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samwell7
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#1
21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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Hardware is SO fun!

After having my Microkorg staring at me on my desk for weeks as I studied I decided to turn it on and have a play hooked up to ableton.

This is the first time I've done any Hybrid stuff, I don't have a USB-MIDI cable so I played the keyboard myself.
Obviously the song isn't very polished and I've spent like no time fixing it up, everything except for drums is Microkorg with a bit of Sidechaining, slight EQ and some saturation.
There's an oxford limiter on the master bus.
I made all the patches also.

Now I'm about 800 times more excited to get my minibrute so the 2 can play together!

are there any tips for doing stuff hybrid? should I get a better interface? at the moment I'm running a Komplete Audio 6,
Thinking of getting a distortion pedal next up

P.s Don't mind the super-cheap drums on the way in! ahha
http://soundcloud.com/samuelietto/playing-with-my-microkorg
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21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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I use around half hardware, half software....its great fun, sonically there might not be a huge chasm of difference but it involves you more imo...good on ya

If you do use midi try not to quantise, it tightens up your playing and can add a liitle groove
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21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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I try to use 1/3 hardware, 1/3 software and 1/3 vaporware. The Boomstar is really adding something different to my setup.
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samwell7
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21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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Yeah that's how I got a bit of a triplet thing happening with the bassline towards the end haha just me playing without MIDI.
It makes it a lot more fun and involving, I feel like I'm just beginning to learn how to make music again.
I'll check out the boomstar!

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21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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I feel like software is irreplaceable as the modern rompler. Everything else sound creation wise (not mixing) I'd rather do outside the box.
samwell7
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21st September 2012
Old 21st September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hamburglar View Post
I feel like software is irreplaceable as the modern rompler. Everything else sound creation wise (not mixing) I'd rather do outside the box.
Yeah there is some stuff I need to do on software like FM and stuff like that until I get some more great, I'd love to start mixing my stuff OTB but I think its a bit too expensive to get into (on another thread one person said allow yourself $100K if you wanna start mixing OTB) not sure how true that is but it scared me haha

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#7
22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Tips on doing hybrid stuff? Here's what I've learned that works for me really well:

Drums = ITB
Mono synths = OTB analog
Poly synths = both ITB and OTB work really well
ROMplers = both ITB & OTB work - depends on your taste really
Most effects = ITB
Drum & Sub mix & 2 bus compression = OTB
Distortion = OTB
Summing mixers = forget them
Acoustic/electro acoustic percussion/instruments = add a ton of character and liveliness to your electronic tracks (have at least one real shaker there somewhere)
Sequencing = ITB
Sampling = ITB
Modulars = OTB
FM = ITB

...and last but definitely not least:
Get as tweakable gear as possible. A knob per function UI without menu-diving gets you jammin' and groovin' in no time!
#8
22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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100 percent hardware. Everything OTB. Sampling, drums, polysynths, modular... I DO sequence with Cubase but 9 times out of 10 its on the Atari as it triggers way tighter. I do have an MSQ 700 though for moments where I cant be bothered to turn it on. I mix down to 2 track on Cubase 5 on a pc. No plugin malarkey though.

Its not for everyone. But I love it.


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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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100% hardware me, software is for pussies
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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it's like someone knocked on the woodwork
samwell7
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Thanks for all the advice.
Kraku I was leaning towards that sort of a set up, when you say distortion are you talking about guitar pedals or are there other affordable distortion units? Think that will definitely be my next purchase, I love distortion and I really look forward to some analog distortion haha.
AlexP I'd love to be able to do everything OTB but I'm afraid at the moment I can't afford it :( do you mix ITB though?

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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwell7 View Post
Thanks for all the advice.
Kraku I was leaning towards that sort of a set up, when you say distortion are you talking about guitar pedals or are there other affordable distortion units? Think that will definitely be my next purchase, I love distortion and I really look forward to some analog distortion haha.
Any kind of analog distortion unit should do it. Just see what's available Also note that there are huge sonic differences between distortion units, so if possible, try some of them out to see which one you actually like.
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
Any kind of analog distortion unit should do it. Just see what's available Also note that there are huge sonic differences between distortion units, so if possible, try some of them out to see which one you actually like.
Sweet, cheers for that, any you can recommend?

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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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"Hardware is SO fun!"

It sure is. Welcome to the world of funness

I also got a microkorg a little while back, mainly for the vocoder. It's great fun (though I'm not fussed on the workflow). I've been surprised by how distinctive it sounds - it is really digital and gritty.... you'll be amazed how well it offsets your Moog when you get it.

I'm still having trouble getting it to fit in a mix! It's just so "zippy."

Not saying it's bad - just a challenge for me right now. Great for live gigging too.
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samwell7
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxisaxis View Post
"Hardware is SO fun!"

It sure is. Welcome to the world of funness

I also got a microkorg a little while back, mainly for the vocoder. It's great fun (though I'm not fussed on the workflow). I've been surprised by how distinctive it sounds - it is really digital and gritty.... you'll be amazed how well it offsets your Moog when you get it.

I'm still having trouble getting it to fit in a mix! It's just so "zippy."

