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  • Home productions

    many of the people on this board are involved with home productions of one sort or another, from remixing to booties to mash-ups and cut-n-paste.

    so how do you do it, and what do you use?

    could you post some info on where/how to start, and any useful tips, tricks, techniques, URLs etc?
    http://www.blaxploitation.com
    Chops for show, groove for dough.

  • #2
    Originally posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (theeman @ Sep. 24 2003,14:48)]could you post some info on where/how to start, and any useful tips, tricks, techniques, URLs etc?
    I'd suggest that a good place to start would be to buy a copy of 'Computer Music' - they have a beginners guide in every issue explaining the issues in creating a set up at home. It does seem a bit slim for a fiver, but it is well worth it, especially if like me you are a bit clueless.

    On the general issue, there are a myriad of different ways to get started. Because I already had a PC, that's the route I took, buying basic sw packages until I invested in a dedicated PC build specifically for music.

    I'd guess that if you already have a Mac or a PC, that is a good place to start. When you get onto sequencing software, you'll get a different answer from everybody you ask - people become very territorial over the choices they make there...

    My recommendation for a cheap as chips set up for a PC would be Making Waves - it's cheap and a good way to start. It's a shame that Cool Edit Lite doesn't seem to exists anymore (thanks very much Adobe) as that would have been my recommended partner.

    Personally, I use Cubase (currently VST, not upgraded to SX yet) as a sequencer, Halion & SampleTank (for sound sources) and a fairly cheap Evolution midi controller keyboard. Nothing fancy.

    I'm sure someone else can advise on hardware alternatives to using a computer as the heart of your set-up.
    Matt Hero

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    • #3


      Great topic Ed - I'm just beginning to look into this myself with a view to getting something in the next couple of weeks.

      There's a couple of bits of software I've seen so far that offer good all round facilities for beats/samples type production:-

      Ejay Hip Hop 5
      This has got unlimited tracks; effects for each track; the usual beatmatching; drum programming stuff; bassline composer - all supposed to be dead easy to use.

      OR

      Sonic Foundry ACID 4.0 (or PRO if you're very sophisticated)
      "The premier loop based production tool"



      Any other recommendations from anyone - for an easy route in to the PC based producer world...?

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      • #4
        I use an Akai MPC2000XL which I absolutely love. It took me a long while to to get to grips with it but once you have it sussed you've got a very versatile sequencer and a quality sampler all in one. Basically you have everything you need to make music.

        The pads make it more musical, certainly more so than a mouse and a keyboard. Also the way it's designed makes it very simple to take things and chop them up and rearrange them however you want. This means you can be really creative with it and replay every bassline, every break and anything else you like.

        I bought the effects board for it a few months ago which I'm really getting into but before that I always used Cool Edit Pro on my PC to add reverb, EQ, compress, clean, dirty or whatever needs doing. Now I find I use both CEP and my effects board depending what I'm trying to do.

        The only other software I've used heavily is Sound Forge which is much like CEP. I don't really use software for sequencing but I've use Cool Edit a little for creating little bootleg mixes and it works pretty okay for that although I'd imagine it's pretty basic compared to something like Cubase.

        That's basically all I use. I don't have the 8 outs for the MPC, I don't have a mixer other than my Ecler Hak 310 that I use for scratching. It's all pretty basic but it does what I need it to do and gives me that nice dirty murky sound I loves so much.

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        • #5
          I would really recommend 'cool edit'. Its very very sophisticated as its a wav editor and multi tracker. Way better then cubase if you only want to use samples.

          You can get all these apps off the net - I can sort people out if you know what I mean.

          Basically the main problem is getting vinyl->pc and I would sink at least £200 in a really good sound card. M-audio do really good ones which fit inside your pc (Audiophile 2496 is £150 now). There are good USB ones if you have a laptop. If you wanna be really swish then you can get a firewire one - this is like USB in thats its an external box but its much faster and will be higher quality.

          Ive been down the MPC 2000 route and didnt find it suited my needs. It was painfully slow to manipulate samples on it - so I did all that on my pc then put them on zip then put them into the sampler - THEN programmed the sequences then back to the pc to re-edit etc. Basically it was a right old pain! Also with the mpc 2000 you have only 32 which means you can't really add a vocal track so your going to have to bring everything back into the pc anway. If you have the 2000 then I would strongly recommend getting the 8-out addon. Then atleast you can play the sequence back and put it back into a multitracker pretty easily.

          But I have seen a new akai sampler which has a usb connection - this means it can be hooked up to your pc and you can whizz samples down it in no time. It looks quite expensive (£700 ish). Actually it looks very very cool. http://www.akaipro.com/global/mpc1k/mpc1kfs.html

          I think I spoke to cheebs briefly about this last time we met - and I can drop any advice at the next Brillo if need be.
          www.thesoundlibrary.net <- Changed URL

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          • #6
            What about making mix Cd&#39;s which I know a lot of yo giuys on here do really well. What do I need to do this, or is it basically everything mentioned above. Apologies if I&#39;m being an ignoramous&#33;

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            • #7
              I&#39;ve just started using &#39;Remix&#39; (you can get it from Amazon) which is a lite version of Cubase as far as I can make out... it&#39;s the first time I&#39;ve used anything like this and the first time I&#39;ve attempted a mix so as soon as it&#39;s done I&#39;ll punt some copies out to anyone on the board who fancies some constructive criticism.

              Oh, I&#39;m Mac based as well,
              Official Old School UK Hip Hop T-Shirts available at www.stylewarrior.co.uk

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              • #8
                The way I do tunes is to use Reason. That way, you&#39;ve got access to all your own sounds via the samplers and can create loads of synths and stuff.

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                • #9
                  For llmod1&#39;s benefit you need pc or mac - decent sound card - multitrack software. BUT you also need either

                  a) a phono amp so you can plug the output of the deck into the soundcard (£40)

                  b) a dj mixer (£100 up)

                  It depends if you want to learn to do &#39;live&#39; mixes and lay it down by ear or mix it all on the pc. Me I do a bit of both - lay it down and then edit out the dodgy drunken &#39;oooh this scratching sounds really good&#39; but infact its dogsh*t
                  www.thesoundlibrary.net <- Changed URL

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                  • #10
                    Good thread indeed...

                    I have got all the basic kit myself, save a MIDI keyboard. I understand that with one of these and the right software I could assign samples to keys and use it for chopping etc?

                    Software chopping is straight painful so at the moment I&#39;m on some straight-loop Mo&#39; Wax in &#39;92 steezie...

                    So can anyone highlight the benefits of adding a keyboard to my set up for me and perhaps recommend a cheap-yet-quality model?
                    *

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by [b
                      Quote[/b] (formigo @ Sep. 25 2003,01:41)]So can anyone highlight the benefits of adding a keyboard to my set up for me and perhaps recommend a cheap-yet-quality model?
                      I use the Evolution MK249C 4 Octave Midi keyboard - it wasn&#39;t expensive at all, maybe £120, but worth every penny.

                      So, what do I use it for ? Well......

                      As per my previous reply, I use Halion as my sampler within Cubase. By using commercial multisamples (ie every note of a certain instrument pre recorded and set out across the keyboard), or creating my own sets of sampled note or phrases, I can (ableit badly) &#39;play&#39; these notes or loops, recording the midi data in Cubase. I use Sampletank in pretty much the same way.

                      If you&#39;re going down the road of using &#39;Virtual Instruments&#39;, then getting a keyboard with some midi control pots (which allow you to manually change the set up of the instruments without having to use the mouse and going through all the menus) is well worthwhile.

                      In terms of setting up, it was dead easy. Having never entertained thoughts of using midi, I was pleasantly suprised to just plug the keyboard into a USB port and it worked without having to mess about trying to route it.

