The Steinberg Yamaha UR22

In order to work with music programs on a high-end basis, you need a proper sound card that follows through

your every order. If you just started with music software you probably have an onboard soundcard.

The usual motherboard soundcard is very poorly built and doesn’t match the requirements that audio software usually has.

Here comes the USB sound card into play.

Compare, make notes, compare more, make more notes

I only had one USB sound card in my life and that was and still is the Yamaha Steinberg UR22 MKI.

That’s why I throughout the suggestion to get yourself one too at first.

Then I’d suggest anything that has high reviews and good ratings.

Instead of saying you should take exactly this or that model, I suggest you go over to Thomann ( https://www.thomann.de/intl/audio_interfaces1.html ) read for yourself what kind of interface you would want.

Like earlier mentioned most people prefer an USB interface for many reasons

Steinberg and Yamaha are my favorite companies, but there might be a personal preference for you though.

Essential hardware has its name, not from nothing. It is necessary to produce proper music on a big scale.

High-end audio interfaces support 192khz or even more. Nowadays it is really quite cheap to get a proper sound card.

Cubase 10 works for example perfectly with a Steinberg Yamaha device. Another product name or company might support other DAWs more therefore or even on the same level.

I think it is quite necessary for your audio interface to have a microphone jack plug. Some of those audio interfaces don’t have an audio jack for recording. Rather get one yourself before you regret it later.

Workaround:

As always there are many solutions for a problem that you encounter. You are always able to spend thousands of dollars to avoid using a computer or computer software. You can still use tapes or digital recorders. All this stuff costs a lot more though, might be old and is hard to use. Not to mention that you need a lot of roadies or friends that carry all that heavy stuff for you around. Before I even knew what an audio interface was, I was used to working completely in Cubase or watching YouTube videos. I didn’t know that my onboard soundcard wasn’t able to allow instances access to my soundcard. With the sound card that I’m having right now, I can record in multiple programs, play a song, play a movie, watch a YouTube Clip and mix their volumes in real time. Not that I would need that, except if I wanted to go insane maybe. But I always like gear that allows you to be free. You can do stuff that you would never need. This is for me personally an argument to convince me to buy a good game or certain software. You know you can do crazy stuff with it if you want, but you don’t want to do that yourself, so you limit the program to your needs or in this case the hardware that communicates with the software.

Some scary facts:

In general, hardware gets cheaper, better, faster. In the audio area though…

Have you ever noticed how your old smartphone recorded better voice messages and your new one sucks at it?

Have you ever noticed how useful tools disappeared in newer OS’ but were always available in the old OS’?

The manufacturers try to bring down their production costs at all levels, even if it means using older technology.

So while I made bad experiences back then… they might be good if you relate it to right now.

I think there is a good chance that you’re having a worse sound chip in your device while reading this than I have.

My disadvantage is old hardware, your disadvantage is that your manufacturer tried to minimize costs at all levels.

Have you ever recorded yourself on your computer with a cheap OR expensive mic? Or did you even record your guitar?

Did you notice how strange and off the sound felt, even though you recorded everything properly?

That is because those plugs on your motherboard did not build for high-end performance.

It’s enough for simple Skyping or Discord / TeamSpeak voice chatting, but other than that you got a problem.

Now I know there are some of you out there that prefer to stay “Lo-Fi” as an underground artist statement, or

simply because the money isn’t enough, but at some point, you need to improve your audio experience.

Maybe you don’t enjoy listening to music because your hardware isn’t right and you always thought you’re

just not the music-type, but in fact, everybody is a music type. There are so many genres out there and yet sadly

so much bad hardware out there too. So do yourself something good, treat yourself and spend some bucks

for a proper audio interface that you will love and cherish and appreciate every waking moment of your life.

Laaaaaateeeeeencyyyyy

Working with an onboard soundcard is very time-consuming. Time is money, therefore sometimes you save more money when you spent it. All those moments in anger that I had when I just simply pressed the “Play” button and it took 10 seconds to start my record because I had 3 effects on 3 instruments. The mere horror and pain you experience. Live fast, die young, but don’t think twice about an audio interface! Did I mention that it also looks cool if you have a metal box thingy that your friends don’t know about? Even on an optical base, it makes you look more serious.

I really hope…

that I could convince you on some level or at least wake you up on what you’re missing. I’m happy if I know that I reached you mentally and that you learned something. Either way, I would be quite hyped if you could tell me what experience you

made so far with or without sound interface and which songs you made or made not. If you need help or have any questions, please let me know. Until then… see you next time!!! =D

The MASCHINE Sampler, the bad, the ugly

I’ve worked over 5 years with this sampler and I think I am at a point where I can judge this product to a fair amount. I didn’t check out every feature it had, but I also wasn’t lazy and didn’t invest any time in learning this hardware.

Time flies by. Sometimes time flies a little to fast by and you think to yourself: “Am I really 5 years older?”

“Did I spend my time wisely?”

Well the answer for me, in that case, is yes and no.

I made some music with it. Not too much, not too little. My personal problem is always that I want to have everything and try out everything then there is a phase right now in my life where I want to dig deeper into Modular Synthesis and music theory, programming and video editing. I started again with LSDJ and got a little frustrated.

I still use the MASCHINE hardware sampler and the software in a stand-alone environment. I know about its basic features.

I know that I am using MKI right now even though there is an MKIII and a Studio version of MASCHINE out there.

At that moment that is enough for me.

Hell… if you’re on a budget you might even cut one corner more and purchase the MASCHINE Mikro for only half the price which has basically the same functions but you have to push more buttons to get to your goal. If you’re a hardcore learner on an island-syndrome autistic level, this might be even your thing. Choosing a not so ideal piece of hardware and pushing its buttons so fast that you might overrun the casual users like me.

It’s basic, but it gets you fast to your goal.

You start the software and off you go. It’s as simple as that. Just press “Play” & “Record” select a Sample / Kit / Loop / Instrument and off you go. In the beginning, you think stuff like: “That is so simple….. how could I enjoy this so much?”

Welp you just do! The pressure sensitive buttons in combination with a simple note repeat function add a lot of value to dynamic parts in your tracks. You simple clone and copy and extend Scens and Patterns and if you’re really good, you got a professional hip hop beat in under 10 minutes. MASCHINE was my first sampler. I heard a lot of positive stuff about the MPC hip hop sampler series, but they also had their disadvantages. Like you had to save samples on a floppy disc or an SD card and plug it into the sampler to start. They also had to be in a special format. You still have that issue with the special format.

Kinda ironic when you think about all the music programs and their sampler functions and how little capability they have when it comes to just simple samples in very well known formats like .FLAC or .WAV or .MP3, .AAC, M4A….

Makes you sometimes wonder. But this is a general problem in the music software industry in general and a subject for another time…

NATIVES INSTRUMENTS - MASCHINE MK II
NATIVES INSTRUMENTS – MASCHINE MK II

Use it in most DAWs:

You don’t have to use it always in its stand-alone mode. No. You’re totally free to add it in your DAW like FL Studio or Cubase. The disadvantage here is that with every new MASCHINE version and every new Cubase, Ableton, FL Studio or Reason version it gets more and more and more complicated to direct your MASCHINE hardware in proper order to start your personal jam session. Sometimes you’re lucky and somebody uploaded a useful tutorial to the subject you have and it fixes your request. In other cases, you must be some kind of 3rd level quantum mechanics mathematician to understand the routings that each program has to get and give and how to direct what to do where when. This can be the most frustrating part for you and it might leave you unsatisfied. You just wanted to start producing, recording and mixing some concepts. Nothing more. Instead, you got an inner look on how to build a whole church by starting all alone brick after brick. This is really hardcore-nerd stuff.

 

“What about other samplers?”

Samplers need to be intuitive and you should be able to craft loops together spontaneously. Simple as complex.

If this criterion doesn’t apply with a sampler that you don’t have, you should consider buying a new one and selling

the old one. Remember always the physical laws of entropy. Everything that you bought new and sell as used will have

less value. There is that factor. Then there is the thing about the software that I MUST use in order to use the sampler.

The pro is that I can quickly arrange from my laptop or PC new sounds and samples and I got 2 displays to edit my song.

The con is an extra device. An extra device that might fail any minute, an extra device that cost me extra money.

In a case like mine, it is necessary for me to work with my PC. Some other people try to build a musical set up by

purchasing musical gear and connecting everything with each other fitting piece in order to avoid a PC at all cost.

Be it a funny project or a serious endeavor, you decide in the end. In my case, it is easily applicable. Plus nowadays a good laptop for 200€ isn’t a too heavy purchase. You’ll survive it.

Are you coming from a different hardware/software background?

Maybe you’ve avoided NATIVE INSTRUMENTS all your life to focus on freeware programs. I always feel the need to improve something in every song. An exported song is not a finished song. No matter what you do. You always have your consciousness nagging about how the song could’ve been improved and what not. This feeling gets sometimes too strong in the MASCHINE songs that I did. You are always free and able to export certain loops or parts or only special groups and you’re able to edit them afterward in any DAW you like.

 

In the end

You’re left with a solid sampler that lasts for some years if you use it properly. Even as a non-musician you can direct the color pads to a certain color and you got a nice piece of music gear as an optical appetizer. Some people buy a lot of books without ever reading one.

I am joking of course. As many of these reviews, I will mainly focus on my own gear and hardware and tell you why I suggest it. So far I only screwed up one order. All the other stuff is quite helpful for my learning process though and that is why I am so positive at the moment. We will get to the point where I am going to mention a lot of bad stuff as well, but till then I have to write about my other stuff.

I wish I had started describing on a textual level what I feel about my gear earlier. Everything would’ve been more organized and less pressured, but that’s life right?

See you soon again.

Why I enjoy having the Yamaha PSR-S710.

Today I want to talk with all y’all folks about my Yamaha PSR-S710. As usual, it is advised to use a keyboard

of such a size (100,3 cm width times 14,8 cm height and 43,3 cm of length) with a keyboard stand (weight is approximately around 12 kg).

I didn’t choose the Yamaha PSR-S710 out of the blue. I am participating on keyboard lessons. I have to pay around 66€ per month for 2 hours of keyboard lessons per month. In this educational facility or private music school, whatever you might call it, I got introduced into this keyboard.

Which makes kinda sense, since I choose to learn to play keyboard and if I got good, I’d progress with Piano and then guitar, or something like that was the plan. Welp… 4 years of music theory were crammed into my brain. I feel more stupid than before, since I know with every lesson what I don’t know and what I need to learn in order to understand musical theory as a whole. Let’s get back to my story. I started 4 years ago with this keyboard at school.

So in the keyboard lessons I learned to play with the Yamaha PSR-S710 and in my spare time I practiced with the M-AUDIO KEYSTATION 88ES. After 3,5 years I finally decided to switch keyboard. Here are the reasons why:

– It felt like the Keystation 88ES had smaller widths, which wasn’t bad for recording, but bad for practicing. Imagine you practiced every 3 days a song to play in front of your music teacher every 2 weeks, just so you realize that the Yamaha PSR-S710 had more widthe keys and the size of the S710s felt more normal.

– After 6 years of usage, the color of the white plastic keys stained from pure white to chain-smoker yellow. I suppose every piece of plastic all around us becomes those stains because of the sun itself…?

– The Keystation 88es was purely 100% a MIDI keyboard. It was not “self-sufficient”. It always ran only with a computer. Be it a Mac, a PC or a Raspberry Pi, you always needed an external source for your sounds. The Yamaha PSR-S710 had built in presets, options, effects and styles that I wanted to check out.

A very complex menu that I won’t be able to understand in the near future (which I like, since I enjoy the challenge =) ). The Keystation 88es was very basic at this.

– You can use the S710 as well as a MIDI device or even plug-in an USB stick to record a song to it.

– The new-comer price of the S710 was around 1,000.00,-$ USD. Now it’s somewhere around 500.00$. Which is a fair price for such a complex “entertainment keyboard”.

– The keyboard speakers are also quite good. I’d almost say that I enjoyed more the sound of the S710 than my classic PC speakers. Which makes sense, since I only spend around 50€ for my speakers.This undermines of course the fact that I want to become a serious and professional producer. A lot of producers have those high-end pricey monitor speakers, but I spent my money elsewhere….

 

Musical Electronic Keyboards…

Can contain a multi pad, a pad that allows you to switch between sounds in the genres you’re playing. Music Arrangers can

be helpful if you’re a beginner. These automatic functions allow you to play a chord once with your left hand while you play on with your right hand. The left hand can relax and you can focus on the next chord you want to play.

You know these kinds of keyboards from weddings or other festivals that don’t contain modern EDM or DJs. It’s mainly for single performers as far as I know, but of course there are exceptions where people with entertainment music keyboards play in a band.

 

Just the sounds…

A big plus are the sounds. They sound a little campy and they sound a little realistic. They vary from very strange and synthetic to serious sounding orchestras. You got funky organs and flutes, guitars and you can add simple chorus and reverb effects on it. Remove voices and add voices.

Definitely better than the one keyboard I had before and definitely worse than other keyboards or synthesizers, which is kinda sure. You still get a good keyboard though for that kind of dough. 😉

 

The Keys…

Simple plastic keys. 66 of ’em. The right size. Good for beginners. The keys are not weighted and I gotta say at this point:

Git Gud as a beginner then spend some serious moolah on hardcore synthesizers or keyboards or even serious pianos.

You might even come to a point where you played and played all the time and you feel like you can do all that with your mouse and a simple piano roll.

I’m not here to judge. I prefer to jump between my Yamaha keyboard, my PC keyboard (asdf qwer) and my mouse. It feels proper to switch between all 3 to feel what you’re missing or not missing.

 

Buttons, Features…

You have a demo button. Highly recommended by me. It shows you the voices and possible arrangements and what is theoretically playable with it. The speakers on the keyboard are even better than my PC speakers. XD

You have your music arranger options on the left wing side of the keyboard and the main display in the middle. Choose and switch between sounds, patterns, styles and arrangements on the right side.

It’s a black and white display with a very small resolution. Can’t seem to find any proper info on that… however… it’s enough to read what you’re selecting and what your settings are.

 

 

Hardware / software

You can install USB MIDI drivers on your PC / Mac / Linux, but it’s not a must and from there you can start off with free software or bought DAWs. You can also use it as a single rack. Combine it with a microphone and you can basically start to entertain people where you’re playing.

The Yamaha PSR-S910 has even a vocal recognition algorithm. So the keyboard is always in your key. A nice feature, but I don’t need it. Consider if you really need it.

 

In the end I highly recommend it.

 

I basically start with all my hardware and software and supplies.

From there I want to spread out what interests me.

Of course, you guys could always suggest me new stuff to write on.

 

I highly encourage you to drop me a message, ask for help or if you’ve found errors in my writings.

I want to improve and I want you to improve as a reader.

 

So please let me know in the comments what was good and bad so far.

If you’d like to see me focus in a different approach, or anything that might be healthy for an open-minded

and bright conversation.

 

My own Yamaha PSR-S710

 

Why I wouldn’t and why YOU shouldn’t buy the teenage engineering op-1

Today I wanna tell you something about the iPhone of the synthesizers and keyboards out there.

It is small, handy, slick, elegant, minimalist and complex, and yet it costs way too much money for

these few features in it. I am talking about the op-1, produced by teenage engineering. Terms like

“musical synthesizer” would be not fitting for the category, to be honest.

Source: Russian Wikipedia

I won’t go too much into the details of the specs, as it would be more practical for you to look it up on Wikipedia.

Strangely I didn’t find any information about its dimensions, so here they are:

Dimensions (LxHxD)11.1 x 4.0 x 0.5” (282.0 x 102.0 x 13.5mm)

This article also mentions 50% of important details that the Wikipedia site didn’t mention as well.

The synthesizer got quite popular from the beginning and Teenage Engineering grew fast as a company.

But you always should ask yourself some things…

Do I need it?

There are so many synthesizers out there. What is so special about this one?

“Wasn’t there a time when this was THE meme synthesizer?!”

“Could I spend my money more wisely?”

The answer to this is:

Yes, yes, and yes/no at the same time.

The main pro as I see it, from a perspective of a non-purchaser, is its mobility.

The Keyboard itself is as bis as 3 normally sized smartphones in a row.

It is a light weight, connectable via USB 2.0 and it has that minimalist touch of an Apple product.

It also floats around in that very same price range as a new iPhone X.

Maybe Teenage Engineering started out as a joke. They might have had the goal to build

one of the smallest synthesizers out there that looks like a funny gadget from a Toys “R” Us advertising campaign.

Will you use it once and then throw it back in its box, because you see the limitations in it?

Then there is this saying that pure limitation is the perfect ground to let your creativity grow.

Will it add value, even though I spent money on it?

There is always that certain point you need to reach, to make something worth your money.

Let’s say you buy an apple and you don’t eat it. You spent 2$ for something that would’ve

been nutritious and healthy, but you wasted it. It is the same with hardware and software

that you buy to produce music. Luckily I never spent too much $$$ on music hardware, but

I wasted a couple of bucks on software. So I know that I am not without “sins”.

I also know that I have to make up for it. It is the same with the op-1. I mean sure, you

could do at least 2 or 3 tracks with it easily in any DAW you’d like, but after that…?

There is this great YouTube channel out there called “Red Means Recording“.

That dude got mad skills. So if you think you can compete, go ahead.

I am just joking and messing with you. I just think that 1k is a little much.

You can good a solid PC for 500 bucks, Cubase for 80 bucks, 25$ for the

Cubase Protection stick for 25 dollars and for around 300 bucks you get the

smallest NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE ULTIMATE 12 version, which

is even in its compact form 20 times more versatile. Plus you have a neat

work station for writing your homework, essays, watching movies and / or play

games on Steam. Maybe all this salt comes from me, because I don’t own one?

If I have the money, I will definitely try one of ’em out. But at the moment the prizes

are getting quite ridiculous. Since the end of 2018 Teenage Engineering stopped

producing the synth. There are collectors synths out there that get sold for 11k.

I am not kidding you guys. 11k for this. This is 1 / 10 of a house. This almost

ranks with eating or burning your money. If I get one for 400$, I will get it.

You might stumble over a cheap sale yourself. Who knows? For live gigs this

might be quite handy though, instead of packing around heavy gear, you

just have to flip the synth in your pocked and your good to go.

Are there alternatives?

Exaggerated speaking: Yes. Everything that is freeware software. From my point of view its

like this, you have to understand software at its basic core and you need to get your hands

on as much software you can get, to understand the inner mechanics of hardware.

As a rule of thumb: Most analog synthesizers are way more expensive than their

digital VST plugin clones. So maybe in 2 or 3 years we might see a OP-1 plugin from

NATIVE INSTRUMENTS, u-he, Omnishphere, Arturia or even Teenage Engineering

themselves. Also, good to mention. If you want to make a compromise between

hardware and cheap and even with the tag “same company” in it, then you should check

out one of their musical calculators on their site. You can get the cheapest new models for 60$

Just 3 examples for show:

Teenage Engineering TE010AS020A PO-20 Arcade Pocket Operator

Teenage Engineering TE010AS014 PO-14 Sub Bass Synthesizer & Sequencer

Teenage Engineering TE010AS028A PO-28 Robot Pocket Operator

I must sound like I hate that poor little synthesizer

It just seems irrational to me that they offer their musical calculators so cheaply and the op-1 is a way to pricey.

When you read that Diplo, Avicii, Thom Yorke, Deadmau5 and Tame Impala also use it, you might get the urge to purchase it. With the thought in the back of your mind that goes a little something like this:

“Famous musician X got this instrument. If I get this instrument, I will get as famous as musician x.”

That is indeed partially correct. On the other hand:

How often do you see clips of street drummers that build their drum set from literal trash?

At some point you need to invest in your virtuosity.

If you’re into funny bleep sounds, you might invest once or twice in these calculators or even buy a whole bundle.

A Moog synthesizer is always expensive. Why? Because its sound is hardly ever reachable. That’s what everyone says.

Could you recreated the sound of an OP-1? Probably. With the right now how and enough YouTube demonstration videos, you could rip the sound collages and soundscapes. I think it might be also a fun task. Trying to force one synthesizer to sound like another. That might spice things up for you.

And finally:

You need to decide for yourself if the OP-1 is what you want. Ask your local music shop if you can try it out if they have it, or even a friend purchased it and that’s why you stumbled over here, to get some more background on this piece of gear.

Spoil yourself with a massage and get yourself some proper software. You might not have the feeling for the knobs

when you produce and record and mix and master, but you will have a more straight-forward plan in which direction you are acoustically heading. With that in mind, I thank you for reading my bold statements and hope that you might take away one or two advices that I mentioned in here. Have a nice day.

(Official home page by the way)

Arturia’s MiniBrute – A little audiomonster.

I bought my very first synthesizer. At first I thought about a digital synthesizer or an analog one. Monophonic or poly phone? I mainly focused on other factors at the end though. Who played what and why and for which price? In the end I was left with the Korg Minilogue, the Arturia Minibrute and the Arturia Microbrute. I somewhat ended up with the Arturia Minibrute.

 

Good basic knowledge for modular synthesis.

When you’re confronted (like me) for the first time with modular synthesizers it’s quite a lot. Arturia Microbrute is a very basic analog synthesizer. It’s quite a cheap and affordable synthesizer. If you buy a new “copy”, you’d have to spend 250€. That’s about the prize of 4 iPhone X’s. And that’s the prize of a new one. I bought myself a used copy and I was quite happy and surprised. A very raw and brutal sound. You must understand this: Analog sound is in a lot of convenience-steps a huge step backwards. In a software synthesizer aka VSTi you have presets. Presets are somewhat finished settings of a synthesizer sound. With most of the analog synthesizers you have to do the tweaking yourself. You need to fully understand which knob does what. So you won’t generate a sound by default. When you plug in the audio cable into your sound system and the audio cable into your synthesizer and you connect the power cable with the synthesizer and you’ll turn on the synthesizer… you might not hear anything at all. You must tweak and experiment and learn until you know which parameter affects what. At some points you might panic and think “what did I do wrong” or “which knob messed up my sound?”, but that’s a big part of the learning curve. I also mentioned VCV rack in an older post of mine. It’s basically the Arturia Minibrute, but more complex and free and complex and completely software based instead of hardware based analog hardware. So you might want to check that one out too.

 

Some personal experiences I made so far:

I never learned the real advantages and conveniences that software synthesizers had. I took them for natural. I thought every synthesizer in the world would somehow be synchronized with each other. So when I recorded a track the other day, I played in some parts with my guitar and generated some drums with it completely digitally. After that I had to start pushing the “REC” button in my DAW. So everything was running rhythmically, EXCEPT FOR THE ARTURIA MINIBRUTE! Now there are a couple of ways fixing the arhythmicality in this track. The first option would’ve been to play stuff in real-time while recording in the rhythm. This limits the melody by your music-playing skill drastically. The horror in this method is that you have to play a part or segment for 20 – 80 times until you say “f*** it” and you take the best skit of the recording. When you have to play a lick / a loop or a piece 20 times, it gets reaaally annoying. You either use the best bit and loop it or you use various variations that you somewhat like. Sometimes you make mistakes while recording your bits and you might consider keeping that stuff. I did this here and there. It’s quite amazing what mistakes can generate. Or you use the sequencer. I used the sequencer for this track. I gotta be honest. It is not a very complex sequencer. The notes you hold-on while playing, these notes will be played. You can choose the pitch and the arpeggio and the rhythm that is playing at the moment, but other than that there’s not many options to choose from. Then again… I’ve never stumbled over THE sequencer. I somewhat know their functions and I am somewhat dependent on them, but I wanna see seriously crazy options integrated in them. So it’s a basic sequencer, but that’s not to bad. It’s definitely enough for my very first analog synthesizer and I can’t complain. I didn’t want to sell the synthesizer right after purchasing it. So this one is really a keeper. Back to the song-recording story. The record function in my DAW was running, my sequencer in the analog synthesizer was running, but both didn’t have the same rhythm. So I had to tap the “metronome function” of the synthesizer. Imagine it this way: The DAW put’s out a metronome sound. So while the metronome sound of the DAW was playing, I had to tap the speed of the running sequencer of the analog sequencer in the same rhythm as the DAW was putting out. The cool thing is that you can hear that the sequencer is sometimes faster and sometimes slower. This gives your track a unique and own-sounding touch. In this digitized era, arhythmicality is sometimes somewhat necessary. Sometimes you need chaos to appreciate order. I know that Chris Clark used this effect also on some levels on some of his songs. A rule of thumb is for me personally: You hear somewhat strange rhythms? Analog hardware is behind that kind of sound.

 

“Lemme guess. You had no idea what you were doing.”

Yes, yes and yes. That is completely right. Sometimes you make song after song after song and get comfy with what you’re doing. That is a very dangerous head space, since it gives you a routine and your newer songs will sound more and more like your older ones. At some point you might have a professional sound achieved and a routine for making tracks. That’s where I personally intervene myself. Music shouldn’t be about routine. My personal definition of good music is either:”Wow! What is that? That is new! I never heard something like that” or “This is a nice blend of instruments, patterns and lyrics and they fit each other”. I mean yeah, 99% of music fits perfectly for your setting that you were looking for, but also feel like 95% of music is the same ol’ same ol’. Nothing new on the table and still following the rules of 50 years old pop songs. The Minibrute forced me into new territories that I wouldn’t have left otherwise.

 

What will the future bring?

I need to build in the Arturia Minibrute into more tracks to know its advantages and disadvantages. I will keep you informed about positive stuff and negative stuff that will happen to me when I tweak its beautiful knobs.

 

Would I suggest it?

A definite “yes” is needed at the end of my “storytelling”. Are there better beginner synths out there? Analog or digital? Probably. I take music lessons for playing the keyboard. My keyboard teacher knows quite a lot about these synths. He himself said that it’s a very minimalist attempt of an analog synthesizer. It sounded quite bad when he said it, but I am nevertheless happy with it. I hope this will never change and that I’ll always be able to enjoy and play it.

Official page:

https://www.arturia.com/products/hardware-synths/minibrute

Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturia_MiniBrute

Affiliate marketing, promotion, sales, online business. That kind of stuff.

In this section I will tell you guys about my progress and what I’ve learned so far.

Edit: I tried to focus on affiliate marketing, but my emotional view intersected strongly on this post, since I made a lot of experience in affiliate marketing and Google AdSense. This stuff is not Twilight, but it sure as hell is no dissertation about mathematical correlations to online marketing either. More a therapeutical text for everyone to read.

What happened / what did I expect?

I got some views and comments on my site. I somewhat dug down deeper into “the rabbit hole” of online marketing.  Its ways and methods, people, scams, methods. I got a 9 to 5 job and had a lot of schedules in the mean time. I finished my drivers licence and fixed up some parts on my car. I got fired from my job, not because I am already able to make a living from this stuff right here, but rather because I got a boss that didn’t tread me to well. So since one month I am unemployed. I did some paperwork to get my welfare, I applied for many jobs and informed myself. A lot of stuff was mainly for me to keep me busy. Because I know one thing that is for sure: When you’re unemployed and you don’t make your own schedule for things or you skip one or two or you watch House Of Cards or Game Of Thrones in one of your lonely nights to long… if you do that and you binge-watch your favourite series from 10pm ’till 6am in the morning, than you know that your live is crumbling appart in some manner. Your mood is down because of the unemployment and your day-night-rhythm is off. You feel you’re worthless and start watching more series or start drinking more with friends, make debts, play more online games. Addictive behaviour basically. So you watch yourself going down the downward spiral, thinking:”Didn’t I write like… 10 posts or so? Shouldn’t I be rich at this point? Or am I naive?”. I realized that I was naive. Yeah sure, a lot of people promote online marketing and affiliate stuff, but the same people who promote it, these people are your competition.

Let’s look up estimated numbers…

WealthyAffiliate exists since 1998 or so. I don’t know, something like that. Back in the day it was harder to create a post for your own website and put in ads and affiliate links, sure. On the other hand: There was no competition. 20 years have passed since then. It’s getting easier and easier by the minute to get into affiliate marketing and ads and all that stuff, but in the meantime the competition is growing. The same thing goes for music. I love music. I am an avid music fan since my 14th year of birth. I got my hands on music software back in the days. If I hadn’t got my hands on that software back then… maybe I would’ve worked for different companier or never picked up any kind of interest in the making of music. The number of DJs increase day by day as well as the number of content creators for affiliate marketing and that stuff grows. Keep that in mind. So you better do it like me and immediately start to work your way up in that affiliate plan of yours.

That’s a lot of 1-Dollar Bills!

Upsides and downsides:

I am in an interesting position right now. I am somewhat living in a homeless shelter. I am unemployed. I visit my mother on a daily basis to take a shower there or to dress up or plan a job interview for a job that I might be interested in. That is what I do by day. In the night I focus on my hobby: Making music with new software and hardware. Reading lecture about various subjects and posting on one or two of my blogs and posting on my keyboard website. Keep yourself busy writing and trying out new things on your site. I am unemployed and a little blue at the moment, yes. On the other hand: I finally got my driving licence, good friends that stay behind me, new job opportunities, plans for the future, a full schedule (that still allows me to have fun here and there 😉 ) while staying somewhat fit by talking long walks, listening to music and going to the supermarket by feet-transportation (old school, I know).

New year’s resolutions:

A lot of people get drunk on new year’s eve and they tell their friends that they go to the gym and that they eat healthy, exercise more, pay more attention to their lovers. A friend of mine stopped smoking before new years. He just stopped. He didn’t need any resolutions. Why? Because stuff like that makes you fall again and again into the same trap. “Next year I will start” and after that year it’s again “next year” and so on and on…

Start now or never. That’s the method that worked for a friend of mine.

I did an approach from another angle. I knew 6 months ago that I paid to much for my flat and that I had developed a serious drinking and porn addiction. The way I somewhat fixed it was this: I moved out from my flat. The new sensations and things I had experienced by moving back to my mother again and then to the homeless shelter…

A lot of depressing stuff you might think, but I saw opportunities for me to get humble again, not taking everything for granted. Working on this blog and site more and more. Doing all the things that I wanted to do for the last 3 years. Getting a grip on many things. My problem at the moment isn’t the porn addiction or high rent or old drinking habbits. Nowadays I just wanna seize the day and pull out it’s maximum potential. Keep on doing the good things and reduce slooowly the bad things. Sooner or later you get where you wanted to be. Baby steps. That’s the important thing.

Conclusion

This post should’ve reached you more than me, but somehow I turned this page into a therapeutical autobiography. I never learned writing, but it feels good for me to write. If I feel this way, why shouldn’t you? I want you to write all your stuff down and publish it. Of course not everything personal. You know what I mean. Everything that you wish to put out there. My thoughts are always on this site. I seriously hope to get in contact with more musicians. I want to be a big network of musicians. That is my main function on this planet / site. Music saved my life so many times. I hope it gives you help and comfort as it did for me. In regards to the affiliate stuff: I hope you join, but put in some serious elbow grease to compete with others. Keep yourselve interacting. Only a moving body, is a living body. Don’t put yourselve down for little stuff that happens to everyone.

Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_marketing

NI Absynth 5 Intoxication w/ soundscapes

Introduction:

Brian Clevinger created the software at the end of 2000 for Mac-Os. One year later NATIVE INSTRUMENTS  and Clevinger cooperated and he’s the chef developer since this day.

The general UI look of Absynth 5

So what’s under the hood?

You got 3 channels, 14 filters, a lot of rare oscillators. You can use it with your MASCHINE sampler or as a sampler itself. It works as a FM synthesis and granular synthesis basis. You can use it as an effect. External audio runs through Absynth and goes into your DAW, MASCHINE, audio recording software. Whatever you want basically. In Version 5.3.1 (newest version from 2015, and yet still freshly updated) you got also a cloud filter and comb filter. You have basic elements of a modular synthesizer, which is basically a training for big and complex modular synthesizers. You got hundrets of presets and you can even combine 2 presents and decide which parts of each preset shine through your sound. It is of course MIDI-compatible. Do I need to mention that you can use it in your regular DAW like Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic or even Sonar. It runs on Mac-OS and Windows, but sadly not on Linux. Sadly there isn’t enough software out there that runs directly on Linux.

 

My old green friend:

Absynth 4 and now Absynth 5 are my old solid companions from the old days. Alone the UI is a big plus for me. I have a serious fetish for green coloured software and interfaces. It’s even somewhat turquish and got a relaxin’ vibe, but don’t be fooled by the UI. It got some radical, gnarly, crazy distortion effects and like every software it’s recomendable to try it out. There comes another minus: No demo available. So watch some YouTube videos, read reviews from magazines and ask your music teacher or some buddy if they were properly introduced into Absynth and how it works. I am mainly a sucker for presets. Kinda awkward to say stuff like that. A lot of purists out there prefer to create their own unique sound, even if it sounds worse than a preset. You want your own stamp on the sound you created and you wanna tell everyone:”HEY MAN! I MADE THAT PRESET! CAN YOU HEAR THAT? I KNOW IT SOUNDS AWFUL, BUT AT LEAST IT’S 100% ORIGINAL!”. I also use Massive, Kontakt, Battery and the full NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE EDITION ULTIMATE package. It’s nice to browse around the presets in every VSTi you get your hands on, but to be honest: The most experiments I did, I did them in Absynth 5. Why should I convince you to get it? This article right here is mainly about writing down my experiences I made over these years. I just wanna write down memories and stuff that I would recommend me to myself. If I read this article in a couple of years and I’ll find out that Absynth 6 will suck like Cubase 9.5 does… that will be quite hurtful. Nowadays you got a some pros and cons with software. Everyone mentions mainly the pros, like mostly free updates and somewhat more support and you don’t have to carry around heavy hardware. If you got hardware you won’t get a software update that will destroy the whole hardware. Except when it’s some kind of hybrid thing like the Virus TI 2…? That’s at least what I read about it. A strange mixture of software and hardware. You basically need to be ready to roll down to Absynth 5.

