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 Forum index » How-tos » Production - engineering/mixing
what do you suggest me to buy as begining electroproducer?
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Snowball



Joined: Aug 20, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: what do you suggest me to buy as begining electroproducer? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hi all,

currently im playing as a dj but
i want to start as an electro-player
i know its all not that cheap, so i'm thinking of buying used material

but what do you suggest me to buy!

the music i want it to produce with it may sound a bit like those of:
shameboy, elektroluv, prodigy,...

synthezisers, effect-box, drumbox, (amplifier, speakers i will found)... ?
some software (but not too much)

thanks

Editor's note - moved topic - seraph
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bigtex



Joined: Mar 30, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This might not necessarily be a discussion for modular synthesis per se... it sounds like you may want to start with a more general synth before delving into the modulars.

Of the three acts you listed, I'm only familiar with Prodigy. Their early albums were produced almost entirely on a Roland W30 sampling workstation keyboard. Far from the realm of modular synthesizers. But it certainly wouldn't be impossible to achieve such sounds with a modular. It just depends on what you prefer.

Perhaps you didn't intend to post in the modular synth specific sub-forum? Perhaps you simply want advice on gear for making music? I suppose we should start at the beginning:

- what equipment do you have now?
- what equipment have you used?
- what kind of equipment do you think you want?
- what kind of sound are you going for? (not just what bands you like)

Answer those questions, and I or somebody here should be able to point you in the right direction. Maybe you want a modular, maybe you want a keyboard and some MIDI synth modules, maybe you want some softsynths. You also may want to learn a little about different methods of synthesis, effects, composing, etc, to find out what would suit you best. Maybe you want to work with sample-based music making, maybe you want to synthesize all of your sounds. There are a lot of ways to make electronic music, so we'll need to figure out what you want.

Also, welcome to electro-music! Very Happy
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amnesia



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

why not get some kind of all in one unit like an MPC of the Korg Electribes
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majool



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I hate to say it, but it sounds like 'Reason' might be a good introduction as much as I hate that program. It is a good starter that will introduce you to all the basics. Then, if you decided you like it you can move on to buying more high end gear/hardware.
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sohcahtoa



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Prodigy's Latest album was composed almost entirely using Reason.
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Get Bhajis Loops for Palm PDA you will not be dissapointed!!!

www.chocopoolp.com

I've had more fun with this than with any other DAW environment over the last 10 years or more!! It's the dogs bollocks!!

further more, if you are happy with all those loops that you come up with, it is easy to import them into Ableton or Logic at a later date. However, you may just find that working solely with the Palm is enough. I do anyway Cool

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OmegaMale



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Figured as a newbie I'd be better off bumping an older thread than creating a new one with exactly the same purpose.

I am a 26 year old baritone with 6 years of classical voice training looking to home produce music in a poppy vein. I have workable piano skills and one year of college theory under my belt as well, but I've only dabbled in production.

So yeah. I'm looking to get together some starter gear. I've got a Lenovo 3000 with a 2.2 gig single core Athlon processor. No peripherals or sound/audio cards yet. As for software, I've got Audacity for recording and I'm messing with a few synths (thus far only Drumsynth). I've got Krystal and Reaper shareware versions. I couldn't find any truly free sequencers, although I kinda liked Hydrogen, if only for fun. I like Reaper so far for it's extremely fast turnover on new versions; looks very promising. However, the free licence isn't that much cheaper than FLstudio, so I'm considering that too.

As for hardware, here's my shopping list so far. I've been going off of recommendations from Mojopie where I could find them. They seem to really specialize in mikes. That said, I've got about 500-600$ to spend, and the one phrase that I've read several times already is "invest in quality once, or you'll have to invest again". I've been digging around on google for three days or so but could only find a few sites with good, unbiased reviews. All that said, here's what I'm looking at:

AT 4040 for a mike.
Soundcraft COMPACT 4 for a mixer.
Echo MIA MIDI digital audio card for a sound card.

That's what I'd like to start with.

Now, obviously, I also have a few questions. First, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of keyboards out there, so I'd appreciate some thoughts about a good, basic keyboard for input without a lot of extra crap. I'd really prefer to generate my own tones, so I don't want to bother with a keyboard that has ten different crappy brass sounds. Second, Mojopie said the AT 4040 was a really good deal, but it's still expensive. Would I regret going with the AT 2020? And lastly, is it really worth upgrading the sound card from the get go, or should I just use the onboard line in for now?

