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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: jkn on December 07, 2007, 12:33:53 PM

Title: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jkn on December 07, 2007, 12:33:53 PM
Some of my favorite threads were the "how we record" threads.   Starting this thread for the gear side of things...

What do you record in? 
What're your main instruments?
Secret studio weapon?

(I'll post later... got to run...)
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: mgriffin on December 07, 2007, 03:52:41 PM
I love Ableton Live so much that I wish I could have its love child.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: hdibrell on December 07, 2007, 10:09:40 PM
I use Digidesign Mbox for recording. I also use Acid Pro 4, as well. My main instrument is my modular which is mostly Synthesizers.com modules with some Blacet, MOTM, Wiard and DIY modules tossed in for good measure. I also have and use a Kawaii K5000s, Nord Micromodular, DSI Evolver,Yamaha CS-50, Roland HPD-15 Handsonic, and a bunch of other hardware and software synths. I definitely have more gear than talent ;)  As far as a secret weapon is concerned, it must be really secret, as I haven't a clue what it is. I am still looking , though.     Harry D
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jkn on December 09, 2007, 05:59:57 PM
Mike, have you shared that thought with Lena yet? 
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jkn on December 10, 2007, 07:23:36 AM
Some of the gear mostly collecting dust over the last four years...

Korg DSS-1 - the second synth I bought - and still my favorite for some odd, bizarre reason.   It's a sampler, but not a good one... it's real stength is it's filter and ability to sound like a fat analogish synth.   I also think I love it just because I've had it so long (since about 1987 or so...).   It weighs way too much (70 lbs? - I can't remember - stupidly awkward to move and heavy).   I have a great manfrotto keyboard stand that Korg was actually sending to the stores at the time they came out because they could support the weight.   

Korg SDD-1200 - this is a digital delay unit from around '87/88ish.  No memory.  It's a dual delay and is fantastic for creating feedback... I think I've used it more as a feedback device or the last 20 years than anything else.  If there's one piece of gear that I'd say you'd find in almost everything I've written - this is it...

Synthesizers.com Modular - My most recent addition to the studio - bought it a couple years ago.  It's a 22 space unit -you can see the modules I have loaded in this mock up:   http://www.johei.com/albums/modular/22_module_layout_final.jpg

Roland Juno 106 - I bought this in the late 80's... I love how this can cut through almost anything.

Sequential Prophet 600 - Fatter and grainier than the Juno - they make a great pair.   

Yamaha TG33 - I wanted something from the fm family and picked this up from a friend a few years back.  Still haven't really used it much.

more later... :)
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on December 10, 2007, 01:01:35 PM
I'm currently using an Akai EWI4000s wind synthesizer with a Vox Tonelab LE for signal processing and a Boss DD-20 for looping. Everything is pretty much live and into a standalone CD recorder. I haven't turned a keyboard synth on for months. I may get another DD-20 soon for expanded looping possibilities. Lately, I've been using Garageband for editing.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: darkenedsoul on December 11, 2007, 10:33:52 AM
I love Ableton Live so much that I wish I could have its love child.


Hahaha, did you upgrade to Version 7 that just came out? I got the boxed version for Session Drums and EIC 2 and the other new instruments (Tension, Electric, and Analog) plus Simpler, Sampler, Operator et. al. Waiting on boxed version to get here (probably next week due to printing machine malfunction...grrrrrrrrr. I use Live, either my Korg Triton Extreme 61 or Roland V-Synth 61 for MIDI input and recording stuff from (Korg mostly). I have Native Instruments Komplete 4 and 5 packages (started with Komplete 2 originally and Komplete Care 2005/2006). Live is a hell of a piece of software. My only complaint is you can't render it out as an mp3 (you can however use mp3's as your audio clips and slice em up, etc...). Why it doesn't is beyond me after all this time. Unless it's a licensing thing. Still, that should have been in there as of V4 in my opinion. But Sound Forge 7 does what I need it to.

Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: mgriffin on December 11, 2007, 10:47:24 AM
I don't know why you'd want to render out directly to mp3.  Even if you want to post a compressed version of your track somewhere, wouldn't you want to keep an archive of an uncompressed version?  If so, then render to wav or aif and then convert that (just takes a few seconds) to mp3, in a separate application.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: mgriffin on December 11, 2007, 10:48:53 AM
Oh, and I didn't upgrade to version 7.  I don't usually take each upgrade that's offered by software vendors.  I understand they want to do regular upgrades every year or so, to keep the cash rolling in, but I rarely feel that every single version upgrade is worth the price.  I think I upgraded Live from version 1 to version 4 to version 6, and I'll wait to see what future versions have in store, before I buy another upgrade.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: darkenedsoul on December 11, 2007, 09:05:19 PM
Oh, and I didn't upgrade to version 7.  I don't usually take each upgrade that's offered by software vendors.  I understand they want to do regular upgrades every year or so, to keep the cash rolling in, but I rarely feel that every single version upgrade is worth the price.  I think I upgraded Live from version 1 to version 4 to version 6, and I'll wait to see what future versions have in store, before I buy another upgrade.

Yeah, I've got $800+ tied up into these last two full blown upgrades plus purchasing Operator back I think in Live 5. I think that I am good for awhile with this software as I really need to sit down and get under the hood to learn more of it.  ;D
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: darkenedsoul on December 11, 2007, 09:09:47 PM
I don't know why you'd want to render out directly to mp3.  Even if you want to post a compressed version of your track somewhere, wouldn't you want to keep an archive of an uncompressed version?  If so, then render to wav or aif and then convert that (just takes a few seconds) to mp3, in a separate application.

I'd like to have that ability. To me it should have been in there a long time ago. But no, what do they do instead? They allow you to use mp3's as clips. To me that's *ok* but a) you got to load the compressed file, then you have to work with loop areas, etc...if you want to pick out pieces of the mp3's. I just think it should have been in there at least 2 versions ago, more like in version 4!  It is a beast of a piece of software. I just don't get how most folks appear to be dj-ing with it when it is so much more. Oh, and now they include the ability to put in video clips....Why? I was against that personally and posted such as I saw no need for a DAW application like Live to add video into it when there are so many other nice things folks keep requesting that don't make it in (bezier curves...WHY NOT IN THERE?!?). I mainly work with samples and mangle them with SIR and Impulse Responses, record some MIDI clips, render to audio and work in arrangement view to piece it together for tracks. But as I said in other reply I do need to start sitting down with it and going through the lessons and mucking around under the hood. And get my padKontrol hooked in to use it with drum racks (nice addition!).
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: ffcal on December 12, 2007, 12:56:46 AM
John,

Hey, I've have a DSS-1, too.  It's gathering dust under my couch, because I have no room for it in the bedroom.  I've actually been keyboard controller-less for some time because of space restrictions, but have been enjoying it in a perverse sort of way as a kind of challenge.  I think the last chord I played on a keyboard was probably on a piece 5 or 6 years ago.

Forrest
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Scott M2 on December 12, 2007, 05:42:42 AM
John,

Hey, I've have a DSS-1, too.  It's gathering dust under my couch, because I have no room for it in the bedroom.  I've actually been keyboard controller-less for some time because of space restrictions, but have been enjoying it in a perverse sort of way as a kind of challenge.  I think the last chord I played on a keyboard was probably on a piece 5 or 6 years ago.

Forrest

It's interesting that a significant part of this thread, so far, is artists talking about what they don't use.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jkn on December 12, 2007, 06:37:19 AM
Scott.. ouch.  Good point!

I should clarify - all of my gear is unused at the moment only because I'm not recording.   Everything I've listed so far are my favorites when I'm recording (well, except for the TG33).  :)

I posted a track that's very DSS-1 heavy in the listening booth forum - it's from 1989 though - nothing current.  :)
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: MarkJohnson on December 16, 2007, 10:17:01 AM
I just bought Ableton Live, it's the first DAW I've spent money on and the first one that I've felt I understand. I've been playing for a long time but only recently decided to get into digital recording. Ableton Live has made the move to digital very easy. I'm only just starting to get familiar with the feature set, so I can't comment there, but the built in help and the ease of use are far beyond Live's competitors in my opinion. Cubase and Pro Tools made me feel that DAWs were a club that I didn't belong to; Live has welcomed me in and is giving me a tour...

