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Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

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Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby AnnaKl » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:09 pm

Hi,

my name is Anna and I have just finished my university degree and finally want to start producing music (I wanted to do so since my childhood but never had time and money)

I already have read a lot through about all available tools. And wow it is a lot!

Anyway. Right now I have decided to go for Ableton Live Suit (since I still get student discount) and likely Ableton Push 2

But google could not help answering one simple question:

1. Is this setup the right one for producing electronic music?

I have a particular style I want to reach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucqGK_QJeTk

2. I am really wondering if I put my money best with that setup?

Because as far I have figure out Ishome for example only uses a Korg NanoController :D which I could get used for 20$

I really would appreciate some competent answers which pushes me in the right direction!

I am not even sure if this here is a nice communities I can go for to get friendly answers for newbies or if this is for more advanced ones?

Last but not least:
I have studied all tracks from Ishome and I noticed that she often uses the same/similar sound snippets (i dont even know yet if this is the right term)

3. Where would I get also such sound snippets?
4. Can I create something like the wind instrument here with ableton live https://youtu.be/ucqGK_QJeTk?t=157 or do I need some more software tools and if so, which?
5. Where do I get usually vocals from like this: https://youtu.be/ucqGK_QJeTk?t=220 or this https://youtu.be/FeHkNSAuZiU?t=83

I would appreciate a lot if you would answer these 5 questions.

Ty
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby zenguitar » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:47 pm

Welcome to the forums Anna. We welcome people whether they are beginners, experts, or anything in between.

People are very helpful here, but don’t worry if you don’t get fast replies. It is always quieter at the weekends.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:11 pm

AnnaKl wrote:I am not even sure if this here is a nice communities I can go for to get friendly answers for newbies or if this is for more advanced ones?

Ty

Someone else will have to answer the tech questions (I'm a live sound guy and guitar player) but I'm with zenguitar, this is a very friendly forum and you are very welcome. :thumbup:
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:52 pm

AnnaKl wrote:Hi,
my name is Anna and I have just finished my university degree and finally want to start producing music (I wanted to do so since my childhood but never had time and money)

I already have read a lot through about all available tools. And wow it is a lot!

Welcome Anna, and yes there is a lot of stuff out there! The good news is that the vast majority of it is very good stuff - we are quite spoiled for choice these days.

AnnaKl wrote:1. Is this setup the right one for producing electronic music?
I have a particular style I want to reach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucqGK_QJeTk

Looking quickly at the video, yes, Ableton is very good at that kind of thing. To be fair, any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation - Ableton is one of many) is good at that kind of thing if you use it right, but Ableton is popular with electronic music makers and makes perfect sense, especially with the student discount.

Ableton Push is an optional extra - you don't need it to use Ableton but having a controller of some kind to assist the creative process is never a bad idea and the Push looks to be perfect for your needs.

Sound On Sound did a big review of the Push 2 in December 2015 and said a lot of nice things about it.

AnnaKl wrote:2. I am really wondering if I put my money best with that setup?

From your description above, I would say it's a good use of the money yes. There is no objectively 'best' solution really, the trick is to get something you can use to achieve your objectives.

Everyone has their own opinions, but given you're starting from scratch I think you've done well to identify Ableton as the right sort of tool for what you want to do.

AnnaKl wrote:Because as far I have figure out Ishome for example only uses a Korg NanoController :D which I could get used for 20$

Don't worry too much about the equipment others use. There is a lot more to music production than the equipment! As much of it is down to the experience and skills of the people making it, from composers to engineers, as it is to the gear.

AnnaKl wrote:I have studied all tracks from Ishome and I noticed that she often uses the same/similar sound snippets (i dont even know yet if this is the right term)

3. Where would I get also such sound snippets?

These will almost certainly be samples (small sections of digitally recorded audio that can be used in many different ways). Ableton Suite comes with a lot of them but you can add more later; there are many companies (and indivduals) offering samples of pretty much any sound you can imagine.

Furthermore, samples can be manipulated, chopped, sliced, pitched and mangled in creative ways by Ableton, so if that's something you discover you like doing then you should have a lot of fun.

I can't find the link right now but someone once composed a nice little piece of music using nothing more than the samples they made by recording a teacup being hit in different ways!

AnnaKl wrote:4. Can I create something like the wind instrument here with ableton live https://youtu.be/ucqGK_QJeTk?t=157 or do I need some more software tools and if so, which?

Ableton comes with a bunch of software instruments and although I haven't used them myself, that sounds very much like a slightly filtered brass sample and I would be extremely surprised if you can't achieve something similar if you wish using them.

AnnaKl wrote:5. Where do I get usually vocals from like this: https://youtu.be/ucqGK_QJeTk?t=220 or this https://youtu.be/FeHkNSAuZiU?t=83

To be honest you could probably get something similar recording your own voice doing the vowel sounds and applying some effects (in Ableton) to it. Alternatively, there are countless vocal samples available in various libraries.

One thing I would recommend is not to get too fixated on trying to replicate the exact sounds in the work of an artist you like. Sure, aim for a similar type of material but once you have your setup and start learning how to use it, exploring the samples it comes with etc. you'll probably find it more rewarding to find your own sound.

Who knows ... later on someone may hear something you've created and then post on a forum like this one asking how to replicate that :D

One thing you haven't said much about is your computer ... you may want to verify that it is powerful enough to run Ableton (it probably is). Also, if you don't have one then you should probably think about some kind of audio interface (usually connected via USB), which will provide audio inputs and outputs to Ableton and will sound much better than the built-in soundcard.

This comes in particularly useful for monitoring (listening to your work as you progress it on speakers) and recording the odd sound or sample of your own (high quality inputs). If that's something you want to know more about I would suggest starting a separate thread as there is a whole new discussion to be had there (and it doesn't have to cost the earth!)

