#1
Fact: I've discovered I like NiN and aural manipulation.

Problem: I don't know where to start.

I've run Massive and Absynth and Battery through Ableton Live - but all I get with experimenting is cheap little sounds.
Now, Reznor has virtually every analog synth/VST/effect pedal ever created by man, but even in the start he had a single synth he knew inside out.

So my question is, where do I start if I want to go that way?
#2
Write music, then write more and more and more and more and more.

Just like he probably did.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#3
Quote by ChemicalFire
Write music, then write more and more and more and more and more.

Just like he probably did.


I've got over 50 songs in Guitar Pro format.
I'm looking for the soundscape now.
#4
The go for it? If you want to learn your synth there are plenty of sites around on Synthesis theory and there are manuals for all the synths.

If you want to get music down there's little point worrying about the ifs and buts if you're never gonna try it.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#5
He actually recorded his first album with extremely limited amounts of gear, so he was forced to learn them inside-out to be able to overcome their restrictions. Might want to try that: restrict the availability of tools
#6
If you are using Ableton, the one synth you NEED to learn inside out is Ableton's own instrument "Operator." There are hundreds of tutorials for it on youtube. If you start to learn the basics of it, you can then create any sound, ranging from heavy basslines, airy pads, plucked stabs, kick drums, hats, everything! You will then learn a lot about ADSR and fm synthesis and will be able to apply that knowledge to literally every other synth plugin out there. On a side note, Reznor used the Studio 707 drum kit from Ableton for the drums in "The Slip" album.

I think this is a good starting tutorial that helps you get a cool sound from scratch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXuUYgOemLs
#7
Just because you have the software Reznor uses doesn't mean you are gonna make NiN music. I am currently working on a project with NiN influence, and I found just experimenting is the best idea. Besides you don't want to sound exactly like him anyway.

Soft Synths I use and get best results with:
Arturia V-Collection 2 (especially the Prophet-V, CS80V2, ARP2600V2)(free demo available online I believe)
GForce MiniMoonsta and GForce Oddity (you can get a free demo online)
Daedalus (a good free synth to learn on and make awesome sounds I could do 303 style bass on it all day)

You have to learn the basics though before you do anything, and spend a bunch of money. Getting all those and a bunch of hardware though isn't going to just toss out a "The Downward Spiral" or "The Fragile" or a "Ghosts" album. Reznor was a classically trained pianist who wasn't afraid to experiment. I think experimentation is what you really need to do it the "Reznor way". Also you need to find people who can help you. There is not one album Reznor has just done by himself, just look at production notes. Atticus Ross, The Flood, Charlie Closer, Keith Hillendbrandt, Alan Moulder, Danny Lohner, etc. A few of those people are really only known for their work with NiN but all of them have successful careers. He knew who to work with and bring in for help. He may have always had final say but if you read about The Fragile you can find a lot about other people discovery a lot of cool sounds that made it on that album. I am not trying to take away anything from Reznor, as I am probably one of the biggest NiN fans on UG.
Last edited by FireHawk at Apr 12, 2012,
#8
So do you guys use a midi keyboard or do you add it in note for note on a piano roll? I have to use the latter option but I'm considering buying a MIDI keyboard.


For some reason I'm unhappy at my guitar recording tone right now, so I'm seeing electronic music as a way to battle that.
#9
Quote by rocknrollstar

For some reason I'm unhappy at my guitar recording tone right now, so I'm seeing electronic music as a way to battle that.


This is some interesting logic you have here. There are probably two reasons for not being happy with your guitar tone:

- Lack of proper equipment (or cheap crappy equipment)

or

- Lack of practise setting up tones and recording tech

Either way deciding to go try and learn to do something else which will require more practise and money seems pointless. Especially as with that attitude you wont get any decent results with the electronic music either...
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#10
Quote by ChemicalFire
This is some interesting logic you have here. There are probably two reasons for not being happy with your guitar tone:

- Lack of proper equipment (or cheap crappy equipment)

or

- Lack of practise setting up tones and recording tech

Either way deciding to go try and learn to do something else which will require more practise and money seems pointless. Especially as with that attitude you wont get any decent results with the electronic music either...



