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Everything posted by Yoozer

  1. We're obviously not doing something right if this question is asked over and over again in the same way.
  2. You've already got the basics down properly. The thing is that a phaser keeps on - well, for lack of a better word - "wobbling" so you have little to no control when the part starts so it sounds like it's going up. The solution is to let it run for a long time and cut out the bits you -can- use. Lots of whooshes are simply continuous noise where the volume's automated. Instead of phasers, you could consider using low-, band- or highpass filters. A quick shortcut: lowpass is like the door of a disco closing (you only hear the whump-whump), highpass is like putting your mp3 player's earbuds on your bed while you're somewhere else in the room - all that's left is chittering. Bandpass is inbetween. A phaser uses an allpass filter, which you don't hear until it moves. If you want to have more control over the sound you're using, employ a low- or bandpass filter and turn the filter's resonance up. A lot of whoosh effects also employ a combination of delay and reverb to create a "cascading" whoosh. You can also route an LFO to the filter and modulate the LFO's speed with an envelope - when you have fast LFOs. Listen to the first effect here - http://theheartcore.com/music/arno_windnoise.mp3 (NI Massive was used). Most effects of the surf crashing on the beach are done with bandpass/bandreject filters and asymmetric LFOs - (rise time takes longer than fall time). Lots of possibilities, especially when you have filter plugins and do most of the things with automation.
  3. You know the difference, the newbs don't. Please, think of the newbs. Besides, the idea works pretty well. A synthesizer has both the engine that makes the sound and the keyboard that tells it which notes to play. A controller lacks the engine. A module lacks the keyboard. Voila! 3 concepts explained when they only know vaguely of one. That depends on how you define "superior". It's not going to be superior for quite a while when you are just starting out. Superior should also not be equated with "just as loud as on the radio", by the way. A computer alone usually has an on-board soundcard. What's not superior about it? Well, the fact that the default drivers mean that you will experience latency; a noticeable delay between hitting the key/clicking the button and hearing the sound. The solution for this is an audio interface - a soundcard that is meant for music production. While there are ways to get low latency without one (ASIO4ALL for Windows, CoreAudio on OS X), it won't do anything about the fact that on-board soundcards have a limited number of inputs and outputs, which is an important issue if you want to record multiple instruments simultaneously on separate tracks. Besides your computer, you need something to listen to. So, speakers or headphones. Thing is, usually most speakers will sweeten the sound (try putting the equalizer in your audio player on with full bass and high frequencies, and reduce the mid) and in the case of the 2 satellite speakers + subwoofer, even cut a whole swath away from it. So, if it sounds good at your place, there's no guarantee that it's going to sound just as good somewhere else. For that, monitor speakers have been developed; they don't color the sound, so if you can make it sound good on them, you've got a better chance of having it sound good somewhere else. The controller was already mentioned; you can't play chords with the mouse, and before some smartass replies that you can use a menu to create a chord in FL's piano roll, you can't also tweak 2 knobs at the same time with just a mouse. Enter the controller keyboard; it's got a set of knobs and sliders that you can assign to the most important parameters on the screen so you can totally freak out like (the knobs are used to control the effects with).By the time you have that and feel comfortable with it, 6 months or so will have passed. Do keep in mind that the experience - composition, theory, etc. is more important than what you use. You can always win the lottery and buy all the cool stuff, but you can't buy talent for yourself (you can only hire it).
  4. Picking a piece of software is not obvious. It has to "think" the same way you do. FL Studio for instance assumes that you want to make music with patterns - repeating blocks of music. This works pretty well for a lot of music and makes composing fast, but it's harder if no part of your music is alike. Ableton Live assumes you have a set of musical blocks that you trigger in any order you wish and treats audio like rubber. Cubase assumes that you have a studio that you've carefully set up and has support for external devices. Thing is, when you start out you usually don't have more than just your computer - so not all assumptions that software make are warranted. If your friend already knows about Reason and he's nearby and willing to show you the ropes, you could start with that. It'll teach you the concepts of how for instance synthesizers and effects are connected, and comes with a load of sounds right out of the box. Plus, lots of tutorials available. Garageband is a good idea too, but it's probably a bit more restricted than Reason. I generally advise to pick one, test the trial version for say, 2 weeks, and see how far you can get. Whatever you pick, don't give up - but on the other hand, if you find yourself fighting against the software in order to make a song, it's time to look for something different. Do keep in mind that lots of the folks also have a controller keyboard - a synthesizer without built-in sounds - which makes several tasks a lot easier (as opposed to clicking around with the mouse).
  5. haha, what No, seriously, I know y'all like 16 and this looks expensive, but making music never has been cheaper, and $500 is nothing - NOTHING - compared to what you'd have to pay for something comparable 10 years ago, or 20. Besides, the included plugins are the cherry on top, it's enough to start with Cubase 5 Studio - the smaller version - and load yourself up with the freeware floating around. I'd trust any 3rd party company to do a better job - they don't have to spread their talents but can instead focus on the best sampler, best analog emulation, best hybrid synth, best EQ or best reverb - instead of having to do it all. Also, check out Presonus Studio One - made by some folks who quit at Steinberg and started for themselves. edit: to show how thoughtless calling "$500 for Cubase only makes sense if you're a big ass studio" is - see http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MercuryNat/ Cubase is bloody pocket change and any studio with plugins like those would either run ProTools HD, and otherwise Nuendo, the cooler older brother of Cubase that does more and costs 4 times as much.
  6. There's a big difference between "any benefits" and "all benefits". Full control of your instrument is a wonderful thing. It's great when you do not have to think about where your fingers have to go. Since we can't upload skills like in the Matrix yet, regular exercise is necessary. It takes your mind away from the "how" and lets you go to the "what" and "where". The study means you learn the common language which makes it easier to communicate with other musicians, which is even better - since there are few things better than playing in synergy with folks who know what you want to do and can add their own flavor to it. I can't imagine spending time without an instrument for longer than say, 2 weeks - longer than that and I get cranky. I need to play on something. I need to express myself. This means that I spend a good deal of time with something I can make music with. It is simply a huge part of my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. On the other hand, there are only so many chords, so many notes, so many progressions, and only so many ranges instruments are restricted to. If you play C2 F#6 F#6 D3 for half an hour, you have an unique melody nobody else ever played, and if you have any musical ear, you find out why, too. You learn from the best; to not use that research done in centuries before would be a waste, since it's part of the common vocabulary and idiom. The difference between study and a chord generator is that the former internalizes the knowledge. Instead of stumbling on something neat (only to find out that people've used it before, and in better ways) and not knowing how to get there again if you lose it, study allows you to embellish and substitute chords without stupid, frustrating blind guessing. If you keep using them, you keep yourself uninformed and in the dark, depending on someone else's condensed version of the vocabulary - and worst of all - someone who genericized it thusly that you can only relate partially. That's the waste. But of course, do what you want - do what you want with who and what you want to do it with. Music is a vastly superior hobby compared to having your brain drained by the TV. Have fun. Think out of the box. Express yourself.
  7. Alternatively, find someone with a stiff upper lip British accent and let them repeat it. It's generic enough for that.
  8. http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=26822 - I participated in the first and the revenge round, but all was done with plugins.
  9. Two monitors are awesome (three even more so). You have your sequencing screen left and the plugins/mixer on the right. You never have to move anything out of the way and you'll have everything on screen. For development, IDE on one side, website on the other.
  10. Very much so. On the other hand, the sample in the original is horribly mangled.
  11. Drive speed and space is no longer an insurmountable problem, you can take your entire DAW and plugin collection anywhere, they've gotten fast enough and the screens are big enough provided that you pick the right model. Demographics should point out that students are well-represented and a desktop is useless bulk in most cases. All the hard work is in the audio interface and the selection for those has grown a lot, too. Not surprised .
  12. It's even worse when you get into analog synth territory, because then everything sounds like a Harlequin novel. "Fat, warm, juicy, thick, deep", etc.
