What's needed to make 'EDM'...err...music?

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My eldest has gone rogue from his guitar and rock upbringing and listens to EDM. He's expressed some interest in making his own, but none of us have much clue about what he needs. He suggested a midi keyboard to plug into a PC with Ableton or similar but I suspect there are other options.

I think he'd really like a bit of hardware with flashy lights and dials which he can use to trigger samples and stuff.

I'm just looking for some ideas thrown at me, there's a chance I'd spend a couple of hundred quid to get him started.
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1889
    edited September 18
    Ableton, Reason and lots of sample libraries oh and a Midi Controller  Keyboard, Sorted
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  • sweepy said:
    Ableton, Reason and lots of sample libraries oh and a Midi Controller  Keyboard, Sorted
    You make it sound easy....thanks!

    Can you suggest specific sample libraries? Where to get them from?
    And any particular Midi Controller Keyboard? I like the size and look of the M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 and it's only £45 or so:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M-AUDIO-KEYSTATION-MINI-32-MK2-USB-MIDI-Velocity-Sensitive-Keyboard-Controller/322643744540?epid=12003303602&hash=item4b1f10d71c:g:bYcAAOSwEUdagbii&LH_BIN=1
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  • Kind of stuff my youngest son does. He has access to better technology in college ( he is doing music technology)but at home he has his PC which started life as a relatively budget gaming computer and our old Yamaha keyboard which he uses for it's MIDI capability. I can't remember the model but a MIDI keyboard is relatively cheap and an old home keyboard that has MIDI can be picked up cheaply. He has an Audient id14 ( I think) interface so he can add vocals or guitar or bass. 
    He has Ableton at home ( I think it's Logic X or Pro or something at college). A lot of the sample library stuff he has got via the college otherwise that would have been quite expensive. 

    Not that I understand this stuff really  - I'm repeating it like a trained parrot. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18800
    Ableton Live + a keyboard is a good way to start.
    Things can get rapidly out of hand from there though- especially once you get out of the computer and into hardware- the results are usually worth it though.

    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1889
    edited September 18
    There are some very good Reason and Ableton Forums and tbh it’s worth checking them out. A 49 or 61 keyboard is more than enough and can be picked up very cheaply, some have assignable sliders for VCF VCA etc real-time Control 

    https://www.ableton.com/en/packs/
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  • You can rent to own Serum via Splice at $9.99 a month.

    ...it's only a matter of time before he informs you that it's possible to rent to own Serum via Splice at $9.99 a month.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5011
    Gorilla costume
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 842
    edited September 18
    My young son was showing some promise as a drummer but then discovered EDM, which became an obsession. Drove me nuts but in fairness he achieved some commercial success. Nevertheless, I had no option other than to disinherit him
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  • fields5069fields5069 Frets: 1511
    Casio MT40

    Some folks like water, some folks like wine.
    My feedback thread is here.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17228
    You want a Native Instruments Maschine .. the Mikro is being updated so the old model is on sale .. it's a beat maker, sampler, track maker etc. NI have loads of content packs you can buy to make tracks.





    Check out 'Just a girl and her Machine ..'



    I actually use one ...



    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17228
    edited September 18
    Here's the NI Maschine site ..



    And then there's Jeremy Ellis .. lots of vids ..




    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • Thanks all.
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  • BodBod Frets: 228
    Fretwired said:
    You want a Native Instruments Maschine .. the Mikro is being updated so the old model is on sale .. it's a beat maker, sampler, track maker etc. NI have loads of content packs you can buy to make tracks.





    Check out 'Just a girl and her Machine ..'



    I actually use one ...



    I have the Maschine MK2 and Jam with Komplete 11 Ultimate and it's good, but I'm increasingly frustrated by NI's treacle-like speed of development of the Maschine software.  We've had a couple of new hardware versions appear recently, yet there's still no way of recording a live performance from start to finish, which is just unbelievable.  You can use it as a plugin in a DAW, which fills that gap, but I really don't like that workflow as it messes with my already crowded and confused noggin. 

    I'm considering selling it on and investing in Ableton Live and Push 2.
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  • BodBod Frets: 228
    edited September 19
    I should also add that I'm also considering upgrading to the MK3, in the hope that we do eventually get the live performance recording and better audio recording features...  lol 

    Sorry, bit of a thread hijack there.  The Maschine Mikro Mk2 will do the job for minimal outlay, but be careful when buying.  The Maschine software licence *must* be included with the hardware.  If it isn't then the hardware is useless and you can't buy the software separately.  It's a baffling NI policy, and lots of people have been caught out by this.

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17228
    Bod said:
    I should also add that I'm also considering upgrading to the MK3, in the hope that we do eventually get the live performance recording and better audio recording features...  lol 

    Sorry, bit of a thread hijack there.  The Maschine Mikro Mk2 will do the job for minimal outlay, but be careful when buying.  The Maschine software licence *must* be included with the hardware.  If it isn't then the hardware is useless and you can't buy the software separately.  It's a baffling NI policy, and lots of people have been caught out by this.

    If you buy a Maschine new you get the software. The latest software runs on all the Maschine units.

