Abundance Paradox

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verkannt
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Abundance Paradox

Post by verkannt » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:25 pm

Having just recently got into production, i'm finding myself distracted with what I don't have than what I have. It's ridiculous. I'm finding it really frustrating. I guess it seems that I don't have faith in what I have. I think i've used about 1% of Live's potential, and i'm already worried that I won't be able to create the type of sounds I want to make. I'm into making avant garde, abstract music (experimental, drone, metal, noise, electro acoustic). I recently read that Robert Henke made "Silence" entirely in Live. This gives me great confidence, as it seems that you don't need a rack of hardware, or 1000 plug-ins to make good, authentic music. Can someone please talk some sense into me? It would give me great confidence, as I'm struggling to make anything. Thank you very much.



My setup for anyone that wants to know: Imac 21 inch, nio 2/4, nocturn 25, Behringer BCF2000, Zoom h2 field recorder, Live suite 8, Logic Studio, Max 4 live, Audiomulch, waldorf blofeld, guitar with an e-bow.

Thanks guys.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by CS_TBL » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:33 pm

I would say: if you can put down - using your current equipment - everything you're hearing in your mind, then you have enough equipment. If you're struggling to get a specific sound that lingers inside your mind then:
1) learn more sound design, or if the equipment doesn't allow you to go any further:
2) get new equipment, capable of doing all your ideas
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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by Shreddie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:44 pm

The way I see it, you have more than enough stuff to do a great deal of things, if you can't get things done with that then more equipment isn't going to help. When I'm doing drone/noise, I use very little of my gear... Beleive me when I say I'd be fine with a controller, Live and the H2 alone. In fact I often do it with less.

You could be doing what we've all done from time to time... Trying to find the magic bullet for your music, a magic bullet which I can assure you doesn't exist. But as you've said you've only recently got into it, I think it's simply a case of not knowing your gear well enough. Even for us seasoned folks it can take weeks or even months for us to get to know a complex piece of new gear really well. For the newbie, really learning something as complex as Live or a Blofeld could take a year or more.

Seriously, your gear is good stuff for the genres you mention...

The H2 (I have the H4) allows you to import all sorts of field recordings, keep it in your pocket at all times, you might be surprised what you find.

Live is a monsterous piece of software, take your time, learn each of it's features/plugins in turn.

I don't know much about Max but I understand you can do almost anything with it, it could be years before you exaust it's possibilities.

Audiomulch is also a really serious bit of kit.

The guitar and ebow could be pretty damned handy for alot of things once you do a couple of edits and layer some effects on top.

And the Blofeld is a wicked little synth. My advice would be to start with that as it's simpler than much of your other stuff, forget about making music for a bit and just create sounds, lots of them. Experiment and learn what all it's functions can do, if you have the samlping addon, use it then mangle files from your H2. Only once you've got properly confident with it would I advise moving onto your other stuff.

Of course, I may have got the wrong end of the stick and you may already know the stuff really well, in which case, stop procrastinating and looking for the magic bullet and just get on with it! (Regarding that last statement, I speak from experience!)

Good luck!

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by RD9 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Just my opinion...

It seems like you have more than enough tools. Composition is always the hard part. Be careful about getting even more gear because it takes quite a while to get accustomed to new instruments and if you get more stuff, it will just delay your composition growth. It takes a lot of time to get prolific with a particular instrument.

I think the best strategy is to focus on your current equipment and just keep honing your composition skills even if the sound isn't perfect. That's the only way to keep moving forward. If you get more instruments it will just increase the risk of spreading yourself too thin, I think.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by speak_onion » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:49 pm

forget about making music for a bit and just create sounds, lots of them.
This. It's good advice whether you're new to your gear and need to learn it, or whether you're a seasoned production veteran with feeling bored or uninspired by your stuff. Do it.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by realtrance » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:53 pm

I am constantly amazed at how much of the greatest music is often the simplest.

With all the tools we have today, J.S. Bach, Beethoven and the Beatles would've all drowned! :)

Try to really concentrate on even a subset of what Live can do; it has way more than enough to do something musical with.

Your main problem is you haven't winnowed down to your essential musical ideas yet..... work on that instead of on acquiring more gear.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:01 pm

RD9 wrote:Composition is always the hard part.
+1000
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by balma » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:01 pm

Practice is all that matters. And above all, having a good time practicing.

Patience is all that matters. Take your time. Best rewards of a labour-of-love come on a long term.

