and orchestration), and this is not a one-way type of activity, because you can do the back-and-forth switching as needed, although there are procedures and rules for how to do the back-and-forth switching, some of which are a bit complex but nevertheless practical and understandable . . .

At present, as best as I have been able to determine, on the Mac there is a 51 instrument limit for Notion 3, but I use a technique based on the way George Martin used 4-track magnetic tape machines when he was recording and producing the Beatles, where I start with one Notion 3 project and then clone it to add more instruments, which I then record in Digital Performer as soundbites, with the result that I can have hundreds and hundreds of Notion 3 instruments, albeit spread across cloned Notion 3 project files, which is similar to the strategy I use in Digital Performer to keep the number of tracks within a reasonable limit, where I "bounce to disk" a group of tracks and then use the resulting soundbite instead of the actual tracks, which is the computer version of the techniques that George Martin and his engineers used with 4-track magnetic tape machines, and it works very nicely, for sure . . .

For sure!

This is a video of the basic rhythm section and melody for the Flamenco song, "Maríta de la Luna y Pablito el Petardo (No Es Tanto Lo Que Es Como Lo Que No Es)" (The Surf Whammys), which is in the Surrealería subgenre that I created specifically for it, and it is a Windows Media Video (WMV, approximately 6.7MB, with a playtime of 3 minutes and 40 seconds), really . . .

[NOTE: This is the first complete Notion 3 basic rhythm section I did, and the instruments mostly are from Miroslav Philharmonik, and I used woodwinds for some of what really should be horns, but I will change it later, which is very easy to do. The electric piano is playing the melody for the lead vocals, which I have not done yet, and I will record some real instruments on top of the Notion 3 instruments, but I got distracted by "Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga) not having any electric guitars, so I switched to doing a parody of it to spank her, since not having electric guitars in a song maps to getting a spanking in my universe, especially on a DISCO song . . . ]

[NOTE: This is the YouTube music video for "Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga), and it has a virtual festival of sparkles . . . ]


And this is the second Notion 3 basic rhythm section for a complete song, which is considerably more elaborate and soon will have real electric guitars, as well as backup harmony vocals by my two pretend singing groups, The Fabulous Cooters and The Amazing Lollipops, which I create by singing into a TC Helicon Voiceworks vocal processor, which you can hear in the "It Don't Add Up" (The Surf Whammys) MP3 song, which is fabulous . . .

[NOTE: This is the MP3 for the most recent version of "I'm Going Goo-Goo Over Ga-Ga" (The Surf Whammys), and all the instruments are done with Notion 3 and a virtual festival of sound libraries . . . ]

And this is "It Don't Add Up" (The Surf Whammys), which is done with real instruments, since it was composed and recorded before I discovered Notion 3 . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix, but I do loudspeaker mixes for the final versions, and for reference there are just two electric guitar parts. The lead guitar sounds like a "Wall of Guitars™", because it is a custom-modded Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster that has two separate and independent output channels that I run through two sets of elaborate stereo external effects pedals (a) that have a lot of heavily cascaded echo units and (b) that create four channels of general lead guitar lunacy. And I compose and play lead guitar solos in real-time on the fly precisely one time, since I prefer to have no immediately conscious idea what I am doing, which from my perspective is the only practical way for one person to be a pretend Rock and Roll band . . . ]

Fabulous! :)
The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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Re: Notion SLE vs 3

Postby jakjamm » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:10 pm

Thanks for the information...

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