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  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3948

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
I want to make music.
« on: October 06, 2013, 08:12:09 am »
What are some good tips?
I was thinking of buying Pro Tools 11. (It that the best one on the market now? I've heard of producers using Ableton...but would you say Pro Tools is the best program to get at this point?)
I play guitar and a little bit of piano. (Actually, but piano abilities suck, but I hope to improve them.)
I guess to start off, I'll just begin with Pro Tools and a guitar. I'm going to get a high end acoustic guitar with internal pickups. Where is the best place to get one? I find the prices (for great quality guitars like Taylor, Gibson, and Martin) are severely inflated in Korea (so much so that it's almost worth it to buy a ticket to fly to America and back to buy stuff there). That really ticks me off. Where is a good spot to get used (very high end) musical equiptment in Korea at a reasonable price? (Does such a place not exist?)
Later, I want to add an electric guitar, a good keyboard, and maybe more stuff. I wish I could start a music studio in Korea. Have you met anyone who has done this? It will probably be so expensive. I think rent prices are astronomically high in Seoul.
Man, I want to buy so many instruments. Living in Korea (in cramped living quarters) complicates things, but I guess I need to think creatively/passionately/strategically, and not make excuses. I've wanted to lay down some good tracks for a while now, but it never happened. Life is short and it takes time to get good at something, so I should start RIGHT NOW. Anyone feel me on this? Any other musicans out there? (Anyone selling stuff?)

  • taeyang
  • Moderator - LVL 4

    • 5507

    • September 08, 2010, 08:35:10 am
    • daejeon
Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 10:37:09 am »
i don't really have any musical talent, but garageband for the ipad is a lot of fun to play around with.
use google to search the site XXXX

replace 'XXXX' with your search term

Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 04:12:09 pm »
I am selling a roland pcr-800 (vgc)
and an akai apc-40 (mint condition, like new)
also a yamaha tx81z (very good condition considering the age)

willing to let them go cheap as a bundle as we are moving house soon.

Send me a PM if interested

Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 05:20:41 pm »
I'm in almost the same boat, so I'm no professional. I'm an average guitarist, with some basic piano skills. I'm also doing some research to build up a mini recording studio, I'll be in Korea for a while and I'm using a shipping agent in Busan to ship all my stuff home once I leave for good.

I play Electric guitar, at the moment I have a USA Strat and a Suhr custom arriving any day, from the states ^_^. I'm running my guitars through various pedals and a Fender HR Deluxe III amp. I too am looking for a good DAW to start on. I've only been practicing guitar and building my chops, but soon it'll be time to do some recording. The prices are rather stupid over here and many of the stores are full of it (especially in Nakwon), they wouldn't  even let me try the USA Strat before I buy it since they wanted to keep it mint and in the case -_-... Who the hell buys an expensive guitar without trying it? There are awesome guitar stores that let you try out the gear, but the prices are insane.

I told them to get stuffed and I bought the guitar during my trip to Japan instead, FYI Japan is much cheaper and folks there actually know how a guitar store should be run. I'm also interested in the Nord Electro 4HP 61 key keyboard. It's a pretty penny in Korea @ 2.8Mil, you can get them in Japan for about 2.2Mil and Ebay for about the same. Korea has a ridiculous mark up.

I buy my gear on Ebay and when I make trips home or to Japan.

The first gear, for recording, that I'm going for (you should probably get too) is a good instrument mic (The Shure SM57 or SM58 seem to be favourites, and at a decent price).

Next, to convert the analogue signal (guitars' sound) into a digital signal to your pc, you'll need an audio interface (I'm still doing my research).

As far as recording goes, I'm also getting a looper pedal ( Again, I play electric, but these are awesome for hitting down a quick chord progression to jam over.

Finally, of course, is the DAW program (Digital Audio Workstation) i.e. Cubase, Protools, Garageband etc. Protools is the standard, but it'll set you back a bit. I guess it depends on you. I prefer to buy something once off and spend the time learning how to use it, instead of buying a beginner DAW and moving up. Then, of course, is the debate between Mac and PC. For personal reasons I stay away from any Mac software, but I'd suggest to use what you have for now instead of buying a new PC.

Let me know what you decide to get, I'm interested too.

Good Luck!

Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 05:26:00 pm »
Sorry, forgot.

A midi controller is highly recommended.

Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 01:26:41 pm »
I use Ableton Live 9. I really like it. I have used several other DAWs and Live just seems to bring out greater workflow when I compose. The display just seems more intuitive and less cluttered. But that is just judging from my own experience. The DAWs mentioned above are also great. Most DAWs, if not all, will let you download and try out their programs before you decide to buy it. If you are looking for a free and pretty good DAW, go download Reaper.

