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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

It’s worth remembering that both Tony [too lazy to Google surname] of Make Noise and Olivier [too lazy to Google surname] of Mutable Instruments are self-taught. Two of the biggest names in the industry.
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Post by neil.johnson »

Here's a slim book to introduce you to the process of bringing a product to market:

http://conceptspring.com/landingpage/

Neil
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jzwoopwoop
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Post by jzwoopwoop »

tioJim wrote:It’s worth remembering that both Tony [too lazy to Google surname] of Make Noise and Olivier [too lazy to Google surname] of Mutable Instruments are self-taught. Two of the biggest names in the industry.
You mean Tony Rolando, former employee of Moog? That doesn't fit with my definition of self taught.
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Shledge
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Post by Shledge »

Olivier was already a software and hardware developer before he made modules. He was definitely not self taught.

Point is, no one went into the modular business without at least some EE knowledge beforehand.
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cackland
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Post by cackland »

Shledge wrote:Olivier was already a software and hardware developer before he made modules. He was definitely not self taught.

Point is, no one went into the modular business without at least some EE knowledge beforehand.
Don't exactly agree with this statement.

Just because someone has previous software and/or hardware development experience does not rule out that they were 'self taught'. Sure, those who enter the modular development world, have had experience with with electronics of some kind, however their lead up to that is unknown.
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Post by uniquepersonno2 »

jzwoopwoop wrote:
tioJim wrote:It’s worth remembering that both Tony [too lazy to Google surname] of Make Noise and Olivier [too lazy to Google surname] of Mutable Instruments are self-taught. Two of the biggest names in the industry.
You mean Tony Rolando, former employee of Moog? That doesn't fit with my definition of self taught.
He got the job with moog after teaching himself about analog instruments from library books and such. While him working for moog is definitely relevant, I don’t think he studied electronics at a university or the like, so by many people’s definiton he’s self taught.
It's done!
Or is it? Well, maybe I need some more modules after all...
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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

Shledge wrote:Olivier was already a software and hardware developer before he made modules. He was definitely not self taught.

Point is, no one went into the modular business without at least some EE knowledge beforehand.
Well I wouldn't separate the early Mutable instruments from the later modules. There was no discontinuation of the business or signficant repositioning or even a major shift in the engineering smarts needed.
What inspired you to start making synths and DIY kits? Why did you discontinue those instruments?

This all started in 2009. I had been making electronic music for about 10 years, I had a bunch of analog synths, but was getting less and less inspired and hadn’t recorded a track in years. I wanted to learn electronics and was looking for a project that would motivate me, so I thought, what about building a MIDI synth?
At the time my knowledge of electronics was very fresh and limited, this was just a hobby, so my idea was just to sell the parts and boards
Sounds pretty self-taught to me.

https://www.keithmcmillen.com/blog/inte ... struments/
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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

uniquepersonno2 wrote:
jzwoopwoop wrote:
tioJim wrote:It’s worth remembering that both Tony [too lazy to Google surname] of Make Noise and Olivier [too lazy to Google surname] of Mutable Instruments are self-taught. Two of the biggest names in the industry.
You mean Tony Rolando, former employee of Moog? That doesn't fit with my definition of self taught.
He got the job with moog after teaching himself about analog instruments from library books and such. While him working for moog is definitely relevant, I don’t think he studied electronics at a university or the like, so by many people’s definiton he’s self taught.
Quite. No doubt he learnt a great deal on the job but he didn't arrive at Moog as a blank slate
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Post by mskala »

I'm not sure that a discussion of which professionals are and aren't "self-taught" (and, necessarily, what that is supposed to mean) is all that relevant to the question of "Whom can I hire?" Even the answer "Don't hire someone, learn to do it yourself, starting small!" might seem pretty disappointing to someone who came in asking the original question.
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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

mskala wrote:I'm not sure that a discussion of which professionals are and aren't "self-taught" is all that relevant to the question of "Whom can I hire?" Even the answer "Don't hire someone, learn to do it yourself, starting small!" might seem pretty disappointing to someone who came in asking the original question.
On the contrary, I think the thought that two of the big cheeses are self-taught is very inspiring!
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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

mskala wrote:the original question.
You are correct though, he did indeed ask "who to hire" not "how do I do it myself"
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Post by pichenettes »

I'm self-taught with the "practical electronics" and embedded systems side of things. I'm not self-taught in mathematics, signal processing and had been writing software for over 15 years when I started Mutable Instruments.



