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Experienced Musician but New to Electronica.Requesting assistance.
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somedevil
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#1
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Experienced Musician but New to Electronica.Requesting assistance.

Hey guys.

so i have been a musician for a long time and i am very curious about all these electronic musicians making some amazing music. As a bass player all this really appeals to me and i want to get into it 100% and create great songs.

I know logic well and i have bought and started learning Ableton live yesterday. It's pretty unique. Great to put ideas down.

I have figured out how to make beats. How to sequence groovy patterns however i am struggling hard with pads and basses. I don't play keyboard and don't know anything about synthesis (and honestly not too keen to spend months learning it). I see a lot of videos on youtube but not all are good. As i am not well versed with genres of electronica i don't even know what i need to search for.

So i'm asking the electronica veterans here. What advice would you give to someone whose starting out and wants to make great music ?

What should i be practicing on a daily basis ? How do i learn to make sounds ? any other advice ? I have a lot of lyrical and melodic ideas however i always used to express it in the form of guitar based music. Now im keen to do it via electronic medium.

I'm pasting a few examples of the songs i like. I'm not really into the instrumental dance music genres however some of the melodious songs with scant vocals appeal to me a lot. What's that genre called ? ha ha No idea.




Pretty much a lot of songs that are there on this channel. Just love this kind of music. Majestic Casual - YouTube


I would appreciate any help from you guys
cheers !
#2
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
  #2
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If you really want this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by somedevil View Post
What advice would you give to someone whose starting out and wants to make great music ?

Then I suggest you stop thinking like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by somedevil View Post

I have figured out how to make beats. How to sequence groovy patterns however i am struggling hard with pads and basses. I don't play keyboard and don't know anything about synthesis (and honestly not too keen to spend months learning it).
Electronic music is by its very nature interdisciplinary and you should be ready to spend years combined in learning all the different aspects properly.

A musical background helps but not to the extent I think you think it does
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#3
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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My advice: read some basics on synths and(or) play with your synths until you can think of a sound and make it. You could latch right onto it. The fundamentals are not hard at all. Seriously, you could learn the basics of subtractive synthesis in a day.
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#4
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Watch this video, like, a hundred times:



The techniques applied are (mostly) basic and can be used with any synth.

Then, read all these in order:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

If all of this sounds too much like hard work, just fire up the gear and turn knobs until you hear something you like. Record, it chop it up, and arrange it. Rinse and repeat for 10 years.
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#5
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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What Stevism has stated.

You say you already know Logic well, but what aspects of Logic do you know? It is one thing to know how to set up your Bass Guitar and record to a track in Logic. It is a whole other area to setup MIDI tracks and record in Logic. Logic is one of the better programs out there. If you like it, I would stay with it and learn it inside and out till it is second nature to you. As far as your comment about "not wanting to spend months learning it", I can say the following: It will take a lot of time and discipline to learn a DAW, to learn to play keyboards, to learn enough music theory to compose and write great music. There are some who have a natural talent for this and progress very rapidly. Others who get there by sheer determination and hard work. You can get there. Some things you can learn rather quickly. Other things will take time, but you can still make music and have fun while in the learning process.

My suggestions are these:

1) Make out a plan of what you want to accomplish and what areas you need training. Example, a) learning chords, learning a DAW, learning MIDI, leaning synthesis, etc.

2) Have a daily schedule of what you are going to work on and how much time you will devote to that particular area.

3) Be consistent in your practice and learning. Understand that it won't all happen overnight, but will come along much faster than you think if you are consistent.

If you want to learn Logic, get the comprehensive guide similar to this one:

Logic Pro 9 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide: Kevin Anker, Orren Merton: 9781435456129: Amazon.com: Books

There are other threads that deal with learning synthesis, music theory, and other areas

Would go further but need to go to work.

Good Luck!
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#6
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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loooads of good advice here - one thing I'd disagree with, being a msuician can be a huge advantage but only as a complement to all of the above (not least learning synthesis). Lots of musicians doing amazing electronic music (e.g. Guy Gerber).

