HIJACK
July 02, 2022, 05:45:18 *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
Main Forum.Faces Gallery.Tunes and Mixes.The Desk
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Share this page
Pages: [1] |   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic:

I'm such a n00b with synths and midi. How did you learn?

 (Read 4353 times)
Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« on: December 02, 2010, 13:42:02 »

Pretty much as it says ^^ - I need some tutorials that will help me learn how to use synths and midi functions in Logic/Ableton. I'm a half decent musician in terms of using real instruments, recording, sampling and writing drum patterns... but when it comes to synths and midi I'm a complete beginner. How did you learn? Can you recommend any good tutorials/learning aids/techniques to practice?

I basically want to be able to put spacey noises, washes and big wobbly basslines in my music, but it's complete trial and error at the moment, and very time consuming... help!
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
bloke
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 8,558

Bristol crew!


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 13:48:55 »

trial and error in my case + a really tutorial that came with a synth, I've been thinking about offering synthesis tuition for pay, don't know if there's much demand for that on here...
Logged
Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 13:59:12 »

trial and error in my case + a really tutorial that came with a synth, I've been thinking about offering synthesis tuition for pay, don't know if there's much demand for that on here...

Well there may well be, and I'd consider it - but money is tight at the moment! My housemate is the don at all this stuff but he struggles to grasp how little I understand and tends to just 'do' everything without showing me how!
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
JE:5
Veteran
****
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1,685


0891 50 50 50


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 14:34:52 »

Once you know what each basic function of the synthesiser does and how it affects the sound you are well on your way to creating your own patches. I learned from library books (pre internet days) and buying a Bass Station keyboard for the hands on experience.

You also have to realise there is more than one type of synthesis, the most common being subtractive synthesis which is a great place to start, you then have FM (frequency modulation) synthesis, additive synthesis, granular etc.

Logged




<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fje-5%2Fje5-off-the-cuff" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fje-5%2Fje5-off-the-cuff</a>

Artists include .Xtrak, James T Cotton, Subhead, Kevin Saunderson, The Mover, Orlando Voorn, DJ Valium, Tobias Schmidt and more.
Block Party
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 10,722


Bristol crew!


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 14:39:06 »

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

Part 1 at the bottom.

http://www.tweakheadz.com/midi_controllers.htm Useful controller info.

Youtube probably have countless tutorials.

Knowing what each knob does on a synth and how they affect each other is a good start. Learn how the ADSR works and what each raw wave is useful for, after that it becomes easier to shape your own sounds. The first link should help, but I would just ask your housemate to explain. If he's going to fast, then ask him to go over it again until you understand.
Logged

x
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 13,197


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 14:40:11 »

You've got a one o' them little MIDI controller keyboards eh? What I'd do is I'd play around with a soft-synth using the controller keyboard (most soft-synths have a "learn" button so you press "learn" on a given control then twiddle a knob on the keyboard and it automatically pairs them up). Then you can record a bit of your live twiddling and go have a look at the MIDI information thats been recorded. Then you'll get an idea of the differences between notes, continuous controllers, on/off switches and sys-ex controls. Also if you're reading tutorials on it it'd be OK to skip over bits that go on about sys-ex because sys-ex is quite confusing and not really very useful.


*Sys-Ex means "system exclusive message", its used to send commands and controls that aren't included in the actual MIDI standard and it borders on being more like computer programming than music.
Logged
Block Party
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 10,722


Bristol crew!


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 14:41:41 »

http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=869468&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#869468

Loads of links in here.
Logged

Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 14:56:00 »

Cool, cheers guys.

