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 Post subject: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Hey peeps,

Long time fan of the Lo-Fi vibe for a good many years now, ever since I heard Knxwledge and Ohbliv (mainly) that lead me to hear Hip-Hop was still hitting hard, with beats that could bring me back to the feeling of the good 'ol days. (The golden age). Ever since being digging on Soundcloud and Bandcamp and have found a great many artists who also are dropping gems, and I wish to contribute my part to this great commune that has being blessfully created.

But I need some pointers and tips, so i came to you guys for advice as I've being on Reddit and other areas and not really had much luck. So i thought why not come to the heart of where things are/originate with the 404. This is my first time posting and I hope this community can bring me in with arms open. I've had my SP404sx for at least 4, 5 years now and it's being collecting dust for awhile. But my creative juices seem to keep digging it out the box here and there and i've decided to commit into getting familiar with this masterpiece. I put it on hold due to not knowing how to properly use it. But after some time, i've being watching videos and live plays on Youtube. And managed to get the pieces I need in order to start sampling.

Now, I'll quit the chit chat and get to the point. I ordered the Croups Deadly Drums kit, as I heard they had decent kits for drums, snares an all that. As I previously bought a drum kit before, which was a bit out of wack, to be fair. So i made the purchase on this one. Now i'll state now that i'm currently not using any external source outside the SP404sx. (Such as a vinyl player or other things that producers use to get their sound.) At the moment, i'm only relying on cuts from Youtube and other sources for my samples, as i'm cheap like that. :P (Will in future invest in other equipment.) But for now, I just wanna start creating and posting my creations with the world.

I have found how to cut samples and trim them with the 404sx, but i need to implement on how to get a loop or drum rhythm going so i can add it in sync with the samples I got without it sounded off beat, having a flow to it. Now I know alot of producers use compression and filters and drives on the SP404sx to get that dusty bassy drum sound. And also I know you guys will
maybe say 'find your own sound!' And i agree I want to find my niche, but i need some advice, tips on how to climb the ladda.

So i'm wondering what can i use in order to get those drum loops and flows running with samples, so that I can create a beat and it sounding decent. I know pattern sequencer apparently helps a lot, but i'm having a bit of difficulty with working on that and I feel with the re-sample method it seems to be out of timing whenever I use that method. Compared to listening to the likes of Ohbliv AKTR, Akeedro and many others who create, that they seem to have a flow with their drums that I can't seem to replicate when i'm creating a beat. I have my samples down and sometimes will chop them up if need be, but it's implementing the drums i'm having trouble with. So i'm wondering if you guys can help a brother out and send him on his way to start making some gems of his own.

I also would be interested in how one goes about ripping vocal cuts from tracks but without background sound added to them, so I can drop vocal audio into my beats where needed.
Any advice, tips would be greatly appreciated and thanked for. We all gotta start somewhere, and I know i can count on you guys to give us the nudge needed.
Much love.


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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:22 am 
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Whats up bro , Im on the same boat. I just got my SP 404SX maybe like a week ago. I love it & playing on it is awesome. just want to create & get better flowing. I just made a username here to talk with people that share the same passion. sometimes my samples sound low. Sometimes sound shitty when I put up volume. I NEED HELP ASAP... :!: :!: :!: :!: 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:30 am 
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The quickest way to sync all the samples to exact same size, so there's no dilation or whatever later on imho would be using your PC or MAC software ( Cubase for example). Drag the samples, find a perfect loop on the drums, and split all the samples at the same point. Export to SP and have fun. Ideally set the tempo of the project to match the tempo of your drum, and splitting is going to be even easier.
Pattern sequencer is not really great. Actually, I hate it most of the time. Use it only live synced to drum machine, so I can sequence percussions or hit one shots. Other than that, resample all the way.
Now, if you're thinking about making a bank with samples for live playing /performance on the SP, think in layers, and think up front. Work flow on the SP is specific, and not that user friendly - in terms of you finding your way around certain problems. The biggest issue for me are effects. I hate the fact that you gotta juggle with 'remain' button, it's a waste of time imo, but c est la vie.
Keep in mind that the BPM marking on the SP is not always accurate to the BPM on your metronome, for example.
It only works well with small length of samples, longer ones will have some auto detected BPM set, that won't always match yours.
If you gonna be syncing samples on the SP, you gonna have to use your ears, and that's a painstakingly long process, so arm yourself with patience :)
Doesn't matter where you sample from, as long as you got a keen ear and know your way around producing. That's the main part, the most important part. SP has no proper mixing options (there's no panning for example, and that's a MAJOR flaw when it comes to mixing /producing), so you gotta work your way around that. Said panning can be achieved through certain MFX, or - even better - by exporting the stereo sample into, say, soundforge and then lowering the volume on one of the channels accordingly, etc.
There's always a way, you just gotta think upfront like I said. :)

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Last edited by LoopmantrA on Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:37 am 
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Bestkeptsecret856 wrote:
Whats up bro , Im on the same boat. I just got my SP 404SX maybe like a week ago. I love it & playing on it is awesome. just want to create & get better flowing. I just made a username here to talk with people that share the same passion. sometimes my samples sound low. Sometimes sound shitty when I put up volume. I NEED HELP ASAP... :!: :!: :!: :!: 8)


Nothing wrong with preping your samples a bit before putting them on the SP, though you can pretty much do everything with them on the SP itself. I'll usually take the track I'm chopping for samples, lay it out in wavelab or soundforge, find the sounds I need, chop them, trim them, hit them with a bit of ultramaximizer or something similar to even out the levels a bit, export them to the SP and start playing around.
Never had a volume problem - as in samples sounding thin or low, quite the opposite really, most of the time gotta cut the volume down a bit.
Also, SP has notoriously sensitive inputs, you clip them way too easily, so watch for the blinking red light and take care

