Advice for Noob To Recreate Electro Sound, Suggestion for Programs, etc.

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    • Advice for Noob To Recreate Electro Sound, Suggestion for Programs, etc.

      Complete noob here. I don't know anything about music and I want to be pointed in the right direction. I've played around with FL Studio [back in '06] before and experimented with different sounds, but just could not get that electro sound whatsoever, no matter how hard I've tried.

      I am very into the vein of Electro along the lines of Dopplereffekt/Drexciya/Arpanet/Der Zyklus/etc., The Exaltics/Crotaphytus, AS1, Gesaffelstein/The Hacker, and Gragee. [I'm not really sure what that style is called, but it's a bit darker, some of it is more downtempo].

      I would love to make something that sounds like that.

      I've been trying to figure out how to replicate this sound for ages:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1baYKtvmCA

      • What programs do you suggest? [Ideally something that doesn't sound 'fake' which is the problem with some digital music programs, it doesn't have a 'deep' sound to it, it sounds like some MIDI file]. I've heard analog is better, but I would prefer to go digital.
      • When I get the programs, which types of synth plugins should I get?
      • I heard something about sound packs? What is that about?
      • While I'm at it, if I do decide to go analog, what should I look at?


      The biggest problem I've had thus far is first and foremost, there is a huge misconception of what electro is so a lot of searches are "polluted" with other genres and styles that aren't really electro. Secondly, it's hard to find other people that actually know bout this music and know what I'm talking about. Someone pointed me to this forum and I'm hoping you guys can help point me in the right direction. This music is my life and it's pretty much all I listen to!
    • Hi there, i`m not a pro either but maybe i can help.

      I`m not sure if someone is able to give you the advice you`ve hoping for, from my perspective it is a lot of trying and fiddeling around till you find what you`re looking for.

      One of my favourite sites for good free stuff is this one:

      bedroomproducersblog.com/

      They have everything you need to start right away, from free DAW`s to the best free plugins and so on......

      What i can suggest is to teach yourself about the elements of acoustics, it depends on how you wanna do that (reading, Video-Tutorials) and try to find the DAW that suits your needs.

      If you can say that would be a nice hobby for me and you are willing to invest a lot of time in learning then go ahead...... :)

      Other than that you will find a lot of literature on the internet, google is your friend.

      And if you ask me i would not try to imitate someone elses sound, why not create your own?

      How does that sound? :cylon:
    • Keruba;67856 wrote:

      Hi there, i`m not a pro either but maybe i can help.

      I`m not sure if someone is able to give you the advice you`ve hoping for, from my perspective it is a lot of trying and fiddeling around till you find what you`re looking for.

      One of my favourite sites for good free stuff is this one:

      bedroomproducersblog.com/

      They have everything you need to start right away, from free DAW`s to the best free plugins and so on......

      What i can suggest is to teach yourself about the elements of acoustics, it depends on how you wanna do that (reading, Video-Tutorials) and try to find the DAW that suits your needs.

      If you can say that would be a nice hobby for me and you are willing to invest a lot of time in learning then go ahead...... :)

      Other than that you will find a lot of literature on the internet, google is your friend.

      And if you ask me i would not try to imitate someone elses sound, why not create your own?

      How does that sound? :cylon:



      Thank you!
      I will look into that site. :)


      It's not really about imitating a sound from an artist. I just want to replicate the sound of the genre as a whole. It has a very specific sound to it.

      Here is another example:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a2UkRR6ObQ
    • mechanesthesia;67849 wrote:


      The biggest problem I've had thus far is first and foremost, there is a huge misconception of what electro is ...


      I think you`re on the right place here ;)

      Many electro tracks are using Roland´s TR-808. If you want to create beats with that you can try to get this great machine (but it`s not cheap) or you can try to work with the program ReBirth RB-338. It has a nice 808 emulation.
      It`s completely free. Just sign up on here: rebirthmuseum.com/ and download it.
      Here is a very nice tutorial how to use it (only german):
      flashforum.de/forum/zusatzprod…irth-rb-338-a-103003.html
      You probably won`t be able to create whole tracks which sounds like tracks from Dopplereffekt (only 303, 808 and 909 there) but you can create nice beats there. This program is very basically in my opinion.
    • tl;dr - Just do it ... and keep doing it. it takes practice.

      Part of what makes them sound like they do is their mixing and mastering. There is a very minor amount of distortion on most of the elements (recorded too loud to tape, plugin to "warm" it up, run through a tube preamp, etc etc). There is a very minor amount of reverb added to all the elements (individually and in groups and as a whole). There is a lot of experimentation, trial and error in learning how to get those kinds of sounds, both in synthesis and in mixing.

