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Hoping For Some Help Getting Started
Old 15th October 2013
Gear Head

Hoping For Some Help Getting Started

Hey, everyone.

New to the forum. Hoping for some help.

I've been out of the music scene for a while now, disenchanted with most of what I've heard since about 2000. However, some of the newer electro-pop (hope that's the right genre term) have re-energized a dormant love of music--so much so that I've become very motivated to start making music again. Some of my recent inspirations include the following:

Passion Pit
Empire of the Sun
Two Door Cinema
Niki and the Dove
Glass Candy
Inception/Michael Clayton/Last Samurai/The Fountain/Solaris/Oblivion soundtracks

Back when I was a college student I played in various alternative rock bands. I became proficient on the bass guitar but also dabbled with electric guitar and drums as well. I'm kind of stuck as far as how to proceed next: I'm not sure whether I should look into purchasing analog, digital, or a combination of both kinds of equipment.

I'm interested in trying my hand at producing music at home, but I ultimately wouldn't be happy performing music behind a solely digital setup (like Chvrches or something). I have my eye on a set of electronic drums, a miniKorg, and one of those Kossilators. Then again, I've also been looking at some DAWs like ProLogic, Ableton, etc.

Should I put together a collection of hardware (I currently own an electric and acoustic guitar) to record on or stick to a simple DAW program alone to cut my teeth on? Are there some free and relatively simple DAWS to be download on the net?

I probably don't even know the correct questions to even ask at this point, but I'm hoping many of you will help point me in the correct direction through a little prodding.

TIA for any help.

FWIW, I'm on a pc laptop.
Old 15th October 2013
Lives for gear
mixer mixer's Avatar
Welcome to gearslutz!

The first thing to do is get your feet wet and download demos of DAW software to see what workflow you're comfortable with.

Second after first step is to determine what kind of interface you need based on budget. An audio interface lets you record from mic or instrument to your Mac/PC. Depending on your needs you could go from a 2 channel to an 8 channel with expansion based on how many tracks you want to record simultaneously. Use the search function to see what people recommend based on your needs or you could go with my biased suggestions and get a steinberg ur22 or the 8 channel ur unit.

Third is mics, again search based on application.

Fourth is to treat your recording space if possible to avoid sound reflections, the search function comes in handy doesn't it?

And fifth, monitors. General consensus say Yamaha HS is the standard but your ears are the final test.

Happy recording!
Old 15th October 2013
Gear Addict
DSPDiva's Avatar

I'm going to agree with parts of azndnbdub's answer:

First, definitely go out and get some DAW demo's. Depending on what you used to work on, the workflow of some DAWs are going to be easier to learn than others. Also, while you're there, there are plenty of online tutorials on how to use the DAWs. Start there.

Also going to agree on the interface. Something like a 2 in 2 out should work fine for you. If all that EDM is what you're trying to make, you're probly just going to be looking at a bunch of digital instruments. A DAW like Logic Pro or Ableton will come with a lot sounds already built in to their library, so you can start. Also, invest in a midi controller. That's pretty much going to be where you're going to do the majority of your work. Those electronic drums seem nice if you're really set on not doing everything inside the computer. Still digital, but then you don't have to worry about treating your room/ buying mics, etc. until you're really sure you're gonna be recording natural instruments. Remember guitars and bass can all go in DI, just invest in a few good amp sims and you'll be fine.

So I'm going to skip 3 and 4 and make it right to five. Monitors. No, the general consensus on GS is not the Yamahas. Everyone has their own opinion and I've seen like a billion threads on monitors. There's never a winner in any of these threads. Listen to them all. Your ears are the ones that are making the decision here. None of these guys are going to sit in your room and listen to your monitors all day long, you are. So go to a Guitar Center, plug your phone in and play some music you're really familiar with. Choose which monitors you think will fit your needs. I personally own a pair of KRKs, but last night I was at a GC and I heard them in that room. They sounded really muddy in the low end, the yamahas sounded like bookshelf speakers and the adams with the ribbons sounded wayy too harsh. I ended up making the conclusion that the dynaudios where what I liked the most. That being said, my boyfriend loved the top end of the ribbons on the adams, was impressed with the mids in the yamahas and had a completely different opinion than i did. so go listen to them yourself. If you can't decide, go with a pair of headphones for now. They're cheaper and will buy you some time til you can shell out the cash for the monitors you want.

Good luck.
Old 16th October 2013
Gear Head

Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

DSPDiva, can I ask what I might need a midi controller for? I've read a few threads about them on here, but I'm not quite sure why I would need one in my case.
Old 16th October 2013
Gear Addict
DSPDiva's Avatar

Originally Posted by Integralpix View Post
Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

DSPDiva, can I ask what I might need a midi controller for? I've read a few threads about them on here, but I'm not quite sure why I would need one in my case.
Basically just to make performing easier. I'm just going to use this one as an example:

Akai Professional Mini Keyboard MPKmini Miami Pro Audio and Recording

Let's say you get a DAW with a sound library already in it or you purchase some virtual instruments, your sounds are loaded, now you just have to lay it down. If you have a midi controller, you can just play the notes and record it. This particular one even has 8 pads so you can map your drum samples to the pads and it would even be that much easier. Use the keys for any other parts or if you'd prefer to lay down a bass line like that rather than using a di, it's possible too. There's pretty much endless possibilities to how you can create using a midi controller really. That's just my suggestion tho.
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