PS. If you know any good freeware, I'd love to hear about it.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You will end up with many different microphones anyway, but a great buy is this one: http://www.kelaudio.com/hm1.html
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For freeware, you might start here:
http://electro-music.com/forum/forum-125.html

Also, did you know there are a few mixers that have USB/Firewire built-in now? Several manufacturers make them, and might save you a few bucks up front, until you can afford a better card in the future. A friend has the USB Alesis one, and uses it for live purposes whilst recording a mix of the show via USB. But his live setup is the same as his studio, so he trusts it enough for recording. And they're very good considering the cost. ( no really, it's not some remake of an old brit channel, but it is clean).

The small Alesis Ion and Micron seem to get rave reviews for that cost level. But you may be better starting with a soft-synth if your total budget is $500.



Last, and this isn't to poke fun at anyone, but what's with the "producer" thing? I don't know if it's just a DJ-language thing, but every DJ I've met in the urban culture regards themselves as a "Producer", whether they set up events, make music, play records of other people's music, or hand out CD's for a friend who really is a DJ. Then, when a DJ goes to make their "own" music, they again become a "producer" (and this honestly usually includes alot of mashups, remixing, or "sampling"). Is there an avoidance to being titled as a musician, or is this just a form of acknowledgement that the accepted "Producer" position in the industry usually involves overlooking and modifying someone elses art to fit a larger mass appeal or some other form of "refinement", and hence the reuse of the title? Or does producer sound more important? Serious question on my behalf.

I ask this because many people who consider themselves musicians that want to create more electronic music will ask "Newbie looking to make electronic music" or "what tools are used in making this style of electro music"? But DJ's usually use terms like in the title of this thread. Just trying to understand more culture.
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OmegaMale



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:

Last, and this isn't to poke fun at anyone, but what's with the "producer" thing?


Thanks very much for the tips. As for this point, I can offer up a humble theory.

First, let me just say that I consider myself essentially an outsider for any kind of music "scene". I go to shows maybe once every six months and don't interact heavily with musicians or "producers".

That said, I feel that the reason a lot of modern musicians who make music with recording equipment, samplers, synths and drumboxes don't call themselves musicians at least in part because instrumentalists and academics will howl bloody murder if you claim you're some kind of artist for
"not doing anything but just recording someone else's work and looping it." American musicians of any stripe tend toward a certain egotism, and in my experience calling yourself a producer not only gives you a respectable title, but it doesn't step on "musician" toes.

Also, when you work with recording equipment, you have the capability to do more than simply make your own music. You can record and (once you get good) master other people's work and hell, maybe if you've got the connections, you can even find a place to market it. Producer is also a term that indicates a person who can get a lot of the crucial high level legwork done that any good album needs to get listened to. Since a lot of home studio types both develop a lot of connections and have the patience to learn to promote their own work, they develop a lot of those producer skills.

Bottom line, calling yourself a producer doesn't step on instrumentalist and vocalist toes and also implies a certain versatility that a lot of musicians don't want to deal with. Just my thoughts.

Edit:

elektro80 wrote:
You will end up with many different microphones anyway, but a great buy is this one: http://www.kelaudio.com/hm1.html


Didn't notice this until a second ago! Tusen Takk! Jeg snakker litt Norsk ogsaa! Bare litt. Ha det bra!
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bigtex



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In the cultural circles I'm familiar with, words like "artist" or "musician" or "producer" are all but ruined by pretentious and talentless hacks who practically wear those words on sashes. That may sound a bit harsh, but it is what I have experienced. I've lately been trying to avoid such music and cultural scenes, because they turn me off to things that I'd otherwise like. I'm not trying to sound negative, and I really do like music, and making (what some might call) music. I'm simply commenting on how some perceive the use of such words.

I do some recording, I've released a few albums and tracks on compilations, but I can never think of a word to describe what I do that doesn't make me cringe from negative associations of words like musician or producer. I have no expectations that others will have any interest in the sounds I make, I simply do it for my own enjoyment and that of my friends. If others out in the world do like it, well that's just icing on the cake. I think I'd be uncomfortable calling myself a musician, an artist, a producer, a DJ, etc, though I've certainly done things that would fit under all of those words.

I don't know, I suppose for me the terms have become sort of "guilty by association" or something.

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling here. Sorry to sidetrack this thread.

My recommendation for starting off is to spend as little money as possible buying a lot of expensive new gear until you feel like you've made something that you like and that has an emotional effect on you. Something that has meaning to you. Get a little experience first.

From my own experience, at least, I've found that very little equipment is needed to make sounds or music that you find interesting, pleasant, or compelling. It is more important to start out with some learning and developing skills. Once you are familiar with the territory, you'll know better what kind of equipment you're looking for.

For basic uses, most microphones will accomplish the same thing, most audio recording software will offer a similar set of basic features (including the free stuff), and all currently available keyboards/synthesizers will allow you to play some notes with a variety of sounds. Everybody has their own preferences and recommendations, but those are either based on personal experience of the users anyway.

