Archive for the ‘ Recording Software ’ Category

Making Moves 7 – New Equipment

I have new toys to work with! The studio is definitely coming together with new studio monitor speakers and a microKORG. Soon I will be getting Pro Tools 9 for more advanced recording and mixing than my current program (Garageband). There comes a point in any rappers career when it no longer makes sense to pay someone else an hourly rate for mixing. For me that point is now, as I am making a conscious effort to expand my horizons and properly learn how to mix and master. Until this point I have been either paying someone to mix my music or playing around with the mix without really knowing what I was doing. I have paid people rates ranging from $30-75/hour and they never put as much into the mix as I would like. They have trouble seeing the vision that I am trying to communicate when I tell them the way I want the song to sound, and the effects that I want. More likely they don’t really know what they’re doing.

I am also going to be getting into more production. My roommate recently got a Maschine, (~$500 retail) which is an extremely powerful sampling, beat making monster, so I will have access to that. I have tried my hand at producing on a few projects when I really have a vision of a melody in my head and I can just try to translate that into an electronic version. But with the KORG and the new recording software I will have all I need to really see what my producing capabilities are.

Here are my brand spanking new Yamaha HS 80M Powered Monitor Speakers (~$300/speaker). They are shown “floating” on foam pads atop two wooden towers.

The reason why these speakers are going to make such a difference is that they are allow me to mix songs properly. They are reference speakers so when you play something through them you are hearing a reference of the true sound that is meant to be heard. So if the mix sounds good on these speakers, it should sound good on any speakers, theoretically. I will keep everyone posted on the progress of my mixing and mastering skills and what is helpful along the way…

Here is the microKORG in all its glory (~$400 retail).

At first glance, the microKORG looks like your average electric piano with midi capabilites. But once you hook it up to some speakers you start to feel the true power of this instrument. Rather than just being a piano with a few effects you can throw on top, it is an instrument in its own right. Officially it is a midi capable virtual synthesizer/vocorder. After playing around with it for a few days I am beginning to see that I might want to take lessons to learn how to play this thing (do they have microKORG classes??). I will look into it. Not only does it have vocorder capabilities, but the complexity of the effects and the ease of switching between effects makes for an extremely powerful tool. I can see why so many well-established acts use the microKORG as part of their live show. Bands using the KORG include JUSTICE, Chromeo, Devo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Le Tigre, The Neptunes, Kings of Leon and many more. It has famously been used by Dr. Dre and many other big name hip hop producers in their arsenals. As far as I’m concerned, sky’s the limit with this instrument. Can’t wait to get more familiar.

The 15 Most Popular Recording Software

Digital Music Doctor has published a list of the 15 most popular software products for making music based on search activity on Google, MSN, Yahoo and AOL.  During Q3 2010, four products – Cakewalk Sonar, Adobe Audition, Sony Acid, and Propellerhead Reason – trended downward.

Here is the article from Hypebot.

1. Avid Pro Tools  (9.6)
2. FL Studio  (7.3)
3. Steinberg Cubase  (6.3)
4. Cakewalk Sonar  (5.4)
5. Apple Logic  (2.9)6. Adobe Audition  (2.9)
7. Apple GarageBand  (2.7)
8. Sony Sound Forge  (1.7)
9. MOTU Digital Performer  (1.7)
10. Ableton Live  (1.6)
11. Sony Acid  (1.4)
12. Band-in-a-Box  (1.3)
13. Steinberg Nuendo  (0.7)
14. Steinberg Wavelab  (0.6)
15. Propellerhead Reason  (0.6)

The most popular is Pro Tools, followed by FL Studio, which I hadn’t heard of until this article. Then Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, Appple Logic, Adobe Audition, and then Garageband.

I have been using Garageband since I started recording solo material 6 years ago. But that’s only because I had a Mac, and it came with my computer. More recently I have played around with ProTools and I can see a huge difference in live recording capabilities. But I have heard that ProTools is not the best if you are trying to compose beats. I have friends that swear by Sonar, and friends that swear by Cubase, but no real compelling argument to persuade me to work with those programs.

What do you use? Why do you use it instead of the others? Do you use one for recording and another one for making beats?

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