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#653119 - 04/25/21 03:31 PM [Beginners Forum] Greetings from lowly beginner
Registered: 04/25/21
Posts: 2
TomR Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/25/21
Posts: 2
I had Power Tracks Pro back in the 90's, and once I'd learned a few things, it became my go-to notebook and synth sequencer/recorder. This was my first digital music application, and I was pretty well thrilled with it at the time.

The versions I used were back 20 years ago or so, and I'm wondering what I'll have to do to get back in the groove with today's PTP. My latest computer doesn't seem to have audio inputs like my old desktops did, and I've been looking over the threads and seen that an interface may be required, for example.

Also, I thought the features were pretty cool; you could use a mode called piano roll to click, drop and drag notes, and modifying individual notes in duration and other dynamic parameters was easy. You could switch screens and both see and print your tracks in musical notation. It had a built in mixer, and I don't remember how many tracks were available. Some basic effects were available, and as I recall, there was a bundle of instruments and synth sounds included.

I bought a software product at the same time called Virtual Sound Canvas (at least that's what I think it was called), which offered better sounding instruments and more of them. Eventually I switched to a Korg X5DR synth but continued to use it with Power Tracks Pro.

Sorry, this is getting a bit long. Mainly I'm asking if the current product can do all the things my old versions could do, and do it simply as I'm not so hot as a computer guy. Any advice for starting up a hobby project would be deeply appreciated.

Tom

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#653122 - 04/25/21 03:57 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7808
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7808
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
Start here

PowerTracks Pro Forum

Good Luck
_________________________
Dan,
BIAB2021, Dell XPS 8920 Intel Core I7-7700 @ 3.60GHz 16GB RAM
"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

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#653129 - 04/25/21 04:08 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15493
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15493
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Start here

PowerTracks Pro Forum

Good Luck




That is good advice if you want to stay with PTP. However things have really changed in 20 years so I suggest that you also look at Band-in-a-Box and RealBand. RealBand is a huge improvement in PTP IMHO. I am assuming that you are on a PC as Mac computers do not have RealBand.
_________________________
I am not going to any more antique stores. The last one I was at they started bidding on me!

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB and RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software and some hardware.

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#653177 - 04/26/21 02:23 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: UK
Bob Calver Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: UK
I upgraded to BIAB after 12 years with BIAB 2008. The learning curve is quite steep with BIAB, but you will get RealBand and you'll recognise the RealBand GUI as PT on steroids.

The biggest change in both programs is RealTracks which are amazing.

However, if you want to just upgrade to the latest version of PowerTracks things will be quite straightforward. The synth you mention - Roland VSC (virtual sound canvas) is well past its sell by date but you can get its successor the Edirol Hypercanvas in its 64 bit version totally free (by the name of TTS-1) if you download Cakewalk by Bandlab - see Peter Gannon's 'no brainer' post in the BIAB forum)

If you knew PT of old, PT 2021 won't be too much of a leap and it does everything you remember and more. If you still have your old PT - or at least registered it when you bought it - you qualify for the upgrade pricing. PT is absurdly cheap even at the full price for what you get.

as for interfaces you have a wide choice. i use a behringer which is quite cheap but does everything i need perfectly - long winded link below

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-U-PHO...;th=1&psc=1

and if you have any problems the PT Forum is full of friendly people waiting to help. go for it!


Edited by Bob Calver (04/26/21 10:25 AM)

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#653237 - 04/26/21 10:37 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7671
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7671
Yep.... I never used PTP but I can assure you, you are in for a big, pleasant, surprise in what PG has been doing over the past 20 years.
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#653272 - 04/26/21 02:25 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20502
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20502
Loc: Mi., USA
FWIW I have kept using PTP through the years as well as BiaB and RB.

One location we record at, the guy there likes PT since about 2007 or so, and has just kept using it.
The amazing part is his old version just kept working through all the new computers and OS he has bought over the years.
From W98 thru W10.
I am talking to him now about updating it so he can have the new 64 bit version.
I think his last update was PT12 or so smile

It feels so weird when I go over there and sit down in front of his old version.
Things have moved around for more efficient workflow since then, so it seems clunky to me now.

Once he sees the new version and plays with it for half an hour he'll be right back at home with it.
There is lots of new stuff, but the old stuff still works.

