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dane

Help with getting started (again)

15 posts in this topic

Hey and hello..

I need some help. I've been trying (and struggling) to get back into music so I'm bringing together bits and peices in hope that it all fits. I dont have too much knowledge as in a way Im just starting out but I want to get my head around production more so atm thats where the limited budget is going.

Atm I have 2 decks and a Urei 1601s for playing beats that seems ok but is this mixers output only via XLR cables? If so do I need a new amp?

Now with the production and that I'm having a bit more trouble. I have decent laptop around 1-2 yrs old that shouldnt be problem for now and a triggerfinger that I never used from a couple of years back. The trigger finger is yet to make a sound and Ive been reading over the manual a bit so should work it out soon enough (i hope). Im looking into an external sound card but as stated knowledge is limited. Is this the right way to go?

I have the Albeton lite so Ill try upgrade that to Live asap but what else should I look at to first start up program wise?

I dont know if this makes much sense but even if someone can answer anything, some direction it would help a lot..

Thanks

dane

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Hey Dane ;) ... 

Re: The cables

You can buy converters to change the XLR into a 1/4 TRS or something a bit more common..    You dont need to fork out for a whole new amp.

Re: Production

Before anyone else says it here , just to clear things up , your Trigger Finger dosnt actually make noise , it just controls parameters of things that DO make noise.  Such as a drum machine , or you can even use it to play a synth , like keys ... (If your a really dodgy pianist like me ;D )

I own a trigger finger my self , and combined with Ableton its a load of fun ...  using it to trigger samples is pretty much all I use it for ...  And assigning some knobs to effect parameters..

You dont need to upgrade to Ableton 6 just yet ...  Use your Lite version and make sure that Ableton IS the sequencer you actually want to use..  I most likely will be as its the easiest to learn , but you may be like me , and have known people using things like Cubase and wish to not waste time learning something then skip onto another product in 5 months time.

No doubt though , ableton is also the most fun.

The fact you've already got a trigger finger and a copy of Live Lite means your on your well on the way ... 

Just for a reference , these are the things I believe most newbies should have , or look at buying to get started ...    it pretty much covers all the bases of things you might need starting out.

  • MIDI Controller Keyboard  (something simple like an M-Audio Oxygen 8 , these are cheap too)
  • Half Descent Soundcard (Something like an M-audio Delta 44 .. Its got several inputs and outputs, and also a half descent sound quality .. should run you about $300AUS)
  • Sequencer (The eaiser the better when your starting .. is at this point you dont even know if your going to like producing or not, so you may as well make it fun otherwise you'll just quit from frustration)
  • Plugins (Look around for free plugins, The Computer Music Magazines frequently have freeware synths on them , and their often quite good .. check this mag out)
  • A Place To Ask Questions (Being able to ask people questions about a problem your having its pretty vital because theres no doubt you WILL struggle when your starting out.. it does get very confusing. SoundPunk can remedy this, so keep checking back ;) )

in regards to your  sound card , like I mentioned above , you'll wanna fork out about $300 or so for a half descent card , and yes buy an external FIREWIRE one ...  Dont buy an old card that hangs out the back of your PC as it will drive you nuts getting down on your hands and knees all the time to switch plugs.    I recommend the M-Audio chards , such as the Delta 44 and Delta 66 ,  I used to get a pretty good sound out of them when I was starting out ..

i dont really know much about the entry level cheaper sound card market , I upgraded mine pretty quick , but maybe someone who works in the industry selling hardware could help  ....    I think this is what  "Captain Terrific"  from here does ..  Im sure he'll pop his head in soon and sort you out with some more info on this.

Cheers ;)

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Hey dude thanks heaps, already getting a bit clearer.

Do you know any books that I could look up suited to my level and a bit above?

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not a problem mate .. glad to help.

Yep I certaintly do .. Theres one book that stands out .. its amazing , and it will teach you pretty much everything you need to know ... bar of course the knowledge you'll get from hands on experience..  its very helpful for beginners, but you'll be referring to it for years ...  I bought this book when I started out , and I still read it and dont understand parts ,  but it tought me a lot of what I know today.

Its called The Dance Music Manual    --> http://musicbooksplus.com/dance-music-manual-p-5446.html

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Yup perfect :)  thats actually the exact same first MID controller i owned ...    Its small and cheap but thats all you need , and unless your a pianist i wouldnt worry about buying a full 70 od key KB ... you can buy a nice one later if you need it ..

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jah ... 100 sounds about right ... will more like $150 probably , but 100 would of been a bargain ..

They were half descent feeling keys too ..  some knobs to get twiddling with aswell.

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check out this sites for nice and free vst-plugins/synths and fx:

www.kvraudio.com :)

www.voxengo.com

Lots of fun over there! :cans:

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Yep I certaintly do .. Theres one book that stands out .. its amazing , and it will teach you pretty much everything you need to know ... bar of course the knowledge you'll get from hands on experience..  its very helpful for beginners, but you'll be referring to it for years ...  I bought this book when I started out , and I still read it and dont understand parts ,  but it tought me a lot of what I know today.

Its called The Dance Music Manual    --> http://musicbooksplus.com/dance-music-manual-p-5446.html

Does this book go into music theory and structure?

any other suggestions?

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How about this book?

The Complete Guide to Remixing: Produce Professional Dance-Floor Hits on Your Home Computer

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Remixing-Professional-Dance-Floor/dp/0876390440/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b/002-5410116-6145633?ie=UTF8&qid=1179608403&sr=8-1

This book any good? Amazon have an offer going.

You can buy this and Dance Music Manual for US$42.84

Worth getting?

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I like Rick Snowmans writing style  .. Iv read the dance music manual and its quite good .. I never read his FM articles though ..

I like FM , its my type of music mag because I can read it , and get useful info out of it , being a hobbyist music producer.  I pick up mags like SOS and while they are very good, I honestly dont get much use out of them ..  Reviews on the latest $4000 condenser mic, or the latest  1,0000 channel outboard mixer mean nothing to me as I dont work in the industry, nor do I produce on a level that id need that type of a equipment..  Hence why I never buy SOS ..

FM's target market is pretty much me ...  All of the hardware they review is something id consider buying , and all of the artists they review is someone iv listened to ..    While I can appreciate reading an article from some 60 year old sound engineer who was recording elton john when I was still a twitch in my dads nut bag , I can relate much more to hearing about how say "hybrid" manages their studio , and live setups ...

I used to read Computer Music when I was starting out , but it just annoys me now .. I find rather than giving tips on what you should be doing they just simply make a sound and list the parametres they used to make it ... leaving you completely un-informed on what they actually mean, or why your doing it.  The whole "Sound Like" section is rubbish ...  They dont tell you anything but what settings to use on that specific piece of software ..

I doubt ill ever really move into the realm of SOS and more industry specific mags simply because ill never work in the industry , my industry is IT  .. Hence why I read publications from novell and cisco instead of PC users and PC authority.

That being said , i still get a lot out of an SOS and like mags,  its just not worth my $15 to buy something that ill just skip over most of anyway ..

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