Drum & Bass where to learn production? which programs are best ?

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#1
i want to learn to produce my own tracks but at 20 i have passed the age for free courses at college and being self employed and full time i can't afford to quit my job to take up a full time college course in music technology so i've been looking at online courses. want to know if any of you guys have experience with online courses... are they worth the money ? i've been checking prices and they range from £1000-£4000+ which i would be willing to pay as a college course would cost around this price too but i don't want to pay that and then find out its a complete waste of time , also which programs are best to learn on ? logic is out the question as i just simply dont have the money to buy a mac and logic and a course , most sites seem to offer courses on cubase5/6 or ableton live , what are you're experiences with these programs ? from being nosey on fb i know the likes of taxman & jaydan use cubase but is ableton better/simpler/easier to learn on ? (im a complete novice apart from making grime on fruity loops about 5 years ago lol) i've played with reason 5 but noticed none of the online courses i've checked out offer anything for reason

any info and advice would be greatly appreciated

thanks
 

parsons19

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#2
Hey buddy!

It's never to late to start producing! :) I am 16 and have been going for about 6 months. I have met people online who are even younger 13/14 but then you take a look around here and I think there are some guys in there late 30s. I am also helping a mate get going at the moment and he is 17.

As far as courses go I have no experience but from what I have heard it isn't really worth it and I reckon about 80% percent of the people on this forum, who are all making great tunes by the way, have never undertaken a course themselves. I am self taught, with the occasional hand and chat from my music teacher, but the main source of learning would be online.

As far as programs go it all comes down to personal preference really. At school I have access to Logic Pro 9 but at home, which I am most of the time, I am using Cubase 4 so a high percentage of my stuff is done using that.

Both programs have their perks really. I think Logic is that bit more user friendly, has a vast array (and better) of sounds and plug ins straight from the word go. However, despite this I think I prefer Cubase. It seems a little bit more suited to me I assume, because I can't think why I really prefer it. I also found it interesting to go out and hunt down some free plugins to use rather than just being lazy and relying on logics stuff.

Of course, if you want to get going asap Logic is probably the better option!

You mention Ableton, my experience of that is only from the trial and if you are looking for ease of use I think it will give you a few headaches. Once I spent a lot of time learning though it had a nice workflow but I have no idea how I did it anymore :lol: The quality of my tune wasn't great but I literally had just started producing.

If you are used to Fruity Loops then stick with it! I think loads of people still use it and make plenty of respectable tunes, but I think it is considered the least proffesional of the main DAWs.

Reason I have no idea. Never used it. I do know however that you are restricted to using the propellerhead (thats the company that make reason) plugins and can't use anything else. This may have changed in the recent update so someone may tell you different if I am wrong!

There are some free DAWs too. I have never used them myself but I know of one called Ardour. That may be worth checking out. Steinberg (creators of Cubase) also do like cheap DAWs. Almost like a Tesco Value version of Cubase :lol: Its called Sequel and is about £60 I think :)

Think I gave you a decent amount of info there! Everyone else will be able to help even more and if you have any questions I will try my best to answer :) Bear in mind I am no pro myself though so don't go getting to technical with me ;)
 

Mr Fletch

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#3
If you are willing to spend £4000 on a course, then I'd suggest spending the money more wisely, by buying A decent PC / mac. Ableton or Logic, a midi keyboard and some good monitor speakers. With the change I'd then buy some VST instruments and sample packs.

Then Id look around the internet at tutorials / youtube etc. Read up on basic knowledge and terms (You dont need to pay a fortune for a course when the internet is at hand, anything you want to learn is right here). I'd also spend alot of time around this forum, cant fault it, it's the best place to be to learn anything. Trust me, I learnt most of my techniques from this forum, and know alot of peeps on here who would say the same thing, I'm willing to bet Parsons here agrees with this too!
 

lostnthesound

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If you are willing to spend £4000 on a course, then I'd suggest spending the money more wisely, by buying A decent PC / mac. Ableton or Logic, a midi keyboard and some good monitor speakers. With the change I'd then buy some VST instruments and sample packs.

