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Unify in Church/Worship Service


SSquared
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Hi.  Been discussing playing live in worship services with Shane and now bringing it to the forum for more input/discussion.  This is kind of a long post.

I would love to hear how others use Unify and what your live setup is like.

I've been playing on worship teams for close to 30 years. Mostly as keys, but several years of just piano. I've been on my latest team for 9 years and is the first team I've really been able to use my synth background. When I first started, the leader asked if I had a keyboard and wanted me to add synth sounds to the mix.

I still feel new to software. After lugging my equipment back and forth for many years, I finally moved from being strictly hardware and started using software synths five years ago. I needed to take my sound to the next level and for me, that meant software.

My current live setup consists of one keyboard and a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Sometimes I will bring a 2nd keyboard if the set requires it. I really try to keep it to one, though. Simple. Easy. Quick setup and tear down. And I use very light keyboards to help my back. I mainly use a Yamaha MOXF6 and the Native Instruments S61. But once in a while I may bring in something else. I have really been focusing on the S61 because I like its interface and excellent integration with Ableton Live.

Ableton Live has a concept called Instrument Racks which is how you create layers. That's what I have been using for several years but have now been using Unify as my starting point moving forward. I just open Unify standalone now and edit everything from there. Then open Live later when I want to put a set together. I need to convert my Instrument Racks to Unify but that is a big project I am scared to tackle.

My main VSTs are Omnisphere (lots of PluginGuru in my sets) and the Native Instruments pianos. I also use some Diva and the old Windows version of Alchemy.  I do a bunch of layering, tweaking and lots of editing.

We play between 4 or 5 songs and I have anywhere from 8 to 16 sounds. Various pianos, organ, pads, synth stuff. I do quite a bit of live manipulation while playing, but mostly program the mod wheel for what changes I need. I need to start using macro knobs more. I also do some background, typically with pads but sometimes piano and I will do live changes during this as well. Make things warmer or brighter, fade in extra sounds I then bring in/out. Stuff like that. It's a ton of fun and allows me to add an emotional picture with the sounds.

I'll sometimes play arps (we play to a click track so I use our tempo). In fact the very first time I used Unify I had a string/bell for my right hand and an arpeggiated rhythmic bass in my left. It was simple but I always start out basic, practice with something first, and slowly add it to my set. It worked out great and I've continued using Unify more and more ever since.  Unify has been solid so far.

The next thing I really need to work on is integrating in PumpHouse for pulsing sounds. I absolutely love PumpHouse and really need to work that into my sound editing and preparation. I have used some gated on/off sounds in the past, but the curves in PumpHouse make it way more flexible.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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getdunne
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@ssquared I'm so glad you've started this discussion here. I've spoken to a few other church musicians who are already very comfortable with advanced technology, and of course I want Unify to be able to meet all their needs in time, but I really want to hear from musicians across the spectrum of tech-awareness. I'd like Unify to be the ramp to get everyone up to the next level from wherever they are now.


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SSquared
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That sounds great @getdunne.  I actually had written the following while I was writing the first post, but decided to remove it as the post was already too long.  I'm right there with you in wanting to help the community and 100% will support and tell others about Unify.  This isn't 100% exactly what you are saying, but it's a similar question on how to get others "to the next level from wherever they are now."

----------------------------------------

I want to help others learn how to use their equipment and take advantage of all the sounds they have available to them.  I often hear one piano the whole time and when I ask, find out no one knows how to use the keyboard.  I've been trying to figure out how to teach others how to use synth sounds.  When I do, they end up staying with piano as they don't understand how to play other sounds.  Any insight into training/teaching in this area will be helpful.  How do you help someone get over that leap of wanting to play everything like it's a piano?

