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Dadtronix
KVRer
19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:17 am

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Last edited by Dadtronix on Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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antic604
KVRAF
10775 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:40 pm

Dadtronix wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:17 am
Hey all - looking for some advice on what people consider "beginner essentials" for writing my own trance, techno, hardstyle and related types of music...
Regarding Live Suite, with some patience you should be able to find a 2nd hand license around $400 here, on Knobcloud (e.g. here's one), Facebook or Reddit. It's definitely worth it (and I won't recommend any other DAW since you haven't asked for it).

Regarding synths, how about the free stuff:
https://vital.audio/ - it's basically Serum on steroids
https://surge-synthesizer.github.io/ - versatile subtractive synth
https://www.discodsp.com/obxd/ - classic sound or Oberheim
https://blamsoft.com/vst/vk-1-viking-synthesizer/ - classic monophonic analog sound
https://vcvrack.com/ - (mostly) free Eurorack modular environment

For drums, have a look at XO and/or Atlas - both come with big libraries of sounds and patterns, which can help you quickly start or expand the rhythms you already have
https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/xo
https://algonaut.audio/

Lastly, if you're a beginner then the mixing / mastering devices you have in Live (ideally Suite) are more than enough to produce a competently sounding material. It's much less about the tools and more about knowing how to identify the issues and what to do with them.
Music tech enthusiast
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
4313 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:05 am

Komplete 13? A good start.

Massive X is your friend, already made (and released) a number of tracks with it. Use Monark for sub-bass and try Razor for, uhm, sharp sounds.
Super 8 looks great too, but I don't own K13 yet so didn't try it.

You can also try old Massive with thousands of presets available.

From packs, try Deep Matter (techno, deep house) and Lucid Mission (cheesy EDM, dance). You also get a number of awesome preset packs for Massive X.

I discourage using modulars for beginners.
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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(...)

Dadtronix
KVRer

Topic Starter

19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:55 am

This is all great advice so far, thank you all! I hadn't really considered (or known about) how much free stuff is out there. I've read a little about Virus, Sylenth1 and Serum, seems like Serum is practically the industry-standard outside of Massive. But, like said above, I probably have a lot more in Komplete 13 than I realize already available. I have found amazing drum sounds and keep finding new interesting and odd instruments. I almost wish there were a site with a catalog of all of it, I'm just hunting and pecking through and choosing sounds at random most days.

I had not really considered that all of the stuff that comes with Ableton Suite would cover my bases as far as a good sound mix / master / etc. I was assuming I'd need Ozone or something on top of all of this, and don't want to have to buy too much more. Perhaps just upgrading to the Ableton Suite will get me enough stuff to just sit and learn and create for a couple of years.

I definitely don't know what I'm doing with the synths, so I'm just toying with presets for now, and maybe adjusting attack or release values depending upon the sound I want. Anything else is voodoo, so I'm definitely staying away from modular stuff, that's good advice.

Liquid lino
KVRer
3 posts since 12 Mar, 2021

Post Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:30 am

Odin2 is another fantastic free synth, it's like a mini zebra 2. Zebralette from u-he is free too, sounds fantastic, great for techno. Voltage modular nucleus is free if you want to try modular. I ended up buying voltage modular core, but to be honest as good as it sounds I find making patches in modular style synths just exhausting and not fun. Recently I bought falcon, which is fantastic as an all rounder, but probably daunting for a new starter, maybe something for a year's time. Spire is an incredibly popular edm synth, and a total trance and dance monster. SOS in the UK sells it the cheapest right now, and splice has spire presets. Good luck on your journey. Just know, the song is much more important than what synth you use.

Dadtronix
KVRer

Topic Starter

19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:29 am

Thanks for all of this advice! I will admit, since I posted this, I'm finding plenty of useful presets in Komplete. I think I want one of the synths to visually look like Serum or Pigments where I can understand better what's happening, but starting with whatever I've got in Massive X for example has gotten me to some fun sounding tracks.

imrae
KVRAF
1889 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:59 am

Don't buy anything else until you've gained familiarity with the key stuff in Komplete. Battery, Kontakt, Massive, Absynth, Massive X, and Reaktor should easily cover you for sampling/synth fundamentals. Don't overlook TRK-01 if you're doing 4-to-the-floor stuff.

