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The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Nov-07-2004, 02:33
Hi all, im new here and I had a question. My girlfriend and I are both very musicaly driven people, she plays piano and guitar and sings, and i play piano and a range of keyed instruments such as harmonium and organs and such. We are into a whole lot of music, but mostly were influenced by groups like Mum, Sigur ros, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Windy and carl, Stars of the lid, and lots and lots of others. Anyways, recently we've been really wanting to start to write all kinds of music using all our instruments, and also buy some electronics for this kind of thing. To get an idea, here is some things we want to be able to do:

-Record our live played instruments (piano, harp, guitar, harmonium, etc...)
-Record our singing
-Record sound effects from different places and edit them in whatever way we want, such as turning the sound of a tree branch breaking into a minimal filtered beat and such.
-Be able to edit everything we record and equalize everything to make it sound right.
-Produce full electronic pieces, mainly ambient stuff but we want something that can produce all kinds of bleepy blippy beepy sounds too.

I dont even know where to start with all of this, people have told me laptops, software and such but i dont know what kind I should get. I want as much hardware as possible because I have used soft synths and things of the sort and it just doesnt feel real enough to me. Also I have the question - "what does it mean when a synth is 'analog'? " I've read about analog and non analog synths, and I dont understand, also if anyone knows the process of making "homemade synths" i would really love to have some basic explination. I know this is a whole lot of crap but im busting out of my skin with idea's that I can't put into motion. Please help.

Thank you.

theMusicMan
Nov-07-2004, 22:07
Oooh, lots of questions eh... welcome to MIMF by the way..:)

The first few things we need to establish here are:

Objective (commercial/hobby/web music/CD production etc)
Budget available to purchase 'stuff'

Once you have an idea of these then we can move forward. It is really exciting thinking about the prospect of making and recording your own music - gives you a buzz for sure.

Do you know anything about using PC/Laptops for music creation and recording? Do you know anything about synthesis, sequencers, mixing EQ...? Let's start by finding out the answers to the two issues I ask above, then we can move forward.

As soon as we know the answers to these I can give you a load of information and references to where to get information to read through etc...

Good luck!

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Nov-09-2004, 06:49
:-D allright here are those answers:

Answer to Q1-Basically we want it as a hobby at first, just to be able to record the music onto a cd and let as many people who are interested in listening to it do so. Also a friend of mine is a independent film writer/director and has handed me the task of writing the score for his current film. In the end, I think what we both want is to get as MANY people to hear us as possible from all over the world. Our budget, for now I'd say sitting on about 2-3k. I have a good bit in savings, and if I so desired could save alot more quite quickly, I just need a reason to do so hehe.

Answer to Q2- I really know nothing about music creation using laptops and PC's and all, allthough I am more than willing to learn, I have AMPLE reading time at my job and my brain has been quite thirsty for knowledge lately. About 3 or 4 years ago I used to make music using a little novelty program called "MTV Music Generator" The program contained little loops to paste together but that was never good enough for me, so I did everything from scratch, I just used the little one note, and one beat samples to lay each one down and put little effects on each one to make different songs, they were back in my raver days so most of them are pretty cheezy and simple but I really had no music writing experience before that time, and the program was very user friendly compared to the real deal i'm told. Also I know nothing about synths, eq's, sequencers, samplers and all that hi tech gear https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif sadly.

What really sucks is I had a good friend a few years back, before I really got into the music thing who had an apt. FULL of hardware and all kinds of nifty music stuff, he produced lots of stuff but when I used to go to his place he would show me alot of it but I didnt pay that much attention to what he was saying because It didnt interest me that much...then he literally dissapeared off the face of the earth one day, he came to my job, told me he was moving to new york. I didnt take him seriously...he'd be leaving his gf and all his friends, but about a week later I called him, the line was dead, I go to his place, he's moved out...havent heard from him since. I really regret not paying more attention https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Anywho...back to the issue at hand...

To sum it up, I want to record for plesure, i have about 3k to spend, possibly more, and I know NOTHING about PC, laptops, synth/sequencer/sampler/EQ music stuff! haha, am I doomed or what?

:-D

P.S. Thank you for the warm welcome and for your help.

theMusicMan
Nov-10-2004, 14:09
You are very welcome. No probs at all - glad you found this helpful.

