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Special Thanks to the Board


Husker

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Looking back through my meager post history here, I realized that it was one year ago that I made my first post on this forum. At that time, I had been looking at getting into home recording/keyboards/synths as a hobby, and made the following post, which started me on my quest.

 

Extreme Newbie Questions

 

I don't think I can adequately describe how little I knew (about anything) 12 months ago, and how much this forum has helped me over this past year. At the time, I had no concept about Midi, audio interfaces, virtual instruments, how to connect anything, or even what a DAW was.

 

What a year it has been! Since last summer, I've got setup a fairly decent keyboard based system (pictured below), built a DAW computer, found out what GAS was (and succumbed to it), bought some rack based synths, bought some VSTs and plugins, set everything up, learned about Midi routing, subscribed to a few recording magazines, and learned some very basic things about recording. I still know very little (I'm a very poor musician), but I am having an absolute blast learning about everything. I can lost hours just playing around with all of this.

 

 

I know this board is mainly filled with gigging musicians (which I will never be - I was once asked to not come back to a church band rehearsal), there is some incredible knowledge here about a ton of things. Though many have helped - Jazzmammal, Elmer, and especially Markyboard have been personally helpful to me. Thank you everyone for your patience with me, and imparting knowledge to new folks.

 

http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o539/husker3737/Forum%20Pics/2017-04-25%2016.31.22_zps3opnygy2.jpg

 

 

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Something is up with your camera. It makes the keyboard look like it's bowed. It's kinda freaking me out.

 

:D

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Good gear choices, Husker! I don't know what your VST compliment is like, but your hardware covers three of The Big Five (or is it Six?) methods of sound production. From there, you'll learn a substantial amount that will make your next (and probable) GAS add-ons more focused and useful to you. My first serious rig was much like yours, with a workstation feeding outboard goodies. I look back on it as the best direction I could have chosen. I'd enjoy hearing your six-month progress report around Xmas! :keys2:

"You're never on more intimate terms with a piece of music than when you're writing it."
    ~ Tom Waits

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The desk is pretty sweet. It's a Zaor Miza 88 XL - they are stupid expensive, but I was fortunate to find a used one online for a decent price. The market for desks with a slide out tray for an 88 key workstation is....miniscule. Especially in the price range I was willing to pay. Getting the desk to Alabama was an adventure. Of course, setting this thing up necessitated moving the entire house around, much to the chagrin of the wife.

 

I've quickly learned that you always want just one more piece of gear. I guess its fortunate that I am confined by space, so not much more will fit. I only have 2U left, but could probably put a desktop module or two on the desk. Moog Minitaur? DSI Prophet 12?

 

VSTs aren't much. I have a couple of the Arturia V synths (Modular, Analog Lab, and Mini), and the EastWest Hollywood Orchestra. Synthmaster as well, plus some that came with Sonar and the Focusrite (Addictive Drums, etc).

 

I have more than enough to keep me busy for years. I spend a few hours most nights just playing around.

 

 

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So Dave, if I have analog modeling, analog, and workstation, what two (or three) am I missing?

 

FM Synthesis: A unique sound very different from subtractive synthesis. Very complex with a steep learning curve.

 

Additive Synthesis: Lots of potential for sonic fun and games and can theoretically create any audio waveform, but even more complex than FM synthesis and more difficult to understand and control. I don't think there are any currently available hardware additive synths; there may be software additive synths.

 

Cool rig you got. Have fun, and don't neglect the wife.

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So Dave, if I have analog modeling, analog, and workstation, what two (or three) am I missing?

 

>> FM Synthesis: A unique sound very different from subtractive synthesis. Very complex with a steep learning curve.

 

What BbAltered said. FM has several pluses to it, but casual programming isn't among them. Its got to be a labor of love to really experiment with it and step away from its more traditional EPs and hard basses.

 

>>Additive Synthesis: Lots of potential for sonic fun and games and can theoretically create any audio waveform, but even more complex than FM synthesis and more difficult to understand and control. I don't think there are any currently available hardware additive synths; there may be software additive synths.

 

Additive synths are very engaging, even though they can be CPU-gobblers. Its "easy" to get wavetables and samples to provide many of the broad, glistening pads and bell-like things you often hear in FM and additive libraries. Native Instruments' RAZOR is probably the smartest additive softsynth, mainly because it *groups* numerous harmonics in musically useful ways and then applies a loosely analog-type GUI to their use. It brings the more experimental aspects of additive forward in a nicely utilitarian form. There are others such as Image Line's Harmor, but as its a fringe method to begin with, someone who is keen on it can eventually pick the best of the lot for their needs.

 

Physical modeling should be mentioned, but just read up on it for now. Like additive, its a unique sidebar method represented by only a few instruments because its so esoteric. Being based on an algorithm rather than a pile of WAVs, they have a slightly chaotic flavor that offers a nice contrast to more static sounds. I play with Logic's PM synth Sculpture and get some lovely sounds from it (ex: tuned percussion from Rigel-7); I also just bought Strum, a PM "synth" that very accurately reproduces acoustic and electric guitars. Its a great way to add a certain fluid flavor to things.

 

There is also sampling proper, but that can be a massive time sink if done from scratch, or with less than Diego-Stocco-like fervor. It often has as much do with sound design as with instrument construction per se. For one-shot sounds, movie/TV dialogue or stacked "event" sounds, its easy, but our vast options preclude the need to build a piano or cello from the ground up now.

 

My loose advice: For now, use your crisp single-cycle waves and bell samples if you need a glassy additive-type pad. They envelope-stretch nicely. I also use a small touch of a sampled Prophet-VS bell under my 'real' tubular bells, which are naturally a bit mellow. It makes them stand out well without muddying things. Read up, but don't sweat any of it. With that rig, you shouldn't have GAS again for at least 18 months! :D

 

 

"You're never on more intimate terms with a piece of music than when you're writing it."
    ~ Tom Waits

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The desk is made in such a way that I can't put anything on the floor. Daw computer is on the left. The sub is just part of the inexpensive Logitech speakers for the computer audio. I can probably just take it away...

 

 

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