Gear Suggestion for Live Performing Producer
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  1. #1

    Default Gear Suggestion for Live Performing Producer

    Hello,

    I'm not exactly a DJ. Instead I produce music and have done some live performing of it. Up until now I have been doing FL Studio to sequence with some VSTis and Reason ReWired in. For physical gear, I mostly have been running off this Beringer UMX49 to perform a lead section live on keys and that's it. Needless to say I want more freedom in arrangement.

    The goal is to add a new layer, using Live to trig the patterns sequenced in FL Studio in Session mode. Live in the long run isn't the issue, but I'm wanting to know where to go for hardware.

    First off, I have been looking into an Ableton controller so I have been looking into a refurb of the Akai APC40.

    On top of that, I'm wanting something for MPC style pads and a new keyboard controller (A mixer controller would be nice too but the APC faders and such can cover me for now). I was thinking the MPD18 (accidentally said MPC :P) and then just waiting around for a new keyboard (since it isn't a huge priority at the moment due to me having one), but do you guys have any suggestions of either separate pieces of hardware or combined ones? My budget is in the area of a few hundred so good values would be nice.

    Edit: Also is there any gear you would suggest I also get/is there any gear that you suggest I not get?

    Any help on this matter would be very much appreciated,

    Drox
    Last edited by droxpopuli; 11-06-2011 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Additional Stuff

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Onimode's Avatar
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    The APC40 is a great investment, you won't be disappointed. I love mine to bits and pieces.
    Akai's MPD (did you mean the MPD18?) series has great pad controllers. Although, some of Akai's keyboard controllers also have pads on them. Have you considered the MPK25/MPK Mini? Novation's new Impulse keyboards also have lots of controls, velocity-sensitive pads included. Not sure if you'd like Novation due to their Automap software. People have complained about it, but I haven't had many problems with it. :U
    Last edited by Onimode; 11-06-2011 at 08:02 PM.
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  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    the apc40 is a great piece of hardware for ableton live, Ive had mine for just over a week now and Im loving it...

    as far as a mixer controller, maybe check out the uc33e, great for dedicated mixer controls in ableton...

    I would check out products like the mpk25 or the novation sl mkii, seems like it would be a nice controller to compliment the apc40, especially since you want pressure sensitive pads and a keyboard to jam on ...

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the fast replies:

    Thanks for confirming my choice in an APC40

    MPK25 is a bit out of my range but the MPKMini sounds like a good suggestion (the Novation stuff looks like a bit much for me), Not exactly the amount of keys I was looking for but it looks like I can find it as low as $75, so hell, some pads and some nice keys with knobs, and it does look like a good buy regardless considering how relatively portable it is. (If I need more keys, I can get a more vanilla board or just use my UMX49 for more extended things)

    @ecto: the uc33e Mixer does look nice, but it seems a bit hard to find. Are there more recent control boards like it?

    Once again, thanks for the suggestions. How does my workflow in general sound?

  5. #5

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    i also have nothing but good things to say about the apc40
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

    http://www.soundcloud.com/deejaesnafu

  6. #6
    Tech Guru diezdiazgiant's Avatar
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    from my experience trying to do what youre asking about is an absolute pain in the ass and/or boring if youre trying to stick with only a laptop.
    i find the most enjoyable experience is i use ableton to host maschine and a single soft synth controlled by a novation remote 25sl, each channel goes straight to its own output on an audio 4 which goes to the channel inputs of an ecler nuo 2, which has a kaoss pad on its aux send. once i get some more money i need to get back my old collection of hardware synths - lots of channels/vsts in software is nice for writing but if you want to just jam too many generic controllers gets too clumsy (especially mixing) so its just nice to treat the laptop as its own instrument to supplement other hardware with everything going into a real mixer. without a real mixer its too easy to just neglect adjusting your eqs and levels, and it just sucks the fun out of the experience trying to page thru controls on a midi controller.

  7. #7

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    As much as I'd love to go more hardware based in my synths and overall approach, for money and other reasons, it just isn't in the cards at least at the moment. Regardless, I'm needing some controllers and my current keyboard, for lack of a better word, is crap. My controls are not going all that generic short of that MPK Mini I am looking into for my sequencing and oneshots.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru diezdiazgiant's Avatar
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    even just a piece or two of hardware can make a world of difference for fun. plenty of cheap hardware out there. at least as cheap as most controllers. the lower end korg electribes run around 100, people have a short attention span so older kaoss pads go for around the same, plenty of cheap mixers out there and then theres stuff like this that are combos of the 2 that never took off (http://www.ebay.com/itm/KORG-KM-2-2-...item35b67d6be5)...

    something like an mpk makes a great control surface for controlling a soft synth or 2 but if youre trying to use it for EVERY instrument in your mix and act as your mixer and your transport controls - personally it just killed my flow. so its really just a matter of personal style and your budget. just saying though from my experience - it helps to just have a couple controllers acting like their own instruments, a few pieces of hardware and a real mixer. for laptop and controller only, jamming seems to feel more natural with prewritten material thrown into a dj app.

  9. #9

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    So what are you exactly proposing my hardware list to be? So I got my rack of software, ableton controller, keys and pads. What else exactly are you suggesting?

  10. #10
    Tech Guru diezdiazgiant's Avatar
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    i dont know you - it depends on your style and budget dude. or space restrictions too.
    i mean ive been making music now about a decade and i started out learning the ropes with software and controllers, and im just now starting to feel comfortable and know what i feel what works for me for just jamming and not over thinking something thats supposed to be just fun. what works for me - its nice having a dedicated mixing surface, its nice having some dedicated fx (especially if youre trying to conserve CPU) and its nice just having my midi controller controlling a single instrument. not to sound cheesy but it just makes everything more tangible, theres less thought involved, and more feeling involved; same thing does the same thing every time.

    best advice, check craigslist and ebay with no real aim and check within your budget. especially something like craigslist - you can often talk people down. try stuff out, if you dont gel with it you can usually turn around and sell it for the same amount you put in. just dont be buying shit when you shouldnt because then youll be that guy on craigslist desperate to sell who can be talked down to less then what you put in


    edit: again matters on your tastes but i mean i think this is a good indication of the capability of just a minimal setup and just treating your laptop like the wildcard in your set up
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7bqSe3f9nY
    Last edited by diezdiazgiant; 11-07-2011 at 01:49 AM.

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