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[GUIDE] Mixing for Free (updated 3/27/03)

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I read most of this thread...but, I'm looking for a prog in which you can use a musical staff to create multiple layers of a track, but which uses samples blah blah rather than MIDI output.

FREE, of course...and capable of exporting to mp3/wav.

I checked most of the programs listed here, if one of them is capable of this...either it's one of the couple I couldn't be bothered checking, or I didn't know how to access this aspect of the program.

Any suggestions/help/advice will be greatly appreciated :D

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Combine a few programs here. Use something like Noteworthy or Anvil Studio to do MIDI composition on a staff. Then, import the MIDI into the Fruity Loops Demo and apply samples to the tracks there. Or, using Vienna Soundfont Studio you can create your own soundfont and not have to bother with the second program at all.

Also, thanks for the clarification on MAGIX Music Studio, Saxman- for that price it's certainly worth checking out!

EDIT: Just combed through an old thread about programs for Linux, and added information to the guide concerning Muse, Ardour, Soundtracker and Rosegarden, Noteedit and Lilypond. Much thanks to Analoq and Metasquares - I'll probably find myself playing with all of these in the near future.

EDIT2: New MIDI to WAV conversion notes sort of tacked on at the bottom. Wingroove, Timidity++, Winamp Waveout, using FL to play back MIDIs (which is undoubtedly inaccurate).

I'm glad to have created such a successful guide (over 2,000 views in over 4 pages - I must've done something right...) and thanks to everyone who's mentioned programs or suggestions to me. Still looking for comments and suggestions for the guide, keep 'em coming! Also, if someone would like to give me more info on FL and its awesome n00b-enhancing powers, don't hesitate to leave a better review than I have.

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i think not mentioned are the great peices of bundled software. most soundcards are going to come bundled with a peice of proprietary sound software that can be utilized. for instance, SB people will probably get creative wave studio, that handles alot of basic editing/recording tasks. as far as i'm concerned, anything that comes bundled with your hardware is basically free.

when you are in a pinch, a technique I use occasionally is called "crash editing." crash editing, as opposed to digital editing, is the process of playing the song in one location, running it through your edits, and recording it to another place. for instance:

get winamp, and a few free dsp plug-ins. play around with the settings you want until you find your sound, then play it. the trick, is to have a peice of recording software open at the same time to record the new track. in this way, you are using simply a player and a recorder to do some cool things. do a search for some free dsp plug-ins, there are a ton out there that do cool things.

also, windows comes with the proprietary windows movie maker, which can be used for some very primative sequencing, if you can figure it out. there are tons of solutions for people if they are willing to look into more creative directions.

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Recently, I have been using Linux more and more (almost all the time now)

and I have found an interesting music program that looks similar to Buzz, but for linux, and with a set of builtin plugins and a plugin architecture that's very standard called LADSPA at http://www.ladspa.org (and open to see the guts of). This program is called beast, and it is located at http://beast.gtk.org

It has a long list of dependencies, though, to warn you. The site has a number of articles about synthesis types and how to use them in the Resources section, and there's a list of LADSPA plugin sites on the Ladspa site.

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I've been trying to move over to linux recently, with limited success. It all hangs on me being able to connect to the internet and my modem isn't very well supported. But I sense the linux music scene is on the horizon now and I want to get in on the act!

I think the most promising program for me, at the moment is Rosegarden. Like you say, it had a host of dependancies that prevented me from installing it last time I had a try. When I've got some free time I'll give it another go. I'm also looking forward to see midi implementation in Ardour, which looks really good but, at the moment, is only really well suited as a harddisc recorder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

judge too? you dont have the word "judge" under your name like the other judges.

maybe they dont like you?

EDIT: sorry though, i'm getting off topic. does anybody have any other suggestions for remixing for free that hornpipe didnt mention? i think i have a few myself, but i want to sort through and make sure that they havent already been mentioned.

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You can also use "Psycle" (http://psycle.pastnotecut.org/portal.php).

It is a FREE tracker program that supports up to 32 tracks, loops etc.

You can mix samples, MIDI sounds, and supports keyboards.

It requires some training to get used to this program (mixing "machines", configuring these to create sounds and so on), but as a free program I think it could be worth mentioning in this guide.

I believe it is easy to use if you know the old FastTracker program.


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Ok, this trick won't produce anything quality, but hey we're talking about free, right? Well, as long as you can record from a player such as Winamp, and you have some percussion samples, here's what you can do:

You link up the samples in a usable order (you could actually arrange an entire loop if you create shortcuts to specific samples and just line them up). Then, you highlight the first one, put your right fingers on the arrow keys of your keyboard, and use the "enter" key with you left hand to play. Now, start recording from your player, such as Winamp, and use the arrows to navigate through the samples and play them with the enter key. Basically, works similar to a keyboard, but of course without the speed? Lol... that is about as free as you can get...

Found this when I was just messing around with the samples on my Magix CD. :D


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Alright, this is a little thing I found about FruityLoops which helps it become a little more “free.”

You know the demo, right? Lots of nice loops and sound bites, good user interface, and is great to use until you have to save, which doesn’t happen. FruityLoops Demo doesn’t allow saving of Projects, right? Well, it allows exporting of projects to Midi, MP3, or WAV. Well, it also allows IMPORTING of midis to the FruityLoops in the format that it was made in. So here’s what I do. I work on a project, and when I can’t work anymore, I just convert to Midi, and Export it to Midi. Then, the next day, I upload the Midi, convert the instruments back to the FruityLoops Originals, and I get back to work. This is great for saving the sheets music and instruments of a Project, but requires Echo and Volume pattern retweaking, but otherwise, a nice free demo that works.

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