The most important piece of hardware to go along with a DAW would be the audio interface. You need this to connect your instrument to your computer. MBox interfaces are pretty standard but apparently they are incompatible or pain in the ass to work with DAWs other than Pro Tools (I am not sure if this is still the case). I have a friend who uses a PreSonus with Cubase and they are relatively inexpensive You could probably pick one up at Yongsan Station or Nakwon Arcade.

Like the guy before me said, I would also recommend you get a midi controller so you can trigger virtual instruments found in your DAW. They will also trigger downloadable virtual instruments called VST instruments. I currently have an M-Audio Oxygen midi controller. Akai is another good brand. Most DAWs will let you trigger virtual instruments with the computer keyboard. Just an option if you are on a tight budget.

Just as a side note: If you want great sounding drum tracks, I would recommend EZdrummer (a VST plugin). It basically allows you to drag and drop drum loops into your tracks. Or you can make your own grooves with a midi controller.

If you want to record vocals, then get a condenser mic that isn't too expensive, like an Audio-Technica AT 2020 (the non USB version). I found one at Nakwon Arcade for about 100,000 won. Just be sure you also buy yourself a mic cable. Again, any old mic will do if cost is the issue.

Reference monitors (speakers) are also good to have but not exactly necessary if you are beginning. They can be pretty expensive but you can always opt for open back headphones. Any old speakers/headphones can do (for now).

Recording vocals can also be challenging in a small apt. I was lucky enough that my one-room apt has a somewhat soundproof kitchen when I close the sliding glass door. This works for me because I need to sing loud sometimes. But maybe your style does not require disturbing your neighbors.  ;D

« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 04:09:31 pm by Tom_Waygook »

  • Lurch
  • Expert Waygook

    • 727

    • September 05, 2011, 08:31:17 am
    • Chungju
Re: I want to make music.
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 10:25:29 am »
In my home "studio" (I use the term lightly) I have a UGM 96 for electric guitar and bass that's hooked up to a reasonably decent PC running Cubase LE (comes free with the UGM96) and a Blue Yeti USB condenser microphone for voice and acoustic instruments. I sometimes also run MuseScore (free music notation software) for jotting down ideas and Audacity for some finer wav file editing.

Throw in some of the better quality free VST plugins, CSound programming know-how (and 20+ years of studying and playing music...) and I can make professional quality recordings, and it cost (not including instruments, amps and stomp boxes, which I've spent significantly more on...) less than $300.

The only things you really need:

1. An OK PC - PCs have really outpaced the needs of the home studio in recent years. Thirteen years ago, I was doing some decent recordings on a Pentium 75 with a 10 gig hard drive running Cooledit Pro.

2. A decent sound card/audio interface - Probably the most important thing unless you are an electronic musician and not recording any live instruments. AD (analog to digital) converters have drastically improved in quality and dropped in price over the past ten years. The UGM96 I mentioned above is capable of 96KHz, 24 bit audio, which is more quality than anyone honestly really needs. (Though you  might want more connection options if you are recording many things at the same time or wanting to use XLR cable.)

3. A microphone or two - This is where you really see better results depending on how much money you're willing to spend. A Shure SM57/58 through a decent interface/sound card will work out OK for $100 or so. A condenser microphone through a mixer will sound much better, but will cost you five times as much. There are USB condenser microphones (like the Yeti I mentioned earlier.) They're cheaper than a dedicated mixer, but they also are very much you-get-what-you-pay-for. AT2020 USB and Blue Yeti are two mid-range USB condensers that run around $200 and sound quite good.

4. Software - You can spend thousands, you can spend nothing. Between Audacity and Reaper, you've got just about all the tools that something like Protools offers. If you don't mind wading through boatloads of crappy free VST plugins to find the ones worth it, you can find some comparable to what Protools offers.

I use Cubase partly because it came free with my soundcard, and partly because I've been using Cubase for thirteen years now. Really whether you use Protools, Ableton, Nuendo, Garageband, etc. is just a matter of preference/platform. Choose one and stick with it until you really know how to use it.

5. Some way to mix - ideally a nice set of monitors, but those are expensive and possibly too loud for claustrophobic Korea. You can get results nearly as good with a decent set of open ear headphones. A good set will last you a long time. My twelve year-old Sennheiser HD490s through which I've mixed hundreds of tracks died earlier this year.

Here's an old track of mine that isn't really demonstrative of anything in this post since I just programmed the entire thing in CSound and didn't actually do any recording or mixing exactly (at least not in the traditional sense, mixing is done by changing a bunch of numbers in a huge text file full of code.) But, this is what you can do with only a PC and without spending a dime on software or gear: