I love making electronic music! But, man does it get complex very quickly.
I could not for the life of me get the bass sounds that I wanted. I found this crazy little hardware synthesizer, the Waldorf Rocket, that is particularly good for bass sounds.
As the Rocket does not have a keyboard, you have to hook it up to something else in order to play it. It only generates the sounds. I called my AKAI MiniAK into action as a MIDI controller and presto!…sounds!
Here is my studio setup as of right now. Well, no, over there on the bottom right, I diagrammed the Traktor cabled to the Yamaha MG06 mixer. In the end, I am not using the Yamaha. Everything for production goes via the Audiofuse. When I dj, I monitor on my little old Yamaha Stagepas 300. The Stagepas has passive speakers, so I have to use the built-in mixing desk and not the MG06. Guess I should update the home studio diagram…
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My home music studio is where I make music, mix music, study UX, write, create and surf. I use Ableton for production and Traktor for mixing. I was dj-ing last week, with the black lights on, and thought it worthy of a photo.
A clever Facebook friend pointed on that dodgy D key on the synth. Actually, the keyboard is fine, there was just a power cable hanging down. The synth in my home music studio, btw, is an AKAI MINIAK Virtual Analog Synth. I bought it second-hand this summer. I don’t adore the presets, but I like to play with a hardware synth when I get tired of looking at the screen.
The MIDI controller (below the iMac) is an Arturia MINILAB. I really love Arturia products for the home recording studio! So much so that my soundcard is also Arturia (the AudioFuse) and I have their software synths Pigments and Analog Lab.
A long trip through home recording
I have been playing around with production for a long time now. My first foray into Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) was on a course at Morley College in London. That was back in 1998! We used Cubase on Atari, in a dusty basement. Both the course and the concept were cool enough to invest in a big tower computer with a built-in sound card that occupied two slots of the motherboard BUS. I bought Cubase and tried to produce, but alas, I was always more drawn to composition on a guitar. My musicality and my songwriting developed nicely by learning guitar and training my voice. I never fully stopped playing with production, but nor did I ever fully embrace it.
Apple products called me back in 2001, and I invested in Logic on a PowerBook. Again, I tried, and made some productions, but was never fully invested. I still loved playing the guitar, doing gigs and open mics, meeting musicians. Truly, the solitude of the production studio goes against my grain. I am a very sociable person and my dearest wish is to find a production partner! Alas, so far this escapes me.
I started using Ableton Live in 2009. The prevalent advice is “don’t change DAW”, so I stick with Ableton even though I hate most of the presets! I did a mixing course with Miguel Alsem at the Universidad de Alicante. This helped me a little, and having a producer boyfriend for a few months did too. So, I have lots of little things recorded (and taking up disc space!), but tend to “release” very little.
But, I keep on playing! My early Christmas gift to myself was an upgrade to Ableton 11 and the aforementioned Pigments software synth. Maybe I will finally pull all of this together and make those guitar tracks translate into the DAW and come alive!