Author Topic: The music production & Composition (mega)thread  (Read 9717 times)

music production & Composition

A record producer or track producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many roles during the recording process. The roles of a producer vary. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Table of contents
   How to get started
      Recommended gear
      Cheap gear
      Medium priced gear
      The good stuff
   Samples, patches and VST's
   FaQ
   Usefull links


Getting started

Producing music may seem like an expensive hobby because you need thousands of dollars worth of studio equipment and other stuff but thats not really the case. All you really need is a laptop and a digital audio workstation (or DAW for short). You can have a lot of fun making music, but getting a good recording and arrangement of your song requires some work and knowledge. Thats why I decided to make this thread. Well im not an expert either but i'd like to bring other people into the hobby.

To get started you need two things. A computer and considering you're reading this thread on the internet about a lego video game, you're probably good for that. Any computer will basically do. Unless you have a 2006 intel atom stuff laptop or something. The other thing you need is a DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation. A DAW is basically a piece of software used for composing, arranging and synthesising sound into music. I recommend FL studio, Ableton live and Cubase Pro. I personally use FL studio because imo its the easiest the use and is the most versatile and customizable.

Of course other gear like keyboards and midi controllers are really usefull, which I will be covering in the next subject.

Recommended gear

Some useful gear which is recommended but not mandatory will be neatly listed here.

A good pair of headphones

I live in a suite and my neighbors probably dont appreciate my terrible music so some high quality headphones are quite usefull. If you are looking for some, be sure to buy headphones with a flat frequency response. Some good brands are Sennheiser, Audio Technica and Beyerdynamic.


Studio monitors

Dont have neighbords or simply don't care? Well I dont. Studio monitors are fantastic if you want to listen to your creations with natural acoustics or something. I honestly dont like wearing headphones all the time since im autistic and headphones never feel right for some reason. Both options are good really. Some good brands are Yamaha, KRK and JBL.


MIDI keyboard

While you can play or try out your synth or sound in your DAW with your computer keyboard. A MIDI keyboard is a godsend. Its basically a cheap piano that you hook up to your DAW which can then translate key presses to notes. Can also be used to directly record into your DAW and usually comes with a couple of drum pads and controllers. Can be 25 keys up to 88 keys wide. Not to be confused with a synthesiser. Some good brands are Akai, Alesis and Native Instruments


Audio interface

Also known as a sound card or digital audio converters. They basically convert digital audio to brown townog audio. But espio, why don't I just use the soundcard in my computer? Haha good question billy! The soundcard in your computer, which usually in intergrated in the motherboard itself can produce electromagnetic interference (or EMI for short) and it can totally forget your stuff up. I had this problem a lot with my old speakers and frankly it was driving me nuts. But there's more! You can hook up microphones and other stuff into it to directly record the audio into your computer. Pretty neat. Some good brands are Focusrite, Yamaha and Steinberg


Microphone

Im pretty sure everyone knows what a microphone is. The are basically 2 types which is dynamic and condensor but for music production you probably want a condensor. Condensors need phantom power though, Which can be included in your Audio Interface. I just bought a podcast microphone which uses USB to save me the trouble. Pop filters are recommended. Some good brands are Rode, Shure and Samson

Cheap gear
For all your Sub hunderd dollar boogaloo.

Headphones
Sennheiser HD280PRO - $99,95
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x - $99,00
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x - $69,00
AKG K 240 - $67,99
BEHRINGER HPS5000 - $29,99

Studio monitors
Mackie CR3 - $99,00
Edifier R1280T - $99,99
M-Audio AV32 - $89,99

MIDI Keyboards
Nektar Impact GX49 - 49 keys - $99,99
Alesis V Mini - 25 keys - $89,99
Alesis V25 - 25 keys - $89,00
Akai Professional LPK25 - 25 Keys - $59,80

Audio interface

Focusrite Scarlett Solo - $96,00
BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD - $59,99
BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UM2 - $29,99

Microphones
Audio-Technica AT2020 - $99,00
Samson C01U USB - $79,90
Neewer NW-700 - $31,99

Medium priced gear
For those who aren't poor, plebs.

Headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO - $249,00
Shure SRH840 - $199,00
Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK - $186,00
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x - $149,00
AKG K 240 MK II - $107,08

Studio monitors
Mackie CR4 - $149,99
BEHRINGER STUDIO 50USB - $149,99
PreSonus Eris E4.5 - $195,00

MIDI keyboards
Alesis VI49 - 49 keys - $229,00
Novation Launchkey 49 - 49 keys - $199,99
Nektar Impact LX61+ - 61 keys $199,99
Nektar Impact LX49+ - 49 keys - $159,99
Alesis V49 - 49 keys - $129,00

Audio interface
Scarlet focusrite 6i6 - $249,97
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 - $229,00
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - $149099

Microphones
Rode NT1A - $229,00
Audio-Technica AT2035 - $149,00

The good stuff
If you stuff money maybe idk

Headphones
Shure SRH1540 - $499,00
Bose QuietComfort 35 - $349,00

Studio monitors
Neumann KH-120 - $1499,90
Yamaha HS5 - $399,98
KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 - $319,00

MIDI keyboards
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol - $299,00 up to $999,00
Studiologic SL88 - $499,95
Nektar Impact LX88 - $289,00

There aren't any audio interfaces or microphones I recommend buying thats over $250. Also prices may change over the course of time, please notify me if that happens.

Samples, patches and VST's

Quick rundown
Samples are pre-recorded audio files like kicks, snares, claps and hats. Or even effects and loops.
Patches A sound setting used on synths to produce all kinds of sounds
VST's is an audio plugin software that usually runs universally across all DAW's

These are pretty essential. But don't worry my friend. I will link soms links where you can get started.
Sample magic - Free and paid samples and patches
Samplehonics - Free and paid samples
Splice - Free VST's
Komplete players - Free usefull VST's
Massive - My go-to synth VST. $149,00
ReFX Nexus - Also very good Synth VST. $249,00 (minimum)
Sylenth1 - Synth VST. $139,00
Serum - Advanced Wavetable Synthesizer. $189,00

FaQ's

What is compression/EQ/Reverb/...?
Compression: Amplifies silent noises and reduces the volume of loud noises giving an overall better sound but reduces quality a bit.
EQ: Or equalization is adjusting certain frequencies across the spectrum (e.g. bass boosting)
Reverb: Basically an echo but shorter. When a sound is reflected of a wall back to you.
Delay: Basically an echo. Playing the same note or audio again after a certain period of time.

What is the difference between a lead and a pad?
Lead: Usually made for melodies or well, leads.
Pads: Usually used in the background as a more athmospheric/ambient sound
Honestly you can do whatever you want. Theyre not sounds but rather descriptions of sounds.

What's the difference between a piano, keyboard, synthesiser and midi keyboard?
Piano: Acoustic instrument. Doesn't need electricity (duh)
Keyboard: Electric instrument. Needs external audio interface.
Synthesiser: Generates sounds. Usually has integrated speakers.
MIDI Keyboard: The same as a normal keyboard.

Should I get an brown townog synth?
Short answer, no.

What BPM should I use for this genre?
Hip Hop - 8595 BPM
Glitch Hop - 105115 BPM
Techno - 120125 BPM
Synthwave - 100130
House - 115130 BPM
Electro - 128 BPM
Dubstep - 140 BPM (with a half time, 70 BPM feel)
Drum and Bass - 174 BPM
Or just do whatever the forget you want.

Help, I dont have any inspiration!
Experiment my dude. Change the process, change the outcome (-daddy mick gordon)

Usefull links
FL Studio tutorial
Ableton live tutorials
Cubase pro tutorial
Music production subreddit

honestly I have no loving clue what im talking about lmao. Follow my soundcloud please thanks
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:28:19 PM by espio100 »

You should put Nexus on the vst list


is this thread for posting production and composition feats as opposed to just posting full tracks? because i think it would be cool if people posted details on how they did stuff instead of just posting links to their soundcloud

Serum is a great VST that has a lot of functionality.

is this thread for posting production and composition feats as opposed to just posting full tracks? because i think it would be cool if people posted details on how they did stuff instead of just posting links to their soundcloud
This is for mainly for discussion but posting projects is also welcome.
You can find the forumers sick mixtapes in this thread
https://forum.blockland.us/index.php?topic=244885.0
Serum is a great VST that has a lot of functionality.
Added

If your tracks are ever actually finished, you're not human

also, Nexus blows. generally anything that doesn't have advanced synthesis methods like Serum (or kind of Massive) is a turd at this point and you're using all the same waves, all the time, in every synth you get, you're just paying or picking it for its presets and interface, which in the long run is virtually pointless. Serum is /the stuff/. I'd also recommend LuSH-101, it's big and serious and has a very warm, very real sound by default.