I will compile some useful information for you but As a starter for 10, here is a great article explaining what Synthesis is all about...

http://www.computermusic.co.uk/tutorial/a_sforbeg/a_sforbeg.asp

And another that links to some free Audio Sequencing software. I have tried it and it works very well indeed.

http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/index.php?section=details

Enjoy... more to follow...

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Nov-11-2004, 02:20
You are very welcome. No probs at all - glad you found this helpful.

I will compile some useful information for you but As a starter for 10, here is a great article explaining what Synthesis is all about...

http://www.computermusic.co.uk/tutorial/a_sforbeg/a_sforbeg.asp

And another that links to some free Audio Sequencing software. I have tried it and it works very well indeed.

http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/index.php?section=details

Enjoy... more to follow...



Aweseome :-D when I get my new laptop next month I'll DL some of those sequencers, allthough I dont really know what to do with them yet haha. But I read thru the synthises tutorial and it was a great help, i at least know the BASICS now and dont feel so lost. I've also come to the conclusion that I want a hardware analog synth. Do you know of any good affordable ones I could get, im sure i'll be getting lots of other synths via software but i want at least one real analog one. Anyways keep me posted on all the info. I'll suck it all right up like a sponge and thanx again for all the help.

-matt

theMusicMan
Nov-12-2004, 01:38
Why have you come to the conclusion about a Hardwar Analogue Synth.... there are many good synths out there - of all types. What is it that you feel you need to create specifically with a Hardware Analogue one...?

More links coming tomorrow too... glad you found the initial ones helpful.

J

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Nov-16-2004, 08:04
Why have you come to the conclusion about a Hardwar Analogue Synth.... there are many good synths out there - of all types. What is it that you feel you need to create specifically with a Hardware Analogue one...?

More links coming tomorrow too... glad you found the initial ones helpful.

J



Well, in the link I read that alot of analogue synths with age tend to produce a "warm" sound. The word "warm" automatically makes me think of the sound's that artists like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher create with thier synths in alot of thier songs. I really really love this sound...its soo soothing to me and I know that both squarepusher and aphex twin are analogue enthusiests. If I am thinking the right way, that warm sound is exactly the kind of sound i would like, while I wont be doing alot of the drill n bass stuff those guys do, the overall melodies are some of the most soothing i've ever heard, and while I know that its mostly credited to thier talent, the sound of the key itself is just soooo relaxing to me, a little muffled and old-time sounding. As for it being hardware, like I said earlier...I need buttons i can actully push and knobs I can actually turn, there is something about hardware that just gets me a whole lot more motivated than software ever could. The word "digital" just sounds too...new...and perfect.. to me, I want our music to sound old and rusty, like a cloudy day or an old bridge with pieces of the brick missing and others eroded from years and years of harsh weather. I want it to sound human; imperfect... I want there to be un-planned errors that end up sounding like they should be there.
I guess I've gone a bit farther in describing just WHY i want a hardware analogue...but its really hard for me to explain i guess.

I want to walk into my room and see an old scratched up analoug synth... sitting next to my worn out harmonium and 40 year old piano.

I dunno.
I confuse myself sometimes I guess. :-/

theMusicMan
Nov-20-2004, 02:47
Great explanation you give there... cheers for that.

You are right about the sound.... I always describe analogue synths as being able to produce fantastically fat sounds....

This is the one I'd get next...

http://alesis.com/products/Ion/

What a beast....:)

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Nov-27-2004, 07:41
looks good, very affordable too :-D. After christmas I will probably go to guitar center or mars music and pick me up one of those, but I have to buy presents first https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif hehe. So when I get that synth, what can I do about recording? I have a Sony Vaio laptop, what software is good to get for recording and stuff? Also I want something that I can take around with me and record sounds outside my house, like my windshield wipers in my car on a rainy day, and the labeling machine at work, I want to be able to record sounds like this and then play with them with all sorts of different effects and stuff, what could I do about that?

Hope you dont mind I have alot of questions hehe but thanx for all your help, it really is very...helpful! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

deckerdogg
Nov-27-2004, 21:43
Post 1 of 2

Assuming use of a computer based system:
Music recording is a combination of hardware and software. It must all be highly compatible! That means mainstream all the way.

Step 1: Establish hardware platform.

Get a computer with fastest processor most memory you can afford.

Step 2: Establish interface. Common choices are firewire, USB, PCI card (others may exist).

