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Newbie frustration - calling out for help! Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Newbie frustration - calling out for help!

Greetings,

Looking for help! So my husband and I have on hand and acquired some new gear to our growing collection. We’ve been just live jamming for awhile and want to transition into actual recording. It’s quite fun and really brings a awesome component to our relationship!

However, I’m pretty lost in this whole set up and functionality of it all. Engaging in the midi and interfacing etc. has been disappointing and frustrating. We’ve invested recently in new gear and I’ve spent quite sometime trying to learn and understand all the terms and processes online and YouTube to obtain our desired outcome- but it’s just not happening. So I am asking for any and all help that anyone can give out there! Okay here we go....

Our current montage of hardware gear and accessories are:

Roland Juno-1 (synth I’ve had since 1999
Roland TR-8 (recent purchase-updated drivers)
Roland “boutique” SE-02 (recent purchase-updated drivers)
Boss RC-202 (husband during live jams usually has this set up to the JUNO)
AKAI Key 25 (bought this used online to obtain some sort of “controller” functionality, also gave us access to Ableton)
Iconnectivity MIO 10 (this was what we thought would mesh this all together with room to grow)
Ableton 10 lite (apprehensive to upgrade to a full(er) version until I know for sure we need to)
Laptop running windows 10

We also have another within this decade Roland synth that is currently non-functional pending repair as well as various guitars, and basses in which we are hoping to use in the future as well.

So, what are wanting out of this? Well, our ultimate desire is to run limited DAW- really only to record if that’s possible. We love the actual hardware aspect to create and to be honest, sitting in front of the laptop sucks all the creative juices from myself, and hubby isn’t computer inclined at all- hence why I’m on here

I’ve recently learned (?) that we likely need to purchase a audio interface and the the Mio is just simply MIDI...right? (Again, newbie) until then we’re aux cording from laptop to a amp with what functions and almost everything else is just live play. We realize more amps are to be purchased soon. Okay so right now I’m trying and failing at getting anything but the APC keys to function with Ableton. The TR-8 is “functioning” but only with Abletons “sounds”. This isn’t really what we want- we desire to use the hardware in its natural form. Is this asking for too much? I’ve learned external instrument is not included with our Ableton version therefore we are limited at that- I’m willing to upgrade but apprehensive due to not knowing if that’s what we REALLY need? The MIDI with additional audio channel function is only functional with the AKAI, and the TR-8 (again with only Abletons sounds). This is getting quite expensive to say the least and to purchase gear/programs that don’t fall within our scope is a waste of time and money. Do we need a sequencer as well? A special vintage magic synth cable/cord? Hire a pro engineer to come by and set us up?- kidding.

I know this is a loooong post, but I wanted to be as informative as possible (possibly confusing too) to save anyone gifting their knowledge time and effort- hopefully.

Thank you in advance!

-A
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

"I’ve recently learned (?) that we likely need to purchase a audio interface and the the Mio is just simply MIDI...right?"

Right.

Or a USB mixer.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna242 View Post
....Looking for help! So my husband and I have on hand and acquired some new gear to our growing collection.
I see a problem, right here. You should not be "collecting" gear. You should not be buying a lot of things you don't know how to use and only then asking "what do these things do?". IMO, you should buy maybe ONE thing you don't know how to use, learn how to use that well and then buy the next thing. Each one of these machines has its own learning curve. You could spend all your time learning the unique architecture of every device you own, and have no time left over for playing music.

Quote:
However, I’m pretty lost in this whole set up and functionality of it all. Engaging in the midi and interfacing etc. has been disappointing and frustrating... Well, our ultimate desire is to run limited DAW- really only to record if that’s possible. We love the actual hardware aspect to create and to be honest, sitting in front of the laptop sucks all the creative juices from myself, and hubby isn’t computer inclined at all- hence why I’m on here
the keyboards and controllers that you have are for the most part "computers" - they just have really tiny screens and a jog wheel and N/S/E/W buttons instead of typewriter and a mouse. The system of menus for each one of these units can be as deep as any DAW. There are no shortcuts around this, other than to use fewer devices or stick to the presets.

