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In this section you can find things that will assist you in your own computer-based musical productions. There's a lot of original Dubroom material which you can use, but also third party material. There's much more than "just" sampled material, as you can find some little pieces of software, presets and other things as well. Everything in this section is, like all stuff in the Dubroom by the way, legal and -a lot of times- absolutely free of charge. Definitely worth a visit, for novice to veteran.

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ABOUT CHAPTER 22

The previous chapter concluded an in-depth look at how to create an instrumental Reggae Track using the MIDI protocol.

D.A.W.

Sequencers, Wave editors, when I started to write this tutorial you needed different softwares for different things. Today, we speak about Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) since much music software is integrated.

ASIO 4 ALL

When you use a professional Audio device (external sound card), big chances they came with ASIO Drivers. Use them. When you're using a standard sound card, go to ASIO4ALL and install the latest drivers on your computer, then select the ASIO4ALL Driver in your DAW.

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - CHAPTER 23: CREATING A SET UP (1): SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Now that we have our instrumental, you could say that we have a multi-track recording. We have several different instruments all playing their musical part over their own channel on the mixing board. By putting one instrument louder than the other, you create a mix. By adding effects like delay and reverb to the mixing board, you're ready to make a Dub. 

In short, that is.

To create the instrumental track we've programmed in the last chapter, I have been using Reason 3.04. Now, in September 2014, this is a rather dated version of the superb software by Propellerhead. Add to that, there is software called Ableton which I have started to look at in this year as well but about which I know close to nothing. Add to that the countless other titles in music software, and the -often totally irrelevant- question which software to use, and you have a problem when you're writing how to create Dub with computers.

The software.

Let me describe just what I'll be using Reason 3.04 for in the next chapters, in more general terms. This will not just enable you to go along in this tutorial as you make a set up in your favorite software title, it will enable you to obtain the right software in case you are wondering just what to use. Since the version of Reason I use is not the latest, I suspect that there are a lot of titles that will give you the features required for this tutorial. Probably even free titles. When you know of a few, let me know and I'll add them to this tutorial somewhere.

In short, what you need is a title that enables you to simulate everything you would do when you would have a physical studio with hardware. You want to have a mixing board with instruments and effects devices attached, at least four aux-outputs, and you want to be able to change any setting on any device at anytime. This is called "automation".

Here's a check-list:

  • A master mixing board with at least 16 (audio enabled) channels and four aux-outputs, preferable more. Returns are irrelevant as you will discover later on.
  • Ability for ASIO Drivers.
  • Ability to make sub-mixes (i.e. mixing trombone, sax and trumpet into one channel input at the master mixing board)
  • Ability to read midi notes and play them through a (software) drum computer, (soft) sampler and (soft) synth and/or: ability to trigger/play loops, while the audio is processed in real time through the mixing boards and effect devices.
  • Ability to connect instruments and effects in user-defined ways rather than just factory settings (i.e. routing effects back to returns)
  • Ability to fully set, control and change any effect setting at any time.
  • At least the availability of the following (standard) effects: Reverb, Delay, Flanger, Phaser, Filter, EQ (Equalization).

Since I'll be using Reason 3.04, users of the Swedish software title will have a benefit with the use of this tutorial. Unintended, but unavoidable. The major disadvantage is the fact that I will -in the following chapters at least- make use of the standard effects that came with Reason. Using VST effects instead of Reason's standard effects will give you a major advantage, but for now we stick with some principals for making Dub rather than to look for the right plug-in. 

A very important thing, already mentioned, is the fact that you need to have ASIO Drivers installed on your computer. Drivers are little pieces of software that tells your computer's sound device how to sound after you change a button in your DAW. You want to hear instantly what you're doing, just like you would when you would be working with physical hardware. Literally instant is impossible with computers, at least in this September 2014, so you will always have a little delay. This is called "latency".

When you use DX drivers or MME, the latency is not just noticeable: it's simply unworkable. Unless you want to program each and every move, you will need to have ASIO drivers. This is -like VST- a standard in audio software created by the German based company Steinberg. Most professional audio sound cards will ship with ASIO drivers, but that leaves those people in the cold that just have their computer's sound card. When that is you, you will need to go to ASIO4ALL and download drivers that will work with any sound device. Mind you, ASIO4ALL completely overtakes the sound card and you will not be able to play sounds other than the ones in your DAW. But then, you don't want that either when you're busy creating your mix.

More info in the following video:

HOW TO SET UP ASIO4ALL IN YOUR DAW

Asio4All Troubleshooting / Set Up TUTORIAL -- Asio Drivers Windows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFOMPsCSXLY

Windows, Apple or Linux? 2 Gigabyte RAM, or 4, or 1? Two processors, or one? Well, one general rule: the more, the better. At least, 4 gigabytes for your 32 Bit software title or at least 8 gigabytes RAM for you 64 bit computer. Since most software (still) runs perfectly on 23 bit for the purpose of making Dub, 4 Gigabytes of RAM works the best. I know nothing about Linux and Apple, but when you use these operating systems chances are big you know how to "translate" my windows based writing to your computer's operating system.

And again, please let me know which software you use and especially: when you're NOT using Reason and I get too "Reason-specific" I would like to know that as well so that I can re-phrase things. All I want to do is share with you how to make Dub with computers and I am not paid by anyone to do so. 

<<<PREVIOUS CHAPTER<<< - MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - >>>NEXT CHAPTER>>>

This tutorial is in an unfinished stage, but it does contain the basics to get yourself equipped to use just about any DAW or even hardware studio in order to make DUB from Reggae Music in the authentic and original way. When you have a question or comment you'd like to see addressed, feel free to use the Dubroom Contact pages or join YUKU.com and post your words publicly on the Studio Forum. Click here to read about the latest updates to this tutorial.

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