Out today. Lovely surprise while browsing whatpeopleplay. An album that got me instantly.
You can also get it here.
Surely I can. I assume that most of you noticed the latest Native Instruments sale for Reaktor and some of the commercial ensembles, like Razor. I wasn’t really sure if I should get it or not, since there is no *real* way to demo, beside Reaktor Player. I’m glad I got it 2 days before the sale was over.
First it seems like *quantity* all over. Once you unzip the Legacy Library, with Reaktor 3 and 4 ensembles, you may find yourself slightly overwhelmed. Then there is always the massive user library, which may hold some sweet surprises for yourself, without going by ratings or the usual favorites threads.
The great thing is that you can use the user library like an *endless* resource. I don’t believe there are really *bad* ensembles, but just different flavors and tools, you may want to look into once GAS is hitting on you or you’re in the need for a specific effect or some new sounds.
Reaktor is *insanely* old for software. Reaktor 5 - released in 2005, the original Generator released in 1996. Now the interesting thing about the Reaktor 5 release is the introduction of the Core technology, which provides you with the tools to go down deep into DSP. Something I discovered after my purchase and wasn’t really aware of. I will never pull off the deepest synth ensemble in history though. It’s a great resource to learn since you can dive into every ensemble and look how it was made. It’s weird that we didn’t see more people using Reaktor for commercial products, but I’m pretty sure it gets used for prototyping and NI are using Reaktor for *most* of their latest products – Razor and Monark.
You should use the favorite system of Reaktor to mark folders as you go along exploring. I also use my DAWs preset management to recall insert effects or instruments in a second. Studio One is great for this. Now you might notice the auto-save feature when Reaktor is running as a plug-in. This is because certain changes can’t be saved by your DAW and you have to save a dedicated copy of the ensemble as well, most of the time when changing stuff under the panel or loading your own samples into sample-based ensembles.
Creating your own sample maps gets easier with this tool – Choronzon Sample Map Generator
Reaktor is great fun. I find myself playing in standalone often, using the recorder for sample creation. It wasn’t really on my map. Sure, you know Reaktor, but probably *no one* would get it on the regular price and not everyone is willing to get Komplete. For those who got Komplete, Reaktor may be this geeky thing they never touch or dive deep into, since there are so many other, probably easier solutions. Now, using Reaktor is fairly simple. By now I did create some custom effect chains and created my own first basic synth ensemble. Using the preset system of Studio One, as mentioned above, is really a breeze to get more specific with favorite ensembles, all showing up nicely in a drop-down list below the plug-in name.
Last but not least, here are some of my favorite ensembles:
Stellar is a shimmering reverb.
There are so many great and weird synths and effects out there, but these are a few things that I like to recommend. Overall, Reaktor 5 seems like one of my personal best purchases. If anyone starting out with making music on the computer, I heartly would recommend them getting the preferred DAW and a copy of Reaktor 5. I dare to say that now with the deal being over, still I’m amazed of what Reaktor can deliver for the new and experienced producers and geeks out there. If you’re lucky you might be able to get a good deal on it over at KVR, once the initial buzz is over and people finding themselves not liking it as much as I do.
I’m happy to officially announce that I’ve started to work on my first artist album. This isn’t the first time trying to make an album, but I hope it’s going to be successful. In the past I couldn’t manage to combine all the different flavors I like and I also didn’t like the idea of ending up with something that rather sounds like a compilation.
I don’t know how long it will take and I don’t have a schedule. I’m roughly into this for about 5-6 weeks now, mainly started sketching out basic ideas and collecting little bits and pieces. I have loads of little sketches from the past that I could recycle to create something new, but I’m not using any old material since I like this kind of “reboot”.
The next step will be to turn these sketches into songs and let the music tell me where I’m going. Less EDM per se, but an enjoyable listening experience that also works outside of a dance or club environment.
If you want to follow the process, *maybe* stuff that is going to be on the album or just like to hear some random sound stuff, you should check my new SoundCloud, specifically made for the album process - http://soundcloud.com/tibahishere
See you there.
New computer, new gear and all that jazz.
Wishing you all a great and creative year!
It’s that time of the year with numerous sales going on, while you look over your existing tools. Streamlining is a very good approach to focus on creating a “basic” (and hopefully not limiting) setup for yourself.
Choosing the right synthesizers or instruments for that matter can be a crucial and difficult task. I would like to share my recommendations and explain different ways of approaching your selection. It might be that I just got hit by yet another addiction too…
Light ones are synthesizers that you can easily run on your computer. Your CPU meter is barely moving and you can stack up 100 instances. So, why would that be any good for serious music production?
