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Wat's the best software to make psytrance?


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Indeed, Bitwig has a lot of 'small' but very useful things that seem obvious to implement, but somehow Live9 - and many other DAWs - forgot about them. I guess that's the luxury of being a new kid on the block and to be able to draw from the experience of others, especially since AFAIK Bitwig is developed by ex-Ableton employees supposedly tired with slow pace at which Live9 is progressing.

 

Personally I'm happy that Bitwig exists, because Live9 needs a strong competition - they became complacent and happy with their steady stream of cash, but Bitwig beats them handily in several workflow areas so they need to step up their game. For several years they've been mentioning that new version requires a rewrite of the program from the ground up, which is probably why it's taking them so long. I hope Live10 at least incorporates the whole Max4Live modularity inside it, because it's ridiculous now that if you want to add LFO device you need to wait for M4L to launch in the background (and then it's awesome :)). It is indeed - as you said - typical for software that's long on the market: the bugs, weird dependancies and workarounds are dragged along with it.

 

Still, I really love it. Whenever I have time to fiddle with my music - which recently is approx. 2h / week :( - I'm amazed how quickly I can achieve interesting results with the built-in synths and effects (I don't think I've yet tried VST-s with Live9), how easy it is to sketch some idea in Session, create MIDI controller modulations and then record the performance 'live' to the Arrangement for further tweaking.

 

As I said here or somewhere else - with Bitwig, I'll see how v2 shapes up and in particular how their annual support works out for the users. If indeed the patches come in regularly and are substantial (not just bug fixes), then in 2-3 years I'll consider changing the camps. Well, unless Live10 comes out in the meantime and blows Bitwig out of the water ;):D

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  • 3 months later...

Ableton Live Suite. Complete with factory instruments that make excellent qualtiy sounds. It comes with a massive library of sounds, plus all the free packs you can find online. It is compatible with most plugins. Check the bit rate. It has 2 viewing modes. Session view is excellent for jamming and live production on stage. Arrangement mode is excellent for designing and structuring your tracks and sets even. I and also most of the biggest heads would recommend to you ableton live for making any kind of music at all. Especially psytrance. Its perfect in every way.

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I have never used Bitwig's clip launcher since I started using it a few years ago, so I strongly disagree about it being clip launcher based. It can be if you like. But I like to do a lot of surgical micro-cuts and stuff all over, the detailed full screen editor it has for clips is absolutely fantastic for this kind of work. I don't even use drum machines for drums often these days, I find it more comfortable to do all placing of samples by hand on the timeline for maximum control.

 

There's a lot to see yet, like better support for different time signatures etc, but I have tried quite a few DAWs over the years, and I really like where BW is going right now.

The new audio rate modulation system with free modulations from anywhere to anything is absolutely crazy cool! Also the flexible audio routings is great, it's so cool to be able to create multiband sidechained effects quickly, etc. There is a ton of bugs in V2 still, which is a bummer, but hey they are a really small company and the support is great and they work hard to squash them with frequent updates  :) I hope they float, since it's about time somebody took a fresh start from the ground up... Also it's great how they're embracing the modular synth and hardware world, since that's where almost everything exciting is happening these days, at least from my point of view.

 

But back to OPs question: whatever you feel comfortable with and allows you to do what you want. You really just need to get to know your own ways of working, try things out and choose based on that. Also, it's always a fusion between the artist and the tool... So I find the choice of DAW affects quite a lot what kind of music I create, since every one has their own kind of flow.

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I have never used Bitwig's clip launcher since I started using it a few years ago, so I strongly disagree about it being clip launcher based. It can be if you like. But I like to do a lot of surgical micro-cuts and stuff all over, the detailed full screen editor it has for clips is absolutely fantastic for this kind of work. I don't even use drum machines for drums often these days, I find it more comfortable to do all placing of samples by hand on the timeline for maximum control.

 

Well, I said "Live and Bitwig are centered around the Session view / Clips idea" which makes them more suitable to repetitive / loop-based music, as opposed to Cubase / ProTools / Studio One / etc. which are trying to copy the workflow of traditional studio, where you record ("track") session musicians and vocals to then mix and master it. Obviously you can do folk music in Live/Bitwig and hypnotic trance in Cubase :)

 

Regarding Bitwig in particular - how would you rate its stability and performance? I've read a lot of complaints about it being plagued with CPU-spikes and GUI slowdowns, which would probably be a deal breaker for me.

