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Banks and banks of humming machinery!

Discussion in 'Electronic Music Producers Forum' started by ~atp~, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Right, so back in tha day I used to do a lot of tracking. Just recently, I picked up Ableton, and after about 1 hour of use, have it roughly figured out and even did a live mix with it. :) However, over the past year or so, I've been very seriously thinking about how to bring my music interests to a new level.

    I really want to get into live music production. I love to spin records, but would love to fuse that with the live potential of Ableton. But I also think that Ableton doesn't cut it on its own in terms of creativity -- as with the old tracking days, I need another tool that will help me create sounds from scratch.

    I'd like to fuse something like Reason, Ableton, record mixing (maybe using Final Scratch? :D ) and a midi controller together into one big dynamic sound orgasm. The only problem is that I am a big-time software geek and don't know a lot about the hardware.

    So I'm basically looking for some of you knobs to help me out. :D

    Oh, and somebody wins a prize if they name the artist I quoted in the subject line. Don't cheat you google-abusing bastards.
  2. docta seuss

    docta seuss TRIBE Member










    ^^my current live setup^^

    very happy with it.

    by 'creating sounds' did you mean with a hardware synth?
  3. Mike Goodwin

    Mike Goodwin TRIBE Member

    I like my BCR alot at the moment as the Dr. has already pictured above. I also use a X-session and it is built very well although the layout is a bit odd to me. As for getting sounds from scratch just use soft synths. There are more out there than one person could ever remember. Reason is a good package for the price and it gets you going fast. You may also want to check out DjDecks, it is basicly a homegrown version of final scratch. I went to it after going through hell with final scratch. It works well for me but I have not used it out in clubs so I can only talk about in home use at the moment. Personaly if I where starting all over again I would just get a pair of good cd players even if I just wanted to scratch live on stage as odd as that may sound. Less setup to deal with and it is rock solid all the time. Them be my thoughts off the top of my head.
  4. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Explain to me how you use those 2 pieces of knobular machinery. :)

    Well, I've been leaning toward the software side of things for now. It's less of a commitment, so I was thinking just make heavier use of reason as my source for new sound creations.

    And yah, the other big debate for me right now is that I own this pair of older gemini decks...they're hanging in there, but when I go to buy new ones, I've toyed with the idea of buying CDJ decks instead -- the only thing I've heard is that for scratching, they still don't quite cut it.

    Also, docta seuss, do you find that laptop to be powerful enough for live mixing environments?
  5. blipblurpbleep

    blipblurpbleep TRIBE Member


    the behringer bcr2000 is a midi controller that will allow you to controll any software synth like it was a pieced of hardware after you've mapped the controls to what parameters you'd like to use (in either a stand-alone environment or as a vst)

    and yes, most laptops these days will let you do quite a bit on the fly. just grab lots of ram (min. 1Gb) and a good audio interface.

    i have no experience with cdjs but i do have final scratch and although it's possible to use Live and FS together at the same time on one laptop, it can be tough to get them in sync at times since there's now rewire support between the two apps.
    having a redsound c-loops (i thinking the name has since changed to pvdj grabber) which will count bpms along with all of it's sample/looping features would be very handy for that setup. but ideally i'd rather run Live on one laptop and FS or Serato on another.

    docta seuss.....

    did you know there was a patch for your bcr2000 to control multiple parameters of Live 5 with one controller?

    like having a mackie control for a fraction of the price ;)
  6. docta seuss

    docta seuss TRIBE Member

    blipblurpbleep is correct

    you control the virtual knobs on, for example, this:


    or in this:


    with this:


    a wise plan.
    some people manage to do an alright job scratching with cdj's. but your best bet would be either SSL, FS, or the Numark CDX.

    the nice thing about the numark is that it's a standalone unit, so all you need is two CDX's and your cd's.
    they are extremely accurate, have high torque and a full-sized platter, thus they almost feel like the real thing.

    the down side being that you won't find many places using them just yet, so you'll either have to lug 'em everywhere with you, or request them and hope they show up.
    tipper is now using the CDX for scratching, and we all know how the man tears it up, so if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for anyone.