  13. You seem to be using it mostly for plain static pages and a blog. Wordpress is a dozen times more lightweight and gives sane URLs - though if you want more than that, I haven't found anything that's reasonably easy - either you have to learn some kind of framework and code it yourself or you have to deal with a horrible module system which has its own microcosm language. In other words it all sucks.
  14. http://www.timofey.be/tutorials.html should help you quite a bit with regard to Palpable's statements. Yes, it's for Ableton Live, but the principles and the programming of the percussion work in any sequencer, and you can see how the track's built up, which is really helpful too.
  15. We have a separate forum for that, this is purely about production. Also, while not free, Reaper is very cheap and has loads of options. Go here! http://ocremix.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=16
  16. Basically, when you play the "skeleton" of the song - the chords, bassline and melody (and in a lot of cases, just the chords and melody) - it should still be recognizable and it should still be pleasant to listen to. (don't pay attention to the audio quality, it's crap) - shows someone playing the theme rather literally, and you may notice that the repeating melody eventually starts to bore/grate a bit. For other songs, it works better - but Ice Cap depends on the variety between the instruments used in the original, while other songs could just depend on the melody themselves to remain interesting.Oh yeah - most important skill to learn? Self-reliance. If you haven't Used The Fine Search, haven't checked Wikipedia, or haven't googled any key words, you better have a rocket science level complicated question. Always always be specific and tell people what you've tried, what you expect it to work like, and the point where the manual fails to explain you how to proceed. You'll sometimes discover more by banging your head against the problem for a day than asking and getting a direct, exact reply.
  17. I think the bass can use a little more snappy attack, and the synth sound that kicks in after the initial guitar is rather soft.
  18. I honestly believe you're incorrect. Technology changes. You don't even need the technology. You'll be far better off by simply taking piano lessons - not online, Youtube videos don't slap you on the wrist when you're doing something wrong. While you could of course choose any other instrument - well, none of those have the interface with a computer in the way keyboards have. A good song will sound good when it's just played on guitar or piano; if it doesn't work on that alone, you better have some real spectacular sounddesign to compensate for it. If you're going to do everything yourself anyway, invest in that knowledge first and worry less about the technology. You can always buy better synthesizers, samplers and effects; but you can't buy a year of study on an instrument. A lifetime. You don't learn to play an instrument in 2 weeks. Not even in a year. After 20 years it can still surprise you. The terminology is simply to replace 3 sentences of explanation with a single word. There's glossaries for that and you need a fraction on what's on the page for the letter A. Making music electronically has never been cheaper and it'll only get cheaper; mostly because the expensive software tools have dropped in price and your computer takes on it a load that was unimaginable 2 decades ago. There are a few basic investments I personally deem necessary to start out the proper way: - an audio interface (a soundcard for making music as opposed to an on-board one or one for games). Those can be had for $50 secondhand (M-Audio Audiophile 2496, E-mu 0404). - a controller keyboard (invest in a good one, it's likely to outlast most of the stuff in your future studio). An E-mu Xboard with 61 keys (that's a recommended size, less than that is not suitable for learning) can be had for around $150 secondhand. - a set of good monitor speakers (as opposed to hi-fi speakers which sweeten and color the sound, making things sound better than it really is). This is the biggest investment and again they'll last a while; but they're your ears. - DAW software. This can be cheap; provided that you're willing to learn, Reaper starts at $60. Buying a soundcard or controller new usually gets you a free copy of a "lite" version of the sequencing software, which means you can save a bit of cash on upgrades. The reason I say personally is because several people here will say that headphones are just as good. They're not; they're different. It's good if your audience listens to music on headphones, but headphones have certain characteristics that mean that mixes do not always translate very well from headphones to speakers, and you have to learn and know them well to be reasonably certain that what sounds great at your place doesn't sound like ass at everyone else's. Plugins: lots of free ones - also lots of crappy ones. You'll have to live with a not-so-hyper-realistic piano tone if you're strapped for cash, and generally speaking the Windows platform has more freeware than OS X. All however depends on the DAW software; and that choice is personal. Logic isn't available on Windows, FL Studio not on OS X, and