help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Bombastic
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help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:37 am

Hi,

I havent used Ableton or made much music in two years. I do have version 8, hardly used and an old Korg Triton rack - one of the reasons I almost gave up is connecting the Triton rack to my computer is just so painful. I am now considering selling that.

The other reason I had a break from making music is that work has been so hard and busy. However in December I have a whole month off and I figured I would take this time to just create music and possibly come out with 2 or 3 three really good songs. Songwriting is not a problem, its the music production side that I am getting left behind. I therefore intend to remedy this by buying a whole lot of new kit. So Im hoping that on this forum I can get some help as to the best synths and effects/mastering equipment I should buy as well as hardware if necessary. I have an Intel i7 laptop, 64 bit, 8mg ram and I think this might be powerful enough.

In terms of Kit and software, I wonder is Ableton is enough, to get the best sound should I also get Cubase or Pro Tools (Im a PC user)? Also, Ive heard great things about Ozone, but it's costly and I wouldnt even know how to use it. Would the purchase of Ozone come with some form of user traning, or am I limited to Youtube? Ive only ever used the EQ and Compressors in LIVE, but I suspect Im missing a trick there as my sound is always fairly "average" at best - are there other EQ/compressors worth going for? I prefer EQ/Compressors with presets, I am no good at programming!

I have an old Project Mix I/O which is firewire, but my laptop doesnt have firewire so I cant use it - so it will probably be put for sale - this means I need to find a mixer (possibly Ozone) and sound card.

Im thinking about a midi controller as well - but more for the soft synths, tweaking things like Massive and FM8 is a real chore, so I would like a controller to do that.

So, for synths, I figure I like using Massive and FM8 (already own these) - also an older synth called D'Cota, but I also want a synth to cover all sort of other sounds (strings, piano, effects, etc) this is the job my old Triton used to do - are there any synths out there capable of doing a good, realistic job and with modern sounds?

Finally, drums has always been a problem, I just dislike sample drums, I prefer to have control over the drum sound I use - is there a synth out there that I can generate awesome drum sounds without having to install thousands of gigs of samples on my machine? This is not to say I wont use samples, but I just want a reliable drum software there for when I need a specific sound.

The sort of music Im trying to create - I am getting into dubstep (doesnt mean I know how to make this sort of music), but to be honest I dont want to create a dubstep sound, I like the concepts and spirit behind dubstep but I want my own sound with a similar rationale, eg. deep, funky, experimental, dancey, catchy and very loud!

I know I have asked a lot of questions! In terms of budget, well this depends on 1) value for money - I dont mind paying if I know I can get mileage out of something - if it's gonna sit on a shelf and gather dust, that is a waste. 2)I dont mind free if it does the job. 3)Im not a pro (as you can tell), I wont be able to invest thousands in any kit - but I can invest if it's worth it. So I am not going to really give a monetary figure.

Thanks! and hope to hear from you soon!
Vinny

Rotter3
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Rotter3 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:17 am

Stop thinking about it - just do it

Bombastic
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:51 pm

not very useful but thanks anyway

Rotter3
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Rotter3 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:31 am

With all due respect that's the best bit of advice anyone will ever give you.

Bombastic
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:09 am

Rotter I appreciate you being the only person out there to respond to my post. Your post is kind of patronising. I dont need to be told to just "do it" as I cant just "do it" as work is taking up 12 hours of my day each day, and the wife takes up the rest. As stated in the subject- I have a one month holiday in December where I will be solely focused on making some music. I cant make music today as right now Im working, although I am writing songs in preparation - but I figured I would start "planning" for what get for my sessions in December as my kit is sorely out of date!

supamonsta
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by supamonsta » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:00 pm

well, that's a good question,

I'd only answer this:

don't buy anything new, or just 1 thing.

you will spend your whole month trying your new toys, and you'll have finally not enough time to compose...

1 month is short (sorry for that quote), and you'll still have your wife and daily occupations, even if not working... so I'd just recommend to make a planning (this and that days, I'm here for nobody but the music), and just do it.

- stick with ableton (you won't learn and manage a new DAW enough quickly to be ALSO able to compose and finalise 2-3 tracks in the same month, or you're a supercomputer hybrid man)

- forget ozone and all "mastering" stuff, that's another stage of musical production (have it done by mastering engineers if you really wanna release stuff)

- mixer : ableton live is a mixer, and I believe you don't really need a real console

- midi controller is good if you know your needs (perhap's faders, to control live's mixing console)

- stick with live's devices (EQs, Compression, FXs). Check Tarekith's tutorials, really worth the read

- drums, if natural, get XLN addictive drums, if not, I don't really know, there are good decent VST drum synths, but I couldn't help

- a VST synthesiser takes at least a plain week to manage, don't you already own a synth you're used to use?? if not, massive, zebra2...

good luck and have a great "sabbatical" time!

cheers

Rotter3
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Rotter3 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:14 pm

Sorry - I didn't mean to patronise, I just saw a long list of things that were stopping you making music.