Firewire = is a cabling technology for transferring data to and from digital devices. A music interface will connect to the computer over a FireWire cable. FireWire is typically faster than those that connect via USB 1. Also known as IEEE 1394, it is a fast external bus that supports data transfer rates of up to 400 Mbps. Firewire was developed by Apple and falls under the IEEE 1394 standard. Other companies follow the IEEE 1394 but have names such as Lynx and I-link. Used by Windows PC also.

USB = Universal Serial Bus. USB enables you to connect music interface to Windows and Macintosh computers. The USB 1 standard supports data transfer rates of 12Mbps (million bits per second). Many USB devices can work on either a Windows PC or a Mac, provided the device manufacturer offers connectivity software for both computer systems. USB 2 supports data transfer rates of 480 Mbps (480 million bits per second). Most new computers sold since 1999 come equipped with at least one USB 2 port. A single USB port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, such as mice, modems, keyboards and speaker systems, making USB a very flexible and appealing device interface.

PCI = Peripheral Component Interconnect. This type of internal bus is the most commonly used in today's systems. It is a 32-bit bus that supports rates of 33 MHz; newer specs allow for 64-bit transfers at 66 MHz. Many music interfaces are connected to computers via a PCI card using an internal PCI slot. That is, microphones/instruments are plugged into an external box (music interface) connected via a cable to the PCI interface card installed in the computer.

Step 3: Select hardware interface.

Instruments and/or microphones may be plugged into a computer/music interface, usually an external box. Using a analog to digital converter the music signal is translated to digital signal so that the computer hard disk can record the music. This device must be compatible with computer hardware platform and computer software. Cost and capability range from neophyte ($100's) to professional ($k's).

Step 4: Select software interface.

The software takes the information from the analog to digital converter and records the music signal to the computer hard disk. This software must be compatible with computer hardware, computer operating system and music interface. The software emulates a recording studio and allows the recording of music on individual tracks, copying the tracks, playback and adding effects like reverb, delay, and distortion to the track. Cost and capability range from neophyte ($100's) to professional ($k's).

It is possible to waste a lot of money in pursuing this goal. As I have done. False starts and incompatible/uncooperative equipment can be very expensive/non-productive.

Much time can also be wasted with operating systems and software. Without raising the ugly spectre of MAC VS PC, I can say that most software comes out for PC (Windows)first. Above all, everything must interface well.

deckerdogg

deckerdogg
Nov-27-2004, 22:04
Post 2 of 2

Follow-up of previous post with examples

I have a windows XP based PC with ASUS motherboard. Stay with Intel and Intel chipset. Mainstream, mainstream, mainstream.

chipset:

Microchips that support the CPU. The chipset usually contains several controllers that govern how information travels between the processor and other components. The chipset controls the system and its capabilities. All components communicate with the processor through the chipset - it is the hub of all data transfer. The chipset uses the DMA controller and the bus controller to organize the steady flow of data that it controls. The chipset is a series of chips attached directly to the motherboard, and is usually second in size only to the processor. Chipsets are integrated (soldered onto the motherboard) and are not upgradeable without a new motherboard.

Step 2 and 3: Establish hardware and interface type.

I have an Echo Mona interface, it is PCI based and has been trouble free and works well with my CUBASE music software. ECHO no longer makes Mona and now specializes more in interfaces that work with Laptop computers.

Step 4: Select software interface.

I use CUBASE it is made by Steinberg and was first written for the Amiga (if not earlier platforms). It is one of several software music production systems at or near the "professional" level. There are other versions available that are less expensive.

Going Mobile:

I use a Sharp Mini-Disc system to make "field recordings." The microphones are two lavalier type microphones that have a hypercardiod pattern. Rather than try to separate them I have them at 90 degrees to each other and since they are pretty directional they will pick up sound from two different directions. The microphones have phantom 9 v power and a filter box. At a rock concert I roll off a lot of bass, at a club I can roll off less bass. Once recorded I have a desktop style MD player that has an optical out which goes to a desktop type CD recorder with an optical in, so I make a CD "master."
At this point I transfer it into the computer into Cubase where I edit the beginning and end of the song, which is only two tracks (right and left) and I usually don't add or try to clean it up beyond this. Then I dump it back onto a new CD as a "LIVE" recording.

At Home:

The recordings I make at home are done with keyboards then a mixer and out through JBL G15s plus a G15 Subwoofer. I record with two microphones near the speakers and use an Echo Mona recording system to the computer. I record using Cubase and layer the tracks and I can lots of different
echo or reverb or other effects. I have some external processors also, Line 6 Pod, guitar pedals, Alesis Air Synth, KAOS Pad, Vocoder and I have two drum machines for rhythm. I also have mic pre-amps, compressors, which I could go into if desired.

