Keys/Snyths/Midi

I am just now getting into keys/synths/and midi and wondered if anyone else here likes to use these production tools. I just ordered an Arturia 88 key keylab mkii from Sweetwater and I'm looking forward to using it on my future projects. 
Virginia Bach 2000
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Bonnaroo 2008
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Philly (Spectrum) 10/31/2009
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Phoenix 2013
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Memphis 2014
Jacksonville 2016
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Comments

  • 2-feign-reluctance2-feign-reluctance TigerTown, USAPosts: 21,519
    I like the Mini Moog app that was released last year. 
    www.cluthelee.com
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 20,029
    I started a thread on Teenage Engineering’s pocket operators. Those are fun. 
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • pjpjpaulpjpjpaul Posts: 1,467



    Looking forward to getting this thing up and running this weekend. 
    Virginia Bach 2000
    DC 2003
    DC 2004 (VFC)
    DC 2006
    Pittsburgh 2006
    Bonnaroo 2008
    Virginia Beach 2008
    DC 2008
    Philly (Spectrum) 10/31/2009
    DC 2010 (Jiffy Lube Live)
    PJ 20 night 1
    PJ 20 night 2
    Phoenix 2013
    LA 1 2013
    Memphis 2014
    Jacksonville 2016
    Greenville 2016
    Hampton 2016
    Columbia 2016
    Fenway 1 2016
    Fenway 2 2016
    Wrigley 1 2018
    Wrigley 2 2018
    Fenway 1 2018
    Fenway 2 2018
  • dudemandudeman Posts: 2,633
    Whoa, cool! Enjoy exploring the depths of that thing. 

    Synth/keyboard digital programming and modeling has grown exponentially over the last few years. The capabilities of them are astounding. 
    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 20,029
    edited February 2021
    dudeman said:
    Whoa, cool! Enjoy exploring the depths of that thing. 

    Synth/keyboard digital programming and modeling has grown exponentially over the last few years. The capabilities of them are astounding. 
    Yeah, my wife brought home the keyboard that she grew up with for our son to play around with, and it turns out her parents actually bought her a nice keyboard/synth/midi -- a Yamaha PSR-41. I think it was the bridge between the more professional models and the more consumer models at the time. Definitely not the junky Casios we all remember, and it is '80s to the max! But so many functions and capabilities even on that thing.

    And I think I need an advanced degree in computer science to figure out all the Teenage Engineering pocket operator capabilities.

    At any rate, you're going to have a blast with that thing, PJP.
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • pjpjpaulpjpjpaul Posts: 1,467
    This thing is great. Already taught myself Imagine and Let it Be.  Love the laptop stand too. The daw controls  and software are cool too. 
    Virginia Bach 2000
    DC 2003
    DC 2004 (VFC)
    DC 2006
    Pittsburgh 2006
    Bonnaroo 2008
    Virginia Beach 2008
    DC 2008
    Philly (Spectrum) 10/31/2009
    DC 2010 (Jiffy Lube Live)
    PJ 20 night 1
    PJ 20 night 2
    Phoenix 2013
    LA 1 2013
    Memphis 2014
    Jacksonville 2016
    Greenville 2016
    Hampton 2016
    Columbia 2016
    Fenway 1 2016
    Fenway 2 2016
    Wrigley 1 2018
    Wrigley 2 2018
    Fenway 1 2018
    Fenway 2 2018
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    I fell into the synth rabbit hole this past year.  Got a Korg Minilogue XD analog mini synth and that was the start of my new addiction.  Currently learning to play the keys with a full 88 Roland.  Just picked up an Arturia Minilab MKII to start learning to use a DAW (digital audio workstation like Ableton / Pro Tools / FL Studio). 

    I realized I had a mid-level version of FL Studio that came with a computer I purchased years back ... very happy to find out FL Studio gives free (FREE!) upgrades on the software you own so I have the most up to date version.  The Minilab has Ableton Lite included so I'm going to check that out and see how it compares to FL Studio.

    I have to admit I do NOT like making music with a computer.  I can't deny the power a computer provides, as well as being a much cheaper route, but I lose the creative connection as soon as I'm staring at a computer screen.  Maybe the Minilab will help with accessibility.  But I'm going to spend some vacation time in a few weeks really learning it and from there decide if I go DAWless or not.
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    Ended up returning the Arturia Minilab MKII and went with an Arturia Keystep 37.  It made more since for driving a MIDI setup of all my other gear.  Mainly using it as a keyboard to input notes into a Synthstrom Deluge "synth/sequencer/looper/The One Ring" ... the Deluge is my main MIDI brain and workstation for composing and recording for the rest of my instruments.  Seems to be working but I have a lot of learning yet to complete.  It is a DAWless setup that seems to be working.  From there I'm getting a mixer/interface for Ableton integration down the road sometime. 

    The Keystep 37 is very nice, but I have not gotten used to the key travel distance yet.  Seems like very deep pushes required ... maybe there is a setting that can adjust that hopefully.  Other then that they keys are very nice compared to other midi keyboards in the price range.
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    PSA - Slate Digital is offering free sample packs until 12/31/21.   All WAV files that cover everything.  I haven't gotten into using samples yet, but I figure it is on the horizon now that I'm beginning to understand MIDI and analog synths.  It has loops, beats, vocals, guitars, drums, synths .... over 12,000 sample files coming in at 17 GB if you download everything. The claim it is a $3K value  ... who knows with software but it is worth something for sure. 

    There is a little link that asks for email and name (you can leave phone number blank).  Then you get an email, set up a simple account and you can download.  Here is the link ....


    I think this has me covered for when I decided to dip my toes into sampling.  The loops alone help for simple practice.

