Search

Holy Bot

Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit

Tag

daw

Bedroom Studio Tips Revisited

Three years ago I posted a list of some music production methods and tips on my blog that still gets some attention. Now, here’s some other good read (I hope).

Moreover, you really should check out the most popular post on this blog about the best tips on music production that I can think of.

Advertisements

Switching DAW: Reason to Live

I’m switching to Ableton Live from Propellerhead Reason. There are several causes for this.

In short, nowadays I’m using mostly hardware synths and Ableton Live is more paramount and flexible when it comes to integrating hardware.

Reason’s core softsynths are still good, but I’m using them less and less, and I’ve grown tired of certain limitations and the workflow. So going to a different DAW is a good remedy for that. And I can still rewire (connect) Reason to Live.

And working with up-to-date “real” plugins is so much deeper and at the same time a bit exhausting.

Although none of these thing are new, the last few iterations of Reason (version 8 and 9) are clearly focused on bringing in newcomers without trying to keep more seasoned users.

For me, switching DAW is both fun and challenging. Of course there’s all this learning to be done. But it’s also fun. And it’s really not that hard, it could just seem a bit daunting at first, but there’s great help online nowadays with countless forums and tutorials. Right now I’m on some kind of trial period, and a lot of time is spent trying to connect and run hardware with software, but I think the new main DAW will be inspiring and push my music productions further.

No Reason to Go Back

image

I’ve started making electronic music on the Amiga 500 using music trackers many, many years ago.

I then got a PC and used several shady Cubase versions. After that, I got a Mac and started using Logic for a while. At that time FruityLoops was weak and Reason’s sequencer wasn’t in a good place. But then something happened – Reason 6.5 introduced rack extensions and shit. And then came version 7, and I though it was the greatest. Everything was fine –  for a short while. When Propellerhead released version 8, focus had shifted to the surface, and community building seemed to be the new black. So I switched to Ableton Live.

Reason 9 just revealed. It adds pitch edit, scales and chords, note echo and dual arpeggio. What do guys think? Well, I for one, am not going back.

Some Thoughts on Reason 8

Where’s Propellerhead at? The company wanna help musicians make more and better music – “this goal defines us”, it says. True, that’s honorable and ambitious but is Propellerhead on the right path?

The Reason 8 upgrade ships on September 30th and brings, ehum, a new browser and drag and drop support. I’m not convinced, to say the least. Come on now, this is an insignificant achievement in comparison, and in these days of responsive user interfaces.

Then we got Propellerhead’s app Take. For real? It’s just redundant and I just can’t see the need of such for anyone.

The recent in-house racks, A-List Acoustic Guitarist and A-List Electric Guitarist – Power Chords, address to whom? One could argue that earlier racks have been tailored first of all to beatmakers, singers, sound designers. Not to mention the focus on the experimentalists with Reason’s whole modular core design of tweaking one’s own audio signal paths. But these A-List racks? I dunno… And as an electronic musician I’m neither interested in pre-fab guitars nor sounding like undistinguished commercial radio hits. Moreover, I believe real guitarists would rather record their own shit, and then layer and comp takes in the sequencer.

So what’s going on? Is this Propellerhead shifting from professional to consumer (much like Apple did with Final Cut Pro X). I might be wrong, I hope I’m wrong.

Except for a few flaws – like inability to customize shortcuts and program macros – Reason 7 has been a great DAW with its relatively versatile set of rack extensions.

It seems to me that, what we see now is Propellerhead lacking of real innovative ideas to push things further.

Straight Outta Bedroom

So I’ve had this blog for a year and a half now – yay! I’ve primarily focused on music production methods and tips. If you’re into that, making music, then here are a few (not all) old posts that could interest you. Now, did you ever wonder… 

You’re welcome.

Switching Teams

I’ve been working professionally on the video editing suite Final Cut Pro since like 2006, but due to Apple abandoning the development in 2010 – and continued with the awful FCPX – I stayed true to the outdated tradition, mostly at the expense of myself.

Now, and this is day two, I’m moving over to Premiere Pro. You could call it a paradigm shift. It’s really too early to tell what will come out of it, but so far it works out pretty well for me. You know, the general know-how stays even if the equipment or instruments change.

As a DAW comparison, I tried quite a few, but have mostly been using Cubase and Logic Pro. But last summer, when Reason 6.5 was release I did switch. I was sound designing most shit with Thor anyway, and I though it was an unnecessary step to translate the automations in Logic as a host. And with Reason 7, I now think that software offers most things a bedroom producer like me, could ask for.

How to Reason 7

I usually don’t publish news related posts in the strict sense, but I’m making an exception: Reason version 7 will be available in the second quarter of 2013.

image

This piece of DAW has just got better and better for every rendition. And Reason 7 comes with MIDI out support to fully integrate hardware sound into the Reason environment.

Other features are the automatic slicing of audio recordings and a new bus channel-function to group shit in the mixer. There’s also a neat shortcut to create parallel channels.

In the past versions, the DAW lacked an adequate spectrum analyzer, but in Reason 7 there’s a built-in spectrum analyzer window with a graphic EQ for total control.

While I think the biggest leap was the inclusion of rack extensions in version 6.5, I’m not sure these new features – nonetheless desirable – deserve the constitution of version 7.

Note: I work with any given DAW, really, but primarily with Apple Logic Pro 9 and Propellerhead Reason 6.5 on Mac.

Crunk Up the Bass

Here’s a method to get that crunk/trap bass working with your Roland TR-808 drum machine. You know, like that fat Wiz Khalifa track. In brief, the whole point is the get the attack from a kick and some tonality in the following sub-bass boom. And while they’re on the same frequency, you need to make ‘em play along.

Alright then.

Upload an accented 808 kick drum sample with little decay (meaning a dry, short kick without any boom to it) to your sampler.

Get ya sub-bass on. Program it to hit on the same notes as the kick.

Now, the trick is in the Amplitude Envelope of your synth generating the sub-bass: a) slightly adjust the Attack so it doesn’t clash with the kick, b) set the Decay to around 650 ms, c) bring Sustain all down to the bottom and d) raise the Release to around 2,6 s.

You may adjust these numbers so you get the desired sound, but leave the Sustain level to null.

That’s it. I didn’t invent this, I got it Dorincourt, and he didn’t come up with it either. It’s been around for ages. Still, it’s not common knowledge.

About Dubstep Song Structure

Here’s the most standard dubstep algorithm, a kind of tutorial or walkthrough. (A noob tip perhaps.) I know that such dry decryptions can be disenchanting, so stop reading if you don’t want any spoilers.

  1. Intro (rhythm, stabs, melody…), 16 bars
  2. Breakdown (melody/riff, chords…), 8 bars
  3. Build up (tension, white noise, soundbite…), 8 bars
  4. Drop 1 (bass and mayhem), 16 bars
  5. Drop 2 (variations of Drop 1), 16 bars
  6. Bridge (variations of Breakdown and Build up), 16 bars
  7. Drop 3 (variations and/or inclusion of Drop 1 and 2), 32-48 bars
  8. Outro, (melody/riff, chords…) 16 bars

As always, breaking away from this anatomy seems legit. And even if the structure is kinda unimaginative, it’s really the content, the raw material, which separates the wheat from the chaff.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