What new piece of gear have you got that has...

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What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by outbound » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:21 pm

Revolutionised your workflow? specifically to the more production/musical side rather than mixing down.

I see things like Maschine, MPD, outboard synths etc etc and want to know how much difference its made to the way you approach writing music. :D
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:29 pm

Maschine: I dunno how long I have had Maschine, but it is an absolute corner stone of my workflow at this point. If working all in the box, I love coming up with riffs and loops inside Maschine and bouncing down to audio then getting to work in my DAW. Totally inspirational and intuitive IMO. Also if you have any NI stuff the Maschine 2.0 integration with NI synths, Kontakt etc is amazing. Maschine + Komplete would be a powerhouse.

These days Maschine has become the nerve center of my hardware setup. It sequences everything w/o a sequencer, records audio, acts as a live performance tool and a MIDI clock.

MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.

I also recently splurged on some Korg grooveboxes, because let's face it Korg got grooveboxes right. Oh so right. Picked up an oldie, but goodie Electribe R MKII...not the end all, be all of percussion synths, but you can get some sonic fuckery and cool bleeps and blops out of it. Has nice 909 hats, clash and clap. Also got a great deal on a Volca Keys, but haven't played with it much.

Basically all of these items are made for jamming on. I spend hours (too many if one were trying to make a career out of it) jamming around my ideas, twisting knobs etc before I record anything and try to finish and arrangement and mix in my DAW. The goal, actually, is to record multi-tracks live and besides polishing the arrangement only mix my tracks on the computer.

DAWs are great for mixing tunes. No way most people could afford the gear necessary to really mix down a tune. But for me they aren't very inspirational song writing tools.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by wub » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:32 pm

fragments wrote:MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.
Yeah...one of these has snuck onto my 'WANT' list recently :oops:

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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:44 pm

wub wrote:
fragments wrote:MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.
Yeah...one of these has snuck onto my 'WANT' list recently :oops:
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by Crimsonghost » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:56 pm

Maschine. Ive had it for years and am just now really digging into it. It really is a powerhouse once you learn how to use it. Ive also managed to FINALLY make a complete song in it which really opened my eyes to its potential. Plus its great to have something physical to beat on. :cornlol:

Aside from that i have 2 ipads that i use for anything and everything. DAW control, synths, filters, MIDI. Ive even stopped using guitar amps and am running everything through jamup on my ipad. Between that and the fact that its an ultra portable sketch pad (more so if you take the time to really learn the daws in it) i think that everyone should have one.

Also, this :
wub wrote:Yeah...one of these has snuck onto my 'WANT' list recently :oops:
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by wub » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:17 pm

It was the video with the crazy Japanese man that did it.

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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:50 pm

wub wrote:It was the video with the crazy Japanese man that did it.
Repost please?

Re MicroBrute...at 299 usd new there are no excuses...many people will spend that on soft synths in a year.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by wub » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:03 pm

fragments wrote:
wub wrote:It was the video with the crazy Japanese man that did it.
Repost please?

Re MicroBrute...at 299 usd new there are no excuses...many people will spend that on soft synths in a year.


Turn on subtitles, it's hilarious :lol:

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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:10 pm

Holy fucking shit that is hilarious. TBF though, that is about how excited I get playing mine as well. If I ever start a funk band backed with Japanese hipsters, I am calling this dude. Also, it is rather good demo.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by leaflet » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:40 pm

I know this is going to sound stupid, but for me it is the Mac Book Pro! It is actually brain screwing. I can write a track where ever I am. coming from a Drum and bass Background in the mid 90's means sitting in front of equipment that couldn't be moved. Now I can write tracks in a different country, or sitting in front of the TV. I am not saying that this is good, but combined with all the powerful sequencers that are easily available, and the sample packs, it really is great. :Q:

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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by bouncingfish » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:42 pm

fragments wrote:
MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.
Could you, in detail, explain what makes this better/more useful than a midi keyboard and a synth plugin? Not critical, just interested, because clearly stuff like this is something that many want... hm?
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by Gurnumsbug » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:03 pm

M-Audio Oxygen 49 : the ability to play samples fast.. able to also freestyle and feel the vibe rather than just program.

