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Thread: How to Make Music with Your Computer

  1. #31
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  2. #32
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7dIkonCfFE

    Me want!

    Check out from 20 minutes on = mind fucking blown

    And around 32 mins on = I want that goddamn Push controller

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    Has anyone played with NI's Razor synth? I'm tempted to just buy it, even though I probably shouldn't for budget reasons. I feel like a demo would help me make up my mind, but there isn't one.
    Razor is awesome, I use it a lot actually... def a nice and versatile synth from basses to leads to pads

  4. #34
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    Getting real HW synth envy at the moment.

    As mentioned I've got a Micron that I struggle with. I've been looking at the Microkorg, which looks a little easier (but less good on paper. No point in power if you can't figure it out though!); the XL looks better (samples!) but harder to use; the XL+ is too new and there aren't enough reviews of it.

    I considered and skipped the Novation Xiosynth a few years back when I got the Micron and damn, I think I regret that decision now. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a cheapo second hand unit. Having said that, the new Novation Mininova looks pretty goddamn awesome.

    And finally, a total curveball, I just learned of the Teenage Engineering OP-1 today. Wow. Want. But SO expensive.
    http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1

    The built in "4 track" recorded and the OLED screen (which looks much more accessible to a newb than the calculator-esque traditional LCD IMHO) make me wonder why that isn't more common in the other ones I've mentioned.

    This jam sesh on that device is great:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKgL4ONTIqY

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    Getting real HW synth envy at the moment.

    I considered and skipped the Novation Xiosynth a few years back when I got the Micron and damn, I think I regret that decision now. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a cheapo second hand unit. Having said that, the new Novation Mininova looks pretty goddamn awesome.
    The hard fact at the end of the day is that there are awesome advantages to having real hardware synths, but something like the Xio isn't worth getting excited about. I'd take software synths and a half decent controller over that any day.

    The frustrating truth is that if you want to feel satisfied after you buy a hardware synth, you're either going to have to put down a good chunk of cash, or you're going to need to do some legwork on your own. Are you good with electronics (soldering etc?)

  6. #36
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    I don't understand why anyone who's considering a Microkorg would not instead save a little more money and pick up a used MS-2000.

    I'm currently fighting off serious gearlust over an Arturia Minibrute. I do not need it. I would not use it to make listenable music. But it looks like so much fun, and the price is stupid cheap given what it does.

    I also love the sound the Oto Biscuit makes, but again, don't think I could use it in anything anyone else would really want to hear. I'd buy a Minibrute before I bought a biscuit.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post
    I'm currently fighting off serious gearlust over an Arturia Minibrute.
    I got sweaty under the collar a while abck over the Minimoog Voyager I tried out in the shop. If I'd had $3K at the time...

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer808 View Post
    I got sweaty under the collar a while abck over the Minimoog Voyager I tried out in the shop. If I'd had $3K at the time...
    Well, fortunately the Minibrute is a lot cheaper, and it's pretty awesome. But yeah, that's the kind of thing that justifies a hardware synth purchase.

    Anyway, I'm going to go hug my Minimoog. For a while I wasn't using it enough, but lately, every song I'm working on needs more minimoog.

  9. #39
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    I used to lust after all this gear all the time. then I got a copy of Komplete. Between FM8, REAKTOR and MASSIVE and BATTERY I cant bring myself to fork out a ton of money on a hardware synth anymore. I do
    however, lust after midi controllers now...

    yes i know HERESY

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post

    I also love the sound the Oto Biscuit makes, but again, don't think I could use it in anything anyone else would really want to hear. I'd buy a Minibrute before I bought a biscuit.
    Man, I'd love a Biscuit. I love the sound of bitcrushing done well. But I wouldn't do it well.

