FXpansion GURU. Anyone used this?

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FXpansion GURU. Anyone used this?

Post by hubie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:12 pm

Hey it's me again, this time asking for your opinions on FXpansion GURU, the drum/beat sampler/sequencer software.

I read a review for it a while ago in Computer Music and they rated it quite highly. Has anyone been using it? If so, what are your opinions of it?

Cheers! :D
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:27 pm

if u've got the $220+ - GET IT

You will not be disappointed. (I must tell you about the little bug it has ONLY when rendering from it's internal s. sequencer - it doesn't render the first beat properly... I think they fixed this bug in the latest SX3 version, but the bug exists in SE 1.07) - easy fix around is to simply trigger Guru using a midi note in a clip.


The step sequencer built inside is VERY powerful (super quick and easy to use).... Guru comes with over 3 GBs of top drawer sounds - combined with your personal drum collection - who knows...

Having 8 engines with 16 pads per engine is a lot..... and that's only one instance - double ^ all of that if you've got 2 instances...

One Guru and a Battery - or one Guru and a uTonic for instance....


You won't need anything else for drums I guarantee....


pm Shapshankly about it - he's been using it longer than me


one of the best drum machines I've messed with (still haven't messed w/Battery though and most people say that Battery has a couple more options for shaping the hits - they're 2 different animals though)

Definitely look at Battery2+ (rompler), and uTonic (synth) if you haven't.
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Post by hubie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:39 pm

Wow, very useful advice there dude, thanks very much! :D

Yeah, I have a little experience with MPCs so GURU looks like the perfect software to work from.

I've considered Battery too, but GURU looks a lot more intuitive.
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Post by foxington » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:44 pm

i'm looking for a drum machine with a quality library, will have to check this out i think...
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:46 pm

I think it's ok if you are mainly into using loops and slicing those up for hits. It does some neat things in terms of having a lot of effects available, but overall after using it I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be.

I'd rather use Battery or RM IV personally, but I also rarely if ever use drum loops.
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Post by hubie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:28 pm

Tarekith wrote:I think it's ok if you are mainly into using loops and slicing those up for hits. It does some neat things in terms of having a lot of effects available, but overall after using it I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be.

I'd rather use Battery or RM IV personally, but I also rarely if ever use drum loops.
Thanks for that Tarekith. So what are the advantages of Battery? I don't know much about it tbh! :?
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:58 pm

strategy wrote:i'm looking for a drum machine with a quality library, will have to check this out i think...

This is the one for you then....


There are some WEE little things that FXpansion needs to address - simple things for the most part. One major lil deal to me is that Guru doesn't understand note off messages which is pretty lame, but I'm sure they're going to fix that someday... you'll get over it and it's other lil issues real quick, because the program can do SO much.


Check this out for instance:

You've got 8 Engines right... well the first one is always locked to the BPM of your host, BUT the other 7 engines can have their own individual meters/resolutions...

Engine 2 for instance can be the same speed (1/1) as Engine 1 or you can double the speed of Engine 2 by making the meter (2/1) or half it (1/2) or go freaking nuts (8/1) - the options are pretty damn cool. The only thing that sucks when you change the meter of the other 7 engines - is that you still only have 128 steps total for that engine... still very cool stuff.

Read about the Scenes in Guru - that's when you assign certain engines being on/off to a single pad that can be triggered via midi... for example:

Say you want the first scene to be Engine's 1,2,3 being on with pattern 1 (Engine 1), pattern 8 (Engine 2), and pattern 2 (Engine 3)... so when you play the key on your board that corresponds to that scene - that is what you'd hear...

Obviously, you can configure this however you want... w/all 8 engines going - multiple instances of Guru w/all 8 engines going - HUGE possibilities for Live shows... HUGE.

The efx that come w/ are soso, but they do their job ok (a lil heavy on the cpu.. the verb and delays that is)


I find myself using 1 entire engine for the main beat, 2nd engine for backup perc, 3rd engine for cool electro bleepy perc... etc...

I usually don't need more than 3 engines going - that's 48 sounds.



Hubie: Lemme know if you're interested in hearing a sound example of what something can sound like using Guru - I've got a couple 5 MB tests I can email you.
Last edited by afdafsf on Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:02 pm

Yeah, RM IV looks pretty damn clean ($150ish) - too bad it doesn't come with it's own internal sequencer. The example sounds on their site sound excellent - I'd buy it if it had it's own sequencer.


