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Thread: How to Make Music with Your Computer

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    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…
    As a web developer I spend all day programming in front of two screens. So it's no wonder that, coming from a background of making music on computers, I worked less and less on music when it meant coming home and sitting in front of two monitors and programming. So I started moving outboard. The Tempest is a dream to program rhythm on. I can do all kinds of fun stuff live on my MS2000. Likewise my humble but effective guitar collection. I've been trying to make music that I can perform without interacting with the computer, which helps bring back the excitement of creating, without the fatigue of sitting in front of a computer even more hours of my day. And when I want to hit record, I interact with Vegas through my ProjectMix IO.

    This has forced me to keep my outboard arsenal fairly minimal, which I think helps keep me from diving into the sound-design deep end, which is fun and all, but not as satisfying as recording and finishing a god damn song.

    That said, most of what I've been recording recently has been live drums, with my wife on Mandocaster and vocals. I've got one or two songs that use electronics for our little band, but they're not quite ready for prime time.

  2. #62
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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    I hear ya on that. I think my thing to tho is that I'm on the road 6 months out of the year. So I've gotten very accustomed to programming on a MacBook Pro.

    That's another benefit for me. To be able to sit in a hotel room or on a friends couch with headphones and create.

  3. #63
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    The Tempest is a dream to program rhythm on.
    So, Dave Smith Instruments' facebook page just shared this flickr set...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leviath...7632463815051/

    I'm assuming that's yours?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    So, Dave Smith Instruments' facebook page just shared this flickr set...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leviath...7632463815051/

    I'm assuming that's yours?
    The 'leviathant' in the URL gave it away huh? Yup - I am the proud owner of that machine and even more proud owner of it's new case It was on Matrixsynth on Monday, as well.

  5. #65
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    That is a good sounding machine and a dang snazzy case!
    Also, was looking on Vintagesynth.com, the DSI Prophet '08 is hella-fat sounding. Gear-lust rising...
    Last edited by Fixer808; 01-08-2013 at 09:18 PM.

  6. #66
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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    DAWs then. Any reaper fans here? I'm going to try reaper and fl studio first, as a beginner. I did have a quick look at Renoise (on my Linux laptop) but suspect I'd be better off with one of the more popular ones. No regular mac access ATM so GarageBand ruled out, although iOS garageband is an option. My current plan is to do some light arrangement work on recorded sessions of synth freestyling... Initially record a few minutes of a tone, then layer another tone and try to do minimal editing work, then layer another Etc. heck I might stick to audacity to start with.

  7. #67
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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    If I weren't so entrenched in Sony Vegas, I would probably be using Reaper.

  8. #68
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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    Reaper is cool. I think ardour is nice too. Works on Mac windows and Linux.

    In fact it's so good, that If my Native Instruments Komplete worked in Ubuntu, I'd probably switch over 100%.

    I rely on the Komplete package for way too much of my work.
    Last edited by DVYDRNS; 01-16-2013 at 09:57 AM. Reason: added links

  9. #69
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    @Leviathant I'm curious why you use Vegas for music making? I thought that was primarily a video editing app? why not use Acid or some other DAW? Not finding fault with you, just legitimately curious!

  10. #70
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    Whilst I'm going to have to dive into using computers for this, unavoidable really, I really want to avoid Linux for music making… both because it's too close to home (work) and my (former) hobbies, but also because - let's face it - whilst there are some good apps with Linux support (Ardour, Renoise) the big picture for interoperability, plugin support, consistent user interface and basic walk-up-to-it-and-get-to-work is terrible. Also I don't use Windows much so it's a bit refreshing to only be exposed to it for music making (and slacking off. Finally an opportunity to fire up steam again. D'oh!)

    OTOH, if I pick up a more portable HW synth, I might use a basic four-track style app on my iphone or android tablet to layer stuff, simply because I can then work in different rooms if my significant other is working in our study. (or I can work on the train, or in coffee shops on my lunch break, or at a friends…) I doubt that I could do any other serious DAW-like work on a portable device though.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVYDRNS View Post
    @Leviathant I'm curious why you use Vegas for music making? I thought that was primarily a video editing app? why not use Acid or some other DAW? Not finding fault with you, just legitimately curious!
    No, totally legitimate question, as Vegas does at first glance appear to be an odd choice for DAW. You would think that if Sony were my bag, I'd be using Acid, right?