I use a Novation X-Station and a MicroKorg - both of which are hardware synths with midi functions. I'll have a look at the tutorials you've .isted. I'm not usually very good with youtube tutorials though, not sure why. I dunno, I was just curious for how people on here learnt themselves
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
x
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 13,197


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 15:33:41 »

Put it this way. I got Cubase on a hooky CD when I was 13. I got it to make a sound for the first time when I was 14, just by poking around with the settings. And that was in the pre-internet days when little help was available. Twelve years later and I still learned something new last week. Just gotta keep plugging away. Set your heart on achieving a certain sound and don't shower or shave until you've done it.  Two Thumbs
Logged
Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 15:56:14 »

Put it this way. I got Cubase on a hooky CD when I was 13. I got it to make a sound for the first time when I was 14, just by poking around with the settings. And that was in the pre-internet days when little help was available. Twelve years later and I still learned something new last week. Just gotta keep plugging away. Set your heart on achieving a certain sound and don't shower or shave until you've done it.  Two Thumbs

That's the answer I was dreading  Two Thumbs
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
Jimmy_P
Raver
***
Offline

Posts: 480

under_score technician


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 17:16:08 »

Has already been said, but I'll second it, read this

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

Start at the bottom of the page and work your way up. When you've read them all, read them again
Logged
Spit
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 10,466


Chevron Action Flash


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 18:13:40 »

One of the glossy mags (think it was Computer Music) did a special edition a few months back called 'Make Synth Music'- would probably be good to order a back-copy as a useful starting point, it had guides as to how to make various 'classic' noises from different genres that would help you learn as you went.
Logged

Snoo
Dub Specialist
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4,351


Original Choker


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 21:58:55 »

Read this too: http://noisesculpture.com/how-to-make-a-noise

There is a pay for version, but you can get the free pdf version from that page. Very rated over at KVR.
Logged

http://silentspring.bandcamp.com/

Home Fucking Is Killing Prostitution.
Epico
Ultimate Warrior
******
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6,754


Good day sir! - 36th in line to the throne...


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 11:33:04 »

but it's complete trial and error at the moment, and very time consuming... help!


trial and error in my case + a really tutorial that came with a synth, I've been thinking about offering synthesis tuition for pay, don't know if there's much demand for that on here...


I think you'll get a lot this this. Tutorials will help you gain knowledge of the functionality of a device, but if you've software in the past then you'll probably know what different wave types, LFO's and oscillators do anyway. It really will be a case of trial and error to get to know the hardware so that it sits in with what you're doing.

Trial and error is your friend. It may take a long time, but anybody who is good at anything has probably invested a lot time to get there  LIGHTAH!
Logged

Quote from: wub
Hermaphrodite yes, tranny no. A cock is still a cock, regardless of whether it's attached to a cracking pair of fake tits.

+++ Always taking bookings - hit me up on here or epicodnb *at* gmail *dot* com +++

Upcoming:
Feb: 8th @ The Big Chill (Clean Cut Collective)
x
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 13,197


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 12:40:17 »

Also trial and error doesn't have to be a bitch. If, as I assume you are, you're trying to get whole EPs and albums ready for release then I'm afraid to say thats not really the best way to learn. It took me about 6 years to have enough good enough tracks to call it a 7 track EP and those were really just the best bits of the learning process.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if you don't have an aim other than "play with sound toys" then every step you take is progress, every trial and every error isn't really a trial and an error so much as an experiment and a discovery. Its much less frustrating if you aim lower until you can sit there and think "I know exactly how to make what I am picturing in my head". Not what you wanna hear, I know, but I can imagine it is way, way more frustrating to be trying to do the whole job when you aren't sure how to do most of the component tasks.  Undecided
Logged
Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2010, 13:08:54 »

Also trial and error doesn't have to be a bitch. If, as I assume you are, you're trying to get whole EPs and albums ready for release then I'm afraid to say thats not really the best way to learn. It took me about 6 years to have enough good enough tracks to call it a 7 track EP and those were really just the best bits of the learning process.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if you don't have an aim other than "play with sound toys" then every step you take is progress, every trial and every error isn't really a trial and an error so much as an experiment and a discovery. Its much less frustrating if you aim lower until you can sit there and think "I know exactly how to make what I am picturing in my head". Not what you wanna hear, I know, but I can imagine it is way, way more frustrating to be trying to do the whole job when you aren't sure how to do most of the component tasks.  Undecided

Well, I'm not really doing that. I've got an album out now ( with some synth work on that I made from scratch), so while that does it's thing I have the time and the inclination to learn synths better... when I hit on a decent sound I'll save it and use it on a track one day. I'm doing a bunch of remixes, which is the perfect place to experiment.
I've found so far that the best thing to do is keep learning - but work within your means while you're doing that. Some songs are beautifully simple... so if I make a track I won't be aiming to make it sound like some epic synth workout until I know I'm capable. It's all about what you aim for IMO.
With that in mind, I'm quite happy to experiment while working on tracks for release. The bottom line is always 'if it sounds shit it doesn't go in', so I won't stop until I'm satisfied with it. It's a process that seems to be working just fine at the moment
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
x
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 13,197