... also, short answer, should you get an brown townog synth, yes.......... it's incredibly more ideal if you're actually serious about what you're doing.
One, it won't require CPU load to play live or with MIDI sent to it whether you are at home or performing. Two, the brown townog synthesis methods are far superior to anything that is emulated or digitally produced through a softsynth, period (we just aren't there yet in the form of computing. maybe in a few years or so, definitely way closer than ~10 years ago when I joined these forums)And three, you buy it once, you have it forever until you break it. You look a lot less lame at a show if you have a physical synth to play, or even in a studio, or even at home. It just feels way better. It's more intimate. I've spent over a decade just flipping from VST to VST and they all start to feel the same, it's not exciting anymore. That doesn't happen with a physical, brown townog synthesizer. You want at least one physical brown townog synthesizer. .. if you're serious.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:46:59 PM by JD »

Who said anything about waves? Nexus has like a gazillion instruments, 10% of which are waves. Chiptune. And techno aren't the only genres of music made in FL studio or ableton. Nexus is great for finding good organic instrument sounds and configuring them to your liking with several mix presets, modulators and filters

They're also used professionally and you can hear Nexus instruments in virtually any song. I'll even here it in car advertisements. That's how versatile it is

Who said anything about waves? Nexus has like a gazillion instruments, 10% of which are waves. Chiptune. And techno aren't the only genres of music made in FL studio or ableton. Nexus is great for finding good organic instrument sounds and configuring them to your liking with several mix presets, modulators and filters

I said anything about waves.

"A gazillion instruments" perhaps you mean a gazillion presets, all comprised of 4 different basic shapes and maybe idk I bet at max 16 other "non-standard waveforms" that are either x detune or y detune, with reverb or no reverb, etc etc bla bla bla. If you can't load / edit / what have you your own waves it's trash in 2018. It was really cool 10 years ago when everyone was making trance music on NewGrounds and while Hardstyle was still cool, but that was before Skrillex, Deadmau5 (recent styling), etc changed the mainstream electronic scene becoming EDM as it is today. Nexus is a huge gimmick in 2018. Nexus is not great for finding good "organic instrument sounds and configuring them to your liking" anywhere over something like Sylenth, or anything similar to it. Vanguard, Nexus, Sylenth, etc. At this point Sytrus has more power to it and that's a free default synth with FL. Harmor stuffs all over all of those synths. They do not work the same.

Perhaps you are new to this but I would really appreciate it if you'd listen to me by reading what I write instead of what you want to hear, thanks.

"Thats how versatile it is" Why would you use Nexus to make a sound, and pay all the money for it, when it's like 10+ GB of just presets -- I've been using Nexus for /ten years/ -- when you can use something that costs less, that has MORE capability, that can do the SAME thing, more efficiently, for less $? One reason you probably think you hear so many Nexus presets is because they are copied off of sounds that were already being used in popular music, before Nexus was released. That's why people wanted it so bad. It's just like how everyone wants Serum, and everone wanted Massive. They have, and can be used to make the popular sounds. That was the basis on which Nexus was marketed. You may be hearing "nexus presets" but before they were nexus presets they were presets for older synths, or just sounds that made it to the mainstream eye and then were adapted into Nexus because its synthesis engine only uses basic waveforms and doesn't support FM synthesis. As I said.
It's just funny that you would go to say "who said anything about waves" (for obvious reasons to begin with) but then go to talk about, apparently without realizing, exactly that.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:54:54 PM by JD »

... also, short answer, should you get an brown townog synth, yes.......... it's incredibly more ideal if you're actually serious about what you're doing.
One, it won't require CPU load to play live or with MIDI sent to it whether you are at home or performing. Two, the brown townog synthesis methods are far superior to anything that is emulated or digitally produced through a softsynth, period (we just aren't there yet in the form of computing. maybe in a few years or so, definitely way closer than ~10 years ago when I joined these forums)And three, you buy it once, you have it forever until you break it. You look a lot less lame at a show if you have a physical synth to play, or even in a studio, or even at home. It just feels way better. It's more intimate. I've spent over a decade just flipping from VST to VST and they all start to feel the same, it's not exciting anymore. That doesn't happen with a physical, brown townog synthesizer. You want at least one physical brown townog synthesizer. .. if you're serious.
This, digital synths are nice and all but with an brown townog synth you can actually play the instrument and physically dial in the timbre. In high school I produced music exclusively using soft synths in FL studio, then I got an brown townog synth and I haven't touched digital in years. No harm in using soft synths but the tactile response and the thrill of live playing you get from brown townog is soooooo satisfying.

