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My Questions to YOU! Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 14th January 2019
  #1
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My Questions to YOU!

I figured I'd try something fun, since there's a VERY good chance that a lot of you know a hell of a lot more than me, I'm doing a reverse Q+A with you! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on things, if there's one thing I like to do to avoid adulthood and responsibilities, it's to wax poetic on gear, the music industry and composing in general, so I submit to THEE:

- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together?

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

- What kind of gear do you listen to music with?

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.

- Why is New York so cold?

You have one week to answer these and your prize is making me look like I don't know anything and trust me...that feels goooooood
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Old 15th January 2019
  #2
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Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
I figured I'd try something fun, since there's a VERY good chance that a lot of you know a hell of a lot more than me, I'm doing a reverse Q+A with you! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on things, if there's one thing I like to do to avoid adulthood and responsibilities, it's to wax poetic on gear, the music industry and composing in general, so I submit to THEE:

- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together?

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

- What kind of gear do you listen to music with?

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.

- Why is New York so cold?

You have one week to answer these and your prize is making me look like I don't know anything and trust me...that feels goooooood
Tables TURNED!

Ok, I'll bite on some of these to kick it off. I don't play live, so those questions aren't usefully answered by me, but as some of my collaborators have threatened to rope me into live shows at some point I'll still watch with interest because I *know* they'll try to bring me in with the promise of playing guitar and the reality of being behind a keyboard.

Other questions - Spotify does my day-to-day listening, I have a collection of stuff that I've ripped to iTunes Match as well so it's always in the cloud, I guess. I do still buy the odd CD. The thing that will often sell me on a preorder of a physical copy, stupid as it is, is if it's signed by the artist. The last album I bought was Death Cab For Cutie's 'Thank You For Today' and I bought it because they signed a couple hundred copies and put them up on Amazon UK of all places. Talk about not supporting your local indie... but I fell for it anyway.

(Wait, that's not entirely true - I also bought a copy of 'Seven Swans' by Sufjan Stevens for my 4-year old, because he loves that record - we gave him a little boombox for Christmas - his tastes over the next few years may dictate most of what physical media I buy!)

New genres. Tough question. The question is "where" and "for whom" - Top 40 and Country are about the two genres I never listen to. Almost anything else is fair game in my world... I'd like jazz-pop to make a comeback. I feel like Steely Dan almost did it a few years ago when they played Coachella but there were no new bands making any inroads into the genre afterwards, so it was sadly a one-off.

I tend to listen through the same system I try to make music through, as it's also my work machine... so at the moment I'm running a Focusrite Clarett 8PreX into Tannoy 600A monitors. I reckon if I keep hearing the same records over and over on the work system, I might become a better mixer on these speakers as I know what's going on with stuff... when out and about it's usually Bose earbuds from an iPhone...

Those Spotify playlists are sometimes really interesting and other times really depressing, and it ebbs and flows I guess depending on what you listen to lately. This week mine is too heavy on the 70s/80s middle-of-the-roaders (I love Toto, OK? Sue me. It doesn't mean I wanna hear Glenn Frey deep cuts). There's some Mogwai, but not enough "new" post-rock for my liking. So sometimes I seek out Spotify's curated playlists, sometimes I let 'Artist Radio' do it's thing. Deezer, as a music service, had a better "auto-radio" function that was much smarter in terms of doing a mix of stuff that it knew I loved and that it thought I might love). Spotify's AI isn't there yet. I am 100% sure I discovered your stuff initially on someone's homemade retrowave Spotify playlist. I look at those home-curated lists less nowadays but sometimes one will grab me.

The Release Radar playlist is good too but it tends to keep my in my bubble... I guess it's just good for hearing weird B-sides and stuff that you wouldn't otherwise find because some obscure remix single gets released.

(Don't get me started on the 'Your Daily Mix' stuff... they can be nice if you want familiarity and you're feeling lazy, but they sure keep you in your ruts...)

New York has a maritime climate and you're asking someone who was born in Canada here so I really can only roll my eyes and tsk.
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Old 15th January 2019
  #3
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Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?
I think that artificial intelligence will create a new era of plugins that can sing in a pleasant way what you write in a textbox.

Just think to a very powerful Vocaloid, if you know it.
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Old 15th January 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?
Octatrack - long backing tracks (GB's if you need, streamed off CF card, malleable to a certain degree), up to 64MB in RAM for complete twistability, and so much more. Also a live looper. Also a FX machine. (4 in, 4 out). Good midi sequencer. Stable clock. Definitely a different headspace from the DAW, a good balance away from the PC and a great live tool.

MPC live, great playable pads, nice sound expansions, can take a project from computer DAW to the Live unit (most elements). Battery operated. Touchscreen. I found it too close to being a DAW in a box to bother keeping it (as I also have the Octatrack).