Is hard to give especific advice on your case, since there's not enough information provided about where are you getting stuck, so those are two good generic advices
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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by balma » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:02 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
RD9 wrote:Composition is always the hard part.
+1000
And the most amusing too. So rewarding to hear what you just have done
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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by cartesia » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:02 am

balma wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:
RD9 wrote:Composition is always the hard part.
+1000
And the most amusing too. So rewarding to hear what you just have done

Not when it sounds like my compositions :dontknow:

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by colmon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:43 am

"I recently read that Robert Henke made "Silence" entirely in Live."

robert henke is a genius, a professional sound designer, and has been making music for over 20 years. your situation is not comparable to his. when you get to that stage, i imagine you can make great music on any instrument

the important thing is to impart your personality on your chosen instrument, be it a guitar, a tin whistle, or ableton live. don't think of the software in absolute terms, as a tool for a specific kind of music, but as a medium that allows you to conceptualise your vision, your thoughts, your feelings. it will take time and practice just as with any instrument, but this is what seperates the likes of robert henke from the majority of soulless preset sample pack ableton loops that get uploaded to soundcloud every five seconds

what you have is more than enough for the kind of music you make. just spend some time away from the internet, and learn your tools inside out

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by EmptySet » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:35 am

As a college kid in the 80s, I would've given my left arm to have your setup. Even just that version of Logic alone (and it's not even Express!) would have made me very very happy. You basically have a full studio. Synthesis-wise, there's gobs of tools in Logic all by itself, to say nothing of the other pieces. And anymore, all you need to do is provide some kind of waveform and then the tools you have can be used to warp, bend, distort, or god-knows-what to the sound. You have virtually limitless effects at your disposal too. And you can bounce with wild abandon. And all sorts of other things. (tons of free plugins out there too, don't forget) Compare this with not so many years ago when having an 8 track cassette and a reverb unit was all we had to record whole albums of music. (and we were pretty proud of even that minimal setup).

Maybe you should do like a lot of people here often suggest: put everything in the closet except one or two things and beat the heck out of those one or two instruments/tools. And don't forget some of the classic examples of imagination with barely any gear: e.g. Beatles on a four-track.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by colmon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:21 am

some more practical advice:

the key to software like audiomulch and max is having a good set of samples. take your guitar and ebow, plug it into your amp or just straight into your sound card, set up logic to record the input, turn out the lights and play guitar for a while. record everything. listen back to the audio and cut out bits you like the sound of, long drone phrases for example, or short blasts of sound. export all these edits as wavs then fire up audiomulch. open the bubbleblower, load one of your new samples and play around with the grain density etc until you get a nice droney texture. add some more contraptions as you go along, more wav files, try mapping some parameters to the controls on your novation and play around. set up logic or ableton to record the output (you might need soundflower or something for this, can't remember if mulch can record directly to disk or not). record a few different takes. practice arranging these takes into a composition

go outside with your zoom recorder, walk the streets for a couple of hours and record everything. walk past a building site and record the big power drills. walk into an arcade and record the game machines. walk up to a homeless dude and get him to say a bunch of random s**t into the dictaphone. record traffic. record the sounds of water running through the sewers beneath your feet. when you get home, do the same as you did with the guitar recordings -- listen back and cut out sounds you like, bits that inspire you, and export them as wavs. open up audiomulch or max or whatever and start processing the sounds you recorded

i don't get how you don't have faith in what you have when you have some of the most powerful music making tools ever made. it sounds like you've got a serious case of first world problems. there's dudes like konono no1 in africa who are making mind bending, life affirming music out of discarded radio transistors, home made guitars and scrap metal percussion

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by verkannt » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:44 am

[quote="colmon"]"I recently read that Robert Henke made "Silence" entirely in Live."

robert henke is a genius, a professional sound designer, and has been making music for over 20 years. your situation is not comparable to his. when you get to that stage, i imagine you can make great music on any instrument

Yeah, you're 100% right. My situation is extremely different. It does testify the power of Live, though, as you rightly said, he could make cerebral music from anything.

The feedback has been a real eye-opener. I've saved this thread to my documents so I can look over what's been said. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Abundance Paradox

Post by colmon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:13 pm

hey i just remembered these really good videos where robert henke demonstrates how to achieve loop-point modulation with live's sampler




here he synthesises a thunderstorm using send/return loops



slightly ot but ableton's sampler looks like an amazing instrument

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