This, digital synths are nice and all but with an brown townog synth you can actually play the instrument and physically dial in the timbre. In high school I produced music exclusively using soft synths in FL studio, then I got an brown townog synth and I haven't touched digital in years. No harm in using soft synths but the tactile response and the thrill of live playing you get from brown townog is soooooo satisfying.
Exactly. Bb you get it. Digital synths are totally great if you have a PC that's next-gen, but there's always going to be a next-gen. You're never going to catch up, there's always going to be something better that you can't exactly obtain. And this is coming from me who will literally layer over 20 VERY big, VERY high CPU usage synths with many many voices at a given instance in a track. Of course if you're just loving around, making really simplistic stuff, that's chill, you don't need anything crazy. But in that same regard, you can literally use any default synth in most of the modern DAWs.
 Look at any vintage brown townog synth though, oh forget. There's a reason people like Mau5 and all the big, serious producers -- AND BANDS -- and the band's producers -- use them. And why we aim at reproducing their sounds, on digital synths, today. They have a shape, and a presence, and forget they're just so nice. They're timeless, and they are complete (enough.) You don't get that with digital.

Id recommend them if they weren't stupidly expensive compared to a keyboard and a bunch of patches.

Full scale, hell even 61 key synths already cost a few hunder bucks. Well the good ones at least. I have a very old synth and honestly I never use it. I alway rely on my midi keyboard.

Is it because its older than my mother? Is it because its absolutely massive and barely fits on my desk? Is it because the power adapter takes up half my power brick? Is it because a phone within a range of 5 meter causes EMI that makes me go deaf? Is it because the integrated sounds sound like stuff? Absolutely.

Im not saying all synths are like that. But if you really want a good one, hammered keys, touch response, forgetton of presets, etc...
For that price id rather just get a digital piano if all im going to do is just play live.

Or just... Get a keyboard and load up a synthesiser vst which saves me the trouble of plugging in brown townog synth in a DAC, recording without any mistakes, and hoping you dont change the bpm down the line. Digital synths are just so much more convenient.
Dont get me wrong, if you prefer to use brown townog synths, you do you.

The only synth id get is the op-1 or the smaller calculator looking things from teenage engineering because theyre conveniently portable and you can basically create an entire songs on them. But than again, the op-1 costs a fortune.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:53:55 PM by espio100 »

Very agreeable and I see your use case scenario. Like I said if you're /serious/ they're ideal. The price of an expensive, for good reason of course, guitar and amp is going to be equivalent to the price of a synthesizer of similar caliber. That also being said I myself wouldn't recommend getting anything new, to be completely honest, and to only look for deals on vintage Moog and Roland synths and the like. It's pointless to buy some new potato brown townog synth even if it sounds good because if it's brand new, it's just going to get out-manufacturered in 5 years and be worth significantly less, anyways, or it's a clone of something else that already exists, unlike a different physical instrument such as a guitar or piano, etc. If you're just looking to richard around in a DAW you don't need one, at all. I don't think anyone needs one to begin with.

This, digital synths are nice and all but with an brown townog synth you can actually play the instrument and physically dial in the timbre. In high school I produced music exclusively using soft synths in FL studio, then I got an brown townog synth and I haven't touched digital in years. No harm in using soft synths but the tactile response and the thrill of live playing you get from brown townog is soooooo satisfying.
All the things you described aren't unique to brown townog synths specifically, though; just hardware synths in general (which includes digital synths).

I myself wouldn't recommend getting anything new, to be completely honest, and to only look for deals on vintage Moog and Roland synths and the like.
Something to keep in mind though is the fact that vintage synths (brown townog or otherwise) are most likely going to need to be serviced at one point, adding to the overall cost (unless you've found one that's already been serviced recently).

All the things you described aren't unique to brown townog synths specifically, though; just hardware synths in general (which includes digital synths).
Something to keep in mind though is the fact that vintage synths (brown townog or otherwise) are most likely going to need to be serviced at one point, adding to the overall cost (unless you've found one that's already been serviced recently).
All physical instruments have to be serviced at some point, that is definitely a given. The particular things, in the way that they apply to brown townog synths, that I described, are in fact particular to brown townog synths, if you know about brown townog synths. Naturally every synth is going to be different, brown townog physical, digital physical, digital software, they all have their own feels. Physical brown townog synthesizers most certainly have a particular aspect to them that not just any physical synthesizer has, especially vintage ones.