I'd say you're likely correct on both points. The link in my signature will take you to me covering Lou Reed - Satellite of Love. My friend says it sounds thin, but to me everything seems a bit thin, I feel the guitar could have a bigger impact. It was recorded using 2 mics, a small diagraphm and a large one. Small at the 12th fret and the large at the bridge. Single tracked vocal with the large condenser mic.


I've been making electronic music for as long as my more guitar based music. What I meant to say was I felt like bringing that to the forefront as I seem to have better sounding (production wise) results with electronic music than I do with live instruments and that's what's getting me down right now. I should state that me saying what I said was in no way meant to imply that electronic music was easier. Each genre has it's own challenges.


https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1532513 <<<recent thread with some questions in it, maybe you know the answers I don't know.
#11
I would say tbh your guitar tone is fine, it's natural. If you want a larger acoustic sound you probably need to switch up your mic positioning: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug01/articles/recacgtr0801.asp

I'd also recommend a little bit of compression (maybe even parallel), some EQ to maybe boost the low mid/mid range and a little bit of reverb to smooth out the whole thing.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#12
Quote by ChemicalFire
I would say tbh your guitar tone is fine, it's natural. If you want a larger acoustic sound you probably need to switch up your mic positioning: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug01/articles/recacgtr0801.asp

I'd also recommend a little bit of compression (maybe even parallel), some EQ to maybe boost the low mid/mid range and a little bit of reverb to smooth out the whole thing.



I'm going to read that article, thank you


Can you link me to this compression parallel thing? the rest of it I could get with messing around but I'm not too sure what this means.


I mean its my best produced thing, I just want it sound a bit . . . more you know?
#13
There should be built in compressors in your DAW, as well as EQ's and reverbs.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#14
Quote by ChemicalFire
There should be built in compressors in your DAW, as well as EQ's and reverbs.



Yeah there is, but what is parallel compression? compressing both sides or what? I'm not sure. I understand I might sound incredibly stupid right now, but that's how I learn. If I can grasp something in laments terms and understand it, then im good to go.
#15
Parallel compression is a way of routing a track into a bus that has a compressor on it and combining both the compressed and uncompressed signal. Sometimes the compressed bus has an eq on it to ensure only some frequencies are mixed back in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7rpw-8LvY8 <- This is my favourite mix guy on youtube, check out his stuff for useful tips.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
Last edited by ChemicalFire at Apr 13, 2012,
#16
Quote by rocknrollstar
So do you guys use a midi keyboard or do you add it in note for note on a piano roll? I have to use the latter option but I'm considering buying a MIDI keyboard.

I do about 50-50. Sometimes I even do it with keyboard and adjust with mouse.
#17
Reznor plays with sidechains a lot so I would start there
ESP Eclipse Standard Series W/ PRS Santana II Pickups
PRS SE Soapbar II
Peavey 5150 120w Head
Avatar 412 Traditional Cab(v30's+G12H30's)
Malekko, Rocktron, T-Rex and MXR/Dunlop pedals
#18
Quote by ChemicalFire
Parallel compression is a way of routing a track into a bus that has a compressor on it and combining both the compressed and uncompressed signal. Sometimes the compressed bus has an eq on it to ensure only some frequencies are mixed back in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7rpw-8LvY8 <- This is my favourite mix guy on youtube, check out his stuff for useful tips.



Sorry it's took me awhile to respond, been working.


Anyway, that video (as well as some more from that guy) has gave me the information I needed. Thank you for the link I'm going to play around with the Lou Reed cover and see if I can change the way it sounds (purely to try these things out) then I can apply it to my own music


Quote by FireHawk
I do about 50-50. Sometimes I even do it with keyboard and adjust with mouse.



Time consuming isn't it? Took me days to type a song in once. Worth it though.