Quote:
This isn’t really what we want- we desire to use the hardware in its natural form.
I would suggest that you still use your DAW as the sequencer. Hardware sequencers will not "speed up" the amount of time you spend programming. I used to run a bunch of keyboards sequenced via my computer. The MIDI goes from the keyboard (with local off), into the computer, then out of the computer and back into the keyboard so it can (finally) make sound. While it is in the DAW it gets recorded as well. Once you record the MIDI track, that keyboard will play back its part. I had an 8x8 MIDI interface to handle all the keyboards and drum brains I owned. So that each keyboard was part of my 'orchestra'.

In practice, I really only played on the one (nicest) keyboard and all the others sat on shelves and functioned solely as sound modules.

So in that paradigm, the MIDI sequencer in the DAW is like your 'recorder'. You can play it live, you can draw the notes in if you like. The MIDI information in each track is the "take" and the keyboards themselves generate the sounds. At the end, you could either print them to DAW audio tracks or you could mix them on a mixer down to stereo and just print that. The MIDI information is only the performance - what keys, when, how hard etc. Which is cool because you can edit the performance as much as you like, and you can change the sound after the fact if you want.

Each MIDI track is like a robot who has learned his part. Each hardware keyboard you own is like the instrument that robot is holding.

Yes, you will need an audio interface to record the actual audio coming out of these keyboards. And if you want to do vocals, guitars and so on, you certainly need an audio interface. As I said you could print the audio track by track - as you go, or you have all your keyboards play together like a "band", but then you will need a mixer.

The other way of approaching recording is to forget about MIDI altogether. Record the output of the keyboards as audio. If you make a mistake, you won't be able to fix the MIDI, you probably have to play it again. Just like you would if you played guitar or sang vocals. I feel recording keyboard parts as audio, even though you have to commit to a sound and you lose all the editing, transposing, quantizing capabilities of MIDI, is way less "computeristic" than dealing with MIDI. Hardware sequencers are also "computers", just computers with really small crappy screens, no mouse or keyboard and incapable of doing audio.

Maybe it's less computeristic because you don't have those features. Of course, it puts a greater demand on your chops and your musicianship.

Quote:
This is getting quite expensive to say the least and to purchase gear/programs that don’t fall within our scope is a waste of time and money. Do we need a sequencer as well?
Literally any full-featured DAW will also have a sequencer. (I have no idea how they structure the "Lite" version of these programs. ) You may have to dump that "Lite" software.

Quote:
Hire a pro engineer to come by and set us up?- kidding
.
Why is that a joke? I do a lot of consulting for people who are trying to set up their studios. Many of them are people who went out and bought too much stuff up front.

According to them, these consultations are money well spent. I just happen to agree with them.

Quote:
This is getting quite expensive to say the least
How about spending money to buy gear you don't know how to use, aren't sure you need, and in some cases don't really understand what it is ? That's what's expensive. Paying someone to show you how it works, clear up your misunderstandings get you off on the right foot, and recommend smart purchases is actually the one expenditure that will "rescue" all the other money you have spent.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I would suggest you to take things one step/device at a time.

LESSON 1:
Connect the Akai key 25 midi out to the Roland Juno1 midi in.
Find out how to set the midi channels, to play on the Akai and have the Roland to produce the sound (Akai = master key and Roland = sound generator).

LESSON 2:
Now place the midi interface between the two; Akai -> interface -> Roland.

When you're able to get those three devices to work as explained above, you're ready to take it a step further.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate your time and effort.

My comment about hiring I pro was not meant to come off as an insult to anyone that has indeed invested into this option. I apologize if my satire wasn’t well written.

Again, thank you for the replies.
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