 

EDIT: Well, I'll be damned - Ott's using Bitwig now?! https://www.bitwig.com/en/community/artists.html

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Latest version of V1 was very stable with no problems with anything, 2.0 introduced a ton of bugs, that's my biggest complaint, they should have beta tested it for at least 6 months more. Super annoying. Many people are happy, but I'm hitting something weird every _single_ time I start to work on a project. So if somebody is considering, I'd suggest waiting after a few more point updates. OTOH every single reproducible bug I have been able to report, they've fixed to the next update, they are super friendly and nice people and have responded to every one of my dozens of bug reports. Sadly many times there's some random quirk that has never happened and never might again, so they're hard to fix unless they have a ton of reports about them.

 

Performance is good, I have the highest quality Firewire chip from TI available as the interface to my TC Electronics Impact Twin interface, and running on a AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, I'm using generally 512 size buffer, which is a lot, especially if I try to record keyboards, but it's the same with all software for me. Under Linux with a dedicated optimized audio installation I could get much much better latencies, but I don't have an installation currently and I'm back to Win 7 at least for the time being. I'm not sure what the complaints about lagginess are, I feel the software is as responsive as need be. 

I think I could use lower latencies if I didn't use so heavy plugins, but that's just the way I work, I use everything I have :D The quite old AMD setup is not the best, so I guess on a recent generation computer there should be no problems with power and speed.

 

Stability is good, even though there's bugs, it almost never crashes since it has a very good plugin handling. 32 bit plugins do weird stuff sometimes, so avoid them now. The only 64-bit plugin I'm having problems consistently with is Guitar Rig 5, it crashes quite often.

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One thing is, that since bitwig is designed to run everything at audio rate instantaneously, it can't have a buffering system like Reaper. I can run tons of more VST in Reaper, but they're just built different, with Reaper there's the whole really complicated VST/track buffering system running, that would be impossible in a piece of software like Bitwig.

 

Also VST plugins need to behave exactly up to spec with BW because of the audio rate modulation system. Some plugins don't follow the VST spec exactly, and problems with this  kind of functionality were not necessarily expected by the authors. So that's up to the plugin devs to write proper code.

 

I'm actually really surprised that the new system works at all, it seems so much beyond anything I imagined the VST spec would allow. Unlimited modulations on any VST synth and effect is quite funky. And since it's all built-in, in there's no need for an additiona layer of code like with the Max/MSP stuff on Live.

 

I tried Live for a while and it's great for some things, but the detailed full screen clip editor on monitor two alone is so good for detal work, that I just don't see myself going back to Live again. 

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Also Krumelur:

""Bitwig Studio is a fantastic tool, I'm totally hooked and couldn't live without it! No other software tickles my creative nerve like Bitwig Studio does, and I find myself coming up with things and crazy patches inconcievable in other DAWs.""

 

Well, I certainly don't want to start a pointless DAW or any other war. I'm just trying to create awareness, that already in version 2 we're seeing the beginning of something new here. I really hope they would get more resources, their ideas are so fresh.

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  • 1 month later...

just in case that anyone else is missing a 64-bit version of smexoscope, the legendary freeware oscilloscope, there now is one! download here. i've been using cheap replacements or 32-bit bridges, both having unnerving drawbacks, for years now. having smexoscope back, running smoothly again, feels liberating ;)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I currently use Live, switched after using Renoise for 6 years or so after I started accumulating hardware (Renoise at the time was very bad for MIDI [has since changed]).  I've been able to make psytrance with both of those.  I've also done it in Reaper, ReBirth, Jeskola Buzz, SunVox and several old "PDA"-era music apps (including SunVox again), though never really got beyond the writing stage.

After reading some debate about Live's render being inferior, I made a test: I made the same basic bassline-kick-percussion loop in both Live and Reaper, with the same exact MIDI, the same exact patches.  I rendered from each, and opened them with Sonic Visualizer to see the spectrogram.  Sure enough there was a difference in the resolution of the lower frequencies from Live, which were very, very slightly more blurry than Reaper.  So, there is a difference, even if it is very very slight.

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  • 2 years later...
1 hour ago, astralprojection said:

recently bought the upgrade from 9.5 artist to 10.5 pro. didnt look back! been using the stuff since forever. 

Awesome - when they had the sale I did the upgrade from Elements to Artist :) Maybe one day I'll go pro. I really like the idea of dual monitoring of audio channels in Pro... 

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  • 11 months later...

Regarding to a DAW or to synths?

1st: DAW: any of them could do the job, it depends on you if music is good or not...

