9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

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kraku
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9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by kraku » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:16 pm

This is a serious question, so I'd appreciate serious answers.

I'm trying to find a suitable software or hardware for my sister's son to learn how to write his own music. He's 9 years old and seems to be more technically interested in the music writing process / gadgets than learning how to actually play an instrument.

So I've been trying to come up with an idea of what HW gadget or software host / etc. would be best for him to learn all this stuff with. I don't want to overwhelm this kid by buying him Logic Pro 8 and some monster software synth, since there would be a too steep learning curve.

He seemed to be really interested in my Korg EMX-1 while building his own simple drum patterns, but since it's a pretty complex machine with complex UI, he wasn't able to do much with it. This proves that if the SW/HW was simple enough, he'd have the energy and interest to learn it.

I've been eyeing the Korg ER-1 groovebox, which would enable him to create his own fun patterns and tweak the sounds a bit, but that's the only thing I've managed to come up with so far. ER-1 is also quite limited since it can only do drums.

I would really like to hear your suggestions what HW or SW might work for this kid.
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by guesswho » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:05 am

A Nintendo DS with the Korg DS-10 maybe?
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:18 am

If he has a Windows PC download Acid Xpress, it's free.
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by Yoozer » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:18 am

Kids learn fast if they're interested in a topic and have a memory like a sponge. I'd bet that in a week, with assistance from you, he'd master the general operation of the machine.

Other than that, the DS sounds like an idea - the PSP has some audio apps too.

Also, don't underestimate FL Studio. Yes, he'd have to know English, but set things up so he doesn't have to figure out everything from scratch, encourage to experiment answer his questions, and you'd be in for a surprise - though the EMX or the ER would be more fun, I think.
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by rhino » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:56 am

band-in-a-box ?
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by space6oy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:26 pm

if you wind up wanting to stick with an electribe, try to find him an EM-1 instead of an ER-1 so that he'll have both percussion and all kinds of other instrument emulation.

if you have a mac, let him mess w/ garageband.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by Z » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:32 pm

I bought a mK off Craigslist for $200 and gave it to my 15 year old son for Christmas. He loves it!

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by Invention » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:28 pm

15 is leagues different from 9.

Just sort of pointing that out.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by stephen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:31 pm

My 7-year old girl loves to mess about with my electribe (it's an EM-1)
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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:01 pm

An Electribe would be fun to play with I reckon, on the software front there are a lot of free suites that come with various audio interfaces etc, maybe get them a midi/usb keyboard that comes with some free software and see what they like using.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by Z » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:50 pm

Invention wrote:15 is leagues different from 9.
Not really. As technically adept kids are these days, it won't be long before my 2 year old will be doing my tech support and jamming along with us.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by hyphen nation » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:15 am

.
Last edited by hyphen nation on Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by hollandturbine » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:43 am

Reason and a controller keyboard. You can set up a default for him with just what he needs to get going, like a ReDrum drum machine and an NN-XT sampler (the visible controls are quite simple) then as he learns you can show him more.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by ross308 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:59 am

yeah an electribe is a nice toy . on the software side "reaper" is really cheap and good . its what i am starting to use (yes im dumping cubase for it) and its very user-friendly. with a couple of free vst instruments it would make a nice little virtual studio. i would also recommend " FL studio" . its a good and very "cool" program . it's what I've learned on.

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Re: 9 year old kid: what HW or SW to buy him to make music?

Post by killertofu » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:27 am

It sounds like you're trying to find some sort of all in one box or software to learn with, which might be really confusing for a young kid depending how technical he is. You might consider getting a very simple synth - something like a Roland Juno 6, 60, 106 or even something modern like Nord Lead 1. These all go for about $200 to $500 depending on how hard you look and where you're located. These synths have a lot of knobs (no software menus or anything to dig through) and are therefore extremely fun to play. You can get some get some really cool sounds out of them instantly without having to read a bunch of manuals or learn some complex software. I think this is a great starting point for a kid interested in electronic music. If you REALLY have some $$$ to spend you could get him started on some Synthesizers.com modules. I think there is a monthly plan that gets you a new component every month. Depends how nice of an uncle you want to be :mrgreen:

You could easily add to the first setup if you want later on. You could incorporate an inexpensive drum machine, sampler, sequencer, or recording software like Reaper once hes comfortable digging into the more technical side of things. Im not sure how much youre looking to spend though. If you do decide to go the vintage route, as long he takes good care of his gear (and you dont pay a ridiculous amount up front) you can most likely sell it for at least what you paid. I definitely cant say that about new gear, even some newer used gear. I know that kids can lose interest in something very fast, so im just throwing that out there.

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