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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 369 Member Since: 11/10/2013

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May 13 17 11:49 AM

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Hey Everyone

I normally do straight ahead rock type stuff, simple, drums, bass, guitars, vocals, strings. I was listening to some pop, coudn't tell you who, may have ben more like some edm, had some very cool beats and rhythms, etc but it was all electronic. I was interested in exploring combining some natural acoustic and electric guitars with some ambient beats and loops for fun.

the production, to me at least, seemed pretty complicated, with all the of the parts sort of flowing in and out, even the vocals or phrases had the dealy and panning at times that seemed automated.

i will try and find examples but was wondering about pop production and what you do and use? I have programs like Kontakt, RMX and omnisphere, EZ drummer etc but I'm curious what are some staple go to's for ambient beat stuff, and then how production works with that? sorry this isn't more specific but I was curious since it seems very different than straight ahead rock.

thanks!
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soapfoot

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Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#1 [url]

May 13 17 7:18 PM

Ableton has a lot of expressive potential in terms of manipulating samples, loops, found sounds, recorded audio, etc.

Not my DAW of choice for recording groups that play together in real time, or for mixing, or anything exclusively-audio. But it definitely "leads" the user directions that Pro Tools does not, and makes certain things easy that are counter-intuitive or difficult in Pro Tools.

Pro Tools is like a virtual "console and tape machine," whereas Ableton is something different; almost more like an "instrument" in a way, if that makes sense. Different electronic music producers use different things, but I know several who prefer/use Ableton.

brad allen williams

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trock.lucasmicrophone

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Posts: 369 Member Since:11/10/2013

#2 [url]

May 13 17 7:39 PM

Thanks Brad

I have heard that as well, I use cubase and it has alot of stuff but I have never really dug into it. Im not that great on midi stuff but might be time to learn some things. The production of pop interests me to. I kind of have a beat or riff going in my head and can flush it out with instruments/synths/loops, but its sort of mixing that ambient sound that I need to look into

Thanks!

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jesse decarlo

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Posts: 1,545 Member Since:24/03/2013

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May 17 17 12:15 AM

I have had the impression that in the case of "top 40" pop, which has a lot of electronic elements, many or even most of the major label records are still done in Pro Tools. But I don't personally know for sure.

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silvertone

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Posts: 2,776 Member Since:26/01/2011

#4 [url]

May 17 17 5:33 AM

The guys I deal with use Logic, they will even use Garage Band. Some of these guys do amazing stuff with these programs. Cubase seems like it does something similar, so I'd say... explore!

Today it is way easier than dealing with sampling and MIDI in the 80's like we had to. I'd be handed a Prince song (or who ever) and they'd tell me they want this beat, that chorus, this lick and it was up to me to sample them off and create the loops. I was actually amazed at what I could pull out of these productions.

I sampled Funky Drummer long before it ever became populat to use.    I pulled a lot of early Chili Peppers drums before they blew up. Cream, Sinatra, P-Funk, Was Not Was, etc... no one was off limits.

I use to have quite a library of loops. They went when the Emulator went. Still have my S50 samples though.

I loved keyboard samplers for their ability to play the cut time (octave lower) against the real time and or double time the beat by playing the octave higher. When using small sections of both against the beat some amazing times and feels can be accomplished. I also use to reverse the loops as well creating even more sonic sculptures. Fun times in a lot of ways, work but fun work... and I even got paid to do it. Imagine that.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

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kris

Silverado

Posts: 240 Member Since:04/02/2011

#5 [url]

May 17 17 10:27 AM

I'm working with someone who is producing great pop oriented stuff in Reason.  TONS of tracks... We pop it into Pro Tools to mix.

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ktownson

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Posts: 3,188 Member Since:22/01/2011

#6 [url]

May 17 17 11:01 AM

Waveform (formerly Tracktion) has tried to carve a niche in the loop production method with features that draw from Ableton as well as traditional DAWs. It has a built-in database feature that will let you organize loops and clips, plus time-stretching, pitch-shifting and MIDI instrument capabilities. Oddly, in a concession to Pro Tools users, it now offers a mixer-based GUI along with the loop features, so it looks more like PT but acts like Ableton.

