GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:41 pm

You can get a pretty amazing sound with amp modelling software and the blue (higher quality) input on your sound card (if you have one).

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~Earl Grey~
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:03 am

Yeah the blue is line in - designed to take louder signals than microphones.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:25 pm

You have to boost the signal to get a usable level out of the blue input because it doesn't include a pre-amp, but it uses a higher sample and bitrate than the microphone input, which is only sufficient for voice.

I finally decided to order this guitar (after about a year of perusing it online and in-store):

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Echarin
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Echarin » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:06 pm

I have an acoustic guitar sitting around doing nothing. I bought it last year intending to play it regularly but I gave up because it was too hard.

Now I'm wanting to pick it up again, but I wanna do it right. Well, maybe the next best thing.... or at least the best I can get without spending any money on lessons.

Please help me. I'm too stupid to help myself. :cry:

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~Earl Grey~
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by ~Earl Grey~ » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:25 pm

http://www.myspace.com/abattleshipcalledquotminksquot

OK, so I've got a new song - The Traveller. I'm still not sure about the 'sound' though. Is the intro too long?

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Adam231
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Adam231 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:32 pm

Me and my band are going to record some stuff in a studio in a few weeks so i'll post some stuff for your opinions :)

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Germ.
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Germ. » Wed May 13, 2009 1:25 pm

With having about 4 months off Uni in the Summer, I'm going to start recording my second EP.

I've been messing about with different sounds and stuff for about a year now, and I think I've finally found my forte.

It's so ridiculously hard to write lyrics! I want it to be more than just simple lyrics thought up in about 10 minutes, but it's well hard :(

Anyone heard of 'Owl City'? I'm going for that kind of style (Y)

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Songwriter
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Songwriter » Wed May 13, 2009 2:46 pm

I need 'elp.

I'm having REAL struggles with software and my multimix8 firewire. It's not doing as it says on the tin.

I want simple piano, guitar, Vox recordings with a simple drum machine built into it, so i can drop loops in.

Anyone suggest a decent programme to use?

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Sat May 23, 2009 9:38 pm

Ableton Live is easily your best bet for intuitive, pick-up-and-play recording. It is NOT DJ tool - it's just used by DJs a lot because it is so easy to control, trigger loops, real-time process stuff, etc. I use it a lot for free-fall composition and improvisation because it never gets in the way of my music.

The demo is free for 10 days. I can't remember whether they still limit saving or not, though, but I think I remember reading that they've removed that limitation.

http://www.ableton.com/home

It works great with my M-Audio Delta 1010LT PCI audio interface, and Keystation 88 Pro keyboard/controller. Generally its support seems to be very solid for most hardware interfaces, controllers and whatnot.

It's fairly affordable too, compared to other software. It includes some good drum programming solutions, and if you get the Suite, you get an epic 28GB acoustic drum library along with the classic drum machine library (i.e. Akai MPCs etc.), but it does cost a heck of a lot more.

If you go with Live, Reason is packed full of good stuff to pair with it if you like a very graphical, hardware-like interface. You record Reason on a track (or several) in Live by running Reason as a ReWire slave application. That's what I do.

I wouldn't bother trying any other software if you just want to focus on recording real instruments (e.g. guitar, piano etc.) through a mixer if you Live does what you need. You'll appreciate the simplicity. It's so easy to record bits and chuck them about in Live, then add effects and use VST instruments (or any of the pretty damn good ones included in the Suite).

It's pretty easy to acquire as well. PM me (however, although Mac works it can be troublesome).

If you want to program drums.. you'll probably want to get some kind of drum pad controller like an M-Audio trigger finger, or a keyboard that includes pads like an M-Audio Axiom or some Alesis pads. USB-powered hardware is great because you can just plug it in... but there's a world of issues with latency without a proper sound card...

That's the main problem with virtual studios.. you usually need some kind of hardware controller for mixing, something for drums, and an audio interface for your live audio and MIDI / low latency audio processing to get everything working easily.

