How To Start?
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Hardware and Gear Hardware, gear, equipment; Whatever you call it, talk about tangible, physical music-making stuff here. Synths, Modular, drum machines, controllers etc all goes here.

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Old 21-07-2016, 09:13 AM   #1
Sammysong
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How To Start?

Hey all,

I've some spare cash and like to broaden my musical interests into the electronical world. I've always enjoyed music such as Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Project Mooncircle, Tipper, Max Cooper, Jon Hopkins, etc etc - and was wondering what I could buy to get started with electronic music production at a quality level or that kind of music.

I do recognise that some artists I listed have more than one professional studio and have years of experience, but I'd like to hear some thoughts on what equipment I could buy to get me started in those kind of genres.

I'm also starting an IT-course (programming, netorking, general IT, etc) in September, and if I could combine those two interests together somehow, that would be great - any audio engineers, ITers, etc...care to share their opinions?

Any suggestions?
Many thanks.

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Old 26-07-2016, 12:22 PM   #2
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Re: How To Start?

What's a good set-up to get started? Any ideas? Price ranging between 1000-2000, but can go higher, if necessary.

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Old 26-07-2016, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: How To Start?

I think this has been overlooked because it's sort of a large topic.

Have you searched the forum for similar threads? This has been covers a lot.

I'd say to get started a computer with the software package of your liking (choosing one isn't going to be super straight forward initially I have to admit), a controller an interface and a set of monitors would be a good jumping off point.

Lots of people would recommend a synth, but until you have a grasp on what you want in a synth I'd say hold off.

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Old 27-07-2016, 12:41 PM   #4
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Re: How To Start?

I have a few questions, which will help give better quality answers:

Do you already have a computer? If so how powerful?
Do intend to play live at some point?
Do you want a control surface?
Do you already play keyboard or any other instrument?

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Old 27-07-2016, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: How To Start?

Quote:
I'd say to get started a computer with the software package of your liking (choosing one isn't going to be super straight forward initially I have to admit), a controller an interface and a set of monitors would be a good jumping off point.
What are some decent monitors to start out with? Any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aikighost View Post
I have a few questions, which will help give better quality answers:

Do you already have a computer? If so how powerful?
Yes, I do - it's powerful as I recently installed a new GPU - it has a good processor, GPU, and 6 GB RAM. Do I maybe need to purchase a decent soundcard and a tad more RAM?

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Originally Posted by aikighost View Post
Do intend to play live at some point?
Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aikighost View Post
Do you want a control surface?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aikighost View Post
Do you already play keyboard or any other instrument?
I used to play the classical piano and guitar. Now, I dabble with various instruments I find and can borrow from friends or whatnot.

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Old 27-07-2016, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: How To Start?

A professional soundcard / audio interface is really essential. And couple that with the best powered monitors you can afford that aren't too bassy and that's a good start with the computer stuff. Otherwise, your music levels and EQing won't translate at all to anybody else's playback system. Also a good pair of headphones... so like some Audio-Technica ATM30s or 40s or 50s.

Avoid weighted action keyboard controllers, they respond more slowly to keypresses and cost more.
If you can, get a keyboard controller that is what they call USB Class Compliant. That means that you don't have to fuss with installing drivers for it in Windows or Mac OS or Linux. It saves a lot of hassles and worries.

Computer RAM and CPU power are going to be more important than graphics for audio, since most procedures in audio programs don't require any hardware acceleration of video nor textures nor lighting nor 3D stuff. RAM will help if you use huge sample libraries or ROMplers VSTi's. CPU power will make it possible to run more VST(i)'s simultaneously and to render slightly faster I suppose.

That's the stuff that comes to mind to me at first. I have read that Tipper's gear is mostly all computer stuff except that he also knows how to DJ trick scratch too. I recently discovered some better formant filter VSTs and I'm pretty sure he uses those a lot.

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Old 28-07-2016, 02:22 AM   #7
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Re: How To Start?

Pretty much everything has already been said; monitors and a midi keyboard. Start off with software like Ableton or fruity loops that has lots of inbuilt synths+effects; those things will be a lot easier to learn in an united bundle where everything you need to learn is in one manual.

Something to remember as a beginner is not to get sucked into the gear lust; that was my mistake and I ended up spending more time looking at new gear than actually making music. Hardware has its plus's but right now you should experiment, figure out what you like, and software will have EVERYTHING you need, with better value for money. The only hardware important to you right now is an audio interface, monitors and a midi keyboard will help; shit like synths are not necessary yet. Focus on learning with what you have right now instead of thinking about the next thing you need.

And as to software, I haven't experimented with a huge number of types but Ableton is very intuitive, has great inbuilt effects and instruments and pretty easy to pick up as you go along with inbuilt lessons.

A couple of threads to look at in The Studio section of the forum is the free vst thread and the monitors one.
Good luck, keep experimenting and have patience
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Old 28-07-2016, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: How To Start?

what make and model is your processor also yea graphics are not really an issue these days for music unless your going to use certain plugins that take advantage of graphics cards like fafbilter for example. Also i 6 gigs of ram should be fine but just add 2 more gigs just in case if your going to use it for gaming etc to. (personally if its for music and gaming and other tasks i would have 16 gigs of ram in it my system itself has 64 gigs of ram in it but thats because i also use it for other tasks not just music. )
Also does your system have a solid state drive if not get one there a god send on rendering and speed of moving files like zips and drag and dropping audio.
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thats my system there but it really is overkill tbh just for music.
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Old 28-07-2016, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: How To Start?

Personal recommendations would be

Live Standard & Push 2 (or live suite if you're feeling flush with cash)
Some extra ram, get it up to 16gb unless the 6gb you stated was a typo?
A Focusrite Scarlett series sound card
If you have money over a decent semi weighted midi keyboard.

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Old 03-08-2016, 11:32 AM   #10
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Re: How To Start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammysong View Post
Hey all,

I've some spare cash and like to broaden my musical interests into the electronical world. I've always enjoyed music such as Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Project Mooncircle, Tipper, Max Cooper, Jon Hopkins, etc etc - and was wondering what I could buy to get started with electronic music production at a quality level or that kind of music.

I do recognise that some artists I listed have more than one professional studio and have years of experience, but I'd like to hear some thoughts on what equipment I could buy to get me started in those kind of genres.

I'm also starting an IT-course (programming, netorking, general IT, etc) in September, and if I could combine those two interests together somehow, that would be great - any audio engineers, ITers, etc...care to share their opinions?

Any suggestions?
Many thanks.
It depends on what prefernces, i would go to some USB multichanel mixer (soundcraft signature 12 or 22, and there is some new presonus are coming out) and push 2, it would give you oportuniti for producing at home and in some point live setup.
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Old 16-08-2016, 06:52 PM   #11
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Re: How To Start?

Well, if you want to produce and not necessarily DJ, you just need the Software of your choice (like FL Studio or Reason) and you can start producing. You really won't hit a wall or sth. where you need to buy stuff to do things, except for maybe certain software-plugins. And if you start out, I wouldn't worry about them.

I'd recommend buying a MIDI-Keyboard, but you can easily get a good one for around 200. Other than that, you'll need a decent Headset if you don't have one already (there are tons of threads about that topic, so I won't go deeper into it).

Then you basically just type in the name of the program I use and "how do I get started" or sth in youtube and you get thousands of hours of material of videos. ^^
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Old 18-08-2016, 11:26 PM   #12
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Re: How To Start?

One of the best decisions I made was to get Maschine and run it within Logic Pro X. I'd suggest you have a look at it. You can always add a simple MIDI keyboard for around $100. I am not using my Kontrol keyboard at all. There are many fans of Native Instruments and for a good reason. Logic comes with a fairly capable set of synths. To stay within your budget, have a look at the Yamaha HS-5 and a Focusrite Scarlet 2i2.

If you have an iPad, your options to add very capable software for not a lot of money is really quite broad.

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Old 19-08-2016, 07:14 AM   #13
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Re: How To Start?

a good start is a laptop, DAW, an interface, flat headphones and a couple midi controllers

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