    As a present to myself for being awesome (and selling some gear/cds/books I don't need) I just bought myself one of these : http://mutable-instruments.net/shruthi1
    Got my soldering iron ready.. I can't wait.
    As much as I like soft synths, I just love the sound of these cheap yet versatile devices, its going to sit next to my Meeblip and make sweet sweet lo-fi love. (unless I balls up the soldering)

  11. #41
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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    Just re listened to phm remastered for the first time in a while: there's a suprising amount of bit crushy stuff on there. A bit ahead of its time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by joymode View Post
    I used to lust after all this gear all the time. then I got a copy of Komplete. Between FM8, REAKTOR and MASSIVE and BATTERY I cant bring myself to fork out a ton of money on a hardware synth anymore. I do
    however, lust after midi controllers now...

    yes i know HERESY
    Reaktor really is the end-all when it comes to software imo. I can't wrap my head around building from scratch in it, but I have a friend who has created some amazing ensembles. Some of it is just untouchable.

    Still, I have not heard a software synth that can truly emulate the sound of a real analog 303. I've heard some good emulations of certain types of analog sounds you can pull out of a Minimoog, but nothing that has the true analog grind and versatility. I also love my Access Virus TI, which is now my go-to digital synth, despite it being the most unreliable and problematic piece of hardware I've owned. Massive is awesome, but I'll almost always run to the Virus instead.

    But yeah... it's true, anyone who says that software is "inferior" on some basic level to analog hardware has their head up their ass. Once I take a break from the "rock" album I've been working on, I'm going to try putting together a minimal ambient album using only iPad synths. Really, the iPad is starting to shine as an essential piece of kit.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-05-2013 at 01:50 PM.

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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    Just re listened to phm remastered for the first time in a while: there's a suprising amount of bit crushy stuff on there. A bit ahead of its time?
    Bit crushing is retro, rather than PHM being ahead of its time. IIRC the sampler TR was using was 12-bit, and nice interpolation during pitch shifting was all but non-existent in the 80s.

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    @Jinsai
    I hear ya. Everybody drones on and on about a real moog sound.

    while moog being just totally fantastic, I tweak the hell out of everything i do anyway. So even if I had a legit moog, it wouldnt sound like a moog by the time i was done with it.

    Take massive and FM8 for instance, by the time im done with whatever i do with those, theyre usually pushed through a guitar amp and a pedal board. and mic'd and manipulated. so they dont even end up sounding like what they sound like...

    What i dont understand is all these people who save up for all these super fresh high end synths and dont make music or know how to make music in the first place or even comprehend basic synthesis for that matter...... Just because Trent or Allesandro has it... its stupid.
    Last edited by DVYDRNS; 01-05-2013 at 02:16 PM.

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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    Re Moog "sound", see also: Roland, Korg... I think it's a lot to do with the fact that the majority of people work from presets and do little tweaking. What I get even less is the analog obsession. Anyone care to defend it?

    My brother was given a Casio Cz 3000 synth, which is unashamedly digital and somewhat out of fashion as a result. I haven't played with it yet but I'll be surprised if there's much difference.

  17. #47
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    I cant defend it. the so called warmth that you can only attain from an analog synth can easily be replicated with recording techniques. like micing cabinets instead of running direct. or micing cabs AND running direct for multiple tracks. there are so many ways to create atmosphere. I think people confuse warmth with atmosphere. and lack of atmosphere is just inexperience or flat out laziness.

    Now I will say that tracking to tape does make a difference. I like it but i'm not saying its better or worse. Its a different sound. i'll bet 99% of the people that bitch about it wouldnt be able to tell the difference in a blind test. or if they could, they wouldnt be able to say it sounds bad by any means.

    its all in the technique.

    Look at TR. he uses all these new and vintage ANALOG synths these days and his music is HARSHER and COLDER than it was on TDS and the FRAGILE. Because he tracks straight into to protools and doesnt spend as much time on atmosphere as he used to. Same goes for Depeche Mode. Although I'd say DM still creates more interesting music these days.

    Point is.. it doesnt make a difference. All that matters is the inspiration and the technique.

  18. #48
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    software is awesome. I think its more that people just want something 'real' sometimes. I couldn't ever tell the difference, but having something tangible to manipulate is always attractive. In the live environment I want to see those boxes do their thing, not just a guy at a laptop (even though I know the laptop is pretty much essential) not because it 'real' over 'fake'.. it is just more interesting to me.
    Ipad synths are awesome.. I personally prefer samplers and loopers, but being able to source synth riffs etc from one app then loop it and chop in another (like Samplr or Glitchbreaks) is so much fun.

