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Remixing w/Open Source Stuff


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After frequenting this site awhile, I've decided like many to download some software and try my hand at a remix. I don't expect much from this remix, I'm just messing around with software in hopes of getting a quality work...:tomatoface:

For financial reasons and because I'm not a serious music guy, I'm just messing around with open source software instead of FL. I could get the demo for FL, but I believe you can only get the demo once, so I don't want to waste it on a spur of the moment thing like this. Open Source stuff is free, but notorious for bugs, zero documentation and my comp is old and is getting Alzheimer's as I type this.

I am using Audacity and Frinika with every SF2 I could find to make my remix, but I need some help.The questions I have qualify for this forum because they are technical in the sense of using software and they are serious musical questions.

It is important to note that I am looking to win any awards with this remix, I just want to make one to say that I can do it too. I could have picked something simple and be done with, but I don't think that way.:oops:

Background: My intended remix is an arrangement of several songs from Secret of Mana. The tentative tile to give me direction is, Something Looms... The remix I have in mind comes in 3 parts. The first part is to be a pleasant sounding mix of field themes and such: Birds in a field, rabites hopping, the galaxy is at peace kind of thing. Then, the happiness stops as the Mana Fortress appears overhead and the song transitions into The Star of Darkness. Then, a thousand voices of the Mana Tree cry out in terror

and are suddenly silenced....

It is also important to note that my motivation for doing this mix is because once upon a Seattle Convention, I got to meet Hiroki Kurata. The soundtrack he signed for me got lost in my recent move, so I feel I owe my respect.

Technical Questions:

1. One of the sounds that I want is a low rumble. The rumble will start quiet and get louder until the Star of Darkness section. The rumble is supposed to be the sound of the fortress flying overhead, it's what looms. Making it go from quiet to loud is easy in an editor. The question I have is, how do you make a rumbling sound in a synthesizer? My ex-music student brother suggested using drums, but I don't know how to do it. The easier the solution the better, I'm not afraid to cheat it.

2.Music Theory Question: When the song goes from birds in a field to Star of Darkness, the birds in a field music has to do something. I was originally thinking of making it go Wowwwwwww.....like the music was disrupted by the fortress. But I have no idea how to do it. My brother suggested just fading the pleasant music out and going into the new song. But I could also transition the music from the pleasant stuff to the Star of Darkness. The fade out would be the easiest to do, but which would work better?

3. Frinika's synthesizers keep wigging out when I use too many instruments at once in realtime. Is this the software bugging out or is it my standard sound card crying?

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1. One of the sounds that I want is a low rumble. The rumble will start quiet and get louder until the Star of Darkness section. The rumble is supposed to be the sound of the fortress flying overhead, it's what looms.

There are several ways to handle this. A cheap way is to record yourself banging on pans and pots in the kitchen, slow that down a lot, filter the higher frequencies out with an EQ and add reverb; then fade it in. Layer a set of different "drumsessions" if you have to.

This is a similar question most sound effects people are faced with; you want to let people hear something they've not heard before, so you must use something they know - but make it different. The droning "bomber sounds" are also popular for fortresses, and those are relatively easy to make, but see if you can use the above.

but which would work better?

Whatever sounds better. Sometimes you can't answer that question without trying either route.

3. Frinika's synthesizers keep wigging out when I use too many instruments at once in realtime. Is this the software bugging out or is it my standard sound card crying?

If by wigging out you mean "stuttering, popping and clicking", then it's your sound card.

Actually, FL Studio is already pretty cheap; so is a half-decent soundcard (E-mu 0404 or M-Audio Audiophile 2496, especially secondhand); you eventually will run into a bottom line to spend. Even if you're not serious, a proper soundcard and controller keyboard will make it a joy to use, and they're usually easy to sell again with not much of a loss.

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Open Source stuff is free, but notorious for bugs, zero documentation and my comp is old and is getting Alzheimer's as I type this.

Funny, commercial software is also notorious for bugs, there was a discussion on this in the channel the other day ;)

Open source music software from my point of view needs some serious polish. It's more of an age/feature thing than a real bug thing; that particular area is just young and most of the stuff (Audacity aside) is pretty much someone's personal toy that does the exact task they want and nothing else. Aside from a few good tools out there you're in for a rough ride.

That being said, you can file bugs with any upstream project; or more easily, if you grab Ubuntu Studio, you can just dump your bug reports under Ubuntu's project space on Launchpad and they'll work with upstream. If you want to get into that community... let's just say they can use all the guidance they can get.

Too bad your computer's aging. If you had like a gig or two of RAM and XP Pro, I'd say install IIS and drop VMware Server in there, install Ubuntu Studio inside a 4 gig disk image and use a Samba mount to get to your local files. I'd by no means tell you to get up and install a new OS (even as a dual boot) for this ;)

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This is a similar question most sound effects people are faced with; you want to let people hear something they've not heard before, so you must use something they know - but make it different.

Sound engineers are amazing. For the light saber effect I heard they banged a spoon against the guide wire on a telephone pole, and then slowed the sound down. Whhhoooooooommmmmmmmmmmm.... ;)

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I could get the demo for FL, but I believe you can only get the demo once, so I don't want to waste it on a spur of the moment thing like this.

Just so you know, in case you grow tired of OSS, you can download the FL demo as many times as you want to. So nothing stopping you there from trying it out. The only limit with the demo is that you can't save stuff in flp format, only render it.

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Just so you know, in case you grow tired of OSS, you can download the FL demo as many times as you want to. So nothing stopping you there from trying it out. The only limit with the demo is that you can't save stuff in flp format, only render it.

While that's true, you really only need to get it once, as it doesn't expire. It's not that kind of demo, it comes with the entire program except for the ability to save, so there's no reason not to try it out at least.

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1. One of the sounds that I want is a low rumble. The rumble will start quiet and get louder until the Star of Darkness section. The rumble is supposed to be the sound of the fortress flying overhead, it's what looms. Making it go from quiet to loud is easy in an editor. The question I have is, how do you make a rumbling sound in a synthesizer? My ex-music student brother suggested using drums, but I don't know how to do it. The easier the solution the better, I'm not afraid to cheat it.

you can take any bass patch and play a low note. think C-2 or so. that should be a good start for a rumble.

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