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Cheyne

Micro Studio

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So, I’m in a situation. I’ve moved to a tiny flat on the other side of the world, my previous spacious apartment with separate studio room in Sydney is a distant memory, I now can’t even manage a computer desk in a corner with the space I’ve got.

I want to get back into my production, but its not easy. Iv no room for gear really, maybe a small keyboard. I own an iPad and a high powered Macbook Pro, I also sent over my Trigger finger. Im toying with the idea of Ableton with touchable in iPad as my interface and resorting to only soft synths. My beloved Virus TI will have to stay in her box back in Sydney.

So … Here’s my question, what are your suggestions for a Micro Studio?

Im interested in hardware, software, small tables, lap tables etc, Being musical creative in the smallest possible space. Its partly a challenge to see if I can actually make something half descent with about a 1/8th of the space.

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You can, you may not be able to finish it the way you want.

My 2c's:

1. Invest in some good headphones. You'll be able to do 90% of your work with them and then use your hi-fi or studio monitors located in 'lounge room' to mix down when you get the opportunity.

2. You have all the hardware you need. The soundcard in the iPad and MBP are both pretty good. If you want better hardware check out the Lexicon Omega as it's meant to be compatible with the iPad and Garage band as well as normal MBP USB support. Provides better recording inputs on the iPad more than anything. I'm keen to give one a go, but don't really have a reason :(

3. There's a lot of tools and app's for music that allow you to bouncerecord on the iPad into an exchangeable format to swap with Garage band and other apps.

4. Akai SynthStation is worth checking out. The iPad side of it is pretty basic but it's good fun and you can scratch out some decent idea's. I haven't used the hardware side.

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Thanks jester, ill check a few of those out ... I think i just need to get started. Iv got a few apps on my iPad that iv been playing with, but im not really coming up with anything outside of just play sounds. Im still not sold on the real world music production side of a lot of apps. Iv got the Korg EMX1 app, which works just like my real life EMX1, except some of the rotary dials and pots are a bit fiddly.

M.Jerrick - I moved to london for a change in scenery I guess. I got bored with Sydney.. Australia for that matter, and i love Europe, now im only 40 minutes away from all the european countries i love. England is an easy move for australians, its not that big of a difference aside from the weather. It would of been a tougher move if I went to say, spain or greece. I like to travel, although being on holidays and living overseas are two very different things, I just wanted to do something different instead of normal holidays and come back to my comfortable life in sydney. I moved to a pretty rough, ghetto area of london aswell, which is kind of the opposite to what im used to... again, just doing something different.

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^Didn't you live in the shire? Does it get more ghetto than that? :lol:

Korg Electribe is a bunch of fun on the iPad. I've never used it for anything too productive... but hey, if it gives you some pleasure it was worth the coin you forked over for it. Think it cost me $20 or something, so not exactly Moog Voyager territory for a coupe of lols.

Garage band is your best iPad based bet to do anything productive - just pick synths and apps where you can sequence you tunes and export or bounce down to a GB compatible format. There's plenty around and you'll be make some decent tunes in no time at all, IMO. Having the Omega coupled with your love for guitars would make an awesome 'scratch pad' to quick and low space get some idea's out then flesh them out on a laptop when you get the chance. You're not going to get a complete production in the iPad compared to what you're use to but i recon you'll get a chance to dump some idea's quick smart to come back when you've got the time and chance to make some more space. Nice thing about the Omega is it'll plug into a laptop or desktop to so you're able to keep the gear down but have max options.

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^^ Yep :) the shire's not exactly a rough place, lol. ... more like sunshine, beaches and girls in hot pants .. Pretty much the opposite to where I am now ..

Yet to try Garage band on iPad. I had a feeling it was more like a user friendly toy so I didnt look into it.

Not expecting to get anything descent out of the iPad, but im just toying with the idea of using it as a adaptable midi controller.

The omega sounds pretty sweet ... I might look into that a bit more, cheers

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in terms of audio interface - the RME babyface is an awesome option (apart from being a bit expensive) - the breakout cables are a great initiative and the sound quality of the inputs is awesome. can't reccomend it enough.

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Yet to try Garage band on iPad. I had a feeling it was more like a user friendly toy so I didnt look into it.

Not expecting to get anything descent out of the iPad, but im just toying with the idea of using it as a adaptable midi controller.

Pros for GB:

- very fast, easy and stable

- does enough MIDI sequencing to get the job done

- Audio recording and editing are fine, can edit in bars/beats or min/sec grids

- Full automation of volume, pan and (editable) plugin parameters

- Master tempo and pitch change/automation

- Supports AU plugins

- 100% Logic compatible - no need to import/export, just open the GB song file in Logic and it's there

Cons for GB:

- no advanced MIDI sequencing - groove quantize, transform/morph, arpeggiate, etc

- no dedicated mixer window - this SUCKS - they should implement one given it's not free

- Pitch bend locked to 2 semitones

- Only other MIDI controllers supported are mod wheel, expression pedal, sustain pedal, foot controller

- no external MIDI sync

I guess it depends on how important the advanced features are to you - the mixer is a significant one for me...

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What happened to all your studio gear, did you bring it with you?

I sold some of it, I brought some of it with me, and the rest is boxed up in a warehouse somewhere in Sydney.

