I often read numerous posts on here about computers getting in the way of creativity and wonder how many users create their songs primarily on hardware and to what extent their computer is involved in the process.
I would usually start on the Octatrack or maybe piano for ideas then finish the song on computer after structuring it on the Octatrack.
Yesterday I changed my set up to this:
I’ve had an idea to create an instrumental synth pop album based on analog synths, creating all sounds, percussion etc. via analog.
Knowing I was going to have to come up with about 8 songs I thought it would speed things along if I routed everything direct to the computer. So all the synths in the picture are connecting to the soundcard and can be played via midi/cv all at the same time routed through the mac and logic.
Took a bit of time to rearrange things but it all works.
The problem is when I sat sat down to create I drew a total blank, first time ever! I started off by drawing in notes for the bass and planned to work from there. But it just wasn’t happening, nothing at all! (Well apart from a crazy version of Iron Maidens run to the hills with an acapella I recorded via logic smart tempo, it did my head in the end and I sat wondering how the hell I even came up with the idea)
It was really bugging me, so now here I am up from 6am and after I post this I’m going to break everything down and rearrange it back to how it was before.
I’d love to hear some musical examples from Elektronauts who are hardware based only, and to what extent the computer was involved if at all.
I always thought the “I don’t use the computer” was a bit of a buzz phrase easily repeated but in my case it did genuinely affect my output.
I think over time I’m going to buy a qu pac mixer and a few more analog hardware effects/sequencers and have a go at avoiding the computer altogether
The song below was made on the octatrack, using external hardware effects, plus octatrack effects, then recorded straight to logic to be bounced out, I’ve numerous others done this way and am going to stick to this method. A lot of the time I don’t even bother with song mode and just change pattern manually whilst recording into logic.
Just to further clarify:
The original post was more about what is the most inspiring way to create music. It seemed to then dilute into the occasional bout of what’s best, or hardware is for those who like to waste money etc.
I’d like to clarify that I always use the daw, be it for recording at the end and a final polish up, or to add pads, chords etc that can’t be done on the octatrack easily or at all. In fact I really like Logic x
How-ever I prefer to come up with ideas on hardware:
This song for example arose out of a patch i created on the Dominion 1, the crazy modulation sound you first hear at the start is what inspired the song. If I wasn’t tinkering on hardware it would never have come into existance.
The song was then sequenced on the Octatrack, Minimoog, Dom 1 and OB6 with drums from the Rytm.
It was then recorded into Logic.
What I would say though, and no-one will ever convince me different, no matter how much you can do with VST’s they do not sound as good as an Analog Synth. Being able to over complicate and over think a VST patch on computer makes it worse more often than better.