If you don't want to buy any more hardware, you can stick to programming drums or using the keyboard as a trigger, something Live lets you do which is nice when you can't get hold of hardware for any reason.

If you want something good and free, I've heard good stuff about Reaper. I've never used it though, so you'd be on your own there.

http://www.reaper.fm/about.php

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Orbital
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Orbital » Sat May 23, 2009 11:13 pm

reapers pretty damn good, and there is no restrictions, they just ask you for 5 seconds to buy it. i have been using it for the last 2 years and it performs perfectly, its good for beginners and pros, its used by both. give it a shot, its also an extremely small file. Also, Version 3 just came out which is really pretty and even better (from 2.58) so go ahead.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Sun May 24, 2009 1:44 am

I'd say definitely give Reaper a try before you splash out on or crack anything else, then. If it works well, it's free, and you're on a level playing field not being used to any other software already - why pay for something that does the same job?

I love the handling of audio samples in Live so much tho, I'm a bit of an evangelist for it.

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Ginga
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Ginga » Sun May 24, 2009 2:58 am

Eh...I haven't played/recorded in years.

Here's my Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/guilows. Feel free to be completely honest :fp:

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blackoutHERO
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by blackoutHERO » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:46 pm

Anyone got any recommendations for good microphones I can use to record guitar and vocals? I've used normal microphones for a while but they don't seem to reduce the static very well and it sounds very rough.

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frogg
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by frogg » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:15 am

blackoutHERO wrote:Anyone got any recommendations for good microphones I can use to record guitar and vocals? I've used normal microphones for a while but they don't seem to reduce the static very well and it sounds very rough.


SHURE SM57 is your friend.

Pretty much every studio in the world uses them.

Ive got one, wee bit pricey for a student, was about 75 quid i think, but the results are excellent. The 57 is brilliant for recording guitar and vocals ;)

The quality of the recording always depends on the placement of the mic! (Not trying to be a dick about it, I always make retarded mistakes when recording)

Edit: Just realised the question was posted over a month ago, oh well.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:39 pm

There's no point using one without a proper mic pre-amp, mixer or audio interface with XLR inputs, etc.. some people are recording from a laptop's on board sound. But yeah, the 57 is pretty standard for mic-ing guitar amps, although I like to use a condenser as well to capture the ambient sound better.

And there's a danger in everyone using the same microphones for the same applications - it all starts sounding very similar.

You shouldn't get any noticeable levels of static/noise in your signals if you're using good quality cables and pre-amp / recording device, with the levels set correctly. I've used some random kareoke mics before and as long as the equipment you capture the signal with is good even those are relatively noiseless. Noise is introduced by poor signal processing, less the microphone.

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Abs
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Abs » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:13 pm

Green Gecko wrote:Ableton Live is easily your best bet for intuitive, pick-up-and-play recording. It is NOT DJ tool - it's just used by DJs a lot because it is so easy to control, trigger loops, real-time process stuff, etc. I use it a lot for free-fall composition and improvisation because it never gets in the way of my music.


You're a bit off there Gecko!

It completely is a DJ tool, it does everything you can do with turn tables and more, I use to DJ all the time, as do thousands of others, including big professional DJs aswell.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:35 pm

Oh it is absolutely an amazing DJ tool - sorry I've phrased that badly. What I meant to say is, it's not only a "DJ tool" and nothing more - it's also really nice for improvised composition and just to use as a sampler or virtual instrument platform, and all sorts of things, because its design is so well streamlined. I've done some DJing at parties with it too, but I've barely tapped into its capabilites for that. I use it mainly as a quick composition/layering/sampling tool, that never gets in the way of what I do (I know that's one of their tag-lines, but it's true). I hate endless menus that I never need to use when I just want to record something, accept MIDI from whatever input (I only have two MIDI keyboards anyway and I rarely assign them to individual instruments), and not wait around for stuff to be processed or route stuff all over the place.. (I'm looking at you, Cubase).

I have a mate who uses decks with Ableton through an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra. Not heard any of his stuff with that set up 'cause I've not kept up with his stuffs but should be fun this summer.

Been playing with Reaper recently. It's such a well made program with so many features that I feel almost guilty using it, since it's practically free, and is only £25 or so for a non-commercial license. My favourite thing is how I can guess the controls, shortcuts and the way the GUI behaves - so very intuitive for anyone that has experience with DAWs, and easy to learn for those that don't. For example, the mouse-wheel while the pointer is over a fader controls incremental changes for fine tuning of levels, and you hover over the corner of a sample on a track and drag to create a crossfade.

I was going to splash out on a legit copy of Ableton Suite 8 with a student discount because it's harder to crack on a Mac and even my Windows copy is going funny, but Repear is so cheap and is looking like it's better for mastering and less DJ-like stuff.. I might just buy a legit copy of that.

Using a decent Waves EQ (LineEQ broadband I think) and multi-band compressor/limiter (L3 Multi-maximiser) I was able to EQ and pump up some band rehearsals that were descent enough to go on our MySpace in under 10-20 minutes each... and it helped being able to encode straight to MP3 using the free (and which many tote as best) LAME encoder. There's rarely a need to export everything to WAV, so what I had to do before with Live was export to WAV (which took ages especially when it was compiling an 8-track recording, fair enough really), then import that WAV into Audacity just to export it again with the LAME encoder, adding about 5-10 minutes to every track I had to process only to make an MP3! Sux. This was a problem for me because I was, at one time, roughly mastering all my band's rehearsals that were alright so I could upload them to my server for the band to download (6-piece band living in different parts of the country). It took forever.

Reaper even shows you a sped-up master level meter while it encodes to MP3 (and I assume whatever format you chose to render to) so you can spot any clipping you may have missed earlier. Constantly being surprised by the sense of Reaper's software design, and I do understand some software design standards.

Summary: Try Reaper, it rocks.

Looks great, too:

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Oblomov Boblomov
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Oblomov Boblomov » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:53 pm

Hey guys, just a quick question.

I just bought an adapter that will allow me to plug my guitar directly into my computer. I've got Audacity and Reaper. I just can't figure out how to get signal into my computer at the moment. I've plugged it into the microphone inputs and even tried two headphone outputs.

Any ideas?

EDIT - I've fixed this now; just needed to go through my amp. I'll get recording :).

EDIT 2 - Oh man, I'm having so much fun! I've got an electronic drum kit so I can record that as well! Time to buy a bass guitar, keyboard and microphone...

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:56 pm

If the signal is already being amplified, use the blue input because it uses a higher sample and bitrate and doesn't unnecessarily re-amplify your signal. The pink one is just designed for Skype microphones and gooseberry fool like that.

If you want to improve your sound, I strongly recommend getting a single input interface like an M-Audio Jam Lab. I think they're about £45 but will provide a higher quality signal. They'll also give you zero latency.

You could try these kind of hack ASIO drivers by some German guy that try to give you low latency (so you can listen back to what you're playing without any processing delay, for example) on generic sound chips, but it doesn't always work.

http://www.asio4all.com

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Oblomov Boblomov
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PostRe: Do You "Do" Music?
by Oblomov Boblomov » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:01 pm

I didn't even think I had a blue input, but I just checked 'round the back and there is one! So I'm using that one now. Thanks! I can hear what I'm playing now. There also doesn't appear to be any latency, which is weird...

Do you know how to create a single mp3 track using Reaper? I used the consolidate and export function and it made every track into an mp3 instead of putting them all together in one.

EDIT - I've come across another problem now. I can hear out of my speakers, but ever since I changed ports the signal isn't coming through to Reaper. I can't for the life of me find the I/O screen. Help?

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