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Support

Postby Matthew » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:45 am

I plan(ned) to purchase CFX tonight. But I was hoping to download the instrument, rather than pay $50.00 for shipping and wait. I have purchased other libraries from other companies with very large sample sizes like this, so I am sorry to see this seems not possible to download.

Am I right that this CFX library can only ship as a box?

Also, when seeking an email contact to confirm this, I was disheartened to not find any email at all. I only found a link for "Ask a Question" which returns a "404 - Page Not Found" error. I'm not fond of companies that make themselves exceedingly hard to reach, especially once a purchase is made and support is needed. I suppose the reply to this forum topic will demonstrate what the future may (or may not) hold in store.

Eagerly waiting for your reply, Garritan.

Matthew
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Re: Support

Postby SysExJohn » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:09 am

Hi Matthew,

For goodness' sake don't hold your breath, Matthew! ;-)

I posted a bug I'd found in one of the sfz files in GPO4 on the 7th of December.
I received an acknowledgement on the 18th, and since then, nothing!

I have no evidence to substantiate this, but I'd say the company seems to be experiencing problems. They seem, in my opinion, to have begun when they joined the MakeMusic camp.

I'd just love someone from the company to pay a visit here and refute my allegation.
But I very much doubt it.

Kind regards,
John.
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Re: Support

Postby Matthew » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:08 pm

Thanks for the reply, John, but that's worse than expected. I am reeeeeally hoping this proves untrue and someone from the company wakes up. I am considering contacting Abbey Road Studios and letting them know of this also, as this reflects poorly on them also.

It's a shame reviewers in Sound and Sound (who just released a review) and others don't consider company support as part of the product's performance. I am thinking about posting a YouTube review focusing on the lack of support response, as well.

Ya know... the reason I am so intent and concerned is because I was so pumped about this product!!! I own a Yamaha C7 and am passionate about the complexities of the piano as an instrument. I have used Vienna Imperial for years but feel a piano could be better. I purchased VI Labs True Keys and was astoundingly disappointed. This Abbey Road CFX looked to be a dream come true for VSTi production... until now.

:(

Matthew
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Re: Support

Postby SysExJohn » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:24 am

Sadly I've had a couple of disappointments here too, Matthew.
However, I know that the company recently decided to move its whole operation over the Christmas period, so it may be worthwhile contacting the main MakeMusic support number and enquiring there.

The review is certainly enthusiastic in S-o-S for the product. Over many decades I've found that their opinions can on-the-whole be trusted. Note carefully though, there is no half-pedalling with the CFX and it needs a fairly well specified computer to run on.

I believe that it is an incredibly good sounding virtual instrument, but it appears that you'll have to wait for the USB memory drive to arrive. As you say, there certainly doesn't seem to be a downloadable option.

Even despite some criticisms though, I still use Garritan libraries for most of my work. They're just so use-able!

Regards,
John.
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Re: Support

Postby Credo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:24 am

I used the makemusic web-system to open a support ticket back in January.

I'd filed it at some weird time just before an extended weekend holiday (in the US anyway).

The following Tuesday I got a response by noon...so I don't think that's too bad considering the strange time I opened the ticket.

My issue is truly strange and most likely bad drivers or hardware with my aging desktop PC (the issue goes away with a different machine)...so I've also been in contact with Plogue (Aria engine developers), who has also been very interested in my case, ultra helpful beyond my expectation in system diagnostics for my older hardware, and quick to respond to both public and private inquires.

Reasonable solutions exist for my problem (use a different machine)...at this point it's just up to ME to implement them. Meanwhile I can tell people are already studying my specific case to possibly fix it and prevent it happening to anyone else.

Frustrations aside...after more than 20 years of fiddling with finicky audio and video equipment and the folks who make and support it, support seems pretty good to me for a consumer level product (and I know of very few companies...especially this small that can or will do 'mission critical' level support without extra fees or charges). I also learned a long time ago that 'mission critical' support also means you're generally required to use enterprise class hardware from a short list of options which also exist in their 'test bed' so they can stay on top of it (or even a step ahead of us).

