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cebster mailed me today with a simple question, 'how do you make your music, what program do you use?'. i ended writing for about 10 mins and thought i may as well stick the response in a news post...............
glad you enjoyed apeman, is definately not one of my best, have been working on a fuller version of it so i'll message you when i've finished.
i use cubase as a sequencer with a bunch of random vsts... i use kontakt (my most important tool) for my electronic drums and noise triggering but basically anything that you can load and trigger samples with will do. same with cubase really, any sequencer program will do the job, are lots out there and people around here will always argue as to their merits, but at the end of the day it's just a means to an end. the thing that sets it above reason, fruity loops etc for me is that you can easily record in audio which is very important (for my style anyways) because i record a lot of live stuff, vocals, guitar, clarinet, percussion etc etc etc.
getting a live sound to your electronic music, to my ears anyways, whether it be obviously live recorded instrumental parts or organic samples adds a certain depth and interest. getting a wierd mix of sounds always is a good thing i find, get strange samples and mess about with them, put em through delays and filters and stuff, chop em up spit em out. on that point there are loads of free vst effects floating around on the internet along with hundreds of free synths.
another thing to give electronic beats a more unique sound is not to always use straight/ obvious drum samples but just to use/build up layers of random samples/noises....
anyways, i'm rambling now, my last tip, or the thing that works for me as i've said before is to not get bogged down with trying to realise an idea or even a specific style, sometimes it is better to just start with summin and let it run it's course, the results can often be less obvious and more organic. apeman for an example, i started by just messing around with those bell samples then bought in that big kick which i thought sounded cool. filled out the beat with some quasi snares and hats but felt it needed some ambience so messed around with the strange inhaling samples. it needed more melodic variations so i recorded a couple of clarinet licks... you get the idea... i listened to what i'd done and decided what it was asking for next.
as for production value and getting stuff sounding good (i still have a long way to go in that respect) is really just practice. subtle use of EQ and compression are the 2 main tools but i'm shit with compressors, if you really wanna get well balanced track you should take the time to learn how to use them properly, i haven't got the patience and rely mainly on my half decent ear for mixing, is also the reason that a lot of my drums lack punch and presence, i should take my own advice and practice with em...
buy a microphone, buy 2nd hand instruments and get some noise out of them, hit things with sticks, record stuff, get creative, meh. freesound.com is good for random samples too.
sorry, i know u only asked a question that required a one word answer but my point with all this crap is that what program you use shouldn't be that much of a big deal, it's what you put into it that counts.
if you wanna message me to slap me for being a smart arse or if you want any more help or advice or a review, gimme a shout. check out 'hero worship' and 'bringing saxy back' if you get the time, those are my 2 most recent tracks that have turned out okay, or at least are relevant to what i've been talking about in this freaking essay and if you liked 'apeman' you should get a kick out of them.