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KoolFartWind
KVRist
 
90 posts since 17 Jul, 2010, from Beerlin

Postby KoolFartWind; Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:37 pm Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Dear community,

my issue is as follows : I did not produce anything remotely satisfying (I solely produce for my own satisfaction) since
~2 months.

To pepp things up I want to focus on EITHER learning a simple instrument (I know an intermediate bit of music theory from Uni but never played in a band with a real instrument) OR having a dedicated workflow, that allows me to produce at least 1 piece (whatever that is, it has to satisfy my own acoustic aestetics) per week.

So the simplest possible string (piano reminds me too much of piano roll, I cannot help but think of the DAW when looking at any piano) instrument would be a U-Bass (Ukulele Bass). The alternative would be a more or less complete production suite, which enables me to produce without using the PC, like Maschine or Novation Circuit.

TLDR : What did help you to overcome a writer's block in creating electronic music ? Learning an instrument or rather setting up a more simplified production environment (like Maschine vs. the infinite options in modern DAWs) for yourselves ?

Thanks for reading. Hope it is the correct section. :clown:
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sin night
KVRian
 
1033 posts since 1 Aug, 2006, from Italy

Postby sin night; Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:58 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Maschine requires a computer to work, it's just a controller (with built in soundcard in Maschine 3) and a rather well integrated software. And it offers a good amount of options (= possible distactions).

Anyway, I'd suggest you to choose something that you enjoy (and which is not too much limited), something you can have fun with. Whatever it is. Probably the U-Bass is more straightforward, you can concentrate more on music and less on the instrument (except for tuning) than with any other electronic instrument. But if you have to learn how to play an instrument, it will still take some time (by the way I never played an Ukulele, so I don't know how much it takes to learn it, I'm a keyboard/programming guy)... Also, I think an acoustic instrument is probably not the best tool if you aim to make electronic music.

When you rule out keyboards, your choices are limited to grooveboxes and modulars (with sequencers or unusual interfaces).
Being a keyboard guy, it's hard for me not to suggest a keyboard, once you start pressing keys you'll forget about any pianoroll. But I have fun pressing keys and turning knobs, so I can understand that you may be looking for something different...

The only important thing is that - whatever you will choose - you'll enjoy it and you'll feel comfortable with it.
slipstick
KVRist
 
136 posts since 2 Feb, 2017

Postby slipstick; Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:15 am Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

I can't imagine why you'd think of a U-Bass. I play one with a couple of local uke groups but they're very limited. You can't really play fast and you definitely can't play chords and the strings are very odd. You'd do better with a real uke, preferably a tenor with a low G string. Then at least you can learn to play chords and melodies and try a bit of finger picking and there are loads of tutorials around to get you going.

OTOH much as I enjoy ukes,including the bass, they have nothing to do with electronic music. Whether one would get your electronic music juices flowing I have no idea.

Steve
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foosnark
KVRAF
 
4101 posts since 9 Jan, 2003, from Saint Louis MO

Postby foosnark; Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:31 am Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Short scale fretless bass is another option. I found it more intuitive to play than anything else guitar-like, but then the first instrument I was serious about was violin back in school in the 80s. The muscle memory for violin is long gone but finding intervals on a fingerboard came right back to me (and is easier on the bass than violin ever was).

But, personally, I found I didn't really play it that much except for jamming once in a while, and I haven't even done that in years.

Converting from FL Studio to Maschine gave me a pretty good burst of inspiration -- it's a similar workflow but smoother and more fun to finger-drum parts (even if I edited them later) than to sequence them in a piano roll. But looking back, the music I made when I first got Maschine seems like a step down from where I had been.

For me the biggest inspiration was going modular, even though I still sequence in Maschine most of the time and use software effects and occasional software synths. It's mostly not an "analog vs digital" thing because all my oscillators are digital. It's more a case of breaking out of the mold, using different synthesis techniques and discovering new ones on my own, playing with feedback and audio rate modulation and hands-on envelope control and alternate ways to create rhythms. And also there's a sense of letting things flow and letting the machines be what they are, sort of an anti-perfectionist streak that makes it easier and more fun for me to work with than when I was doing everything in software.

But if what you want to do is create something every week -- maybe just commit to doing that? That's what I did in 2016. I decided I had enough of occasional frenzies of creative activity followed by months of not making any music at all, so I started forcing myself to finish and post something every week. It was a grind at the start, but got easier and more fun as I went. Instead of 52 songs for 2016 I finished 120 (plus a couple of remix projects that took longer). So far in 2017 I've finished 219 (plus a few demos when I was beta testing Eurorack modules), averaging about 5 a week.
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
4490 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:22 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Um... ruling out keyboards actually gives you a quite broad field of instruments to choose from. Like the artiphon instrument one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMFHjmMAb7A
It has a soundcard built in but it also requires a host application to access sounds.

