Topic: I want to give making music a try...

...but I have no idea where to begin. I have little, or no, musical experience, but I feel the need to at least try to make something, just to release some creative pressure. I'm not sure what I should start with though and my budget is limited. Some moody and dark ambient-like stuff was what I had in mind. Could any of you robots help me out here? I'm in need of some advice smile

Last edited by Robot Monster (2008-07-15 16:25:55)

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

if you just want to try out and don't want to spend much money get a cheapo midi keyboard and interface, and a sequencer software from somwhere or someone (cubase, apple logic, whatever you like or platform supports) and then some vst's and you're ready to go.. and if you like it you can still upgrade to hardware or whatever.. or sell the stuff

also reading one or two books about production/mixing/effects/synthesis wouldn't be the baddest idea imo if you're totally new to this domains..

Re: I want to give making music a try...

yes, just get anything you can get your hands on and start it up.
then ask your (sorry, i know it's a stupid) question* here on the forum if you run into anything.




*stupid questions do not exist!

☂ bezoek okiland !

Re: I want to give making music a try...

Thanks, I feel like I have the capability to make something. I guess I just need some sort of confirmation to whether I actually can pull something off, or if I simply don't have the talent needed. I did the same thing with video editing right before summer, and I think I succeeded there. Working on a video project at the moment. I love to have small projects like this going smile

I think I can borrow a midi keyboard from a robot I know, and I'll take a look into the various software you mentioned. Any specific book titles you know of that could be a good place to start?

Last edited by Robot Monster (2008-07-15 16:24:10)

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

i only know some german titles.. i guess they won't be of much help..
local music stores often offer related books

edit: but the books isn't a must.. you can of course just ask here like Bas said if theres something .. i just think if you want to get serious about it some theoretical backround knowledge helps to get the most out of it and not get frustrated because things don't become how you want them.. if you have someone who can show you the basics, even better

Last edited by Echolot (2008-07-15 16:36:20)

Re: I want to give making music a try...

i'm of a completely different mind on this.  to me, using a program like Cubase to start making music for the first time would be incredibly confusing and detached from the core objective of creating and reacting to sound.  with a fully-featured DAW like the ones mentioned above, you have to spend a bunch of time just setting up options and learning their whole sequencing and audio language.  i would buy a cheap synth, drum machine or groovebox (preferably something with knobs to tweak and buttons to press) and let your fingers do the talking and your ears do the listening.  once you have established some basic vocabulary of sounds that you like, you can begin making multitrack recordings on a free audio editor like Audacity.  once you have a feel for this, you could expand deeper into hardware or software--whichever way you want to go.

Re: I want to give making music a try...

yeah fuck that shit.. buy an ensoniq fizmo big_smile

Re: I want to give making music a try...

kinoeye wrote:

i would buy a cheap synth, drum machine or groovebox (preferably something with knobs to tweak and buttons to press) and let your fingers do the talking and your ears do the listening.

he'd need a mixer too...
and then: what cheap synth? what groove box or drum machine? I mean, it takes time and a little knowledge to get decent stuff for not so much money anyway...
Could be less fun, but beginning with software seems more reasonable to me: and you can always get some hardware later.

Re: I want to give making music a try...

I think I'm going for a software midi keyboard setup. Proper hardware is pretty expensive, and if I suck at this it's a bit lame to have a lot of stuff laying around that i'm never going to use.

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

and don't forget to smoke lots of weed

Re: I want to give making music a try...

Ok, I might head down to a music equipment store today and buy a cheap midi-controller. Do I need anything more than that and some sort of software? What sort of midi controller should a beginner like me go for?

@forax: Beer will have to do. I can't seem to handle my weed anymore sad

Last edited by Robot Monster (2008-07-16 10:47:39)

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

try to get one with some knobs for tweaking sounds

Re: I want to give making music a try...

i know the store i'm going to has the M-audio Oxygen 8 in stock. If that's an ok controller I think I'll go for it.

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

kinoeye wrote:

i'm of a completely different mind on this.  to me, using a program like Cubase to start making music for the first time would be incredibly confusing and detached from the core objective of creating and reacting to sound.  with a fully-featured DAW like the ones mentioned above, you have to spend a bunch of time just setting up options and learning their whole sequencing and audio language.  i would buy a cheap synth, drum machine or groovebox (preferably something with knobs to tweak and buttons to press) and let your fingers do the talking and your ears do the listening.  once you have established some basic vocabulary of sounds that you like, you can begin making multitrack recordings on a free audio editor like Audacity.  once you have a feel for this, you could expand deeper into hardware or software--whichever way you want to go.

listen to this man.   you might think you are saving money now, but that software and cheap midi controller wont be worth much when you are sick of it.  you can always buy 2nd hand hardware (at a fair price) and not lose any $ if you need to sell it. you could get like a dr-660 drum machine with lots of different sounds, an old mixer and 2nd hand midi synth for not much at all if you are patient.

Re: I want to give making music a try...

i don't really see how a dr-660 would help him out if he wants to have a go at making dark ambient. ok if he wants some drums, but the 660 is pretty boring imo. it's small and handy and cheap and everything but the built in sequencer is nothing to write home about and neither is the sound. is that your own advice or are you just repeating what others say?

it depends on how you feel about computers in general i guess but software is allright for trying out a few things. atleast the first steps. you will discover pretty soon if you like messing around with sounds and if you prefer a computer or hardware.

a computer with midi controller, sequencer software and a few (not too many) softsynths will give you a lot more possibilities than a dr-660, an old mixer and a second hand midi synth if you want to make dark ambient.

