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Lass.Uns.Tanzen

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 22:11

Studio help!!! Hardware or Software?

Alrighty everybody. I need some big advice, and lots of evidence to back up different sides. For the longest time I've want to produce music and most recently I've put together a bunch of tracks using FL Studio, but it just doesn't feel right to me. Not the tracks, but how to make them. What I'm getting at, is that I don't really have a lot of fun producing music on the computer. (soft synths) my buddy and I went to a local studio a mutual friend of ours owns which is primarily all hardware. I had a ton of fun! It was really neat to pretend to be Axel or something jamming out on a JP-8000 and a Nord Lead 2. And I found it easier to program sounds with hands on hardware.

The other day I was putting together prices for studios. Studio A was all hardware, with a computer JUST for sequencing. rack synths, rack gear galore, etc. No soft synths. Studio B was all Software with the basic hardware like a midi keyboard and monitors. Studio A had a lot of older synths. When I was done combining all the prices Studio A was around $6,000 where Studio B was $1200. 8|

At 17, I work at a grocery store and finishing up school, plus I pay for car insurance. So to get $6000 it would take a couple of years, to save up, but in the end it would be worth it. I told my mum the different studios and she said I should go with modern equipment because music is evolving and there is no point to go back in time and I wouldn't get recognized if I'm making 2000 era trance music. But it's not about getting recognized, it's about having a blast. But in a sense I feel she's right.

Furthermore I've developed an obsession for vinyl. I haven't bought any yet, but I think it's fantastic and the quality is superb.

Do you guys think I'd be silly to spend $6000 on older equipment for a sound that isn't popular? Should I give in and stop making classic trance and work for dubstep/house people? (I think dubstep is repulsive by the way) Please give me the pros and cons of both and what you would do in my situation.

Lass.Uns.Tanzen

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 22:28

Sorry :(

Well, what do you think is better?

All hardware for an older sound? or All software for a newer approach?

Imre -SP-

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 22:52

For me, hardware is THE way!

But it depends on what kind of music you want to produce. Today's popular electronic styles are all made on softwares. The Nord Lead and the JP-8000 are both awesome historical insrtuments, but today their sound is not enough. You got to have a digital boost, otherwise they won't cut it.
I bought a Korg R3 for it's Radias-based wavetable (short said, you can tweak out ANY sound from a simple sinewave) - and I still need digital post-processing.

However, if you want to make something much more underground (techhno, acid, hardcore, industrial, experimental, ambient etc.), only hardware is just as enough.
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Lass.Uns.Tanzen

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:01

For me, hardware is THE way!

But it depends on what kind of music you want to produce. Today's popular electronic styles are all made on softwares. The Nord Lead and the JP-8000 are both awesome historical insrtuments, but today their sound is not enough. You got to have a digital boost, otherwise they won't cut it.
I bought a Korg R3 for it's Radias-based wavetable (short said, you can tweak out ANY sound from a simple sinewave) - and I still need digital post-processing.

However, if you want to make something much more underground (techhno, acid, hardcore, industrial, experimental, ambient etc.), only hardware is just as enough.


Thank you :-) I was looking to make Acid, older trance (1990s-2000), and of course happy (UK) hardcore. :-)

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:19

having read only the title: software. its only about sound design skills,
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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:21

watch out for Sylenth1, reFx vanguard (rather a noob synth, but i like it for its usability and 303 sounds),
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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:24

If you need 303, Audiorealism BassLine 2 is the real thing! ;)
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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:25

[I was looking to make Acid, older trance (1990s-2000), and of course happy (UK) hardcore. :-)

For oldschool acid, a TR-909 & TB-303 does the trick (and the huge amount of money to afford them :D)
For UK hardcore, it's all about softwares and samplepacks.
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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:50

blue box is a very good 303-emulator in my opinion ;)
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Ramland

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Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011, 23:55

You know what? Combine it. Use some serious DAW, something not loop-based. Cubase 5, Sonar 8, Logic Audio or Cubase if you use a Mac. Or whatever else exists on the market. If you prefer it loop-based, FL Studio is a good way to go.

Combine some of your desired Hardware with a LOT of Software and you get very flashy things out of it. It keeps costs down and leaves the possibilty to buy more expensive Hardware lateron. Advantage in Software Studios for any amateur producer is definitely software piracy. You can get everything you want for free, sure it's illegal (and probably doesn't work as well as the original), so don't tell anybody. Just buy a license as soon as you can. There is also a lot of very good free or very cheap audio software on the web.