Once in a project, I like to do some kind of remixing the original idea, somewhere at a bar in my arrangement view where nothing else is going on, but that new remixing approach. Spice things up, slow it down, turn your dance track into some relaxed, jazzy tune for example. With light synthesizers you will always have that “freedom” and most of my recommendations are streamlined in features and perfect for sketching out new ideas.
I also like to layer sounds and bus them together for processing. Light ones can be a nice way of building yourself some unique and rich sounds out of 2 or 3 other sounds, hitting your CPU only slightly.
impOSCar 1 - Yea, I do mean the older version. I never got attracted by the newer version. Even this older emulation of the OSCar has a great sound, is easy to tweak and super-light even on older CPUs.
FM8 – This one is a true beast and a light one at the same time. Very versatile. Not that easy to program, but with a superb sound collection available.
Free Alpha – one of the few freebies I really adore. There is just something about the envelopes and the punch this one is able to produce. Including factory sounds by BigTone.
A “Go-to” synthesizer is, more or less, your favorite. The one you want to use all over the place. The one where you want to patch and tweak for hours. Getting a little esoteric here – one that you can relate to, that makes “sense” to you at a deeper level and that you really enjoy. We are talking software here, but music software, where being able to create a “relationship” to your tools is welcome.
Everyone is different here. Some may like it simple, some may like it complex and vast. It comes down to experiencing the same “flow” or “zone” feeling you get, just like with creating music itself.
Personally, I like my go-to to be easy and fun to tweak, semi-light on CPU, creating a smile on my face immediately after I fire it up and turn some knobs.
For some, a “go-to” and “complex” are the same thing. Thinking about Zebra, which is as complex as you like, I feel like it became the go-to for many people.
Complex to me means loads of options. Different synthesis types, filer types, routing options and maybe some unique gadgets. You may even have some kind of randomizer inside, that can turn a complex one into an endless resource for new sounds.
I don’t say you can’t get into “flow” with these. My approach here is to actually force a more conceived way of sound creation and experimenting with new and interesting sounds.
Alchemy - This one can be easy, once you get your head around the different pages and how things like modulation assignment work. Once you done that, there is an open world of sound for you to explore, with granular and spectral modes, combined with traditional subtractive and additive synthesis.
Absynth – I admit it, I love it for the Mutator. There is a lot going on here for you to dive in and explore. Not as appealing as Alchemy is to me, but appealing enough to put it on my list.
Would there be a maximum number of synthesizers one should have? Well, I don’t know about you guys, but combining one out of each category I named is clearly enough for my synthesis needs. I lost myself already in too many choices in the past and this might happen to you. Tempting deals, shiny demos. Only you can really know what you like and need, but I felt that this could be helpful.
Go check the synthgeek pages, for a decent article about how to get started with music production, without the need of illegal actions.
… yourself as an artist. One of the more difficult aims to accomplish being a music producer.
In the beginning, we follow our heroes and favorite artists, to get close to their sounds and output. The current soundware market is offering numerous products, like specific sample and preset packs, even full construction kits, allowing upcoming producers to get a certain sound quicker, as the “regular” way of learning individual steps and taking years of practice. You can even look for content that is made by one of your favorite artists. Cool, eh?
Well, as much as this seems very beneficial, there is more to it, especially when people get lazy and rather prefer these shortcuts, as dealing with learning and creating things on their own. If we look back on the history of electronic music, we notice certain things that remind us on what this music was originally about. Personally, music is the greatest discovery of mankind (oke… spicy food and beer are also awesome!). Nowadays spirit seems to be about, as much as we want, as quick as we want, with the least amount of effort possible. Stolen software copies, with some presets and samples and there you go. This doesn’t stop with the unknown guy, producing in his bedroom, unfortunately.
One of the most, if not the most, famous little synthesizers, the TB-303, was primarily aimed on recreating real bass guitar sound. A huge miss for Roland when it came out, leading to a lot of bargain 303s. The electronic music / Techno community took this device and made it into one of the most desirable pieces of gear to acquire. By using it beyond the intended purpose.
I don’t wanna bash on presets and samples. I use them all the time, but I don’t base all my work on them. You can build your average, generic song with these easily and be one of the millions of people, having a release on Beatport or wherever. But what is the memory you want to trigger, if people think about you? What is the difference between a producer that is an inspiration for you and one that just made a good track, that you won’t listen to anymore in 2 or 3 weeks?
Keep a good balance! Find gear and samples that give you a decent set of essential tools. Get yourself a book or watch some online tutorials, but don’t overdo it. Follow your favorite artists, but learn how to make things your way. Notice when the time is right to practice and experiment with the things you know, to discover your own techniques and your way of doing things, the way you feel is right, not how some other dude somewhere else thinks how you should do it.