My studio’s been half-assembled for the last six months (other things have been taking up my free time). I’ve decided that today I’ll try to get it reassembled and back to the setup I had when I was playing at Different Skies. That lets me use everything together again, gets the Vortex back in business, and lets me get some music recorded again. I have gotten back to the point where MIDI into the laptop works, but a hard disk crash on one of my server disks has caused me to temporarily disconnect the studio machine to get that sorted out again. I do have the Firebox working for MIDI and audio input again, but don’t yet have the Vortex reintegrated.
Surprisingly, I’m finding that more and more I prefer the virtual instruments I have on the laptop to the internal sounds in the SD-1. Those are still good, mind you – I’ve still not got as playable a sax, flute, violin, and cello anywhere else – but the GarageBand pianos feel better than the internal ones, and they sound right. I’ve just started to scratch the surface on Live at this point, and an considering whether I should spring for the Suite upgrade now so I get the free Live 9 upgrade when it comes out.
I’m still working on the portable setup, and actually have played out live with the iPad and my computer speakers (it all fit in the backpack except for the subwoofer, which is pretty good). Interesting new iPad instruments keep coming out and are quite impressive; I am wondering whether a Mini would do as a performance device if I stuck to MIDI; the compacted display is already a little tight for the apps that have on-screen keyboards, and I can’t see that being better. I am starting to see things evolving away from my iPad 1 at this point – Scape won’t run in the background there, and Borderlands flat out says it’s not good on the iPad 1.