I got a great deal on the software as well. I installed Live Lite 6 from a friend's trial disc, upgraded to the full version of Live 6 for $269 directly from the Ableton web site, and, at least as of a week ago, the full version of Live 7 is included as well.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: darkenedsoul on December 17, 2007, 08:42:20 PM
I just bought Ableton Live, it's the first DAW I've spent money on and the first one that I've felt I understand. I've been playing for a long time but only recently decided to get into digital recording. Ableton Live has made the move to digital very easy. I'm only just starting to get familiar with the feature set, so I can't comment there, but the built in help and the ease of use are far beyond Live's competitors in my opinion. Cubase and Pro Tools made me feel that DAWs were a club that I didn't belong to; Live has welcomed me in and is giving me a tour...

I got a great deal on the software as well. I installed Live Lite 6 from a friend's trial disc, upgraded to the full version of Live 6 for $269 directly from the Ableton web site, and, at least as of a week ago, the full version of Live 7 is included as well.

Nice! Did you get Session Drums as well as EIC 2 with it? I would assume yes. I haven't really dug too deeply under the hood but the application is amazing with things you can do with it. Mind boggling at times. I am glad my buddy has been using this for awhile as I pick his brain regularly when I haven't used Live much. Getting back into the trenches of it so more lesson viewing and all to go through and check out the new instruments and drum samples.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: sraymar on December 18, 2007, 08:50:10 PM
Still using my Roland U20, Ensoniq SQ1PLus, need to get the old MT32 back out sometime as well as my Roland R5. Also some soft synths like VAZ modular, Vaz 2010, Reality, and a soft sampler Directwave. Also a classical guitar, Charvel strat copy, Dixon acoustic. Still have Cool Edit 2000, Power Tracks Pro Audio 8.

I'm not interested in alot of studio trickery durring the recording process, I want it simple, almost a live performance if not totally live sort of like Hitchcock editing as he filmed.

Steve
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: MarkJohnson on December 19, 2007, 08:55:58 PM
I just bought Ableton Live, it's the first DAW I've spent money on and the first one that I've felt I understand. I've been playing for a long time but only recently decided to get into digital recording. Ableton Live has made the move to digital very easy. I'm only just starting to get familiar with the feature set, so I can't comment there, but the built in help and the ease of use are far beyond Live's competitors in my opinion. Cubase and Pro Tools made me feel that DAWs were a club that I didn't belong to; Live has welcomed me in and is giving me a tour...

I got a great deal on the software as well. I installed Live Lite 6 from a friend's trial disc, upgraded to the full version of Live 6 for $269 directly from the Ableton web site, and, at least as of a week ago, the full version of Live 7 is included as well.

Nice! Did you get Session Drums as well as EIC 2 with it? I would assume yes. I haven't really dug too deeply under the hood but the application is amazing with things you can do with it. Mind boggling at times. I am glad my buddy has been using this for awhile as I pick his brain regularly when I haven't used Live much. Getting back into the trenches of it so more lesson viewing and all to go through and check out the new instruments and drum samples.


I got the 'Download' rather than the 'Boxed' version and Session Drums and EIC 2 were not included. It still came with a number of sounds, however, and the cost savings was worth it, I think, as I can now spend money on exactly the plug-ins I want rather than those that Ableton thinks are essential for me.

Lesson viewing... the Ableton user's favorite past time...
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Seren on December 20, 2007, 06:05:21 AM
I use Sennheiser microphones, Novation supernova rack, Technics KN1400 keyboard, electric guitar, various acoustic sound sources such as glass, pipes, bells etc, Korg D16 portastudio, TC M3000 reverb, Roland VP9000, Tascam MD350, Roland VS2480...awaiting arrival of Korg MR1 and Alesis DEQ230D equaliser.

