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I want to start producing!


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I figure this ought to be the perfect place for this question.

 

Say you guys had 3,000 Canadian...2500 US what would you buy for a start up studio. I already have a good quality computer...what else should I go for...considering...I'm totally new to producing...pretty intelligent though...keen...eager to learn...doesn't know a TP303 from an MC303(my friend says thats funny, I obviously don't know why).

 

What do I need to get started.

 

Thank you so much for any info, tips, idea's on setups that you guys and gals can offer :)

 

Oh...what is the best kind of software to start out with for trance?

 

Does anyone have any required reading, besides this forum that can aid me in my quest to start producing?

 

Thanks again.

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hey dude

holy crap you say that you have 2500 US dollars thats awsome. you can buy all kinds of stuff for trance. I use techno eJay 4 and its sounds ok and only cost like 30 bucks. but you really need Reason 3.0 you will love it. and buy a MDMI (or whatever) keybord. go to froogle and get the Oxygen 8 it looks sick. anays have fun and heres some of the stuff that i made with eJay:}

 

www.download.com/liquidphantom

 

PS can you tell me how to upload a pic next to your name?

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hey m8

first of all you should buy some sound card with low laitency and high qualety bit rate....

 

second you can work without midi keyboard...but if you want so buy some keyboard...

 

3rd

I use techno eJay 4 and its sounds ok and only cost like 30 bucks

ok only 30$ its not big money...

but this shit is for loosers...

reason 3 is much better it will cost you like 350$ or somthing like that...

you also can try FL studio 5 it can be good start...

 

im using cubase sx 2 but this one is pro....

 

 

about the mixer...--------------->if you wanna record multichannel sounds like 4 guitars in one time so ok you can buy 8 channel mixer....something from beringer

 

well about the monitors...this is the most importent part...

near field monitors that what you need...

you can try ESI for monitors and good sound card....

 

i hope i helpd you

 

sorry about my english

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Get a DSP card.

Thats by far the most bang for the buck and much more convenient that having a setup with an analog mixer without recall facilities, which you sure will not get below $2500.

 

Creamware scope for great synthesis features is my recommendation.

You might want to spend a bit on plugins for that to make the most of it, like the sonic timeworks bundle for great EQ, compression and reverb.

You can look in to UAD-1 or Powercore as well, but they are more limited in the synthesis department and doesn't have the I/O but come with good FX for mixing.

 

Then good monitors, Tannoy Reveal is really great but not very expensive.

Dynaudio have great bass for making dance music and would be my second choice.

 

And a controller keyboard with many knobs on it is nice to have as well.

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What you need to start:

 

-decent monitors (I use the Event TR8s and like 'em)

-sequencer (Reason or Fruity to start, then Cubase or Logic)

-a midi controller (Oxygen keyboards, or... a used k2000 off of ebay - it'll cost you around $500, but the key action is *amazing* and it's actually a very good synth if a little difficult to program. I have a k2000 for my midi controller, and I wouldn't use anything else)

 

I strongly caution you to not buy too much at once, spend time *learning* everything you acquire. You'd best get used to learning too, 'cause there's quite a lot!

 

I was in a similar situation as you, having several thousand to invest in my studio, and I made the mistake of buying everything at once. Every time I went into the studio I was surrounded by equipment I didn't know how to use properly. It was hard to sit and really study every tool until I had learned it properly, instead I'd twiddle this knob and then click around on that synth or maybe dabble with an EQ tool. In the end I learned them, but it took a lot longer and was a lot harder on my confidence than if I had acquired my tools one at a time, learning each as I went along. Now I know, and I make a point to only acquire new tools when I've learned my old ones.

 

If I could go back and do it over, I'd do something like this:

 

Get a sequencer, like Reason, and spend a few months learning it. Read the manual, write some songs for fun, reread the manual. Reason is great because it has synths and effects and EQ all built in, you can learn a lot of fundamentals in Reason.

 

When I felt that I'd learned it all, I'dmove on to a bigger sequencer like Cubase or Logic. Learn the sequencer a bit, like how to do automation and routing, then pick up a good VSTi. Learn that one VSTi, then pick up another, and so on.

