Production - Where do I start?

#1

While thus far my music "career" has only involved DJing, I'm very serious about starting to produce. I really don't want my first tunes to sound amateurish so I want to do all the research I possibly can into getting the right equipment and software.

I really have no idea where to start, so I'll ask first: Logic, or Ableton (or something completely different)? Simple advantages / disadvantages to each? Does it matter much in terms of what style I want to produce?

I definitely want to produce drum & bass. I have some good samples for melodies at my disposal I collected over the years, but I have no idea how synth pads or sub-bass lines are created. I'm assuming stock instruments in software are rarely used, so what software, controllers, and plug-ins are needed to create good pads and sub-bass sounds from scratch (or are most of them created using stock instruments as a base)? Is there anywhere I can watch some quality, professional walkthroughs on step-by step drum & bass production?
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#2

Ph1l2007 Wrote:Logic, or Ableton (or something completely different)? Simple advantages / disadvantages to each? Does it matter much in terms of what style I want to produce?
Big 5 names in the DAW world are: Cubase, Reason, Ableton, FL Studio, Logic (Mac only!). You may want to download demos of these programs first and check which programs suits you best. People will most likely always name you their favorite program which they're currently using and saying it has these and those advantages over those programs, but I say it's a personal thing, no one knows which workflow YOU are best with. And every program has its advantages and disadvantages. Bear it. (e.g. Cubase has no Sampler and Ableton no Audio Editor (as far as I'm aware), etc...). And no, it does not matter much in terms of what style you want to produce.


Ph1l2007 Wrote:I really don't want my first tunes to sound amateurish so I want to do all the research I possibly can into getting the right equipment and software.

Lol, "the right equipment" won't guarantee you no amateurish sound at all. Musical diversement comes from experience and from the heart, a good setup is just finetuning which one should take care of when he's feeling right about what he's producing IMO. You can do a lot with solely a program of your choice, a keyboard, a mouse and headphones. Ask Tim Reaper Icon_razz You'd be better waiting with hardware equipment (or other equipment with costs in general) to buy.

As for synth software: depends on what kind of sound you want to produce. Native Instruments has some nice synths, Absynth, FM8 and Massive, just to name a few. Omnisphere by Spectrasonics is also said to be nice. You can get free but good synth and effect VSTs over here http://kunz.corrupt.ch/products. However, you don't hear much synthesizers in leftfield dnb, so don't rely on them too much (if you aim for this sound of course).

Just my 2 cents Cool
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#3

A widely massive question! Take what skygene said, add in a pinch of Reaper & Renoise for 2 more excellent and affordable daws.

Fully agree on the right equipment. Learn with what you get with the package and a few other bits and bobs in terms of plugins. Dont get too hung up on getting the right equipment at the start, it's all about familiarising yourself with the software, with how to create, how to arrange etc. There's so much to learn, but my advice is to read as many production articles as possible, look at production videos on YouTube. Then apply it in your own way.

There's so much more to say. Just get messing around.
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#4

If i was starting again now id prob go with ableton... ive used cubase for years and its awesome but steep learning curve. You can also DJ with ableton.

You can get the lite version for £100 ish for a start its more than powerful, get a few free VST synths etc for now (TAL, Synth1, come back for more info) and some free effects and some samples (tons all over the place, lots of known good ones on my site for a kickoff), and youre off.

Youll need an asio driver for your built in pc if youre using that, if youre not buying a decent soundcard, if you are, then budget will dictate the best one, the small USB focusrite ones are very good.

Also i cant recommend decent monitors enough, its so much harder and frustrating learning on crap speakers....

Such an open ended question tho Smile Come back when youve had a look around.

But generally these days, all equipment/software is so ridiculously powerful and cheap compared to when i started (:grandadSmile you cant really go wrong. Grin
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#5
(This post was last modified: 30th June 2011, 17:23 by rondema.)