I tend to put everything through everything else, at least twice. Sometimes when listening to mixes I hear a sound and can't remember how I created it - tends to bring in a certain amount of chance and chaos.

I also like trying to create chance in the mixes too - processing some sounds in real time without knowing exactly how they will fit to everything else.

No computer software at all at present.

Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jkn on January 10, 2008, 02:32:12 PM
I posted earlier about a few synths - here's my bass/guitar related stuff...

G&L L1000 and Gibson Grabber basses - the L1000 is my main bass, I bought it used about 15 years ago from a friend.  It's blue and weighs a ton - I sometimes think it's made of cement instead of wood...    It plays nice, I like it.  The previous owner put a hipshot on it to drop the E string down to D (or whatever I want it to go to).   The Grabber was my 2nd bass - I picked that up used as well - it's a nice ugly wood color instead of painted.   It has a slideable pickup that's more gimicky than useful.

Ampeg I bought my Ampeg B2r head and cabinets when I was playing in a band in '97/'98 and I couldn't hear myself over the drummer and guitar player.   I've got a 15" cabinet and a 2x10"+horn cab which give a really nice range.    Right before I bought the Ampeg I briefly had a little SWR tube amp - wow - great sound, but it couldn't cut through that pounding drummer...

Boss ME-8B - this is a mid-90's bass multi-effects.  It works.   There's a lot of things that would be better now, but it's what I have...

At times I use bass more for effects source material than as an actual bass - at those times I'm routing through the mixer into feedback loops using a Boss ME-8B and Korg SDD-1200 delay - sometimes tossing in an Alesis Wedge and/or Lexicon Vortex.

Every once in a while I'll get out my guitar - which is a beat up Gretsch from the late 50's/early 60's.  I bought it off of an old bosses husband... he got it in a pawn shop in about 1975.

Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: SunDummy on January 10, 2008, 06:38:08 PM
I don't use synths at all anymore; when I did, I stuck to a Roland JP-8000 and a Yamaha TX-802. 

My main soundpath is an Epiphone 12-string acoustic with a Dean Markley pickup (or a Fender Telecaster),  fed into a Digitech XP-100 whammy/wah pedal, a DOD distortion pedal, a DOD digital delay pedal, and into a Yamaha SU-200 sampler (sometimes through a crappy little Crate amp and a cheap microphone, but usually directl).  After sampling a few phrases and sounds, I play them as overlapping loops in the SU-200, and into a DOD D12 sampler.  After creating a few loops in the D12 this way, I play them in unison through a Microverb IV, then back into the SU-200 for sampling.  After a few rounds of this, re-processing the same original sounds, I've got quite a dense little drone.  Playing this back through the Microverb, at various frequency cut-offs, I can get some pretty deeeeep sounds, very organic sounding, no synth involved.  Fun!

I don't use software at all (I've played around with ACID, but prefer a more hands-on approach).  I don't use sequencers, MIDI, or any of the traditional electronic music tools; I prefer the random nature of out-of-phase loops and the harmonics of real strings, no matter how blurred by effects they may be.  Different strokes, I guess!
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: mgriffin on January 14, 2008, 05:21:33 PM
I just replaced my audio interface (Mark of the Unicorn 828) with a new Presonus Firestudio last week, in time for the latest Viridian Sun sessions.  The new interface made things much more enjoyable, with no sudden disappearances.  It was just like the way things used to work, with the 828 and my previous versions of Mac OSX.  I believe the problem is with the MOTU drivers for Mac OSX but I'm not willing to a run a less than current version of OSX just to make my old MOTU driver happy.

Also the Firestudio comes with a pretty nifty monitoring/routing application, which makes for easy monitoring and virtual patching of signals.  Very slick overall.

The interface came with a version of Cubase LE which I thought I'd try out just for kicks, because sometimes Apple Logic Studio seems like massive overkill for the simple stuff I do.  But this version of Cubase (I didn't know until I'd already installed it) is not a "universal binary" version and does not support the newer Macs with Intel processors, only old Powermac chips.  It's unbelievably lame that these huge software companies can't support the most current hardware, given that audio recording is one of those areas where people need the best computer firepower and want to upgrade to new machines as soon as they're available.  Intel Mac Pros have been around for well over a year now, and still Steinberg doesn't support the Intel chips in any of their OSX software except the top version of Cubase.  Pffft! 

