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

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I always use quicktime. I convert the MIDI to an AIFF. Then the AIFF is converted to a WAV. Then I actually go that extra step and convert that to an MP3 with iTunes. Then I have midi's on my iPod.

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Multiquence (a sequencer in the GoldWave family) offers unlimited tracks, and like Goldwave, has an evaluation period. It allows DirectX filters and even video mixing (for both audio and video tracks), if you're into that type of thing. Link is http://www.goldwave.com/

I checked out Sk@le - basically it's a tracker in the same vein as FastTracker II (only for windows). It's still in Beta at the moment, and is lacking much functionality, but it looks like being rather powerful once it is complete.

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Pd and jMax have to get a mention in there somewhere. Not only are they free, released under the GNU general public liscence, but they're also developed from the MAX/MSP software for Mac. Unlike MAX/MSP they unfortunately have no rewire support, since they're not commercial, but having evolved from MAX they could be consider superior in a number of ways. jMax is a java implementation of MAX/MSP and uses the java language to provide a much nicer looking user interface. Pd is a project developed by the same man who wrote MAX, which he was unhappy with for various reasons. Pd overcomes some of the limitations in MAX and is supposed to be more efficient. In fact, the MSP part of MAX/MSP was developed from pd. As you can see, the three programs are closely related and there's some information on the background of the programs here.

Both jMax and pd are well supported in linux but have limitations under windows (incentive enough to warrent a closer look at linux for audio methinks). Jmax has an installer for windows but, as of yet, only the beta version is available in binary form. For later versions you have to compile the code from source. Pd, on the other hand, is quite well supported and has a dedicated community following at www.pure-data.org What's nice about pd is that it can be used as a vst host, so you can use your vst synths and effects seemlessly with it. What's not so nice is that it's much harder to use pd as a vst plugin itself, although I did find (but not yet test) a version of pd designed for this task here.

I should point out that, although the software is very powerful, pd, at any rate, has a pretty steep learning curve and you're going to get your hands dirty if you really want to utilise it to its full potential. If you're new to concept of synthesis you're in for a lot of late night reading. However, if you're willing to learn about the meat and veg of digital audio (and there are some online resources to help you do this) then the sky is the limit. Not to mention you'll now be an audio guru.

I've not used jMax at all so I can't really say much about it. From what I can gather its user interface is a lot similar to pd's although it looks much nicer. I suspect, however, that programming the two synths is quite different, although I think jMax ought to be easier owing to its modular nature. I'm sticking with pd, though. It's fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it and seems to be more actively supported by the community at large.

Both are an exciting prospect though, particularly for those who like the idea of using their computer as a musical instrument. They're worth checking out.

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audacity has a cool envelope tool. It brings a whole new meaning to "riding the faders!" Last version I used, you couldn't preview effects before implementing them, which kinda made them useless :P

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I used Audacity in video editing class. It's pretty good, and yes the envelope is a nice feature.

Electronic Cosmo's MPEG Suite is the encoder I use the most for making mp3s. It's a small, no frills program. But it might get confusing to use if you keep your files under a bunch of folders (the file display windows are pretty small).

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ok, so im too lazy a (and short of time) to read six pages...

i have the demo of FL Studio and have worked out how to make some nice sounds... i have a basic idea of how to use the simple tools, but anything beyond basic and simple have got me clueless :? ...

maybe one of you has some tips for me and would like to give me a tour... :lol:

also : im interested in making music with my GameBoy/GameboyCamera or NES

...ive heard of something called a "Nanoloops" cartridge for GB...but nothing more than a whisper... and this is the begining of my quest for enlightenment-so ...

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so your looking for help with fruityloops?

Instead of reading 6 pages, read just one, the page that has all the topics for remix 101 in it :D

oh yeah, and then when you find the fruityloops 101 thread... Then you have like a thousand pages to read, heh, good luck :P

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So I've tried out MuSE and Rosegarden for Linux really, really briefly. Let it be known that I'm still dramatically new at this whole audio production thing, so these shouldn't be really taken as good constructive reviews.

MuSE is probably the most well-known sequencer, but it crashed a lot when I was trying to use it and it didn't go well with JACK. It looked pretty typical in terms of its abilities, but it doesn't seem to come with default sounds or any kind of synth, so I couldn't use it that much. I would need to grab some soundfonts and play more.

Rosegarden on the other hand looks really promising. Again, it doesn't come with defalt sounds, but what is really cool about Rosegarden is that it has a notation editor in sheet music - really nice for transcribing that Mozart Sonata you've always wanted to hear. I again need to grab some GM soundfonts and play with the sequencer a bit.

Edit: I played with Rosegarden some more when I got a MIDI controller. For those wondering, the Linux 2.6 kernel automatically detects USB devices like MIDI Controllers. In fact, instaling my controller (Edirol PCR A30) was easier in Linux than it was in Windows. Who says that Linux has no hardware support? You literally plugged it in, turned on the power, and set the Inputs in the MIDI devices section in Rosegarden and you're playing music. No extra drivers or any other crap. (That said, I don't know if the knobs and faders are assignable - I haven't even tried that in Windows yet).

Rosegarden does in fact come with a bunch of soundfonts. Nothing spectacular, but it does the job. Actually, I find that Rosegarden works very similarly to Cakewalk Home Studio. Both have a notation editor, both use a lot of General MIDI instruments. If you're poor and don't want to run Windows, I would recommend Rosegarden as the sequencer of choice.

It was really painful to install all of the software, though, so Linux is still definitely not your ideal sequencing and production platform. You need to find the soundfont plugin (FluidSynth), the general plugin library (LADSPA), the low-latency audio server (JACK), and the realtime module for the kernel. There's also other plugins and stuff that I don't even have a clue of what they do. There's even a VSTi interface that can plug into programs that requires WINE to run.