View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2010, 13:15:25 »

Well that'll certainly make your life easier. I used to find that I'd sit down to write a synth line and whatever I happened to stumble on that sounded good tended to shape the rest of the tune. Even down  to setting the tempo just so it happens to match up with a fat bassline I've stumbled on. Kind of "Oh. Looks like I won't be working at 140bpm after all, cos I don't want to waste this 116bpm bassline".
Logged
Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2010, 15:35:06 »

Well that'll certainly make your life easier. I used to find that I'd sit down to write a synth line and whatever I happened to stumble on that sounded good tended to shape the rest of the tune. Even down  to setting the tempo just so it happens to match up with a fat bassline I've stumbled on. Kind of "Oh. Looks like I won't be working at 140bpm after all, cos I don't want to waste this 116bpm bassline".

There is absolutely no way I could ever write a song from the piano. First I need the sounds, then I need the notes, then it all goes into the MPC so I can get the rhythm. Then drums. Then finally reproduce the track into Logic, where I adorn it with automation, extra synths, and finally BASS. I find if I start with bass it overpowers everything else and I don't notice errors in the melody or drum patterns. Everyone's different though, that's just what works for me. I can't unlearn the MPC production style, it's part of me now!
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
drfish
Raver
***
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 202


Dr Fish - Breaking Beats


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2010, 13:31:45 »

I find if I start with bass it overpowers everything else and I don't notice errors in the melody or drum patterns. Everyone's different though, that's just what works for me. I can't unlearn the MPC production style, it's part of me now!

I just finished my first breaks tune and have the exact same thing where the bassline is definately the dominant feature of the tune.  Not always a bad thing but I've found it difficult to add anything melodic to go along with it that actually works. Think I'm going to try adding a melody of some sort before the bassline next time round.
Logged

Ewan Hoozami
Knife of the Realm
******
Offline

Posts: 12,674


Funk From The Trunk


View Profile View Faces Gallery WWW

Ignore
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 14:58:46 »

I find if I start with bass it overpowers everything else and I don't notice errors in the melody or drum patterns. Everyone's different though, that's just what works for me. I can't unlearn the MPC production style, it's part of me now!

I just finished my first breaks tune and have the exact same thing where the bassline is definately the dominant feature of the tune.  Not always a bad thing but I've found it difficult to add anything melodic to go along with it that actually works. Think I'm going to try adding a melody of some sort before the bassline next time round.

A trick I use to get round this is to write melodies over bass through my headphones, as the cans don't pick up a lot of the bass, so there is more space in the mix for melodic arrangement. then pump it out on your monitors and see where you are with it
Logged

09.08 - Mr Wolfs
12.08 - Mr Wolfs
11-14.08 - FFTT @ Boomtown Fair
13.08 - Hamswell Festival, Bath
20.08 - XOYO, London
21.08 - V Festival
27.08 - FFTT @ Big Chill Bar
28.08 - FFTT @ Loudmoor Festival
02.09 - Arc Bar
03.09 - Mr Wolfs
10.09 - Marisco's, Woolacombe
13.09 - Mr Wolfs

http://www.ewanhoozami.com
LATEST FREE DOWNLOAD
Ewan Hoozami - Cutty Limb
<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17915362</a>
Gyu
Veteran
****
Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1,050



View Profile View Faces Gallery

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 09:49:02 »

I learnt through trial and error and making tunes. Just keep doing what you're doing innit Smiley
About the SOS synth secrets, for me it's a bit too abstract and technical, I've read some but by no means all. I reckon you could do without it tbh.
The 'how to make a noise' thing is good though Two Thumbs
Logged

Pages: [1] |   Go Up
  Print  
 

Seeing ads here? To remove them, Log in or Register.

Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

HIJACK is part of purplelight Media ltd
and is hosted by purplelight Hosting Services. | Privacy Policy