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Author Topic: Electronic gear  (Read 4998 times)

Koremora

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Electronic gear
« on: 20 Mar 2009, 17:47 »

So, I have a copy of Ableton Live, and I'm looking to start learning how to work electronic music stuff in order to write with it. Does anyone have recommendations for good drum machines, MIDI interface keyboards, samplers, microphones, synths, audio programs etc. Anything that is good to have when starting out working on this kind of stuff. I would really appreciate the advice, as I'm not really sure where to start looking. Thanks!  :-D
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #1 on: 20 Mar 2009, 19:36 »

kvraudio.com is a great website to look at to get to know this stuff - the forum is a great community with everyone from amateurs to actual professionals, and there's a database of audio plugins as well as free presets for many different synths.
Lately my favorite synths have been Native Instruments products - Massive is my go to synthesizer, and Battery and Kontakt are incredible samplers. They are pricy, however. If you're just getting started, you might be best off using Ableton's included devices, along with some of the excellent freeware plugins that are available. In particular I'd look at Shortcircuit (a full-featured sampler), the various TAL plugins (a couple vintage analog emulations and excellent effects plugins), and the smartelectronix plugins (two top-notch synths and two great effects).
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #2 on: 21 Mar 2009, 10:18 »

Forgot to mention - if you get a MIDI controller, make sure it's touch sensitive. Pretty sure nearly all of the ones on the market are anyway, though.
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BlahBlah

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #3 on: 21 Mar 2009, 11:21 »

Synth - unless you're wiling to pay quite a lot get a microkorg.

Drum Machine - you can make some decent things just from the computer these days, but if you want a machine at least get something with pads.

Midi keyboards - just get fairly decent quality and construction and you'll be fine. decide whether you want weighted keys or not. (it will make it feel like a piano) other options include octave up/down, modulation and pitch wheels and a few other bells and whistles that you'll probably be able to control form the program you're running anyway... making those bells and whistles a little useless.

microphones - something along the lines of the shure sm58 should work, it's a pretty decent mike. pm pwhodges if you want to talk to an expert.

sampler - unless you are willing to shell out $1000 or more; the roland sp404 is pretty nice, and the 505 gives you some effects for a some more money but again you can do that on the computer

The SM57/58 is meant to sound like shit.

Sorry.

http://www.electrical.com/item.php?page=1&pic=pictures/1.jpg
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Johnny C

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #4 on: 21 Mar 2009, 12:23 »

Don't get a Shure. Go with a Beyer. You can find the TG-X series for pretty cheap, and if you're in a slightly higher price range you can probably afford an Opus.

If you're looking more to record directly into your computer, the Samson C01U is a USB mic and it's pretty ace. I found one used for eighty dollars, and it records stereo kinda funny but I just use tricks and make it mono anyways since I'm gonna be futzing around with the channels.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #5 on: 21 Mar 2009, 13:52 »

First you want to get rid of Ableton and use either Reason or FL studio.

Then you want to buy lots of little boxes. For maximum effect, try and make sure all these little boxes have either 'Korg' or 'Roland' written on them. Remember the more flashing lights and dials the better.

The Korg Electribe MX and Roland DR 880 are good drum machines. A Roland MC-808 and a Kaos Pad are also not bad investments. You will need at least two keyboards and a mixer as well.


Or just use your computer, it's mind bogglingly cheaper.
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #6 on: 21 Mar 2009, 15:00 »

First you want to get rid of Ableton and use either Reason or FL studio.
Why would he do that? If he wants to revert to a dumbed-down excuse for a DAW there are much cheaper solutions to be found.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #7 on: 21 Mar 2009, 15:31 »

What I'm saying is, this dude appears to have little or no experience with making electronic music, and he wants to start out writing tracks in Ableton Live.

Snobbery aside, do you really think this is the best way he could go about things.
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Koremora

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #8 on: 21 Mar 2009, 15:51 »

Khar's pretty much got my situation down. I mean, if there's an easier way to start out with this I'm open to suggestions.
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #9 on: 21 Mar 2009, 16:52 »

What I'm saying is, this dude appears to have little or no experience with making electronic music, and he wants to start out writing tracks in Ableton Live.

Snobbery aside, do you really think this is the best way he could go about things.
Well, if he already HAS the program, it's best to work with what he has than shell out for something new - getting new gear is pricy, and Ableton is too nice a program to leave unused. My first DAW was relatively full-featured and I managed fine - it's just a matter of patience and spending time with the manual. Ableton's accessible to the hobbyist, anyway, so it's not like he's starting out on Max/MSP or something.
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Johnny C

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #10 on: 21 Mar 2009, 19:55 »

Also don't get a MicroKORG cause the keys aren't weighted. Unless that's what you want.
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E. Spaceman

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #11 on: 21 Mar 2009, 22:19 »

also real tiny keys. I mean, maybe some people won't have that problem but for me the biggest reason i don't buy one is because goddamn i find those keys tiny.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #12 on: 22 Mar 2009, 00:18 »

Shell out?

Wait, you guys are BUYING this stuff?
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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #13 on: 22 Mar 2009, 04:09 »

Also don't get a MicroKORG cause the keys aren't weighted. Unless that's what you want.

I like using microkorgs because it is like I am a giant utilizing a machine that is not capable of putting up any serious form of resistance.