There are two distributions though to make life easier:

AGNULA has Debian and Redhat-based distributions for audio production, as well as a user community and lots of documentation. It's not linked on the front page of this thread, so if anyone reads, they should add it:

http://www.agnula.org

Planet CCRMA is the Linux distribution from Stanford and is based off of Fedora. It's already on the front of this page.

I would think that if you use these distros instead of finding everything in bits and pieces, things should be much more stable. I haven't tried either of them, though.

If you want to install these yourself, you'll probably want to be comfortable with the following:

- You will need to compile the kernel. 2.4 requires some code patches. 2.6 requires just a module. Overall, compiling the kernel isn't hard.

- You need ALSA. ALSA comes built-into 2.6 kernels, though.

- You need KDE development headers for Rosegarden.

- You need to be reasonably comfortable with compiling things and being able to tolerate numerous configure errors and possible missing libraries. Be prepared to do a lot of hunting for things.

Linux audio looks a little far off, but I believe that it has some good conversion tools, some wave editors, and stuff like that already.

Anyway, when I get around to grabbing some samples, I'll go back to these programs because I actually know a bit more about audio production and can probably provide a better review.

Edit: I added a bunch of notes about Rosegarden. It does come with a number of sounds by default, most of them being soundfonts, as far as I know. The MIDI controller plugged in and worked without a hitch in Linux 2.6 - just leave it off when you boot up, turn it on, and it'll be automatically detected. Launch your program and you'll be able to select it from the MIDI input section. I take back my earlier statement that Linux audio production is far off. It's still behind Windows and Mac, and no professional is ever going to be using Linux in their music production, but if you're a beginner and want to fool around with General MIDI, soundfonts, and similar, and pay absolutely nothing, Rosegarden is becoming a viable alternative.

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Delta SP, a free sequencer with VST and VSTi support has been released. Yes, it's kinda old news, but this is the first time I've heard of it.

The site is ugly as hell, so I have my doubts about this one. If you're looking for a free sequencer though, this is propably worth checking out. It's supposedly somewhat similar to Buzz, so for total newbies this isn't necessarily the best choice.

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This question may be a bit general but I'm using FLStudio and it limits you with not many good instruments so how far could I get? Could I complete a song which actually sounds professional or would I have to go out and spend money? I'm just a kid so i dont have alotta money to spend. I don't even know what to start looking for.

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Mac Users can download a 30-day fully-functional Trial of Logic Express 7. You can even save.

Requires a G4 or better; recommended 512MB of RAM.

http://www.apple.com/logicexpress/trial/

Best of all, it comes with the 522 page reference manual. If you're really stuck with the program (I was), there's also a bunch of Quicktime Demos on Apple's web site (http://www.apple.com/logicexpress) that go through a recorded demonstration of someone using the program. Not the best substitute for a good tutorial, but it might help you pick up some of the features.

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And yet another demo link...

Ableton Live 4, which is software geared toward live production, is also another one of those programs that has a demo. Works for both Mac OS and Windows.

http://www.ableton.com/index.php?main=downloads

Haven't ever used it and the site doesn't make it clear what the restrictions of the demo are, but I'll edit and let you know when I can read it.

There are a ton of demos out there for people who are uncertain about what program to start out with or what they want to do with the music, so if you're new and unsure of what you want to do, go download a bunch of demos.

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I use Soundforge, Reason and Sonar. Is there a way I could port my Reason soundbanks and ReFills into a Linux program. And is there a way in Linux to use DX plugins (I got Waves Diamond Bundle and it cost me a lot, so I don't wanna throw it away).

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This question may be a bit general but I'm using FLStudio and it limits you with not many good instruments so how far could I get?

You can get some free synths at www.kvraudio.com. For some help installing VST with the program, or a list of some really awesome free synths, you can PM me with some questions.

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Okay, first I want to let it be known that I am not the best remixer ever, and that I probably don't do have the stuff I do "to standards". But I do have a way to convert MIDI to .WAV.

I don't remember if there is a price tag on it or not, but I've had this program for about a year. It's called MidiSyn, and it uses soundfonts to convert your MIDI into a .wav (be aware that the size of your new .wav may not be as small as you would like). Speaking of soundfonts, an okay soundfont archive site is the sf2midi site (http://www.sf2midi.com). Sure, you have to register to download stuff, but registration is free!

There is an easy solution for making MIDI (if you can read guitar tablature, anyway)! There is a program out there by Arobas Music called Guitar Pro. (I realize it's not free, but if you can find yourself a free/cheap copy or a demo, be my guest unless you wanna pay $60 for just that) Guitar Pro is a multi-track tablature editor that uses MIDI to playback what you write. All you have to know is string tuning and how many instruments your soundcard's MIDI has! For more info, go to http://www.guitar-pro.com

I also have a shareware solution for multi-track .wav editing. The program is called WavePad, and it's easy to use. First, open your file. Then, you can cut/copy/paste/delete things in your file and make it how you want. "All your instruments are on different files!" you say? Fear not; WavePad has the power to mix files, provided that you've done some editing (or no editing if you feel it's good as-is) to the tracks you're mixing. WavePad also does .wav to mp3 conversions!

I just wanna say again that I am not the greatest remixer, nor do I do everything "to standards". I do use programs like LimeWire for downloading stuff, but when you can get something for free rather than pay, what does it matter?

However, I know from experience that you can't expect a dollar-store microphone to do wonders for you. :oops::lol:

Which means you may have to spend a bit of money to do vocal work.

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Well now, let me just add this for the sake of this being complete in some way. Rebirth, once a rather expensive music program back in the day (303, 808 and 909 emulator type thingy) is now free. Even though you already knew that.

http://www.rebirthmuseum.com/

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