So just drop a few bucks on what looks or sounds good to you (or maybe what's on sale), and start experimenting and trying things until you are satisfied and feel you've outgrown your "starter" gear. Or maybe you'll get so familiar with it that you'll never let those first music gear acquisitions go, even when you have a full blown studio.

Just don't expect the very first things you buy will be the last, because if you're planning on being a producer, you'll eventually want to get your hands on (though not necessarily own) as much gear as possible, just for the sake of experience and experimentation.

Sorry for the vagueness and lack of recommendations, but over the years I've heard so much good music made with gear that I initially thought was crap and that I'd never like, that now I believe good music can be made with just about anything.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

excellent post bigtex Very Happy I wholeheartedly agree with you Exclamation
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OmegaMale



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bigtex wrote:
In the cultural circles I'm familiar with, words like "artist" or "musician" or "producer" are all but ruined by pretentious and talentless hacks who practically wear those words on sashes.


I could definitely see that. Maybe I should just tell people "well, y'know, I just kinda mess around on my computer making music for fun." Well put.

bigtex wrote:
Sorry for the vagueness and lack of recommendations, but over the years I've heard so much good music made with gear that I initially thought was crap and that I'd never like, that now I believe good music can be made with just about anything.


Also helpful. Nice to find a music board where people don't pounce and say "what are you thinking for using *product X I don't like*! My *product Y that cost a fortune* is so much better!" Anyway, I'm off to figure out how to make good noises in Reaper!
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I absolutely second, third and fourth Bigtex's comments....avoid the big black hole that leads you to becoming a Gear Slut (also known as Gear Lust). Buying more gear before learning the ins & outs of what you have is a constant search for greener grass that never gets fulfilled and even owning everything will leave one wanting more. Trust me. It took me 5 years to build a room full of stuff used 1/4 of the time, and 2 years to get it back down to "needing" everything in my rig (through a self imposed rule: for each new piece of gear I buy, I have to sell 2 others).

I'd start with Audacity (free software), a mixing deck/computer interface (as I said, the combos are nice), and a mic (if needed). That leaves room for expansion, and none of it will go to waste as long as you keep making some form of music.
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bigtex



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I absolutely second, third and fourth Bigtex's comments....avoid the big black hole that leads you to becoming a Gear Slut (also known as Gear Lust). Buying more gear before learning the ins & outs of what you have is a constant search for greener grass that never gets fulfilled and even owning everything will leave one wanting more. Trust me. It took me 5 years to build a room full of stuff used 1/4 of the time, and 2 years to get it back down to "needing" everything in my rig (through a self imposed rule: for each new piece of gear I buy, I have to sell 2 others).


I'm currently in the process of purging my studio of anything with a MIDI port on it. I spent years and years spending money and acquiring MIDI gear. It's all stuff that got all kinds of positive reviews, can make amazing sounds, but is difficult to program and must be sequenced with MIDI. I just have never been able to get MIDI work for me. So all of that stuff has to go!

Now my process is to record long freeform jams using my modular and various other synths with lots of realtime control and effects. Then I chop it up into little clips and sequence the audio in a DAW rather than trying to sequence synths. It's just what works for me. But I think I'd have figured this out YEARS earlier if I'd just stopped buying MIDI gear for a little while and taken the time to realize what worked for me as a creative process.

This will, of course, be different for everybody. Experimenting with a limited selection of gear and techniques, though, will be more likely to give you the opportunity to figure out what works for you and what you think is fun. Spend money later!

Good luck!
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bigtex wrote:

I'm currently in the process of purging my studio of anything with a MIDI port on it.

what about anything with a USB port on it Question Cool

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bigtex



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
what about anything with a USB port on it Question Cool


Well, the only thing I have with a USB port is my MOTU Midi Express XT... so yes Wink

Getting back to the question on this thread, now... and getting off my soap box...

My favorite mic for baritone type voices is the Shure SM-7. You can pick one up for about $350, maybe less than $300 if you get one used.

If you want an audio interface, MIDI interface, controller, and the ability to play some sounds on a keyboard, you could do worse than to get one of the current breed of keyboard/audio/USB type things,

like the m-audio
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MAudioOzone-main.html

or the upcoming line6
http://www.line6.com/toneport/kb37.html

which should run in the $200 to $300 range for the USB models.

I think just those two things (as the controller includes a "lite" version of Ableton Live) will give you a functional demo-studio to get you started. The keyboard will take care of your audio interface (with built-in mic preamp to boot) plus let you tickle the ivories for some backing tracks. You could always start out with a cheaper mic and move up to a more expensive one later. Some people find a mic they like and some people like to have a variety of mics for different sounds. Again, it's all up to experimentation in the beginning.

So, good luck!
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