 

A good musician can use a tin can and a tape recorder to make music. It's not the tool that's magic, it's how you use it.

 

 

 

But if you DO feel compelled to buy everything at once, you'll still have fun. ;)

 

welcome to a new world!

 

-Alex

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i totally agree with not getting everything at once, i wasted like $1500 on my startup studio. I bought 2 computers(i really dont know why i thought i needed two) a korg electribe and a nord micro modular. the electribe was useless, the micromod was way over my head and i eventually ended up selling everything at a big loss.

Reason is good but fruity loops and all the tons of free softsynths would be even cheaper.

Oh yea i also ended up at some point getting a midi controller because everyone said you have to have one even though i cant play keys to save my life. That collected dust in the corner until it was sold.

Defianetly dont waste your money on a mixer(you have no gear, what are you going to mix?)

I dont even see the point in getting monitors until you know what your doing, a decent pair of headphones might be better because you will want them eventually and its also nice to just listen to music through them.

If you do want to jump right in and blow some cash, fruity loops, a used virus b, a used m-audio audiophile and if you dont have stereo speakers and and amp a pair of sony mdr headphones. That would cost about $750 and if you ever give up you could still probly sell everything for $650-700 on ebay. Software is all the rage right now but hardware is a way better value if you get stuff that was big in the late 90's used. I just sold a synth i had for 2 years and made 20 bucks.

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Jese, everyone has answers.... The talk of money has got everyone excited.

 

OK... simple:

 

You need sequencing / composing software to put everything together. Here you have 3 or 4 main choices:

 

Fruityloops - easier for beginners, very good capabilities, easily expandable to work with other programs. Latest version - FL Studio 5.

 

Reason - great package, contains all you need to get going. Unfortunately is somewhat limited with the instruments as you can only use the ones it has and no other "VST's" which are software synthesises. You can however plug it in to hardware synthesisers. Latest ver. - Reason 3 which has just hit the shelves I think.

 

Cubase - Most professional mainstream composing software. Used my many of the pros. Quite complicated but very powerful and the best sound. The latest version of this is Cubase SX 3.

 

Logic Audio - Made for macintosh but runs up there with Cubase.

 

You'll also need a good soundcard if you want to be able to edit your tracks without skips and hickups every few seconds once things start getting busy. I won't say anymore on that. However, I'm using a soundblaster audigy 2 platinum eX and it works great. And they're pretty damn cheap in comparrison to other soundcards I must add. It's not really a professional card however.

 

Once you have that, you need to think about studio monitors which everybody is saying. There are many cheaper models that'll work perfectly until you hit a pro level. Examples of these are the Behringer B2031A's (which I have and am very happy with). Alesis MKII and a few others are also good buys but usually not quite as powerful as the B2031's. Do some research to find the pair you'd like the most. If you produce trance you might think of getting a sub-woofer monitor too so that you can hear lower bass tones more. Monitors are important because they give a flat level of sound for almost all frequencies. When you produce music you need to hear all the frequencies without exageration such as stronger bass that hifi or cheaper speakers will give you. They are an essential mastering tool.

 

OK, next thing you'll probably want is a half decent keyboard. Doesn't need to be too fancy, just something with a few knobs and sliders that wont fall to bits on you. If you can play a piano you might want semi-weighted keys which feel more natural to play on. Remeber, it's just an input-controller and you can always edit your notes in the sequencer package if you're not happy with them. You can key everything in to the sequencer too if you like and eliminate the need for a keyboard, but you'll probably find that it hampers your creativity.

 

Now you need something that actually generates the sound if you're serious at all. Most sequencers now days have simple software-synthesisers built into them. But you'll need more than that. Either software (VST's or DXI's as they're called), or hardware. If you have money, hardware will always be the better option. Depending on the amount you want to spend, you'll get hardware synths which have more power, capability and flexibility. It's usually a good idea to couple a good piece of hardware with a few VST's. Some of the best hardware out there for psy would be the Virus (http://www.access-music.de) or the Nord Lead. There are plenty of other capable specimens but these seem to be the most popular choices.

