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Getting started with making music :-)

TheBatsEar

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So i'll buy a few instruments and start making a few tunes for fun. I have no clue what i'm doing, can't even read notes.
Since i always liked electronic music, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Jarre, Aphex Twin and so on, i'll start with a small analog synthesizer and a small sample machine.

I picked the Korg Minilogue XD (almost ordered, new it's 550€ or so) and the Korg Volca Sample (used for 70€, should be here next week) to get started, didn't want to spend much money for now.

Seems the Volca Sample can be used to get a basic groove using drum samples, and the Minilogue can be used to jam on top of that.
I don't have decided on a mixer or MIDI interface or DAW yet, not even sure i need it, but i'm open for suggestions. I mean, i could record my jams directly on tape or Minidisk :cool:

Check this dude out, he uses nothing but a Volca Sample to get a nice tune:

Anyone else into not so serious music making? What is your hardware, what kind of music do you make?
 
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TheBatsEar

TheBatsEar

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What recording software are you using?
None yet, i don't even have the hardware. What do you use?

The guy in the video probably just hooked the stereo-out from the Volca to his line in on the sound card. My Thinkpad doesn't seem to have line in, so i'll have to buy something.
 

Ricardus

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I'm big fan of the Ardour DAW which is available for all platforms, and is basically free. You can get it for a $1 donation. I also use the Harrison Mixbus DAW which is a commercial variant based on the Ardour code.

I run it under Linux.
 

raistlin65

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Vital software synth is an excellent wavetable synth. There is a free version which differs from the paid versions in the number of presets it has


So you might give it a shot.

If you need a DAW, the link in this Reddit post was recently active for a free copy of the 8 track version of Bitwig

https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitwig/comments/lskczn
It is a very good DAW, so you might want to see if you can still get a free copy of it.
 
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TheBatsEar

TheBatsEar

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It is a very good DAW, so you might want to see if you can still get a free copy of it.
I tried. They took my email and said they will send me a code. Nothing came so far.
Let there be spam! ;)
If they deliver i'll give it a try.

I run it under Linux.
Sounds cool, what Distro do you use? Debian/KDE here.
What kind of Midi interface do you use?
 

raistlin65

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I tried. They took my email and said they will send me a code. Nothing came so far.
Let there be spam! ;)
If they deliver i'll give it a try.


Sounds cool, what Distro do you use? Debian/KDE here.
What kind of Midi interface do you use?
Hopefully, that will work for you, as Bitwig runs on Linux.

One other thing: There are a TON of software synths that emulate hardware synths. For what that Korg Minilogue XD costs, you could get a midi controller keyboard and buy a couple of soft synths.

So unless you are someone who has to have the physical knobs and controls to play with, that can be the better way to go. And there are some free soft synths, too. For example, Dexed is free and emulates the Yamaha DX7 synth that was extremely popular in the 1980s


I don't know which software synths you would need to achieve the Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Jarre, Aphex Twin sound or which ones run on Linux. But I bet if you put them in a subject line and ask in the KVR Audio instruments forum, people could tell you.

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

Once you have discovered some soft synths you like, you can check KnobCloud to see if anyone is selling their copy. Many companies allow license transfer, and its a good way to save some money. Just be sure to pay with PayPal goods and services, not gift family and friends.


KVR Audio also has a buy and sell area of their forum. But you need to be a member for a couple of weeks and have a certain number of posts to use it.
 
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TheBatsEar

TheBatsEar

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Hopefully, that will work for you, as Bitwig runs on Linux.

One other thing: There are a TON of software synths that emulate hardware synths. For what that Korg Minilogue XD costs, you could get a midi controller keyboard and buy a couple of soft synths.

So unless you are someone who has to have the physical knobs and controls to play with, that can be the better way to go. And there are some free soft synths, too. For example, Dexed is free and emulates the Yamaha DX7 synth that was extremely popular in the 1980s


I don't know which software synths you would need to achieve the Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Jarre, Aphex Twin sound or which ones run on Linux. But I bet if you put them in a subject line and ask in the KVR Audio instruments forum, people could tell you.

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

Once you have discovered some soft synths you like, you can check KnobCloud to see if anyone is selling their copy. Many companies allow license transfer, and its a good way to save some money. Just be sure to pay with PayPal goods and services, not gift family and friends.