As mentioned above, if you really want the easy route to making music quick, BiaB is the way to go.
You can have a band play the song from start to finish using real recorded musicians and get all kinds of variations.
If you go that route, they do throw in Realband, which is basically PTP with the ability to generate these tracks, which means you don't have to actually play everything in (or enter it by hand).
It's a bit more $$ though, but from what I understand they don't have to honor the 30 day moneyback guarantee very often.
It does what it says.

Take a little time and look at the videos for all three products.
Then you'll be a little better prepared to decide.
_________________________
Make your sound your own!
.. I do not work here

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#653346 - 04/27/21 02:37 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: UK
Bob Calver Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: UK
Just a bit of advice. Just about everyone that buys BIAB these days goes for the Ultrapak which includes all the RealTracks and styles (except for Extra Styles discs and other add on packs like the Loops with styles discs.

PG do easy terms to take the sting out of the initial investment. The pro pak is a the basic program but you'll rapidly get frustrated with all the stuff that's missing.

The creative avenues BIAB Ultrapak opens are literally endless and you'll find that RealTracks from genres you'd never think of using can be very useful.

But a simple update to PT2021 might be all you want.

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#653457 - 04/27/21 04:28 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 04/25/21
Posts: 2
TomR Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/25/21
Posts: 2
Thank you, your replies have been both enlightening and encouraging.

I was well satisfied with PTP versions I used, cartoonish as they must be by today's standards. I needed a sequencer, and the sounds were good enough, for the time. The price was right too; I recall I got my first Power Tracks from a bargain bin at a local computer show (remember them?) for around $10.00. Then I bought subsequent versions through PG Music. I think it was possible to mix in live instrument/voice recording, but never got around to trying it. Can it do that?

That's my story and I'm stuck with it. I felt that prior experience would give me a boost in learning the new version. For the price, I'll give it a try.

Thanks again.

Tom

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#653462 - 04/27/21 04:54 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 532
justanoldmuso Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 532
TomR.
i started on ptpro yonks ago in the dinasouer age lol.
before the wheel lol.
as you have already a previous version from pg its only 29 bucks to upgrade. a steal imho for 48 traks.
you can record anything you want useing it. vocs/instruments/midi/ANYTHING. to put things in perspective i once created songs in big studios yonks ago where 24 trak 2 inch recorders were around 60,000 buks if i remember originally. ive forgotten.
only caution i would make is GET A GOOD usb AUDIO INTERFACE.
heres a list of them that pg users have posted that work well with pg products.

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=635707#Post635707

seriously imho ptpro is a steal.
best
oldmuso
ps if you need a pc for cheap that will blow the doors off and last you yonks. lol. and run ptpro like a bunny rabbit on steroids.
stuff ssd's into this type of pc configuration.
https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/hp-z440-workstation-xeon-e5-1620v3-3-5ghz-4-cores-8gb-ddr4-256gb-ssd-nvs-510-2gb-quad-monitor-support-win10-pro-refurbished/14666686
OR if your rich (i'm not) check these custom built for recording studios pc's out. oh to dream lol.
https://pcaudiolabs.com/rok-box-daw-pro-...ASAAEgL7SPD_BwE
once again these are powerhouses. i gotta win the lottery.


Edited by justanoldmuso (04/27/21 05:06 PM)
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#653465 - 04/27/21 05:04 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20502
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20502
Loc: Mi., USA
Originally Posted By: TomR
..
I was well satisfied with PTP versions I used, cartoonish as they must be by today's standards. I needed a sequencer, and the sounds were good enough, for the time. The price was right too; I recall I got my first Power Tracks from a bargain bin at a local computer show (remember them?) for around $10.00. Then I bought subsequent versions through PG Music. I think it was possible to mix in live instrument/voice recording, but never got around to trying it. Can it do that?
..
Thanks again.

Tom



Yes you can use PTP to mix in live instrument/voice recordings
Just note, your 'MIDI' sounds will have changed.
It's really not a big deal, the fixes are there, just depends on how you want to (or can) improve those.
The old (free) Roland VSC synth is no longer available, but many other options exist.

Well worth the cost to dive back in.
_________________________
Make your sound your own!
.. I do not work here

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#653592 - 04/28/21 01:51 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Greetings from lowly beginner [Re: TomR]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7671
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7671
TomR.... Cakewalk Sonar is now totally free.... the big version that used to cost hundreds is free.... Bandlab is giving it away and has been for a number of years now. That's a deal you can not beat.
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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