My advice is.. If you have an iPhone (or even better an iPad) then buy NanoStudio.
Upload shitload of breaks. Learn. Learn. Enjoy.

Your new found knowledge will inform your decision regarding other software, plus there are loads of incredible music/sound/instrument/manipulation/performance apps available for your iOS device for buttons... Like Horizon Synth, Looptastic, SampleWiz, Filtatron, ThumbJam, StudioTrack, Meteor..

You can do it all in the box tbh. Helps with the authentic early 90's sound Wink
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#6

Download some demos of different sequencers then go from there. See what floats your boat. for me it's all about renoise and ableton. Renoise is super easy to get beats down and ableton is fun for time stretching and DJing..
beats are there to be broken http://musicindevon.org/
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#7

rondema Wrote:My advice is.. If you have an iPhone (or even better an iPad) then buy NanoStudio.
Upload shitload of breaks. Learn. Learn. Enjoy.

Your new found knowledge will inform your decision regarding other software, plus there are loads of incredible music/sound/instrument/manipulation/performance apps available for your iOS device for buttons... Like Horizon Synth, Looptastic, SampleWiz, Filtatron, ThumbJam, StudioTrack, Meteor..

You can do it all in the box tbh. Helps with the authentic early 90's sound Wink

I'm still waiting for a native iPad nano studio. Then I'll buy it for definite.

Have all those apps above got audiocopy functionality now?

Get some of your tunes upped mate, want to hear your nanostudio creations.
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#8

Talking about iOS, I can highly recommend SunVox... it's for free!

It's also tracker based Eek

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#9

I've switched from Cubase to MULAB since moving:

http://www.mutools.com/

It's a free tracker and I can work the sequencer really easily.

Now it's all a matter of finding out how to chop breaks in it, since it's MIDI based so I can't cut up and loop bars.
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#10

Muttley Wrote:I've switched from Cubase to MULAB since moving:

http://www.mutools.com/

It's a free tracker and I can work the sequencer really easily.

Now it's all a matter of finding out how to chop breaks in it, since it's MIDI based so I can't cut up and loop bars.

If you want to keep it on the free scene, seen. You could go with good old shortcircuit for your vst sampler. Its not exactly the most accurate or quickest way to chop up samples but its not too bad. Gets a bit tedious for long break samples with umpteen drum hits to chop but for shorter samples its not so bad.

http://vemberaudio.se/shortcircuit.php

Its also a good free sampler for the o/p to check out. I honestly dont use any other software sampler now and havent for ages, even gave up on kontakt and battery finally. I still have motu mach five installed but never use it.
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#11

Fada Wrote:If you want to keep it on the free scene, seen. You could go with good old shortcircuit for your vst sampler. Its not exactly the most accurate or quickest way to chop up samples but its not too bad. Gets a bit tedious for long break samples with umpteen drum hits to chop but for shorter samples its not so bad.

http://vemberaudio.se/shortcircuit.php

Cheers Fada, installed it and assigning breaks to the keyboard already. Shortcircuit 2 didn't work with MULAB when I tried it - strange - but this will be more than ample for my requirements.

To add to the discussion from this: MULAB has a walk-through tutorial online if you search YouTube. I've since upgraded and purchased four more tracks to produce on.
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#12

i dont think version 2 of shortcircuit was ever finished so thats maybe why Smile

i just use the v 1.1.2
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#13

Right. That's the one I have. Upon playing around with it and a quick flick through the Knowledge Base, it seems I can't actually record the breaks into the MULAB sequencer even when I've sliced them to a keymap and play each.

I will figure it out, as well as how to re-pitch samples, but any help greatly appreciated. I used to work with NI Battery, but that was 2006.

New discovery I was happy to make: MULAB allows you to assign notes to keys on your laptop or wireless keyboard. There's a 'show virtual MIDI keyboard' function in the 'Edit' panel where you can also choose QWERTY or A/X variant. Smile
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#14

Ph1l2007 - How did the recommendations turn out? Did you get your setup in place?
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