KVR Audio also has a buy and sell area of their forum. But you need to be a member for a couple of weeks and have a certain number of posts to use it.
Thanks man, bunch of very good info in there. I hope you don't mind me probing for some more infos later. :D

I think i'll go for real hardware for now. I like the idea of adjusting the sounds in real time, jazzing and jamming along. I buy used, so i can expect to get most of my money back, should this turn out to be another one of my countless unfinished projects.
 
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TheBatsEar

TheBatsEar

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I'm using Ubuntu Studio which has a low latency kernel by default. Nice distro. Comes with all of the content creation tools.
First time i heard about it! Cool :cool:
 

raistlin65

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Thanks man, bunch of very good info in there. I hope you don't mind me probing for some more infos later. :D

I think i'll go for real hardware for now. I like the idea of adjusting the sounds in real time, jazzing and jamming along. I buy used, so i can expect to get most of my money back, should this turn out to be another one of my countless unfinished projects.

Midi controller knobs can map to the knobs on a software synth. But yeah. I get what you mean.

That being said, I almost forgot that Diva runs on Linux. You should check it out as it is probably the most popular virtual analog hardware synth for that '70s and '80s sound:


And there are lots of preset packs available online. For example I have this one


Could be worth downloading the Diva demo. Because if you like what you hear, you could look for a hardware synth that also can be used as a midi controller on Linux.
 

ZolaIII

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DVDdoug

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I'm not a musician and I don't do this stuff but I'll still through a couple of thoughts at you...

If you're going to record voice (or anything else acoustic) you'll need a good microphone and an audio interface. Studios use "large diaphragm condenser" mics for vocals and almost everything else. They usually go for $100 or more. If you spend more than a few hundred dollars you can get "features' like a low-cut switch, and "pad" switch, variable patterns, etc. Or you can spend a lot more for a mic with no features, but the main difference in "sound quality" or "sound character" is frequency response and that can be tweaked with EQ.

A "basic" stereo interface also goes for $100 or more. Since it sounds like you'll be performing solo you don't need a multi-channel interface. (Although if you're recording drums you'll generally want more mics & more channels.) One feature to look for is zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring. There is always some latency (delay) through the computer and if there's too much latency it's difficult to perform. Again, you an spend a lot more for an interface but $100 -$200 interfaces are usually quite-good.

With just a MIDI keyboard and DAW (and virtual instruments) you can create a full virtual band or orchestra.

You don't need a mixer. Your DAW will mix. But a "small" USB mixer can double as an analog mixer and an interface. Just be aware that most inexpensive USB mixers only record the stereo mix. There are higher end USB mixers that double as multi-channel interfaces.

Audacity (free) isn't a full DAW but it can record mono or stereo and it do multi-track mix-down (so you can record one or two tracks at a time and mix later). But it doesn't have MIDI capability and it's missing some features so it's not really ideal for multi-track mixing
 

markanini

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Stay within Windows - OSX regarding DAW (purely for convince reasons) and welcome to the VTS world.
Agreed. Also a dual boot setup will remove unrelated apps using resource and mental distractions while running music software.

There's a way to learn quickly about lots of different software. Test every DAW and plugins by achieving simple goals, for example create a four on the floor groove. Is it intuitive to handle/navigate? Does it sound good? Does it bring results fast? The best tools are the ones that you know and rely on, discard everything that isn't that.
 

markanini

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There is no reason to stay within Windows or OSX for any of this.
Are you asking me or ZolaIII to prove a negative? I don't think any user of a mainstream OS has that much emotional investment. It gets the job done, that's enough for us, and it doesn't compel us to go on forums and defend it intensely. If the same attitude was seen from Linux users it would probably be 10x more popular.
 

ZolaIII

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There is no reason to stay within Windows or OSX for any of this.
I don't know really. Wine emulating some older ones (VST) will not work very well (or at all) or that it's convenient. Some newer ones are native compiled and for Linux.
Don't get me wrong I love Open Source.
 
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Blumlein 88

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There is no reason to stay within Windows or OSX for any of this.
While true, it is often easier to stay within Windows and OSx. If the Op already runs linux then okay, but if not then you are layering on learning to use linux along with everything else. Linux is easier than ever, but there are still dozens of little differences us linux users don't think about. Audio in particular you still don't have linux compatibility with lots of hardware like interfaces and mixers. I'd suggest that could come later, and the Op should use whichever OS he is already familiar with and likely already has a computer for.
 

markanini

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Don't get me wrong I love Open Source.
Me too. I use a lot of FOSS software every day, it does things proprietary software can't do or does it better. And I love discovering new stuff like this all the time. I'd only be glad if the same was true for the OS.
 
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