Need help/opinions/ideas on what equipment to produce with

Discussion in 'Production' started by Dolomite, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Dolomite

    Dolomite New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm currently saving up for a home studio project I've wanted to do for nearly 2 years now and have done a lot of research into equipment and have almost reached a conclusion of what equipment I'm going to use. This includes;

    - Native Instruments Maschine MK2 Drum Machine/Sequencer
    - Native Instruments Komplete 10 DAW
    - M-Audio Oxygen 49 Keyboard
    - Yamaha HS7 Studio Monitors
    - Akai EIE Pro Audio Interface
    - Custom Windows PC (AMD FX 6300 Processor (6 core 3.5 GHZ), 8GB DDR3 1333 mhz RAM (1x8), 1TB SATA III 6.0GB/S Hard Drive (7200 RPM))

    I'm struggling to find a synthesizer though. I'm aiming for a smooth soulful kind of pads/strings. Some examples of the type of sounds I want are;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eik39PmTDe0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfBoZhTanw0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N25D_KQn6V4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy1YDMBNfdU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNqlckw5JSs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGZGTPr67Ts
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dF3P7L5hcs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWKLuwR_bFw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3xON2BapBY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpKIcuoKHD4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWhehOS23hU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0grR6muiqI

    And finally, whatever the Hell Logistics was using throughout this whole album:
    https://www.hospitalrecords.com/shop/release/logistics/nhs134-reality-checkpoint

    To be honest, on some of those references, I can't really tell if they're using synthesizers or stretched out organ samples (especially those hiphop ones, which I'm suspecting are samples). If they're samples after all, please give me some idea of what records I should sample.

    For bass, I'm going for things like this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Ob31kQyl4 ......again
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUtgYqzzpzc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T--DpKWKL0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSAE3RyO7SM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSWspUnXo18
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQkZu6Outfw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMHyhMkpxHo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PMH70dvsrg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwDHmYt4l5k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS6c_JHG0Zc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-4xMOiFKbE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEFdnZxw_3k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zspF5zMeaO0

    If possible, I'd like just one synth that could do all that, but if not, I don't mind buying more than one and I don't mind if they're cheap older second hand models. My budget for a synth is £500 MAX, preferably below £400. Any suggestions?

    Oh and also, Are my computer specs good enough? If so, could you tell me if there is anything I can cut back on computer-wise to save money? I really want to minimalize the amount I spend on a computer.

    Thank you. Help is really appreciated
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  2. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Komplete isn't a DAW though - it is only a bunch of software synths, software processors and sample libraries. So you will still need the DAW - like Logic, Cubase, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Sonar, Bitwig... Try the demos and see what fits you.

    I cant listen to the demos at the moment, but komplete stuff is versatile. Massive, FM8, Absynth, etc. Many soulful pad thingies can be sampled though.

    About the computer, I REALLY suggest to buy atleast a C: drive as SSD, it will make your computing life a lot better. Trust me. Also, 1600mhz memories wouldnt hurt - 16gb isnt a bad idea either, but 8gb will do. That SSD would be a great investment though. I cant say anything about the processor, I am an Intel user.
     
  3. Grov

    Grov New Member

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    komplete is not a daw but a collection of software instruments and sample libraries (i very good one i might add).
    if you want a hardware synth i think the microkorg might do want you want but you wil have to go out and try one to see. but you are probably better off using soft synths.
    unless you sre going complete apeshit in youre daw (no resampling leaving using way too many inserts or having 20 instances of massive running). then the specs are fine.
    i run the following: 4770k (4core @4,2Ghz), 16 Gb ram @1600mhz 2hdd (C: os + schoolshit and F: production, samples, pictures videos etc) and i never pas 50% on cpu usage and never surpass 40% on ram
     
  4. Dolomite

    Dolomite New Member

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    Thanks for the reply,

    I am on a budget so it would be hard going for an SSD. Have you tried any hybrid SSD's? Also, could I combine Komplete with one of the basic spec DAW's? (i.e Ableton live intro, Cakewalk Sonar artist, Mixcraft 6 etc), or am I better off just buying 1 'proper' DAW?
     
  5. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    The intro versions of DAW's are a great way to try out if you'll like the program. They usually disable most important features such as saving projects, or limit workflow on a fundamental level so you invest in the proper one.
    As far as synths go, no one size fits all. Go grab computer music magazine and rinse out their free plugins, theres a decent amount of free synths you can use in there to get you understanding at least basic oscillator workflow and filter routing.