It may be too much of an instrument.

A U-bass (as much as I like them and have spent years playing bass) will not teach you about harmony and little to nothing about melody.

Learning basic music theory scales/ chords etc is not that hard on any instrument capable of producing them (guitar, keys) It's not physics, it's not even algebra. Heck it's mostly set theory and memorization through practice. Yes daws can be a distraction from actually committing yourself to the physical aspect of playing an instrument. Some musical software learning tools can be a crutch that can aid you but later detract from your development.
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rod_zero
KVRAF
 
2575 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:43 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

ABleton Push provides excelent workflow for composition, if you want to go fast making musical ideas. Its advantage over Maschine its the 64 pads that allow to have more notes at once and make the step sequencer more intuitive.
dedication to flying
sfxsound3
KVRist
 
412 posts since 30 Mar, 2016

Postby sfxsound3; Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:23 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Your head is the problem. Fix that and give your wallet some rest.
KoolFartWind
KVRist
 
90 posts since 17 Jul, 2010, from Beerlin

Postby KoolFartWind; Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:19 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

Thing is I am too old now to properly (or let's say conventionally) learn an analogue instrument, but a very good friend of mine is even much older, but plays guitar since childhood. He just jams a lot but is bad with the digital realm, naameeaan ? Would be great to jam along. That is why I'd - if it has to be a string instrument - prefer an ukulele instrument (bass or tenor, main issue it should be much more mobile than a normal sized e-guitar/e-bass) to collaborate.

Or, since I am pretty experienced with electronic music production devices (have experience with many DAWs and midi-keyboards on different OS and theoretical uni - music education), but have very limited time atm, I would like to have an MPC-like box at hand to jam along quickly, whenever there is time without having to setup the whole mobile environment.

Push or Maschine or Akai MPC. I don't know what to get. AKAI was the non-plus-ultra 10 years ago. But that is different now, I guess.

I'm on the brink to get a Maschine MK3. Push2/3 seems to be tailored to Live, which would be a no-go. So there is AKAI MPC left. Or are there other options : Novation Circuit ? You see, I'm a bit lost in translation/options (device for jaming, composing mobile below 700$)

Bedankt a lot!
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
4490 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:42 am Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

If you allow self doubt to make all your decisions then nothing is possible. If you push self doubt off to the side with the intention that this is what you want then everything is possible. Possible It doesn't mean everything is achievable but it means you open your mind to the opportunity for success.

Performing well on a traditional instrument comes down to two things. Practice and Confidence. There is a teenager neighbor I know who's technique on the guitar is impeccable. He hasn't been playing that long but he has a high degree of self confidence. He doesn't know that much about various theories and can't play every chord/scale in the book but he has determination. I have a great deal of knowledge and ability. I've been playing for over 40 years now. Had bands played in bars for covers. Had work as a session musician getting paid top dollar. I'd do anything to have the confidence this kid has. My abilites mastering new stuff hinges much on the feedback I have from the world. The problem is I no longer go out and play live (well rarely) The older stuff I was doing way back when I play better than the stuff I do today. I'm not going to make my decision to play / practice on the success or failure of other musicians though. Neither should you. Even though I struggle with the newer stuff I accept it as part of the challenge when expanding my skillset.

Pretty much everything is (tailored to lIve) but many daws have also adapted the session view. I'd say get novation launchpad pro as it has velocity and after pressure sensitive pads. You don't need to know and use all the features of a grid surface controller right out of the box. Personally I'm thinking of novation launchpad pro as a grid controller. I know there will be challenges for me as there are when learning any new instrument. I don't like pads in general because I think they are spaced too far apart. Compared to instruments I have /had with a grid interface (artiphon, linnstrument. ztar)

With regards to Abelson Live, I had a lot of issues with it in the past. I threw in the towel because of the many glitches with the program. Instead I'm using Mixcraft Pro



I've been playing guitar...for forever now.
VST_Now
KVRer
 
2 posts since 13 Dec, 2011, from East

Postby VST_Now; Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:19 pm Re: Writer's block : Buying U-Bass vs. buying Maschine (or alike)

KoolFartWind wrote:
(piano reminds me too much of piano roll, I cannot help but think of the DAW when looking at any piano)

Nail in your coffin for sure
sfxsound3 wrote:Your head is the problem. Fix that and give your wallet some rest.

+1000000
With some fundamental understanding or for some people just a good ear a piano or keyboard becomes really fun for arrangements or just hashing out ideas.
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