I'm back to thinking that Steinberg sucks just about as much as Digidesign.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 16, 2008, 09:29:12 PM
I was debating on losing my M-Audio Omni Studio breakout box + Delta66 to maybe go the UltraLite but I've read some negative things about it. What's this Presonus item running? You're using it with a laptop right? I'd have to get a firewire card since the new systems mobo doesn't have firewire. I knew that in the beginning before getting it. I wanted it for overclocking and DDR3 support.

Anyways Mike, look at Ableton Live, comes in Windows or Mac flavor ;-) and at least two of us here are using it. You can download the demo and use pretty much all of it sans saving and possibly some stuff not there, i.e. instruments like Operator, Sampler, Tension, Analog and Electric probably aren't there. But Simpler and Impulse should be (sampler and drum machine program to drop samples into). With the drum rack in Live 7 it's MUCH bigger than before, now up to 128 slots, padKontrol maps correctly now too. Pretty slick piece of software but it isn't cheap. Not sure if they are offering cross-grades. You'd have to check their website at www.ableton.com (http://www.ableton.com). It's worth downloading to check it out anyways. ;-)  A lot of folks use it for DJ-ing...I have no use for that side of it but lots of stuff to do in it. WAY too much IMHO, plus Quicktime video support for those into doing videos with their audio.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: mgriffin on January 17, 2008, 06:06:22 PM
Anyways Mike, look at Ableton Live, comes in Windows or Mac flavor ;-) and at least two of us here are using it.

I know... take a look at the 2nd post in this topic, on page 1.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: MarkM on February 16, 2008, 06:47:05 PM
I love Ableton Live. It's an instrument as well as a DAW.  Reaktor and Moog Modular V are my fav softsynths. Hardware:  Moog Voyager & Phatty, Waldorf Q rack & XT, Alsesis Ion.  I recently added an Akai MPK 49 controller keyboard. 
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Gemini Ambience on February 17, 2008, 08:04:39 PM
Well possibly being the "greenest" composer here, over the last few years I was learning basic synthesis via soft-synths in Cubase SX 3. I also studied moreso books and tutorials on how to mix audio and just started learning about mastering. All the artists I truly enjoy, and signature sounds from genres I really like, tend to use hardware synths over softs. So I'm at the point where I just did a major hardware purchase to upgrade to a "serious" hobby project studio. I'm now basing the studio around a MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz lappy, the softsynths I'm most comfortable with currently are Spectrasonics' Atmosphere and Stylus RMX. I've also aquired over the last few weeks my favorite synth, a Yamaha AN1X. I also bought an Access Virus A. Rounding it off I picked up two Roland grooveboxes (mainly for live pa possibilities than for production) the MC-505 and MC-808.

I'm still a little intimidated by getting everything connected properly...but once the last piece of gear arrives (the desk) I'll be able to get everything up and running. I bought Cubase 4 last year and I have to say I'm truly a fan of Cubase. Maybe because it's what I've been learning production in, but I find the environment very logical and easy to understand and for my needs it's more than adequate. Stylus RMX is also great for using as a sampler as well as rhythm synth. I bought HALion 3, but have yet to start reading the manual. Once I get the studio put together I plan on using it frequently (HALion).

