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How did they do that???

Discussion in 'Recording' started by werewolf, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. werewolf

    werewolf Guest

    Recently I have been seeing some of my favorite artist using small to large keyboard/midi controllers, to add real time effects to there voice. Artist such as "The Mars Volta" "Tomahawk" and "Muse". Can anyone tell me how they do this? Its like the have certain keys bound to a certain effect. I have reason 2.0, can I do this with reason and any midi controller like the oxygen 8 from midiman?
     
  2. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    Well, you kind of answered your own question. Many effects processors are MIDI capable and its simply a matter controlling parameters from the keyboard.

    Some effects processors allow you to assign controllers to any effect. Some only have a single paramter that is controlable. It really varies from unit to unit.

    You might even be talking about a vocoder style keyboard where the voice shapes the sound of a synth. Or, perhaps its some sort of harmonizer. Or, it could be something like Auto Tune. There are many possibilities.

    In essence, it is possible to "play" an effects unit from a controller. You simply need to have MIDI data control an effects parameter or parameters.
     
  3. werewolf

    werewolf Guest

    midi data control ?? Which one do you think I should start out on? I have heard of the oxygen 8, is that a good one? I have also read alot about the novation I think its the remote 25. Im not exactly sure how many parameters I need to control at once????

    as far as my effects themselves are they stored in the controller, or pulled from a unit, or a software program? I guess what im asking here is could I use Reason 2.0 as my effects sound bank?

    oh yea a (vocoder?) let me get this straight, the vocoder would be used to add a (voice to an effect.) Instead of the normal effects process of adding an (effect to a voice?)
     
  4. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    "midi data control ?? Which one do you think I should start out on? I have heard of the oxygen 8, is that a good one? I have also read alot about the novation I think its the remote 25. Im not exactly sure how many parameters I need to control at once????"

    I have the Remote 25. Its quite good and the interface is decent. It will let you send just about anything you want from its control surfaces. It can also control the transport of your sequencer which I've found to be really useful.

    You probably won't need to control many parameters at once when you're playing. You'll want to control more parameters while programming sounds and mixing.

    "as far as my effects themselves are they stored in the controller, or pulled from a unit, or a software program? I guess what im asking here is could I use Reason 2.0 as my effects sound bank?"

    The effects don't come from the controller, they come from a hardware unit or your software. I haven't used Reason but I guess it is able to be controlled via MIDI.

    "oh yea a (vocoder?) let me get this straight, the vocoder would be used to add a (voice to an effect.) Instead of the normal effects process of adding an (effect to a voice?) "

    In a nutshell, vocoding allows you to shape or modulate another sound. So, you could use your voice to shape a synth sound, drum loop or whatever. Your description is essentially correct.
     
  5. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey,
    This is the kind of question that turns my crank! (ha ha) I have the M-audio Oxygen and quite like it. I like how you can power it thru it's USB or with a 9v. plug. (options are nice/esp. live) you can connect it to you computer via USB or a standard MIDI cable. Therefore if you have no MIDI interface, you can just plug it straight in with USB. I use a standard MIDI cable and actually plug it into the wall for power just so that I can use as little of the computer's power as possible at home, but just using 1 usb to link for both power and MIDI data back and forth is fine. I have a digital mixer so I can assign the faders to act as controllers as well seperately from the Oxygen8 but the oxygen8 only has one "slider" so if you like that kind of controller, you are limited. The nobs on the Oxygen 8 are very smooth and you should have plenty enough for a live show. One other thing about the Oxygen8 that I have a prob. with now is that it spans only 2 octives worth of keys. (with an additional button to toggle up and down octives) I don't accually "play" the piano so I thought that that would be plenty when I tricked my wife into getting me one for Xmas. However, when I am recording MIDI data into my computer, I find that even I could use more keys... Just a thought.

    As far as assinging your voice to the various effects in reason, you'll have one problem. That is that reason cannot handle audio yet (ver.2.5) You can create audio from it's own devices but cannot stream an audio input into it or import audio into the sequencer section.
    Now, with Rewire (if you don't know what that is, check it out on the Propellerheads' site) you can assign most of Reason's outputs to another rewire capable software application. Other than combining Reason's outputs to whatever other software you're using via Rewire, you cannot manipulate your voice live with Reason's FX devices. (someone correct me if they've thought of a trick, I'd love to learn that one myself.) Now, you CAN make a recording of your voice or some other audio and import it into the drum machine, the Dr.Rex player, the Sampler etc. and trigger any of those devices to play that audio live using a controller... Thus you could sing into a mic, and stand in front of a controller and trigger for example, your back ground/pre recorded vocals (alreay imported into Reason) to "sing along" with you when you hit something pre-assigned on the controller itself.
    Just in case you don't know already, with Reason (and many more software apps.), once you have your controller plugged in and you've instructed Reason to recognize it as the controller, all you have to do is select ANY parameter on Reason with your right mouse button, select "learn MIDI" and then move any dial on your controller. Reason will then recognize when that specific dial, slider or whatever is moved and the parameter within Reason itself will also move along with it. Now, just hit record, turn some dials and Reason will remember what dial turns and when in relation to when you turned the dial while recording in your song. You can also assign multiple parameters to a single control. You can send all kinds of stuff out of whack in a hurry that way, what fun!!

    Here's a tip.. Download "Protools Free" from the digi webpage, you can now sync. Protools and Reason together via Rewire. Why is this good? You can run a live audio feed (your voice) into Protools. Even Protools Free comes with basicplug-insthat you can assign as inserts to the same track that your voice is coming in on. Theseplug-insare automatible and controllable with none other then your controller. You can add these basic but excellent sounding FX in and out of your voice while you sing while doing nothing other then twisting dials on your controller in front of you. (just like those bands)
    (If you're on XP, you're hooped with that idea, cause Digi doesn't provide P.T.Free to us losers at this time!)
    One last thing, if you have any softsynths, you can also double them up as inserts so that you can use the FX on them, many live as well. For example, I use Cubase VST and FM7 (Native Instruments). I insert the FM7 as a plug-in insert and assign various control parameters from the FM7 to my controller, the exact same way as Reason. Now when I sing, my voice goes into the same track that the FM7 is plugged into as an effect, the voice runs through the FM7 before going on into the rest of the mix. (mixing with the other tracks in your song) Unless you have more then one controller though, this method only works on one track at a time as with Cubase VST, you must have the track selected that you want to have the controller control parameters on. Thus, if you want to play the same soft syth. on another track, you can't unless you assign one controller to the track you want the FX tweeked on and the other controller to the track with the soft. syth. loaded on.
    Ok, my hands are now officially dead.
    Hope this helped in one way or another!
    pAndAmOnkEY
     
  6. werewolf

    werewolf Guest

    WOW !!!!!!!! did it help?? hell yea. Thanks man, that has to be the most helpfull reply I have ever gotten. Thanks man , you have given a ton of things to think about
     

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