Dont worry though, you dont have to set out to learn it, just do what they say above.... once you've had a few months fun with all the presets in software, you'll start naturally wanting to tweak things here and there....
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13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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I'm also a bass player. Learning keyboards to the skill level required for most electronic music is not difficult. You can learn the keyboard much the way you learned your bass' fingerboard and apply the musical knowledge you already possess about keys, chords and scales directly.

Take advantage of sequencing to make up for less than stellar chops, like fixing bum notes, playing in parts a few bars at a time and pasting them to create the final arrangement, recording at slower tempo, etc. Even though I always play the keys live into my sequencer, I almost never play all the way through the song in one pass because it would require 1,000 takes to get it right
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13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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SRT
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13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somedevil View Post
Hey guys.

so i have been a musician for a long time and i am very curious about all these electronic musicians making some amazing music. As a bass player all this really appeals to me and i want to get into it 100% and create great songs.

I know logic well and i have bought and started learning Ableton live yesterday. It's pretty unique. Great to put ideas down.

I have figured out how to make beats. How to sequence groovy patterns however i am struggling hard with pads and basses. I don't play keyboard and don't know anything about synthesis (and honestly not too keen to spend months learning it). I see a lot of videos on youtube but not all are good. As i am not well versed with genres of electronica i don't even know what i need to search for.

So i'm asking the electronica veterans here. What advice would you give to someone whose starting out and wants to make great music ?

What should i be practicing on a daily basis ? How do i learn to make sounds ? any other advice ? I have a lot of lyrical and melodic ideas however i always used to express it in the form of guitar based music. Now im keen to do it via electronic medium.

I'm pasting a few examples of the songs i like. I'm not really into the instrumental dance music genres however some of the melodious songs with scant vocals appeal to me a lot. What's that genre called ? ha ha No idea.




Pretty much a lot of songs that are there on this channel. Just love this kind of music. Majestic Casual - YouTube


I would appreciate any help from you guys
cheers !
Regardless of the various sub categories electronic music in all forms is fundamentally about sound. For the moment you should forget about harmony, melody or composition and just focus on sound design and groove.

Teach yourself subtractive synthesis using Analog in Live. When you are comfortable move on to Operator to learn FM synthesis. Do some research on using Live as a sampler to chop up and/or layer samples to create new sounds which can then be played via Simpler or Sampler. Spend some time playing with midi automation and see how it can give you the most benefit with your given toolset. When you feel you have the basics down check out the Logic equivalents such as ESX or Ultrabeat which are a bit more complex then what is included with Live. At that point you should also be learning how to further manipulate sounds with compressors and gates via transient shaping or rhythmic manipulation. Read up on device sidechaining and the use of mid/side equalization or compression to achieve mix clarity.

For the moment don't worry about gear. Live and Logic are a handful and quite powerful without any augmentation. However, when you are looking for more to explore check out KOMPLETE by Native Instruments. Komplete is a stellar assortment of software synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, effects and virtual instruments many of which are standard professional tools in the EDM industry.

Above all, don't limit yourself to listening to EDM to get ideas. Like all over saturated genres EDM is for the most part commercialized regurgitated spew. Many budding EDM artists focus on production chops and forget that ultimately it is still about writing songs, not just studio techniques. Artists such as Daft Punk, Prodigy or Deadmau5 have made an impression upon the industry not just because of their sounds, but also because they understand that ultimately you need to connect with your audience beyond the dance floor. Their production skills are used to make their idea come to life and resonate with the listener rather then function as a showcase of their bag of tricks. Many of them are inspired more by 70s classics then their contemporaries...and it keeps them fresh and in the groove.
#10
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somedevil View Post
Hey guys.

so i have been a musician for a long time and i am very curious about all these electronic musicians making some amazing music. As a bass player all this really appeals to me and i want to get into it 100% and create great songs.

I know logic well and i have bought and started learning Ableton live yesterday. It's pretty unique. Great to put ideas down.