Even if you do plan to move to Suite, you should get familiarity with the basic Live FX now. And don't sleep on the mix tools in Komplete; they recently added some nice modulation effects, and the Solid Mix set are fine for doing the SSL thing.

You'll be a bit short on fancy mastering tools - but at this stage you shouldn't be worrying about that.

ztrauq
KVRist
324 posts since 13 Dec, 2004 from USA

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:25 pm

If you're looking for more tracks or flexibility and are willing to consider a workflow that's a little different than Live, you might want to take a look at either Cakewalk by Bandlab or Tracktion Waveform Free. Cakewalk is basically a former pro DAW (Sonar) that was taken over by another company and re-released for free, and while Waveform Free has some limited features compared to the main Waveform DAW, one thing that sets it apart from other "Lite" DAWs is that it allows for unlimited tracks and plugins.

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Biome_Digital
KVRAF
1590 posts since 9 Jan, 2014 from Worldwide

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:53 pm

There's a really wide range of styles of Trance and Techno that would call for different type of sounds. For example, analogue or digital synths for analogue bass and noises for techno, or big wide supersaws for trance, or detuned leads hard style.

Something like Komplete would cover everything. You'll also want to get some good techno sample packs to cover beats and sound effects too. :tu:

Dadtronix
KVRer

Topic Starter

19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:00 am

ztrauq wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:25 pm
If you're looking for more tracks or flexibility and are willing to consider a workflow that's a little different than Live, you might want to take a look at either Cakewalk by Bandlab or Tracktion Waveform Free. Cakewalk is basically a former pro DAW (Sonar) that was taken over by another company and re-released for free, and while Waveform Free has some limited features compared to the main Waveform DAW, one thing that sets it apart from other "Lite" DAWs is that it allows for unlimited tracks and plugins.
Well, too late, I caved and bought full Ableton! :) I'm enjoying the workflow and how fast I'm learning little tricks, and I'm noticing that I'm coming along with it much faster than prior attempts over the years with Pro Tools, ACID, Garageband or FL Studio, so I decided to splurge and make this the centerpiece of my hobby.

Dadtronix
KVRer

Topic Starter

19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:00 am

Biome_Digital wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:53 pm
You'll also want to get some good techno sample packs to cover beats and sound effects too. :tu:
Yes! Please pass on any recommendations, thanks! :)

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Biome_Digital
KVRAF
1590 posts since 9 Jan, 2014 from Worldwide

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:55 am

Dadtronix wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:00 am
Biome_Digital wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:53 pm
You'll also want to get some good techno sample packs to cover beats and sound effects too. :tu:
Yes! Please pass on any recommendations, thanks! :)
Oh yes sure I can. :)

This is a general page for Techno: https://newloops.com/collections/techno

You can go and download all the free demos there. If you find any useful and use them, please buy the full packs. I would recommend "Techno Master Tool Box" for someone starting as there is over 1000 sounds: https://newloops.com/collections/techno ... r-tool-box

As for sound effects: the first 2 on this page would work very well - https://newloops.com/collections/sound-effects

Let me know if you have any questions about any. :tu:

ztrauq
KVRist
324 posts since 13 Dec, 2004 from USA

Post Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:35 am

Dadtronix wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:00 am
Biome_Digital wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:53 pm
You'll also want to get some good techno sample packs to cover beats and sound effects too. :tu:
Yes! Please pass on any recommendations, thanks! :)
MusicRadar has a section with a ton of free sample packs:

https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/fr ... o-download

Good selection of packs, including plenty of techno/trance/house and general electronica-oriented packs, sorted by name.

Also see the stickied posts in the Sampling forum for a truly overwhelming amount of samples :)

Dadtronix
KVRer

Topic Starter

19 posts since 5 Oct, 2021

Post Thu Nov 04, 2021 3:12 am

Thanks! I've seen the music radar list but hadn't even looked here. I'm finding that I enjoy making my own sounds so far rather than sampling when it comes to instruments, but making all these instrumental tracks without any vocals leaves them a little lifeless, so that's where I definitely will explore some samples first.

andi75
KVRist
116 posts since 30 Mar, 2020 from Germany

Post Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:59 am

For the types of music you mentioned i also recommend ABL 3 and Kick 2 as an addition to Komplete. I don't think you need Serum for its sound, but you will find many presets and tutorials.

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