  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    I've been using a Synthstrom Deluge as a DAWless setup in my studio so for and it has been working pretty good.  I'm just scratching the surface with the Deluge ... I have a monitor-out from my mixer feeding into the Deluge so I can loop record or sample anything in my studio.  The Deluge sequencer can control anything MIDI.  And it's synth engine can produce some surprisingly good sounds ... the presets are so-so but there are some great patches I bought that really make it shine.

    I'm adding a pedal to the Deluge so that I can loop and record guitar tapping my foot instead of hand starting the loop ... yeah the Deluge is a mega looper as well.  Just takes time to understand the workflow.

    At some point I'm going to feed this into an actual DAW on my computer ... I'm going the Ableton route ... seems to be what manufactures are aligning with.  Roland just updated my keyboard workstation to integrate with Ableton.  Aurturia seems to be in league.  The lite version seems pretty deep but it is $$ for the standard version ... I'll wait until I hit limitations before upgrading ... seems easy to get the lite version free with most MIDI controllers.

    Speaking of MIDI ...
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    MIDI ...


    I've have pretty much my whole studio including most of my guitar pedals on a MIDI network ... the problem is that I have little idea what I'm doing, but I figure if I stare at it long enough it will come me ... maybe ...


  • pjpjpaulpjpjpaul Posts: 1,467
    You sound like me. I hooked my pedals up to am idid controller and got a midi keyboard controller and Im fumbling my way through the learning process but it has been fun.
    Virginia Bach 2000
    DC 2003
    DC 2004 (VFC)
    DC 2006
    Pittsburgh 2006
    Bonnaroo 2008
    Virginia Beach 2008
    DC 2008
    Philly (Spectrum) 10/31/2009
    DC 2010 (Jiffy Lube Live)
    PJ 20 night 1
    PJ 20 night 2
    Phoenix 2013
    LA 1 2013
    Memphis 2014
    Jacksonville 2016
    Greenville 2016
    Hampton 2016
    Columbia 2016
    Fenway 1 2016
    Fenway 2 2016
    Wrigley 1 2018
    Wrigley 2 2018
    Fenway 1 2018
    Fenway 2 2018
  • 2-feign-reluctance2-feign-reluctance TigerTown, USAPosts: 21,519
    YouTube is great! 
    www.cluthelee.com
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    youtube has been a pretty amazing resource for learning.  It helps to pick something that is popular with youtubers to learn.

    Most of what makes sense for MIDI I learned from watching videos.   I also try to examine everyone's setup to get ideas since everyone is different.  I just wish everyone would spend 2 minutes explaining their setup, connections, etc.  Some are good ... most hardly spend time on it.  I spend a lot of time pausing videos to figure things out. 
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    As we just saw the great musical instrument inflation hike of August 2021 that pretty much had everything from cables to guitars going up 10%-20% (and much higher in some cases), it is worth checking vendors in the UK for gear.  Nord raised the price of their drum synth in the USA, the 3P from $700 to $1000 .... it is selling for $500 EUR in UK.  You pretty much lose warranty buying overseas, but I've never used a warranty in my life.  Also anything over $800 is subject to 20% VAT tax.

    But I would save about $500 USD on the exact same piece of gear by having it make a cross-Atlantic ocean journey instead of riding my bike down the road due to the manufacturer fixing regional MSRP.

    So it isn't always supply chain issues.  Sometimes a company just wants mo' money. 
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    I put in a preorder for a Dirtywave M8 tracker ...


    It has a FM subtractive synth engine and can sequence other gear (up to 8 tracks).  It's getting great word of mouth review, but it looks like a very foreign method of creating music.

    It plays / tracks / sequences in 16 step patterns, either internal synth engine, samples, or sequencing other gear.  It has deep but fast manipulation.  The software code is open source so you can buy a processor called a Teensy 4.1 for around $30 and a micro SD for around $10 and then use the whole functionality of the unit on your computer.  Since my $550 unit isn't shipping until September, I'm trying the $50 option and make sure I can wrap my brain around composing music with this.

    Lots of mystery in this thing.  It looks imposing, but after watching several videos it is starting to make sense, even though it uses hexadecimal number system, which I'm hoping my brain adapts to quickly.



  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    In regards to a MIDI setup, I think I can successfully report I have a functional studio finally.

    Keystep 37 midi keyboard controller (i can use this to play everything instead of jumping around studio)
    > Synthstrom Deluge (main brain gear sequencer)
    > Syntakt Drum Computer (channel 14)
    > {'MIDI Solutions' merger box to merge the midi out and midi thru from Syntakt}
    > {MIDI Solutions Quadra 1 to 4 splitter}
    > Roland Synth (channel 15)
    > Korg Synth (channel 13
    > Nord Synth (channels 1-6)
    > Nord Synth (channels 7-12)

    The Deluge can control and sequence everything, but I can use the Syntakt for deeper manipulation of other MIDI gear with it's CC setup and parameter knobs (I do this for controlling the Nord synths which are pretty amazing).  The Nords have 6 individual instruments each, hence they way they are grouped (to allow the Syntakt to parameter control it), but I could have them grouped into a master channel which would open up 10 MIDI channels.  I think I have enough to work with for now.

    I still have a long way to go, but at least my boat is floating in the water.  I need to dig into the Keystep and unlock it's functionality ...
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 20,029
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,957
    ^

    Ha!  I need that golden cape!

    A few years ago I was looking for a cheap drum machine to use as a backing metronome for playing guitar and now I’m the guy in the golden cape … my bank account (or lack of) can prove it.

    It’s been a fun and rewarding journey that has really expanded my relationship with music and sound creation


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