I have figured out how to make beats. How to sequence groovy patterns however i am struggling hard with pads and basses. I don't play keyboard and don't know anything about synthesis (and honestly not too keen to spend months learning it). I see a lot of videos on youtube but not all are good. As i am not well versed with genres of electronica i don't even know what i need to search for.

So i'm asking the electronica veterans here. What advice would you give to someone whose starting out and wants to make great music ?

What should i be practicing on a daily basis ? How do i learn to make sounds ? any other advice ? I have a lot of lyrical and melodic ideas however i always used to express it in the form of guitar based music. Now im keen to do it via electronic medium.

I'm pasting a few examples of the songs i like. I'm not really into the instrumental dance music genres however some of the melodious songs with scant vocals appeal to me a lot. What's that genre called ? ha ha No idea.
If I were a bassist or guitarist interested in making electronic music, I would first want something like a Moog guitar or other MIDI guitar controller to start out. I would find starting from ground zero on keyboards not only daunting but also a bit of a waste of some hard earned technique.

I'm not a guitarist or bassist, mind you, and have never played one of those devices in my life. So I really don't know how difficult they are to master or what frustrations may be involved in their use. But my younger brother is a guitarist who also makes electronic music and I know he is able to make good use of his guitar technique via MIDI guitar controllers and various DSP devices which react to his guitar signal.

However you approach it, just don't try to do it all at once! Sounds obvious, I know, but the thing is, that's how a lot of people approach it. They try to take it in all at once -- the synthesis... the beats... the production.... It's too much. So choose an area of focus and stay with it for a time.

For example, focus on making beats... and bring out that bass! They don't call it Drum 'n Bass for nothing!
#11
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Not wanting to take the time to learn something is really troubling to me.

Also, if you're relatively adept at guitar/bass, picking up a keyboard for monophonic synths is not that intimidating. I've never found a guitar controller or MIDI converter that doesn't have some lag so I've never really connected with my GK-2A but when I was first starting, I used it a lot.

Sound design is in my opinion, the joy of making electronic music. I think you're approaching this like "oh, it won't be that hard for me to make a killer track because I already know music." This is true to an extent if you want to go preset-surfing, but the reality is that learning EM is like learning Rock or Jazz. You have to let go of your preconceived notions of how things are supposed to work and appreciate how the artists of that genre approach the music.

The best example I can give is how a jazz guitarist, a metal guitarist and a country chicken-picker will approach the instrument very differently. They can all be equally technically capable, but the specific techniques they use, and the note selection is very different, as is the rhythmic and harmonic approach.

I mean, maybe I'm reading into your original question too much, but it seems like you have an attitude towards electronic music that leads you to believe that you'll be slumming it here.

There's really spectacular bass players in electronic music. Case in point, Squarepusher:
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#12
13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
Not wanting to take the time to learn something is really troubling to me.

<cut some out>

I mean, maybe I'm reading into your original question too much, but it seems like you have an attitude towards electronic music that leads you to believe that you'll be slumming it here.
these two points...100%
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13th January 2014
Old 13th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
I mean, maybe I'm reading into your original question too much, but it seems like you have an attitude towards electronic music that leads you to believe that you'll be slumming it here.
If that's true, he'll find out soon enough what it takes -- especially if he wants to produce tracks like that first example he gave, Harajuku Pop. Musically simplistic, it's the production that carries the track. That kind of technique takes time and effort to learn. There's really no way around it.

Btw Squarepusher rocks!
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14th January 2014
Old 14th January 2014
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13 years of guitar, started doing electronic stuff about two years ago. I feel that I'm at an alright place, but it seems like it will take at least five years to get where I want to be.

1) First issue will be switching the focus from writing parts for your specific instrument, to learning how to write/arrange for what amounts to a five-ten piece band.
2) The importance of texture - processing each individual element, placing them in the stereo field, etc.
3) The importance of rhythm / drums - you gonna boogie, be sparse, get glitchy, keep it simple? Drum machine samples, samples of real kits, record your own? HMMM?
4) The process of figuring out which synths/machines you will use. It's taken me a lonnggggg time to figure out what tones/timbres I like, what machines produce those, and how I can afford to buy them.