----------------------------------------

There is already competition in this area with at least two sites selling Mainstage and Ableton Live Templates specifically for worship keyboardists.  Unify is capable of nearly all of what these do and offers a bunch more.  I've actually been trying to figure out how to differentiate Unify from those others.  Maybe promoting patch sharing across Ableton Live, Mainstage, FL, Reaper, etc.  I'm not sure there is any video showing the same Unify patch being carried across multiple DAWs/computers.  I think this is an important feature for keyboardists, though I do get concerned over how easy it is to share a commercial (paid for) sound.  This actually seems to be a growing field in the industry where people are buying pre-made patches for specific songs.  Why not have Unify be that conduit?  I also think MIDIBox is a potential area to point out.  And feel Polybox can be a useful tool in worship as well.

One possibility to help those uncomfortable with tech like MIDI/Program Changes is maybe have an 'arm track' concept.  This may be helpful for all live musicians and is perfect now that a layer can be a Unify instance.  Tap on a layer you want to play and all other layers do not receive MIDI.  You can MIDI learn this option using buttons on a controller and then it becomes really easy to setup your sound changes without having to understand deeper keyboard programming.  This does become a bit trickier once you add a 2nd keyboard, but there are ways to resolve it.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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getdunne
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@ssquared Thanks for these ideas and discussion starters!

Regarding less-experienced church keyboardists playing only piano, there seem to be two separate issues:

  1. Some people just don't know how to operate the instrument(s) they have.
  2. Many have no experience with non-piano keyboard technique, and stick with what they know.

Neither issue is something Unify can solve, but the ultimate answer may be more YouTube videos demonstrating basic techniques. If those are made using Unify, that would be terrific.

Regarding Unify vs. the competition, I would say our big distinguishing points are cross-platform (Mac/PC) support, ease of use, and available patch libraries. I've heard from two people who use and teach MainStage for church, that the need to buy a Mac turns a lot of people off. Ableton Live is extremely powerful, but expensive and a bit intimidating. Unify is relatively cheap and comes with a many useful presets.

Regarding using Unify to play song-specific patches: I very much hope to see people creating both song-specific and general/stylistic libraries for church music in Unify. We haven't made a big deal about it so far, but multiple instances of Unify's built-in Audio File Player can be used to play entire multi-track stems, and MIDIBox can be used at the same time to play MIDI tracks. The forthcoming multi-output feature-pack for Unify will make this more useful and practical, by allowing different layers to be mixed externally to e.g. Front of House, In-Ear Monitors, etc.

Regarding your "arm track" suggestion, I'm still working on how best to bring this to Unify. We have some of the key underlying technology in place already, so it's a question of how best to to present these features in the GUI and for MIDI or OSC remote control. I'm open to any and all ideas.


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SSquared
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@getdunne

Hi.  Yes.  That is exactly right.  Videos will greatly help.  I would like to do YT vids, but I have no idea how to start.  And editing.  Time.  Public speaking.

I would like to offer some of my sounds, but they require things like Kontakt pianos, Omnisphere, and quite often commercial libraries.  One of my favorite pads I use is an Omnisphere factory patch with a slightly edited patch from MegaMagic Violin or maybe it's Viola.

Audio File Player?  I'll need to look into that.  I was going to mention adding one because it's helpful as I download our guide tracks and original recordings when I practice at home.

I have some thoughts on arming tracks, but they are a bit convoluted.  I feel the concept isn't difficult if you have a single keyboard, it's trying to handle multiple keyboards at once where things get tricky.  Let me think about it some more and see if I can bring it all together in my head.  As I've mentioned, I always use MIDI Channels.  Then arm every track and let the keyboard control which track/sound to use based on the keyboard patch's assigned MIDI Channel outputs.  Many DAWs allow you to set a track to a specific keyboard as well.  I'm just not sure that is the approach you want to take with Unify.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Andy1972m
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Hi Guys,

i just stumbled over your lines 😀 Being a worship keyboarder since about 30 years, i ever tried to combine classical sounds like piano with pads, and spheric sounds but also to put synth lead sounds and arpegios into the mix. As a part of one team of 3 teams in our church, i see exactly what you are discribing. Most players of the other teams only use the Piano or E-Piano Sounds, with some a bit "dull" sounding pad patches from the Korg  GrandStage Piano. In my setup, i'm trying to let it sound more alive and diversified. Often asked by the other players how i get this interesting sounds i always say:"know your tools and how to use them".  

