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NEOGAF's Official Music Production Thread: calling all producers

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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I've been making music with Reason (mostly electronic dance music) for more than 10 years now but I really want to switch to Logic anytime soon, and although I'm close to getting that pro sound, I still seem to have trouble mixing down my music. You know, EQ'ing, compressing, FX like delay, chorus, reverbs, panning instruments etc. etc. So I thought maybe we could share all of our knowledge in one big thread, just to help each other out. Ofcourse, it doesn't matter what kind of music you make, as long as you can contribute to this thread by sharing tips and tricks or asking good questions it's ok. So here we go, hope this thread isn't gonna die.

So the goal is:

- Share tips and tricks/knowledge

- Everything from EQ'ing to sequencing to synthesis, so every aspect of the production side of music

- General chat about music production from Rock music to EDM to Urban style music

- Ask questions about music production


Remember: the most important thing is to have fun while making music!




Sharing Audio Examples



Want to share something you created? Or want to know how to reproduce a certain sound? Share here using Speedyshare or SoundCloud. It's free and once you click the link it lets you listen to the sound sample instantly.

- SpeedyShare

- Sound Cloud




List of DAW's (Digital Audio Workstation):



Apple Logic Pro (Mac Only!)






Website Apple Logic Pro Studio





Steinberg Cubase






Website Steinberg Cubase Studio 5



Ableton's Live






Website Ableton Live 8



Propellerhead's Reason






Website Propellerheads Reason 4



Fruityloops






Website FruityLoops


Reaper




Website Reaper




Music Production Based Magazines:



Computer Music




- Comes with a DVD packed full of samples, tutorials and other cool video's on a monthly basis. The best thing about it are the 'producer masterclasses'. Great names have already given us an insight in how they produce their music. Examples are Nathan Fake, John OO Fleming, Mistabishi and many more.

Website Computer Music


Future music




Website Future Music




List of Free Software and Other Stuff



- TrancEaddict Free Softwares List




Tutorial List:



- TrancEaddict Tutorial Master List




Producer Masterclasses (All taken from the Computer Music magazine):



- John 'OO' Fleming (Trance + Highly Recommended) (Logic Pro)

- Mistabishi (Drum N Bass) (Cubase Studio)

- Nathan Fake (Progressive House) (Cubase Studio)

- Riley & Durrant (Trance) (Reason & Logic Pro)

- The Young Punx (House) (Logic Pro)




Other Producer Tutorials:



- Airbase (Trance) (Ableton Live 8)

- 7Skies (Trance) (Logic Pro)

- Ian Carey (House) (Logic Pro)




Sample packs & Stuff



- Vengeance

- Loop Masters




Online Webshops for hardware/software



- Thomann




List of music production based forums:



- Audiopioneers

- TranceAddict Production Forum

- Serious Sounds




NeoGaf User Tutorials


- Tr4nce:

- Multiple Basslines (Reason)

- Sidechaining (Reason)

- Swooshing Sound FX/ Wind FX (Reason)
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
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Excellent, excellent OP. We really need to get a little community going here. There's no reason why there's a Creative Writing community on GAF, with weekly tasks or whatever, and there can't be the music/production equivalent!

I'm a recent ProTools (8.0 LE, PC) convert.

+1 subscriber
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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Exactly! :)

The OP seems a bit Dance Music minded right now, but that's because my style, so I mostly search for dance music related tutorials and stuff. However, this thread is for everyone! Not only for dance music producers!
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
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Tr4nce said:
Exactly! :)

The OP seems a bit Dance Music minded right now, but that's because my style, so I mostly search for dance music related tutorials and stuff. However, this thread is for everyone! Not only for dance music producers!
Well count me in as a dance music producer! (Yes, for those keeping score, I don't just write bloody Mario compositions :p). I'm working on some dance/electropop/electro-urban songs right now, but there's only so much you can do before you need to work with a great singer-songwriter to move it to the next level...

But I definitely would love to get involved in sharing tips and tricks, and I think we should start thinking about setting up (fortnightly?) "challenges" where we try to write a demo-length production based on a set of lyrics or a theme or a particular technique or something (but keeping our own basic style in tact I suppose?). Perhaps some people in Lyric-GAF can get involved too?
 