 

The browser in the VSTi

90% of every NI VSTi got the same explorer. Why? Because it’s usefull and logical. You either search for moods, tags or especially instrument sounds. Moods / tags would be stuff like “happy” or “eerie”. Instrument sounds would be stuff like “guitar” or “sequenced” or “piano”, stuff like that, yo. Most of the time I double click on a preset and play around on my MIDI keyboard with my left hand and then I cllick on the next preset and play around with the left hand. Sometimes you get stuck to a preset or you modify it to your desire. I remember some years back ahead recording with Audacity and playing with Absynth in realtime. A horrible experience to be fair, but it was fun. At the end of the day that is what really counts. I don’t get the hate that VSTis get, just for being digital. I grew up digital luckily. Be happy that you don’t have to program and save every preset and you don’t need to tune and warum up the synth and make notes on how the preset was before that. You sit in front of your extremly small laptop cuddled in your blanked on your bed and just toy around with the VSTi the way you feel like it.

 

I need to learn more…

I haven’t checked this little nifty tool enough, haven’t tried everything that I want. Kinda curious to see that the newest update is 3 years ago. I seriously hope to see support on Windows 11 or Windows 12 for Absynth 5 or finally the #6. Don’t neglect this piece of software dear developers and Mr. Clevinger. While writing about it I get kinda accoustically hungry to try out new stuff. I bet you could even form a band that ONLY focuses on using Absynth 5. Imagine that. Their main trademark is that the perform live and in studio only via Absynth 5. I think I should write that idea somewhere down…

 

Yes or no?

Yes, yes and yes. Luckily I bought the software in my youth and used it some years before cracked. Nowadays I’m to stingy for software. I seriously wanna invest more in hardware to get the vibe and the feeling that hardware gives you. A lot of people got famous and made a living by using hardware. Maybe I’ll make a lot of debts by buying always new hardware instead of learning and investing in software. That should be the point that would pull me down to the ground to show me that stuff like Absynth 5 should be enough. I say goodby at this point and wish all you guys a good night or day or whatever… see you around. =))))

 

You can purchase Absynth from the official Native Instruments site for 150€ approximately. You might be able to upgrade you Absynth 1 – 4 to Absynth 5 for 60€, but if you mean serious business, you have to spend a little more to get the biggest and fullest package for the “smallest” prize.

Let’s do the maths:

Say you want to buy 6 instruments solely. Say each of them cost 150€. All in all they cost together 900€.  If you bought more and more separately, you’d end up spending 5,000,00,-$ USD or so. You can buy the full package for 1,600,00,-$. This is a big one time investment and it lasts for years. To be honest. I bought my upgrade from my NATIVE INSTRUMENTS – ULTIMATE EDITION 11 today  for 600€.

Here’s the official site for comparison.

 

As you can see, only KOMPLETE 12 SELECT hasn’t got Absynth 5

 

In the next days or weeks or so I will test and try out and produce with the newest upgraded version some songs and audio concepts that I have in mind.

I will tell you guys how it went. I know that I won’t sleep very good today, since I’m to excited to try out these patches, presets and new plug-ins and sound banks and loops.

The upgrade that I got myself, because I already had KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE EDITION:

<iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=104395-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07GY1GGPC&asins=B07GY1GGPC&linkId=98dc96e084d31efa69af8940167dda17&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff”></iframe>

 

If you haven’t got a previous version, this might be more interesting for you. It’s from a German shop that got quite famous and popular over the years and has a beautiful customer support. I am also a quite customer in regards of their products. Sorted from cheap to expensive:

 

If your completly new and you want to get the whole package as a new customer:

 

Those link to Thomann. Which has generally cheaper prices.

Komplete 12 Select for $179.99 

Komplete 12 for $529.99

Komplete 12 Ultimate for $1,019.99

Komplete 12 Ultimate Collector’s Edition for $1,5019.99

 

If you still prefer Amazon though:

Komplete 12 Select for $199.99  

Komplete 12 for $599.99 

Komplete 12 Ultimate for $1,199.99 

Komplete 12 Ultimate Collector’s Edition for $1,599.99 

 

Wikipedia:

(Sadly this well developed VSTi plugin has only a German Wikipedia entry. Which makes partially sense, since it was developed in Germany. On the other hand: You’ve heard Absynth one way or another if you listened to a lot of electronic music. Believe me.)

Comparison: Cubase, FL Studio, Ableton and some others.

In this section I will review 3 DAWs that I used over the years. Cubase, FL Studio and Ableton.

Cubase

Cubase has the most common UI out there. Many other DAWs use familiar designs. I put the most work hours in Cubase. A very solid DAW that never disappointed me. While in the newer version are some more bugs that I don’t enjoy, I suppose they’ll fix ’em in the future. Otherwise I will change up to FL Studio, which I will mention in the next section. I wanna stick with this DAW forever if possible. The problem with every kind of software are updates and downgrades. Sometimes an old version of a DAW is better than a new version. You have to change the facts if the upgrade is better or worse. At the moment I am really dissatisfied with Cubase 9.5. Cubase 5 – 9 were highly addictive for me and helped me enormously with my workflow. Let us pray that Cubase 10 works properly again so I don’t have to compare all those DAWs out there.

Edit:

I got myself Cubase 10 and some more RAM. I am really excited to try out everything new.

Cubase 9.5


FL Studio

My personal second choice. A lot of installments and projects mend and bend together for me in Cubase in FL Studio. Very basic design that you can expand and modify how you like it. Image Line made only positive changes over these years. Keep in mind that you will not find small updates on this DAW and it has a solid fan base. The variety of plugins you get is also quite astonishing. The stuff you get inside from FL Studio is enough to work and experiment around for over 2 years in a row if you keep on doin’ tracks. You’re quickly working step from step and in no time got yourselves a finished song. If you’re an avid music listener as I am, you might even discover one or two samples that are in FL Studio that you can also hear in other professional productions. Now in regards in plug’n play you also got some advantages to some other DAWs since there is a big canvas of samplers and keyboards and mixers and what-not that you just can select in the settings and you don’t need to set it up.

FL Studio 20


Ableton

The one I got the least experience with. A solid and fundamental base for live performances. Many artists swear that Ableton is essential for live performances. Only a few tries to avoid and undergo it by buying expensive hardware and software just so that they can perform live without the aid. If you want to go live you definitely have to spent time with this tool. It allows you to play finished sets, improvise on the spot (if you got the skills of course 😉 ). You can DJ with it and produce, mix, compose, write down your score and just toy around with it. I seriously had problems cutting and editing single samples in it. But maybe I just did something wrong at the time. Here’s a fun bit for you if you’re interested: Ableton put out Max. Max is somewhat related to VCV Rack. While Max is very expensive VCV Rack is for free. Maybe there is a reason behind that prize, but I prefer to go with cheaper versions, as I am limited to a budget.

Ableton


Bitwig Studio, LSDJ, VCV Rack, Nanoloop, others:

Bitwig Studio had some nice options in regard to production. LSDJ is an 8-bit tracker for Game Boy that you could also run with your emulator on a PC, Mac or Android if you want, but you get the real raw sound from an original Game Boy of course. VCV Rack: Modular synthesizer sound that you have to build up from the ground yourselves. Very hardcore stuff. You can learn your whole life about this area and never finish it, it’s a vast universe of soundscape and it’s an advantage if you know how everything is connected and how others synthesizers or drum computers / samplers / effect pedals, etc. are build. This is a big deal when you consider that everything is basically circuitry. So VCV rack should be a basic for you, the stuff that follows afterwards isn’t “that important” afterwards. So focus on getting a lot of input from this program and afterwards you just do what you want. I seriously regret not getting into that stuff earlier. This is music at it’s core. At the cost of 0,00,-€. That should be somewhat in everyone’s budget. Let’s hop on to Nanoloop. Nanoloop is insane. Very minimalist design. You can do twisted stuff like turning up the BPM to 300k. Insane sound collagés and more. Only one reach away from your hands. There is a Game Boy version out there that is logically limited because of its retro and old-schooly-vibed hardware. The version you get from the Google Play store costs you a bit but it’s worth it. On the other hand it costs a lot of power for your smartphone to put out a beat on 300.000 BPM. I think it’s possible to overheat some older smartphones maybe with Nanoloop. Imagine that for a moment. Get yourselves an old smartphone buy the app from the store and run that app till the accumulator of the smartphone is burning through. What a beautiful thought. You got an optical component when the smartphone goes up in flames and an acoustical component when the audio chip is melting.

BitWig Studio

LSDJ

Nanoloop


Conclusions, conclusion, conclusions…

So where are we at at this point? What can you take home or consider for yourselves at this point? I know that I am a voice of many. I know a lot of people write, blog, record themselves about what software they use and what hardware and what not. In the end you need to decide yourselves what you want to do. As a kid that grew up in a digital age it is kinda hard for me to get a grip at hardware. Software is getting cheaper, you can try out programs and you’re always mobile if you wanna. The programs I mention here should basically cover in regards in what you want to do. Who knows. Maybe you find your own DAW that you don’t want to miss or you made the experience that I talked trash and other software is better. I seriously hope I could help you out with this post and you somewhat know now where you are standing. See you soon. =)

FL Studio – A solid choice in every aspect:

On the 18th December 1997 Image-Line Software (the name of the company) created something small that should change the music industry year by year. They created FruityLoops. A very simple music production software that was easy to learn for beginners. In the 21 years of change a lot of stuff happened. New plug-ins, new designs, new user base.

The UI of FL Studio 20 – A Progressive Trance track made by Ben Gold Style

I’m not saying it’s the best music software out there, but I know that you heard about famous composers that used the software themselves. To name a few: Avicii, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Spor, Savant, Seven Lions and Deadmau5 of course.


All the versions out there:

FL Studio 20 Fruity Edition– 91-59,-€

FL Studio 20 Producer Edition– 195,00,-€

FL Studio 20 Signature Edition – 295,00,-€

FL Studio 20 All PlugIn Bundle – 799,99,-€

FL Studio 20 Trial Version

FL Studio Mobile For Android Smartphones And Tablets

FL Studio Wikipedia


A unique UI that you won’t find in any other DAW:

There are probably 200 different DAWs out there. Some cost you a lot of money, some of them are free. Some feature certain basics while other are comparable with a Swiss Army Knife. In a big bunch of ’em you can use VST plugins. FL studio has the unique design out there. I swear on my life with this one. Write me or show me if you find something that might look even more unique.

Which is a big advantage but at the same time a big disadvantage. When I start with FL Studio, I’m finished with a track in 4 – 8 hours. I know the pros out there need 2 – 3 days to perfect the beat, but I also know that I lack the knowledge. I also don’t have high end gears like those producers, mixers, arrangers, DJs, remixers and all the people that make a solid living from this kind of business.

In theory I know how you can sustain an income with that profession, practically speaking I spent about 5k on music equipment I know how far back I still am. With FL Studio and it’s very minimalist design that you can design and save and re-load for every new pack or for every time you restart FL Studio.

This allows you insanely quick workflow. The only way to beat stuff like that, is if you know a lot about shortcut keys and tracker software and you can combine that insane knowledge in real time (you need to be some kind of savant³³³ to be able to perform such tasks). If you’re a beginner and you need a beginners tool set while yet sounding professionally, you wanna start with FL Studio.

A lot of people out there complain about the childish look and textures and cartoony UI. Frank JavCee, a great YouTuber, who uses FL Studio all the time, made it even a meme to change the background of the UI in every theme related video. For a “how to make Vaporwave” video he used a Vaporwave background. For a “how to make Ambient” video he used an Ambient background and so on and so on.

It’s kinda weak to say:”Hey man, this program looks funny. I don’t wanna use it because of that.”
Did you know that there are Hip Hop producers out there that just sample and program simple drums in FL Studio and make up to 20,000.00,-USD per beat? They even make tutorials on how easy it is to make such a beat and how to sell it. It doesn’t matter if you just want to toy around or experiment with complex stuff, FL Studio allows you all those things.

The main reason I stopped using it, was because of the workflow at a certain part of the tracks. Sometimes the UI is a curse and sometimes a relief. You got to decide for yourself if you enjoy it. I definitely suggest that you get yourself at least the demo version.


Combine it with other DAWs.

A very important option in my opinion. In my Cubase article I mention that you can use FL Studio in Cubase. Guess what. You can do the exact same thing vice versa. You’re able to use your Cubase version in FL Studio. This means that the complex software isn’t basically afraid to implement other complex software. I subjectively just enjoy the pure idea of that.


The plugins that come with these bundles are each a chapter of their selves.

If you guys are interested let me know which one I should elaborate more. I used a lot of those plugins and got a good feeling and a gist of what is what in the plugin library. Over the years FL Studio grows more on you. Even if you’ve used Ableton, Cubase, Pro Tools, Acid, Reason. If FL Studio was your first, you will always compare your first DAW with the newer ones you’ve been using. Ultimately you want to check out as many DAWs as possible to find the right one (or right ones) for you. It is physically not possible for you to disregard FL Studio. You might not use it as often, but it won’t lose its charm.


Great community and support aaaaaand….

A great community is somewhat a cliche at this point, but I needed to mention this for a clear conscience. The support team also helps you always as best as they can and here comes the veeeeery best part of it: Let’s say you bought 2005 a premium deluxe package of FL Studio (back then called FruityLoops, as mentioned before). A new version gets released. If you bought Cubase 5 or Reason 2 then you had to pay for the Upgrade / Update from Cubase 5 to Cubase 6 or from Reason 2 to Reason 3. With FL Studio you buy the stuff once and you get lifelong updates and the newest version UNTIL YOU DIE! The only other company that did the same thing is Pro Tools AFAIK. So once you bought it the deals done. You don’t have to worry to upgrade in the future and to consider if an update would be useful and necessary if you’re low on your budget at the moment. Nonstop livelong updates. You can even use the demo version for free as long as you want, including all plugins. The only downside in the demo version of the program and it’s plugins is that you can’t save any song and all the plug-ins generate a noise signal every one or two minutes (don’t remember the exact time right now). That is their kind of saying that you’re still running in demo mode and should consider purchasing the software. Other than that you’re good to go. More than a fair deal if you ask me.


