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newbie question ...where to start???

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Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 08:47 pm:   

i have a 700mhz G3 laptop and want to start experimenting
with dub. any advice as to what i programs i need?

thanks in advance!

Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 11:42 pm:   

so...i'm thinking i need three types of programs:

one to edit loops and other raw tracks (protools, nuendo, etc?)
one to generate synth/bass/drum sounds (reason?)
one to dub with live real-time manipulation of the
various source material (ableton live?)

i'd love to create the source tracks with a computer based
set up and send them thru multiple discreet outputs into
an analogue console and use old school effects ...basically
dub the traditional way, but for the time being i'd like to
find a computer app that allows real-time manipulations
ie. mixing, fx processing ....sounds like ableton live would
be the way to go.

any thoughts? suggestions? comments?

Mike Zee
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 01:45 am:   

I've created a very general and basic page dedicated to starting up with dubbin'. Nothing special there, but just general idea and some gear recommendations. Link: make your own dubs page at ZDL
If you just want to quickly start playing around with computer-only, then just get Reason. Reason also looks like sort of fun software, cos' it has a "feel" like you actually "using" real hardware studio gear. It hass the whole bunch of gear in it.
Steinberg's Cubase has hybrid version , and I think it's great app, but I am not using it. I'm Cakewalk/Sonar head since god knows when :)...and it's Windows app...
Protools is pro-standard for Mac, but its costy thing. I guess you can get something like ProtoolsLE ...and then you need some of digidesign hardware interface, which are great btw :), again it'll cost you....

Personally I always feel that it's better for beginner in dub to start up with some used cheap multitrack/mixer/effects hardware set-up and learn to make dubs as dubs were/are made....with your hands and ear. And then later if you wish to add on computer-based tools. But this was dicussed over and over again. People have different feelings about it. Oh well...

Good luck ,
/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE

Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 02:42 am:   

thanks for your thoughts doctor...

Neil C
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 03:11 pm:   

Dubweiser -
You'll be able to manipulate sound in real time in any of the major sequencers (by which I mean an application that allows you to record audio into it (like a multi track tape recorder) and has midi sequencing) - protools, Cubase SX/LE (same sound engine as Nuendo), Logic, Nuendo, Sonar (not sure if Sonar is available for mac). It is generally thought that Protools is a bit lacking in midi implementation compared to the other sequencers I mentioned.
The focus of Ableton is live manipulation, but you might well be able to do what you want in the other packages, there are plenty of sound manipulating plug ins. Unless you only get Ableton, I would suggest seeing what you can do with your main sequencer alone before getting Ableton.
Unless you have high-end intentions (in which case you would need more powerful computer than your laptop), you almost certainly don't need Nuendo - Cubase SX would be a better choice (Nuendo is like Cubase but with high-end features that most people have no need of (I don't).
I only have experience of Cubase SX, but I don't think any one of the pacakages I listed is particularly better for dub than another. It is generally stated in the music technology press that none of the major sequencers is particularly better than the others, just different, and it comes down to which one best suits your working methods/personal preferences, Demos are available for all.
You can here my dub made in Cubase SX (the track is Yohombi) at:
Also, I think it is best not to try to get too much stuff at once. I would suggest doing as much research as you can before taking the plunge into buying. I would suggest getting a sequencer and soundcard and progressing from there. All the packages come with effects and usually a 'soft' synth or two (and virtually all software now has a demo version, so you can try before you buy anything else).
There are quite a few souncards/interfaces out there, with a variety of different connection configurations. Have a look around on the internet and find reviews of any that look suitable.

Dr Zees words above as always, are very good.

Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:54 pm:   

is ther n e programmes which u can get for free to dub?

Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:56 pm:   

i would like to dub. but i dont know what i need in my computer to do it. any suggestions please?

Neil C
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:49 pm:   

B-babeuk - There is lots of free music software, the largest group of which are vst effects and instruments (vst is the format of plug-in used in Cubase, some other sequencers can use vst/vsti's or there are converter prgrams that can convert them for use on other sequencers such as Logic). The Interruptor has a free delay vst that he made on this site - that would be a good first choice for anyone who has an application that can use vst effects who wants to dub. I think there are free audio recorder/ sequencers out there but I don't know the names of any or know how good they are.
To repeat: the names of the major audio recording/midi sequencing applications are Cubase SX (now on version SX2), Logic (mac only), Sonar (by Cakewalk). Also worth mentioning are Digital Performer, Ableton Live, ProTools. I may have missed something worth mention. There are cut-down versions of some of these that are bundled with certain products. Also some come in various versions with the most basic versions not being too expensive.

Dubs22- to dub with your computer it (if PC) should be at least, I would say, 1.6ghz and you could do with having 512mb ram or more. Whatever else you get you will need a decent soundcard which is what allows you to get sound out of and into your computer (you need one that is compatable with your computer and has audio/and or digital connections that are suitable for you, and remember in any conventional set-up you will need a midi connection which not all cards have). I would suggest you get a soundcard and then try out the demo versions of the major sequencers/audio production systems that I have mentioned, and any others - the demos are available for free download and usually are the full application but with save and maybe one or two other things disabled. For a soundcard if I was starting out now I would be seriously looking at the EMU X pacakage which is a very decent card plus full sampling software. But there are loads of other cards available.

Neil C
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   

Sorry, the full name of that package I mentioned is the EMU Emulator X.

