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Author Topic: The Gear Thread  (Read 234065 times)
Simon
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« on: January 08, 2010, 10:22:56 PM »

Warning: Geeky Muso Thread Alert.

If you're not keen on the techy side of music, run for your lives now. This thread is NOT for you.  Wink

I'm starting this thread up simply because I wanted to let everybody who is musically minded out the exactly how cool the free stuff on the Native Instruments Website is. Not only do they have their Kore 2 Player softsynth available for free along with a whacking sound library of great instruments, right now you can download a 'best of' set of sound patches culled from the Kore sound library series as well.

I did just as they suggested and after trying them out, I was a very happy bunny indeed

Kore 2 Player
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/kore-player/

Holiday Selection 2009 Patches (not sure how long these will be available for)
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/powered-by-kore/holiday-selection-2009/



As freebies go for musicians. I found this to be very, very nice selection of kit for N.I. to pass on to us poor befuddled mortals. Naturally I understand that like any pusher wishing to get you hooked, the first sample is always free but as my cupboard is not exactly empty in the soft syth department, I found it to be a very nice addition to my sound set and my saliva glands didn't go into overdrive too much.

Over and above this (and if your nerve is strong enough) you can also download demo versions of the nifty Absyth 5 soft synth and my personal fav bit of kit currently, the madness that is the 'build your own sounds from the ground up' synth/beatmaker/FX unit that is Reaktor 5.

Admittedly these demo versions are save disabled i.e you can't save any new patches and it only works for 30 mins before quitting (and you have to load it again) but for me....ho ho ho...30 minutes with these babies is plenty of time for me to jam out some madness, print the results to Pro Tools and have some electronic backing sitting around to jam over to create new songs. Thank you N.I.

Absynth 2 (The demo version button is in the top right of the box)
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/absynth-5/



Reaktor 5 (The demo version button is in the top right of the box)
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/reaktor-5/



I know this might sound like a free advert for N.I. but I really do think the free/demo stuff is excellent value for money if you are working on a budget and need some top quality sounds for your studio for bugger all dosh.

Naturally, if anyone out there knows of any other sites or kit that we should be made aware of (it doesn't have to be free although free is always nice), by all means post your thoughts/observations/opinions here.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 10:31:01 PM by Simon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 02:28:54 AM »

Hooray! A gear thread where I can ask questions and really show myself up as the clueless novice I am!  Cheesy  Seriously, thank you so much for pointing this out, Simon! I had a quick gander at the list of sounds on offer and as soon as my eye fell on "Hammond organ" I was sold. It's downloading now. I then saw "drum machines from the 70s and 80s" and I now can't wait to get my hands on it. Obviously, the first thing I'm going to do is to try and recreate the intro sounds to DuchessWink

Thanks again! I'm going to have so much fun with this. I can't name them off the top of my head, but I can ask a mate about free VSTs and such. I'm certain he's mentioned a fair few with some great stuff on them.

I get back to my keyboard in three days and oh yes, there will be Prog.  Grin
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Ash
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 09:38:22 AM »

I always get disappointed that you are not talking about the other sort of gear...
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Simon
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 10:32:02 AM »

 Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 11:36:00 PM »

You all may know about this already, but Computer Music magazine has a cover-mounted DVD every month with a brilliant selection of freeware stuff, including sequencers, soft synths, drum machines, etc. They also have 'exclusive', cut-down editions of commercial packages - usually not cut down very much, in fact.

I'm an Ableton Live user - I use it for recording TEP, and also for my own noodlings on guitar and synths. It's a bit of a late starter as a 'proper' digital audio workstation package, but I find the interface far more intuitive than the others I've tried. Another DAW I used for a while is Reaper, which can be downloaded as a 'try before you buy' package, with licenses for not-for-profit use being pretty inexpensive. I also toyed with FLStudio (formerly Fruity Loops) for a while, during my demonic 'dance' phase.

Soft synth wise, I love tinkering with GForce's MTron, which is a pretty faithful re-creation of a classic Mellotron 400, down to the coffee-cup stain on top of the virtual keyboard panel Smiley I'm also a long-time user of Reason, which I use pretty much as a mega-rack of synths and samplers. I also have EZDrummer, though I'm considering moving up to BFD (cheers for the tip, Simon, the demo is excellent!).
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 12:12:45 AM »

I usually tend to use open source software whenever I can.

Not only is it free but the community support you get is excellent.

I can recommend everybody into DAWs to download Ubuntu Studio, a Ubuntu linux distribution aimed at creative people.



For commercial packages I am partial to Logic Studio, just the samples/instruments is worth the price.