If you want to start DJing aswell, Timecode Vinyl kicks ass. I played with Serato Scratch some time and it blew my mind. 10.000 Tracks on 2 Vinyls (well, on your Computer to be exact). Awesome. The quality of original Vinyl is unreached, but you need a LOT of money buying them, and even more space to keep them. Furthermore they are not easy to handle (keep them not too warm, not too cold, they wear out...). But no problem for obsessed people like us, I think.

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 08:33

FL is absolutely not loop based. Well, they focused on audio clips from FL9 (hell knows why), but it can easily be used as a MIDI sequencer too. I use it with hardware without problems.
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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 10:27

FL is absolutely not loop based. Well, they focused on audio clips from FL9 (hell knows why), but it can easily be used as a MIDI sequencer too. I use it with hardware without problems.


Agreed - hardware-wise i've actually had the least problems with FL

From what I've read of your post Lass.Uns.Tanzen I would advise, for now, getting yourself a copy of the latest edition of FL (it's much easier to get hold of a copy, easier to install and good to learn on but also a really powerful DAW), a good midi keyboard/ controller - an M-audio oxygen or axiom is a good affordable choice imo, some good monitors - these don't have to be too pricey only a couple of weeks ago i bought some really good 20 watt 'kurzweil' monitors as a back up and these cost me £60 which can definitley do the job you want. Then you can download/ 'buy' VST galore and for your hardware I would just look at investing in a decent audio/ midi interface and get hardware as and when you can afford it. The best way is to just keep building on what you have!!!! :D

P.s. only last week i did something you vinyl lovers would hate me for :( I gave away my turntables and bought a pioneer cdj package :S still working out if it's my best decision lol!

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 11:40

Actually FL is famous for it offering TOO MANY ways of automating stuff.
You can automate something in 5 different ways, using FL.

Fl is the least loop based DAW, I might say!

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 15:11

I would probably say software + hardware. I'm intending to get some good old synthesizers myself. Software has the good side that it's so easy to continue form where you left, you can save all your settings and load them again, you can change and undo all change easily, upgrade the instruments, buy new ones quite cheaply, etc. So you should probably get software and some good pieces of hardware that you like, like I'm planning to. However I think hardware is beyond software because you get the physical approach, I hate clicking a screen full of options, but rather like twisting knobs and hearing the change instantly.

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 17:24

Okay, I'm taking a bit of everyone's advice. :-)

Since I already have a Macintosh with Logic, I might as well use that. Then I'm considering getting NI Komplete 7. It seems there is a lot of synths and nothing for noobs. (AKA refx Nexshit.) Then get a bunch of rack equipment.

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 17:32

I've looked for a while for a proper TB-303 & TR-909 emulation. I've found a couple rack versions and a bunch of VST versions but I don't know which is the most realistic.
I'm stuck between the audio realism versions and Rebirth. Which one is most like the 303 & 909?

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 17:33

as for me, im having truly a lot of fun with FL studio and a bunch of software synths (vanguard, sylenth1, NI massive, nexus). hardware wont make you automatically a better producer. software synths in fact do the job nowadays.

nexus isnt sh1t at all, as long as u dont overuse it ;)
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Ramland

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 22:24

FL provides loop-based working, guys. You create patterns (loops) and fill them into your sequencer. Many different ways to automate stuff doesn't make a loop-based software into something non loop-based, neither does the MIDI Sequencer function. It's just great to have. Nice to know, that it also delivers great Hardware support.

FL Studio: Patterns with X Instruments or Audio Samples. All Instruments can be used simultaneously in one pattern.
Cubase/Logic: One track per Instrument / Audio Sample; different MIDI loops (or one recorded full-length MIDI track) strung in that track. Very different to FL, IMO.

I hope I made the difference clear. For the 303/909 question: todays Software Synths all can reproduce very nice 303s and 909s. Try the Demos and decide, which one you prefer.

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Freitag, 3. Juni 2011, 22:31

Ramland: if you consider pattern-based sequencing loop-based, then yes, FL is loop based :)

L.U.T: if you can't afford a real TB-303, but you want hardware emulation, I suggest a look at the M.A.M. Freebass383 ;) It's an awesome 303 rack synth, with VCOs and other extras. It can even be tweaked to sound like TB-303 Devil Fish! And it's much cheaper of course.
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Samstag, 4. Juni 2011, 08:38

All music is loop-based.
Every song has bars and beats.
I consider a program being loop-based when it doesnt have the functionality
for you to make smooth transitions between bars and automations