 

If somehow you're left with any money after that, you should get a good wav editing package. Cool Edit Pro 2 is excellent, as is Sony Soundforge 7.

 

Hope that's enuff to get you started. You might want to build a studio one day if you're anal on accoustics. But hey - that's expensive talk. Goodluck ;)

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Jese, everyone has answers.... The talk of money has got everyone excited.

 

OK... simple:

 

You need sequencing / composing software to put everything together. Here you have 3 or 4 main choices:

 

Fruityloops - easier for beginners, very good capabilities, easily expandable to work with other programs. Latest version - FL Studio 5.

 

Reason - great package, contains all you need to get going. Unfortunately is somewhat limited with the instruments as you can only use the ones it has and no other "DSP's" which are software synthesises. You can however plug it in to hardware synthesisers. Latest ver. - Reason 3 which has just hit the shelves I think.

 

Cubase - Most professional mainstream composing software. Used my many of the pros. Quite complicated but very powerful and the best sound. The latest version of this is Cubase SX 3.

 

Logic Audio - Made for macintosh but runs up there with Cubase.

 

You'll also need a good soundcard if you want to be able to edit your tracks without skips and hickups every few seconds once things start getting busy. I won't say anymore on that. However, I'm using a soundblaster audigy 2 platinum eX and it works great. And they're pretty damn cheap in comparrison to other soundcards to I must add. It's not really a professional card however.

 

Once you have that, you need to think about studio monitors which everybody is saying. There are many cheaper models that'll work perfectly until you hit a pro level. Examples of these are the Behringer B2031A's (which I have and am very happy with). Alesis MKII and a few others are also good buys but usually not quite as powerful.  If you produce trance you might think of getting a sub-woofer monitor too so that you can hear the bass much better. Monitors are important because they give a flat level of sound for almost all frequencies. When you produce music you need to hear all the frequencies without exageration such as higher bass that hifi or cheaper speakers will give you. They are an essential mastering tool.

 

OK, next thing you'll probably want is a half decent keyboard. Doesn't need to be too fancy, just something with a few knobs and sliders that wont fall to bits on you. If you can play a piano you might want semi-weighted keys which feel more natural to play on. Remeber, it's just an input-controller and you can always edit your notes in the sequencer package if you're not happy with them. You can key everything in to the sequencer too if you like and eliminate the need for a keyboard, but you'll probably find that it hampers your creativity.

 

Now you need something that actually generates the sound if you're serious at all. Most sequencers now days have simple software-synthesisers built into them.  But you'll need more than that. Either software (VST's or DXI's as they're called), or hardware. If you have money, hardware will always be the better option. Depending on the amount you want to spend, you'll get hardware synths which have more power, capability and flexibility. It's usually a good idea to couple a good piece of hardware with a few VST's.  Some of the best hardware out there for psy would be the Virus (http://www.access-music.de) or the Nord Lead. There are plenty of other capable specimens but these seem to be the most popular choices.

 

If somehow you're left with any money after that, you should get a good wav editing package. Cool Edit Pro 2 is excellent, as is Sony Soundforge 7.

 

Hope that's enuff to get you started. You might want to build a studio one day if you're anal on accoustics. But hey - that's expensive talk. Goodluck  ;)

234229[/snapback]

this is so well explined.....mate you got me started :)

i love this topic and how things to get started with producing psytrance and the gear required to go on with,pls let your comments flowing.

:love:

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hey m8

first of all you should buy some sound card with low laitency and high qualety bit rate....

 

second you can work without midi keyboard...but if you want so buy some keyboard...

 

3rd

ok only 30$ its not big money...

but this shit is for loosers...

reason 3 is much better it will cost you like 350$ or somthing like that...

you also can try FL studio 5 it can be good start...

 

im using cubase sx 2 but this one is pro....

about the mixer...--------------->if you wanna record multichannel sounds like 4 guitars in one time so ok you can buy 8 channel mixer....something from beringer

 

well about the monitors...this is the most importent part...

near field monitors that what you need...

you can try ESI for monitors and good sound card....

 

i hope i helpd you

 

sorry about my english

233786[/snapback]

well im sorry you think im a loser for trying to make some music with Techno eJay 4 its not my fault for not having all kinds of money. and actually a lot of peope enjoy my music. they even played a coulpe of my songs at the school dance last friday. soooooooo HA! www.download.com/liquidphantom

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The first equipment you should get is a pair of soft shoes. Try Nike Air.

 

Then..... Go to a psy party and dance your ass off!

 

Learn what moves people in the music. Listening to cd's will help, but hearing the music in a party gives psy a whole new perspective! Context!

 

Then get a robust P.C with a simple midi keyboard. The software world will prepare you nicely for the world of Hardware! Especially programs like Reason that are based on actual hardware.

 

Then when you want to invest in some serious tech hardware you will know what to look for and what kind of sounds you need from what gear etc.

 

good luck!

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whats all this talk of expensive hardware synths being a necessity!! Pfffft.!!

 

Plenty of professional production out there that hasnt seen a sniff of a virus or nord or been processed through expensive racks of mastering equipment.

 

The right software is all good guys n gals, dont go worrying yerselves or spending yer hard earned dollar on hardware synths as they are effectively just digital signal processors in a nice looking box with keys, your pc's can doo much the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

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Well u got a decent pc thats a good start, not sure how much $3000 is in pounds I guess around £1500 which'll get u a fair bit if u spend it well.

 

A quality sound card is a must, My first card was the Delta 4/10 which is around £100. Pretty cheap, but its shit hot for the money.

 

Good monitors are a MUST, cant stress this enough, spend at least £350 on these and u'll do good. I have Tapco S8's at the moment, I paid £400.....amazing.

 

A midi keyboard, whether u can play or not, is a damn site more creative than drawing dots on the screen. U can pick up a basic midi keyboard like the evalution mk II for around £50, very budget but it works, I'd get something nicer though for a little extra.

 

Invest in some good software, Reason is a great tool to learn with, but u'll want Cubase/Logic without a doubt, personally I prefer Cubase, Logic has been discontinued for PC too from version 5.

 

With all that u should have used up ur budget, all mentioned IS essential in my opinion.

 

I'd recommend the following plugins too.

 

Albino

Vanguard***** Blinding trance tool

Absynth

Trilogy

Atmosphere

 

Also if u use loops a lot, Recycle is great, and Adobe Audition is a top wave editor.

 

Good Luck

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The right software is all good guys n gals, dont go worrying yerselves or spending yer hard earned dollar on hardware synths as they are effectively just digital signal processors in a nice looking box with keys, your pc's can doo much the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

235465[/snapback]

True, I have been blown away by a good few software plugins, but theres nothing like owning something real something u can touch, hardware for me is not only a great tool but a massive inspiration, and inspiration counts, it drives u as an artist and heightens ur creativity, just coming home knowing u own some wicked bits of kit, so what u need is a good balance, if a piece of hardware shouts out to u just get it!

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Thank you so much for your input guys, really really appreciated.

 

Luckily I've been a Goa DJ for awhile, so I'd like to think I have a good idea of what gets people moving :)

 

Once again thank you so much, I'll try to update this post once I start purchasing things via yals advice and get some feedback on the choices!

 

Donnie Doggballz

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whats all this talk of expensive hardware synths being a necessity!! Pfffft.!!

 

Plenty of professional production out there that hasnt seen a sniff of a virus or nord or been processed through expensive racks of mastering equipment.

 

The right software is all good guys n gals, dont go worrying yerselves or spending yer hard earned dollar on hardware synths as they are effectively just digital signal processors in a nice looking box with keys, your pc's can doo much the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

235465[/snapback]

Nobody said it's a necessity... Software is all well and good if you can use it well. But no software VSTs can compare to a Virus Ti or a Nord just for instance... It's just the higher end of the scale. You get some software VSTs which are better than some of the hardware out there too - but only lower end hardware in my opinion.

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Many good answers here.. would just like to add one thing!

 

When it comes to getting a 'hardcore' sequencer everyone is going on about Cubase/Logic all the time.

 

Yes they are great, no doubt. However, I've used several others as well and I don't see what they have that for instance Cakewalk SONAR or Ableton Live doesn't have??

In fact, if you read some music mags you'll see that professionals' opinions are quite varied in this regard so don't feel limited to just those two!

 

Many people will recommend Reason, but bear in mind that it is foremost a soft studio.. the sequencer is perhaps not as good but hey.. it's all about finding a tool that feels natural to work with.. you can make amazing music with all of them.

 

Good luck!

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There is of course a long list on what logic or cubase does that reason, fruity or abelton don't do.

But it's not all that important, and especially with abelton it's many thing it does very well that logic or cubase doesn't as well.

Easy and inspiering workflow is very important IMO, more so than loads of features.

 

But I still work in Logic even if I really prefer how Abelton works.

I just can't get the sound I'm used to in the simpler sequencers I have tried: abelton, fruity and orion.

Since I'm very fluent in Logic it's fine for me still, but I reallty wish abelton get the sound up to scratch by the time 64bit windows, sequencers and plugins is commonplace.

But for a year or two more i'll be stuck with Logic it seems.

 

Since I grew up with using sequencers I don't understand whats so damned hard to learn. You stick in notes, move blocks around and insert fx and instruments.

To start with fruity or reason if you think you will want to learn how Logic or Cubase works seems like a waste of time to me.

Fruity and Reason in particular have a a bit different ways of working, so I would think it would rather be a confusing introduction.

Orion would maybe be a good way to ease in to how the majority of sequencers work and have great workflow....but unfortunally not very good sound.

But like I said, I have very little understanding about how it is to learn a sequencer from scratch, so I might be wrong.

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Many good answers here.. would just like to add one thing!

 

When it comes to getting a 'hardcore' sequencer everyone is going on about Cubase/Logic all the time.

 

Yes they are great, no doubt. However, I've used several others as well and I don't see what they have that for instance Cakewalk SONAR or Ableton Live doesn't have??

In fact, if you read some music mags you'll see that professionals' opinions are quite varied in this regard so don't feel limited to just those two!

236963[/snapback]

You're quite right. People do tend to leave out ableton and cakewalk. I'll tell you one thing though. As far as cakewalk goes, it's probably just as good as cubase is. Infact, it's the most common choice for those living in the western hemisphere. However, if you live in Europe, you would probably find it a lot handier to use Cubase because there's so much support here. I haven't yet dabbled with Ableton so I'll keep my mouth shut about that.

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There is of course a long list on what logic or cubase does that reason, fruity or abelton don't do.

But it's not all that important, and especially with abelton it's many thing it does very well that logic or cubase doesn't as well.

Easy and inspiering workflow is very important IMO, more so than loads of features.

 

But I still work in Logic even if I really prefer how Abelton works.

I just can't get the sound I'm used to in the simpler sequencers I have tried: abelton, fruity and orion.

Since I'm very fluent in Logic it's fine for me still, but I reallty wish abelton get the sound up to scratch by the time 64bit windows, sequencers and plugins is commonplace.

But for a year or two more i'll be stuck with Logic it seems.

 

Since I grew up with using sequencers I don't understand whats so damned hard to learn. You stick in notes, move blocks around and insert fx and instruments.

To start with fruity or reason if you think you will want to learn how Logic or Cubase works seems like a waste of time to me.

Fruity and Reason in particular have a a bit different ways of working, so I would think it would rather be a confusing introduction.

Orion would maybe be a good way to ease in to how the majority of sequencers work and have great workflow....but unfortunally not very good sound.

But like I said, I have very little understanding about how it is to learn a sequencer from scratch, so I might be wrong.

236975[/snapback]

 

I don't have much experience with FL or Reason and they're fine on their own but I completely agree that it seems like a waste of time to use it as a stepping stone. Just read the manual instead. Getting into a different workflow is just confusing.