POWERSPHERE

Banned
Nov 4, 2006
9,220
0
0
yo, i run logic pro and just finished mixing and producing a bands album we've been working on for a year, so now i'm doing a bunch of new projects as well as my new album. Sweet. Will share logic tips when i'm on my computer.
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
3,755
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Well, having some sort of 'challenges' is fine I suppose, but often I think things like these can feel too 'mandatory' or something, if you know what I mean. But sure, if it's all on a relaxing time tempo, why not?
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
6
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Also going to keep tabs on this as I am in the position of having no instruments while also having a need to learn my way around music composition for videogame purposes---most signs seem to point towards Fruityloops being the way to go...
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
1
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Tr4nce said:
Should I also include a list of good VSti/ AU plugins for DAW's like Logic, Fruityloops and Cubase etc. etc.?
Why not, but this is where my knowledge begins to wear thin... I don't use -- nor can I seem to get to work properly -- any nondefault plugins in my ProTools. And as such, I really don't know the first thing about them. :/

ElectricThunder said:
Also going to keep tabs on this as I am in the position of having no instruments while also having a need to learn my way around music composition for videogame purposes---most signs seem to point towards Fruityloops being the way to go...
What degree of composition background are you implying that you have already? I certainly wouldn't recommend starting out composing things with something like Fruityloops. I find FL a great tool to quickstart your way to beat-rich dance-type productions, locking in the concept of beats/tempo and subdivision and all that, but I personally feel it's a pretty limiting tool and it's unlike all the industry standard software, although of course it's not what you use but what you do with it. Regardless, all composing will sound infinitely better, IMHO, with some prior classical training.
 

Teknopathetic

Member
Jun 6, 2004
24,114
4
0
Good thread. +1 Reaper user.

"Why not, but this is where my knowledge begins to wear thin... I don't use -- nor can I seem to get to work properly -- any nondefault plugins in my ProTools. And as such, I really don't know the first thing about them. :/"

ProTools uses the RTAS format for plugins exclusively. There are some things like a RTAS bridge plugin, IIRC, that will allow you to use a VST in ProTools but i dunno if it work perfectly with every VST you come across.

edit: http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=15


"Should I also include a list of good VSti/ AU plugins for DAW's like Logic, Fruityloops and Cubase etc. etc.?"

Couldn't hurt. That's gonna be a very, very long list, though :p.
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
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Perhaps we should begin by uploading a couple of examples of where we're at musically -- demonstrating our styles as well as our degree of technical proficiency and areas for improvement?

Teknopathetic said:
ProTools uses the RTAS format for plugins exclusively. There are some things like a RTAS bridge plugin, IIRC, that will allow you to use a VST in ProTools but i dunno if it work perfectly with every VST you come across.

edit: http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=15
Thanks, though I actually do have that already and nothing I've tried so far seems to work, although in fairness I only tried 3 or 4 different ones before giving up -- will try again soon.
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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Hey, we've got a mod at our sides. Awesome.

Anyway, I'd like to start a little discussion. I have two questions. One is Reason specific and one is more general.

1) Reason users: what do you think is the best way of routing your 'main setup'? I do it like this:

- Mastering Suite on top

a 14:2 mixer that acts as the main mixer

- A separate 14:2 'Percussion Mixer' routed into it's own 'Percussion Mastering Suite'

- A separate 14:2 'Bass mixer' routed into it's own 'Bass Mastering Suite'

- A separate 14:2 'Synths Mixer' routed into it's own 'Synths Mastering Suite'

So basically what I do is make groups, and all these groups have their own mixer, but also an own mastering suite, so I can make little adjustments like EQ and compression etc. etc. on the whole group afterwards, if necessary.


2) What do you reckon would be the best way to handle FX, like reverb and delay? I've seen some producers who usuallu have like one main reverb and one main delay sticked to a 'Bus' so they can give every instrument the same sort of reverb or delay. 7 Skies for example, likes to give everything the same fx, so as to create a sort of one main room sound. However, in Reason i can never get thsi right, so what i usually do is insert different fx for different instruments. This is not very CPU power saving though :(


Edit: here's a little example (very short) of my style at the moment. (Ugh, it's so hard to get a nice, powerful, clean sound out of Reason :)