Old 15th January 2019
  #5
- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?

er......???

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together?

er......me no have no portable mixer

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

Download whole albums from Qobuz (Sublime+ subscription)

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

No clue - I am old

- What kind of gear do you listen to music with?

Portable rig:
FiiO M9 DAP with Qobuz playing 192k, 176k, 88k, 96k, and 44.1k 24 bit files
This gets transmitted via LDAC bluetooth codec to
Radsone EarStudio ES100 (a wonder gadget with a great EQ - check it out)
Or a Sony MUC-2BT1 Bluetooth (LDAC) neck band with MMCX connectors
Etymotic ER4-SR in ear monitors, Sennheiser 580 and Bose QC20i headphones
Home HiFi:
Qobuz on laptop, to Mutec MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock, to Grace Designs 903 headphone / monitor amp to Adam A5x monitors + sub

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.

Via my kids and girlfriend's daughter. But have enough old music to catch up on. Kiasmos & Future Islands were my last 'new' discoveries. I can just about tolerate the new 'moan / monotone' half singing half rapping styles.

- Why is New York so cold?
its an island and the wind off the Hudson river is brutal in winter, I lived next to it on Riverside Drive, upper West side as a child.

Thank you for doing this Q & A
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Old 15th January 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
I think that artificial intelligence will create a new era of plugins that can sing in a pleasant way what you write in a textbox.

Just think to a very powerful Vocaloid, if you know it.

Oh it was a day of celebration when they started selling Vocaloid as a VST in English, I bought that right away! I use that to sketch out vocal hooks and it works pretty well, UI could use some work but overall pretty awesome! As someone who hates hates hates singing, I would personally pay money for someone to develop a high end version of that so I don't have to yelp at a microphone ever again hahah
Old 15th January 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Tables TURNED!


New genres. Tough question. The question is "where" and "for whom" - Top 40 and Country are about the two genres I never listen to. Almost anything else is fair game in my world... I'd like jazz-pop to make a comeback. I feel like Steely Dan almost did it a few years ago when they played Coachella but there were no new bands making any inroads into the genre afterwards, so it was sadly a one-off.

New York has a maritime climate and you're asking someone who was born in Canada here so I really can only roll my eyes and tsk.
Oh my god, I'm going to say this in a forum so it's public knowledge and you can hold me to this: Once I get big enough not to care if people buy my albums, I'm making a full length space yacht rock album, with prog rock elements. And given that in this theoretical multiverse I'm also rich, I'm making a band with Thundercat, Jacob Collier, Kamasi Washington, Louis Cole, Vulfpeck and Steve Lukather
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Old 15th January 2019
  #8
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Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
Oh my god, I'm going to say this in a forum so it's public knowledge and you can hold me to this: Once I get big enough not to care if people buy my albums, I'm making a full length space yacht rock album, with prog rock elements. And given that in this theoretical multiverse I'm also rich, I'm making a band with Thundercat, Jacob Collier, Kamasi Washington, Louis Cole, Vulfpeck and Steve Lukather
Quoted for absolute permanence. You can damn well bet I'm gonna buy that on double-vinyl.
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Old 15th January 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms? I'm not a musician yet, but hopefully I'll know what in the world this means someday. Just started learning accordion, so I'm on my way up!

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together? Yeah someday I'll know what this means maybe

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist? Honestly the only music I've really actually bought in the last few years has been from you, and I'll take what I can get. Albums are great, but I really really loved Deep Cuts, so if it's as good as that then I don't care. Just the most often it can come is good for me

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing? Ha ha I think labeling genres is more and more useless. No one knows what something's genre is unless they're very into the labels of it all and even then they may be wrong. I have no clue what genre you're making other than 'ear movies'.
Also, I personally really really want to do new, bad-idea-sounding stuff someday (accordion mixed with synth/pop and whatnot) and who knows what the heck that would be.


- What kind of gear do you listen to music with? usually just our cheap TV or computer monitor. Sometimes the car's audio. Sometimes my old CD player at work. But definitely nothing fancy

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco. Eh Pandora, I guess. But mostly I don't like the new stuff I hear. I'm incredibly picky. I first heard Sunset Blood when my cousin gave me a CD from some musical loot boxes thing and I loved it. Played it again and again. Only physical media I have of yours and would like more...

- Why is New York so cold? I dunno but Portland is also somewhat cold. More rainy, I think. You should visit sometime.

You have one week to answer these and your prize is making me look like I don't know anything and trust me...that feels goooooood
Old 15th January 2019
  #10
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You should look into Vallenato/Cumbia and Middle Eastern implementations of accordion, they will REALLY expand your horizons of chords, agility and composition, them ****s cool!
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Old 15th January 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
You should look into Vallenato/Cumbia and Middle Eastern implementations of accordion
Ok, that sounds very cool. I'll definitely do that. Thank you!
Follow-up thought/question if you don't mind:

So as I said I'm learning accordion but also like electronica-sounding synth stuff and whatnot... But when I try to find a band that uses synth and the like AND accordion/folk stuff it seems like they don't exist as far as I can tell.

I'm completely new to playing music and I don't have a lot of experience listening to a wide variety of stuff since I generally won't like most things... So is my idea of a folk/electronica band just something that isn't going to work in your opinion?

I'm thinking something like if you and The Decemberists had a music baby. Very different genres. But putting them together to make a new sound... Would that work?

And I'm not talking covering a folk song in a different genre or anything. I mean having a band or whatever where the original music is played using a weird variety of stuff. Is my inexperience sending me down a dark path of disappointment because that "square peg round hole" kind of forced genre-mixing will just sound bad no matter what?

Sorry, kind of a long question.
Old 15th January 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC View Post
OT can import backing tracks (Static 'machine' samples, up to 2GB per sample, max of 128 static samples per project) -Imported via USB to a CF card. CF card can be 128 GB in size-maybe more...mine is 64 and works great. You can't record directly to the CF card, but you can record directly to the Flex RAM and you have 85.5 seconds to work with there (spread over 8 tracks) if memory serves me. You can allocate as much Flex RAM as you like for each track, keeping in mind you have 85.5MB total to spread around where needed.

Not familiar with the Live but for sample mangling the OT has the edge for sure. For live performance OT has the fader, which can really bring the heat if you set the right 'wow' moment parameters for each scene. I think you can handle it.
That's good to know, thank you! How is the timestretching algorithm? I have stockholm syndrome with Elastique and whenever I use something that fudges up the drum transients when I slow it down, I get cranky hahah
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Old 15th January 2019
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofine View Post
Octatrack - long backing tracks (GB's if you need, streamed off CF card, malleable to a certain degree), up to 64MB in RAM for complete twistability, and so much more. Also a live looper. Also a FX machine. (4 in, 4 out). Good midi sequencer. Stable clock. Definitely a different headspace from the DAW, a good balance away from the PC and a great live tool.

MPC live, great playable pads, nice sound expansions, can take a project from computer DAW to the Live unit (most elements). Battery operated. Touchscreen. I found it too close to being a DAW in a box to bother keeping it (as I also have the Octatrack).

Oof that's neck-to-neck, sounds like. I'm struggling to find the total Live Show Unicorn, which is a computer-less solution that will play back backing tracks, but also act as an audio in and never crash. I'm currently using either Traktor, synced up to Bitwig (on a PC) or possibly an iPad, but Windows and iOS give me night terrors as far as stability goes. Nothing terrible yet, but I KNOW that moment is coming where I will find myself as a grown man on stage with a mask and hoodie and a lump of circuits, updating into oblivion hahah
Old 16th January 2019
  #14
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s wave's Avatar
- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?

Long is relative
MPC Live: has more sample storage more RAM = Longer wave form sample
Octatrack: I imagine you could loop a longer waveform but not pure sample

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together?

Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 Professional (I don't own this though)

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

Rarely buy whole albums I prefer EPs

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

All genres will not be cancelled, no. Acoustic/EDM Fusion dance with arhythmic and
non- melodic breaks - Alternative Dance music genre is the 'new thing'

- What kind of gear do you listen to music with?

Large speakers or small digital speakers

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.

Googling 'Hot' or "New" producers in regional areas / Independent Music online charts

- Why is New York so cold?

Not cold in summer / If you mean emotionally cold you haven't been to a block party yet.
Old 16th January 2019
  #15
ok, I'll play.
- MPC 1000 with JJ OS at the moment. Both Octotrack and MPC Live do, but I'm saving up for a laptop instead. (running Bitwig like an instrument) I'll keep the MPC 1000. It's different enough.
- I need a new live mixer! I've got a superduper Befaco Hexmix & Expander coming, in kit form. I have to build it but it's a neat thing. Stoked!
- Used to buy a lot of EPs on vinyl, but not anymore. Occasional Album if it's really epic. My money goes into gear now, and I don't have the space for more vinyl or even recordplayers atm.
- Trap? Oh there will be something new. Hoping for a new movement in electronic dance music based around live performance instead of based around a particular subgenre. More people should take their music to a stage. It's fun!
- Listening setup? An old Sennheiser HD-25 has stuck to my head and I can't get it off.
- For new music I go through the charts on clone.nl and rushhour.nl and there's a bunch of youtube channels that are in my feed. Some old some new music. I avoid Spotify, iTunes etc. I miss flipping through crates, all the recordstores in my city have vanished, but the thrill of finding a gem in the rubble is still there. <3
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
- Why is New York so cold?
because of this guy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
...feels goooooood
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcadian View Post

1. How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

2. Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

3. Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.
1. Don't buy. YouTube, streaming, etc. Sorry. Your money is in performing. Same on my end.