There are also a number of threads already on the forum about audio interfaces, so a few searches should point you in the right direction. You may want to wait until you're a little more familiar with the equipment you have and have used it for a while. That way you'll have developed a workflow and will be able to provide more information about your specific needs when asking (and/or responding to) questions.
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby AnnaKl » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:35 pm

Wow what an awesome answer! Very kind of you, thanks!

I use a DELL XPS 7950 that should do the job :)

Thank you also for giving me the term sample. And yes, I don't want to copy her. I just like the style very much. I know the learning curve will be tough I have read a lot of people gave up quickly. But your post made me confident to buy that setup and try it out :)

If anyone has further tips I appreciate each.
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:21 pm

AnnaKl wrote:Very kind of you, thanks!

You're more than welcome. It's great to see people getting into music production and (these days especially) it can be very confusing at first. You came to the right place.

AnnaKl wrote:I use a DELL XPS 7950 that should do the job :)

Yes - no worries there, but I had to ask. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of their hardware which no amount of advice can fix!

AnnaKl wrote:Thank you also for giving me the term sample. And yes, I don't want to copy her. I just like the style very much. I know the learning curve will be tough I have read a lot of people gave up quickly. But your post made me confident to buy that setup and try it out :)

Great ... certainly the product is capable of what you want to do, it's just a question of how you get on with it and its learning curve.

Ableton offer a free 10 day trial of Suite: https://www.ableton.com/en/trial/

Though 10 days is nowhere near enough for you to learn it properly, at least you'll get a bit of a feel for how it works, so if you absolutely hate it for whatever reason then you won't have lost any money.

AnnaKl wrote:If anyone has further tips I appreciate each.

I'm sure others will have additional thoughts. The Sound On Sound forums are a brilliant resource for people with any level of experience, and if you use your forum account to ask questions as you learn, then you will gain much from it.

We're a friendly community here and really want to help folks out, so I hope we see you more on an ongoing basis. Once you're an established member we even have a forum that you can share your work in and ask for constructive feedback. Later you can also give others the benefit of things you've learned too :thumbup:
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:45 pm

All I'd offer is to try to get hold of a few DAWs before settling on one - and even then be open to chopping and changing as the need arises. Ableton is perfectly capable, but it's not the only game in town, and samples/loops are not the only way to make music.

You are going to need an audio interface and many of those come with cut-down and demo versions of the popular DAWs - that will give you chance to try things out to see what works for you.

But I'd echo that it's great to see someone starting out. Best of luck! :thumbup:
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby CS70 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:28 am

Welcome!

As just out of school, any penny probably counts, so - while Ableton is great - you may want to check out Cakwalk by Bandlab as DAW (at https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk) - it's a fully fledged product, yet completely free and with amazing support directly from the developers if something's off (I had a problem last week, asked in the Cakewalk forum and got it solved extremely quickly ).

You will still have to get your sample libraries ("sounds snippets") but at least there's some money saved.

And, especially at the start.. do not give up if it seems you aren't going anywhere: there's a lot to learn and while all DAWs do pretty much the same, at start you have to learn both production in musical terms, the technicalities which are involved with actually creating and mixing music down to a hard disk and the particular details of your DAW of choice, whatever it is. It can feel pretty overwhelming!

I do remember well looking at the DAW screen and not having the slightest clue on where to start from. At the beginning it can feel very frustrating. But it will come! Apart from the actual inspiration to the specific music you invent, all the production is quite logical once you understand what's going on.

Best of luck!
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:59 am

My thoughts . . . even if you decide on Ableton Live as your DAW of choice, don't rush out and buy a Push 2 straight away. See if you can play with some other controllers, either friends or at a shop or if you have to pester (I mean flatter) someone after a gig. Whatever it takes.

You see, I bought one on the strength of many impressive vids online, but somehow missed the fact the idiot thing is absolutely locked to follow the active track in Live and can't be locked to a specific device or track independently of that. For some this won't be a big deal - me, I cannot fathom the mentality behind such a decision. I really didn't like the rubber / membrane buttons or the feedback from same either, and find the pads virtually unplayable. I could actually go on but it's not my intention to turn this into a rant about how much I personally dislike the Push 2 but just to say anyone might, the OP included - so caveat emptor, do more research than I did and enjoy the process!

If I had to do it again, I'd be saving my pennies for an Akai Pro Force - and I think I'd try hard to play with one in the flesh before buying. It's significantly more expensive than a P2 and it's probably unfair in many ways to directly compare the two directly but if the OP is just starting out then something like this is a vastly more versatile and immediately useful than a mere controller for the DAW software. Though I believe it is that too, and more, with deep compatibility with Live.

Hardware audio and MIDI and CV IO, onboard synthesis and sampler functionality (pretty much a standalone version of Live itself if you squint at it philosophically) . . . so, controller, synths, samplers, drum machines . . . soundcard, midi and cv interfacing.

Beginning to not look quite so expensive relative to P2 in the context of someone starting out and looking for exactly that list of things, and in what looks to me to be a damn tidy package. I imagine it might also serve to simplify stuff like driver installs and support issues too, but I'm unfamiliar and can't speak to how Akai perform as a company there.

All that said, for those that dig the P2 I'm sure it totally rocks (whatever track you have currently selected in Live)!
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Re: Did I choose the right software & hardware + few questions

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:10 am

Hmmmm, kinda got carried away with Force lust / envy there when I also meant to say for the price of a P2 you could buy a couple or more simpler controllers which might lack the visual appeal or bells and whistles but could prove more flexible, depending on how your workflow develops over time or of necessity.

That bloody Force thing and a decent laptop running some modern DAW for someone starting out though? I don't think I've ever seen a better setup and I've been starting out for thirty years!
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