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i feel your pain. i got the boot from my landlord a few months back just after I had set up everything set up just right. I'm in concrete hell and a the new Spanish girl next door is always fighting with her boyfriend in my left ear. (I can speak fluent spanish so have to bite my tongue a bit!) Plus I have a girl upstairs yelling at her boyfriend for buying the wrong yoghurt FFS. Stoopid couples moving into shoeboxes! In the past week, the cat has just relocated to said studio space...I come out in the morning and she's lounging on my machinedrum! I'll have to get it a spikey blanket! :angry:

I'm up in Sutherland every year and recently, an attempt to go to the Cronulla cinema was foiled by the parking spaces which only last two hours...or maybe it was one? Not a hotpant in sight, but the Blue Mountains mullet head look is slowly making it's move to the Shire, so u may have just gotten out in time! :lol:

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Haha, yea you may be right. Although the style with all the east london hipsters right now is bright coloured trousers that hang high over tanned leather loafers so you can see exposed white sock, combined with comical french moustaches that twist up on the sides and half shaved heads with tight comb overs.

Cronulla is too over populated now, as you said, theres more people than parking or public transit can accomodate for. They're building more huge housing near the sand hills, which is going to see another 5,000 people moving into suburb too ..

Yep .. I got the same problems with housing. I can hear everyone in our building. The teenage pakistani kids that smoke and drink, yelling loudly and slamming doors in the stair well at 3am on week nights are probably up there with the most annoying.

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Haha, yea you may be right. Although the style with all the east london hipsters right now is bright coloured trousers that hang high over tanned leather loafers so you can see exposed white sock, combined with comical french moustaches that twist up on the sides and half shaved heads with tight comb overs.

Cronulla is too over populated now, as you said, theres more people than parking or public transit can accomodate for. They're building more huge housing near the sand hills, which is going to see another 5,000 people moving into suburb too ..

Yep .. I got the same problems with housing. I can hear everyone in our building. The teenage pakistani kids that smoke and drink, yelling loudly and slamming doors in the stair well at 3am on week nights are probably up there with the most annoying.

Call 999 anonymously saying that Al Quaeda militants are living upstairs. that will scare the fuck out of the little shits.

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High density living sux

Interesting for all the effort us bedroom producers take to ensure our neighbours aren't disrupted by our doof - headphones, absorbers, checking levels, positioning speakers - everday nobs who fight, nag, party, watch TV, play country/metal/opera at full tilt (I've endured all three at times) seem to get away with invading our space with their noise pollution :angry:

No respect...

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^ yup. These kids also have a disgusting habit of constantly spitting. They smoke constantly in the stair well, and keep spitting every minute or so. There's always huge piles of saliva all through the stair well. One morning there was a giant slab about 40cm long of saliva and phlegm right in front of our door and my girlfriend almost put her bag down in it.

The teenagers around this area dont really give a shit about anything, and the parents think the sun shines out of their asses. One of my house mates is a teacher in a rough school in our area and she tells me some crazy things.

Yesterday how ever, we had a tradesmen in to tear up the wall in out apartment. He was jack hammering at 8am , and we were laughing because we know the jobless loser kids upstairs dont get up until about 11am. hehe, score one back for us.

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I personally think spitting has to be one of THE most disgusting habits there is. If one of the fuckers spat outside my front door. I'd kick the little Joe Racki up and down the street like a soccer ball.

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I personally think spitting has to be one of THE most disgusting habits there is. If one of the fuckers spat outside my front door. I'd kick the little Joe Racki up and down the street like a soccer ball.

Would love to, but unfortunately most of the teenage kids around this area carry knives and are part of gangs that just wander around the streets at night. Not a great idea getting them offside when im often wandering home drunk late at night. They dont give us any problems other than being twats in the hallway.

The council just cleaned our stairwell on the weekend, washed it down. Within 2 hours, not even dry yet, there was food, spit and ciggerette buts on the floor again, not to mention rubbish and wrappers. They live with their parents, who seem to do everything for them and they just dont give a shit.

My room mate is a teacher a local school, and she says that most of the parents just refuse to acknowledge bad behaviour. The kids could litterally stab someone, but the mother would say "no no, he is a good boy!" and play it down ..

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If it were me I would find one of the fucks late at night, take him somewhere secluded then leave him in the middle of no where with a thinly veiled warning to keep a VERY low profile. I hate today's teenagers.

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I remember being in London during the bombings. I watched a young [person] get on my train with a large rucksack over his right shoulder and a cocky smile on his face. He cleared the carriage quicker than anthrax. Then armed police nabbed him took him from the train and searched him. Made me very happy.

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@Mark Shaw & Ryan - kind of off the topic, don't you think? :blink:

High density living ain't so bad. In fact, it can be lots of fun! We have THREE bimbos in my block of flats who like to walk around on the front lawn talking on their mobiles loudly to someone (who, incidentally, talks back so loudly we can hear them as well), announcing proudly to the entire block that they are "going out", or how they can't believe Wendy didn't invite them along to pilates. My sister comes around and we drink beer and listen through the security door, laughing our non-bimbo arses off.

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I hate High Density living. I need my space and privacy, not that I do anything wierd. I have always been a pretty private person.

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