"Kerry fixed the stereo, and now it doesn't work." (My six-year-old sister)

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podgorny

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May 17 17 11:15 AM

I've seen Reason and FL Studio and a good bit of Ableton and some Cubase, but BY FAR the most common DAW for pop production is Logic. As far as sounds, it's a mixed bag, but Native Instruments' products make up a significant portion of that.

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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podgorny

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#8 [url]

May 17 17 11:19 AM

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the programming phase. When it comes time to track vocals/real instruments and mix, almost everything is done in Pro Tools.
Also, fun pop music fact; vocals are tracked while listening through Autotune. Still can't fully wrap my head around that one.

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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jesse decarlo

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May 17 17 11:30 AM

podgorny wrote:
Just to be clear, I'm talking about the programming phase. When it comes time to track vocals/real instruments and mix, almost everything is done in Pro Tools.
Also, fun pop music fact; vocals are tracked while listening through Autotune. Still can't fully wrap my head around that one.

That is what I had assumed, RE Pro Tools.

Monitoring through Autotune though... wow. I did a live recording of an up-and-coming pop-country star a couple of months ago who sang the whole show through one of those Tascam/Antares boxes, and he was hearing the processed sound in his wedge, so I guess that's the same thing. Crazy world.

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chrisj

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Posts: 988 Member Since:22/02/2011

#10 [url]

May 17 17 11:48 AM

Bear in mind there are different ways of getting 'electronic'. On the one hand, there's programs and loops, and those (such as Ableton) can be performance instruments.

Then there's another level where you can use more primitive technology to sync up a bunch of analog (or semi-analog) gear, and that can mean pre-MIDI. The old Roland stuff used DINsync, and the interesting thing about that is it doesn't carry any note information: it's strictly about locking parallel grooveboxes together. When you do that you can produce a really STRONG beat, where even computer stuff might falter. I'm setting up a system that uses Xoxboxes (like Roland 303s) for the DINsync and reference clock, and assorted MIDI-savvy stuff off that (Xox can simultaneously send DINsync and MIDI clock, but only when it's the source. I have a 'Tanzmaus' drum box that can receive MIDI clock, a Kawai hardware sequencer likewise which I've already tested with the Xox clocking it, and a midi splitter that helps me not have to daisy-chain anything). The key thing is that as much as possible isn't being sent MIDI notes, just internally sequencing off a given clock: the Tanzmaus is fantastic that way, just clock it off the XOX and it'll calculate its own beats without having to receive note-ons (one at a time, over MIDI). It'll fire simultaneous stuff, simultaneously.

Depends on the computer stuff, though. There used to be a playlist on Soundcloud, now lost, called 'crappy sync test'. It used various DAWs to send MIDI data out to an external synth and tried to match that to a reference hardware beat: if I remember right, it was hi-hats. Only one DAW performed amazingly: Renoise, the modern sound-tracker DAW. The usual suspect DAWs produced very sketchy MIDI timing.

If you're interested in trancey or aggressively fast electronic stuff, I think syncing hardware stuff with self-contained sequencers is rewarding though it's got its challenges (as I'm sure we know). Then another approach is just running with something like Renoise: difficult to learn if you have no knack for tracker stuff, but it's capable of extremely 'electronic' genres and pretty much nothing beats that type of DAW for aggressively hypnotic beats.

I feel when you get into 'pop production in Logic with Apple Loops' and such, that's stepping over into garage-bandy territory, and it's possible to greatly outperform that stuff for EDM if you really want to :)

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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podgorny

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#11 [url]

May 17 17 2:56 PM

chrisj wrote:

The old Roland stuff used DINsync, and the interesting thing about that is it doesn't carry any note information: it's strictly about locking parallel grooveboxes together. When you do that you can produce a really STRONG beat, where even computer stuff might falter. I'm setting up a system that uses Xoxboxes (like Roland 303s) for the DINsync and reference clock, and assorted MIDI-savvy stuff off that (Xox can simultaneously send DINsync and MIDI clock...

 
I can't comment on the world of indie-EDM or whatever it is that you're describing. But in the  "pop" music that I've worked, I've not seen any electronic music hardware other than synthesizers (Prophets, Junos, various Moogs), and those are played live, not connected via MIDI. In fact, I don't recall the last time I plugged a MIDI cable into something.
 