So basically, Cubase 4, Stylus RMX, and the AN1x and Virus are the core to my audio happiness right now.  :) 
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on February 18, 2008, 06:15:21 AM
I've been exploring soft synths on and off for a couple of years now. Lately I've been trying some of the demos from GForce, in particular their Oddity (Arp) and ImpOSCar and their Minimoog emulation. They're all very good, especially the Arp clone, although I really find working with a mouse frustrating at times and I can certainly feel some latency with my wind synth. I end up just using my Alesis Micron, which I covers all of these sounds very well. I am interested in Gforce's new Virtual String Machine, which covers a wide range of string synths. I'm currently using Garageband 08 as the host, which despite just being bundled with Mac is actually pretty powerful. I have a copy of Logic Express that I really need to dig into.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 18, 2008, 09:38:35 AM
I've been exploring soft synths on and off for a couple of years now. Lately I've been trying some of the demos from GForce, in particular their Oddity (Arp) and ImpOSCar and their Minimoog emulation. They're all very good, especially the Arp clone, although I really find working with a mouse frustrating at times and I can certainly feel some latency with my wind synth. I end up just using my Alesis Micron, which I covers all of these sounds very well. I am interested in Gforce's new Virtual String Machine, which covers a wide range of string synths. I'm currently using Garageband 08 as the host, which despite just being bundled with Mac is actually pretty powerful. I have a copy of Logic Express that I really need to dig into.

Jonathan : sounds like you should be using a midi control box with knobs to run those softsynths, so you are twiddling knobs to control synth parameters, not mousing so much. The Micron must put out midi on its few knobs, and can be used.

Its a nuisance if you noticing latency with your EWI ... it should be pretty much unnoticeable when setup properly. Friend of mine has one here and he has no trouble with its latency. He's a very good sax player.

I used to be a fan of ImpOscar, it has terrific rich filters. Haven't used it for quite some time though. But Gforce sure do some excellent work.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on February 18, 2008, 11:48:56 AM
I'll have to check my wind synth setup. Any advice on a midi control box? The Micron doesn't seem to output MIDI other than pitch and modulation, at least I can't find anything in the manual.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 19, 2008, 06:55:38 PM
I'll have to check my wind synth setup. Any advice on a midi control box? The Micron doesn't seem to output MIDI other than pitch and modulation, at least I can't find anything in the manual.

Modern synths like the Micron (or its bigger relative) usually do send midi cc on their knobs. Maybe just connect it to your DAW, load a softsynth that will respond to midi (on its virtual knobs) and see if it will pick up movement from the Micron knobs.

But there are now loads of good, inexpensive midi boxes. Depends whether you want one with keyboard or not. Novation have some fine small keyboard midi controllers: www.novationmusic.com.  The box I use a lot is the Behringer BCR2000, has lots of rotary knobs (infinite rotation) with neat red position lights: www.behringer.com/BCR2000/index.cfm?lang=eng

But there really are a lot of these things around, made by many companies. On eBay too of course.


Maybe other people here can post what they use for a midi controller.





Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 19, 2008, 08:12:06 PM
Jonathan: you could also use your Electribe as a midi controller, it has a bunch of knobs that send out control codes.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on February 20, 2008, 06:33:11 AM
Tony,

Thanks for the recommendations. It turns out the Micron knobs don't output CCs but NRPNs. I don't have the Electribe anymore, but good call on a controller with knobs, that's probably the way to go. I did try one of the Novation's a couple of years ago and liked it, I'll check out the newer ones.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Gemini Ambience on February 20, 2008, 11:31:19 AM
Hey Johnathan,

If you'd like a basic controller, I have an M-Audio Oxygen-49 keyboard controller I'd be happy to just give you if you'd like it (or anyone else if Johnathan doesn't want it). Since I now have the Yamaha AN1X...I plan on using that as my main keyboard and controller.

All I'd ask is that you chip in for the shipping if you'd like it.

Let me know!

Thanks,

Jim
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 20, 2008, 12:17:03 PM
Super generous of you Jim. Its a nice little controller, i have an Oxygen and use it whenever I'm away from home and have a computer with me. Real handy.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on February 20, 2008, 02:00:46 PM
Jim, that's a mighty generous offer! I'm looking at smaller controllers though (25 or 37 key) so if anyone wants to take Jim up on his offer, go for it.

Thanks again Jim!
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Gemini Ambience on February 20, 2008, 04:25:23 PM
No problem!

It would be happier being used in a studio than being packed away in my hall closet.  :)  So again, if anyone wants it...just pay shipping and it's yours!