  19. #49
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    which is why i love MIDI controllers. I do like that tangable experience. I hate painting notes in and mousing modulation and automation. its all about a nice controller!

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    I also would like to add I like a bit of restriction (hence my love of chiptune hardware and things like MeeBlip). It's good for the soul. When I first started using Logic to record I was so blown away I took a year just figuring out how *I* wanted to use it and get what I want out of it. I couldn't manage to finish a single track as I had so much choice I couldn't see the wood for the trees.
    Now I'm comfortable.
    It happens with hardware too though I'm sure.. You gotta get the biggest modular rack you can then not know what to do with it.

  21. #51
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    agreed. it took me a while to decide what i liked. and now i pretty much have my go to template that i've put together. things i know i like. But it took a long time to get there. now when i sit down tho i can start working right away.

    I also had to teach myself how to just write a good song too tho. or a good hook. or a good beat. lots of time ill sing along and play my controller with a basic piano sound. and then start producing once i have the basic idea down.

  22. #52
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    The so-called "Moog Sound" is kind of like plugging a Les Paul into a Marshall stack. An easy, yet somehow satisfying default. When I messed around with the Voyager XL in the lab where my wife's getting her PhD in composition, I was like, "Ooooooh." I didn't have to do anything and it sounded like the sound palette from Switched On Bach, something none of my equipment at home could do. And if you want that sound, that's your quick fix. Drop a couple of grand on some variety of Minimoog - just like dropping several grand on a Les Paul and a Marshall will immediately give you that particular sound.

    What you do with it, however, is what is really important.

    I started getting interested in this field as the late 90s virtual analog explosion was going on, and you'd see these dudes on Analogue Heaven waxing on about what toys these grooveboxes were, and how Rebirth doesn't sound enough like a REAL 303, and no real musician would use this cheap crap to make music.

    It's funny to see those same people go on about how amazing The Fragile was. I wonder if any of those guys ever read about the gear Trent used to record that - Roland Grooveboxes, Rebirth (for The Way Out Is Through, no less), that circuit bent SK-1 he has, the Quasimidi Rave-o-Lution driving Starfuckers, recording to digital... all big no-nos. And you read all this shit about how to record acoustically, how you have to treat the room - and in every NIN studio shot from forever ago, dude just uses a mic in his big buzzy studio, no real effort to isolate sound or anything like that... I don't see anyone saying he could have made a better album if he'd stuck to high-end gear -- not that there was a shortage of high end gear either, of course. But I was happy to learn the lesson very early on that it's not always what you have so much as what you do with it.

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    well, just so nobody gets me wrong, I'm not saying that software sucks, or that it's even "inferior" to hardware (in the general statement sense).

    Still, Rebirth does NOT sounds like a real 303, but the distinction depends on what you're doing with it. You can do amazing things in Rebirth, but it cannot do this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUet8XYs5dg

    I never want to sound like I'm siding on the hardware purist side of things, but these hardware tools do have their purposes. The minimoog is also not just for those distinct classic sounds. You can do some truly amazing things with it. Still, there's things you can do with software synths that no hardware synth can match. I've been building pads from resampled feedback in Absynth, and no hardware synth I've seen gives me the flexability to do what I'm doing with that.

    Every tool has its uses. Even the first synth that I bought, the Quasimidi Sirius. It's super dated by today's standards, it's incredibly limited, but I can still do some unique things, especially with my approach, that I cannot pull off in more expensive hardware or cheaper (or more expensive by today's standards) software. Back when I bought that thing, software synthesis on your home computer was a new thing, and it was incredibly limited. I was recording my tracks on a cassette-based 4-track for a long time before I moved to a computer DAW. Kids today don't know how good they have it. If, back then, you'd shown me Massive running on my home PC, my head would have exploded.

    Still, if we were to get into a discussion about digital vs analog distortion FX, that's a completely different discussion. I'll just say that analog distortion is required 99% of the time.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-07-2013 at 12:06 AM.