Examples of what I have done using the above Home system are at:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/deckerdoggmusic.htm

If you have any more questions, please ask.


deckerdogg

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Dec-05-2004, 08:41
I went to guitar center today and bought myself an early christmas present. I picked up that Alesis Ion Analog Modeling synth. Its really cool, I know its not REAL analog but apperently it does an excelent job mimicing one, either way I like it alot, its really easy to use and its pretty. haha.

anyways... one step closer https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

BTW, i may be rushing things but I want to make beats, little cut up off tempo beats, i want to record sounds from different places and be able to play with them and cut them up and such, im looking at samplers and drum machines online...anybody recomend a good one I should get that provides alot of flexablity for under 1k?

this one - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/702269/ sounds like it does what i want it to do, any coments?


thanx alot guys! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Dec-06-2004, 07:09
Post 2 of 2

Follow-up of previous post with examples

I have a windows XP based PC with ASUS motherboard. Stay with Intel and Intel chipset. Mainstream, mainstream, mainstream.

chipset:

Microchips that support the CPU. The chipset usually contains several controllers that govern how information travels between the processor and other components. The chipset controls the system and its capabilities. All components communicate with the processor through the chipset - it is the hub of all data transfer. The chipset uses the DMA controller and the bus controller to organize the steady flow of data that it controls. The chipset is a series of chips attached directly to the motherboard, and is usually second in size only to the processor. Chipsets are integrated (soldered onto the motherboard) and are not upgradeable without a new motherboard.

Step 2 and 3: Establish hardware and interface type.

I have an Echo Mona interface, it is PCI based and has been trouble free and works well with my CUBASE music software. ECHO no longer makes Mona and now specializes more in interfaces that work with Laptop computers.

Step 4: Select software interface.

I use CUBASE it is made by Steinberg and was first written for the Amiga (if not earlier platforms). It is one of several software music production systems at or near the "professional" level. There are other versions available that are less expensive.

Going Mobile:

I use a Sharp Mini-Disc system to make "field recordings." The microphones are two lavalier type microphones that have a hypercardiod pattern. Rather than try to separate them I have them at 90 degrees to each other and since they are pretty directional they will pick up sound from two different directions. The microphones have phantom 9 v power and a filter box. At a rock concert I roll off a lot of bass, at a club I can roll off less bass. Once recorded I have a desktop style MD player that has an optical out which goes to a desktop type CD recorder with an optical in, so I make a CD "master."
At this point I transfer it into the computer into Cubase where I edit the beginning and end of the song, which is only two tracks (right and left) and I usually don't add or try to clean it up beyond this. Then I dump it back onto a new CD as a "LIVE" recording.

At Home:

The recordings I make at home are done with keyboards then a mixer and out through JBL G15s plus a G15 Subwoofer. I record with two microphones near the speakers and use an Echo Mona recording system to the computer. I record using Cubase and layer the tracks and I can lots of different
echo or reverb or other effects. I have some external processors also, Line 6 Pod, guitar pedals, Alesis Air Synth, KAOS Pad, Vocoder and I have two drum machines for rhythm. I also have mic pre-amps, compressors, which I could go into if desired.

Examples of what I have done using the above Home system are at:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/deckerdoggmusic.htm

If you have any more questions, please ask.


deckerdogg


https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
sweet lots of info, thanx man :-D. I have a kind of dumb question...but...with the samplers and drum machines and such (the one I want is the korg mkII) can you plug in a mic, and record sound effects around your house and outside and stuff, and then mess with them on the actuall sampler ? thats what i mainly wanna do.

The Sky Tunnel Entrance On The Hilltop
Apr-28-2005, 05:49
Hey everyone its me again just getting back to everyone who helped me with getting my mini studio set up. Since my last post I've purchased the alesis ion, microkorg, 1982 casiotone, an old magnus air organ, a custom built comp with a sound blaster audigy platinum sound card and sonar 4 producer ed. Also set up some marshal mics to record the live instruments, I been using a cheap old sony tape deck to record sounds and edit them in sonar, and my gf bought me the "sonar 4 power" book and I read it all so I'm learning a lot. I have been reading a lot about mastering too and my gf is taking drum lessons...were comming along and soon ill put up some songs of ours for dl. Thank you all for your help!