Not saying it's bad - just a challenge for me right now. Great for live gigging too.
Thanks for the welcome!
yeah I've got used to the workflow I don't mind it now and you're definitely right about it being gritty and very digital sounding, especially playing with the digital waveforms gets interesting with some modulation, would be good if it could had a couple different distortion modes but I'll be buying some form of analog distortion unit to run it through soon so all will be well with the world.
I've noticed its really quiet when I plug it into my interface? I need to use the microphone inputs and turn the gain around halfway up.
I need to learn the vocoder a bit more but I'll get there

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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwell7 View Post
I've noticed its really quiet when I plug it into my interface? I need to use the microphone inputs and turn the gain around halfway up.
I need to learn the vocoder a bit more but I'll get there

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

I don't know what its signal strength is like, because I habitually run synths through mic preamps. There's certainly no harm in doing that, so don't worry.... some people like the very subtle character that a preamp imparts on the sound of a synth - it often makes it a bit more meaty. So just do it that way
samwell7
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxisaxis View Post
I don't know what its signal strength is like, because I habitually run synths through mic preamps. There's certainly no harm in doing that, so don't worry.... some people like the very subtle character that a preamp imparts on the sound of a synth - it often makes it a bit more meaty. So just do it that way
I did notice it sounded a bit more gritty after recording as opposed to listening to the headphone-out and was a bit stumped as to why, it makes sense now!
thankyou

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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Both analog/digital, hardware/software have their highs and lows, but one thing's for sure: nothing beats making the basic arrangement as quickly and as naturally as physical sequencing with hardware. I would know because 90% of the time I have to sequence ITB, and every single time I get to borrow kit w/ a sequencer it's way more enjoyable and legit sounding. Drums, loops, synths, fx, whatever...best way to LAY IT DOWN is outta the box.

Also, synth patch fiddling....OUTTA THE BOX

And although I've not had a shot at it, because I'm poor...I bet I'd like mixing outta the box way more, too. As a DJ for ten years, I cannot STAND mixing with midi controllers or any of those proprietary all-in-ones. It's always stiff as hell compared to a real audio mixer. The decks themselves aren't as much of a concern, but vinyl is my preference!
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Someone put it to me like this - some modern electronic productions are often like extremely detailed, finely crafted sculpture or a beautiful painting: Many hours spent in the production, sometimes obsessing over the final touches, etc, but in the end a sort of static work of art. Which is fine. When I relate to this analogy I feel that the computer aids this sort of "painting" approach; however sometimes you just want to make music on a musical instrument. That's where hardware wins out.
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwell7 View Post
Sweet, cheers for that, any you can recommend?
Can't recommend any specific ones. Sorry. It all depends so much on the unit in question and what you want to do with it. Many times I've noticed that some unit sounds great on some bass sounds and other units sound great on other sounds. You have to try them out for yourself
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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I mean it's all about how you work....

For me samples of analogue gear are great, they sound authentic, I mean heck they are. So drums are ITB...

Synths on the other hand, since I'm a Cubase/Reason guy are usually OTB

IF I'm making a weird sound that's a digital crazy thing I'll go ITB, I don't need that punch I just need texture.

Nothing wrong with all hardware setups, it's just at some point you run out of user banks on some modules...it's more work to keep sessions in order at times as well.

Most analogue ITB synths to me don't sound analogue or hardware-ish...the punch of hardware is something I can feel when I listen to it.

Simian Mobile Disco albums is a great example of how hardware sounds, it's got GUTS!

Enjoy your HWARE
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samwell7
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
it's like someone knocked on the woodwork
haah just saw that! yes it is, its good hearing what people say about it though.

feel like I'm learning a bit with each post (and hence GAS'ing even more)

totally agree with the above statement that hardware is faaaaar better/easier to work with, and all the synths and stuff I'm looking for from now on will (hopefully) have 1 knob/slider per function etc.
Atm I've got a minibrute on pre-order and I'm thinking of buying a Microzwerg Mk2
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#23
22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNMusicman View Post
I mean it's all about how you work....

For me samples of analogue gear are great, they sound authentic, I mean heck they are. So drums are ITB...

Synths on the other hand, since I'm a Cubase/Reason guy are usually OTB

IF I'm making a weird sound that's a digital crazy thing I'll go ITB, I don't need that punch I just need texture.

Nothing wrong with all hardware setups, it's just at some point you run out of user banks on some modules...it's more work to keep sessions in order at times as well.

Most analogue ITB synths to me don't sound analogue or hardware-ish...the punch of hardware is something I can feel when I listen to it.

Simian Mobile Disco albums is a great example of how hardware sounds, it's got GUTS!

Enjoy your HWARE
yeah i guess there are some limitations, and yeah I agree the ITB stuff doesn't quite have the 'mojo' as some people call it ahha probably best way to explain it, and never ever feels anywhere near as 'big' especially not in the bass ahah I never really get the walls shaking with VST's unless I process them flat out but as soon as I play with the hardware (even the little Arduino Granular drone-box I made) I can feel the difference.
I love SMD, i'm not sure if they use a real 303 or not but there's some hi-Freq tweeting going on in a few of their tracks on their ADSR album which I love.
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22nd September 2012
Old 22nd September 2012
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Only trouble I have with a hybrid system is remembering to use the hardware.
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23rd September 2012
Old 23rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsam View Post
Only trouble I have with a hybrid system is remembering to use the hardware.
Making sure it's tightly integrated into your setup is important, i basically use my hardware like VSTi's...It's all pre setup, so I play my main MIDI controller and I'm easily controlling all my hardware synths. MIDI THRU is a MUST with a hybrid setup.

So no, for me I wanna go to the hardware first, then software 2nd.
#26
23rd September 2012
Old 23rd September 2012
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Same here.

Also I always make sure my HW is sitting in a hands reach so I don't have to move anywhere from my work position. I can just grab that compressors knob and adjust the sound. If the gear is sitting out of my hands reach then it won't get used. Maybe this is what some people have done wrong with HW?
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23rd September 2012
Old 23rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
Same here.

Also I always make sure my HW is sitting in a hands reach so I don't have to move anywhere from my work position. I can just grab that compressors knob and adjust the sound. If the gear is sitting out of my hands reach then it won't get used. Maybe this is what some people have done wrong with HW?
Yeah I've realised if it isn't near me or if I've gotta grab it from next to my desk and plug it in then I'm a lot less likely to use it
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