Please help What gear should I buy?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
NeroZero
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Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by NeroZero » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:29 pm

Hello, my name is Garrison, I am 15 years old, and have been a fan of electronic music for the past few years. I have tried programs like Magix and FL, but none of them have done it for me. I think that Ableton would allow me to go in whatever direction I chose with my music, and it would give me a lot of room to explore what I'm capable of. I am buying Ableton Live 8, and was wondering what kind of gear would be best for me. I need a good MIDI controller, so Im thinking about the Launchpad. If you have any questions about me that would help you answer this, please ask. I'm hoping that you guys can help me spend my money on the right things for me. Thank you!
-Garrison

logic_user99
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by logic_user99 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:32 pm

A launchpad might be a good way to go if you want a grid-style controller. Have you thought about one of the Akai controllers, or the Novation ones - keys + knobs?
Macbook | Live 7.0.18 |

UKRuss
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by UKRuss » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:36 pm

You will get all sorts of various answers for this but i would ask you to consider the following:

What kind of music are you going to make?
Are you intending on performing this music live using Ableton or are you simply producing in your home studio?

This will dictate what controller suits your needs, for example do you need a keyboard? Do you need drum pads, do you need faders and rotaries, do you need a cross fader, do you need to launch clips grid style, do you need to tweak FX parameters live etc.

get a spec together and pop back.

other thigns you will defintely need are a decent audio/midi interface with the correct amount of in/s and outs and connection to your PC/mac (firewire or USB) for your production needs, and a decent set of monitors to hear your creations properly.

Consider if you will record live instruments. Do you need mics and a card with decent pre-amps and so on.

NeoMetric
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by NeoMetric » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:48 pm

Live. It's good. Has instant gratification and gets technical. I heard it doesn't sound good. That's just crazy talk.
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Virus Classic, Nord Lead 2, MPD32, Launchpad

res308
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by res308 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:05 pm

Launchpad + a 25 key controller like novation nocturn would be a good start.
Most controllers have a lite version of ableton, so buy the controller(s) first and you can then get the upgrade to 8. (cheaper)
I dont know if your on pc or mac, but on pc i would think about getting a good soundcard to have a low latency while playing.

supamonsta
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by supamonsta » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:50 pm

if you're really beginning in this electronic music world,

I'd advise you just to go for a "cheap" all-in-one solution at first.

==> m-audio axiom 25 or stuff like that, you'll get a decent keyboard (it's a real need), pads, faders, rotaries...

perfect controller to learn further, and in 1 or 2 years you'll see more specific needs arising (wow, I need more faders, or, wow I need a launchpad...)

not everybody needs a launchpad. yes it looks cool, it's the new hype on this forums (the APC40 was at the same place 2 months ago), but it is a specific controller.
you will perhaps never need a 64 pad matrix, all depends on your style of live playing, on your real needs.

saying that launchpad is a controller designed FOR ableton doesn't mean it's designed for YOUR usage of ableton. (I compose and play live since years now, and I still don't need a pad matrix specifically designed for live. I now own 3 midi controllers, and I bought them progressively, when the need for each arose)

for now you may not have any need but the one to have fun and gear that will allow you to learn music composition and ableton live's usage.



so ====> go for a cool generic all-in-one midi controller, it's the best to begin with.
go cheap first, look at second hand sales, evolution UC33, midi keyboards with rotaries...


cheers

NeoMetric
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by NeoMetric » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:05 pm

play guitar instead. chicks are not impressed with computers.
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Virus Classic, Nord Lead 2, MPD32, Launchpad

supamonsta
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by supamonsta » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:08 pm

Chicks could be impressed by a little shiny apple logo... :wink:

chicks love what shines...
and they like fruits (if not burger addicts... but that's not chicks but chokes...)

citizenchris099
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by citizenchris099 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:20 pm

I would say an Akai MPK 25 and a Launchpad would be a great start.

cenik11
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by cenik11 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:30 pm

If you're just starting out and looking only to produce, IMO you need i) a good sound card (e.g. Echo AudioFire 2 or 4), ii) a reliable sequencer (e.g. Live), iii) a MIDI keyboard (you don't need anything special here, e.g. I use the M-Audio Keystation 49e), and (very importantly) iv) a pair of good reference monitors (a great 'budget' option is the Event TR8s). If you throw some kind of controller into the mix you'll likely spend more time trying to get it setup and working in some particular way than actually making music and completing tracks.

If you're looking to perform with Live as well, then a controller such as the Launchpad may be a good idea.

Allan A.Live
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by Allan A.Live » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:54 pm

If you can't play keyboard i recommend you: launchpad+korg nanokontrol. If you can play, add a 49 midikeyboard (cheap one, like m audio keystation for example). With this combinations you have a clipmatrix what is very helpful for the innovative soundcreation what is possible in live and faders and rotarys on the other hand and in every case a liteversion from live for cheaper upgrading.

Also important is a soundcard and monitors for making music, integrated soundcard with asio4all (freeware) and logitec soundsystem is ok for the beginning, but if you go deeper you need serious stuff.

Hope this will help a little....

citizenchris099
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by citizenchris099 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:02 pm

duno how much actual keyboard playing the op will be doing but weighted or at least semi weighted keys w/aftertouch are kind of a must for me when playing.

ThrowAway
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Re: Please help What gear should I buy?

Post by ThrowAway » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:32 pm

cenik11 wrote:If you're just starting out and looking only to produce, IMO you need i) a good sound card (e.g. Echo AudioFire 2 or 4), ii) a reliable sequencer (e.g. Live), iii) a MIDI keyboard (you don't need anything special here, e.g. I use the M-Audio Keystation 49e), and (very importantly) iv) a pair of good reference monitors (a great 'budget' option is the Event TR8s). If you throw some kind of controller into the mix you'll likely spend more time trying to get it setup and working in some particular way than actually making music and completing tracks.

If you're looking to perform with Live as well, then a controller such as the Launchpad may be a good idea.
solid advice.

NeroZero
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Re: Please help- What gear should I buy?

Post by NeroZero » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:57 pm

Wow, I never expected so many great replies! On many forums new guys will be ignored, but Im glad that you guys have tried to help me out. Since a lot of factors seem to rely on what my plans are, I'll try and be as detailed as possible. I really love French electronic music the best at the moment. Bands like Justice (although they are a bit overrated) and some of Daft Punks later stuff.. bands that fuse funky house music with the crunchyness of metal are what I love to listen to. Justice's remix of MGMT's "Electric Feel" is a prime example of the music I'd like to learn how to make. I would not be performin live, at least not in the near future. I'm not thinking that far ahead. I might use acoustics every now and then, but I would probably only use my guitar and vocals if they really fit in with what I was trying to do. I'd need to be able to use samples from other MP3 files in my work.
I was originally planning on buying a 25 key M-Audio keyboard, but I do not know how to play the piano, so I thought this might be sort of pointless. I figured that a button based controller would be more useful than a keyboard, but I have the feeling that the two do totally different things, and that I'm a little lost here. If you could mention what the particular object you are suggesting would actually do in terms of the music making/performing process, that'd be great. As I am still a teenager, I havent had much time to become exposed to electronic music as much as I would have liked. The area where I am from has no good shows, so the closest I've gotten to a live concert is listening to Alive 2007. So for a while I've been in the dark about how the music is actually made, aside from the items I've already mentioned. Once again, thanks for all your help!

citizenchris099
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Re: Please help- What gear should I buy?

Post by citizenchris099 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:12 pm

NeroZero wrote: I was originally planning on buying a 25 key M-Audio keyboard, but I do not know how to play the piano, so I thought this might be sort of pointless. I figured that a button based controller would be more useful than a keyboard, but I have the feeling that the two do totally different things, and that I'm a little lost here.
though many might disagree w/me I'm of the opinion that electronic or otherwise we're talking about creating music and as such you should have a musical way of interfacing with the software. If you're already familiar with guitar this tells me you know a bit about theory and music making in general...and as such you should have no trouble learning the basics of a standard music keyboard. My point being you don't have to be able to "play piano" to use a keyboard.

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