Help the elderly

Lodger Member Posts: 13 Member
edited February 2022 in Social Club

I’m a 62 year old musician who uses computers to make music. I was a sound/lighting tech for over 25 years when mental health problems forced retirement.

At that stage the only computers on the premises were in the box office, and early single use hard/software in the lighting desk.

I’ve also played drums in several bands since the late 1970’s from Indie to Prog to Grunge and in 2018 taught myself to play the guitar.

After starting with Cubase 3.5 in the 90’s on the first computer I’d ever touched. I’m now onto Cubase 11 on an i7 with 32gb ram SSD’s etc, and Komplete Ultimate.

I still don’t know the half of what the technology can do and although my age and medication for the mental health issues obviously is a factor in grasping the advanced technical aspects.

When I do find a tutorial for something I’m trying to use. For example. I just bought a Maschine MK2. The tutorial assumes a certain level of knowledge I don’t have.

Some of the problems arise from the terminology being aimed at (no doubt the larger share) the dance music user. Who I’m guessing is in a much younger age bracket.

Don’t get me wrong. Although my primary ‘genre’ of music isn’t dance, I’m more than happy to incorporate any and every musical style into what I do.

The idea of the Maschine for me was to cut samples up that I can play easily with pads. Playing melodies in a percussive way.. and otherwise experiment basically.

Physical drumming became difficult after a shoulder operation so anything I can use to create new rhythms is essential.

I’ll find a way of using it in the end. As I did with Cubase.

I mean I’ve only just discovered what all those expansion packs are for that have been lurking on my hard drive for five years.

I think what I’m trying say though is there’ll be no help for someone of my age.

I know age shouldn’t be an issue, and I’m sure some sprightly 80 year old will reply saying they’re still knocking out beats at their local club :-)

In general though. Youth seems to be at an advantage.



  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,744 Expert

    If you have problems with pads, maybe Expressive Touche would suit you.

    Expressive E Touché MIDI Controller Review - YouTube

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,125 admin
    edited February 2022

    You don't really have to be young to understand digital music production.

    Plenty of resources are now available online for all levels and genres. I would start with typing what you want to understand on Youtube or Google, and you'll most likely find tutorials and answers.

    Unfortunately the Maschine MK2 was made at a time where we'd provide pretty much only the manual to help you with your gear.

    👉📖 The manual

    (in case you'd prefer the good old ways)

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

    Yeah i'd almost say it isn't age that's the hurdle if you have enough interest, it's time. If you have time to sit and experiment that is probably what you want.

    Can be overwhelming with anything when there are all these buttons, lights, displays and seemingly cryptic things to figure out but this is where time will help to eliminate the unknowns slowly and help you focus down on what it actually is you don't understand.

    As pointed out, the manual is the first place to start BEFORE any video tutorial. I've learned over the decades to treat the manual like a good novel you want to finish and dedicate time to reading it. Download it onto your phone or tablet so you can pick it up whenever you like as it will often help get a lot of the unknowns out of the way.

    Much of the rest is simply getting in there and just messing around until you understand things, just be prepared it could take days, weeks, months or even years to really understand what you are doing and work efficiently. Also consider the fact you opened Cubase 3 on day 1 knowing nothing but here you are now with Cubase 11 and I assume you know enough to do whatever you need to. If you have not yet spent a good few weeks trying to understand your new Maschine, invest that required time.

    For further help this forum is a great place if you can target a specific question about something you are stuck on.

  • Lodger
    Lodger Member Posts: 13 Member

    Thanks for your responses. Had a good 'play' with it yesterday. Dug out some old samples of my Yamaha drums, tablas, Knocking on the side of a Harpsichord, and various other bits that have been lurking on my pc for a while.

    I got the Maschine loaded up as an instrument in Cubase and exported what I'd done onto a track to add some guitar.

    I need to read up on how to export the individual tracks as Cubase tracks.

    Still the finished track isn't too shabby for a days work.

