Where Do I Start?

Hi All,

I am in need of some pointing in the right direction. I have Cubase 4 and a computer that can run it but is no means specialized for audio.

Specs on my comp: 4 gigs RAM, 2.2 ghz triple core.

I have a midi keyboard and I am interested in having some fun making some sort of industrial ambient sounds/music, or dark ambient.

So far I can load some presets without THAT much trouble and record some keystrokes with 2-3 tracks.

I would be excited if I could get some advice from anyone here where to start. I have “Fastguide to Cubase 4” but not sure if this is what I need. In terms of musical awareness I don’t know that much. I am not sure what I need to compose some short stuff or what I need to know about it. There are several features that I am unaware of. I know of effects by sound but by no means no what those effects are called or anything. I have been browsing forums and articles however it seems like I am too inexperienced for those. Where should I start?

I am really excited for this and hope to be able to just humble myself with some sort of learning, creation and fun with some advice from you.

Thank you

As far as musical awareness and composition, listen, listen, listen. Go to youtube and do a search on the styles you want to accomplish and listen to structure, instrumentation and the atmosphere that’s created. You can even steal a drum pattern or a bass line to point you in the right direction. As long as you are recreating the atmosphere, the rest is on you and your interpretation of what you heard. That will denote your style.

As far as effects technicalities, read the manual. If what you’re looking for isn’t contained in it, do a search on what you’re looking for. If you have knowledgeable friends that are willing to spend some time, give them a call.
It’s too broad a spectrum for someone here to walk you through what you need to know. The basics have to be learned first so you can communicate on musical terms.

Okay Thank you, I will do that then.

I was advised by someone else to look into some sample libraries one by the name of absynth and a few others.

You should explore Cubase first. You may find that you already have what you need without further purchase.

i think there are several ways:

  • ask producers from your genre. Normally people are willing to help (or at least give some hints)
  • learn theory too (may be more boring, but over a longer time gives you more freedom in expression), specially musical theory (basics) is recommended
  • learn about standard effects and how they work, what they do: compression, eq, delay, reverb, mixing, and others
  • imitate: a very good way of learning is “imitation”: try to imitate tracks you like as good as you can. Must not be perfect. the very process of trying to imitate you helps you to get acquintance with all the tools, sample libraries, effects, etc.
  • and last but not least: play with all the stuff you got. Music creation must not always be productive and it is definitively allowed to have fun doing so. Search for new sounds, play around with the knobs, melodies, instruments (virtual and hardware) with the arrangement (drums, basslines, pads, leads, FX, voices). Play, play, play and have fun.
    That’s probably the most important: remember as we were all childs and wanted to do something: we just tried, and looked what happened, perhaps we succeeded at first, perhaps not, and if we were very keen to do so, we insisted, insisted, learned, copied, tried our own ways until we reached to build our own sandcastle or whatsoever.

Don’t let the productiveness and expectations kill your fun. Be proud of every step you do and every thing you reach independently what others may say about. And search that uga-uga stone-age feeling: “uga uga, me made fire, uuuuh, great fire… small fire… uuu, rain kills fire, nono… ooo wood makes fire bigger… uuuh, fire burns, hothothot… etc…”

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: