Modern workstation and work with it (part I): let's start with the main
If you feel like posing as Two Steps From Hell or X-Ray Dog in the singular, if you have at least basic piano skills (or don't even have them) and you have a midi keyboard, you will want to get one sooner or later at least virtual, but - a workstation.
A modern workstation resembles the very same old children's designer - many interconnected parts that make something that can be made like music. At the forefront is a synthesizer.
More precisely, not a synthesizer - a silly cheap synthesizer from a supermarket will not work here - you need a midi keyboard. It’s not worth screaming and wringing your hands - it costs even less than an inexpensive synthesizer, and for only a hundred and a half dollars you can buy an excellent instrument that will entertain your soul for many years.
Calm down - the sound there will be much better than in any conventional synthesizer, with the exception of one - it will depend entirely on the computer. I also looked somewhat askance at the option of setting up a workstation, believing that the group should have a normal synthesizer. When I tried what it was, I radically changed my mind.
Now I agree to have a regular keyboard and laptop with a little good speakers than the most “sophisticated” synthesizer from the supermarket, but which does not have a midi output. In my opinion, its absence seriously convinces the instrument's capabilities, even if there are 88-dynamic keys, a sound modulation joystick and a bank for a couple of thousand plastic sounds that make you feel sick. A toy for lovers.
Let's just say this: you don’t even have to have a midi keyboard - if you are the same pervert as I was in my youth, then you can easily get the hang of playing tunes on those three octaves, which gives .... ordinary standard computer keyboard!
And do not throw stones at me for blasphemy - you won’t take a full-sized workstation with you on a long journey, but taking a laptop with you will not be difficult. Given that inspiration is an important and irreplaceable resource, this circumstance seriously increases your chances of catching luck by the tail and recording something interesting in the nearest parking lot, feeding your recording studio on your knees from the cigarette lighter.
But this is already an extreme option. Let's start by looking at what a modern workstation is and what should be in it. So, we proceed:
- Piano type keyboard. Perhaps this is where her kinship with the familiar synthesizer ends, although this is the very synthesizer that our ancestors raved about.
- Drum machine. Sooner or later you will want to create drum samples, although you can dig up suitable loops that will replace both talent and imagination. But seriously, sometimes ready-made loops and effects loops can seriously boost your imagination and give an incentive to write a new composition. In reality, the drum machine is often presented in a virtual form, like the lion's share of other components. One of the most successful, in my opinion, drum machines is presented in the popular sequencer on Fruti Loops.
- Synthesizer. Where the signal processing algorithms are loaded, and it is the very node that synthesizes the sound. It may be without a keyboard, since in this context it is generally a computer program.
- Sequencer Again, the main emphasis is on the recording, processing and playback of midi messages. In practice, this means that if you did not like the sound of the instrument that you recorded, then you can easily change it and put, for example, instead of the sound of a guitar, the sound of a church organ.
- The sequencer itself can be software and hardware. Among software sequencers, I personally use FL Studio. All the missing elements can be done independently by imposing, cutting, crumbling strangers and your own loops and bring the whole thing into a divine form using the effects processor.
- Sampler The sound reminds the effect of a jammed record. In practice, it is an excellent tool for recording accompaniment, reefs, rhythm sections and more. It can very well be a good substitute for a drum machine and software sequencer if you haven’t been the last one to use it.
- Effects processor. And that's it. How many effects exist, so many definitions. To begin with, it’s quite enough for you to get comfortable with the usual reverb, setting the effect of stereo and in some cases an echo.
If you want to get acquainted with the software workstation, then I recommend that you start with the very least: with FL Studio and some kind of tracker. Here, in general, there is a wide scope for choice, but the most successful, in my opinion, is a combination of FL Studio, Acid.Pro and a banal winamp. This is enough for you not only to try an insane set of synthesizer sounds, but also to play a DJ, and even to compose a really serious song from scratch.
Continue exploring the music workstation here.