  • ANDREW221231
    ANDREW221231 Member Posts: 292 Advisor
    edited March 2022

    what are some of these terms that are giving you trouble? i'd like to hear about what kind of things people are assuming is shared knowledge

    i can assure you, having so little of a clue that one doesn't even know where to start asking questions,, that is not only an old man's game. i ran into it a lot when first starting out on the more technical side of computer music. and think i do even remember that a bit with my gear

    native instruments is generally good about that, as far as not assuming 'nerdspeak' to be a universal language, and seem to intentionally make their products/marketing accessible to the wider public

    so while they do deserve credit for taking that effort, it definitely also seems to be that in some things things - more modern documentation especially, there's occasionally more of a 'blind spot', less like assuming the other person knows certain things and more like... being unable to even see that the thing they know as knowledge anymore. basically the same thing but it plays out in a way that is more subtly vexing for the beginner, as opposed to overwhelming them to their face

    anyway, if you wanna write up a laundry list of stuff you find confusing i'll gladly take a whack at it. knowing and explaining something in a way thatjumps the gap of a persons barrier to understanding something, that is actually one of my favorite hobbies

  • kublickisp
    kublickisp Member Posts: 3 Newcomer

    I'm listening to "Find the Path" on your website as I'm writing this. Whatever problems the technology and terminology is giving you, crafting great music isn't one of them.

    As a recent member of the NI community and a long-time lurker, I'm moved by the ongoing generosity of the community in helping others out in just about any problems they encounter. Jester Mgee is spot on about the manuals (make sure they're current), but sometimes a little extra help goes a long way, and this is a great place to find that help.

    As ANDREW221231 suggested, post a list of your trouble spots. I'm sure that other members will respond, and even more members will appreciate learning the answers to the same questions that you have.

  • Lodger
    Lodger Member Posts: 13 Member

    Thankyou for the responses. The 'Elderly' thing was a bit tongue in cheek really. I don't 'feel' old... apart from the joints... the teeth... and the memory :-)

    In fact I can't actually remember some of the terms I wasn't quite understanding. If they crop up again I'll let you know.

    It's the least of my worries at the moment. My computer's decided to present me with an assortment of BSOD's.

    'Critical process died' 'Worker invalid' are both new ones on me. The upshot is it looks like I'll have to reinstall Windows and lose all the programs. I know I can get them back through Native Access, Arturia and other companies sites but it's going to take AGES! At least all the associated soundfiles are on a separate drive.

    I'm fairly sure Cubase 12 caused this but I can't prove it.

    Ah well.

    Thanks for the kind words on my music 'kublickisp'. If I get the PC running again you can be sure I'll be making more! I've just been doing some 5.1 mixes and was about to try authoring a DVD A when it went pear shaped.

  • Ian00070
    Ian00070 Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Awesome track... I find the browser gets filled up in hurry and prefer to use the + sign in the sound chain box to load Kontact or Massive etc..

    You will note that creating groups full of complex sounds will slow your processor, especially at start.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 449 Advisor

    I wouldn't sweat this old timer and I'm older than you. Remember what it was like finding an instrument to play with. We made do with what we had and had a lot of fun doing it. So basically grab something you can handle, like an 88 note weighted action keyboard, or maybe a wind controller. There's nothing better than having something you can articulate. In general and sample of a sound needs to have some expression, so you need to find sounds that can be articulated and have something to articulate it with. Like an acoustic guitar or any real instrument, all this electronic stuff is a pain. I have a Fatar keyboard that's pretty much like a real piano and play thru a reaktor ensemble that's like a suped up fm synth. It took over 2 years to make one sound that I really really like and never get tired of. Just like having a nice instrument. It's expressive as I can play the keyboard with a breath controller in my mouth and pedals on my feet. The velocity of the keys is the main volume and timbre as well as vibrato and tremelo. The breath controller can affect the strength of the vibrato, the timbre, the volume and other expressions. The pedals can change the speed of the vibrato, bring in other expression just like any of the other controllers. So once it's set up, I can have a lot of fun because there is something there to actually articulate expressions. Sure it's all done with electronics but unless your capable of handling that much expression after a lot of practice and are having fun with it, I would do something else. Some things are very stressful for some but come natural to others. So it's really in your hands and your call.

    Best wishes...

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