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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chrisj

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May 19 17 5:48 AM

Well, three things:
1) but everybody wants to dance to
2) it's insanely competitive so doing it in cheaper ways isn't necessarily a successful angle to take: it may look like it's churned out from Vengeance samples, presets and loops and is totally generic, but that's a recipe for automatic failure. Yet the usual rules don't apply either, replace the 'cheap' machines with expensive studio musicians and the best recordings and you'll also fail (possible exception: drummer Jojo Mayer)
3) everyone also wants to go to the live playbacks/performances with the unbelievable post-Pink-Floyd light shows. They most certainly have to pay for that, and there's a spectrum between stars that 'play' by basically cheerleading, and stars that 'play' by sort of doing a really active mix from stems. The optimal balance is probably the stems played through either custom software (Deadmau5) or Ableton Live. Renoise can also be performed live though I think that's far less common.

Be fair, it's like the criticism that millenials aren't buying houses and diamonds because they are too busy buying avocados on toast. People can't pay for much these days even if they wanted, so the trick is getting them interested whether or not they're paying, and that's a first step. In the Star Trek future there's no money or scarcity… except for attention, and you're paid strictly in that if you want to be a superstar. We're halfway there…

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,776 Member Since:26/01/2011

#14 [url]

May 19 17 7:19 AM

To me EDM and pop are just disco's afterlife.

It's for dancing and rubbing/touching (if you're doing ecstasy).

I loved programming and sampling riffs off of records when it first started in the 80's, by the 90's I was bored to death of it. To me that kind of music is like working a jigsaw puzzle. Seems fun at first but after a while... yawn...

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

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waltzmastering

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#15 [url]

May 19 17 7:29 AM

silvertone wrote:

I use to have quite a library of loops.


 


I found a box of floppy discs from those days just last week. 
Lots of samples from vinyl records brought in, in milk crates. 

 

Last Edited By: waltzmastering May 19 17 10:12 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#16 [url]

May 19 17 7:40 AM

bob olhsson wrote:
Aren't these just cheaper ways to produce a 30 year old style of music that nobody wants to pay for?

The way I see it-- these are cheaper folk instruments. The relative inexpense allows nearly everyone access to the musical instrument that's defining the folk music of our time-- the laptop and DAW. But the existence of this musical instrument, and its accessibility, is not likely the source of the industry's woes. The current massive industrial revolution is what's responsible for that. The accessibility of the instrument is just a side-effect of that industrial revolution; not its cause.

I remember that a generation before mine, nearly EVERY home had a piano or organ in it. This did not make people less likely to pay for music-- it probably made them more likely. 

 

brad allen williams

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bigbone

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Posts: 2,252 Member Since:27/01/2011

#17 [url]

May 19 17 9:48 AM

soapfoot wrote:

bob olhsson wrote:
Aren't these just cheaper ways to produce a 30 year old style of music that nobody wants to pay for?

The way I see it-- these are cheaper folk instruments. The relative inexpense allows nearly everyone access to the musical instrument that's defining the folk music of our time-- the laptop and DAW. But the existence of this musical instrument, and its accessibility, is not likely the source of the industry's woes. The current massive industrial revolution is what's responsible for that. The accessibility of the instrument is just a side-effect of that industrial revolution; not its cause.

I remember that a generation before mine, nearly EVERY home had a piano or organ in it. This did not make people less likely to pay for music-- it probably made them more likely. 

 


They had to learn to play the piano if they want to hear it.Now they put loop and make believed that they can play . !!!!!!

JN

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#18 [url]

May 19 17 10:04 AM

It's not "making believe they can play."

It's just a different set of skills that have to be developed. The electric guitar and trap kit were once ridiculed as "not real instruments," too.

brad allen williams

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gtoledo3

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Posts: 4,190 Member Since:23/10/2013

#19 [url]

May 19 17 10:10 AM

chrisj wrote:
The optimal balance is probably the stems played through either custom software (Deadmau5) or Ableton Live. Renoise can also be performed live though I think that's far less common.

 

Maybe he's doing something fancier now, but deadmau5 used Ableton for the live shows for a long time, records in Logic.

The show pretty much does play itself, aside from messing with a Sherman or similar every so often.

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gtoledo3

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#20 [url]

May 19 17 10:15 AM

Just because a song uses loops or samples, etc., doesn't necessarily mean that it's written from a pastiche/collage type of standpoint.

Some people write a song more traditionally, then work it from the other angle for awhile, revising, and revising. Or start with constructing some sort of beds, then work more traditionally, then go back...back and forth.

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