Ableton is a pain in the arse to pirate so I'm assuming the OP bought it anyway
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Koremora

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #14 on: 22 Mar 2009, 10:07 »

You would be mistaken there.  :-D
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october1983

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #15 on: 22 Mar 2009, 11:48 »

In that case, a word of warning: Ableton's piracy protection is particularly ingenious in that it will let you use a pirated copy just long enough for you to get properly hooked, and then cut you off and force you to either buy it or use a different piece of software.
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #16 on: 22 Mar 2009, 14:39 »

Ah. Well then, Reason or Frooty Loops should be fine, depending what you want to make with them.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #17 on: 22 Mar 2009, 18:36 »

To be honest, with the right VSTs and a back-up wave editor, there's very, very little you can't do in FL studiio, if you're only gonna use it for studio composition. Back it up with a decent wave editor like Audacity, paired with a soundblaster card for sampling, get a good glitch filter and you can do pretty much anything. It's only when it comes to hooking in external instruments or trying to direct live play that the program is seriously weak, in which case Reason will do you. I think the general antipathy towards FL Studio is based on three things, 1) it's dumb original name 2) the fact that its interface seems overly siimplistic compared to most other music production software, especially to someone used to using real electronic instruments and 3) a lot of very bad music is produced with it by people who wouldn't know a good baseline if it kicked their door in at 3 AM and told them it was their real father. This last fact is probably because it is actually remarkably simple to learn. In my opinion, once you master the automation cliips and piano roll it becomes quite a powerful sequencer. Its only real inbuilt limitation is that you can't change time signatures in the middle of a track, but considering a lot of high-end hardware is basically locked in to variations on 4/4 anyway that's hardly a major issue. It's also guff for playing live and its recording function is pretty crap, though if you hook it into Reason as an instrument this problem goes away.
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Beastmouth

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #18 on: 23 Mar 2009, 06:16 »

Also don't get a MicroKORG cause the keys aren't weighted. Unless that's what you want.
This is poor advice actually.  You may mean don't get a microkorg because the keys aren't velocity-sensitive (that is, responsive to how fast/hard you strike them), which they are (this is just turned off in most of the presets).  You may mean don't get one because it doesn't have aftertouch (it doesn't).  You may mean don't get one because the keys are tiny and not really that good to play on (but they beat the keys on a 303!).  If you do mean actually weighted, as in, having the physical sensation of playing a piano, well, you won't find much in they way of any good synthesizers that are.  Basically only the very top of the line 88-key models of workstations will be good synths with weighted keyboards.  You could find a digital piano, which will be slightly cheaper and probably have better action, and will be quite useful as a midi controller.

Definitely if you have a computer you'd want to use for all this, going through software would be a good option.  But don't forget to look on craigslist and ebay for any cool old synths; I found a Korg Polysix on craigslist for 280 and a Yamaha DXY on ebay for 250 and they're both quite versatile synths. 
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ThePianoMan

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #19 on: 23 Mar 2009, 16:54 »

To be honest, with the right VSTs and a back-up wave editor, there's very, very little you can't do in FL studiio, if you're only gonna use it for studio composition. Back it up with a decent wave editor like Audacity, paired with a soundblaster card for sampling, get a good glitch filter and you can do pretty much anything. It's only when it comes to hooking in external instruments or trying to direct live play that the program is seriously weak, in which case Reason will do you.
Does Reason let you record audio? I was under the impression that neither it nor FL Studio would let you do that.

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I think the general antipathy towards FL Studio is based on three things, 1) it's dumb original name 2) the fact that its interface seems overly siimplistic compared to most other music production software, especially to someone used to using real electronic instruments and 3) a lot of very bad music is produced with it by people who wouldn't know a good baseline if it kicked their door in at 3 AM and told them it was their real father. This last fact is probably because it is actually remarkably simple to learn. In my opinion, once you master the automation cliips and piano roll it becomes quite a powerful sequencer. Its only real inbuilt limitation is that you can't change time signatures in the middle of a track, but considering a lot of high-end hardware is basically locked in to variations on 4/4 anyway that's hardly a major issue. It's also guff for playing live and its recording function is pretty crap, though if you hook it into Reason as an instrument this problem goes away.
I don't have anything against it in general; I just don't see it as necessary to replace a nice piece of software like Ableton with it. I know a few dubstep producers have done interesting thing with it, so it's definitely POSSIBLE to make nice noises with it.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #20 on: 24 Mar 2009, 10:15 »

Does Reason let you record audio? I was under the impression that neither it nor FL Studio would let you do that.

You can record audio or midi in FL studio, but it isn't particularly suited for it. I'm fairly sure you can record in reason, though I've got so used to working with my samples in audacity that I haven't really used it. My point on the FL studio front is that it actually IS a nice piece of software, that has got substantially better over time. FL studio producers edition 8 is a great piece of software, although its potential only really comes out when you expand the default library of VSTs. In my mind the straightforward simplicity of the interface makes it by far my preferred production software. Ableton is great, but much more geared towards live gigs.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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Koremora

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Re: Electronic gear
« Reply #21 on: 19 Apr 2009, 18:23 »

Okay, I have a more specific question now: best MIDI keyboard under $100 range? I'm guessing some kind of M-Audio model. Any suggestions? (One with weighted keys, preferrably).
« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2009, 18:56 by Koremora »
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