Peace

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:46 am 
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I got a 404sx five years ago. I had no one to help me learn how to use it, and i didn't look to youtube or anything.
THIS IS THE MOST SOLID PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WILL GET

Read the manual, and perform every action as the manual mentions it. Then, once you start using it normally, always keep the manual next to you as a reference.

for the off tempo thing, yes, you should be using pattern sequencer if you're serious about arranging on hardware. that's how it has been done since samplers were invented. only recently hardware samplers became capable of resampling on the machine alone. (late 90s) (don't quote me on that) (i know early samplers in the 80s couldn't do it) if your stuff ends up off tempo with resampling, it's because you're not chopping your loops right, and the pattern sequencer will force you to chop your loops right while keeping you on tempo all the while. i use the pattern sequencer.

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HAWTKARL wrote:
The last thing we need is another utube sampling digital lo-fi anime beat maker.

IIIII wrote:
he can turn water into a beat, and feed a thousand dancehalls with only two drumbreaks

"If you want that '90s sound, record at 12 bit as HOT as you can."


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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Welcome to the forums guys.

I agree with what zendan said about reading the manual. That's really your best initial source for learning what the 404 is and isn't capable of doing.

Building on that, I'd suggest hitting the arena and challenging yourself to make a few beats entirely on your 404 with whatever source samples are going around in there at the time. It will help you to push yourself to unlock the potential of the unit... whereas, if you develop work arounds on your computer from the very beginning, you risk never becoming truly proficient on your 404. It's also helpful to hear what other people are doing with the same samples and drums.

Soooo... go to the arena. Hook your aux to RCA between your computer and your SP... or your smart phone to your SP. Sample the source sample(s) and drums. Then take your manual and your SP, find a comfortable spot away from your computer, and figure some stuff out. Headphones, SP, and aux to RCA is all you need. Have fun! 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Just got mine Friday, but I have to get to my library where I can print for free. Can’t do it today because I have to pick up a package from my rental office before they close.

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:01 pm 
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^congrats!

Loading a PDF version of the manual onto ur phone is also a necessity. The 404 is new enough that u can get a searchable digital version... which is the sh*t.

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:12 pm 
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It sucks reading it on a iPhone though (if my old iPad hadn’t have kicked the bucket, it would be marginally better), because you have to resize, scroll, move your screen all around. I much prefer a physical manual, even if I have to print it at the library or Kinkos. (Because if you go past 95 pages, you can’t even print, and you pay through the nose for 96-XXX pages).

I could try to print this at work, but I don’t want them stressing if the only copier is busy printing for me when my co workers might need to use it. I’d get away with it Saturday, but I don’t feel like waiting that long.

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:07 pm 
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zendan wrote:
Read the manual, and perform every action as the manual mentions it. Then, once you start using it normally, always keep the manual next to you as a reference.


This

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:56 am 
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Printing that off now...

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Headphones wrote:
Printing that off now...


YYEeaaAAAAaAAAHHHHHhhHHH!!!!!

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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HAWTKARL wrote:
The last thing we need is another utube sampling digital lo-fi anime beat maker.

IIIII wrote:
he can turn water into a beat, and feed a thousand dancehalls with only two drumbreaks

"If you want that '90s sound, record at 12 bit as HOT as you can."


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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:07 pm 
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Man. Thanks for the feedback guys, real preciated. Didn't think I was gunna get much, if not, a response at all! Shows how good a commune this place is. Knew I had to eventually get round to signing up on here. Props to you. Just thought this question would have being asked countless times probably, but there's always a new kid on the block wanting to learn.


Do you guys know at all what most producers use out of their Drum kits at all? I have so many loaded up that I dunno what to start out on. I know there's snares and Hi-Hats, Bass Drums, all that jazz! Or is it by ear? (I know this may sound like a stupid question.) Always by what sounds/feels right with sound! But was wondering if there is a go to, or usual set of methods most producers use. Just to get that boom bap/jivey head bopping feel.


I've also found that the producers like Ohbliv and many more, use the isolation filter drives and EQing, pitch, mixiing with their drums, to get that dusty but still bassy sort of feel to their drums and snares and such. And I know some go out of their way, by ripping them off a vinyl player, but it's possible to emulate that sound with the 404sx right? Without external gear needed.


Would you recommend me starting out with just re-sampling with the drums for now, laying on top of the chopped samples I already got on bank, then just layer them up until I have a loop/beat and go from there? I know the pattern sequencer I heard is a pain to deal with at times and only used in live sets, but I will get round to using it in future once I get comfortable with my 404sx. I just wanna start creating badly!! For along while now that every time I hear a beat, I'm like.. Damn. Need to create my own!


And yeah I defo agree, with reading the manual and keeping it at bay if needed. Best way to learn probably, but just would like some pointers too from experienced folk.


Again, I'll say, much appreciation to you all for helping a brother out. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:06 am 
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Oh snap. You already know what to do playa. Listen to all those dudes u just mentioned... roll up a fat cone... sprinkle some Madlib on top... and make it do what it do.

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 Post subject: Re: Just starting out. SP404sx (Making a beat)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:29 am 
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As soon as I get a memory card I plan to make some drum kits from my Miniak, Er-1, DR202, etc. It’s gonna be dope to have more pads to work with. I can re-sample them into my PO33/MS-1 I pick up in 2 weeks.

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