Copy-pasting here my standard reply to the question: "if I were to learn how to do your job, what should I learn?".


1/ Learn a graphical patching language like pd or Reaktor. You can very well stop here if you're only interested in creating virtual instruments.

2/ Learn a synthesis/composition programming language like Csound, SuperCollider or Faust. This will teach you how to think in terms of linear code rather than in terms of boxes and virtual patch cables.

3/ Brush up on high-school calculus + complex numbers, to get ready for signal processing theory. Then you can read a book like "Understanding Digital Signal Processing" by R. G. Lyons, or do an online signals and systems class (MIT Open Courseware).

4/ Back to basics: write simple command line python programs doing stuff on .wav files, or programs generating .wav files (don't get distracted with real-time processing, user interface, etc). Write oscillators, filters, etc using what you learnt from the signal processing book.

5/ Your new-found understanding of signal processing theory will allow you to dig into Udo Zolzer's "DAFX" book and learn about synthesis techniques, FX, etc. Try implementing some effects in the book as Python programs, or with pd. This is something you'll end up doing a lot anyway to sketch ideas.

6/ Understand that python or pd are towers of abstractions and that writing code for an embedded processor is done at a much lower level. A good online course for understanding towers of abstraction, and what's going on inside processors is "Nand 2 Tetris".

7/ At this stage, you can learn a low-level programming language like C. Write C equivalents of the oscillators, filters, etc. you wrote in Python. "The Audio Programming Book" by Boulanger is great at this stage!

8/ If you ever decide to make your own hardware, start with a development board (like the ST32F4 discovery). And study the code/schematics of Mutable Instruments' products. If you want, you can spend a couple of weeks playing with Arduino boards, but don't spend too much time learning it: to make it simple for beginners they often do things the "wrong" way (especially on questions related to timing, multi-tasking that are of prime importance on musical instruments), so remember that whatever arduinese you learn will have to be unlearned later.

9/ If you ever want to get into analog electronics (for music), it's easy at this stage to grab a book like "Operational Amplifiers & Linear Integrated Circuits" (beginner-ish, slowwww, without too much
handwaving), or Texas Instruments' "Handbook of Operational Amplifier Applications" then follow Aaron Lanterman's video lectures on analog electronics for sound synthesis.

10/ When you'll get closer to having devices manufactured, look into "The Circuit Designer's Companion" by P. Wilson - which covers many practical aspects and "deviations from theory" stuff (reliability, manufacturing issues).

11/ Business aspects are well covered in D. Lancaster's "Incredible Secret Money Machine", or by reading Steve Albini interviews.
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tioJim
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Post by tioJim »

pichenettes wrote:I'm self-taught with the "practical electronics"
Yes that's the bit I meant.

As a programmer myself I'd make a strong case for the claim that we're all self-taught at programming!
11/ Business aspects are well covered in D. Lancaster's "Incredible Secret Money Machine"
I read this after one of your previous recommendations. Loved it!
niyo80
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Post by niyo80 »

Thanks to all for your replies and advice. Ill read some stuff and see what happens. I dont really see myself starting to learn low level programming from scratch, i used to do some reaktor patches in the past like fm synths sequencers and samplers but every time it would involve more complex and lower level understanding i would get stuck and give up
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Post by niyo80 »

so did you have to pay the company to make it or they just took your idea and produced the module?
aroom wrote:I had an idea for a module : a unity mixer to handle pitch transposition of 3 voices.

I asked some manufacturer who had already unity mixer in production, even Doepfer. I found one who wasn't interested at first with my idea but changed his mind and modified one of his module for me.

So I got my custom unit and now he's changed the layout of his module to include my idea as an option:

http://leipzigwest.org/?page_id=39
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Post by PM33AUD »

If you have a personal musical context for a device or instrument and it's needed for your work, then you should and may even have to create this 'thing.' The details of getting there are easy to find and learning them only requires an appropriately proportionate amount of rigor. Good luck!
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