IDK, there's so much stuff...
somedevil
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#15
14th January 2014
Old 14th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism View Post
Electronic music is by its very nature interdisciplinary and you should be ready to spend years combined in learning all the different aspects properly.

A musical background helps but not to the extent I think you think it does
Agree. I came in with the wrong attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkerton View Post
My advice: read some basics on synths and(or) play with your synths until you can think of a sound and make it. You could latch right onto it. The fundamentals are not hard at all. Seriously, you could learn the basics of subtractive synthesis in a day.
And actually i did.All day i read and i watched and i think i can say fairly confidently that i have the grasps of the basics down. How they make all the amazing sounds is still beyond me. Still playing with ES1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnieCache View Post
Watch this video, like, a hundred times:



The techniques applied are (mostly) basic and can be used with any synth.

Then, read all these in order:

Synth Secrets: Links to All Parts

If all of this sounds too much like hard work, just fire up the gear and turn knobs until you hear something you like. Record, it chop it up, and arrange it. Rinse and repeat for 10 years.

That's a great video. Just that one video opened my eyes to so many things. and thank you for the links. It's seems like such a headache to read through it but i will get through it. I promise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxman12 View Post
What Stevism has stated.

You say you already know Logic well, but what aspects of Logic do you know? It is one thing to know how to set up your Bass Guitar and record to a track in Logic. It is a whole other area to setup MIDI tracks and record in Logic. Logic is one of the better programs out there. If you like it, I would stay with it and learn it inside and out till it is second nature to you. As far as your comment about "not wanting to spend months learning it", I can say the following: It will take a lot of time and discipline to learn a DAW, to learn to play keyboards, to learn enough music theory to compose and write great music. There are some who have a natural talent for this and progress very rapidly. Others who get there by sheer determination and hard work. You can get there. Some things you can learn rather quickly. Other things will take time, but you can still make music and have fun while in the learning process.
I truly appreciate your suggestions. I would say i have a fair grasp on logic. Working with midi, Ultrabeat, EXS etc. It's the synths that i will study more. and of course, dust out those old midi controllers.

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Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
hey hey
we collected a few useful links: Free Samples, Collaboration, Techniques and Gear Service

feel free to ask specific questions in the forum
Thank you so much for these

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
Not wanting to take the time to learn something is really troubling to me.

Sound design is in my opinion, the joy of making electronic music. I think you're approaching this like "oh, it won't be that hard for me to make a killer track because I already know music." This is true to an extent if you want to go preset-surfing, but the reality is that learning EM is like learning Rock or Jazz. You have to let go of your preconceived notions of how things are supposed to work and appreciate how the artists of that genre approach the music.

I mean, maybe I'm reading into your original question too much, but it seems like you have an attitude towards electronic music that leads you to believe that you'll be slumming it here.
You are somewhat right. And after watching and reading a lot today i have realised that the joy is indeed in sound design. Like everything else it's an uphill task and like everything else it will turn into a joy too, soon.
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somedevil
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#16
14th January 2014
Old 14th January 2014
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I spent time reading the first few articles int he SOS archives and watching this video

Intro to Synthesis Part 1 - The Building Blocks of Sound & Synthesis - YouTube

And i now get the view that sound design is crucial and pretty much a required basic. However i am still feeling clueless as to how this knowledge will transition to practical use. I am guessing that window will open gradually. Afterall it's just my first day. I think perhaps ill read the curriculum of some Electronic music courses on the internet and follow them by finding my own knowledge resources. I thank you all very much for the encouragement and for setting me on the right path.

If you have any links, videos, courses etc that you think would help me . please don't hesitate.
I have all the time in the world to study and that's what i intend to do.

Thanks again folks.
Cheers !
#17
14th January 2014
Old 14th January 2014
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Also, if you're more comfortable writing with guitar/bass: record some stuff, then use an audio -> midi translator.
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