    I started using Vegas at version 2 or 3. Prior to that, I would - not kidding - use copy and paste mix in Sound Forge to 'multitrack' recordings that I made against tracks that I 'composed' (I hesitate to use that word because my wife's getting her PhD in composition). Sound Forge was awesome. Is still awesome. Vegas was the guys from Sound Forge going multitrack, how could I not try that out? The early versions of Vegas had very rudimentary video editing, but I didn't much care about that until many years later when I started messing around with video, and boy was it handy to have that available.

    I remember when Acid came out, I gave it a try, and it felt like a scaled back version of Vegas. I couldn't really understand why I should bother using that when I already had an environment to work within.

    The possible answer to that question might have been "Because Acid has MIDI", but given how I started out with audio editing on the computer, I actually, in a weird way, use it like a tape machine. In Sound Forge, I was essentially overdubbing. In Vegas, it was multichannel, and super-easy splitting and splicing. Any sequencing I did was external, either on a hardware drum machine, or in, say, Reason. I'd export to audio, and then mangle it in Vegas.

    Where I started to feel the pain was when I wanted to do things like dynamic tempo changes. Sometime around the time Cubase SX came out (and while it still sucked, it was a huge improvement over Cubase VST) and at some point I discovered the Tempo Envelope, where you could slide down to a new tempo, change time signatures on the fly... Reason couldn't do that on its own, my drum machines couldn't do that. Mind you, I don't know if I actually recorded/released anything that did anything too fancy with the tempo, but I was starting to see how sticking with Vegas was going to restrict me.

    Around that time, I joined a shitty (I say that affectionately) punk band. MIDI schmidi. All I needed were tracks and speed, and Vegas provided. Not long after that, I bought a fixer-upper of a house, and for a number of stupid reasons, the band broke up, and I didn't really make any music for a number of years. However, Melissa's composing career launched, and I took to recording both video & audio of performances of her pieces, and after one of my promos for one of her works was played on the Rachel Maddow Show, I decided I was long overdue to pay for the damn software. That was Vegas 9, I've since upgraded to 10 and again to 12.

    A year ago, we finished the fixer-upper house & rented it out, and I started making music again. I've recorded a couple of songs with Melissa under the title "Up Your Cherry" (a play on "a piacere"), although I've only managed to get her to record vox for a single track, we've played a number of shows, and damnit, we will have at least an EP's worth of tracks up on Bandcamp before the year is through. Since we have to perform live, I keep the instrumentation live-oriented: Drum kit, drum machines, vocals, and mandocaster. The recorded tracks have bass too - but I've only played bass at a live UYC performance once so far, for a single track. That track actually switches from 7/4 to 6/4 near the end of it, but handily my DSI Tempest can do that without blinking, so I was able to set that to go autopilot while I brought up the bottom.

    I never liked Cubase. When I finally tried Pro-Tools, I came to the conclusion that people are brainwashed. What a piece of shit DAW. I must confess I haven't used FL-anything since back when it was called FruityLoops. It's not fair to them at all, but whenever I see "FL Studio" I read it as Fruity Loops Studio. Apple bought Logic and killed the Windows version, so fuck you Apple. I came from a tracker background, so most MIDI sequencers in the late 90s came across as woefully inadequate, given the lack of control and the horrible interface. I'm sure they were fine if you could play the black and whites, but I never got into that, so Cubase and Cakewalk and the like were horrible. Reason was the first thing that came out that convinced me that there had been some evolution in usability since trackers, and I used that for a few years, often rendering it into chunks to effect later in Vegas. Inefficient, perhaps, but I also prefer individual effects pedals to a multi-fx unit.

    I tried Reaper out a couple of times over the years - early on, it was passable. More recently, I feel like it's caught up with Vegas in both usability and, what, UX? UI? Information display. And instead of video editing, it has MIDI. And it's Justin Frankel, the fucking dude who made Winamp, Shoutcast & gnutella. The licensing for Reaper is pitch-perfect, and essentially reflects how I used Vegas, except the way I used Vegas involved cracks, up until I made money with the result, and then I started paying: that's against their silly rules. Reaper's philosophy to pricing is spot-on how I'd do it if I sold my company to AOL for dozens of millions of dollars in stock when I was in my early 20s and decided to keep making cool shit anyway. Heh. The guy has a fantastic combination of heart and ability, and I think that will drive Reaper to go places the other DAWs will have trouble keeping up with.

