Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

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mt12345
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Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by mt12345 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:32 pm

HI everyone! I was making some tunes on PC, several years, just home amateur production, hobby.
Recently I decided to try to do it old school hardware way.
I need an advise about my future setup. Currently I use KORG Electribe ES1 and EM1, but they are just toys.
I think even EMX/ESX are not much better. I bought recently Roland MC303 but Its sounds are poor. I also have old EMU ESI sampler and an old 4ch Gemini mixer
I'm planning to get rid of the Electribes and 303, then buy Yamaha RM1x for sequencing, and probably for drums. The sampler would be used just for triggering some samples so I need some sound module/synth as my main instrument.
As mentioned in title, the music I am going to make is techno-dance style, so I was considering EMU Orbit 3.
I would need also some effects unit, is Behringer Virtualizer Pro good choice? Or maybe it s better to buy mixer with FX built-in? Please any advise welcome, I'm total noooob in hardware stuff. Oh, and my budget is limited, it is going to be bedroom setup, not pro studio!

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by jeeroj » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:47 pm

I'd keep the ES-1, it's ES-1 a good machine, it's got FX on it and you can load your own samples into it so it's only going to be as good as your samples ;) You could fill it with techno drum samples etc and you'd be away.

As much as everyone hates the MC-303, I've got a soft spot for it. I'd personally keep it and sequence it from the RM1x if that's possible (I'm not sure). I like a lot of its sounds, you just have to use them in different ways and fiddle with them sometimes. It's great for pads etc especially if you put FX on it.

I'd defo recommend a mixer, it means you can have everything running and then mute and unmute channels as you like. Fx built in would be good but otherwise delay and reverb are the most useful FX imo. You could always use the ES-1 as a glorified FX unit using it's audio in feature :)

HTH
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check the review HERE first

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by TrondC » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:59 pm

get a 2nd hand Machinedrum mk1, for $7-800 you can't really go wrong. Minimal techno in a box

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by edfunction » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:00 pm

Can you suggest what sort of artists you like the sound of?

If you are going for a more classic techno or house sound then I would suggest you get a roland tr-909 (for drums) if you can afford it, or an mpc if you prefer to work with samples as well as sequencing, both together would be great. The esx is not bad but it might be worth pairing it with some kind of analogue gear too. For a while I was using the esx together with a jomox mbase-11 for live stuff so that I could get a decent kick, but I decided that the 909 was a better solution.
If you are into newer tech-house or minimal stuff then an elektron machinedrum and-or monomachine would be a perfect combo. All of these options come at a price and you'd need a new mixer too, but you'll probably need that at some point in the future anyway. Sorry, read your post again, you're on a budget. maybe scratch those ideas.

If you don't have much cash maybe look into an emu command station rather than the rm1x, that might be a more flexible sequencing device with (from what i've heard) better sounds. It might be worth considering ditching all your gear and just getting an mpc (1000 i reckon) because that will do sequencing, sampling in one package. It might take some time to learn but it would be worth it. To this you could add a cheaper synth for sampling (many to choose from).

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by colmon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:42 pm

have you made much music on your current setup? if not, i suggest doing so, if you're a decent enough producer it shouldn't be too hard to make some good music with the gear you already own. honestly if you're patient enough you could make releasable music on one of the samplers alone

if you're struggling to make music on your current setup, i suggest you practice how to make music first before buying a bunch of new gear and assuming your music will magically improve

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by mt12345 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:53 pm

colmon wrote:have you made much music on your current setup? if not, i suggest doing so, if you're a decent enough producer it shouldn't be too hard to make some good music with the gear you already own. honestly if you're patient enough you could make releasable music on one of the samplers alone

if you're struggling to make music on your current setup, i suggest you practice how to make music first before buying a bunch of new gear and assuming your music will magically improve
Huh... you are absolutely right!
In early 90s I was making music using Amiga 600, 1MB RAM, 4 mono tracks of 8bit 27KHz sampling and I spent long nights making beautiful songs...

TR909 - my dream... cant afford it unfortunately.
MPC1000 is cool but (having AKAI MPD24 in past) I prefer oldschool-style 16-pads in line instead of 4x4 grid.
Besides, I dont want to spent hours on looking for good samples. Thats why I thought about sound module (rompler? synth?)
Emu XL7 - hard to find ( How about Yamaha AN200, by the way? )
I opt for Yamaha EMX1 because it has good reviews and opinions (as a sequencer: easy to use, versatile and powerful).
Techno/ minimal artists I like are: Adam Beyer, Booka Shade, Plastikman, Steve Bug, Chris Liberator, Dave The Drummer. I also like tech-house; Felix The Housecat, Gaetano, Raumakustik, Deadmou5 and many others...
I like playing live, on electribe EM1, muting tracks and tweaking knobs, but this machine is very limited.
If it had 8 synth parts + 2 sampling parts + drummachine + effects bank working independently with each part, I wouldn't be here now.