 

I'm a SONAR user and I mostly love it, but yes there are some annoying things about it and having tried ableton I got pretty excited about it, even so much to considering a complete switch.

 

Spindrift: do you reckon the sound really isn't up to scratch with that of the major sequencers? In that case I'll stick to Sonar, but damn I like the workflow in Live :)

Several music mags are raving about Live, they've never mentioned anything about lesser quality sound?

 

BooM

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In my opinion the midi sequencers such as Cubase and Logic perform a different function to the all in one studio tools like fruity loops and Reason.

 

While you can make decent sounding tunes by going solely down either route, I would say that Fruity and Reason are really creativity tools, which make the creative part of music production a little more intuitive - for example you can experiment with rhythmic patterns for basslines much easier with the 303 clones found in Reason and fruity - using Cubase and/or midi keyboard can be a little more difficult as there is more screen switching involved.

 

Cubase, Logic and Cakewalk on the other hand excel when it comes to organising a complex and long track in a coherent way and offer built in EQs and effects of a higher standard. IMO tracks often sound better when mixed down with a good sequencer, but this doesnt mean that you can't do the songwriting in fruity or Reason - I know people who make really kicking tracks using a combination of both. I would say it is well worth learning Cubase, Logic (Apple only now I think) or Sonar ASAP, as these tools are the industry standard for dance music production (in much the same way as Photoshop is for graphic work).

 

As for equipment to start of with I would say in order of importance:

 

Decent monitor speakers and amp

Midi Keyboard

Low Latency soundcard (you need multiple midi outputs if you are working with hardware synths, and multiple line in's if working with real instruments)

 

I would personally refrain from buying any synth or effects hardware until you have experimented with VST instruments, as pointed out above it takes months to get amazing sounds out of synths so dont blow too much on em.

 

Good VSTs for making Psy Trance are:

 

Native Instruments Battery (Drum sampler)

Vanguard (lead synth) and TBL (303 clone) from ReFX

Synth1 (nord lead clone) is free.

Z3TA and Arksun Albino are good for general trance melodies.

JunoX2 (ReFX) can make some odd noises ;-)

Novation make the Bass Station and V-Station Vsts which I like, but seem to be fairly unpopular with psytrancers.

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You got many answers.... so I just put in one to.

 

M-Audio... Sound Card ex. Studiophile USB or Firewire.

Monitors... Ex. BX series, Tanoy or Alesis.... ACTIVE.

RAM at least 1024...

Sequenser.... Cubase, Logic, Cakewalk or PRO Tools

Reason.... I think it is a nice plugin for Some of the above sequensers.

AKG Headphones.... ex K240 studio.

MIDI control... don`ty use it myself..... :blink:

And last but not least.... some synths.

Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Novaton.... have some good things for a nice price.

Get a friend that will work with you, some times that is better... some times :ph34r:

 

Get out there and listen to musik, psy,progg, or what ever don`t deliver the full spectra of sounds.... For example.... Iron Maiden drums are better then any Psy act I have listen to.

 

Sorry for the bad english............ :rolleyes:

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Spindrift: do you reckon the sound really isn't up to scratch with that of the major sequencers? In that case I'll stick to Sonar, but damn I like the workflow in Live :)

Several music mags are raving about Live, they've never mentioned anything about lesser quality sound?

 

BooM

237418[/snapback]

I must say that in general I am more interested in a nice workflow than pristine sound and is not that fuzzy.

But sine I work very fast and without problems in Logic the clearer sound I get still make it more inspiring for me to use.

 

I did a couple of tracks with Abelton and worked hard to keep the gain structure optimal.

But in my ears the definition and depth in the sound was clearly different compared to Logic, otherwise I would without doubt switched because functionality and workflow wise Live beats anything I tried.

 

I will use it for DJ'ing and playing live anyway because there the benefits by far outweigh the inferior sound though.

And the problems with the sound of the mixing with a lot of software only becomes obvious when using a lot of channels, which is only really the case when you are doing the actual production.

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