Author Topic: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks  (Read 22090 times)

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« 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...)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 12:38:59 PM by jkn »
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 03:52:41 PM »
I love Ableton Live so much that I wish I could have its love child.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

hdibrell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 635
    • View Profile
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #2 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
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 04:58:13 PM by hdibrell »
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 05:59:57 PM »
Mike, have you shared that thought with Lena yet? 
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #4 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... :)
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

jblock

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
    • synthblock
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #5 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.
Jonathan Block
www.synthblock.com

darkenedsoul

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
    • View Profile
    • Official Darkened Soul Website
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #6 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.


mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #7 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.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #8 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.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

darkenedsoul

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
    • View Profile
    • Official Darkened Soul Website
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #9 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

darkenedsoul

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
    • View Profile
    • Official Darkened Soul Website
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #10 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!).

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
    • View Profile
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #11 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

Scott M2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
    • View Profile
    • dreamSTATE
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #12 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.

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #13 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.  :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 06:54:48 AM by jkn »
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

MarkJohnson

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #14 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.

darkenedsoul

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
    • View Profile
    • Official Darkened Soul Website
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #15 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.

sraymar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
    • View Profile
    • Steve Raymar
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #16 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
Ambient isn't just for technicians!

The artist isn't a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist.

Don't be afraid to grow, give yourself a chance.

MarkJohnson

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #17 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...

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
    • View Profile
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #18 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.


jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: Gear: what you use, how you use it, tips and tricks
« Reply #19 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.

John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei