10-17-2010, 05:07 PM
I am completely lost in this area, so I need some help from you, TW. Currently, I have an NI Maschine (groovebox). It's been really great for making hip hop instrumentals, but I've found the FX are lacking and I'd like to branch out and start working on things like dubstep (this is where most of you vomit I'm sure).
Regardless of the use, I'm looking for some hardware that I can use to make some dirty basslines with. I am also on a budget, so the cheaper the better, but no more than $1000. I've taken a look at the GAIA SH-01 and that seems to be the front runner for me at the moment.
Any advice or general knowledge on what to look for in a synth would be great. I know essentially nothing about them, but my plan is just to say **** it... Sink in a bit of money, play with it and learn it that way. It'll also be nice to have a MIDI keyboard.
10-17-2010, 05:30 PM
I have Microkorg, and it does sick bass tones, and I got it in trade for a beat-up Scirocco...so, about $200.
For your needs, you'd best be served getting a MIDI controller keyboard and using that to control your software. I think you're lacking more in software than anything else. For sequencing, use Ableton, Cubase, or any of the pro-level recording suites out there. I have experience with Cubase and can tell you the sequencing is second to none, but a lot of folks in that line of music seem pulled towards Ableton or Reason.
Reason gets high marks for including a ****ton of effects and instruments, although Cubase gets a lot of attention for its Halion virtual instrument bank, which I can tell you sounds awesome. Reason goes for $300, and Cubase is about the same....although both can be had at the "store" if you want to try-before-buy.
10-17-2010, 05:51 PM
Software-wise, the Maschine is fine. I didn't mention that it's a groovebox which controls a standalone software program. I have tried other software such as ableton for making these sounds - and it worked fine. The trouble is I strongly prefer hardware over software and I really don't like the interface of ableton vs Maschine. The Maschine is also a pretty decent MIDI controller for most programs I might dapple in, but I try to minimize my contact with other software for the time being, just for workflow.
I was considering Reason as well, but again, I prefer hardware. Thanks for the advice!
PS. I can't believe the wealth of music knowledge you have stored in your brain.
10-18-2010, 09:42 AM
New question: In terms of sound, what's going to be the difference in hardware vs software (eg. the GAIA I was looking at vs Thor in Reason)
10-18-2010, 12:29 PM
The difference in quality is going to be relative to what you like. It's not as if you were comparing analog to digital,but digital to digital.
10-18-2010, 12:57 PM
Are the synths like Thor still considered virtual analog?
If not, virtual analog and digital are going to sound the same, it's just to taste?
10-18-2010, 06:17 PM
If virtual analog are anything like .vst modules for cubase, they are way better, but they are still a digital model. :shrugs:
10-19-2010, 03:58 PM
Yep. Basically anything you get nowadays is all digital models - whether they run on hardware or software.
The difference is the controls, for the most part - on a hardware synth, you have realtime tactile controls you can use to change parameters in real time as you're playing. On a soft synth, you have to get a control surface to do that. I use a Novation Nocturn to do this on my soft synths....although I honestly use it a lot more to knob-tweak effects in mixes :)
I got mine for $80 off Ebay; you can buy them new for $100. It connects via USB and you run a server on your machine; there's all kinds of templates to let you control Cubase, VSTs, VSTis, Ableton, Reason...all the big names.
But as far as the difference between sounds: There are ****ty sounds in both hardware and soft synths, and great sounds in both hardware and soft synths.
Hope that helps. :sunny:
10-19-2010, 07:56 PM
Cool, thanks skul - very helpful.
10-19-2010, 08:35 PM
So what am I chopped liver?
10-19-2010, 09:56 PM
10-20-2010, 12:40 AM
10-20-2010, 12:49 AM
11-08-2010, 06:25 PM
It may be difficult to get the kind of movement needed for a genre like dubstep straight from the synth. One thing you might look into is collecting guitar pedals to route the audio through. I have a Digitech Bass Synth Wah which really warps the sound. Distortion pedals are also fun.
Native Instuments Massive is a great VST synth you might try.
Ohmicide is my favorite distortion VST.
I heard good things about the Roland SH-201 as a virtual analog synth. The Korg Ms-2000 is another good one, as well as the Novation Bass Station.
If you're looking for a true analog synth you might consider the Roland JX-3p.
I have a Korg Mono/Poly which is really cool, but for the style I'm working in now I'm mainly using it to create the basic tones, recording them into my DAW and then processing them with digital tools that give me more control.
11-10-2010, 01:13 PM
Good looks Minas.
I picked up the synth anyway and I really dig it. It's great for leads, pad sounds, etc. but it's definitely a little lacking in the bass department. I've been looking into Komplete as well, because I have had my eye on Massive for a while. I would probably get good use out of Massive, Battery, and fm8 at least, which already makes it worth it. Reaktor would probably come in handy too.
What sort of music do you make and do you have any experience personally with Massive?
11-10-2010, 03:47 PM
I started out making drum and bass, now I've gotten into producing breakbeat/electro tracks.
I have a lot of experience with Massive, it's one of the easiest and most interactive VST synths I've used. However, it's good mainly for harder, edgier basses and leads, you won't really get pads or organic sounds out of it.
You can check out some of my tracks at:
drop.io - phalanx (http://drop.io/phalanx)
Near the bottom of the page, listen to the file phalanx-move-united-1st-m, and also vespali-mix4 (The mixdown isn't as good on the latter.) Almost all the sounds in those tracks were made with Massive.
11-11-2010, 01:56 AM
I wouldn't be using massive for organic sounds, it would be for hard bass for dub and maybe the odd one for hip hop.
In other news, holy **** dude. That bass is super raw and sexy in both tracks. Do you have any training for these things or is this all self taught? What's your workstation like and what programs are you on?
Thanks for the tips by the way.
11-11-2010, 02:18 AM
Glad you liked the tracks! It's all self taught, I've been producing for about three years, experimenting and learning techniques online. I use FL7 as a host with a lot of VSTs. I have a nice pair of monitors (Mackie 824s) and a set of Grado headphones that I mix on. The tracks on that page were done about a year ago when I was doing all my work solely on the computer. Recently I started to use hardware but I'm still integrating it into my workflow.
I also like to add a lot of field recordings into my tracks. I carry around a small recorder everywhere- I got a lot of good sounds when I was in Europe last year. I used some car ignitions, parking brakes, motorcycles and trains as parts of the beat and filler sound effects.
You can hit me up on AIM: TheChronologic if you want any production tips :)
11-11-2010, 09:57 PM
The next update for the Maschine is supposed to have VST support:bigthumb:
11-12-2010, 01:59 AM
The next update for the Maschine is supposed to have VST support:bigthumb:
Jesus titty ****ing christ I would cry from the sheer overwhelming joy. That is such a pain in the ass. The software is so simple and intuitive, but lacking in so many areas. This is such a basic thing you'd expect from a sequencer... This would push it well on it's way to becoming a solid DAW though. Few years down the road, hopefully it'll be a hardware/software integration that can standalone like Cubase or Pro Tools. Just kidding. But that is really great news.
Also, thanks a lot for your tips and help. I don't use aim, but I may shoot you a PM in the future if that's cool. A friend of mine gave me Massive and a few other programs, so I've started to mess around with it. It has a lot of depth and I'm a little intimidated right now haha.