Getting started, what to buy

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
solipsys
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Getting started, what to buy

Post by solipsys » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:53 pm

I was learning about ableton while on deployment, on a ship, so I didn't have much access to information and bought an APC40 without much knowledge on what I really needed. I'm just trying to learn how to make beats but I don't think I bought the proper tool. Do I need something more like a keyboard or is there a setup someone could set me up with that I could look into?

I was looking at push vs a keyboard, is push worth the money or would a keyboard be more than enough?

Any info would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

leisuremuffin
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by leisuremuffin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:45 pm

it really depends on what you want to do.

Can you play keys? If you can, you will definitely want a keyboard.


Push is really good, and i think its worth the cash. It's a really great tool for writing drum parts and for making arrangements on the fly with session view. It's also good for writing melodic parts, and makes it easier for non-keyboard players to come up with decent stuff and feel like they can play, but for a keyboard player, it's never going to replace the traditional layout that one is used to.

the only place push falls short is in mixing. everybody is different, but for the type of mixing i like to do live, i want faders with at least 3 knobs over each fader to work effectively. currently there isn't much out there for controllers that offers that anyway. I've been using a really old midi fader box that i've gigged with for over 15 years and an ipad running lemur sitting over it for my knobs. However, i just bit the bullet and bought 2 a+h Xone k2s for mixing duty. I'll let you know how that goes when they get here.



but, let me pull back a little. I think you can do a TON of stuff with the APC40 so maybe spend a minute with it and see what you can do.
TimeableFloat ???S?e?n?d?I?n?f?o

solipsys
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by solipsys » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:21 pm

what about keeping the apc for mixing and running a keyboard with it as well?

TomViolenz
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by TomViolenz » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:32 pm

solipsys wrote:what about keeping the apc for mixing and running a keyboard with it as well?
If it's mainly for beats and you are on a ship (i.e. not much posibility to get other stuff) I'd get rid of the APC40 and get Push. It's just awesome for creativity! Once you finished with the creative phase and get into proper mixing, you might get some other tools, possibly even the APC40 among them. (But an actual 8 channel mixer with EQ would be a lot better yet)

Buleriachk
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by Buleriachk » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:53 pm

Launchpad S + Launchpad95 gets you the matrix and scales + the performance grid.

For me, I sold my APC40, and sprung for Maschine Mk2 (with the 2.0 upgrade). The Maschine Mk2 has a Live 9 template that works great with Ableton Live, so is an investment in a Live controller as well as Maschine, which has an excellent sound library; and the upgrade to Komplete 9 is incredible, much better than Suite IMO (although M4L has some great features, to be sure).

There are a lot of great alternatives available; I never cease to be amazed....
Last edited by Buleriachk on Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

yur2die4
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:03 pm

Learn how to use the software without anything first.

TomViolenz
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by TomViolenz » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:07 pm

yur2die4 wrote:Learn how to use the software without anything first.
I disagree: If you have something like Push (or Maschine), learning the software goes hand in hand with learning the hardware and you have fun doing it too!

yur2die4
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:49 pm

We'll have to agree to disagree :).

As for my points of argument:
1. You learn what the software can actually do, as opposed to feeling restricted through the portal of a hardware device (not that the device isn't beautifully executed)

2. You don't spend any money... yet, and once you do, you'll probably know exactly the features that you want and what you can buy to suit those needs.

3. I have plenty of fun using qwerty and mouse. Sometimes more fun than with Push, especially once I have my setup working in my favor.

4. In most cases, you'll eventually end up using the mouse and keyboard anyway to do final editing. Might as well be proficient at it.

Buleriachk
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by Buleriachk » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:56 pm

+1 Ableton Live 9 is very powerful even with just mouse and keyboard, and you'll learn a lot more about what you want in a controller when you finally get one.
yur2die4 wrote:We'll have to agree to disagree :).

As for my points of argument:
1. You learn what the software can actually do, as opposed to feeling restricted through the portal of a hardware device (not that the device isn't beautifully executed)

2. You don't spend any money... yet, and once you do, you'll probably know exactly the features that you want and what you can buy to suit those needs.

3. I have plenty of fun using qwerty and mouse. Sometimes more fun than with Push, especially once I have my setup working in my favor.

4. In most cases, you'll eventually end up using the mouse and keyboard anyway to do final editing. Might as well be proficient at it.

jestermgee
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by jestermgee » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:13 am

Buleriachk wrote:+1 Ableton Live 9 is very powerful even with just mouse and keyboard, and you'll learn a lot more about what you want in a controller when you finally get one.
yur2die4 wrote:We'll have to agree to disagree :).

As for my points of argument:
1. You learn what the software can actually do, as opposed to feeling restricted through the portal of a hardware device (not that the device isn't beautifully executed)

2. You don't spend any money... yet, and once you do, you'll probably know exactly the features that you want and what you can buy to suit those needs.

3. I have plenty of fun using qwerty and mouse. Sometimes more fun than with Push, especially once I have my setup working in my favor.

4. In most cases, you'll eventually end up using the mouse and keyboard anyway to do final editing. Might as well be proficient at it.