What is left to say

Everything that needed to be said was mentioned basically. In the end you need to decide if you want to give it a try. I used the program over 11 years now, so I know one or two things about it. I don’t think Image-Line will screw up big time in the future and even if they did: You are always able to roll back to an older version that you liked way more and use it until your OS starts to glitch with it because if lacking compatibility. Even then you can use a virtual machine (a digitally created PC installed on a hard drive on your real PC) to re-try various older versions if you feel like it. FL Studio is also very stable. You need to really mess around to crash it, so you might even consider live-usage for this.

Cubase – A professional DAW that became a music industry standard

“Cubase” is the name of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that I’ll be talking’ here about.

It’s one of the big names in the music scene. It appeared in the very late 80s and got very popular in the middle of the 90s because of VST (Virtual Studio Technology).

Who got me to Cubase was Amon Tobin to be honest. I heard probably 99% of all his tracks.

Here’s a list though of other artists that are quite happy with Cubase: Cubase – Artists List

 

“So what can you do with that thing?”

That totally depends on what you plan to do with it. For simple recordings Audacity should be enough.

You want to edit, chop, tune and play around more? Overdub, distort and add some effects on there

with automation? Then Cubase might be more your style. Here are some basics on the subject.

“Steinberg” is the name of the company that programmed, released and sold copies of Cubase.

They have various hardware and software products. They offer seminars and look out for programmers.

Cubase Elements 9.5 costs 82,00,-€.

Cubase Artist 9.5 costs 259,00,-€. <— Needs a USB-eLicenser

Cubase Pro 9.5 costs 458,00,-€. <— Needs also a USB-eLicenser

USB-eLicenser: A lot of software gets cracked, because it only has software protection. Steinberg avoided going bankrupt or loosing a lot of money by cracker kids out there who would offer a lot of software cracked out there for free.

 

You need to possess a USB-eLicenser to try out a demo of a Steinberg product or to run the bought version that you own.

 

Cubase Artist & Cubase Pro NEED the eLicenser to start. So you need to add 30,00,-€ more to the equation.

 

If you tried out all the software from Steinberg you would come up to 1TB I suppose and you could try all that stuff out for free for 30 days as full versions. You could also just buy the eLicenser, try out the first demo for 30 days, try out the next demo for 30 days and so on and so on. This could go on for years or even decades. At that point of time there is already newer software out there that you could try out if you wanted.

 

The last cracked version of Cubase out there is version 5.0, after that nobody in the cracker scene managed to release a cracked Cubase. Legend has it a lot of cracker teams worked for version 5.0 to crack it after months and months of trying out.

 

To be honest… I tried out the cracked 5.0 version for 2 or 3 years. I did the same with NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE 7 ULTIMATE. I used both a lot so I bought my first full pro version of Cubase. It was version 6.0.

 

Other functions:

In Audacity you can theoretically add a couple of plugins but that is pure hell to work with that interface.

In Cubase you can add in the Pro version 64 VST instruments. I never hit a limit to be honest.

Cubase Comparison

What I also like about other DAWs and this one: You can insert them into each other.

Let’s say you start out with FL Studio. You add Cubase as an “instrument”. Your second instrument is Ableton

and your third one is Pro Tools. You need to route the stuff correctly then and you can work with all of them at once. The hard part is the routing though. Haven’t quite figured out yet how that works. Normally nobody does this. As your knowledge progresses and you try out programs that you want to get into you might discover yourself some functions that define your sound and editing character. You can add those audio effects and the programs even into video editing programs like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Pro. Sometimes I edit a video and I don’t like the reverb effects from Adobe, Sony, FL Studio or NATIVE INSTRUMENTS. No problem. I just choose the path of Cubase effects that I like and add a reverb from their list.

 

Not only mic recordings and VST instruments are compatible with it.

You can record only MIDI data from your MIDI keyboard without an instrument you selected.

You can find yourself a free modular synthesizer plugin like VCV rack and add it as a sequencer and just record the sound from the program.

 

 

Expand furthermore as soon as you’re ready.

At some point you will hit a wall. That is what happened to me at least. When you have a low resolution screen a lot of windows are packed over each other and you have to click and click and click to get around. That wouldn’t happen with a high resolution screen and especially not if you had 3 high resolution screens. I edit nowadays ONLY with 3 screens.

The left one shows the faders and the main mixing console therefore.

The middle one shows the bars, scenes and track arrangements.

The right one shows the last piano roll I edited or the VST I had open before.

I even got a sticker set for PC keyboards. You put the stickers on certain buttons. Like the button “#8” shows you what you use when you press that key. You’ll select the pen tool in Cubase. This tool allows you to draw automation by hand or edit velocity. Stuff like that. You can also try to memorize the key shortcuts. Maybe you’re highly skilled in regard to remembering a lot of shortcuts. Who knows, right?

 

 


 

Shameless self promotion of a track of mine. Here you can see all 3 screens of mine. Paint combines all the screens.

 


 

 

My Peroration

Cubase is good for people who are in the middle segment of knowing something and the pro segment of knowing a lot in the audio editing and engineering niche. FL Studio is definitely better for beginners. But as the years have passed, I can’t work with anything else than Cubase. I might change some DAWs in the next years, but Cubase will stay my second true love that has last the longest of them all. FL Studio is the first-love-at-sight, but after some years the interface feels of. If you get Cubase you can get into Pro Tools. If you know those two you can get into other DAWs. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Buy the eLicenser, try out the demo. Take your time. Realize how much you’ll need this DAW or not.

A lot of people know about this kind of business models, but a lot also don’t know about it. So here’s my short explanation.

If you buy something from let’s say Adobe, then you have to pay monthly. Like 15,00,-€ per month to use Adobe After Effects. After 2 years you bought the whole version of the product. You can unsubscribe from your payment and got yourself a full version of the product. To get the newest version of it you have to pay monthly again though.

You don’t have that kind of trouble with NI, Steinberg, FL Studio, Pro Tools. Either you buy their software once (FL Studio, Pro Tools) and you got yourself the full pro version a lifetime long or you have to upgrade every 1 or 2 years (NI & Cubase).

You don’t have to pay if you don’t want, but then you got an older version. Some say that doesn’t matter and some say it does matter. I always realize the big changes of every update. I bought my Cubase Pro 6 back then as a full version for 500,00,-€ from ebay or so. The upgrade from Cubase Pro 6 to Cubase Pro 7 cost me 250,00,-€. That doesn’t hurt a lot when you see the tutorials and changes and what has happened over the time span of 1 – 2 years.

 

In a lot of cases money corrupts products, artists and companies. In the case of Steinberg I would disagree. I am happy that I bought their software and that I stopped using the pirated and free and veeeery old version of their DAW.

 

Help and support shall come for those who need it the most.