    SSL is perhaps more versatile, but you rely on the hardware, the control vinyl, and the laptop, which can lead to complications.
    i've not had any major issues with the SSL setup, but i know people who have had their computers act up in the middle of a set.
    asking the crowd to be patient while you reboot is kinda a vibe-killer. this doesn't often happen, but it's a slight risk.
    also, if you get any sort of gunk at all on a control record, all control goes out the window, which can be equally embarassing.. particularly if you don't have any back-ups. :eek:

    it would be if i got a little more ram. it's pretty decent with 512, but can act up on occasion.

    the pic is not actually the same model as mine.. i have an R32.
  7. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Thanks for the responses people! :)

    I've put some more thought into the laptop thing, and I think that I'm actually going to just get a desktop PC instead. The reasons are simple, and for me, make sense: (a) I don't have a desktop PC right now (use the work laptop), (b) I don't get out much (I'm a hermit) and most of my music making is something I like to do in the privacy of my own home. So yah, I'll probably be getting a new desktop that can handle the full weight of Ableton, Reason, etc.

    As for gear, the only thing I currently own that I don't need to replace is an xone:32 mixer. The other things I need are:

    - a new desktop (I can figure out the specs for this on my own ;) ).
    - a new audio interface. I'm pretty sure I'm going to drop the $$ on the m-audio firewire 1814.
    - new decks (docta seuss, thanks for the heads up on the CDX -- I may just go and check them out to see if it's what I'm after). Although FS is another viable option there.
    - New sound system. Not sure if I want to just buy 2 active monitors or go for a 3-piece solution like BlueSky's Sky System One.

    After that, I think the other gear would be a natural evolution of what I can learn. A midi controller like the X-Station would be nice, but I can offset that (for now) with good software, right?

    Thanks again for the input, it's appreciated. :)
  8. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    i've yet to play in a club with the CDX, but i was very impressed with the in-store demo.
    they're huge, but if you're uncomfortable with CD players they're the closest to turntables (because they basically are turntables).

    however, since most places have the pioneer, perhaps buying two of them and learning all their tricks might be smarter, as you could go out with just your CDs (of all the tracks and bits you're making at home).
  9. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    you don't need a midi controller, but software can't replace what you can do with a real knob.
    on the other hand, for recording purposes, the wheel on a typical keyboard can be used to turn those virtual knobs.

    all you really need is ableton and a bunch of freeware VSTs (which is where PCs rock)
  10. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    if you haven't already, get some VST instruments for ableton - you can host them, process them, and sequence them from ableton, treating the midi tracks like audio clips.
    you really don't need anything else.
    i also like stomper for building drum samples from scratch (which you can then sequence in ableton)
  11. miller

    miller TRIBE Member

    For quality and value for money, I would do this:

    Torq + M-Audio Trigger Finger + M-Audio Oxygen 8. Together with Ableton, or even without, you can numerous effects and generate a number of sounds.

    If you have the cash, get Traktor, Mac Book Pro, and Xone: 4D. You will be able to run 4 decks and will have something like 40 buttons, 40 knobs, and 4 toggle switches. Like Richie's set-up but even more tripped out.

    *Don't quote me on these numbers. I'm serious but guessing. The pont is, you will have total control. More than enough manipulation and sound generation.
  12. miller

    miller TRIBE Member

    I don't think you reall need the Firewire. More for studio production where you are running like 8 channels. USB 2.0 is fast as fuck and suitable for most DJ/Live application. Just the advice I was given by someone who knows his shit. USB is about half the price of firewire I think.
  13. miller

    miller TRIBE Member

    Novation has designed a one of a kind MIDI controller that is taylor made for Ableton. I think it is called "Nocturnal" but would have to look it up. I haven't slept in 40 hours and my brain is not firing on all cylanders.
  14. miller

    miller TRIBE Member

    See, perfect example that I am retarded right now: just realised this thread is 3 years old. Fucking idiot I am.
  15. mrtunes

    mrtunes TRIBE Member

    yeah things have changed quite a bit since then, but not by that much. it seems like the behringers are still favourite controllers amongst many peoples. but akai will really up the game this year me thinks.

    i have to say though, i was playing around with making a good ableton set recently. i broke apart some of my tracks as loops and threw them into a set. i think the hard part about this sort of thing versus playing finished tracks is that it's hard to make something that isn't too self-centered. it's too easy to get lost with all those loops you can end up making something completely boring.
  16. DaPhatConductor

    DaPhatConductor TRIBE Promoter

    you should set up a day to come by my place homey.

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