2. Trap is very American. Over here in Europe I have barely heard of it, and never hear it on the streets, etc. I don't really know much about it other than it seems to involve a lot of Valium.

I think dance will always be around. Disco influences (octave bass, string runs, wah guitar, off-beat hi-hat) will come and go. In Europe the Germans are always good for throwing something weird into the mix. German techno has its moments. Sometimes they're even happy! Sometimes.

3. Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, and YouTube rabbit holing. That is how I found your music: patiently checking out the recommendations on the right side and keeping the ones that worked for me.

RD
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smashycomman View Post
Ok, that sounds very cool. I'll definitely do that. Thank you!
Follow-up thought/question if you don't mind:

So as I said I'm learning accordion but also like electronica-sounding synth stuff and whatnot... But when I try to find a band that uses synth and the like AND accordion/folk stuff it seems like they don't exist as far as I can tell.

I'm completely new to playing music and I don't have a lot of experience listening to a wide variety of stuff since I generally won't like most things... So is my idea of a folk/electronica band just something that isn't going to work in your opinion?

I'm thinking something like if you and The Decemberists had a music baby. Very different genres. But putting them together to make a new sound... Would that work?

And I'm not talking covering a folk song in a different genre or anything. I mean having a band or whatever where the original music is played using a weird variety of stuff. Is my inexperience sending me down a dark path of disappointment because that "square peg round hole" kind of forced genre-mixing will just sound bad no matter what?

Sorry, kind of a long question.
For the love of God NEVER EVER EVER EVER ask anyone's opinion on trying new things out!! It's not even inexperience, you will put square pegs down round holes your entire music career, that's the whole point, eventually you'll get a winning combination, but you need to try a ton of stuff out!
Learn how to be ok with that. Learn to be happy with failed alchemies. Learn to fail musically. Then the process will be so much more enjoyable.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Originally Posted by starcadian View Post
For the love of God NEVER EVER EVER EVER ask anyone's opinion on trying new things out!! It's not even inexperience, you will put square pegs down round holes your entire music career, that's the whole point, eventually you'll get a winning combination, but you need to try a ton of stuff out!
Learn how to be ok with that. Learn to be happy with failed alchemies. Learn to fail musically. Then the process will be so much more enjoyable.
Heh ok!
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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Ok, ixnay on the MPC Live and Octatrack, Akai just announced the Force and I'm LOSING MY MIND, I need to take that thing on tour.

Quote:
Akai Release The Force - And Its Impressive



Standalone, clip launching, performance beast
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
- Live performance: Octatrack or MPC Live? Do EITHER hold super long waveforms?

I prefer the Elektron sequencing UI, but it really is a matter of personal preference. My current live sequencing rig is a Social Entropy Engine and an Analog Rytm MkII. (I have a few 5U sequencers too...)

- What super portable mixer do you use to route all your live gear together?

When I was playing live (which I haven't done in a few years) I used a rack mounted (gasp) Behringer UB2442. It sounded pretty decent and was surprisingly reliable, even after taking it to Burning Man a few times.

- How often do you buy albums and do you prefer shorter length EPs at more frequency from an artist?

I buy albums a couple times a month. There is a music shop within walking distance from my house that's been run by the same guy for as long as I can remember. He knows what I like (deep house to prog rock) and recommends stuff. I miss the days when I could spend entire days buying albums (on vinyl) ...

- Will we be canceling all genres until all that's left is trap? If not, what genres do you see popping up as the new thing?

God I hope not... I think what is interesting is that, much like the "good old days" when people were first combining genres in the instrument world (e.g., the Stones combining pop and blues), young people are combining genres in the EM space. But I also see things coming around in circles, so it will take a break-out artist to launch something really new (think Nirvana's grunge smashing the hair metal/punk era)

- What kind of gear do you listen to music with?
I still have an audiophile stereo system, but except when my old friends stop by to tell stories of the distant past over a Genesis album, it's largely furniture.
Usually, I listen in my car or in cans (never earbuds!) on a plane; but when something hits me I really like, I take it into the studio for a critical listen.

- Where do you go to discover new music? My Spotify Discover Weekly thinks all I want is Nu-Disco.

The aforementioned music shop owner and friends. I do occasionally pick a small group of artists I like, and create a channel on Pandora to see what else comes up. I discovered Stephan Bodzin and Niacin that way.

- Why is New York so cold?
I live in LA. If it's below 70, I don't go outside...

Thanks for doing this Q/A!
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