First serious gear for electronic music

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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First serious gear for electronic music

Post by nullspace » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:18 pm


My experience so far in music production has been mainly using software (I own ableton live and some vsti) but the main problem for me has always been the lack of "feeling" through a computer interface.
Now that I have some money, I want to invest a bit more into hardware since I like just turning things on on and start to create through a physical interface (I used to own a proper digital piano at some point and always found it great to just play and get some inspirations)

My aim is to produce electronic music which I have been listening to for 15+ years (from experimental to more club stuff). To begin with, I would be happy to start having a sound like Minilogue / Sebastian Mullaert (see e.g. ... minilogue/; a recent sound I like for example is )

I am thinking of a drum machine like MFB-522 and bass synth such as moog minitaur or some synth like Virus T1 or Waldorf synths. What do you think? My budget is <= £2000

PS. I am aware that with a budget like this it is unlikely to sound like Minilogue but this was to give some example of the music I like

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Re: First serious gear for electronic music

Post by BlackGnosis » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:41 am

As a fellow virus user, I can understand the appeal behind wanting to get a TI.

Do keep in mind if you want to use it with anything else USB, you need to get an MTT, This is because it runs on a USB 1.0 circuit that's been beefed to compensate with near real time data-streaming, but it's still a USB hogging 1.0.

I use an inexpensive powered Rosewill Multi Transaction Translator (Henceforth referred to as an M.T.T.) USB 2.0 to host all my devices, a few controllers and a USB dongle under 1 port going into my computer. Its also featuring a power switch so I can power all my top USB power sources. I have it ziptied to the back portion of my main rack to not only keep it safe and out of the way, but also where it's in easy reach for powering up and down.

For cables, hit up Monoprice. Best place to get cables without getting ripped off, they fit great and the audio quality is as good as any brand name over priced garbage you'll find in a music store.

If you plan on racking anything, Get a rack stand, a large quantity of screws and rash spacers, and a switchable Furman to PC your power. The rack adds an additional level of protection and if you power your devices from it will clean out noise in your signal. MAKE SURE ITS GROUNDED!

In my part of Texas, our powerlines are very noisey and that sound transfers into my great, with a Power Condition I was able to scrub it nice and clean.

The virus is a centerpiece in my studio. I've even gone out of my way to get the optimal recording method for it.
I use a simple 12u rack stand and a Furman M-8x2 together, with a M.T.T. tied together in one spot, The Virus occupies the bottom 6u (Because the racking part eats a half space above and below) I have power, USB and mini cable snake of TRS (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) going from my main in and outs, varying music devices to my MOTU Ultralite MK3 .

Why is this?

Over USB, your signal is peaked at 96 kbps which is pretty cut down for a device to bog itself down with 512 sample latency... Do remember most programs cannot bounce the Virus and it needs to be sequenced and recorded as its own track, handy for playback and work later on, but a pain if you're using it to export a bunch of sounds. It works great as a live instrument, just don't overtax it or it WILL crash and take about 20 seconds to reboot and however long it takes to sync USB to your computer. Use Multi if you're going to really work it.

I've attached a handy guide for getting optimal control and sound out of FL Studio since it's the most popular interface out there and doesn't constantly pump you for money every update.

As for a drum machine, you could go with the 522, however at that price point you can go with a more authentic Roland TR-8 and if you're not picky about patch saving your settings on a drum machine, the drumbrute from Arturia if you wwant to get on board with live controlling and filter playing your drum machine.

I for one worship my sampling overlords.

If I can part with some worthy advice, get a really awesome recording device into your D.A.W.. As long as you can get really clean sound coming in (be it vocals or otherwise) then your studio is ready to be put to work.

Promised image of how-to setup a virus for best quality recording in FL Studio.

Ashe37 wrote:I find it funny that you're a guitar pedal snob and yet don't own a single analog synth.

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