    You can record live ... may I ask what you're trying to do?
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 830
    https://us.novationmusic.com/keys/launchkey-mini#

    The launckey mini is a great way to get started. It has knobs to turn, pads to hit, keys to play, flashing lights and comes with ableton live light. 77 quid at andertons..

    https://www.andertons.co.uk/keyboards-pianos/midi-keyboards-controllers/novation-launchkey-mini-mk2-25-note-mini-keyboard-controller

    I have it myself and the only major downside imo is that it doesn't take a sustain pedal.. For that, you want the slightly more expensive launckey 25.

    https://us.novationmusic.com/keys/launchkey
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  • He suggested a midi keyboard to plug into a PC with Ableton or similar but I suspect there are other options. I think he'd really like a bit of hardware with flashy lights and dials which he can use to trigger samples and stuff.

    I'm just looking for some ideas thrown at me, there's a chance I'd spend a couple of hundred quid to get him started.

    Have a chat with @goldtop ;)
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • goldtopgoldtop Frets: 892
    That's the thing. I'm out of the loop on computer stuff. For sure, the cost-effective way of doing this is a computer and Machine/etc widget. Yoofs like the idea that it's all downloadable, I'm told.

    I hate switching on a computer to make music, so I went and got an MPC Live. Bit spendy for the OP.

    The cheaper standalone option is obvious, I think: an Electribe. Older, something like the Roland MCnnn range. (As always with hardware, lots of limitations to stimulate creativity.)

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  • BodBod Frets: 228
    Fretwired said:
    Bod said:
    I should also add that I'm also considering upgrading to the MK3, in the hope that we do eventually get the live performance recording and better audio recording features...  lol 

    Sorry, bit of a thread hijack there.  The Maschine Mikro Mk2 will do the job for minimal outlay, but be careful when buying.  The Maschine software licence *must* be included with the hardware.  If it isn't then the hardware is useless and you can't buy the software separately.  It's a baffling NI policy, and lots of people have been caught out by this.

    If you buy a Maschine new you get the software. The latest software runs on all the Maschine units.

    You can record live ... may I ask what you're trying to do?
    Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I was referring to buying used units, not a new one.  The Maschine forum is littered with people that bought a unit from Cash Converters etc, only to find that the licence transfer hadn't been done and they'd got a useless piece of hardware.

    Regarding the performance recording, while it's possible to record patterns and assemble scenes, it's not currently possible to record the triggering of those patterns/scenes from the controllers as a full end-to-end performance.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18800
    Agree with @goldtop.

    I much prefer hardware- currently exploring the Elektron devices and Eurorack.
    But it isn't for the inexperienced and it isn't a budget option.

    Some general advice for a new student to audio production and especially synthesis:
    The worry that I have is 'kids today' have access to all the tools but none of the techniques.
    The reason they like things being downloadable is students invariable use cracks.
    Their laptops will be filled with dozens of plugins that can do anything they want if they know what to do with them but there is a knowledge gap that is real and hard to defeat except with patient study.

    When you have a soft synth with 10,000,000 presets you can just scroll through them, rather then building a patch from scratch and understanding why something sounds the way it does.

    Having an understanding of how to build a patch, what the difference is between subtractive, additive, wavetable, FM (and others) and when to use one one or another, is actually really useful.

    I hate to be one of those people who says 'in my day...' but I've actually taught this stuff to students and they invariable start calling themselves 'producers' about half way through producing their first track.

    So, if the OP can budget for a decent hardware synth that has a one knob per function topology then do that too.
    An Arturia Minibrute or a Korg Monologue would be a very useful and instructive investment in the way that a plugin with a gazillion presets will not be.

    #grumpyoldgitrant
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • @octatonic ;
    thanks for the hardware recommendations. I suspect you're right about the yoof of today, my son is shining example of the 'on-demand' generation :lol: 

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17228
    Bod said:

    Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I was referring to buying used units, not a new one.  The Maschine forum is littered with people that bought a unit from Cash Converters etc, only to find that the licence transfer hadn't been done and they'd got a useless piece of hardware.

    Regarding the performance recording, while it's possible to record patterns and assemble scenes, it's not currently possible to record the triggering of those patterns/scenes from the controllers as a full end-to-end performance.
    You can record a live performance by routing the output master bus to another scene triggered by what you play. This is an old vid .. I think its improved somewhat.



    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 2397

    Ipad, imaschine 2 and novation launchpad. And a big chuffing loud amp. and a subwoofer

    and ear plugs

    sorted innit

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 13991
    octatonic said:

    The worry that I have is 'kids today' have access to all the tools but none of the techniques.

    I think that's an emergent consequence of being young - they've not had 10,000 hours spare to put into something.
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7081
    edited September 20
    Sporky said:
    octatonic said:

    The worry that I have is 'kids today' have access to all the tools but none of the techniques.
    I think that's an emergent consequence of being young - they've not had 10,000 hours spare to put into something.
    Yes everyone has access to the tools these days. 

    Developing the techniques takes time, or investment in to non sexy things like education (as opposed to more gear)

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