Re: I want to give making music a try...

Use Reason and you don't need any hardware. Only a simple midi master keyboard could be handy for playing melodies and chords.

http://www.propellerheads.se/products/reason/

Last edited by Sander (2008-07-16 16:25:48)

Re: I want to give making music a try...

hans olof wrote:

...
it depends on how you feel about computers in general i guess but software is allright for trying out a few things. atleast the first steps. you will discover pretty soon if you like messing around with sounds and if you prefer a computer or hardware.

a computer with midi controller, sequencer software and a few (not too many) softsynths will give you a lot more possibilities than a dr-660, an old mixer and a second hand midi synth if you want to make dark ambient.

This is what I've been thinking as well. Software and a midi-keyboard will probably be a good place to start. It's not as big an investment as buying hardware, and it still has most (or more) functions, if i've understood this correctly. If it turns out that I like this but prefer toying with proper hardware, I can buy something later. For now I guess I should start out by choosing which software I'm going to try. Thanks for all the advice peeps smile

Last edited by Robot Monster (2008-07-16 18:26:59)

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

use...garageband...if youv'e got it you could make a million shit hot tracks on that alone

Deathcrush '99

Re: I want to give making music a try...

then buy brian eno with the label money..or somethng

Deathcrush '99

Re: I want to give making music a try...

I have a Microkorg. With the manual at hand (quite well written imo), it is a good way to learn about subtractive synthesis  (most analog stuff works along the same lines) + you can get them at a good price + you get the vocoder for your synthie incantations. The Arpegiattor is powerful. With that alone and Audacity (free audio editor) you can layer some profound atmospherics.

P.S: Robot Monster ... mail sent

Re: I want to give making music a try...

It's smart to not invest too much money in the beginning so a software suite and midi controllers are a good combo. Decent monitors too; with time you should also train your ears to LISTEN well. Practice practice practice.

Similar topic on the CBS:
http://www.cbs.nu/forum/viewtopic.php?id=22377
Related:
http://www.cbs.nu/forum/viewtopic.php?id=18826

Do it your way, because everyone else is just weird.

Re: I want to give making music a try...

I'm not sure where you live. How big is your city?

After decades of loving music I've only started playing around with it by chance. At a Garage Sale down the street about 3 months ago I found a Korg Poly 800 Mk II in perfect shape with instruction manual and case and stand for $20. I just bought it cause it was an actual synth and was such a deal I figured I could just sell it on Ebay if I wanted to. I took it home and the little bastard grew on me. The instruction manual and Korg's easy interface made the programming curve rather painless. I rocked my friend's Minimoog (classic Model C, so jealous) like I was a superstar the other day.

So kind of excited I headed to the pawn shops, flea markets and thrift stores. When I was a kid I used to scour pawn shops for records, casettes and video games and when I was in my late teens I saw in my city.

Elka Synthex (brand new) for $1200.
ARP Odyssey for $500.
Multiple 303s, 808s and 909s for under $100.

But that was 1988-92.  And anyone who lives in a big city has these same stories.
But of course this was the late 80s when I had no money. Knowing that Synthex sat there for YEARS (italian music shop that closed about 10 years ago,) I don't think it ever sold and makes me cry right now.

That stuff isn't at Pawn Shops here anymore but I did find everything below in little old Edmonton for under $500 combined. And I've only done about half the shops in town.

-E-mu Proteus 2000 (perfect, with composer card PLUS Orchestra 1 card and Techno Synth Construction Yard card)
-Casio CZ-5000 with case and free bonus SK-1
-Eminent Solina B417 (over 200 pounds! has Solina striing ensemble plus more in it. Apparently did lots for ARP. crazy killer organ with nutty arpeggiator. can trigger crazy glitchy effects. my favorite thing in the world right now. was in perfect shape with bench at thrift store for $100)
-Programma ST-530 drum machine

Sucked into sites like Vintage Synth and Harmony Central I've recently also purchased a Waldorf Q rack and Waldorf Pulse. The Q is pretty crazy and amazing.

All the while I've just been learning them, reading the manuals. Going downstairs and just experimenting with sounds for a couple of hours a night.

Taking the next step and setting up a studio, I bought an MBox 2 Pro Factory set online (not here yet.) It's also for doing my radio show at home and not having to go live every Saturday night in the future.  It has Pro Tools, reduced versions of Ableton etc... I figure that will have enough in it to start me recording. No songs yet. Just sounds. When I make something I really like on the synths I just write down the parameters in my notebook. When everything is set up on the computer soon I'll start to try pulling things together.

SO VERY LONG STORY SHORT

Go buy some shit you can touch, take time to actually learn it and go crazy. Do whatever. So when you roll into software synths you'll actually know what the hell you want to get out of them and not just be another preset machine.

Last edited by plikestechno (2008-07-21 08:20:11)

Re: I want to give making music a try...

plikestechno wrote:

I'm not sure where you live. How big is your city?

I live in Oslo, Norway, and to be honest I think the second hand synth/drum machine market here is pretty small. I'm playing around with some software at the moment, and even though some physical knobs would be great, I think software will do for now smile

robots.for.robots

Re: I want to give making music a try...

RM: did you get that oxygen 8 you talked about? i saw it has some knobs on it.. you should be able to control some vsts with that.. of course not like a real synth but at least something to touch

Re: I want to give making music a try...

Didn't buy it, turned out one of my mates had one laying around he didn't use. He haven't found it yet though...

robots.for.robots