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/21423948/example1.wav
 

JayPsych

Neo Member
Dec 13, 2008
54
0
0
UK
Great thread, ive been using ableton live reWired with reason for some time now. Before that i just stuck to reason mainly.
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
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Tr4nce said:
2) What do you reckon would be the best way to handle FX, like reverb and delay? I've seen some producers who usuallu have like one main reverb and one main delay sticked to a 'Bus' so they can give every instrument the same sort of reverb or delay. 7 Skies for example, likes to give everything the same fx, so as to create a sort of one main room sound. However, in Reason i can never get thsi right, so what i usually do is insert different fx for different instruments. This is not very CPU power saving though :(
Well I think both of your questions are more or less asking the same thing, and apply to pretty much every DAW, and the answer is probably that you can do it either way and still get desirable results, or rather, it depends on the degree of intricate production precision you are aiming for... but applying effects and stuff to individual groups of tracks, then also an overall mastering series of effects, is the standard way to go (and probably more often than not results in an "authentic/traditional" production quality)... but really if your CPU can handle lots of effects on individual tracks, then nothing's really stopping you from doing so, I guess, and it probably opens up the door for some greater experimentation and uniqueness...
 

siddx

Magnificent Eager Mighty Brilliantly Erect Registereduser
Jun 1, 2009
17,341
0
0
We use Logic mostly. I was using an old program called hiphopejay6 for the drum loops because it had a very good drum loop creator (which is about all the program did well besides being very user friendly).
I recently got Reason 4, but i'm waiting to pick up a midi keyboard to start using it.

As far as mixing down, my band mate is better at it than me, but that just means he knows one or two tricks. We completely lack the knowledge to do that kind of stuff and usually rely on a professional studio for it. Which often has mixed results unfortunately.
 

Prez

Member
Mar 28, 2009
9,090
0
805
I use hardware mostly, software only for recording. I never use presets, wouldn't advise it either. I always program my own synth sounds and effects.
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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missbreedsiddx said:
We use Logic mostly. I was using an old program called hiphopejay6 for the drum loops because it had a very good drum loop creator (which is about all the program did well besides being very user friendly).
I recently got Reason 4, but i'm waiting to pick up a midi keyboard to start using it.

As far as mixing down, my band mate is better at it than me, but that just means he knows one or two tricks. We completely lack the knowledge to do that kind of stuff and usually rely on a professional studio for it. Which often has mixed results unfortunately.
I can highly recommend the Akai LPK-25. It's very small, but does the job very good. Very handy, if you work with a laptop!

 

Outdoor Miner

Member
Jun 8, 2004
9,177
0
0
38
Miami
I'm picking up a MIDI controller (AKAI MPK25) soon 'cause I want to start messing around with soft synths. It comes with Ableton Live Lite (based on version 6 I think). I was going to stick with AB Lite and learn as much until I could afford the full version, but I'll probably check out Reaper now. Looks good and that price is unbeatable.
 

JayPsych

Neo Member
Dec 13, 2008
54
0
0
UK
Tr4nce said:
Hey, we've got a mod at our sides. Awesome.

Anyway, I'd like to start a little discussion. I have two questions. One is Reason specific and one is more general.

1) Reason users: what do you think is the best way of routing your 'main setup'? I do it like this:

- Mastering Suite on top

a 14:2 mixer that acts as the main mixer

- A separate 14:2 'Percussion Mixer' routed into it's own 'Percussion Mastering Suite'

- A separate 14:2 'Bass mixer' routed into it's own 'Bass Mastering Suite'

- A separate 14:2 'Synths Mixer' routed into it's own 'Synths Mastering Suite'

So basically what I do is make groups, and all these groups have their own mixer, but also an own mastering suite, so I can make little adjustments like EQ and compression etc. etc. on the whole group afterwards, if necessary.


2) What do you reckon would be the best way to handle FX, like reverb and delay? I've seen some producers who usuallu have like one main reverb and one main delay sticked to a 'Bus' so they can give every instrument the same sort of reverb or delay. 7 Skies for example, likes to give everything the same fx, so as to create a sort of one main room sound. However, in Reason i can never get thsi right, so what i usually do is insert different fx for different instruments. This is not very CPU power saving though :(


Edit: here's a little example (very short) of my style at the moment. (Ugh, it's so hard to get a nice, powerful, clean sound out of Reason :)

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/21423948/example1.wav
1) I chose not to have a mastering suite in reason as i do most mixing in ableton, some of the presets i found were too harsh when rewiring through ableton.

i also chose not to have a mixing board in reason also, as i gave each reason device its own channel strip in ableton. I found mixing in live is alot easier and more streamlined.

2) Im not a fan of having just one reverb or delay, i tend to apply several to where ever their needed. If u want to just use one fx in reason you need to make use of the spider audio and cv splitters, by just making as many as u need and splitting fx's to several devices.
 