I've used a two keyboard setup in the early years. Later i used vsthost and Cantabile 2 performer as plugin host. when I saw the presentation of unify by Skippy, I didn't hesitate to buy it and i've not been disappointed until now. The ability to integrate my plugins into that intuitive environment and combine them with the features, unify's including, brings my sound to the next level. I'm integrating it into my live rig, with the GrandStage and another midi Keyboard both connected to my (Windows 10) Notebook using different midi channels per layer. I'm also using a Korg Nanokontrol 2 programmed to trigger the macro knobs for taking control over the layer's levels and effects. 

I can recommend the usage of unify to all players in church who are asking how to get a great sound and performance in worship music.

I'm  preparing a workshop for my church's keyboarders how to use unify in a setup. So the idea to produce some YT workshops for using unify in church would be a really great thing. My Suggestion would be a beginners level workshop, how creating sounds by using the unify standard plugins and libraries for the common songs. Building on it, the advanced level could be integrating other plugins like Omnisphere, Kontakt or anything else for advanced sounds. I saw a workshop by hillsong music about sound desingn with mainstage for worship.

Regarding the "Arm Track" feature : In Cantabile2 I could program the mute and solo buttons of my nanokontrol2 to trigger the layer's mute / solo functions to switch between different sounds or instruments and switching through different setups with a pedal or an arrow button. In Unify i could imagine the same switching between different unify layers with the solo / mute option for a song and changing the setup for different songs with the "patch change" function assingned to a specific button on the controller. 

I'm looking forward for a good discussion and exchange of ideas, using unify in this thread.

Greetings from Germany

 

 

 

 

Unify, Addictive Keys, Korg M1e, Orchestral, Keyzone, lounge lizard


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SSquared
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@andy1972m Thanks for the post.  Glad to get more discussion going.

Yeah, I was hauling a bunch of equipment every week, back and forth.  It grew tiring.  It's not directly what led me to using software synths, but was part of the journey that eventually has me where I am today.

Posted by: @andy1972m

I can recommend the usage of unify to all players in church who are asking how to get a great sound and performance in worship music.

That's so cool to hear.  After this discussion started, I began to work on a set of sounds for worship using only Unify.  There are already some well-suited sounds available in the base Unify.

Let us know how the workshop went.

 

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Andy1972m
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@ssquared

Posted by: @ssquared

After this discussion started, I began to work on a set of sounds for worship using only Unify.  There are already some well-suited sounds available in the base Unify.

Yes i agree, the Unify internal sounds are a good starting point. The cool thing is, to be able to replace any sound with patches of other plugins if needed. I am also working on some worship patches. Do you now Sunday Sounds ? They are offering Setups and patches for Mainstage with ableton live. In their Youtube channel, they have tutorials for creating patches for different songs from Hillsong, Bethel and more. I think, Unify has now reached maturity, to do the same. I did a patch for "This Amazin grace" based on their suggestions, using PumpHouse, BlueArp, and RipChordplayer combined with macros for filters and layer volume. 

Why not making it possible, to exchange patches or creating libraries for church use, based on unify standard sounds. 

Unify, Addictive Keys, Korg M1e, Orchestral, Keyzone, lounge lizard


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getdunne
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Posted by: @andy1972m

Why not making it possible, to exchange patches or creating libraries for church use, based on unify standard sounds. 

We already have a forum for this. Scroll to top, click on "Forums", and choose Share your Unify patches and presets. Click the blue "Add Topic" button if you want to create a new topic specifically for church sounds.


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SSquared
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@andy1972m

Hi.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten too far since I last wrote.  This is a good reminder, as I actually forgot about it.  I was working on sounds for the UniSCREAM library, then practicing and making sounds for November/December sets.  Yeah, I used to use a lead sound on my Yamaha synth for "This Is Amazing Grace" but now I use a sound on Diva.  I'm trying to remove my reliance on hardware and move all to software so I can mix and match any controller I want and still have all the sounds I need.  Though I really like the Yamaha Motif sounds (I have a Rack-XS and MOXF).  That's great you created something in Unify.

Yes.  I visit Sunday Sounds every so often, but I haven't watched many videos and haven't purchased anything yet.  I also visit "That Worship Sound" which also has similar templates for Ableton/Mainstage.  I recently purchased some of their Omnisphere libraries.  This concept for Ableton/Mainstage is exactly what I'd like to see with Unify.  I agree, I think Unify is fully capable of the same idea.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Lowell
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I also play synth for worship at our church. I use a Surface Book 2, Komplete keyboard S61 Mk2, and a Komplete A25. I also used to use a Surface Pro 3 but it's very old now and I needed something to handle bigger synths better, like Omnisphere. 

Cantabile is awesome for the Windows platform. It too has instrument "racks" and I was building more of those to use, but once I got Unify (on Day 1) I switched to building patches there, of course. Being app-agnostic now I could use these "racks" (patches) anywhere, that was amazing.

I have a glitch that happens in Cantabile though, where when loading Unify instances often the pitch (or arp tempo) is off. So I've had to add a macro on song load in Cantabile that steps to the next patch then back to the previous patch (Cantabile can snapshot patches in an instrument as its own thing). John said he had something similar happen to him before in a live performance. I don't think this is fixed yet, but the workaround is that song load macro.


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Lowell
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Oh, another thing that helped me, especially when using arps, pump house, and other tempo-synced stuff (our church uses click as well) is that whenever I am playing, I control the click. Cantabile has a built-in metronome, and I have assigned two buttons on my Komplete S61, one to start click, one to stop click. So then everything in Unify is tempo-mapped to Cantabile's click, which is what everyone in the team is hearing.


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SSquared
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Posted by: @lowell

I use a Surface Book 2, Komplete keyboard S61 Mk2, and a Komplete A25. I also used to use a Surface Pro 3 but it's very old now and I needed something to handle bigger synths better, like Omnisphere. 

That's GREAT!  Enjoy the SB2.  How do you like the S61 Mk2?  I have been using the S61 exclusively now for months.  It's been working out great for me.

I also upgraded to a new computer at the beginning of the year.  Had a great 5.5 year run with the SP3.  

I have started to embed the BPM directly into my Unify patch and turn off "Follow Host".  Otherwise, if I end a song with a delayed sound, changing the tempo affects that sound as it fades out.  Not only does the delay change, but it can also affect the pitch.  Since you are using Cantabile to control the click, you can still use your method to change BPM, but maybe embedding BPM into your Unify patches will help resolve the issue you are seeing.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Lowell
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@ssquared I do like the MK2; two big screens... I wish they would have included vertical sliders on the keyboard; there's so much space available for them. OTOH, the Korg nanoKontrol 2 is decent.


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daygig
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Hi Unifiers

I'm looking at Unify (complete newbie) - hopefully for use at home and at church, and looking for a bit of clarification to make sure I have a reasonably clear understanding of what's possible.

I'm trying to come up with a response to some surround-sound audio routing concepts that have been bopping around in my head ...(they don't have to work to hard ...small brain!) ...and hoping Unify could be a part of the solution I've spent some time in the manual but haven't seen much info about audio routing. The "Signal-Path.PNG" is helpful but I haven't come across detail yet about assigning a Unify instance to a specific audio out of my DA ...(a StudioLive Series III in my case). Going a bit further, I hope to find the ability to route audio by layer ...if that's a thing.