      But, part of what makes that style of electro stand apart, in my opinion, is it's lack of melody. The bass line is usually one or two notes (eg, D and D#), played in a pattern, and most of the other sounds comp that tonality. It's very devoid of the funk. :) Also, the drum beats tend to be less complicated, but more aggressive (the kick is usually on the 1 and 9 of a 16 step pattern). But, those aren't "rules" of this style, just my general observations.

      If you still have your Frooty Luips lying around, reinstall it and start playing around. It takes a lot of practice to make the sounds you want. Just accept that everything you make for the first six months will be horrid. Just get past that and keep doing. The only way to get better, and to get what you want is to do it yourself. Constantly play with things. Don't just write and listen to electro (that's good advice for anything, as Stephen King says, if you want to write, you have to read for hours a day as well).

      Making electro isn't "easy." It's deceptive in that it sounds so bare. People are still trying to sound like it was recorded on an 8-track from the pawn shop down the street from their Detroit apartment. :D It's a pretty niche sound that takes a lot of practice in getting right. It's minimal techno done right.

      disclosure: What I write can only be barely classified as electro (weird time signatures, pop arrangements and overly melodic). So, take the above with a grain of salt.

      Answering your specific questions:

      What programs do you suggest? I absolutely love Ableton Live, but your mileage may vary. Every single computer musician friend of mine uses something different. It's hackneyed, but, it's not the tools you use, but how you use them. Try out a bunch of them and find one that doesn't make you want to punch your screen to death. Try everything from Reaper to Reason to Renoise to Rebirth.

      I've heard analog is better, but I would prefer to go digital. Lies and slander. Honestly, if it sounds good, it's useful. If it sounds bad, it may still be useful. The difference is almost a religious issue for some people.

      When I get the programs, which types of synth plugins should I get? Yes. Get every free plugin you can get your hands on. I really like Ableton Analog, but, it's super limited (when I'm on a computer, and not on my outboard gear, I do everything with that, including each drum sound). I love the TAL plugins, they are free AND amazing! Audio Damage Tattoo drum synth/sequencer would be worth looking into (it's only like $60 and it's got a pretty good "synthy" drum tone). Synth1 is a great clone of the Nord Lead 2.

      I heard something about sound packs? What is that about? It's about fail. All kinds of fail. But, I don't use samples when I can avoid it. Honestly, if you are on the computer, there is no excuse to not synthesize your drums (either with a plugins like the D16 ones or AD Tattoo or Waldorf Attack, unless you are doing something with real world drum sounds or need something really bizarre). When I'm on hardware and using samples, I am STILL using the sample packs from hyperreal I download in like 1999. But, Goldbaby does an amazing job and has some free stuff up. There is a pack floating around with samples from like 200 drum machines (also worth grabbing). I really dislike using pre-mangled samples (like the sounds you'd get from Vengeance), I'd rather use raw samples from old drum machines if I need to use samples.

      While I'm at it, if I do decide to go analog, what should I look at? Well, I have a very limited analog gear list (Elektron Analog Four, Arturia MiniBrute, Roland MKS-50, Roland Alpha Juno 2, MAM MB33 mk. II, a couple monotrons, etc). I don't have any of the "classic" electro synths (Juno 60/106, TR-808, TB-303, whatever other analog gear from the early 80s). If you want to go "real" analog (and not virtual), look for a monosynth with a lot of realtime control and personality (from the current crop: Moog's Sub Fatty, Arturia's MiniBrute, MFB's Dominion-X, Doepfer's Dark Energy). Don't buy vintage gear unless you have the disposable income, or, you know it's what you need. Current gear is damned amazing and shouldn't be overlooked. If you want to go virtual analog, get yourself (from craigslist, because they get flopped all the time) cheap things and get a bunch. If you hate them? Flop them back on the craigslist. They're cheap and can usually be resold for not much loss (or a slight gain). Just watch prices for a month to make sure you're not getting ripped off. I'd recommend Korg's EMX-1, it's one of the most fun all-in-one units I've ever used. You can sit on your couch with a beer (or other stimulant of your choosing) and knock up beats left and right. It doesn't sound super-amazing, but it's fun as hell. Totally worth $200-$250 (you can get the Smart Media Card version for cheaper, and it's not a sampler, so who cares).
    • Hi there, actually I'm in the same boat. I was googling about and found this thread, so I thought 'why not?' and joined. I have a little bit of kit, well, I have Ableton, an Alpha Juno 2 (which is broken and I'm currently fixing) and a waldorf rocket, freshly purchased. I love those sparse, minimalistic tracks. Just a bass hit and some spooky sounds. It's really, really hard to do well though.
      I'm thinking of going Eurorack for drums, it's still a much cheaper option than buying an acidlab here in Japan.I just have no idea how interface them with a computer. Any ideas?
    • mechanesthesia;67849 wrote:

      I am very into the vein of Electro along the lines of Dopplereffekt/Drexciya/Arpanet/Der Zyklus/etc.,


      do yourself a favour and don't become another drexciya dopplereffect copycat act. there are too many of them already. be original and create something new.
    • MannerMode;68436 wrote:

      Hi there, actually I'm in the same boat. I was googling about and found this thread, so I thought 'why not?' and joined. I have a little bit of kit, well, I have Ableton, an Alpha Juno 2 (which is broken and I'm currently fixing) and a waldorf rocket, freshly purchased. I love those sparse, minimalistic tracks. Just a bass hit and some spooky sounds. It's really, really hard to do well though.
      I'm thinking of going Eurorack for drums, it's still a much cheaper option than buying an acidlab here in Japan.I just have no idea how interface them with a computer. Any ideas?


      Check out
      expert-sleepers.co.uk/hardware.html
      There's a few options depending on what soundcard hardware you already have ;D
      Thumpin'Thursday Live Shows & Dj's every two weeks with an Electro slant with residents Chris Spotta, Dez Williams, UpDigital, The Hidden Persuader, Info_Cifon, Nonima, Greystates, The Hycon, Jobot & Agent808
      Spotta Soundcloud
      Spotta Mixcloud
    • spotta;68440 wrote:

      Check out
      expert-sleepers.co.uk/hardware.html
      There's a few options depending on what soundcard hardware you already have ;D



      Hi mate. Thanks, looks interesting. Actually, I have a Propellerhead Balance Soundcard and I don't think the connections are DC coupled. Would it still work?

      Last night I ordered the Tip Top Audio happy ending kit, SD808, HATS808 and BD808. I thought I'd use those as a 'basis' for a drum rack. I'm planning to use this thing only as a drum source. I'm looking for other cheap-ish drum synth modules to compliment it.

      I don't want to sequence the modules via ableton. I want to buy a eurorack sequencer and clock from the computer. Is this workable? Any suggestions for a CV/MIDI interface that will let me clock from an external source?

      Cheers!!
    • MannerMode;68443 wrote:

      Hi mate. Thanks, looks interesting. Actually, I have a Propellerhead Balance Soundcard and I don't think the connections are DC coupled. Would it still work?

      Last night I ordered the Tip Top Audio happy ending kit, SD808, HATS808 and BD808. I thought I'd use those as a 'basis' for a drum rack. I'm planning to use this thing only as a drum source. I'm looking for other cheap-ish drum synth modules to compliment it.

      I don't want to sequence the modules via ableton. I want to buy a eurorack sequencer and clock from the computer. Is this workable? Any suggestions for a CV/MIDI interface that will let me clock from an external source?

      Cheers!!

      Most midi-cv will have a clock out section, my A-190-1 does but it tends to be a bit flakey, I normally just send a clip of 1/16 notes to the A-190 and then drive my seq from the gate out, don't forget music/voltage are interchangable, you can clock your seq from just sending a sample of some drums straight from an out on your soundcard to the clock in, my A-155 clocks lovely if I send it some 1/16 loud snares.
      Personally I'd forget midi and go with Silent way, I intend to. The software corrects for sound cards that aren't DC coupled, so no worries there and no one yet has gone modular and stayed with the set up they originally wanted. they don't call it Eurocrack for nothing.....

      As for other drum modules, some (not all) of the MFB ones sound nice to me, I make my own and if your handy with a soldering iron there's loads to choose from
      shop.hexinverter.net/category.php?id_category=13
      shop.hexinverter.net/category.php?id_category=6
      shop.hexinverter.net/category.php?id_category=8
      electro-music.com/forum/viewto…ht=808+stripboard&t=54826

      :cylon:
      Thumpin'Thursday Live Shows & Dj's every two weeks with an Electro slant with residents Chris Spotta, Dez Williams, UpDigital, The Hidden Persuader, Info_Cifon, Nonima, Greystates, The Hycon, Jobot & Agent808
      Spotta Soundcloud
      Spotta Mixcloud
    • Hiya mate, sorry got a bit snowed under with work and couldn't much time online. An eight month old daughter also keeps me busy. I did say I have Ableton (an older version) but I'm finding Reason more logical so I thought I migh stick with that.
      We'll have MIDI out next week with Reason 7 (oh hello year 2013). I was looking at this this evening, what do you reckon of the Delptronics stuff? I was thinking about ordering one of each when the release the sequencer. delptronics.com/triggerman.php

      Man, I'm not gonna lie. My head is swimming. I could understand some of what you said but some of it (particularly syncing stuff) is confusing the sh*t out of me.
    • MannerMode;68500 wrote:

      Man, I'm not gonna lie. My head is swimming. I could understand some of what you said but some of it (particularly syncing stuff) is confusing the sh*t out of me.



