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Music Producers / Studio Thread

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i would say a midi controller would be the first thing to start with, just to get more comfortable laying down beats/melodies, followed by some monitors, if you want something cheap/simple and aren't really looking to play piano-esque melodies look into the Korg Nano series, it gets the job done and is like $50 i think

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And, I'd recommend monitors first. What use is it to attempt to produce if you don't have an accurate mix?

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i wouldn't. learn how to make stuff first, and then learn how to make it sound good, although it is possible to learn both at the same time. but most people dont have the money right away to start off with a complete setup. regular home stereo or computer speakers will do fine for now.

i used to read a lot of xlr8r, but i can't find any copies anywhere. I havent read it in over a year now, is a subscription worth it?

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i wouldn't. learn how to make stuff first, and then learn how to make it sound good, although it is possible to learn both at the same time. but most people dont have the money right away to start off with a complete setup. regular home stereo or computer speakers will do fine for now.

i used to read a lot of xlr8r, but i can't find any copies anywhere. I havent read it in over a year now, is a subscription worth it?

I think so. It really opens up your horizons to other forms of electronic music. I wouldn't normally listen to say, jungle, but some of the artists they review are def worth checking out.

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damn, destructo!

I have an Axiom 61 midi keyboard and Native Instruments' Maschine, but they've been gathering dust for a while because I found it difficult to make any progress, since I found the learning curve a little steep... you've definitely inspired me to pull them out of my closet and start tinkering again

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damn, destructo!

I have an Axiom 61 midi keyboard and Native Instruments' Maschine, but they've been gathering dust for a while because I found it difficult to make any progress, since I found the learning curve a little steep... you've definitely inspired me to pull them out of my closet and start tinkering again

If you find it difficult to learn how to use your equipment, check out idmforums.com. They have a whole studio section. I've found it to be super helpful when I was learning, and it has helped me venture into music theory and sound design.

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And, I'd recommend monitors first. What use is it to attempt to produce if you don't have an accurate mix?

i would focus on learning song structure, gathering plugs, learning your DAW first, but i guess it depends on their level of commitment, if you've already been through the garageband phase definitely invest in some decent monitors, it makes a world of difference

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i would say a midi controller would be the first thing to start with, just to get more comfortable laying down beats/melodies, followed by some monitors, if you want something cheap/simple and aren't really looking to play piano-esque melodies look into the Korg Nano series, it gets the job done and is like $50 i think

Great, thanks a lot. The Korn Nano pads look like a perfect starting point.

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I'd say go for like an Axiom or something like it if you're getting a MIDI controller first... The Nano series is really flimsy.

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Actually, something like this would probably suit you better. Learn to write music with a traditional piano feel and semi-weighted keys. It makes so much difference.

I used to use my MicroKORG as a MIDI controller which is probably very similar to the Nano key controller (unweighted, small)... And when I switched to a proper key controller I noticed my playing was off because I wasn't used to true velocity-sensitive keys. Now I'll never go back.

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I noticed my playing was off because I wasn't used to true velocity-sensitive keys. Now I'll never go back.

mine is always a little off, but i also quantize everything afterwards, not sure if that's a good thing or if it just makes the playing sound robotic, i also go back and make the velocities all equal after i've played something, probably a bad thing if you're playing piano and want to retain the same feeling you put into it.

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mine is always a little off, but i also quantize everything afterwards, not sure if that's a good thing or if it just makes the playing sound robotic, i also go back and make the velocities all equal after i've played something, probably a bad thing if you're playing piano and want to retain the same feeling you put into it.

I've noticed that the less quanitzation tends to sound better and adds a real humanistic element to a largely exact medium. Avoiding loops works very well too in tying the piece together, depending on the type of music you're going for.

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I wouldn't say that learning to compose on a keyboard is the be all and end all. In fact if you don't have the playing ability and theoretical knowledge to back it up it could even restrict your creativity, just as trying to write on a guitar when you only know four chords would.

As to quantisation, there's no hard and fast rules that apply, especially depending on the genre you're writing in. Correctly timed notes landing together will sound punchier than mistimed ones, for example.

If you're having to quantise because you suck at playing keys then I suggest you either do the quick and easy solution of quantising and then using something like Logic's Humanise transform or my preferred method which is to zoom in and manually edit each note on/off and velocity. Also rather than flatlining all your velocities try limiting them in a narrow band such as 40-60 (again no idea if it's possible outside of Logic).

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Oh this is a great thread. I'm just starting to dabble in production. I'm using ableton live, a mouse, a nanoKontrol, and an axiom midi keyboard.

Just ran across this site (http://findremix.com/) which I'm pretty stoked about. They list a lot of the remix contests that are going on.

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Cooked up a dubstep track yesterday... I'd love some critique as this is the first dubstep track I've attempted.

Here

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Which part of the drums? Like the percussion?

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Mixing is good but the kick is WAY too loud on the first one.

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i hear it now for sure, just curious when mixing do you mix from the kick? for example i'll make the kick as loud as possible without clipping then mix the snare/hats/bass/synth and go from there

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Just play it by ear, if everything is audible but nothing sounds too loud you've achieved a good mix. Most of the volume in modern dance seems to come more from the mastering phase... and often errors in the mix become much clearer when you start mastering. If you have a humongous kick drum, for example, what's going to invariably happen when you compress the mix to hell is it's going to pump and sound like shit. If everything is peaking to reasonably the same degree then you can compress a lot more without getting obvious pumping. This is where multibands really come into their own, allowing you to heavily compress 'peaky' areas without affecting the rest of the frequency spectrum, hopefully preventing pumping when you crank the limiting up.

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Mixing the kick is probably one of the most important factors in electronic music, especially if that kick is meant to "drive" the track.

Use sidechaining... But not necessarily 100% like "pumping". In Ableton, you can set the sidechain to an eq... In your bass have the freqency that the kick hits at "pump" out when the kick hits, you'll hear both the bass and your kick a lot more defined.

Also, don't stick every drumsound onto one impulse or whatever sampler or drum sound player you're using. It's best to have a track dedicated solely kick, snare etc so you can adjust volumes and your dynamics processors (eq, compression etc) don't affect the kick sound that you've worked so hard to get.

There are loads of tips out there but these are some that I've found to be very useful.

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Oh, and I've heard to roll off frequencies below 40hz because they'll take up a lot of space (space that cannot be heard) in the mix and limit you from bringing the volume up. I sometimes do it, but I normally don't find it necessary.

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i always roll off below 60hz to eliminate any unwanted rumble, seems to be around the point between that low-low bass and mud/distortion

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i always roll off below 60hz to eliminate any unwanted rumble, seems to be around the point between that low-low bass and mud/distortion

Na man you don't wanna do that for your bass sounds! That's the sub bass. I'd suggest rolling your kick off there though.

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Here's a great tip for everyone:

For a fat sounding kick... Take your normal kick, roll it off at like 60hz or whatever sounds good, then underneath layer an 808 kick with a long tail that you low pass at 60hz. It bumps the track and fills in the sub bass region with a really fat sound that normal kick sounds don't have. You can hear an example in "Super Corn" on my soundcloud. After like the two minute mark I bring layered 808 in.

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If I Was A Rich Man is really fucking sick man. Love the subtle changes over time, it makes you lose track of how long you've been listening to it.

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