Hi, I just got the bundle. What is the best DAW to use the plugins or can I use then stand alone?
If you want to run the plugins as stand-alone, try using savihost. It's a free, tiny DAW program.
Just place savihost.exe it in the same folder as Microtonic, rename the savihost.exe with exactly the same name as Microtonic and then run it. You can do the same for any VST/VSTi and run it as a standalone. You can link individual savihost instances together (without a DAW) to match the BPM by syncing the MIDI clock for each VST. This approach is great for live performances as it's the best way to run plugins without using any system resources, you can set up audio out/midi/ASIO etc - you can record the session with something like audacity or a built-in sound recorder if you have one. Solid, portable solution, nice and simple, free.
A DAW is not required at all really, but if you're not into playing live, a DAW is definitely handy for sequencing/writing/composing/recording track/music/songs note-by-note but it will require some extra learning and will use some extra system resources as you start to stack the plugins ontop of each other. As an alternative to common modern DAWs, some old trackers also run VST plugins and are very small sizes with minimal system resources. They work very well but they do have a different work-flow to modern DAWs but most of them are free.
Personally I prefer trackers - I use Renoise (a paid, modern tracker) and it's flawless with Microtonic.
I also use CamelPhat3 - a digital effects filter for compression, delay, distortion, EQ, flanger etc - to quickly/easily add some magic to the Microtonic soundtrack. Adding CamelPhat3 over a basic Microtonic preset always seems to make some amazing sounding beats with just a few clicks (see video link). You'll probably find a free version of CamelPhat3 somewhere but it definitely works wonders and perfectly combines with Microtonic - highly recommended. Another decent free plugin is MagicDice which is a single-click randomizer to inject some really nice sounding random/unique reverb/reverse/delay/widener/saturation chain-effects to your beats. Simply click the dice button - when you stumble on a nice sound, just save the preset. If you want to directly vary the Microtonic sounds, turn on "Random Morph" in the settings, then use the morph slider to quickly change the sound of a beat.
Finally if you buy a Tonic-PO,it's basically a hand-held hardware version of a sequencer/DAW (specifically designed to work with Microtonic) which can communicate with Microtonic though SaviHost - you wont even need a software DAW then, just Jam Live with it anywhere and create new sounds for it using Microtonic and the Patternarium. It's battery powered with built-in screen, buttons, dials, speaker and microphone with 3.5mm jacks for audio/link in and audio out. You can transfer Microtonic Presets to/from the device using the built-in speaker and microphone. Also has it's own built-in effects channel.
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