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Thread: Newbie....introducing myself....+ couple questions

  1. #1
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    Newbie....introducing myself....+ couple questions

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    Hi, I'm Ryan from Canada, I'm 17.....ditched Djing to go into production with my other friend, also named Ryan. I'm in the process of selling all my gear right now....but I'm wondering what exactly I should get.....I'm thinking the Roland stuff looks pretty good....so here it is....together, we'll have:

    An SP 808, MC 505, A-37 Keyboard, a Guitar Synth, a top of the line Roland guitar amp (with onboard effects) and a bunch of other cool stuff + my computer w/ Cubase. Later on, I'll get a small mackie to combine everything.

    Umm....I also just was wondering what a CHEAP, but decent, cd recorder would cost me....in canada, and also, if the above setup is a good way to start. If there is any improvements that you could suggest, please feel free to comment....(I can't afford a huge studio though), but any suggestions are definitely welcome. Thanks for any input guys......Hope that my presence is well received.
    Ryan

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    if you've got cubase, you might want to consider a midi interface to drive the sp808 and mc505.....if you picked up a small mixer (16 channel) and a good audio card you'd probably be good to go....
    "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." - Juan Ramon Jimenez

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    Cubase will take care of most of your percussive/fx sounds - so hardware wise go for a virtual analogue synth which should take care of your synthy sounds - since you were looking at the mc-505 i'm assuming its house/techno/trance or similar your looking to produce . . .

    A decent souncard is vital, i'm not that happy with my sb live platinum so go for a dedicated pro audio card. Also you'll need a midi interface like mosquito said if you want to control and sync your hardware to cubase.

    If you need a mixer i'd recommend behringer, i've used an mx2004a 20 channel mixer for ages and have no problems - they're supposedly noisier than mackies, but you'd really struggle to tell. Their incredible value for money, my mixer was under UK£200 new.
    [URL=http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches/archives/000431.html]"The Americans brought electricity to my
    ass before they brought it to my house!"[/URL]

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    i'll second the behringer recommendation on a mixer.....there is a lot of debate about them....50% of the people say they are noiser, the other 50% say they are quieter.....i'm in love with my mx3282a and considering i paid $849US for it, you'd be very very hard pressed to find a board that big for that price....depending n the platform you use should determine what midi interface you get.....i've heard a lot of complaints from windows users about the motu interfaces (and motu in general for windows) but i've had no problems with mine working with my mac....you'll need to install oms on a mac though...but it's free
    "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." - Juan Ramon Jimenez

  5. #5
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    check out the new(ish) roland sh32 synth/drum module. It seems to be halfway between teh grooveboxes like the mc505 and fully fledged synths.

    The thing with so called 'grooveboxes' is that their aimed at recreating the current big sounds, so you'd struggle to make any noises you havn't heard before - GROSS OVERGENERALISATION i know but . . . however their probably easier to get to grips with than a full on virtual analogue. This maybe just what you're after depending on what genre you want to produce.

    I highly recommend 'future music' magazine (future publishing, uk) for good reviews and info, check www.futuremusic.co.uk - they put a lot of their articles online .. . (i don't work for them )
    [URL=http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches/archives/000431.html]"The Americans brought electricity to my
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    I'm interested to know why you've decided to ditch DJ'ing?

    I went the same way as you - started out DJ'ing then picked up producing. But I nurtured them both. Financially it was sometimes difficult - having to buy records and all the while get money towards studio gear - but I've done it.

    Carrying on with the Dj'ing has been good because it means i'm keeping bang up to date with my favourite genre (tech/deep-house) and also through playing out, people get to know who I am - hence good advertisement for your productions.

    I'm guessing that your choice is financially based (but maybe your just fed up of spinning), but maybe have another look and don't totally dump your dj'ing talent.
    Whyyyyy why mm big monkeeee pie. Donkeee go pieee-yieeeee.

  7. #7
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    Aside from the software inquiries...as I don't want to be relying on software too much......:

    1) The ditching of DJing is a long story, one that I'd rather not get into. It's more for personal reasons than anything else.
    2) Psycotope - How much would an SH/32 run me approx??? Better than a 505??? More expensive???
    3) I'm looking into producing mostly drum & bass for any further references.
    4) Is the 808 a good choice amidst the other samplers around???
    5) Is the 505 just a waste of my money???
    6) If not, does the A-37 keyboard complement the 505 well???