I suspect that I may be ahead of myself in that I may need to commit to whether I'm running Unify within a DAW (Studio One or Logic in my case) or if I'm running Unify as a stand-alone in a live setup. I think I understand that I'd deal with routing to separate audio outputs within the DAW in that operational config, but am really wondering about the live thing ...where I would presumably be running Unify as it's own boss. If details to audio routing for the purposes I'm trying to refer are out there and anybody could point me to that info, it would be MUCH appreciated.

While I'm at it ...and having read through several of the threads, I get that Unify is geared to soft synths ...(I believe you young fellers refer to them as plug-ins).  I also get that several of you have said that you don't have to schlepp as much gear around anymore, because of the sound/synth power represented in a decent laptop and Unify + plug-ins, but ... I have my old XV-5080 and TG-77 and all those audio outs and voices in a mere 50lb box (uggh). Are people "unifying" old synth patch lists, so that patch/bank change MSB/LSB stuff could become part of what Unify can control?

(Obviously, the externally created audio from those synths would not be processable inside Unify - but I'm assuming that the MIDI processing would be.) Is that right? Is it worth the effort to incorporate them?

Obviously, mixing to mono/stereo for live is the most often encountered setting, but I'm imagining something more immersive for certain things ...and with great respect to church tech team members (I is one!) ...throwing surround audio at them and having it come out as hoped/needed is more faith than is justified ...(a justification joke). I'm hoping that Unify's ability to automate much of the tweaking "ahead of the mixer/PA" would simplify and help achieve the desired results, as well as add to the creative possibilities.

Cheers      (and thanks to Simeon A for making me aware of Unify)


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getdunne
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@daygig

Welcome, and thanks for bringing these questions to our Forum.

Unify does not yet support multiple outputs, but this is on the way as part of a paid feature upgrade later this year, which will also include the ability to use external hardware synths (in stand-alone Unify only).

Are people "unifying" old synth patch lists, so that patch/bank change MSB/LSB stuff could become part of what Unify can control?

This remains experimental at the moment, but Unify already has some support for this "under the hood". Please explain further what capabilities you would like to see, and why, i.e., how you would use them.


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daygig
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Hi @getdunne

thanks for your responses. I look forward to hearing about the "separate audio outs" upgrade you referred to.

Regarding the use of external synths, I would hope to be able to: layer, do kybd and velocity splits, arpeggiate, send midi notes with velocity (for drum/percussion patterns for example) out to V-drum or synth modules ...with many of the settings (and more that I can't think of or aren't aware of yet) stored within the overall "Unify patch". (Forgive me if much of what I've asked for/referred to is already laid out in the manual - still finding my way round in there.) Obviously the "Unify patch" could only do so much of the lifting, as the external MIDI device has to have the physical ability to respond to what it would be being asked to do by Unify. (So a 64 voice external synth wouldn't magically become a 128 voice synth)

...but Unify could sure add the extra audio-goodness of those extra 64 voices (and more) within the overall "Unify patches" I'm imagining.

In a natively multi-timbral synth like the XV-5080 (and many many more), I'd assume that I would create a "performance" patch (with 2 to 16 MIDI ch's assigned for use within the performance ...or else you wouldn't need to be in multitimbral mode and could just use it in single patch mode). I'm pretty sure that Unify could simply send the MIDI patch change to recall the performance (with its already assigned sounds-to-MIDI ch's settings). If I selected a new Unify patch that allows for specific bank select and then program change to be sent (incorporating any tiny bits of delay required to allow the bank select to be responded to and THEN the program change), then it would allow for the external synth to stay on one performance patch, but allow the individual per-MIDI ch patches to be changed as required. This would keep the audio-output, EQ, reverb etc settings of the external synths from changing (...dropping out or otherwise glitching) ...as these settings wouldn't change within the performance patch (unless you sent a "change the performance patch" MIDI mssg from Unify ... on the MIDI ch assigned to receive those mssg's in the external synth.

Again ...total newbie (while being old and with too much old gear!) here. If at some point (like maybe now), the advice is ..."wake up and smell the coffee - it's a new century. Use the new way of doing things" (likely by moving entirely to plug-in world). Then maybe that's what I have to do.

However, in thinking about moving to "live" applications, if I play my RD-2000, then unless we lose power altogether1, I'm going to have a pretty stable arsenal of sounds that are very unlikely to crash or get a USB cable trod on (hello BG vocals). So some combination of (fabulous, amazing) new tech like Unify and similar, used in tandem with "stable hardware" is quite desirable ...in my only-make-it-as-complicated-as-you-need-to mind.

A kick-in-the-pants to move on advice may be required, but if reasonable efforts to incorporate "stuff that's less prone to fail" do seem valid, then that's what I'm asking about. The other consideration is that if I'm off-loading some of the total sound-requirement to create a cool Unify patch to some external hardware, then that leaves more ram, processing power, operational headroom in whatever computer I'm running on.

Typically ...headroom = good. Maybe current laptops are just so good (as I type on my 2012 MacBook Pro), that I'm just unaware of what I'm missing. Thanks again for responding. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by daygig

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getdunne
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@daygig

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I will make notes about your suggestions for MIDI bank/patch changes to be saved in a patch.

I hope to be able to achieve essentially all that you have described in a near-future "deluxe" version of Unify.

As to whether your approach is "old-fashioned", as far as I know, most live performers prefer to use an actual hardware synth/piano/organ as their "MIDI master keyboard", rather than a MIDI-only device, because this will allow them to keep going in the event of a computer or software failure. Most do not try to integrate their MIDI keyboards/modules tightly into their software setup, but this is probably because there has been so little good software support for that. I'd like to see what we can accomplish there.

Have you looked at existing software tools such as Cantabile, Gig Performer, Mainstage, Camelot, etc.? I'd be interested in your thoughts about any limitations you may note in these products.


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daygig
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Hi @getdunne

I've been exposed just a little to Main Stage - but due to work demands simply haven't been able to spend the time required to get proficient with it. Life change has made it possible to pick the manuals on stuff back up and also to become aware of new (to me) cool stuff like Unify. 

Your feedback on using at least some sound-capable hardware as part of a live rig is encouraging, and what I hoped to hear. 

The work you folks have done on Unify so far is incredible. The programming chops on code AND on sound creation really have you guys well positioned and its exciting to think what may still come. I don't know if it's useful to you folks to consider work on external hardware as being a main part of what you are doing, but your reference to a "deluxe version" makes me think that it may be worth some additional consideration.

I'm not trying to shill for a particular product, but if you guys were able to work on something like integration with a PreSonus StudioLive 16R (or their big brother units, or similar from somebody else - pls no Beringoo), then the potential to get Unify audio across the USB interface the 16R has built in, to separate analog and AVB (or Dante!) digital audio outs is a bit mind blowing to think of for audio-routing, monitoring, integration with external overall EQ & master FX etc.

Possibly??? ...if we look at those analog-to-dig audio inputs that same 16R unit has and wonder what processing / vocording / harmony processing, tuning (as in ...more talent in the monitors please 🙂 ) might be possible if some of that audio could get routed to Unify ....hmmm. I'm way out of my depth in terms of understanding the programming grief I may have just touched on, but my limited understanding of what you guys seem to have already achieved makes me wonder where you could take this ...specifically on the audio side.

The ravings above would potentially touch back on the "integrating external synths" stuff in previous message. If the external synths were audio-patched into a Unified audio-mixer, AND the synths themselves were being patch and MIDI controlled by Unify ...that's pretty deep man.

Possible add-ons to "Unify" specific hardware would be sellable (and be gratefully paid for I imagine) ...but obviously you guys have to do the math on how much work would still make it worth it to do.

I'm about to download my copy - thanks again.


