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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
Digital Synth/Drums questions...
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pretz



Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Shillington, PA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject: Digital Synth/Drums questions... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am a musician who has recently been very inspired by the music of The Postal Service, Bright Eyes, etc. Prior to this stage I have been influenced by more 'organic' (for lack of a better word) singer and songwriters and rock and roll band ranging from James Taylor to Phish.
I never though in a million years I would be so heavily inspired to enter into the digital world, but I am.

So, the question is... what sort of equipment do I need to play the softer side of the digital world. I am looking at a sound that is a combination of sort of Iron & Wine's cover of Such Great Heights and The Postal Service's original verson. Acoustic singer/songwriter material mixed with digital atmosphere and percussion etc... in many ways similar to Bright Eye's Digital Ash album.

I am not looking to rip off any sound, I am looking to dicover my own but those sounds are the closest I can discribe to the sounds I am looking to have the ability to incorporate into my music.

So... any ideas from electronic musicians on the kind of equipment I am talking about? Right now I see it as a synth and a drum machine. I am looking @ the Korg Triton LE and the Korg ER1mkII. www.korg.com I even went down and was screwing around on them but the honest truth is I don't have enough experience to know what I am messing with and the Sam Ash people lack the understanding of a hammer most of the time.
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seraph
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Joined: Jun 21, 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi pretz
welcome to electro-music.com Very Happy
I am not familiar with the majority of those names you mention but nevertheless I would go for a computer, a few softsynths and a keyboard controller to start with Idea

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pretz



Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Shillington, PA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What are the pros and cons of of a software vs. hardware setup? What I need is someone to tell me what I need to develop the sounds similar to those artists and albums I named.

http://www.subpop.com/bands/postalservice/

I am not scared of a learning curve and am relative musical in general. Additionally, I will be working on this side project involving this sort of equipment with a few others.

Just looking for the best equipment keeping the purchase of the drum machine and synth together around $1300 or less that will have the sounds I am looking for and of a pretty good quality of sound.
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you have a computer that is fairly recent, you would do yourself well to start there. The number of softsynths available is enormous, and most functions once only available to a hardware synth are now on the computer. There are many freeware synths as well, so you could get started with little or no investment.

Once you do go for this route, you'd want to find a controller (or multiple controllers) that suite your needs & playing style. A keyboard, etc. type of thing. Understand if you want to play the controller like an instrument, or if you want to just turn knobs to adjust sequences programmed into software, or if you like sliders over knobs. Or whether drum pads are to your liking, or if a pattern sequencer like the Electribes.

Everything has a trade off, and if you ask everyone to just *tell* you what to get, you will get as many different answers as there are products, despite that specific sound you are looking for. Many different products compete for various fields, and so there's overlap: more than one solution will always meet your needs.

That's why we tell you to start with a computer based system: it allows you to explore these things with minimal $$ invested, and still get a whole bunch of utility. Most musician's I know have a laptop or computer *somewhere* in their rig at this point, whether for recording, or as part of their sequencing, sampling, or synthesis setup. Most manufacturer's understand that a standard PC has a lot more CPU cycles / $$ than almost any DSP system they can create. So it makes sense for them to develop software instead. That's where most development is happening for future products.
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elektro80
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Joined: Mar 25, 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

re the song at the Postal Service website: All this apart from the vocals you can make using Propellerheads Reason. This is software. It is fairly easy to mess about with this application and come up with original sounds.


If you have a decent computer then software might be the most costeffective way to start this venture. using software makes it easier and less expensive to figure out what you really want to do.

Right.. I should add that I am not using Reason myself. There are many reason experts here. They will be able to tell you more.

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jkn



Joined: Mar 14, 2004
Posts: 469
Location: La Porte, IN, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have to agree with the general trend and say dipping your toe into software is probably a good idea. It'll give you a great chance to try different things - and many packages can do various synths and drums. If you intend to play live - you might want to go the laptop route and get a midi controller for it.

I haven't heard much of those bands - but in all honesty - any synth will do whatever you want it to if you spend enough time with it. Postal Service appeared to be very retro in the one video of theirs that I saw - and the sounds were very low tech - almost Yamaha/Casio portable keyboard kind of sounds. I couldn't tell if it was a deceptively cool synth patch made to sound cheap or a cheap portable made to sound expensive - which is fun in a way...

I really don't use softsynths at all - so I'm no good in recommending anything. I do use Fruity and Rebirth for drums - and Rebirth is now a free product (http://www.rebirthmuseum.com) - it emulates the Roland 808, 909, and 303 boxes from the 80's...
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