Guru's step sequencer makes it SUPER easy to come up with complex stutter like riffs and it is absolutely GHOST hit heaven.


For the last couple years, I'd been making most of my loops in Live by hand, hit by hit in arrangement view (still a very solid way of making beats), but manipulating each and every single clip in Live is way more tedious than changing the Velocity of each hit in Guru's step sequencer.

I'll stop now :o
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Post by foxington » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:02 pm

sounds quality, will investigate further...
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Post by hubie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:24 pm

nuskoolbreaks_head wrote:Hubie: Lemme know if you're interested in hearing a sound example of what something can sound like using Guru - I've got a couple 5 MB tests I can email you.
Yeah that would be great thanks mate. I've PMed you about it.

*edit* Oh bollocks, I forgot to put my email addy in that PM! Duh me! Sorry mate, I'll PM ya again! lol :lol:
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:34 pm

I like RMIV because it's one of the only software drum machine that does drum synthesis AND sampling. A sequencer would be very nice for sure.
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:44 pm

how do you think it's synthesis stacks up to uTonic, Erik?

do either do things the other doesn't?
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:15 pm

RM IV's synthesis is a lot like the Machinedrum in that that have specific "synths" for different sounds, each with tailored parameters. IE, they have a bass drum synth, a snare synth, a hi hat synth, etc and all of them have the parameters that make the most sense for making THAT type of sound.

uTonic has the same synth layout for all of it's sounds, so what you see is what you get no matter what type of sound you are trying to make. Though I will add that the parameter ranges in uTonic seemed to be geared towards being the most musical, there's not a lot of 'dead space' on the knobs that you find yourself never using. If that makes sense.

In terms of sheer audio quality, it's uTonic hands down IMO. Definitely has a much smoother sound if that's your thing, where as RM IV is a bit more digital and rough sounding IMO. NOt in a bad way, they each have their uses.

On thing I REALLY like about RM IV is the effects it offers, and especially the randomizing features. You can set up RM IV to randomize the velocity, timing and timbre of it's drum hits (per part too), so things sound more organic and less machine like. The built in compressor is nice too.

If I only had to choose one though, I'd probably still go with uTonic, only because it's sound is more what I'm looking for my music. Tough call though, the sample playback and randomizing features of RM IV are really very nice.
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Post by mattuk » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:15 pm

i use micro tonic personally

why would a step sequencer inside the drum sampler be usefull?

microtonic has a step sequencer too but i never ever use it
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:54 pm

If you don't use uTonic's, then you won't need one for the sampler too. It's just a real quick way to get some basic beats happening, so you can tweak the sounds. Once I get the basic down, then I personally import as audio hits into SX and keep arranging from there.
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Post by klarky » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:33 pm

ive played with the guru and for me its very easy to use, if i can get some cash together its the next thing ill buy, tried stylus rmx but couldnt get me head round it and it is known to be a bit harsh on the old cpu, but from what ive been told guru is much better in that department
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:21 pm

THANKS for the in depth comparison, Erik :!: :D


next question

Which do you think sounds better - uTonic or the Machinedrum

:badgrin:


don't see how a $100 softsynth could compare to a $1000+ hardware synth :lol: , but you never know


sup
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Post by shapshankly » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:29 pm

tarekith, guru can do pretty much every thing battery can and then some.

if you like the way you program battery then you can also use the host sequencer's piano roll to program guru.

e.g. you can get a basic groove going in guru, drag the pattern out of the guru sequencer into your own and then tweak away in there.

and in terms of adding swing and a human feel to things, guru's shifting and repeating are awesome.

i love this software, all my recent beats have been made in there. and what sound design i can't do with it i use sound forge.

oh and i never use loops either.
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:25 pm

Thanks Shap, I don't use Battery anymore so I was going from foggy memory.

NSBH - Which sounds better? I "PREFER" the sound of the MD more, but I'm not sure I would say one sounds better than the other. uTonic is a really, really nice sounding drum synth.

I think the MD can be capable of a greater amount of tones, mainly because it has all those different synth machines for each drum type. Not to mention physical modelling too. utonic pretty much always sounds like an analog style drum machine, but the MD can sound pretty realistic too with careful programming (ie, it can sound like real drums).
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Post by hubie » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:00 am

shapshankly wrote:i love this software, all my recent beats have been made in there. and what sound design i can't do with it i use sound forge.
Ah well this is all very useful! I think you've made my mind up for me guys, cheers :D
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