Tr4nce

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JayPsych said:
2) Im not a fan of having just one reverb or delay, i tend to apply several to where ever their needed. If u want to just use one fx in reason you need to make use of the spider audio and cv splitters, by just making as many as u need and splitting fx's to several devices.
Or just put the desired FX on the main mixer, so you can use them as SEND FX, rather than INSERT FX. That way you can just give every instrument on that mixer the same reverb, for example. Just use the red 'AUX' buttons on the mixer channels to apply the FX. :)
 

siddx

Magnificent Eager Mighty Brilliantly Erect Registereduser
Jun 1, 2009
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Tr4nce said:
I can highly recommend the Akai LPK-25. It's very small, but does the job very good. Very handy, if you work with a laptop!
My friend actually recommended the exact same one. With your recommendation on top of that I think i'm sold.
 

JayPsych

Neo Member
Dec 13, 2008
54
0
0
UK
Tr4nce said:
Or just put the desired FX on the main mixer, so you can use them as SEND FX, rather than INSERT FX. That way you can just give every instrument on that mixer the same reverb, for example. Just use the red 'AUX' buttons on the mixer channels to apply the FX. :)
Definatly using the AUX and RETURNS are a great way of adding one fx to many instruments. However i suppose its mainly down to how much of the fx you need to add to the instrument. Routing straight from a splitter and and using Aux sends will almost always give u a varying effect of the fx's.
 

Slayer-33

Liverpool-2
Aug 18, 2006
21,452
123
1,385
NYC
I am now part of this topic, I'm a newb with no equipment for this shit but I really like music production (after seeing some clips on YT) would def like to read what peeps post about their experiences and techniques here.
 

Truant

Member
Apr 23, 2007
12,311
3
0
Great thread.

I've been writing and producing my own music for around five years, and I'd be happy to share whatever experience I have.

GEAR LIST


Computer:
Core i7
6GB RAM
Vista 64-bit

Software:
Steinberg Cubase 5
Steven Slate Drums
Waves SSL4000
and a lot of other plugins and VSTi stuff.

Interface:
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
M-Audio 1814 (Backup unit)

Monitors:
ADAM A7

Other rack gear:
Focusrite Octopre MKII via ADAT

Mics:
Røde NT2A
Oktavia MK012
SHURE SM57
SHURE SM58 x 2
SAMSON 7p drum mic set (pretty bad, but I can get some pretty decent stuff out of them).
I make all kinds of music, mostly based in rock, pop and hip-hop. I do everything from 7-person live jam sessions, to more 'clinical' separate instrument recorded projects.

Here's a few samples. I have a lot more if you're interested. Feel free to ask whatever you want.

Soundtrack to a fictional 70's italian horror film. 'Old' prog-rock stuff. Think Goblin's Suspiria, Profondo Rosso:
http://simenruud.com/misc/Goat_-_Fiumi_di_Sangue_e_Souno.rar

100% live improvised recording, around seven people. The vocals are silly, I know:
http://simenruud.com/vol3/track2.mp3

Instrumental electro glam rock:
http://simenruud.com/div/sinsmaster2.mp3

Gorillaz-ish hip-hop thing. Vocals come in after a while, but the rapper only had time for one verse:
http://simenruud.com/div/exonarc.mp3
 

Chemo

Member
Aug 5, 2006
4,615
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I just entered year 13-15 (not sure) of being a bedroom musician and have a ton of albums and EPs I've recorded over the years and never released... I've used a bunch of programs, but I typically stick to FLP because after moving to it from various trackers in the mid-90's (Impulse Tracker, ModPlug Tracker, etc), I ended up learning to pull a lot of crazy shit out of it, and almost always exactly what I was trying to do, with enough effort.

I don't know if the quiet, weirdo, thoughtful, alone shit I make is what anyone on GAF would even be moderately interested in, but I'll try to get a couple of pieces from my last EP uploaded and maybe the first minute or two of what I've been working on this week.