I use a Korg Kontrol 49 to enter notes into my DAW.



But I tend to not have time to do anything with my gear Sad
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Jim
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 08:12:00 AM »

I have a guitar. It has a knob that makes it go quieter and louder. It also has a volume control.  Roll Eyes
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Ash
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 08:21:18 AM »

 Grin humour them Jim, at least this is just a thread, there's a whole board of this in frost*ieland  Roll Eyes
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AmazingWilf
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 09:43:22 AM »

I usually tend to use open source software whenever I can.

Not only is it free but the community support you get is excellent.

I can recommend everybody into DAWs to download Ubuntu Studio, a Ubuntu linux distribution aimed at creative people.
I'd love to use Ubuntu Studio, I like the idea - but Linux support for decent sound hardware is crappy. I've got a Novation Nio 2/4, which is a natty little device that didn't cost very much, but I can't get it to work with Linux at all. And I've been hacking on Unix-like operating systems for years, so it's not for want of trying hard  Undecided

Added to which, you get used to using a certain bit of software.
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 09:44:14 AM »

I have a guitar. It has a knob that makes it go quieter and louder. It also has a volume control.  Roll Eyes
You have more than one guitar, Jim, I'm sure of this - so don't try to hide your anorak under a bushel (or some other tortured metaphor).
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 11:04:30 AM »

I'm almost certain I'm going to buy a Microkorg XL at the end of January. Behold!



From what I've read, it'll be a nice addition to this year's main project, a project which I've been planning for about seven years and will now hopefully be set in motion. The KOASS effects will hopefully allow me to warp sound in many interesting and insane ways and the vocoder will just be great fun.  Smiley
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Jim
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 01:07:15 PM »

I have a guitar. It has a knob that makes it go quieter and louder. It also has a volume control.  Roll Eyes
You have more than one guitar, Jim, I'm sure of this - so don't try to hide your anorak under a bushel (or some other tortured metaphor).

OK... you asked for it...

I have:

A 1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard with Gibson Alnico humbucker pickups
A mid 90s Fender Stratocaster with standard Fender pickups and a Floyd Rose locking tremolo
A Squier Stratocaster with retro fitted EMG SA active pickups (for that genuine David Gilmour/Steve Rothery chiming clean sound).
A Variax 300. Not sure what I can tell you about this without using all the pages this forum will ever be allowed. It's amazing.

A mid 60s Marshall 100 watt solid state amplifier. This was one of the first solid state amps Marshall ever made and somehow, they managed to build into it all the warmth you would expect from a valve amp. It simply sings when put through my...

Mid 60s Marshall 4x12 angled speaker cabinet, tweed fronted with 4 Celestion vintage c30 speakers. Both the amp and cab used to belong to Tom Robinson ("2, 4, 6, 8 never too late" for those who don't know who I'm talking about). It was given to me by a friend who needed to clear some room at home. He tells me that this amp and cab combination once appeared on the front cover and in a feature "article" of specialist gentleman's one-handed rhythmic reading journal, Razzle. A friend of his is a glamour photographer and was doing a "British Rock Chicks" shoot for said publication. My chum went along and spent more time there than is strictly healthy for a) a married man and b) a Police Officer.

All this lovelyness is shaped and molded by the addition of:

A Line 6 X3 Pro, Amp modeling pre-amp and effects unit. This too would take too much space to talk about but aside from my Les Paul, this is the best and awesomest piece of equipment I have ever used.
A Line 6 XT Pro (the little brother of the X3 Pro)
An Alesis Midiverb
An Alesis Quadraverb
A Roland Guitar synth unit

All of these are controlled from a Line 6 FBV longboard pedal board and foot controller which has a built-in Wah and Volume pedal. This too is a miracle of modern technology and engineering.

Lastly, why did no one spot the deliberate attempt at self-depreciating humour in my original post about the knob and the volume control. Or was it just too oblique for a Sunday morning?
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 02:06:54 PM »

I noticed, Jim.   Smiley  It's about the only comment that made any sense to me in this thread.

I don't really understand all this tech-talk - but what I will say is that whatever stuff that you (ie. the band) have, you sure know how to make it sound great.
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 03:49:40 PM »

This thread really isn't going to last very long, is it?
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Ash
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 05:24:29 PM »

Are you saying that Fishtankers are not as nerdy as Frost*ies?  Grin

I am going to not hijack this thread anymore.  I mucked about with the guitar thread and that died a death.  Though when Jim posts such things as "...He tells me that this amp and cab combination once appeared on the front cover and in a feature "article" of specialist gentleman's one-handed rhythmic reading journal, Razzle."  it is hard to be serious.

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