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    Slightly off the topic of hardware vs software. I do love seeing it when bands auction off their equipment and people go "hey, they were using Line 6 PODs? but those are cheap?!". NIN was no exception I mean sure they had some costly stuff backing them up too (Reznor is Reznor afterall) but I remember seeing Pitchshifter sell a load of gear and it was all cheap BOss pedal knockoffs and Line 6. And it didn't matter one bit because they still were an awesome live band who sounded awesome. You see Korg Mini's everywhere on stages.
    There is a certain snobbishness that goes with hardware that just doesn't translate to the actual production of music and 'playing' music live. As I said I'm not a fan of laptop performers, but at least that person is up there thinking 'What I'm doing on this is worth my time and the audiences'* rather than hiding at home with 10,000 worth of power sucking vintage equipment.

    *could also be thinking "ha, these suckers are falling for it, I'm just checking my emails"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post
    Rebirth (for The Way Out Is Through, no less)
    Rebirth?! That's awesome! But yeah, it really depends on how you're using it. I used to use Buzz way back in the day, but with processing in my friend's studio, and we got some good sounds outta that program.

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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    I generally find the people who tend to go on and on about how terrible software is, aren't actually making music.

    I had a roommate who would save all this money and buy all this awesome gear... And I've never actually heard one song he's made with any of it. This was back in the early 2000's

    That shit used to piss me off to no end.

    I just recently found out he's still doing the same thing with a higher budget... And red cameras. Wtf.

    He ripped on me for pirating acid and fl studio and having a stupid guitar pod.

    But I had 2 albums worth of demos.

    Now I can afford logic and komlpete and if I wanted a bunch of hardware. But I tend to just stick with logic and komlpete nowadays.

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    I know a guy who was constantly masturbating about the Red cam. How many movies has he shot now? Approximately zero? Whereas another friend has shot three. Three feature films on HD tape. It's not the tech, it's what you do with it.

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    I'm basically hamstringing myself by trying to avoid computers here. The reason is my other big hobby which I'm really tiring of now is/was open source software, Linux etc., and I work in IT as a day job, so music making is meant to be a tonic to all that. But I think I'm setting myself up to fail. Plan B is to set up my old laptop as a pure music machine. Hopefully it's powerful enough to do what I want with…

    Yesterday I decided to try and learn more of the Micron and not write my own stuff but recreate sounds from other songs. I'm a little loath to do that in general but I can understand trying to detach improving ones technical skills from the act of creating afresh. I started with HLAH's bass line since I can remember how to play it and I had PHM on earlier on in the weekend. After only 10 minutes of tweaking I managed to get something very close and I was very happy (the key ingredient seemed to be a 'comb' filter rather than LP). I later read and enjoyed a stupid thread somewhere where someone was insisting that you had to own a Prophet VS to get a sound anywhere near it. My faith in this kit might be a little bit restored.

    This is fast becoming my favourite ETS thread btw. Thanks to all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joymode View Post
    I generally find the people who tend to go on and on about how terrible software is, aren't actually making music.
    I've known some people like that. They collect massive amounts of vintage gear, short run rare synthesizers, spend thousands on top end hardware compressors etc... and then never learn how to use any of the stuff, let alone actually make a track with it. I think some people just assume that if they buy a ton of crazy equipment, the tracks will just make themselves.

    On the other end of things, I've seen people get into a "gotta catch em all" attitude with warez. They collect every plugin that's ever been made, then spend absolutely no time learning how to take advantage of the software. With most of the good software, it takes some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and understand what it's capable of. Even relatively simple effect plugins require some patience and study to understand what they really shine at.

    Options are great if you take advantage of them, hardware or software, but you can do amazing stuff under extreme limitations. I know someone who works exclusively in Reason, and his mastery of the program has really opened my eyes the possibilities of what that software can do.

    On a side note, any Cubase users out there? I just installed version 7 on my computer, and never before have I found the installation process to be such a pain in the ass. If you're going to require me to use a dongle, please make the online registration and authentication process a breeze. Instead, they give me two different serial numbers, (one of which apparently does nothing?), then make registering the software a confusing process... I'm currently stuck in a situation where it says I've already made an account, but when I try to log in (or request login password info to my email) it says "no account with that login name exists. What the hell?
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-07-2013 at 03:03 PM.

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    I found a little midi sequencer program that is a hell of a lot of fun & extremely simple to use:

    http://www.filter24.org/seq24/

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