It's definitely not anything you'd listen to at a club, or probably even with other people, unless you guys were all doing mescaline or something.
 

dogmaan

Girl got arse pubes.
May 26, 2007
1,382
2
1,275
UK
Here is the Synth I currently use

Yamaha YS200 Digital FM Synthesizer





I used to use this:

Yamaha CS2x





I had to sell it about 5 years ago, for....erm Girlfriend reasons :(


Top Tip:

When you are trying to fit percussion into the mix (hi-hats, shakers etc), instead of just panning them to the position in the stereo field you want, delay the left or right side of the channel by a few m/s, this will sometimes make the percussion fit into the stereo position a lot nicer, but be careful as it can break mono compatibility and also extreme values will just make the percussion sound delayed, or out of phase
 

Chemo

Member
Aug 5, 2006
4,615
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Alright, picked three tracks to archive and share... I'm in the middle of some stuff right now so I can't really participate in the conversation or check out others' work until later tonight/early in the morning, but I've subscribed to the thread and am really looking forward to where this will go.

Either way, hopefully this appeals to someone, but it's kinda niche-y, so my feelings aren't even remotely hurt if it isn't your thing. :lol

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=GSTY4HOO - sorry about the megaupload. I'm between project sites.
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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Pepto said:
My number one tip is a fairly obvious one. Use good quality samples.

Yup! Which reminds me, my OP has way too little information. Ow, I guess we have to start somewhere.

Vengeance are one of the greatest sample suppliers if you ask me.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
6
1,045
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BowieZ said:
What degree of composition background are you implying that you have already? I certainly wouldn't recommend starting out composing things with something like Fruityloops. I find FL a great tool to quickstart your way to beat-rich dance-type productions, locking in the concept of beats/tempo and subdivision and all that, but I personally feel it's a pretty limiting tool and it's unlike all the industry standard software, although of course it's not what you use but what you do with it. Regardless, all composing will sound infinitely better, IMHO, with some prior classical training.
As things happened to turn out, none whatsoever. Starting from scratch then, I'll eventually need to have some degree of relative competency at "chiptune"'ish music making as well as something that sounds a bit more realistic. There's some money to be spent on one or more useful softwares to this end, but the less the better.
 

Truant

Member
Apr 23, 2007
12,311
3
0
I'm looking for a plugin similar to the Electro Harmonix Bass Micro Synth pedal, as a substitute for that pedal in a recording environment. All of my searches just lead me to bass synth vst instruments, and that's not what I need. I need a plugin that will alter the sound of a recorded signal. Tracking doesn't have to be perfect, but it needs to have those phat distorted synth sounds.
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
1
0
www.youtube.com
My biggest issue is just lyrical/song concept inspiration. Everything else I can handle or figure out on the fly, but for some reason I just don't have the drive to write a song unless in my head I can conceptualize it as a big hit.

I can't stand the thought of writing any lyrics or melodies that sound like something else. I'm pretty hung up on trying to be original :/

I'll post a couple of lyric-less things I've been working on shortly, though they embarrass me for some reason. I usually substitute the melodic line with a synth in my demos.

Truant said:
Here's a few samples. I have a lot more if you're interested. Feel free to ask whatever you want.

Soundtrack to a fictional 70's italian horror film. 'Old' prog-rock stuff. Think Goblin's Suspiria, Profondo Rosso:
http://simenruud.com/misc/Goat_-_Fiumi_di_Sangue_e_Souno.rar

100% live improvised recording, around seven people. The vocals are silly, I know:
http://simenruud.com/vol3/track2.mp3

Instrumental electro glam rock:
http://simenruud.com/div/sinsmaster2.mp3

Gorillaz-ish hip-hop thing. Vocals come in after a while, but the rapper only had time for one verse:
http://simenruud.com/div/exonarc.mp3
Thanks for posting these -- listening to them now!
 

BakedPigeon

Banned
Sep 13, 2007
9,844
0
0
Any advice for people (myself included) that want to get into producing? What are some good beginner friendly software to start out on? What is some decent but cheap equipment that one could get somewhat decent results with? I'm really into the EDM scene and have a goal to start learning once I get some money together this summer. Awesome thread btw, subscribed!
 

dogmaan

Girl got arse pubes.
May 26, 2007
1,382
2
1,275
UK
TheOddOne said:
I want to get into Reason 4, but does anybody know a very basic 'lite' tutorial to get me started?
This is going to sound disingenuous, but I don't mean to be.

Reason is great to play with, the way I learned reason was simply to play with it for hours and hours back with version 1.

So my advice would be, not to follow any one tutorial, but to just literally play with reason, you will learn a hell of a lot more by discovering the various nuances yourself, just remember Tab changes to the back view of all the 'Racks', from there you can rewire Reason to do crazy things.