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SSquared
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@daygig

Best thing is to use what makes you feel comfortable.  Don't feel forced with using software.  I had similar concerns.  I stuck with hardware for a long time.  I knew it was solid and I could trust it.  I was scared to use software and have it possibly crash.  I used to lug two keyboards, a stand, a rack (which includes a JV-1080, you mentioned the 5080) and mixer and I eventually grew weary of packing it up, setting it up, tearing it down, practices, Sunday mornings.  I bought a new Yamaha synth and got things down to a single keyboard I carried under my arm.  I was still using hardware for a few more years.

In 2017 I had reached limits and realized software will allow me to expand my sound palette in a direction I could not achieve with my hardware alone.  I wanted a much larger variety of pads to choose from and I knew I would eventually want to use more than the grand pianos I had.  But that is me.  Worship teams have been using ONLY a grand piano for years (in fact, the previous seven years I played a grand) and that doesn't stop the worship.  As a sound designer, I really enjoy being able to sculpt an environment for the congregation.  I knew I needed more at my fingertips to allow that to happen.

I still took a slow journey.  I started with Omnisphere.  And that was it for most of the years since.  More recently I picked up the Native Instruments pianos and Spire.  And this year added a few more unique piano libraries.  But I started with one plugin, Omnisphere, as pads were the most important addition I wanted.

I'll end it with a story.  My nightmare situation was for the software not to work.  I had been using my computer now for a few months and it was going pretty well.  I had made a set for our Easter program and was working on the project and practicing on my own for several weeks.  The week of the set, we practiced as a team every night.  No issues.  Saturday night, we warmed up through a few songs.  All good.  I rebooted my computer to clean out memory (something I learned to do or my sounds could glitch out) and walked away.  We got out to the stage a few minutes before things start and I go to load my project and it won't load.  I tried multiple times.  Won't load.  Won't load a backup.  Are you kidding me?  We started and I played with one hand while trying various things on the computer with the other.  Eventually, I gave it up to the Lord, knowing it didn't matter.  He will take care of it.  I stopped worrying and focused on the night.  I knew my hardware synths well enough, I was able to use those sounds.  No one knew my soundset was clobbered and the night was a success.  That night I went home, and debugged my project until I narrowed it down to an effect plugin that was getting quarantined.  It wasn't even a sound I was using, but a potential idea I had been working on.  Sunday morning, I was ready to go and the computer worked without issues.  I never again worried about it.

I still use my Yamaha on occasions.  I'll be using it this week as it does have some sounds I like for a song in the setlist.  But the last two years, I have mostly used the Native Instruments S61 MK2 (no sounds) and use only software.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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daygig
(@daygig)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 5
 

Hi SSquared

I appreciate and endorse the feedback and perspective very much - and acknowledge that in the economy of worship, simple heartfelt devotion expressed in spoken or sung word with little or no accompaniment can be simultaneously completely humbling / awesomely powerful.

...while retaining the knowledge that cardioid subwoofers, latency-matched audio+video, multi-band compressors plus warm, wide, subtle, motion-including synth pads are also close to godliness 🙂 

My personal preference is for less ...well run or well played stuff rather than more within the context of live congregational worship - unless "the more" is an actual net positive to what is already underway. So... much of my inquiries relate to figuring how to "add to the positive" in a stable manner. If adding positively stable-y is confirmed ...then I can move onto "is it needed", and if the answer is yes ...then I can do some more having vetted that in doing so, it is actually helpful, and I certainly do no harm.

I will check out Omnisphere when I get a chance, but having just gotten into Unify, my little brain is already stretched for a while. The creativity within Unify, its programmers and the community of people using it is mind expanding and inspirational. I look forward to the (slow) learning process ahead of me.


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SSquared
(@ssquared)
Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 207
Topic starter  

@daygig

If you are not already aware, PlugInGuru has a weekly Livestream at 12PM PST.  He covers a wide variety which includes tips and tricks to using Unify.  There are videos on his YouTube channel on how to get started with Unify.  Definitely, get settled with Unify, first, before venturing out on other adventures.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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