                      Fot the umpteenth time, I&#39;d agree with the recommendation of the M-Audio Audiophile card... the best £150 I ever spent. Very stable Aiso drivers, giving you a very low level of latency (3ms) when using the keyboard, good quality ins and out too.
                      Matt Hero

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [b
                        Quote[/b] (sermad @ Sep. 24 2003,17:24)]Basically the main problem is getting vinyl-&gt;pc and I would sink at least £200 in a really good sound card. M-audio do really good ones which fit inside your pc (Audiophile 2496 is £150 now). There are good USB ones if you have a laptop.
                        I saw in this months PC Pro the new M Audio USB audio interfaces (basically Audiophile in the box rather than a card) and they looked good value too if you&#39;re running a laptop.
                        Matt Hero

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [b
                          Quote[/b] (llmod1 @ Sep. 24 2003,17:43)]What about making mix Cd&#39;s which I know a lot of yo giuys on here do really well. What do I need to do this, or is it basically everything mentioned above. Apologies if I&#39;m being an ignoramous&#33;
                            For my mix CDs at the moment - I just use : two turntables, a CD player, a mixer and a CD recorder .... keepin it real&#33;


                          Only problem being no track markers (i.e. all recorded as one track).  But this could be rectified (I presume) by putting it all into a PC and marking them in before burning a copy (though I&#39;ve not tried it yet...)


                          Thanks for the info on the sound card - I&#39;m just about to get a whole new PC set up from scratch - so I can try and get  some sort of deal with an Audiophile 2496 in the package.

                          I&#39;d rather not go down the separate sampler route - I think an all-in-one (or as close to that) application would be better for my brain&#33;  And from past experience, I think that cut and pasting tunes on a screen actually works best for me when actually putting tracks together.

                          I&#39;ll keep you guys posted and have a chat on the subject next time I see you :-  

                          next Thurs (2/10) at HF&amp;S anyone ?&#33;
                             

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                          • #14
                            I have an M-Audio Quattro aswell as the delta 66 card. The Quattro is a usb box and it is really useful for in the field recordings but it has quite a few problems. Sometimes you get choppy recording audio - dropouts basically and you have no clue why it does this. The quattro got a bit of a bad rap due to this. you might get lucky and have no problems so if I would try and borrow one first to see if your laptop is compatible.

                            I&#39;m probably going to upgrade again to a firewire based card so I might have some decent kit to pass on.

                            That Evolution MK249C looks really decent. I wrestle with my D50 and midi nightmares are fairly common&#33;
                            www.thesoundlibrary.net <- Changed URL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by [b
                              Quote[/b] (Matt Hero @ Sep. 25 2003,09:07)]
                              Originally posted by [b
                              Quote[/b] (sermad @ Sep. 24 2003,17:24)]Basically the main problem is getting vinyl-&gt;pc and I would sink at least £200 in a really good sound card. M-audio do really good ones which fit inside your pc (Audiophile 2496 is £150 now). There are good USB ones if you have a laptop.
                              I saw in this months PC Pro the new M Audio USB audio interfaces (basically Audiophile in the box rather than a card) and they looked good value too if you&#39;re running a laptop.
                              m-audio have been going for a long while now, so if you look around you can often get really good deals on slightly older kit.

                              i got a brand new internal M-Audio card a few years back for under 100 quid by shopping around on the web for slightly older kit - there were also some amazing deals on ex-demo stuff, which for internal cards is really not taking a significant risk.

                              personally i&#39;d be cautious of running audio apps over USB simply because you need really high bandwidth and low latency, which USB isn&#39;t brilliant for (although USB 2 has improved matters a lot). if you&#39;re running your music software on a laptop then you don&#39;t have much choice, but if you&#39;ve got a decent desktop PC with plenty of expansion room, an internal card may be a good move.

                              note that one big advantage with USB is that you can keep the external box well away from any sources of electrical or RF noise, like power supplies, which you can&#39;t always do inside a PC... so do whatever works for you&#33;

                              and if you&#39;re looking for an internal card, a break-out box is really, really handy... some of these cards also have optional break-out boxes that are the correct size to fit in CD-Rom drive bays, so you can have all your audio inputs and outputs in the front of your PC with a little fiddling and the correct size of screwdriver...

                              i was too tight to buy one and as a result have to fiddle about with a huge bundle of wires round the back of the PC. not ideal...
                              http://www.blaxploitation.com
                              Chops for show, groove for dough.

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