    SSD's are excellent, I highly recommend one. The hybrid stuff is also pretty good these days too and will speed up your computer a noticeable amount. The rest of your hardware spec looks fine, just make sure your motherboard has onboard graphics that can put out both VGA and hdmi and i reckon you're set!

    lastly, be patient. Its gonna take a long time to make music on par with logistics and the learning curve can be a brick wall sometimes, but persevere and we'll be seeing you on the track reviews forum soon enough :)
     
  6. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Hybrids should be ok, just make sure the SSD side is large enough (as in 60gb+ to be able to run Windows atleast) You could also try Reaper, it's not free but you can use the evaluate license as long as you need to decide if its your cup of tea or not. Reaper also surpasses any intro/LE version DAWs anyday. Just didnt remember it when I wrote the earlier post lol.

    edit/ 60gb cuz windows _will_ consume more space over time and youll primarily want to install your DAW there aswell.
     
  7. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    hybrids dont work as separate drives. they are essentially one physical drive that 'learn' the most commonly used files and cache them in the SSD for speed improvements, the caches are quite small in comparison to traditional SSD drive sizes.
     
  8. sato

    sato Member

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    Fuck me, we need to upgrade our studio computer! Is that where they are at these days? We've been running ours with 2Gb of ram for the last couple of weeks due to a physical conflict between our graphics card not fitting in the motherboard with 4Gb installed!

    Think we are running a 2.6GHz quad-core!
     
  9. Dolomite

    Dolomite New Member

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    Thanks for the tips, however I have no intentions of trying to be the next in ting in drum n bass, I'm just here purely to make music, and mix along the way, but of course if one of the bigger labels ever consider signing me (which I doubt will happen lol), it'll be hard to resist lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    - - - Updated - - -

    thanks. Have you tried Reaper yourself? if so, how was it?

    - - - Updated - - -

    One thing which I should've mentioned at the start was that I'm aiming to have a setup that is more hardware based than computer based (hence why I said at the start that I was planning on getting a N.I Maschine Studio despite having a budget :lol:). I know that it's not a typical DnB setup but I've seen a lot of the hiphop guys with setups which rely less on computers on youtube, and I've got to hand it to Spinscott as well https://www.youtube.com/user/spinscott/videos :thumbsup:
     
  10. Sulihin

    Sulihin Active Member

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    Reaper + Komplete should be more than sufficient! Definitely worth trying out IMO.

    I got the impression that the Machine workflow didn't require another DAW, but maybe I'm mistaken.
     
  11. TinnitusD&B

    TinnitusD&B Member

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    Firstly how good are you right now?

    If your starting off as a total novice there's not point in buying half of the stuff you mentioned (apologies if you are not). I stated off with Logic Pro X on my macbook and a pair of headphones and NI Massive. Now after 14 months i treated my self to the top spec iMac and M-audio 8" monitors and 10" sub (a tasty bonus from work).

    Don't feel you have to buy all this stuff right off the bat (you don't want to be all the gear, no idea).

    Just buy a mid to high spec computer that will be capable of running your DAW plus a few software synths. Invest in a quality set of monitors and as i mentioned a good software synth and a small midi keyboard.

    Again apologies if your already clued up on production but i was so out of my depth when i started that Logic and Massive were more than enough to keep me busy for at least 9 months before i started shopping for other bits and bobs.

    Good luck any way man, it's a pretty comprehensive shopping list haha
     
  12. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    +1! Well said.
     
  13. mugatu

    mugatu Verva Music

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    Headphones, daw, half decent computer and patience. They are the most important things at first.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  14. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    If you are just starting out then I think a lot of this will be a waste of money right now, All you need to begin making music is a DAW, some headphones and a fairly decent PC. There's absolutely no point investing in so much gear to start off with as theres a chance you wont enjoy production, or get annoyed with all the technical understandings to the point where you want to give up.

    If however you are at a stage where you know the basics, understand synthesis fully and are looking to up your game then that's a different matter.

    I began producing about 8 years ago, with a bog standard PC, a pair of shitty headphones and a copy of FL Studio 6! Its all I needed for a good year or so until I decided I was serious about this hobby and it was becoming more of a passion than a hobby. My first step from there on was to buy a pair of flat response studio monitor speakers (I wont give makes or models as reference as there are so many to choose from and it all comes down to personal taste) After the monitors came a usb midi keyboard controller and then a drum pad midi controller.

    Since then I've upgraded my PC and I'm now running a dedicated studio PC with 1tb HDD 16gb RAM intel i7 processor a 32" monitor screen and I've also switched DAW over to Ableton Live 9. I've purchased sound isolation foam for the monitor speakers to reduce resonance and I'm currently in the middle of building my dedicated studio, where I will be building a vocal booth, and sound treatment all over. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is not a cheap passion/hobby. There will always be something else to pay out for. Take time to decide exactly what you need before splashing out. Sure you want a hardware based studio, but if you don't understand synthesis theres no point buying a hardware synth, nowdays you can do a lot more with software and it's an easier learning curve to start you off.

    Dip your toes in the water before you jump right in.....cos it may be deeper than you think and you may just drown
     
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  15. Dolomite

    Dolomite New Member

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    Thanks for all your input.

    I can see entirely why you guys are saying that I should start off with relatively basic equipment, and I completely respect those suggestions, but a few things I should've mentioned are that I have played around with some production equipment before (in particular drum machines, and good god, I've absolutely fallen in love with them and their workflow, especially the N.I Maschine Studio *drools*) since I have a couple of friends that do produce and have let me fiddle with their equipment many many many times, which I have enjoyed, so I am certain that it is going to be a hobby I'll enjoy. I'm not exactly splashing out on a dedicated studio at all; it's really just a high-end drum machine, a keyboard and a synthesizer which I am currently looking for. It's worth mentioning that high end drum machines are not so much drum machines, but more like sample/loop editors+controllers for any sound that is recorded into it, which is why I am saying that I am aiming for a more hardware based setup.

    Point me out if I'm wrong, but I just think you guys aren't quite understanding why I listed the equipment that I listed. Don't take this as a means of arguing, I'm just not entirely sure we're all on the same page or not.
     
  16. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    Some really good advice and support in this thread, id go so far as to say its one of the finest threads so far in production! good work everyone! Fletch as always bringing the wisdom, you know, we should archive this thread somehow. Threads of interest thread maybe, basically collect all threads worth a damn and put them in one sticky. Or do we already have that... I'm unsure now, but regardless!

    You're all very generous with info as well as opinions, staying rigorously on topic, disagreements are handled with respect and there is some clever shit being said to someone with a very real situation as he's just about to spend what has to be loads of money on a shed load of gear, and not much experience, if I understand things correctly.

    Ok I'm throwing in my 2 cent, here, ill list what you should buy so as to be set for a very long time, if not indefinitely.

    1. Maxed out computer. Fruity loops and audition.
    2. Audio interface with loooads of outs and ins
    3. Sampler. Emu. Don't need synths when you have a sampler.
    4. Mixing desk like a big fuck off sound craft or similar
    5. Active Monitors
    6. really good headphones
    7. A synth possibly
    8. Hardware compressor , exciter, reverb, delay, all that crap
    9. A mic and pre amp
    10. Turntable and reel to reel tape. And cassette player
    11. Midi controller

    I think that about covers it, ive been round the digital/analog carousel a few times actually, and all in all, its like lfletch said, you can make the dopest professional tunes with just a laptop and some free software, but it's funner and quicker with a few select bits of gear.just have to find what's right for you is all.
     
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  17. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Yeah man I'm not against hardware in any way. I'm currently eying up a second hand Access Virus B. And toying with the idea of getting a novation mininova too. Ive got midi controller keyboards and a novation Launchpad too for those sample playbacks n shit. I just think its something not to be rushed into when you can get the same results starting off with cheaper alternatives. Especially when you've only had a dabble at a friends house so your knowledge is still limited
     
  18. Dolomite

    Dolomite New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I was aiming for a setup like this eventually, but wanted to start with just a few bits n bobs so I can focus on learning just a few things for a time. I've been mixing for a few years so I'm set for turntables (not to mention my grandma is going to inherit me all her 3,500-ish records, which are all soul/funk/disco/jazz/reggae and a few others from as early as the '40s till about the late 80s, so luckily I've got a massive sample library right off the bat).

    You got any ideas of good hardware compressors? preferably below £350, new or used
     
  19. saam

    saam Active Member

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    Sorry to butt in but is Apple's 'Flash Drive' a SSD?