Thanks guys for massive and immediate reply!

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by edfunction » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:51 pm

The problem with romplers is that they will mostly sound a bit cheap and generic, so you won't gain much (in my opinion) by moving from your current setup. That said if you pair a cheap multitimbral synth with a 2nd hand monomachine it would be good for synthy bleepy stuff. I often use a novation nova with my monomachine and I find they pair quite well. Add a machinedrum and you would be set for most minimal scenarios. If you're resistant to going the mpc way then I think the machinedrum monomachine combo is the most user friendly and flexible way to make techno without going old-school (expensive). They are also very easy to get into if you're not used to hardware.
Also the machinedrum is pretty much a standard for hardware minimal sound if that's what you're going for.

My advice would be to either keep your es1 or your emu for sampling and then replace everything else with the elektron combo, if you can scrape the cash together. You'd still need to get a small mixer too, 12 channels would be ok. If you are struggling with the sound of what you have, I don't think the answer is to get more budget gear. Saving up and getting the right bits saves time in the end...

The other thing would be to do it all on a laptop. Not the most exciting, but cheaper and more flexible still.

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by space6oy » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:16 pm

mt12345 wrote:Currently I use KORG Electribe ES1 and EM1, but they are just toys.
hardly, if you know what you're doing with them they're both great instruments.
also about the only major differences between either mk of the ES-1 and the ESX is that it has more memory & up to twice the pattern length. (oh yeah, & the tubes... meh.)

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by mt12345 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:51 pm

space6oy wrote:
mt12345 wrote:Currently I use KORG Electribe ES1 and EM1, but they are just toys.
hardly, if you know what you're doing with them they're both great instruments.
also about the only major differences between either mk of the ES-1 and the ESX is that it has more memory & up to twice the pattern length. (oh yeah, & the tubes... meh.)

EM1 has drum-machine and 2 parts of mono synth (rompler actually). I connected it to EMU sampler (it was before I got ES1 and MC303) so I had to give up one part for controlling the sounds in sampler. Very limited setup, and electribe allows only 1 effect at time, annoying! Upgrading to EMX1 would give me 3 more parts... but still same limitations. That's why I'm looking for something else.
I didn't have much time to test ES1 thoroughly yet, I bought it last week (accidentally ;) ).

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by space6oy » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:57 pm

one effect plus a filter plus a pitch shifter... lucky to have a drum machine with ANYTHING in addition.

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by krzeppa » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:16 pm

I agree with colmon on this one. I think your current setup is more the enough at the moment. I think the Electribes are very good drum machines, and if you put a little effort into them, they should easily be able to make the kind of music you are after. My friend has an MC-303, and though it may not be the best machine in the world, I think it is also capable of doing some interesting things. He has the 303 and a cheap Casio, and he has been able to come up with some decent stuff with it. If you really take the time to learn your Electribes, I think you would be surprised at how much you actually have at your disposal. My old roomate had a couple of ER-1s, and he was playing at raves back in the day with just those two machines. It can be done with what you have.
I say you should spend a few months learning these machines inside and out. Learn how they work with each. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each. Learn how they work together. If, after a long time of working with them, you can't get what you want, then (and only then) should you look at maybe getting another piece of gear.
Otherwise you will just keep acquiring gear and find shortcomings in everything you buy. Much of the potential of some gear is hidden. Once you find it, you realize you have a gem! ;)

But if you insist on getting something right now, I guess I would look into the monomachine or machinedrum. You would have no problem with minimal techo on those.

Sorry for my long rant....Too much caffiene again! All wired!!!!!! :shock:

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by burnn_out! » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:27 pm

+1 on the machinedrum sps. awesome for some of the artist you listed. truth is the best product you can you use these days for that format is ableton live. get an APC40 controller( it comes with live) and call it a day. when i was using live it was a goodtime cooking up minimal jams.

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:17 pm

Learn to use what you have beyond the presets, then it might seem like less of a toy.
bonne chance

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by mt12345 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:22 pm

I think you are right. What I need now is persistence, not new gear!

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Re: Gear for techno/house/minimal ? (newbie)

Post by th0mas » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:42 am

Personally id say ditch the mc303 and get an inexpensive VA like a microkorg.. Maybe ditch the es1 as well, the em1 has great drum sounds

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