2nd: Synths: Psytrance? Goatrance? It depends on what you want to make. For Psytrance it could be good Serum (I'm not into Psytrance anymore, in fact). For Goatrance the best choice is something that emulates old hw stuff like Juno-106, Jupiter 8, 303, SH-101, Nord Lead... So try to get yourself with:

Juno-106 > TAL-U-No-LX
Jupiter 8 > TAL J-8
TB-303 > AudioRealism BassLine 2, for me, better than 3, less noise clicks (or maybe it would be better to get D16 Group Phoscyon, it has more tweaks in general and sounds perfect for me...).
SH-101 > D16 Group LuSH-101 (or maybe TAL Bassline-101, less CPU usage).
Clavia Nord Lead > People say that discoDSP Discovery Pro is a good choice, because it can import clavia's sysex files.

Of course, a TR-909 sample pack woud do the job for drums. And some effects such as a flanger, delay, chorus, phaser & some distortion (D16 Group Redoptor 2 works like a charm)

Besides all mentioned, I found that u-he Diva is an interesting choice for any analog "whatever" you want to sound. It's a multiple old gear's emulation which does its job perfectly.
Here I found a relation of hw stuff it emulates: https://larslentzaudio.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/the-u-he-diva-synthesizer/

 

Cheers and sorry for taking back to life an old thread.

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On 8/10/2021 at 9:57 AM, Wamphyri said:

Regarding to a DAW or to synths?

1st: DAW: any of them could do the job, it depends on you if music is good or not...

2nd: Synths: Psytrance? Goatrance? It depends on what you want to make. For Psytrance it could be good Serum (I'm not into Psytrance anymore, in fact). For Goatrance the best choice is something that emulates old hw stuff like Juno-106, Jupiter 8, 303, SH-101, Nord Lead... So try to get yourself with:

Juno-106 > TAL-U-No-LX
Jupiter 8 > TAL J-8
TB-303 > AudioRealism BassLine 2, for me, better than 3, less noise clicks (or maybe it would be better to get D16 Group Phoscyon, it has more tweaks in general and sounds perfect for me...).
SH-101 > D16 Group LuSH-101 (or maybe TAL Bassline-101, less CPU usage).
Clavia Nord Lead > People say that discoDSP Discovery Pro is a good choice, because it can import clavia's sysex files.

Of course, a TR-909 sample pack woud do the job for drums. And some effects such as a flanger, delay, chorus, phaser & some distortion (D16 Group Redoptor 2 works like a charm)

Besides all mentioned, I found that u-he Diva is an interesting choice for any analog "whatever" you want to sound. It's a multiple old gear's emulation which does its job perfectly.
Here I found a relation of hw stuff it emulates: https://larslentzaudio.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/the-u-he-diva-synthesizer/

 

Cheers and sorry for taking back to life an old thread.

Have you tried the recently released update to AudioRealism Bassline? It has some new algos. :) Gonna try it out today.

 

"Our 303 emulation ABL3 has been improved with the following features:

- Apple M1 and Intel compatible (native M1)

- Three audio engines to choose from (can be switched on the fly)

- Distortion and drive from ABL2 makes a come back

- Shuffle with MPC timing modes

- Defects switchable in audio engine 3 (broken accent and/or slide)

- Shift+Click for 303 style programming mode (note on, tie, rest)

- Bass and Treble controls added to the Setup page

- TD-3 pattern import

- Additional minor improvements / changes

AudioRealism Bass Line 3 (ABL3) is the next generation of our critically acclaimed 303 emulation plug-in. ABL3 is a complete redesign from scratch and has been in development for several years with the goal of creating the most authentic emulation possible. With an intuitive and streamlined workflow we hope ABL3 will set a new benchmark in software 303 emulation.

The latest version (3.3.0) includes an improved diode ladder simulation as well as improve accent modelling, including optional engine defects such as malfunctioning slide and accent capacitors

Suitable for Acid House, Techno, Rave and Trance"

 

Nice list, I agree with the notion of using plugins which more or less faithfully, strives to nail the vintage sound.(With regards to Goa Trance) At the same time there’s certainly ample opportunities to explore new grounds. If one would like to add a modern flair to the Goa formula as well.

Anyways there will always be an undeniable edge to the original vintage gear, if the goal is an absolute replication of the old sound. :) But the emulations are getting closer every year for sure. Certainly the plugin companies whom model the characteristics, of the analog synthesizers behaviour, down on independent component level. Ala Arturia and others. 

*Update*

I'm trying the new algos in AudioRealism Bassline now, and they've included the 2.0 algo as well. 

Plenty of nice emulation engine options. Which can be combined according to taste.

BB4CE9AE-5DFB-4FDE-9CA4-900828F8B122.jpeg

My only complaint would be that the level for the VCA noise isn’t adjustable. It’s a tad bit too high for it to not be distracting IMO. So if noise is a predilection, I would rather add it with some other plugin like RC-20 Retro color or something. The VCO Model 1 is really aggressive and nice. 

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