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    Unrelated to my previous post: You may have seen the news going around the tech sites last week, but Adobe essentially put their CS2 suite out there for free. This includes Adobe Audition, which I would probably recommend over Audacity, which - bless their hearts for trying, but it's still not as good as the shareware Goldwave editor I was using in 1995.

  13. #73
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    Adobe Audition was basically what became of Cool Edit Pro right? If so I may have to at least go back and have a poke, when I was first interesting in making noises, and eventually 'music', Cool Edit Pro 2 was the only thing I had run in a stable enough fashion. I loved that program to pieces.

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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    I think they pulled it down? I think it was a mistake.

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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post
    Unrelated to my previous post: You may have seen the news going around the tech sites last week, but Adobe essentially put their CS2 suite out there for free. This includes Adobe Audition, which I would probably recommend over Audacity, which - bless their hearts for trying, but it's still not as good as the shareware Goldwave editor I was using in 1995.
    I hadn't seen that actually — thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DVYDRNS View Post
    I think they pulled it down? I think it was a mistake.
    It wasn't a mistake, but you're supposed to have a license to use it - they took down the activation servers I think, so this is a replacement.

    so if you download it without a license, you might as well just download CS6 because they're the same in terms of legality.

  18. #78
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    in other news, I have fallen in love with the ARP 2600 V by arturia. holy crap. this little plugin is rad...

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVYDRNS View Post
    in other news, I have fallen in love with the ARP 2600 V by arturia. holy crap. this little plugin is rad...
    Yeah, that's a pretty great plugin.

    Lately I've been tempted to purchase Synplant. I've been getting some great squeely sounds out of the demo, and the UI is a nice break from convention, even if it is a little perplexing (especially at first).

  20. #80
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    I just got sylenth because of a project im working on, going through the basic presets, I think I can re create the entire lady gaga album.

  21. #81
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    I got the demo for Sylenth a while back and I remember being really impressed with it (especially for the price), but I couldn't justify the purchase at the time because I already had a load of synths that (for me at least) seemed to accomplish what it was capable of. Every now and again I'm tempted to look at it again.

  22. #82
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    I'm sitting here with my credit card, trying to convince myself to just bite the bullet and upgrade to Ableton Live 9.

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I'm sitting here with my credit card, trying to convince myself to just bite the bullet and upgrade to Ableton Live 9.
    There are five very important words that keep me saving money over and over again. "I do not need this." Put the credit card away, you're doing fine with whatever version of Ableton you have.

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    Really Excited for KOMPLETE 9. Might finally upgrade from 6 which has been very good for my needs. But is feeling a bit long in the tooth...

    http://www.macosxaudio.com/front/201...e-9-unkloaked/

  25. #85
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    yeah, I'm still on Komplete 5. The new version of Battery looks very interesting though...

  26. #86
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    I just installed Live 9.. (its already cracked) its decent for sure.. i think i'm still gonna stick with Logic tho...

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVYDRNS View Post
    I just installed Live 9.. (its already cracked) its decent for sure.. i think i'm still gonna stick with Logic tho...
    Logic w/ Ableton rewired = real ultimate power ... That's the best of all worlds, as long as you bounce the audio from Live into Logic and don't leave your mixes in stasis, in which case they turn into a nightmare over time. Some things are just so much faster to do in Ableton imo.

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    How to Make Music with Your Computer

    I'm reading about that. Interesting..

  29. #89
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    If you guys are using 64-bit Ableton 9, install Jbridge to make your 32-bit VST plugins function with it.

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    Have we talked about Aalto yet? Literally the best VSTi ever made, I will not hear arguments, sorry.

    You can get a 'lite' version (idk what makes it lite, one voice maybe?) for free:
    http://www.ohdratdigital.com/free-st...bs-aalto-solo/

    The full version has patches from mr. cortini with it, so you can half fulfill those dreams of being in nin and staring at the back of trent's head.

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