And if you don't want to put a card into your computer there are various audio interfaces that connect via usb.

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 04:36 pm:   

I would strongly recommend shelling out the coin for Logic Pro and an M-Box or 002 Protools LE system. It costs slightly more than some setups, but look what you get; a professional quality hardware interface with protools (i would recommend the 002 rack rather than the desk - it feels plasticky and cheap...if you wanted an automation desk too, check out the Mackie Control) and the INDUSTRY STANDARD recording software, and what is becoming accepted as the industry standard sequencer....don't get too sucked in to using on board instruments and fx though...a lot of them are cool and very handy, ut experiment with all kinds of, say recording the tapping of a milk bottle for percussion or something (that's where PT comes in).

Mike Zee
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 03:14 am:   

Digidesign systems are great - it's prooven. Also I have to mention the fact (as example), I have audiomedia-III two in/out plus digital in/out back from year 1995 (payed about $700 for it back then ...ah-hah ha) - and it is STILL useful, works fine on windows 95 system through W98/ME/2000 and actually driver for w-XP available... I've tested it on XP with Sonar software and works perfectly, and it works w/mac as well. Why mentioning this? well, it sais allot about company, its products and support for products over the time...see what I mean? How many pieces of hardware went to trash because of no support for newer computer systems?- TONs.
Now, having said that!!! I really belive that m-Box and digi-002 systems are overpriced..thou.
Digidesign can do this because they succesfully established lable "INDUSTRY STANDARD" for themself over the time ...and actually I must say they deserve a sense. "INDUSTRY STANDARD" lable is like being an Olympic Gold Medalist in sports - it sticks forever :)
It costs slightly more than some setups...
hah hah...not so. Not "slighttly" , man :) it goes two, three , four times more than other pretty good professional (or semi-professional, which do VERY good job) level systems (depends)... so we are not talking here about 50-100 bucks difference, you seee ...
The orther issue is - tying hardware with software. arhhhhh.... old topic.

/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE

Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   

I see your poit Mr it is not. But, compare digidesign hardware with other hardware of a similar spec, and it wins hands down...add the fact that you get pro tools software, and its even my experience, pt is the most stable and intuitive platform available...anyway, its nice to have good equipment, but i would suspect that most people, including your good self would agree that any soft/hardware cannot produce ideas! Keep dubbin' Zee-man.

Mike Zee
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 05:26 pm:   

Simplifier, you see.... you also have to keep in mind the 'task' or 'the goal'. From point of recommendation for somebody who wish to start out with producing some music with computer and going right out of 'empty' to protools - is a good thing on one hand and maybe totally lunny :) on the other. Especially if it is something like a hobby, then ...well, you know. Also specifically to dub-production - a thing like m-box is a silly thing...hardly usefull at all, unless you do everything with software. I'd recommend for beginner in dub and computer-based production getting something cheaper but having at least eight analog outs.... so you have an option to maybe someday actually dub with analog mixer...well, if you get to it, of course. If you plan on doing it all with software and plugins... then there will be another question --- do you really need a fancy recording hardware for you computer...if all you maybe going to do is MAYBE recording some instruments or so.... Do everything with software, softsinth, samples, plugins, soft-mixing, soft mastering, soft-CD creation ....all comes out the CD-R drive...done deal. :)
As for Protools as a complete production environment ... also questionable. Protools and especially with Mac are great. I have tried - it's great... but I did not like it overall... so whatcha' gonna do. I do the best with cakewalk (now Sonar) ... I can work with it with my eyes close, but it's just me, i just know my way around the software, and what software is - bunch of screen shots... see what I mean. Do I need it to be more 'stable' or what ever... I personally don't. It gives me more than I ever need for computer-based parts of production process.
Now, what do you basicly need for dubbing? You need multitrack recorder ...that's about it. The rest is all your life.... be creative.... software, hardware or a bathtub .... all good - it's all yours... see what I mean :)

Now, hear me again, man, I'm no kidding here. I've bought that cheap m-audio 410 (eight outs) for $89 .... LOL, and I did it simply because I wanted to try something out with my newer W XP computer. I did not really need it... it's not my main way of producing music. But what I've found, that the card is just great for what it does. It sound great for computer recording ...and I had no problems with it. And the card also came with the whole llot of free software...which all went directly to the trash out of the box ...HAH, I don't even have time to install these things...not mentioning trying to do something...and WHAT FOR!!!????, to get another way of doing the same 'ol thing... or what? to get another "reverb plug", so I have more lines in my "tools menue" ????
Now, did I mention that computer-recording sucks regardlessly, comparing to 1/2" analog tape multitrack ???? heh heh ? And I am talking here from highest demands point of view. so there...
If the recording quality of your MUSIC (and I mean music - read: musical, not just some sort of sounds, which sound), so if the sound-quality of your MUSIC is soooo important to you, then don't go computer way to begin with. Can you handle it? :)
If you are OK with digital recording/production.... then well, the gap between Protools/Digi-Rack and CoolEdit/SoundBlaster is not that 'spacy' really... well, I am stretching here, of course... There IS a difference, but not Ocean-wide difference.... I hope you get my point here :).

and will be back

/Mike Zee aka DR ZEE

Posted on Saturday, July 08, 2006 - 07:30 am:   

Ich can mich an dich uberhaupt nicht errinern.max

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