The forums are more quiet these days, but I think part of that is because newer consumers joining the community are more in tune with social media like FaceBook/Twitter/Etc, and there are plenty of Garritan groups to join through those services. Us old heads have since moved on to more advanced/expensive products, or have simply mastered it and don't rely on (or follow) the forum community as much as we did a few years ago.

Try the support web page again? Maybe with a different web browser...
It worked fine for me here recently.

Credo
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Re: Support

Postby Matthew » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:23 am

Thanks John and Credo. Maybe I am getting spoiled with the personal replies from the folks at Spitfire (the makers of most of my recent libraries). It's good to hear positive first hand account from you, Credo.

The more I read about it, the more interested I am in this CFX VSTi. The ability to blend such a range of mic setups is astounding, and I suspect I'm sure to achieve the distant, luscious, yet dynamic and deeply resonant sound I am often hoping to reach.

One question I can't get an answer to so far is, how can you use CFX on multiple DAWs? I work on a couple DAWs and also a powerful notebook, and basically rely on moving my iLok, eLicensor, and using Waves License Manager. But how does it work with CFX and its host software? Is there a way to move that Card Key thingy among various computers?

FYI - I have recently been experimenting with binaural (3D) recording of my own Yamaha C7 grand piano, recording a Neumann KU-100 binaural microphone, with additional binaural convolution reverb I'm creating myself and importing the binaural IRs into Altiverb. This video will give you a sense of what I am after:

http://youtu.be/Xo0oSAyn7jA

Working with a real piano is also rewarding... but for a lot of production work, it's just soooo much easier to use a MIDI instrument, as long as you're not sacrificing too much, and I am feeling this CFX VSTi may be the best so far in minimizing that trade-off.
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Re: Support

Postby Credo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:38 am

Matthew wrote:Thanks John and Credo. Maybe I am getting spoiled with the personal replies from the folks at Spitfire (the makers of most of my recent libraries). It's good to hear positive first hand account from you, Credo.

The more I read about it, the more interested I am in this CFX VSTi. The ability to blend such a range of mic setups is astounding, and I suspect I'm sure to achieve the distant, luscious, yet dynamic and deeply resonant sound I am often hoping to reach.

One question I can't get an answer to so far is, how can you use CFX on multiple DAWs? I work on a couple DAWs and also a powerful notebook, and basically rely on moving my iLok, eLicensor, and using Waves License Manager. But how does it work with CFX and its host software? Is there a way to move that Card Key thingy among various computers?

FYI - I have recently been experimenting with binaural (3D) recording of my own Yamaha C7 grand piano, recording a Neumann KU-100 binaural microphone, with additional binaural convolution reverb I'm creating myself and importing the binaural IRs into Altiverb. This video will give you a sense of what I am after:

http://youtu.be/Xo0oSAyn7jA

Working with a real piano is also rewarding... but for a lot of production work, it's just soooo much easier to use a MIDI instrument, as long as you're not sacrificing too much, and I am feeling this CFX VSTi may be the best so far in minimizing that trade-off.



I don't have the CFX, so I'm not positive on this but...

If it uses the Aria engine, installing it to more than one machine shouldn't be a problem.

I've the Ultimate Collection here, which uses Aria. In this case I just drag my png card for the libraries I want into Aria and it registers them.

So far I've put it on two machines (the second was just temporarily for testing purposes) with no problems registering libraries. I'm not aware of any limited number of installations....someone at Garritan would have to tell you if they track installations and eventually make them stop without further intervention.

As for using the plugin with different hosts on the same machine....that should just be a simple matter of dropping the appropriate dll wrapper(s) into the VSTplugin directory(ies) your hosts scan for user installed VST plugins.

Also with Ultimate Collection...
I could NOT buy it as a download (It came on a USB Flash key); however, once I registered for the first time, they gave me an account where it IS all there if I ever need to download it. The account also gives me access to a key-generation link if I ever need to generate new ones.

So....if the plug in you're looking at uses Aria...shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Support

Postby Steve R » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:41 am

My name is Steve and I’m a Customer Success Manager at MakeMusic. I was reading through this post and wanted to respond for you guys on behalf of the company. Yesterday, our company’s Support Portal was down, and it was not possible to submit a support case with us for some time. This is why you had received the “404 – page not found” when you tried to submit a case with us. Nobody’s trying to be difficult to reach; we just had a technical issue that was preventing customers from submitting cases with us. The good news is that this has been resolved, and in the future you should be able to get in touch with us right away by submitting a case at http://garritan.custhelp.com/app/ask/

As for the question you had regarding downloads of our product: Typically, most of our Garritan products are available exclusively as a download, and we often encourage this option to our customers when it is possible. Unfortunately, because of the CFX Library’s size, it is too large to be available as a download like our other libraries. Instead, it is installed via a USB Flash Drive that is shipped to you. Matthew, I’m not sure where you’re located, but it sounds like you may be looking at international shipping charges – if this is the case, you may want to see if any local dealers carry our CFX Library. You can find a list of our International Dealers at the following website: https://store.makemusic.com/Dealers/Intl.aspx

To answer your other question, Matthew – you are indeed able to use CFX on as many DAW programs as you’d like. As long as the DAW supports VST, AU, RTAS, or AAX instrument plug-ins, it should have no trouble running your library. If you wanted to use your library on multiple computers, the CFX Licensing System allows you to install your software on up to two computers at the same time. And you won’t have to worry about any iLoks or USB devices to take up your USB ports – once the library is installed and activated, you’re free to use the product as much as you’d like. Credo is also correct that, since the CFX library is built using the Garritan ARIA Player, you can easily load your piano into this plug-in, or in the CFX’s own proprietary plug-in.

For whatever it’s worth, we’re fans of binaural recordings too! The CFX includes a “Player” patch that uses the Neumann KU100 Dummy head microphone to get that feeling of sitting behind the piano as you play or record.

I hope this helps to explain what sounds like a pretty tough situation you had run into yesterday. If you have any questions, feel free to either PM me or submit a support case with us using the link above.
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Re: Support

Postby Matthew » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:58 pm

Steve, you rock! Thanks very much for this response. It is exactly what I was hoping for. You have resolved my concern about customer support, and I'll look into the best purchase option and proceed.

I now have only one question: If I need to move CFX to a third computer, how complicated is it to deactivate one of the 2 "allowed" computers to allow the change? (I typically need everything available on two DAWs and a notebook.)

Finally, yes, I did notice the binaural perspective, and see it was reinforced with direct mic'ing which likely stabilizes the image. That probably reduces the binaural effect (which may be why the SOS review observed no "spine tingling binaural effect), but that is completely acceptable. For a library of this nature, I would prefer the sound through typical loudspeakers was optimized. And I'm sure the "Player" perspective with the KU-100 sounds very "first person" on headphones.

Here is another video of my binaural IR capturing with comparisons, as I pursue this dream of an exceedingly spacious 3D piano sound over earphones: http://youtu.be/bmOvHjSBlnc

Thanks again, Steve!

Matthew

(By the way, you might want to reply to John (above) who said, "I posted a bug I'd found in one of the sfz files in GPO4 on the 7th of December. I received an acknowledgement on the 18th, and since then, nothing!"
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Re: Support

Postby SysExJohn » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:23 am

Hi Steve,

To report on one day's outage when people complain about lack of response in general is missing the point, surely? But I'm extremely grateful to you that there is a response from a company representative.

I assume you are the same Steven R who responded to my support case on the 18th of December last year? I duly attached my 'corrected' sfz file for the oboe d'amore but, to date, have received no further contact!

My reprogramming simply respecified the end point of the loop portion of the sample concerned, in order to stop the 'click' as the loop cycled. This involves just one line of sfz code being altered to correct the fault.

Have you received my file?
Do you agree that there is a fault in the sfz programming of the loop end time for the sample concerned?

In the hope that someone in Garritan does care about "customer success".

Kind regards,
John.
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