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Culture Forum

  1. 19 May '09 13:43
    I have recently begun researching synths and drum machines on vintagesynthexplorer.com and other sites, as well as recording software, to begin creating my home studio.

    Right now I have a Gibson ES-335 guitar, Fender Super Reverb Blackface Modded amplifier, and an old Roland DDD-1 drum machine.

    I am looking to buy within the next few months a small but powerful synthesizer (such as a MicroKorg or an Alesis Micorn), a sampler like the Akai MCX2000 and a drum machine with GREAT (not just good) kick and snare sounds (like the classic 808). I'll also need a new desktop to handle all this trash.

    Does anyone here have any extensive knowledge on this stuff and would like to share? Any advice for me? Any recommendations or advice on gear, particularly on the synthesizer? I am still a noob but I am extremely determined to write the next Trans-Europe Express.

    Thanks.
  2. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    19 May '09 13:44
    Show off.
  3. 19 May '09 13:59
    Originally posted by Seitse
    Show off.
    What can I say? I'm sorry I like music. However, I know I'm not the only one here who has the capability to perform and record on their own.
  4. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    19 May '09 14:01
    Originally posted by darvlay
    What can I say? I'm sorry I like music. However, I know I'm not the only one here who has the capability to perform and record on their own.
    Show off.
  5. 19 May '09 14:01 / 2 edits
    hi, which software are you going to be using? also you should give attention to whether you want a full hardware setup, mixing desk etc or a virtual desk, also give attention to microphones, a decent soundcard with excellent sample rates and an environment. e.g. if you are going to crank your geeeetar to get the desired sound, how you gonna do it, its ok if you live in the country, but if you got neighbors, well, that's something else!

    we were once playing in someones garage in the country, it was so loud that the neighbors at least a mile away, phoned the police, it seemed that the garage, an old tin thing, was acting like a huge megaphone 🙂

    also you wanna give attention to some decent monitors!

    and an effects unit for your guitar, virtual ones are ok, but nothing sounds as good as hardware , in my amazing opinion.
  6. 19 May '09 14:19
    i have in my little studio

    1. yamaha SG 3000, made in Japan, champagne pink in colour, awesome sound.

    2. marshal 40 watt amp

    3. rhode Nt1A, microphone

    4. EMU 1616M audiocard, supports sample rates of up to 196KHz, 24 bit, comes with Patchmix virtual mixing desk and stackable virtual effects

    5. M-audio BX8as, monitors

    6. Adobe Audition video and audio software suit, with virtual effects,

    7. ZOOM effects pedal and Genesis 3 guitar effects
  7. 19 May '09 14:48
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    hi, which software are you going to be using? also you should give attention to whether you want a full hardware setup, mixing desk etc or a virtual desk, also give attention to microphones, a decent soundcard with excellent sample rates and an environment. e.g. if you are going to crank your geeeetar to get the desired sound, how you gonna do it, ...[text shortened]... ur guitar, virtual ones are ok, but nothing sounds as good as hardware , in my amazing opinion.
    Unfortunately I don't have room (yet) for a full hardware set-up so I'm going to be keeping things at a minimum and I live in a condo building so noise will be an issue. Recording guitars may not be viable until I move into a house, which is fine, as it gives me time to hone other skills (I have been playing guitar now for many years now).

    I'm not too concerned about mics with the exception of a vocal mic but I totally hear you on the monitors/soundcards, etc.

    I haven't chosen a type of software yet but I welcome your advice and opinions on anything you've used before. Keep in mind that I am a PC user and I have fiddled with Cubase before.
  8. 19 May '09 14:50
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    i have in my little studio

    1. yamaha SG 3000, made in Japan, champagne pink in colour, awesome sound.

    2. marshal 40 watt amp

    3. rhode Nt1A, microphone

    4. EMU 1616M audiocard, supports sample rates of up to 196KHz, 24 bit, comes with Patchmix virtual mixing desk and stackable virtual effects

    5. M-audio BX8as, monitors

    6. Adobe Auditi ...[text shortened]... audio software suit, with virtual effects,

    7. ZOOM effects pedal and Genesis 3 guitar effects
    A yamaha guitar with an awesome sound? I'll have to take your word for that...

    What should I be looking for in a sound card?
  9. 19 May '09 15:35
    Originally posted by darvlay
    A yamaha guitar with an awesome sound? I'll have to take your word for that...

    What should I be looking for in a sound card?
    i had a Gibson Les Paul deluxe, at one point, beautiful sunburst finish, and i preferred my yamaha, deluxe was way too heavy, it hurt my neck when i stood up for more than twenty minutes, Yamaha is an awesome guitar, single piece straight through neck, and made in Japan, not like those gay Fenders! reputation counts for nothing, both Fender and Gibson have been living off theirs since the 1960s!

    anyhow, soundcard, good sample rate, you gonna use midi, then you need one that handles midi, they come in various shapes and sizes, but you should consider where it will be situated, if you have a laptop, you will neeed a PCMI card, if in the PC, you can have either firewire, USB, or PCi slot. check out M-Audio firewire 410, presonus also do a firewire, EMU is PCMI amd PCI etc etc etc

    here is a site that will really help you with your studio

    http://www.tweakheadz.com/soundcards_for_the_home_studio.htm
  10. Standard member Wheely
    Instant Buzz
    19 May '09 20:16
    I don´t think all that hardware is the way to go any more.

    I use a macbook pro, a pretty good master keyboard and some software. I used to do it all with free software but it doesn´t cut it any more.

