Electronic Music Workflow Advice

Hi guys, I had a similar thread on the old forum and was wondering if you could offer any insights here as I have some new needs and am a bit in the dark about a lot of this stuff. I’ve found such quality gear and music through this community that I figured I’d see what your trusted and great opinions on this would be!

I am working on a pretty slick indie game I designed a number of years ago. It’s evolved quite a bit in the past month since it’s been brought out of the idea vault and our team is small so I’ll be making the music. I’m a guitar guy who grabbed an OP-1 for experimentation / travel reasons but it’s really gotten me into the synth side of music.

I’ve composed bits and pieces of the tune on guitar but I know the execution has to come through mostly synth/ midi controller. To that end I’m thinking of picking up an Arturia Minilab (any suggestions for that gear slot would be great).

What I’m wondering about is workflow - specifically things like digital sequencers/ digital step sequencers that play nicely with other digital tools.

I’ve been looking at so much gear and so many pieces of software my head is spinning. If anyone has recommendations for these sorts of tools I’d love to hear them!

I basically want to have flexibility in the digital instruments I use - be able to record music by hand w/ the minilab (or whatever I wind up using) but also use Sequencers (step sequencer on OP-1 got me thoroughly addicted to this).

It sounds like Ableton Live might be the best DAW for your project as it allows easy integration of midi, hardware, software, live performance and sequencing. I have never used it but I’ve seen videos that convinced me of these facts.

Following that, you’ll want some kind of midi router/interface to connect your computer to your hardware.

BUT your OP-1 is already an Ableton controller, so maybe you don’t need anything else!

Other than that, if you want to sync up hardware with the computer that will help determine which midi interface you chose (one with CV or without. for example).

As to any actually synths, you may not need any hardware synths, but if you do, you get the most bang for your buck with virtual analogs (Micro Korg, Alesis Micron, Akai Miniak, etc). But they involve a lot of menu diving on the hardware side, so not sure if that’s helpful or not.

If you want a software controller the Artuia seem a good bet. Things to keep in mind, how many octaves do you want, how many knobs, is it general midi compliant?

I realize I have not answered your questions, but hopefully my words will help you start to make some of those decisions.

Suck it and see buddy. That’s such a hard question your asking , but there is a buzz about the new electibes from Korg which aren’t released yet. They look good bang for buck and are built to work with Ableton.
I personally don’t use a daw much for production and prefer to create live into multi track or straight to CD burner (basiclly non software )then edit final file on comp with software like Soundforge/Audacity .saying that software does give quick ,reliable results for pro work.
But all this stuff takes time to work in and get use to.
The best advice usually is one or two bits of new kit/software at a time and get use to that.

Thanks dudes!

This is a new task for me for sure…the last time I had to do anything “electronic” I did all the sketches for what was going to be chiptunes style stuff on the OP-1. Then we took a sharp change of direction and ditched the retro pixel vibe (this was for an app) so most of that went unused.

My usual thing for the past few years with personal music has been: write themes on acoustic, record with a microphone - 1 track. Hell, I haven’t even recorded anything since last December as I’m still settling into life in a new country.

That’s why I think my big question for this is really what you guys like for Digital Sequencers, though now that I think about it I’m unsure if I have all the information on my end to even ask the right questions.

I say this because the music isn’t just going to be recorded, there will wind up being heaps of different clips that get used - the music will change with the action amongst other things. I guess in the end it comes down to file type and shouldn’t be an issue though.

All that said, I will definitely look into Ableton. It seems there are sequencers that are both built in and available as packs.