What software is best?

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What software is best?

Post by henry001 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:31 pm

I've recently got into producing. Inspired by dubstep to actually do something about it, rather than just thinking (which is what ive been doing for almost 2 years now).

I cant afford hardware unfortunatly. But am happy at this stage to just use software as its usually 'very cheap'.

What do you recommend?
What software is especially good for 'dubstep' do you think?
Whats good for making really long lasting heavy, filthy dirty bass sounds? (The ones that go on on on that you can feel in your lungs).

Cheers, H

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Post by threnody » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:59 am


You will need a couple of different pieces of software. A sequencer and an audio editor (although cubase/pro tools act as both). If you're going to be getting sounds as well then you will need some kind of soft synth (you automatically get a couple with reason).

People create stuff in different ways so find one that suits you. Reason is a good self-contained studio set up which i know a lot of people use. Personally i prefer Making Waves as a sequencer as it is more sample based and gives more freedom but doesn't look as snappy. Fruity loops is another good simple sequencer.

As for audio editors... Adobe Audition/Cool Edit is very good and cheapish. Wavelab is more advanced and audacity is free.

As for synths there are too many to mention but starting with melodyne is safe enough. reaktor is probably your ultimate soft synth package.

Look forward to hearing the beats.
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Post by andythetwig » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:10 am

In order of difficulty:

fruityloops is very easy to get into, but it's very "quirky" and non-standard (ie you would have to relearn a lot if you were moving up to logic afterwards)

Ableton is also "quirky" in terms of production, but it's excellent for live performance and jamming quickly with live musicians- perfect if you've got an mc! The midi set up is the easiest I've ever seen.

reaktor is an excellent performance tool too, if you like chopping up and resequencing beats on the fly, most people who use reaktor sequence their beats in something else first. Pretty much every breakcore producer uses reaktor.

Reason is an all in one package which looks and sounds huge, you don't really need too many plugins if you have this. I find it's samplers overcomplicated as they are modelled on hardware, but they are incredibly powerful. By contrast, it's synths are pretty average... but reason's real power is the ability to combine many synths and samplers and route them through each other, with almost no fuss!

Logic and Cubase are industry standard recording interfaces and probably better quality than the above as they are dedicated sequencers, especially if you have outboard equipment, although more difficult to get into and take longer to set up as there aren't any built in instruments.

Pro tools is the dogs bollocks, but it's a hardware/software package you haven't got a hope in hell of affording.

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Post by kudos » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:30 pm

pro tools l.e. packages are now affordable, not dirt cheap but affordable and also absolutely massive sound quality.

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Post by andythetwig » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:25 pm

really? will have to have a look!

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Post by 7 below » Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:29 pm

As a beginner I found Reason and Fruity Loops the best places to start. You'll understand a bit more about what you need as you progress - having said that apart from some extra synths and stuff I use through rewire I've pretty much remained in Reason..

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Post by katana » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:07 pm

I personly use Buzz, a free tracker program, which is very raw. So you must be some kind of freak to use this one. It's more like programming a track with your keyboard, which I like a lot, I hate using the mouse. (you can download it here: www.buzzmachines.com) What sequencer program you use doesn't make any different in sound quality. It's all about the plug ins you use (or hardware) and what you make out of it.

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Post by henry001 » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:54 am

Thanks for all the info, very helpful.

I've got 'Ableton live 5' & 'Cool edit pro 2' to be going on with at the moment. Also i've got the demos of 'Reason 3', 'Reaktor 5' and 'Renoise' to be learning about. I get the impression that thats more than enough.

It's going to be a long, long time before anything good comes of it. But im actually having an excellent time just learning and experimenting. (i've been up all friday night just sitting infront of my laptop on my own...enough said)

Cheers, H.

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Post by broken silence » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:23 pm

I used renoise for awhile and its very fucking cool. Included audio editor and an LFO device which can be applied to any parameter, fx or otherwise.
Buzz and renoise are both trackers, which as well as being cheap are great ways to sequence WAV files together, and now can really stand next to other programs with the inclusion of soft synths and plugins (in buzz's modular enviroment) and midi (in renoise which in my eyes really puts it up their with the big guns).
The only thing with trackers is that they work in a completely differant way to any other type of program, doing all the work via code rather than visual representations of audio. This is no bad thing but consider it when thinking of starting out, as inevitably you'll think of migrating to another program and the leaning curve may be steep (though not in any way impossible).
Reason i reckon is a brilliant place to start as it teaches the workings of a hardware setup, which all software is (however distantly) based apon.
It has a sequencer similar to the one found in most other major applications, samplers, synths and fx that also bear more than a passing resemblence to the real thing, and most importently in my mind, a mixer and routing funtions for all these. This is where alot of learning can get done: teaching yourself about the ins and outs of how studios are put together and how mixdowns should be approached. When you do decide to branch out (or if, plasticman uses reason still) you'll know pretty much how everything ticks, and can then make informed desicions about where to go next.
You may still need to invest in an audio editor to work on your samples though, and their are some brilliant freeware ones available, have a look beofre you spend your hard earned cash www.audacity.sourceforge.net
Also, have a look at www.audiomulch.com.
Its shareware, semi-modular (similar to buzz though not as comprehensive) and is great fun for jamming around, abit like ableton but with more focus on mad sounds and improvisation.
Hope this helps.
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Post by ramadanman » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:59 pm

The good thing about Fruity is its versatility, especially in the new versions.

Also the step sequencer is really useful for programming beats.

I love it

But as has been said, I find it really hard to use logic and cubase!

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Post by mestizo » Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:57 am

abelton live is quite useful ...

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Post by el sub sta » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:41 pm

Live :)
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Post by dubsta » Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:59 am

FL Studio is very good and versatil. Lot of people doesnt know enogh. So rather they say that "its a toy". But if you have some good VST, you can make tons of big sounds with that. I use it for 3 years - I know it... :wink:

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Post by Citrus Boy » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:56 pm

I agree with dubsta..been using FL Studio for about 4 years..

I can use cubase/reason/ableton and learning logic too but I find em a bit slow to get ideas down..

same old saying.."a bad workman always blames his tools"..no such thing as best software to make music.

the music comes from you..not the software!!

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Post by broken silence » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:38 pm

Yeah totaly. What it comes down to is knowing whatever software you use inside out, and from that you can get some amazing results with very basic stuff (provided you have good ideas to start with!).
Look at how jungle started out, on old akai s950 and ataris. Doc Scotts "Drumworks" wasnt even done with a mixer, he had to eq everything inside his sampler, but that still stands as a classic and impecibly put together tune.
Skream does all his work in fruity loops. Nuff said really.
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Post by el sub sta » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:47 am

Reason i3 s the best software that comes straight out the box.

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Post by dubversif » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:28 am

as far as stability goes... go w/ Cubase SL or SX 3 as a main DAW for the moment if you can afford it. Easy + fast to setup and more intuitive than the Logic route (been using since Logic 5 Platinum)...very hardware friendly to boot.

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Post by subzer » Tue May 16, 2006 7:44 pm

i like Orion Platinum most.... its problaby what your used to... sometimes its good for inspiration to change program. i use Ableton, Fasttracker or Reason sometimes...
altough can't without Sound Forge...

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Post by bleep » Tue May 16, 2006 10:21 pm

Have used a lot of apps over the years but I always come back to Fruity :)

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Post by capes » Tue May 16, 2006 11:29 pm

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