      If you have multiple hardware sequencers running that don't have midi, you still need to find a way to keep them in sync with each other.

      Sending a rather loud sorta signal (like the snares that spotta mentioned) at a regular interval will keep them all in sync. It doesn't have to be a drum sound, most clock sync is a square wave, pulse wave or a noise burst. Point is, something loud enough to trigger it knowing that is a clock pulse.

      Usually you will want them pulsed every single 16th note. Some sequencers will play the next step when a clock is received, but will stop playing when it stops receiving clock (from what I understand, this is how the vast majority of modular sequencers work). This is useful for sending weird patterns to get more interesting results from the sequencer. Some use the clock pulse to calibrate it's internal timing and will play no matter what (the Korg Monotron is this way and probably the coming Korg Volcas will be this way as well). This way, even if you turn off the master sequencer it can keep running.

      Example usage: From Ableton, create a "click" track of a drum sound with pretty harsh initial transient, and send it to an output of a multi-out sound card (you need more than a stereo audio card for this). Plug that into the sync in of a sequencer and it will run in sync with Ableton.
    • And there I was trying to save you £100 by not buying a midi-cv module ;)
      You may find this helpful. muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=80724
      Thumpin'Thursday Live Shows & Dj's every two weeks with an Electro slant with residents Chris Spotta, Dez Williams, UpDigital, The Hidden Persuader, Info_Cifon, Nonima, Greystates, The Hycon, Jobot & Agent808
      Spotta Soundcloud
      Spotta Mixcloud
    • MannerMode;68519 wrote:

      I decided to buy an Elektron Analog Four. Can sync to MIDI over USB and has a very capable sequencer for triggering CV. I can also use it as an additional drum/synth source.


      First, I absolutely LOVE my Analog Four! It's my current workhorse. I use an Octatrack for drums and the Analog Four for all my synth parts (other than my vocoder carrier). My bandmate uses a MonoMachine (and it getting a Vermona DRM1 soon to augment the Octrack's drums).

      I haven't tried syncing it via usb. I don't have a computer anywhere near my gear right now and really couldn't test that out. ;)

      Similarly, I also haven't used the CV/Gate features, yet. My only issue is that I'm going to have to solder up some cables for using it. It has two 1/4" TRS outs for AB and CD. So, I could go buy a couple insert cables, but, I still have to deal with either adapters for 1/4" to 1/8" or cut and solder on 1/8" connectors on those cables. This is why I haven't used it yet (well, that and the only synth I have with CV in is the MiniBrute).
    • the_cody;68525 wrote:


      Similarly, I also haven't used the CV/Gate features, yet. My only issue is that I'm going to have to solder up some cables for using it. It has two 1/4" TRS outs for AB and CD. So, I could go buy a couple insert cables, but, I still have to deal with either adapters for 1/4" to 1/8" or cut and solder on 1/8" connectors on those cables. This is why I haven't used it yet (well, that and the only synth I have with CV in is the MiniBrute).



      Isn't the anything you can buy off the shelf? I'm really loathe to DIY anything. Most likely I'll botch it up. I'm expecting the A4 to show up before the weekend. Can't wait to try it out.
    • MannerMode;68544 wrote:

      Isn't the anything you can buy off the shelf? I'm really loathe to DIY anything. Most likely I'll botch it up. I'm expecting the A4 to show up before the weekend. Can't wait to try it out.



      Not that I have found, but I haven't looked all that hard. But, guitar center and sweetwater didn't have anything that looked right. You can get insert cables, but they are 1/4" TRS (stereo) to dual 1/4" TS (mono). Then get two 1/4" TS to 1/8" TS adapters. I just wanted to avoid the adapter route. Small cable adapters would be good, as opposed to those radio shack monstrosities.

      TRS is tip ring sleeve, normal stereo. TS is tip sleeve, normal mono. TRRS is tip ring ring sleeve, like a cell phone headset.

      Edit: I didn't want several of these hanging out of the back of my MiniBrute: radioshack.com/product/index.j…ctId=2103707&locale=en_US