them's the breaks. It's hard to explain, but you have to think in the same way the designers of the software did. This is not much of an issue when you're starting out; it's specialized software with a learning curve that assumes that you already think in a certain way. Arrangement. This doesn't depend on personal choice, since no sample can save you if your arrangement sounds like crap. It's not vital but awfully handy, because you'll notice when you're playing off-key, and I personally find it really convenient because it allows me to improvise faster without learning the piece by heart. Yes, but it'll take a while. I don't have statistics, but every time you see a brand new synthesizer on eBay for half its new price, assume it was a beginner that quit; to them, it turned out to be an expensive paperweight. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Yes - but that's casual listening. Try this: Take a piece of graph paper. Put it in front of you, tall side facing you. Pick a few of your favorite mixes. Make sure they're straight rock, trance, whatever - no waltzes or overly complicated rhythms, you should be able to count to four on each beat and make that fit. Preferably 3 minutes or less. Each 4 clicks is a square on the graph paper. Start with the rhythm. Every 4 bars you hear rhythm, color the square and work from left to right. Try to identify elements; when does the rhythm kick in? When do you hear a drum solo - when do the drums stop? Hit the pause button as many times as you like. Do this for every instrument you can identify; it doesn't matter if you don't know what a particular sound is called, just call it foo or bar - as long as you can draw and keep track of things, it's good. You eventually end up with something that looks exactly what you'd see in your software on your computer - a bunch of blocks, stacked in layers. You've also made a start with identifying and analyzing music; and from that, you can learn a lot. A word of advice; a single sentence proclaiming something like this ("to make things loud, you'll need compression". "To mix, you need an equalizer".) is useless. They're not nuggets of wisdom; they're nuggets of dog poop, oft repeated, almost always poorly understood. The sentence literally makes no sense and doesn't teach you anything, because it lacks context. It does not explain the "why"; it's a highly condensed version of a 3-page story and in the best case, it's understood by the other party because they've done something like that themselves and came to a certain conclusion. In the worst part, it's mindlessly copied because someone with authority said it on the internets and it becomes cargo-cult wisdom. Write them down. Even if it's a half-page description of how you'd do it. You're going to forget them otherwise.
  19. MIDI does not make sound; the General MIDI soundset makes sound If the professional samples have more velocities sampled that may cause a pretty big difference. Even then, a sample is still a single sample; if a violin ensemble plays a single note, you may have 20 (first and second violins) sounds playing at the same time; if they playing a chord, 7 for the root, 6 for the third, 7 for the fifth. Playing a sample of an ensemble completely messes this up. EQing, mixing and proper use of reverb makes things sound "warm", not so much the samples. That's not that unconventional; only if you're looking at it from the point of view of dozens-of-gigabytes libraries we have nowadays with scripting, keyswitching and glissandos and whatnot. Before software hit the scene, most composers had a stack of dozens of hardware samplers, fully maxed out and loaded, each responsible for a single instrument.
  20. They can - it's just that fxp is a genericized extension name that doesn't say which plugin it belongs to. It just says that it's a preset. You can't load Synth1 fxps into Crystal and vice-versa; the same goes for effects.
  21. Thanks, good to hear you liked 'm!

  22. The answer is ridiculous stereo imaging (probably caused by clever layering) and timestretching. The trouble is finding the correct source to do this with. This is sort of granular-ish since that's what timestretching does. See http://hypermammut.sourceforge.net/paulstretch/ and listen to my old example I can't help but trot out every time because I haven't made anything new here. That's Bob James' "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" stretched 8 times. Stretching doesn't make everything awesome, but take something without (or with just modest) percussion and you can hit gold. However - you could try to un-stretch it with the same application and see if it's a fragment of an earlier game. Who knows.
  23. But just like your sketching and anatomy knowledge will land you a job as 3d modeling artist faster, knowledge of composing and orchestration will weigh heavier than knowing whatever software or hardware.
  24. Not sure about Logic but I always perceived it as Cubase getting less fancy MIDI tools over time, perhaps weeded out because not enough people were using them. The main reason for suggesting an older version is of course the cost and the fact that it's got to work on PCs, too. Then again, my Cubase days are already long gone.
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