+2!!!

After almost 2 decades at this watching countless forums and posts my consensus is still typically if you are asking the question "which controller is best for ME" then you are not really ready to decide on a controller.

No one could answer what will work for you. It's kind of something you will find out like "man, it would be so much easier to create beats by tapping them out on pads.... or playing them out on keys.... or actually playing a drum kit and recording the sound or actions etc etc".

No matter what the controller, you can still get the result with little more than mouse and keyboard. I would focus for a few months/years on just using what you have and then start to think how that could be made easier with physical controls then research as many demos and examples as you can find.

milfhuntr
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by milfhuntr » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:24 am

Only speaking for myself, but Push is definitely NOT worth the money. So far I haven't seen it do anything that I can't do with my Launchpad Mini and my nanoKONTROL, and with a lot more convenient footprint and money savings! I can do chords, play notes, sequence beats and do most things Push does.

Your APC40 is not the most useful device if you are new to Ableton. You probably need one of those mini key/pad combinations from AKAI or Novation.

As far as Maschine, I can also do everything it ever does with simply Ableton and my Launchpad Mini. Maschine is basically worthless IF you already have Ableton. If you don't have Ableton, you may find uses for it.

yur2die4
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:28 am

Maschine is a different beast.

If you're looking to learn Live, then maybe you'll eventually get Maschine.

If you're looking to learn Maschine, then, you'll most likely actually need to have Maschinw in your possession :P

Buleriachk
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by Buleriachk » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:51 am

milfhuntr wrote:As far as Maschine, I can also do everything it ever does with simply Ableton and my Launchpad Mini. Maschine is basically worthless IF you already have Ableton. If you don't have Ableton, you may find uses for it.
Speaking only for myself....

I disagree with the "worthless" assessment of Maschine in the strongest possible terms. Even w.r,t to "doing everything" in this context is like watching a dog walk on its hind legs. It is never done very well or efficiently, but one is surprised it is done at all. I have a Launchpad S, and while it can more or less replace Push (with Launchpad95 and a basic control surface), Push is a powerful self contained musical instrument in its own right. And Live 9 is awesome for loop performance and becoming much stronger as a general DAW....

That said, I think Maschine's sound Library is much, much better than Live 9 Suite (at least to my ears, and many others). Maschine makes a great control surface for Live as well.... Live's main advantage is live audio stretching (i.e., one can drop a .wav file (loop) in and it will automatically sync to tempo, and it does this much better than any other package. Maschine does not have real time audio file stretching.... but I'm sure it is on their list) But Maschine Mk2's interface is really fun... especially with version 2.0.2 - and even better with Studio... Push is really playing catch-up at this point....

But it really depends on what you want to do. Maybe a Launchpad and a Launch Control to get started, instead of an APC40....

yur2die4
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:11 am

Good reminder.

Learning Ableton Live can indeed be beneficial through various means.

But as the above poster mentioned, Maschine's sound library is lovely.

If you're into making beats, it may be a good candidate to consider.

You get a sleek controller, something you can use with Live, an excellent software alternative with a the option to work standalone (quite inspiring), anddd you get samples which could suite pretty much any genre under the sun.

milfhuntr
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Re: Getting started, what to buy

Post by milfhuntr » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:19 pm

Buleriachk wrote:
milfhuntr wrote:As far as Maschine, I can also do everything it ever does with simply Ableton and my Launchpad Mini. Maschine is basically worthless IF you already have Ableton. If you don't have Ableton, you may find uses for it.
Speaking only for myself....

I disagree with the "worthless" assessment of Maschine in the strongest possible terms. Even w.r,t to "doing everything" in this context is like watching a dog walk on its hind legs. It is never done very well or efficiently, but one is surprised it is done at all. I have a Launchpad S, and while it can more or less replace Push (with Launchpad95 and a basic control surface), Push is a powerful self contained musical instrument in its own right. And Live 9 is awesome for loop performance and becoming much stronger as a general DAW....

That said, I think Maschine's sound Library is much, much better than Live 9 Suite (at least to my ears, and many others). Maschine makes a great control surface for Live as well.... Live's main advantage is live audio stretching (i.e., one can drop a .wav file (loop) in and it will automatically sync to tempo, and it does this much better than any other package. Maschine does not have real time audio file stretching.... but I'm sure it is on their list) But Maschine Mk2's interface is really fun... especially with version 2.0.2 - and even better with Studio... Push is really playing catch-up at this point....

But it really depends on what you want to do. Maybe a Launchpad and a Launch Control to get started, instead of an APC40....
I guess I can only speak of the original Maschine. I had one and learned it inside and out. Then I did those same functions without it. And like you said, no time stretch, even on the "flagship" new behemoth. I am sure the "update" without time stretch was an extreme WTF for its users, who all they talk about is "Please, please give us time stretch."

As far as libraries, the plain vanilla samples, that could be had free on any sharing site, that came with my Maschine could not hold a candle to my personal collection.
Advice to the OP, don't buy anything based on its sample collection.

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