    Get yourself something like Logic Express and a reasonable external sound module. It won´t cost much. Load up some of the loops, play a few of the sounds, record midi, edit sound waves and use the supplied synths, sequencer, drum machines etc etc etc and be prepared to be totally gob smacked. You´ll love plugging in your guitar and using the amp modeling plugin with Logic Express. You´ll wonder why you ever, ever, ever thought of buying an amp. Not to mention the billion types of reverb, EQ, chorus, compression etc etc etc etc etc you can apply to the signal.

    I have recently purchased pianos, rock guitars, symphonic orchestras and such like from a company called East West http://www.soundsonline.com/home.php

    Now, I´ve been a classical guitarist for more years than I care to mention but I´ll be buggered if I can record stuff using my guitar even remotely as good as I get out of using Logic Express, East West Gypsy classical guitar and a piano keyboard. It upsets me because I play guitar better than piano but recording it is a different matter entirely.

    If you really can´t be doing with a Mac ( I could understand that ) then get the light version of cubase and buy plugins (such as East West mentioned above) and you too will be amazed at ust how far instrument modelling or sampling has come in the past few years.
  11. 19 May '09 22:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wheely
    I don´t think all that hardware is the way to go any more.

    I use a macbook pro, a pretty good master keyboard and some software. I used to do it all with free software but it doesn´t cut it any more.

    Get yourself something like Logic Express and a reasonable external sound module. It won´t cost much. Load up some of the loops, play a few of the sounds ...[text shortened]... o will be amazed at ust how far instrument modelling or sampling has come in the past few years.
    there is of course a counter argument to this, for it is well understood that you need 'air', between your source and your microphone, otherwise what you are liable to get, is something which simply cannot capture they full spectrum of frequencies and harmonics and may sound artificial and flat.

    my Emu 1616M audio card has a specific input for electric guitars, termed a high-z, designed to capture a broad range of frequencies specific to the guitar, but nothing sound as natural or as good as a miked amp!

    if you want to produce electronic, computer generated sounding music, then that is all well and fine, but its like computer generated art, you can tell its done on a computer as opposed to a canvas with oils!

    you should really have a look at adobe audition, for it supports full ASIO, VST pluggins (many of which are now free), its really easy to use, you get everything, and i mean everything imaginable to manipulate and enhance your audio, Amplify and fade, dynamics processor, channel mixer, envelop, hard limiting, normalize, panning, stero field rotation, full range of delay effects, chorus, digital delay, dynamic delay, echo, echo chamber, flanger, full reverb, multi tap delay, studio reverb, sweeping phazer, also many filters, dynamic eq, parametric equalizer, graphic equaliser, channel extraction, scientific filters, notch filter, also noise reduction, hiss reduction, pop eliminator, time and pitch, compressor etc etc etc etc.
  12. Standard member rking00
    Suicide Bishop
    20 May '09 01:13
    Why do you feel you need a stand-alone sampler if you are planning on recording on a desktop computer? Those samplers can be lots of fun, but are not all that fun to carry around, and they can become a little redundant if you have good software such as Ableton Live (Probably the best program out there for music production). If you are really determined to have a hardware sampler, I would recommend getting something like an Ensoniq Asr-10. Great keyboard/sampler with MIDI so you can use it as your master keyboard controller as well as sampler. It has a rather distinct sound. I believe Autechre use/used it so that alone is enough for me to think it's awesome. The main drawback is you have to load OS/Programs from a floppy disk.
    In my opinion a drum machine is pointless if you already have a good piece of software which can sample and/or a synthesizer. But this is a matter of personal style. Some people don't like to do all their productions sitting at a computer.
    As for the synths, a lot depends on your price range, and how comfortable you feel about having to constantly pay someone to tune and/or repair it (yes, analog synths must be tuned periodically, and if you don't know what you're doing... well, you get the idea.) Unless you are very wealthy and retired I would not suggest a true analog synth. They are heavy, overpriced, prone to breakdown, and most don't even have memory to store your sounds.
    The Micron is actually a really nice little synth. It has a good V/A (Virtual Analog) sound, and good layering ability making it useful for live performance. A lot of this comes down to your personal preference, i.e. what kinds of sounds you are looking for. If you want a really deep synth for a fair price, the new Waldorf Blofeld is simply amazing. I just got mine shipped from Germany about a month ago, and I'm sure it will take me many years to fully explore it.
    Anyways, make sure to have one keyboard with velocity-sensitive keys, aftertouch, and maybe even weighted keys. You could just buy a nice controller keyboard and use it to slave other synths to via MIDI. The reason for this is there are a lot of nice, affordable synths out there with crap keys (or none at all).
    But, again, a good piece of software can take the place of many synths, samplers, etc. My personal recommendation would be Ableton Live, since you can use it exclusively for all aspects of music-making, from synthesis, sequencing, mixing, mastering, it does it all.
    Well, I hope I'm not boring you here. Have fun gear-hunting!
  13. 20 May '09 01:54
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I have recently begun researching synths and drum machines on vintagesynthexplorer.com and other sites, as well as recording software, to begin creating my home studio.

    Right now I have a Gibson ES-335 guitar, Fender Super Reverb Blackface Modded amplifier, and an old Roland DDD-1 drum machine.

    I am looking to buy within the next few months a small b ...[text shortened]... still a noob but I am extremely determined to write the next Trans-Europe Express.

    Thanks.
    You're going to make "beats" music? I hope not. I thought that you appreciated music, not destroy it.
  14. 20 May '09 02:01
    Originally posted by rking00
    Well, I hope I'm not boring you here. Have fun gear-hunting!
    Not at all! Very helpful post. Thanks!
  15. 20 May '09 02:02
    Originally posted by badmoon
    You're going to make "beats" music? I hope not. I thought that you appreciated music, not destroy it.
    I appreciate all kinds of music. You know that, bud.