Then Id look around the internet at tutorials / youtube etc. Read up on basic knowledge and terms (You dont need to pay a fortune for a course when the internet is at hand, anything you want to learn is right here). I'd also spend alot of time around this forum, cant fault it, it's the best place to be to learn anything. Trust me, I learnt most of my techniques from this forum, and know alot of peeps on here who would say the same thing, I'm willing to bet Parsons here agrees with this too!
/\ This. Invest that course money into actual hardware. There are several online places where you can subscribe to amazing tutorial content/content (macprovideo, sonic academy, etc.) and of course there is the very forum you're reading this post in, which is a daily learning tool.

In terms of software to start producing with, they're all equal. Aside from the slightly different GUIs, the only difference is the kinds of "bells and whistles" they come with in terms of plugins, instruments, special features, etc. I would setup your shopping list to look something like this:
Computer. Decide PC or MAC and laptop or desktop. Both platforms have advantages/disadvantages, and for the love of God please don't ask which one is better or it will be World War 3 up in this mofo. :)
DAW Software. Pick your poison...Ableton, Logic (Mac Only), Cubase, etc. Download trial versions and see which one suits you.
Midi Keyboard. Cheap is fine for beginners, and it will help aid you in creating riffs...it's much easier than trial & error clicking in a step sequencer/piano roll.
Audio Interface. Realistically, your new computer's sound card isn't going to cut it. Invest in external audio interface (search the forums for recommendation and discussion). In a nutshell, the price of an audio interface comes down to two things: the type of preamps/converters is uses and the number of available inputs/outputs.
Near Field Monitors. Desktop/Laptop speakers just won't cut it. Buy a pair of quality monitors and/or headphones so you can have a better understanding your mixes.
Samples. Your newly purchased software will most likely be bundled with tons of samples, and there are lots of websites online with free, legal samples to use in your production. Don't be afraid to splurge on some sample packs for reference/inspiration. Again, search the forum for discussion on sample packs.
Patience. Yes, I know you can't buy it, but it sure as hell is priceless. You will not become Andy C. overnight, nor will you create the DnB anthem of the decade in one sitting. It's all about trial & error, educating yourself and listening to your tracks on decent sound system (even your car!). Be humble, and take seriously feedback or critique offered to you by others–never feel "disrepected" by it. The truth hurts, but it will make you rethink your production, in turn making you a better producer.

To sum it up: Fuck an expensive course. Spend that money where it belongs - on your newfound hobby. Use your resources to obtain knowledge and put it in practice.

Cheers.
 

xiu

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#5
Hey there !! Get a decent desktop, a good soundcard, mdi keyboard, studio monitors ( try mackie , they are excellent from what i've heard). Ableton is more user friendly than Cubase. Get some VSTi s . Massive, Zebra, Albino, Zeta etc. They all are great :)
Some courses i can rec:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pointblankonline
http://www.youtube.com/user/DubSpot?blend=1&ob=4
http://www.youtube.com/user/wwwboyinabandcom

Later edit : I recommand to just watch the online videos. They are enough for now
 
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#6
Thanks guys this has all been very helpful , course idea scrapped , I have a midi keyboard already so im kind of started on that front from my attempts at using reason but as said up there /\ it seemed good , but limited and if the other DAWs have plenty more plugins you can use I will try a couple of trials of them , I know a few guys around my area who all use logic but i don't know if I can Bring myself to spend all those penny's on a mac and logic to find I am useless at producing but I guess if I get on with cubase or something else it's something to move on to. I have a few sample packs (total science & drumsound & bassline smith) but always thought in the back of my Mind it would be cheating to use loops made by someone else , is it accepted ? I know how fussy the dnb world is about things like that , so u guys are all self taught then ? I just see all those dials etc and go into a state of utter confusion is it literally a case of trial and error to see where you end up ?