Thanks,

Jim
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Scott M2 on February 20, 2008, 05:33:40 PM
Sorry, I'm not offering mine for free, but I thought I'd recommend the Novation Remote 25SL
as a very flexible controller. (I don't use the AutoMap feature so far, just program my own knobs, etc.)
(http://www.dreamstate.to/photos/misc/gear/controllers_3743.jpg)
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 20, 2008, 06:16:31 PM
Scott: One day I will throw my Oxygen away and get one of them. Handsome controller !
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: APK on February 20, 2008, 08:40:17 PM

If you'd like a basic controller, I have an M-Audio Oxygen-49 keyboard controller I'd be happy to just give you if you'd like it (or anyone else if Johnathan doesn't want it). Since I now have the Yamaha AN1X...I plan on using that as my main keyboard and controller.


Jim : just thinking of reasons not to give it away ... don't you think a time will come when another keyboard would be handy for controlling softsynths, especially if it saves preset midi configurations for a bunch of them (which the AN1X won't do) ?  or you want to hold down a chord on one keyboard while playing the other ? Two can be handy.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Gemini Ambience on February 21, 2008, 08:16:43 AM
Hi Tony,

I'm trying to shift from soft-synths to focus more on hardware synths. I pretty much bounce everything to audio as I'm composing, and then do arrangements in Cubase. The only instrument I play "live" during a mixdown is Stylus RMX via midi channels. The rest are all audio tracks. The only soft-synth I still use at this point is Atmosphere...but I'm hoping once I learn how to craft my own pads and textures from the oscillator up, I can stop relying on it so much as well.

I'm in no hurry to get rid of the controller, it definitely works well, I just don't have the room for more than one keyboard on my desk (if it every arrives...back-order nightmare). Living in a 12x14' studio apartment isn't all it's cracked up to be.  lol
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: jblock on February 21, 2008, 10:16:12 AM
I keep going back and forth on softsynths. They are a lot of fun, but a lot of work at the same time. I figure just having a small controller and a computer can make a nice alternate way of working, but I'm always thinking of ways of fitting it in with everything else I do. I'm also still not comfortable with playing live with a computer, or jamming with it really. I've been playing with a couple of friends (rock dudes, but they like to branch out so they're using a guitar synth and electronic drums) and tried using softsynths once and it just didn't work. I've been looking for another small hardware synth (checking out the Korg R3), so we'll see where that goes.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: MarkM on February 23, 2008, 10:25:46 AM
I love soft synths, and I like them even more since I got my Akai49 controller.  Reaktor is probably my favorite.  There are some crazy synth designs that hardware manufacturers could not afford to make.  They're very useful in live performance, but I am  always worried my laptop will crash on me.  Strangely enough, the only equipt. failures I've had have been hardware. My laptop has been very reliable. . . so far.  I love jamming with soft synths because of the variety of sounds you can get.  If someone you're jamming with has a strong melody you can quickly come up with a soft synth that specializes in rhythm or atmospheres.  You can easily have several going at one time, and all this equipment can fit in the front seat of your car.  I think the key is having a dedicated controller for them.  My regular hardware synths could control many of the aspects of my soft synths, but they always seemed to do it in a compromising way. Pots always seemed to be ergonomically wrong, and there were never enough sliders (if any).

I'm starting to get into Ableton Live.  I think that is an amazing piece of software.\ and will become a big part of my live sound in the future.
Title: Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
Post by: Exuviae on April 27, 2008, 12:52:54 PM
I still really dig gear after all this time, but I found out a loooooooong time ago that I get more done with less gear. A couple synths, a couple guitars, some pedals, and few other accessories are all I really need/want. Ableton and the various plug-ins I use tend to keep my gear lust at bay most of the time. Hell, I've even used a regular old casette tape deck recently to bounce audio back and forth between software and hardware; this would be preferable to do on a second laptop, but that ain't gonna happen for a while.

Another thing I've been working on lately is what I call "controlled radomization". Mostly I work with things sync'd to midi, but pedals don't play fair in that game, so, despite the fact that my master tracks are usually in perfect sync, I try and find "outside the box" ways to make the non-sync'd audio fill a groove alongside everything else without sounding like it's just thrown in there and set to Continuous Loop.