Also Reason comes with loads of demo songs for you to take a look at (or reverse engineer).
 

Tr4nce

Member
Nov 18, 2005
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BakedPigeon said:
Any advice for people (myself included) that want to get into producing? What are some good beginner friendly software to start out on? What is some decent but cheap equipment that one could get somewhat decent results with? I'm really into the EDM scene and have a goal to start learning once I get some money together this summer. Awesome thread btw, subscribed!
Well, you could start with Reason, and from there grow on to Cubase or Logic. I don't want to demotivate you, but if you are a total noob to producing there is so, so much to learn. Reason is one of the cheaper options, and it has a faster learning curve than for example Logic or Cubase IMO.

However, if you really want to start with music production, you should start reading alot about the aspects like EQ'ing, Compression, FX etc. etc.
 

Jill Sandwich

the turds of Optimus Prime
Jul 3, 2004
9,840
0
0
Hull, UK
I'd like to make some tracks for the iPhone game I'm making. I've only ever fiddled with ReBirth back in the day. Is it hard to learn reason or shall I just stick with Garageband loops? In other words, are there any absolute beginners guides?
 

Truant

Member
Apr 23, 2007
12,311
3
0
BowieZ said:
Truant, really liked everything, though by far far far the sinmaster one was the most awesome. Great riffs and stuff!! How did you do that?
Thanks!

I've written and recorded over seventy songs, most of them at the quality you can hear above, so let me know if I should post other stuff.

What do you mean, how did I do it? What kind of specifics are you after?
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
1
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Truant said:
What do you mean, how did I do it? What kind of specifics are you after?
Well which parts you recorded from synths/guitars etc and which were synthesized in the software etc. (and if it was all synthesized, what tips do you suggest and what plug-ins/samples etc do you use to achieve that professional sound (besides the standard mixing and mastering tips)).

I'm pretty basic at the moment; I only really use/know about standard plug-ins that come with Pro Tools 8 plus using my (Axiom 49 key) midi controller, so you'd probably have to explain it in jargon-lite :p
 

Truant

Member
Apr 23, 2007
12,311
3
0
Alright!

All guitars and bass were recorded through my POD XT amp modelling unit. Drums were done with Addictive Drums software. I program all my drum parts manually, even shifting the MIDI notes out of the grid and adjusting velocity to make it sound more realistic.

The synth was from a free Moog type of VSTi I downloaded. Percussion were recorded by myself using a Røde NT2A.

There are two guitar tracks, one very dirty and one a bit cleaner. The bass goes through five different tracks in Cubase, one clean, one with lots of low end, one with a lot of high mid grit, and two various distorted versions. This way I get the solid low end bass sound, mixed with the beefy distorted sound. I also tend to pan these around 50% to the left and right.
 

Nyx

Member
Dec 8, 2008
10,540
8
930
Bedroom producer here !

Using Reason 4 for almost 2 years now, best DAW ever.

About EQing, I hardly use EQ and compression, I find that if I just listen very good to all the volumes, and play with that first, I don’t need EQing at all.

For some of my work (including my first and so far only release) :

http://soundcloud.com/nyx_1978
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
1
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Truant, thanks for the reply. XD There's a lot that I'm only so-so with, but the biggest problem is probably that I'm limiting myself by not trying to get any external VSTs working in PT8 (and I don't have any samples, I either use the drum sounds that come in PT or download some nicer stuff from freesound.org, but that's another story).

I've got my RTAS Adapter here, I was wondering if you could more or less suggest a handful of VSTs that you recommend me trying to get working and to experiment with? I suppose I could venture into the unknown myself, but it would be handy being directly in contact with someone just in case it's not working out.
 

Tr4nce

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Nov 18, 2005
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Jill Sandwich said:
I'd like to make some tracks for the iPhone game I'm making. I've only ever fiddled with ReBirth back in the day. Is it hard to learn reason or shall I just stick with Garageband loops? In other words, are there any absolute beginners guides?

It's not really hard to learn Reason. However, I've been working with Reason for ten years or so, and it's really hard to get a good polished powerful sound out of REason. But it's not impossible! Also Reason has a different GUI. Reason imitates hardware synths and fx. So when you look at the back of the rack in Reason, you see all these cables wired. This makes for endless routing possibilities in Reason, which can be annoying sometimes, but mostly pure bliss. But it looks complex sometimes. Don't let it scare ya! :)
 

Truant

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Apr 23, 2007
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BowieZ said:
Truant, thanks for the reply. XD There's a lot that I'm only so-so with, but the biggest problem is probably that I'm limiting myself by not trying to get any external VSTs working in PT8 (and I don't have any samples, I either use the drum sounds that come in PT or download some nicer stuff from freesound.org, but that's another story).