Thanks again for the replies

---------- Post added at 22:58 ---------- Previous post was at 22:55 ----------

Hey there !! Get a decent desktop, a good soundcard, mdi keyboard, studio monitors ( try mackie , they are excellent from what i've heard). Ableton is more user friendly than Cubase. Get some VSTi s . Massive, Zebra, Albino, Zeta etc. They all are great :)
Some courses i can rec:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pointblankonline
http://www.youtube.com/user/DubSpot?blend=1&ob=4
http://www.youtube.com/user/wwwboyinabandcom

Later edit : I recommand to just watch the online videos. They are enough for now

Dubspot and point blank online were actually two of the courses i checked out , thanks for those links I will definately check those out when I'm next on the comp
 

lostnthesound

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#7
Thanks guys this has all been very helpful , course idea scrapped , I have a midi keyboard already so im kind of started on that front from my attempts at using reason but as said up there /\ it seemed good , but limited and if the other DAWs have plenty more plugins you can use I will try a couple of trials of them , I know a few guys around my area who all use logic but i don't know if I can Bring myself to spend all those penny's on a mac and logic to find I am useless at producing but I guess if I get on with cubase or something else it's something to move on to. I have a few sample packs (total science & drumsound & bassline smith) but always thought in the back of my Mind it would be cheating to use loops made by someone else , is it accepted ? I know how fussy the dnb world is about things like that , so u guys are all self taught then ? I just see all those dials etc and go into a state of utter confusion is it literally a case of trial and error to see where you end up ?

Thanks again for the replies
Check out this thread regarding loops and samples.

Cheers.
 

Balthazaar

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#8
Agree it is better to spend your money on some pc and programs,than paying some courses..Choosing DAW it is just about preferences,what workflow you like etc..I personally use fl and i like it,because it is so simple,and so easy to manipulate with samples,and yea i am also self taught.Experimenting,watching tutorials on yt,reading some articles,could be little bit annoying,listening other people tunes than realizing you are falling behind could be frustrating..But eventualy when you learn some things and then compare your older tunes with you newest...PRICELESS:)
 
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#9
Agree it is better to spend your money on some pc and programs,than paying some courses..Choosing DAW it is just about preferences,what workflow you like etc..I personally use fl and i like it,because it is so simple,and so easy to manipulate with samples,and yea i am also self taught.Experimenting,watching tutorials on yt,reading some articles,could be little bit annoying,listening other people tunes than realizing you are falling behind could be frustrating..But eventualy when you learn some things and then compare your older tunes with you newest...PRICELESS:)

So everyone has said get a Pc so far , are laptops no good to run DAWs on ? Anothe qw what does DAW actually stand for ? Lol always wondered

Cheers
 

jimjimjim

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#10
youtube + search for tutorial of the DAW of your choice ( i use reason)
Go through them - you will learn loads.
Then start readin up on stuff you arent sure on.
Post on forums for advice as well (like this one)
then eventually u can:
make loads of money and get laid a lot, get a bad drug habit, loose all your money, get an std, get cleaned up, make more money. etc
 

lostnthesound

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#13
So everyone has said get a Pc so far , are laptops no good to run DAWs on ? Anothe qw what does DAW actually stand for ? Lol always wondered

Cheers
When we speak of PC, we're simply referring to a computer other than a Mac (i.e. Personal Computer). You can definitely do production work on a laptop, as most have enough horsepower to get the job done. Just make sure if you go the laptop route for producing that you have a great processor and the option to add additional ram–windows 64-bit is best suited for that task as it's the only means to go beyond the 3GB RAM limit.
 
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elmaruk

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Yeah to be honest mate I wouldn't bother spending that on a course. Definatly definatly spend that on equipment and youll be set. Everything I know on Cubase, abelton & reason I have taught myself through firguring it out, YOUTUBE(youtubes amazing for tutorials). Forums, plently of forums that explain everything a course would. Trial & error and help on here.

Alot of making drum & bass and most music in general comes from experimenting a bit. Courses tend to tell you the "right" way to do things. And i personally don't like that. Youll develop your own way of doing things in time & theres never a right way to doing something.

Don't get too hung up on production either, youll learn that as you go.

As for software, it really is personall prefrence, and that's what everyone will tell you, but i guess if you've never used any before then how can you have a prefrence :p or get music 2000

Cubase is what i use, it seems daunting at first but once you get used to it the posibilitys are endless. And that'll go for Albleton. To be honest, there all good, well youd hope considering they cost a bomb.

Reasons a good one to start with, it'll get your mind thinking in terms of an actuall studio and its very user freindly. Definate good one to start on.
 
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