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studio setup of popular producers

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micheljarre
KVRer
 
3 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Postby micheljarre; Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:24 am studio setup of popular producers

Hi there,

when listening to shows like State of Trance, Group Therapy or similar popular ones, I always ask myself whether there is a kind of "top 20" for setting up the sound of progressive or uplifting style, especially concerning the synths and effects which are used.

Is it still a kind of secret of the "big guys" which tools there are using or is this well known?

Although the tracks do not sound identical, of course, I would guess that there are some very popular solutions, for example:
  • which drum computer and sound library to used
  • which analog synth to use to produce basses and fat sounds
  • which sidechain compressor and bitcrusher to use
  • which additional sound libraries to include
  • which other synths and effects to use

Do you know more about these points?

I am very interested...

Thank you!
micheljarre
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tehlord
KVRAF
 
6725 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK

Postby tehlord; Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:38 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

The 'secret' is the several years practise and experience you don't have. There are no magic tools to make you pro.
Chapelle
KVRist
 
232 posts since 27 Dec, 2007, from Germany

Postby Chapelle; Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:48 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

tehlord wrote:The 'secret' is the several years practise and experience you don't have. There are no magic tools to make you pro.

Exactly.

There are pictures of studios at the Musicradar website and you can see basically everything from complete software based bedroom producers (e.g. Porter Robinson) to studios packed full of gear (e.g. Ulrich Schnauss).

If you're still interested in what some producers are using, take a look at the pictures at Musicradar or the "In The Studio with..." videos at the YouTube channel of Future Music Magazine: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC23xW9iC-ADQBLABJ9uIZww
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DJ Warmonger
KVRist
 
442 posts since 7 Jun, 2012, from Warsaw

Postby DJ Warmonger; Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:05 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

which

It's not "which", but "how". The answer to 'which" is "whichever you need".

And to know what you need, you firts need to understand how things work in general and how do they work for you.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)
micheljarre
KVRer
 
3 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Postby micheljarre; Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:59 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

Thank you for the answers.

It is acceptable for me to hear that there seems to be no "technical monopole" anymore.

When I produced music (which is about 14 years ago..), the times were quite different in my opinion. Of course there were lots of vst plugins and audio tools, but the (expensive) hardware synth and effect workstations were preferred.

Nevertheless: is the range of tools so large that nowadays there is no "default toolkit" to produce professional results anymore?

The background of my question is: I would like to start producing again, but my experiences from former times cause some concern that I would need to start to work with hundreds of tools until I find the "preferred" ones. On the one hand, having such a huge range of possible tools is great, but on the other I would like to keep the barrier as low as possible for getting first professional results.
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
2118 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:08 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

micheljarre wrote:....On the one hand, having such a huge range of possible tools is great, but on the other I would like to keep the barrier as low as possible for getting first professional results.


It is my humble opinion one is not "professional" unless one is earning a living (from whatever the profession is). And then begins the degree of professionalism.

In the meantime, one can be a hobbiest ( and sometimes better than the so called "professional").

Choose which you rather and be the best at it.

Yes, the range of tools is vast. Pick an instrument and learn it inside and out. Just about any instrument will give you enough to work on to learn it fully.

This keeps the financial barrier to a minimum, for a while. (I hope that is the barrier you refer to). Then, in a bit, with perseverence and effort, you will have mastered the tool and you can go to the next.

Don't expect to touch a knob and instantly become a "professional". A lot of folks here have been working at it for years. Many of them, while not earning a living at it, can certainly be considered much better than some of their "pro" counterparts.

Basically, just do what you love. There is no magic potion, bit a whole lot of fun to be had.

Happy Musiking!
dsan
My System:
W7, i5, x64, 8Gb Ram
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DJ Warmonger
KVRist
 
442 posts since 7 Jun, 2012, from Warsaw

Postby DJ Warmonger; Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:21 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

It is my humble opinion one is not "professional" unless one is earning a living

Good point. Buying expensive gear does not make you professional. Selling one does, however ;)

There will be dozens of people who try to sell their "revolutionary" stuff to rule them all, but that's not gonna happen. No hardware or software can be the substitute for knowledge and experience. The more you know, the less you pay.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)
micheljarre
KVRer
 
3 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Postby micheljarre; Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:33 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

dsan@mail.com wrote:It is my humble opinion one is not "professional" unless one is earning a living (from whatever the profession is). And then begins the degree of professionalism.

Okay, that may depend on the definition of "professional". I am not going to earn my living by producing music, but I'd expect to have results that I would consider to sound "professional". But maybe other words would describe it better.

The barrier I meant is the technical effort to take to produce acceptable results, not the pure financial aspects. This is difficult to describe, because what does "acceptable" mean? This is the reason why I mentioned the big shows like State of Trance. Of course, the arrangement and some very details make a production great, but I thought it would also be some well established tools.
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
2118 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:57 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

micheljarre wrote:.....but I'd expect to have results that I would consider to sound "professional".....


Yes, that is exactly what you should strive for and what we all want. The point some are trying to make is that buying the "best" equipment does not automatically give one that professional sound. It takes time and devotion to finally get to that.

micheljarre wrote:.....The barrier I meant is the technical effort to take to produce acceptable results, not the pure financial aspects. This is difficult to describe, because what does "acceptable" mean? This is the reason why I mentioned the big shows like State of Trance.


Acceptable is simply "Are YOU happy with the result?"

For most, never. Been there done that. Now, I trust myself and have learned to enjoy what it is. Again, this takes time to learn that what it is is acceptable. If it pleases you then you're done; if it doesn't then go back to the drawing board.

Just be careful you don't cook yourself in the process, and that is easy to do.
Learn to trust yourself and make yourself happy with what it is ;)

micheljarre wrote:.....Of course, the arrangement and some very details make a production great, but I thought it would also be some well established tools.


Don't misunderstand - the better the tool the better the result, naturally.

However, just don't think going in that because you have the "well established" tool you will achieve instant "professional" sound. There are people here that can make the worst instrument sound pretty darn good ;)

You have to work at it, and it takes time.

A lot of times we think that with this tool I will sound great. But the reality is, until I know "How" to use the tool, I'm not going to sound great (or professional as you put it).

Bottom line - put in the time. We call it paying your dues :hihi:

If you devote yourself to it, no matter what tools you use, you will come out professional sounding. :tu:

Happy Musiking!
dsan
My System:
W7, i5, x64, 8Gb Ram
MadAnthony81
KVRist
 
175 posts since 7 Sep, 2011, from cali

Postby MadAnthony81; Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:51 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

well im popular. haha just KIDDINGGGGG!

look what I use below!
Ableton Live 8 Suite 64 Bit, Sylenth1 64 Bit,Rapture, Synthmaster, Korg ES-1 Mkii, Mo' Phatt. and Waves plugs.
DELL i-3770 3.9ghz, 12GB RAM, INTEL SSD,
M-Audio Bx5a
Oxygen 49
TC ELECTRONIC impact twin 64 Bit
Grace and love
User avatar
murnau
KVRAF
 
2696 posts since 13 Jan, 2005, from Deutschland

Postby murnau; Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:11 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

Nevertheless: is the range of tools so large that nowadays there is no "default toolkit" to produce professional results anymore?

The background of my question is: I would like to start producing again, but my experiences from former times cause some concern that I would need to start to work with hundreds of tools until I find the "preferred" ones. On the one hand, having such a huge range of possible tools is great, but on the other I would like to keep the barrier as low as possible for getting first professional results.

the first and most important step is to learn your DAW inside out (and i mean inside out)! if you don't know what your DAW is capable of there's no need for any 3rd party plugins or any other software to buy. this first step alone can easily take 1-2 years imho.
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more” ― Nikola Tesla
rod_zero
KVRian
 
657 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:44 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

Instead of having a "professional" sound better try to define your aesthetic objectives, first maybe as "I wanna sound similar to" and then going further and defning your sound more in your own terms.

I think this is important because it gives you direction in the huge ammount of options, you can "sound" pro with anything but different tools can direct you in different aesthetic ways.

It's not the same to "sound as pro" as lets say Avicci that to sound as "pro" as some Berlin techno underground act which tours the world, the aesthetic of both is completely different.

I think understandiing what tools are better for some tasks and goals makes you a better professional.
dedication to flying
pilgrim_heart
KVRist
 
148 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Postby pilgrim_heart; Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:50 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

murnau wrote:the first and most important step is to learn your DAW inside out (and i mean inside out)! if you don't know what your DAW is capable of there's no need for any 3rd party plugins or any other software to buy. this first step alone can easily take 1-2 years imho.


I'll have to say that I disagree with this. It's really useful to know the DAW well and all but most of them include tons of features so they can cater to different styles of working etc., each individual user is unlikely to need all of that stuff. I'd rather take the pragmatic approach of learning what I need for the time being and looking up new stuff as I feel the need for it.

Regarding hardware synths I think one should also consider that those take a lot more effort to use than plugs. You'll need to either buy enough hardware to hook them all up more or less permanently (and then do the work of patching everything, looking at how to change patches etc. when switching projects and so on) or you're gonna have to constantly repatch stuff. I'm lazy so I really like the convenience of plugins.
kuzami
KVRist
 
103 posts since 8 Apr, 2014

Postby kuzami; Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:57 am Re: studio setup of popular producers

User avatar
murnau
KVRAF
 
2696 posts since 13 Jan, 2005, from Deutschland

Postby murnau; Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:35 pm Re: studio setup of popular producers

pilgrim_heart wrote:
murnau wrote:the first and most important step is to learn your DAW inside out (and i mean inside out)! if you don't know what your DAW is capable of there's no need for any 3rd party plugins or any other software to buy. this first step alone can easily take 1-2 years imho.


I'll have to say that I disagree with this. It's really useful to know the DAW well and all but most of them include tons of features so they can cater to different styles of working etc., each individual user is unlikely to need all of that stuff.

the idea behind: you should know everything inside your DAW to decide/understand what you need and what isn't for you and your workflow. it's exactly not about using every possible feature. over the years i learned many things inside my DAW which i thought i don't need on first sight but i was wrong because i didn't know it better.

pilgrim_heart wrote: I'd rather take the pragmatic approach of learning what I need for the time being and looking up new stuff as I feel the need for it.


yep, thats why i wrote 1-2 years. it is nothing you reach over night.
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more” ― Nikola Tesla
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