I know this post is very much out of the blue and might seem a bit silly, but it is a genuine question
Any musicians on here?
Reason for asking is - I love synthesizers, love music (to listen to) and I can play keyboard (and guitar) on a basic level, but I’m finding it tricky to find the motivation and kind of reason-for-working on my skills.
Of course, it might just be that I have zero talent for music but thinking about how much I’ve learnt about not only editing but also photography in general from being on this forum over the last year or so, I can’t help thinking that if I could find a similarly dynamic and friendly group dedicated to electronic music (or all music) it could be a big help…
Doesn’t have to be open source as such, although going by this forum, some of the nicest people are in the open source community.
As background - I’m the proud but slightly puzzled owner of a Korg Wavestate (mk1) that I couldn’t resist some months back when it came up at a discount and I discovered that I could sell it again for virtually no loss if I didn’t like it. (or wasn’t worthy of it!)
It’s occurred to me that I feel much the same as a newcomer to photography would feel when handed a Nikon Z8 and a copy of darktable… where do I start!
Any ‘musical’ thoughts go flying out the window when confronted with the marvelous array of options for creating sounds…
Looking at the list, I have heard of a couple. There are other music gear and sound engineering forums that are not listed there.
But I am pretty old school with music. The only time I delve into software and digital/MIDI instruments is for writing short songs with LilyPond or MuseScore. No DAWs or trackers… yet, though it is something that I want to get into… someday.
I recall @clanmills talking about instruments in August. Perhaps he can direct you.
Let me know if you find anything, I’m on the same boat. We are korg brothers I currently own a minilogue xd and a nts-1. I am also learning guitar and building my own sequencer with a raspberry pi zero 2.
I prefer as little digital interfaces as possible when it comes to music. I don’t mind digital instruments, effects etc, but I am trying to stay away from DAWs and other digital workflows, I do this for fun, and after a day’s work of 8+ hours looking at a screen, give me some knobs to turn, keys to press etc (even if those are attached to tiny screens, it still feels good ).
One thing I noticed and value a lot in this community, and by this I mean the entire FOSS community, is the free sharing of information. When it comes to musicians there still seems to be a lot of secrecy surrounding some things. Either put behind a paywall or just not shared at all. I get that people don’t work for free, but to me what matters is the music produced not how you got there. There seems to be a mentality to sell everything they can, every patch, every “preset”, every sample etc, every way to reach a specific sound or tone. I know there are exceptions though.
I had a look at the forums you mentioned, @martin.scharnke. The Korg one looks quite active, the other one not so much… which I noticed on a different group I came across (somewhere) as well.
I’ve used a Roland DAW in the past, and made a few tracks and stuff, back in my late teens (about a decade ago…) mostly around guitar.
I don’t seem to really take to the normal DAW approach - it doesn’t feel good for creativity somehow… just for me I mean, I know lots of people do amazing stuff. (obviously).
Cool! Before I got my Wavestate I’ve dabbled a fair bit with a Moog Little Phatty that I had access to. That being a monophonic analogue synth, it’s kind of the opposite extreme to the wavestate which is built around samples.
The Minilogue looks kind of in between - analogue but polyphonic, I think. How do you like it?
I’m starting to wonder if maybe that’s a thing for me to think about - maybe I’d find it more fun if I wasn’t tied to a computer for any layering or recording I try to do… maybe I should get an 8 track tape machine…
Interesting and good point. Seems rather like one gets that mentality in the photography world too, but here it’s balanced by the FOSS side. In the musical world not so much.
Edit: Y’know, I think one thing I’m struggling with is how to approach it - with photography I know how to do it - I go somewhere, with my camera, and take photos of something, which I then post-process.
But I can’t take my synth for a walk to capture musical notes on the street… or could I? Not quite sure how I work with it.
Hopefully this makes some sense.
So far so good, it’s a lot of fun I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, it’s a great instrument
There are some modern digital alternatives like the Zoom R16, might be worth a look.
Yep, it exists a lot in photography as well unfortunately. In this forum we have Boris who regularly teaches people to reach a certain look with darktable. Across the “foss pond” we have people selling their “lightroom preset packs” so people can achieve certain looks. It’s the old “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”.
Although teaching is a not the best example, I’m not against paid teaching, but you get the idea.
I think you should narrow down to an instrument, and find good online courses for that. For the guitar, I find
great, I am sure similar resources exist for the keyboard.
That said, I think that music is much more difficult to learn via the internet than photography. Photos and their processing techniques are easy to share and improve over forums, while playing a musical instrument involves a lot of manual technique and nuance.
Having an in-person teacher is invaluable — at least one hour for every 10–20 hours you practice on your own. If that is not available in your location, some music teachers consult over video calls.
Also, note that you can just as easily receive a ton of bad advice over the web as in photography. Even great players are not necessarily good teachers.
I felt the same previously, until I found digital amplifiers like Guitarix. I am still not looking at the screen, but I can get a sound out of my guitar using a cheapo USB link that would require a lot of effect pedals otherwise.
I strongly recommend subscribing to Rick Beato’s YouTube channel. There’s a ton of good stuff there, including his Beato Book (for sale, but reasonable). He also has an ear training course. He’s very knowledgeable in both music / playing / composition / theory as well as production / recording. There are more than a thousand videos available there IIRC on everything imaginable.
With this music talk from others, looks like I picked the wrong time to put down guitar…
Justin is an excellent teacher. I mostly use his course to learn guitar, plus Songsterr to be able to play to backing tracks, slow down the song etc and so far it has been going well. The best thing besides his excellent material is that he offers everything for free for those who can’t afford it.
I do donate since I’m capable but I’m glad people nowadays can get such a high quality course for nothing.
I’ll use this comment to leave some more guitar recommendations for people learning:
Great teacher and he has imo the best tone on the entire platform, just so good.
Thanks! That looks like the most active group I’ve seen yet - will have a good look through later.
The software stuff is cool. Never heard of the Spark - wow!
You’re all making me feel I should get my old Fender Squire down off the wall where it’s been hanging for the last ~6 years!
I only have a moustach…
I’m glad I started this thread - thanks everyone for your ideas!
You’ve given me quite a few paths to think about - and start on. In honesty I must confess that there is the possibility that making music just isn’t something that I take seriously in the long term, given my previous track record.
I’m genuinely not sure at this point. But I intend to give it a good chance!