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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:08 pm

bouncingfish wrote:
fragments wrote:
MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.
Could you, in detail, explain what makes this better/more useful than a midi keyboard and a synth plugin? Not critical, just interested, because clearly stuff like this is something that many want... hm?
Personally I find MIDI controllers fiddly and have always ended up having to fine tune my knob adjustments with a mouse or entering values with a keyboard. Also, I have to turn on my computer, load my DAW, blah blah blah. I can flip on the Brute, plug in my headphones or plug it into the mixer and get to work. It is that immediate tactile experience. You can rely on the MicroBrute as an instrument. There are some many things involved in a MIDI controller and VST working correctly. Also, I love the sound--but let me say immediately that I think most high quality VST instruments all have a unique sound based on their features, as do all digital and analog synthesizers. MIDI controller + VST doesn't feel like a instrument to me. It feels like a too-complex amalgamation of separate tools that kinda sorta work together. I find the entire DAW environment uninspiring and more geared toward mixing and fine tuning arrangements. While I can flip some switches with my hardware setup and more or less start jamming away w/o worrying about a computer at all. Also in this vein...how many MIDI controllers and how much processing power would one need to have a control for all parameters just a hand-gesture away? I can immediately access 95% of my controls, parameters etc with hardware. Most MIDI controllers don't give you that...(Maschine and Push come close).

I'm also very interested in doing live dubs, live PA, live takes etc...whatever the heck ya want to call it. I prefer recording 4 tracks live off my interface until I hit the sweet spot with everything, then mixing it later.

So I guess the benefits I see in it might diminish if one was working mostly in the box. But I would still argue you could sit with the Brute in your recliner wrecking noises with yer headphones on and that is something you really can't quite do with software.

I mean...for 300 bucks you could buy a nice VST and decent controller...or you could try a cool hardware synth : ) I guess that is the heart of what I am getting at. Give it a shot, see where it takes you. Fuck, you can probably sell it for 260ish used easily. So, you got to rent and try an awesome analog mono for 40 dollars ;p

Edit: just to be clear, I'm only saying I hardware is better for me. DAWs feel like programming a database to me. My hardware setup feels like playing this customizable modular instrument.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by bouncingfish » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:53 am

fragments wrote:
bouncingfish wrote:
fragments wrote:
MicroBrute: Honestly, everyone should own one of these. I don't like it for bass, but it's great for leads and sound FX and even percussion. If you want to get into layering and resampling (which I am guessing most around here would) you can pretty much do anything with it. I love just turning it on and noodling away for both melodies and patches. Its so immediate! I do think it needs a nice chorus, delay or reverb for it to sit right because it has that dry, dusty analog sound. It's internal sequencer is pretty inspirational as well. It also uses 1/8th inch modular I/O so the potential to integrate it in various ways with other gear is present.
Could you, in detail, explain what makes this better/more useful than a midi keyboard and a synth plugin? Not critical, just interested, because clearly stuff like this is something that many want... hm?
Personally I find MIDI controllers fiddly and have always ended up having to fine tune my knob adjustments with a mouse or entering values with a keyboard. Also, I have to turn on my computer, load my DAW, blah blah blah. I can flip on the Brute, plug in my headphones or plug it into the mixer and get to work. It is that immediate tactile experience. You can rely on the MicroBrute as an instrument. There are some many things involved in a MIDI controller and VST working correctly. Also, I love the sound--but let me say immediately that I think most high quality VST instruments all have a unique sound based on their features, as do all digital and analog synthesizers. MIDI controller + VST doesn't feel like a instrument to me. It feels like a too-complex amalgamation of separate tools that kinda sorta work together. I find the entire DAW environment uninspiring and more geared toward mixing and fine tuning arrangements. While I can flip some switches with my hardware setup and more or less start jamming away w/o worrying about a computer at all. Also in this vein...how many MIDI controllers and how much processing power would one need to have a control for all parameters just a hand-gesture away? I can immediately access 95% of my controls, parameters etc with hardware. Most MIDI controllers don't give you that...(Maschine and Push come close).

I'm also very interested in doing live dubs, live PA, live takes etc...whatever the heck ya want to call it. I prefer recording 4 tracks live off my interface until I hit the sweet spot with everything, then mixing it later.

So I guess the benefits I see in it might diminish if one was working mostly in the box. But I would still argue you could sit with the Brute in your recliner wrecking noises with yer headphones on and that is something you really can't quite do with software.

I mean...for 300 bucks you could buy a nice VST and decent controller...or you could try a cool hardware synth : ) I guess that is the heart of what I am getting at. Give it a shot, see where it takes you. Fuck, you can probably sell it for 260ish used easily. So, you got to rent and try an awesome analog mono for 40 dollars ;p

Edit: just to be clear, I'm only saying I hardware is better for me. DAWs feel like programming a database to me. My hardware setup feels like playing this customizable modular instrument.
That sounds great, now that you say it that way dude. This would have convinced me - but what puts me off is that it's recorded as audio. If this was a hardware synth that controlled a plugin and the stuff you played would be recorded as midi it would be sick, but now it's all audio and thats not always what you want, at least I like to keep my stuff midi. How do you deal with that? (quantizing etc)?
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:57 am

Its not really even an issue for me dude. I dont need to quantize anything. I sequnce and record with Maschine...guess i should have said that. But I noodle everything out live first or use the sequencer on the Micro. Im not really a proper keys player :) when I talk about it being an instrument...its more about live knob twisting...which always sounds more organic to ky ear than automation.

Probabaly just destroyed your illusion of how I use it lol. Ill have to post some jams.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by nowaysj » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:27 am

Two things:

1. Sp 404 sx - Just a very different workflow, but it is fun, sounds good, and I can spend time in there like I used to in a daw, just having fun making music.

2. Microkorg - This is really recent, but I love having this thing on my desk. I like having a keyboard in front of me while working, I've gone through all kinds of arrangements, but they have all failed for one ergonomic reason or another. But the microkorg fits on my desk, right behind the computer keyboard. I've got an mpk that is off to the left, perpendicular to my desk, and I've spent a few years playing parts in, with only my left hand, with my arm twisted behind my back, as I'm still facing forward. I can't even describe the awkward position. It is somewhere between yoga and getting fucked up by some martial arts master in a gnarly joint lock. Fuck that. LIke have the micro in front. BUT, I also really like playing the microkorg. I've totally gone dorian concept. I did not see that coming. There is something about that little guy, the spring of the keys (or lack of) their size, the pitch and mod wheel, it is just funky. It just has a funky feel to it. When I start playing it I get all be do dat do wha. And finally, I kind of like the fucked up sound of the microkorg.

So lately, it has been vinyl into 404, and then playing some mk into the 404, recording and arranging and mixing if you can even call it that in my daw.

This has totally changed my workflow. The 404 workflow was kind of break for me before, like I'd burn out doing tracks in my daw, and take a day or two off and just use the 404. But now, everything is starting with the 404, and more and more is happening in there. Totally radical.

I'm trying to put together this musical backpacking trip, it will be a battery and solar powered studio in the mountains. It will be 404, mk, and zoom h4n. Kind of a portable battery powered form of my current setup. Totally out of the studio, under threat of predation, starvation and boredation. Can't wait. I can't imagine a larger change to my workflow.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by bouncingfish » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:28 pm

fragments wrote:Its not really even an issue for me dude. I dont need to quantize anything. I sequnce and record with Maschine...guess i should have said that. But I noodle everything out live first or use the sequencer on the Micro. Im not really a proper keys player :) when I talk about it being an instrument...its more about live knob twisting...which always sounds more organic to ky ear than automation.

Probabaly just destroyed your illusion of how I use it lol. Ill have to post some jams.
Haha now I get it! Okay that sounds pretty good dude. I think I'm gonna stick to midi for now but if I ever get hold of a few hundred bucks I'll consider this (after some room treatment and a new bass and paying my 400 $ debts... :lol: )
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by fragments » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:01 pm

bouncingfish wrote:
fragments wrote:Its not really even an issue for me dude. I dont need to quantize anything. I sequnce and record with Maschine...guess i should have said that. But I noodle everything out live first or use the sequencer on the Micro. Im not really a proper keys player :) when I talk about it being an instrument...its more about live knob twisting...which always sounds more organic to ky ear than automation.

Probabaly just destroyed your illusion of how I use it lol. Ill have to post some jams.
Haha now I get it! Okay that sounds pretty good dude. I think I'm gonna stick to midi for now but if I ever get hold of a few hundred bucks I'll consider this (after some room treatment and a new bass and paying my 400 $ debts... :lol: )
If you play bass getting a new bass sorted would seem pretty important :)
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by Crimsonghost » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:52 pm

I use to have the same mindset that everything needed to be quantized. But once I started using my ipad synths I didn't have much of an option seeing as it's just recorded audio. Personally I think it sounds better now. Having things just a little off time really makes the track feel less sterile.
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Re: What new piece of gear have you got that has...

Post by bouncingfish » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:21 pm

fragments wrote:
bouncingfish wrote:
fragments wrote:Its not really even an issue for me dude. I dont need to quantize anything. I sequnce and record with Maschine...guess i should have said that. But I noodle everything out live first or use the sequencer on the Micro. Im not really a proper keys player :) when I talk about it being an instrument...its more about live knob twisting...which always sounds more organic to ky ear than automation.

Probabaly just destroyed your illusion of how I use it lol. Ill have to post some jams.
Haha now I get it! Okay that sounds pretty good dude. I think I'm gonna stick to midi for now but if I ever get hold of a few hundred bucks I'll consider this (after some room treatment and a new bass and paying my 400 $ debts... :lol: )
If you play bass getting a new bass sorted would seem pretty important :)
Mainly cause it has bad electronics, constantly breaks, makes electric noise, and is way too heavy for me.
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