I've got my RTAS Adapter here, I was wondering if you could more or less suggest a handful of VSTs that you recommend me trying to get working and to experiment with? I suppose I could venture into the unknown myself, but it would be handy being directly in contact with someone just in case it's not working out.
Well, piracy is pretty much a no-no here, but there is a lot to learn even if you don't have the money.

Plugins are so and so, they're digital after all.

I have some advice based on how I wish I had approached learning everything:

1: Buy a mic/preamp and record stuff. Everything, from instruments to everything else. Figure out if it sounds different when recorded, as opposed to how it sounds like when you listen to it with your ears. This is something you have to learn for yourself. I wish I experimented more with recording everything, how the mic and position affected the sound and so on. If you can get it to sound the way you want by using the right mic and placement, you'll be a better producer/engineer than most people.

2: Figure out how compression works. This is the single most difficult effect to learn, and especially master. I just recently really understood how it actually works, and I've been doing this for five years.

3: Use presets. HOWEVER, only as a learning tool. Load up the preset, usually there is a pretty descriptive title to go with it. Figure out WHY it's called 'SUPER PUNCHY'. Mess with the settings, figure out what does what, and how every setting affects the other. After a while, you can stop using presets and just go by ear.
 
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What is the best DAW for traditional music composing. I'm not really in techno or anything with a lot of samples or loops, I need something more realistic sounding. I really just need a DAW I can use to record vocals and some instruments, use my midi keyboard to play additional instruments, and most importantly a good midi sequencer.

I used FL Studio for a while which has a really easy piano roll tool, and is easy to construct a entire song without even playing anything. I'm trying to move on to another program with more advanced features but can't find a DAW with something similar to FL Studio's piano roll. I tried almost all of them, it seemed impossible to do anything in Reason without a midi keyboard, I remember not liking Sonar, never really tried Pro Tools, and Cubase was the best I tried but it wasn't very intuitive.

I already own Cubase so that would be the best option (but its the LE version). Is their a better program that fits my needs, I never tried Reaper is it any good?
 

AVclub

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Jan 6, 2007
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Great thread! I've been a musician for years but just recently started making digital tracks. I'm using Live, which I think is great for beginners because it has tons of tutorials and easy to follow guides.

The thing Ableton's Live isn't great with, is mixing down and outputting a balanced master.

I finished my first mash up the other day and I think my levels are shit. Check out my link below. Keep in mind I used the "mastering" effect to try and make it sound better.

http://soundcloud.com/dj-fist-pump/romantic-dominatrix-lady-gaga-vs-human-resource

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

BowieZ

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The Gaming Gamer said:
I already own Cubase so that would be the best option (but its the LE version). Is their a better program that fits my needs, I never tried Reaper is it any good?
What's wrong with sticking with Cubase? (Not sure what the LE means for that program.)

Truant said:
1: Buy a mic/preamp and record stuff. Everything, from instruments to everything else. Figure out if it sounds different when recorded, as opposed to how it sounds like when you listen to it with your ears. This is something you have to learn for yourself. I wish I experimented more with recording everything, how the mic and position affected the sound and so on. If you can get it to sound the way you want by using the right mic and placement, you'll be a better producer/engineer than most people.

2: Figure out how compression works. This is the single most difficult effect to learn, and especially master. I just recently really understood how it actually works, and I've been doing this for five years.

3: Use presets. HOWEVER, only as a learning tool. Load up the preset, usually there is a pretty descriptive title to go with it. Figure out WHY it's called 'SUPER PUNCHY'. Mess with the settings, figure out what does what, and how every setting affects the other. After a while, you can stop using presets and just go by ear.
Cheers. Compression/multiband compression is something I'm experimenting with these days but I still need to really sit down with a cup of coffee and comprehend just what each option (threshold, knee etc), really does. To this day my mind cannot quite grasp the single compression/limiter graph thing, and I have a fucking bachelors degree in music composition... :/

I just uploaded 3 songs onto Soundcloud -- http://soundcloud.com/bowiez (thanks to those who suggested this site!) -- so any constructive comments yada yada yada =P