    P.S. What do you guys mean by a "midi interface to drive the 808 and 505"......can't the A-37 do this???

    pps....sorry about the possibly dumb questions I may be asking....I'm really new to the game and I figured this would be the best place to ask as you all seem quite knowledgable about the topic...
    Ryan

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    ryan, the sh32 is rrp UK £479, so probably less in reality. The mc505 goes for around UK £750. However, the 505 does have more simultaneous parts, ie can play back more different sounds simultaneously. The sh-32 has 4 parts, the 505 8 i think. However thats where a decent sound card comes in: instead of spending extra cash on a synth with loads of parts (multitimbrality) you can just record each track as audio into cubase and process it with vst effects etc . . .

    All that said, for drum an bass i'd probably look at a sampler as your primary piece of kit. An Akai MPC-2000XL would be perfect, plus they're expandable with extra fx boards, extra outputs, extra memory etc you can buy later. A feature you should look for in a sampler when making any breakbeat driven music (MPCs are standard for hip hop) is the ability to use velocity to control filter cutoff, and to be able to set up velocity crossfades.

    Assigning velocity to cutoff allows you to vary the tone of your snare for example depending on how hard the note was hit. eg playing a snare softly would filter out higher fequencies giving a more muted hit, whereas giving it a good whack would open the filter and let the snappy top end through... This makes your rhythms much more dynamic

    Vecocity crossfades are similar in effect. Basically you assign two samples to the same pad, i.e a kick and a snare. If the velocity is 0 (min) the kick only would play. If the velocity was 127 (max) only the snare would play. The velocity value acts like a dj mixer x-fader, allowing you to introduce a thumping bottom end to snares etc . . . It gets even more fun when you mix say a vocal chant with a bass sound, or a shout with a snare or whatever . . .

    I'm ranting on a bit but basically i'd think a sampler is the first port of call for d'n'b as it takes care of pretty much everything. The MPC also has a built in sequenser so you can use it live if you want. A basic MPC-2000XL goes for around UK £600 with extra memory etc extra. Second hand there are some bargains to be had but do your research . . .

    Also, canada's pretty expensive so look into mail ordering form the US or something. Shipping may be less than the price difference so you could save $$$

    Peace
    [URL=http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches/archives/000431.html]"The Americans brought electricity to my
    ass before they brought it to my house!"[/URL]

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by XFingaz
    1) The ditching of DJing is a long story, one that I'd rather not get into. It's more for personal reasons than anything else.
    i ditched dj'ing when i realized the level of ego's involved was counter productive.....that and as much as i enjoyed it, i got sick of people always asking for the same tracks over and over again....they never wanted to hear new stuff...probably the area i was dj'ing in though....i still do remixes, but plan to use them in live sets as "covers"....plus dj'ing doesn't have the same level of emotion as doing my own stuff....i'm far more invested into my own music than someone else's even if others is wonderful...
    3) I'm looking into producing mostly drum & bass for any further references.
    deffinitely pick up a sampler as suggested....for the sequencing end, the mpc's are good (i don't own one, but i've used them and they are nice) but if you've got the cash, deffinitely splurge for another sampler....nothing to huge....you can get some great deals on the older akai s1000, s2000, and s3000.....i personally like the s3000 but there are a couple of models (s3000, s3000xl, s3000cd if memory serves me correctly) and they've got a lot of board options (scsi, digital i/o, smtpe)...
    P.S. What do you guys mean by a "midi interface to drive the 808 and 505"......can't the A-37 do this???
    well you could send midi out from the a-37 to the 808 then thru to the 505, but then you are 100% hardware land.....if you are using cubase, you'll find that having the ability to plug each device into a midi interface on your computer much much nicer....like the a-37 i/o on 1, 808 i/o on 2, and the 505 i/o on 3...then you can do a lot of your sequencing via cubase....that's really what we are talking about....it just wouldn't make sense to not have a midi interface with a bunch of midi gear....check out MOTU's midi interfaces....if you plan on expanding the list of midi gear you are using (which my guess is yes) then i'd recommend an 8 in 8 out interface....you dont' have to go with MOTU as there are a couple others out there that are equally as good (keep in mind though that if you want to use the same interface live that steinberg's midix is studio only and won't work as a live midi patchbay)
    sorry about the possibly dumb questions I may be asking....
    there is no such thing as a dumb question when you're just starting out....when i first started getting heavily into the more production and mixing end of things (late '94) i asked a lot of questions....i was very fortunate that i got to spend a couple of months with a friend of mine behind the monitor desk at a larger club here in atlanta, ga....and he patiently answered all my questions.....we've all been there
    "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." - Juan Ramon Jimenez

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the input......so....hold on....just two more questions...

    What to get........808 or MPC 2000???
    What's a good midi interface to get??? and how much would it cost me???
    Ryan

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