New setup... now what?

12 Replies, 8198 Views

First off... I was referred to this site by somebody on the DOA forums... and frankly, this place is the shit. I feel a lot more at home here already.

Anyways, I started producing over the summer and I'd like to think I'm making steady progress considering I'm a full-time student AND I have my daughter FULL custody.

I received my federal student aid check about a month ago and I FINALLY got the basics for my home studio. I got Alesis M1 monitors, EMU-0404 interface, MACKIE 1202 mixer, Roland SH201 (because my Novation Remote SL61 is just a controller and I wanted a decent synth), but now I'm stuck..

I was making some nice sounding material before the buy, but now that its all here, I am having trouble finding where to start again..

I'm a music major, and my first round of classes was last semester... I learned nothing I didn't already know, however. In a week I start my Computer music and Projects in Electronic music classes, but that doesn't help me now.

I haven't learned anything in regards to sound design or sampling, and I'm pretty sure that is where I'm falling short for the time being. Also, my version of Ableton doesn't sync with my SH-201 for some reason, so its just been sitting around the house... I don't even know how to play the piano (its another one of my classes this semester)

I've been making excellent drum patterns and I've become adept at layering and EQ'ing my drums, but I don't want to have to rely on Reason to make the rest of the accompanying sounds. I have all of the equipment I need essentially... I just don't know how to use my hardware properly, nor do I know which VST's are essential to performing the functions I require.

Any advice as far as sampling my SH-201, sampling in general, which VST's work best with Ableton or Cubase (I have both, I just have spent more time with Ableton), and any tips as far as getting started would be appreciated.

I've done a LOT of reading and digging through threads in countless forums, but every time I ASK for advice I get shit... I was told to come here because I could actually get some help... I don't know anyone where I live that shares my interest in producing, therefore I am forced to rely on community college and the internet.

If you had my equipment and were in my situation, what would you do? I don't feel like giving up, but I need some direct advice if I'm going to get any better...

Thanks in advance.. and if this place turns out to be anything like DOA I will be sorely disappointed...

-Brian a.k.a. Novelty
hello there Wave
Sampling stuff in to ableton and then stretching the audio to fit? That's what I'm doing with my synths and using one of them as a midi controller for vsts.. Loving Omnisphere atm, lush powerful sounds Smile Welcome
beats are there to be broken

Novelty Wrote:I don't know anyone where I live that shares my interest in producing, therefore I am forced to rely on community college and the internet.

if you're looking for producers locally, there's loads of them in san diego (i used to live near there). pretty much go to any small dnb show and start asking around; you're bound to find someone pretty quick. there used to be a large group hanging around the local forum as well:
I dont know much about the SH-201 but in the spec it says that it sends midi and audio over USB...

In Ableton you can set the SH-201 to be an external instrument... Here you can select which midi output to send the midi too and and which audio input you get the sound from..


Ableton has Simpler which you can use as a sample player, and Drum racks which work great for drum samples. If you have the suite version you can use sampler which has more options...

a nice video on using sampler

Also it is worth mentioning that you can select a bit of any audio in arrange view and drag it into a simpler/sampler and away you go..


Regarding breaks, you can load in a break as a clip and then slice it into a drum rack for editing.

The last thing to do is to get a microphone and some percussion and start sampling everything.

Id get some vsts (plug in synths) to get going in Ableton - some good free ones are the TAL sytnths - Ele7tro, TAL Bassline, TAL Uno...

To sample your synth you could use the freeware Audacity to record the sound

But you prob need to get your synth working - is it connected via USB or MIDI?
Quick reply for me here, not got much time.

It sounds like you're wanting to run before walking. Starting making music only last year means you're in the very early days. It's something I've seen so many times. New producers start making progress then hit a wall. Then they think it's all over, get disillusioned etc.

My quick advice is to start learning the functions of Ableton, your synths, and so on not in the context of making tunes. Just mess around, watch tutorials on YouTube or magazine sites. Experimenting allows you to learn techniques, tips, shortcuts etc.

Just don't think because a tune isn't flowing that it's all over. It sounds like you're happy programming beats in Reason. Start off by learning to do the same in Ableton. Translate your skills.

More later Xyxthumbs
for questions concerning your sh201 check
roland itself is a bit shit with their info to be honest, and at this place i got most answers and tips and tricks concerning my vsynth.
Empty the head, fill the heart and make some noise.
dionysus Wrote:Empty the head, fill the heart and make some noise.

I am so happy right now... seeing as this was my first post on here I was expecting some severe hazing...

Glad to see you guys are helpful enough to lend some advice.

I know this is my first 6 months producing, and I'm not expecting to make any belters any time soon... This is just my first "setup", and frankly... its intimidating.

Thanks for the sound advice tho guys... it really does mean a lot to me.

and as far as th SD production scene goes.. I've been out and I pretty much know everyone. I'm good friends w/ Reactivity and MC Dino, but I have never gotten the chance to sit down with them. I just have such a tight schedule... No time to work with anyone, no time on weekends.. my daughter is with her mom one night out of the week, and I like to spend that time I have alone with my girlfriend. Which means that I produce about 2-3 hours a day, about 4 days a week.

Its tough, but its worth it. Thanks again for not being huge douche lords about this... You've all been extremely helpful.
have a dig through the free VSTs thread to start off with.. There's some great stuff in there that will give you some ideas for nothing to and there's always someone on here to help you to Xyxthumbs
beats are there to be broken
Welcome my good chap Wave

Some fine advice here alreeady - Dionysus and Wilsh hit the nail on the head for me.

Having loads of new gear all sitting in front of you can be a bit 'agggh!' indeed Hahaha

The key element is practice. Don't get too hung up on making the perfect tune and eqing everything into 'perfection', cos you probably won't. It's a slow and incremental process, and the more you kill your time obsessing over fine details, the less fun you will have. And when it isn't fun, it's crap. And when it's crap, you sell all your gear Hahaha

One thing worth mentioning about technique/technical approaches; be wary of forums in that regard. Try not to follow recipes - 'you need to eq this/layer that/compress the other/resample the rest'. Less so on this forum than others, but certainly on DOA and dubstep forum there's a lot of that. Almost as though so long as you prepare it in the right way, you can make a chicken soup from a banana Hahaha

The single most important thing is that you figure out how YOU use the machines, not how someone else does. That can be enlightening in its own way, but it is much better to do what comes naturally, and remember what you did when it works, and what you did when it doesn't. In that way you'll develop your own thing, and sound more like yourself at the end of it.

To put it another way, something like 'how do I map a sample to a certain key in this sampler' is a different thing to 'how do I make a tune sound like X producer'.

So, empty your head, fill your heart, take it one step at a time and just have a fucking blast man Grin

Enjoy it!
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
I've had the luxury of being COMPLETELY alone for the past day.. and have the entire weekend ahead of me...

The kid is at her mom's and the girlfriend is visiting fiends in Colorado.. and to top it aall off, its raining BALLS in SD right now..

Staying inside and producing ftw. Do I even really need food? I'm figuring stuff out a lot quicker than I expected, and my special thanks go to all of you guys...

I'll be sure to make y'all proud :-P

I'll post somethin if I end up making anything nifty in the next couple days... just to give you guys a taste of where I'm coming from.

Thanks again.. SC is my new secret weapon...

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