If I have to listen to another person saying that their way to create techno is the best, I swear I am going to scream. I read in a magazine the other day that someone bought a bit of software because their artist idol had the same software.
The guy now can not use the $X software. We all knew that was going to be the answer, but so many people fall into that trap. Software demos are there for a reason…also what someone likes is never a good system to buy something else. Personal reviews are just that- personal.
So I am going to list the 5 best ways of creating techno. They may not be ways that you have heard, and they may not be to your liking, but they are the best out there at the present time. I am also going to give my reasons why- rather than say “its great”.
So then, first up:
Ableton Live 5,6,7,(take your pick).
I bought number 5 because I wanted to create mix tracks. Now I think Live 5 is great at that, I don’t believe however that it excels in the area to create techno music. If you want Dj mixes, if you want something that adds great effects and an extra professional quality to your music…then Live is the one to go for.
Many DJs use Ableton because you can throw in two completely different MP3 files and it will beat match those files. All those Mash-Ups on MTV, all those strange tunes that are two tunes mixed together are using Ableton. It has become revolutionary. It completely loves loops- you can keep on adding loops to loops and it will keep on matching them up. Awesome for that, but not to create techno.
If I was to pick, I would go with whatever Live you can, if you can afford Live 7, go for that, if not, Live 5 does exactly the same job and cane be found for cheap money.
I have bought Reason and I think that it is a leap in the right direction to create techno. I think that all tracks should be made with reason sounds. And unfortunately that is what you find. A Reason track sounds very similar to another Reason track. This is probably the reason for the refills (sound updates and injections which can be bought separately).
I am not really putting down reason, but for over $150 you want something that you can create techno with that sounds like your own work. I mainly use Reason for its sounds and effects (the distortion and echo effects are great, and no-one has got a better drum machine yet). I can create a drum beat and then add the effects. Save off as a WAV file. This can be done within minutes and is quite easy to do.
Reason is a good system if you are new to the whole music making process, but you need to work at it. If you don’t have a keyboard or have any music skills then it can be a bit hard going.
Cubase, Sonar, Logic.
I tend to find that Cubase, Sonar and Logic are the relative that comes out to your house only at special occasions. Cubase has been going on for ages, they invented a whole range of electronic music applications, and were one of the main music making packages out there. The problem that I have with Cubase and the other two when it comes down to create techno is that they are complicated and completely overshadowed by other bits of software. When Reason and Ableton came on the scene Cubase, Sonar and Logic wasn’t in on the game, they never even had a pair of dice.
FL Studio, Reaper
Now this is the part where you won’t particularly hear of. If you created some piece of software that costs over $100 would you want an upstart coming in on your turf? No…neither would I. But this is exactly what Fl Studio have done and more so Reaper.
FL was called Fruity Loops, stupid name and sounded very childish, so they changed it to FL. Now this is where it gets good and bad for FL. They are cheap compared with the others but they are trying just too hard. Their interface is too stylistic and cluttered. They are trying to be Reason…plus some more. However, it is a powerful bit of software.
You will hear some people put it down, but don’t listen to them (they probably bought the expensive titles). It is a little powerhouse, and a cheap one at that that does far more than people give it credit for.
Reaper on the other hand, is a good way to create techno. It is a bargain price that features a lot of bits that rival software have but at ten times the cost. It has a good reputation, but because it is cheap people tend to shy away from it and go for more expensive techno makers (which feature the same stuff).
Now this is my favourite. Do you know what I was saying about cheap and people shying away from the software. Well Trackers really wind those people up. Why? Because trackers are free. Even better is that they feature everything that you need to create techno.
They use loops, they use samples, they use software synths (VSTs), they use ReWire (allowing you to use it with another application, say Ableton). Also they don’t assume that you need any music knowledge to start out creating techno. If you are used to Reasons Drum Machine (ReDrum), then you will be right at home with the main interface.
I have created all my music with Trackers, and so have a few others. Calvin Harris made music with Octamed. The James Bond Game music maker created all the game music tunes using a Tracker.
What you have to realise that this type of application that allows you to create techno is a threat to a lot of people who have spent a lot of money of applications (research, wages etc). So when a cool upstart comes in, they try and rubbish it.
Look at them, and then look past them. this is the future of creating your own techno. With free tools that is available to everyone.