Just Ableton is infinitely more powerful than the equipment that some of the best pieces of electronic music of all time were made on.

If you have a soundcard and a contoller / keyboard and Ableton you have an immensely powerful environment for creating music.

Today there is a tyranny of choice that will conspire to stop you from just doing it.

If you really want to focus on making music focus on making music and not the tools.

I sympathise with your predicament - similarly I have a full time job, girlfriend and step-daughter, I'm away most weekends DJ-ing but I still find time to work on music.

Consequently my advice to you to just focus on the music as opposed to the peripheral stuff was good, I believe.

If you really want to get stuff done the best way is to limit yourself to the barest minimum of tools that are adaptable enough to get the job done without distracting you from the act of creating music.

Tarekith
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Tarekith » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:46 pm

I agree about NOT buying a bunch of new gear, as that's just going to mean you spend that holiday learning it all and dealing with any unexpected connection or bug issues. Maybe by one thing and focus on that, use that to help get you inspired, but keep the rest the same.

andydes
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by andydes » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:18 pm

Live, Massive and fm8 should be more than enough for sounds. I agree you don't want to waste too much time learning lots of new stuff. You really don't want to waste time trying to learn how to master. If at the end of your month you have something you want mastering, just get someone else to do it. Some will even mix it too if you want for a little more. Try this dude here ^

A midi controller isn't a bad idea though if you want to spend some cash. Monitors too if you don't have anything decent.

Live's sound quality, eq and compression are absolutely fine.

Bombastic
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:22 am

thanks everyone for your advice, I have decided to focus on what I know, FM8, massive and Ableton. And maybe your right to focus on music rather than learning new instruments.
BUT I do want some advice on drums - this has always been the weakest link in my music - preferably soft synths and not samples. I will spend the remaining time I have trying learn this before december comes along!

thanks again, really appreciate the advice and it does genuinely sound like you care.

wascal
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by wascal » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:25 pm

Here's a load of links from my OCD browser bookmarks folder:

Sound on Sound 2001-11 Synthesizing Percussion
Sound on Sound 2001-12 Practical Percussion Synthesis
Sound on Sound 2002-01 Synthesizing Drums: The Bass Drum
Sound on Sound 2002-02 Practical Bass Drum Synthesis
Sound on Sound 2002-03 Synthesizing Drums: The Snare Drum
Sound on Sound 2002-04 Practical Snare Drum Synthesis
Sound on Sound 2002-05 Synth Secrets: Analysing Metallic Percussion
Sound on Sound 2002-06 Synthesizing Realistic Cymbals
Sound on Sound 2002-07 Practical Cymbal Synthesis
Sound on Sound 2002-08 Synthesizing Bells
Sound on Sound 2002-09 Synthesizing Cowbells & Claves
http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmod ... ssion.html
.pdf manual for the Waldorf RackAttack
pdf manual for the Mungo dDS Drum Synth
Roland Analog Percussion Notes
Drum synthesis in NI Massive
Drum synthesis with Ableton's Operator

Theres some good drum polyrhythm tutorial books out there too, always worth having a play with some of those ideas if thats your bag. This is basic stuff but worth a quick read, I'm sure you may well already know this stuff.

If you can squeeze 15 minutes free time in between your job, try to make 1 loop or 8 bar sequence every day - doesn't have to be perfect, just single drum loop or synth part - and whack it in a folder for your time off in December. This is what I tend to do if I have a few weeks off coming up, so I can hit the ground running once I'm off work ;)
TTKK / NOODLES / iANDALE! / TIGERBEAT6 / HOT & HEAVY etc
http://www.soundcloud.com/wascal

Bombastic
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:31 am

im not really interested in synthesis or creating sounds, just want a drum synth, out of the box, that I can get great sounds off (preferably presets), not based on samples.

wascal
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by wascal » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:51 am

Doh! sorry ;) Sonic Charge µTonic / MicroTonic is a good bet for that kind of thing.
TTKK / NOODLES / iANDALE! / TIGERBEAT6 / HOT & HEAVY etc
http://www.soundcloud.com/wascal

puzzlefactory
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by puzzlefactory » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:20 pm

You say in your original post that drums have always been a problem and you don't like using samples. With that in mind I would go for one of these.

http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/products/tempest/

Also as its an analogue bit of gear, it will retain its value, so you can easily sell it on for pretty much the same price you bought it for...

Bombastic
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Re: help decidind which kit to buy for a sabattical of music !

Post by Bombastic » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:53 pm

I love tempest it looks awesome, too expensive for me though.

I like the microtonic - but how does TREMOR compare? http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=167 I like the look of the UI

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