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  • Music Production Software...

    Hey everybody, I could use some help/advice. I've always had an interest in writing my own music but I have yet to find any capable of playing drums or bass well enough to make any decent sounding tracks. I have a friend thats been playing with garage band and has made some interesting tracks and I want to give it a try. What im looking to do is be able to take me playing guitar, and doing vocals,and add bass and a beat and some effects to it. Are there any really good free music production programs one can download online? and if not what is a good relatively inexspensive one to start with that has some room to grow later on if i dicide to pursue this futher? I would like it to be rather simple to use as thats stalled me in the past. All help is appretiated. Thanks...

    P.S. Im using a PC running windows 7 as im sure that makes a difference.

  • #2
    REAPER Is free to try. Cheap to buy.

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    • #3
      Now I wouldn't do this, but I have heard of people who download Sonar 6, Cakewalk, GarageBand, etc... via torrents on tpb. They are reported to work fine. I think I even have a LE copy that came with my Tascam that is unregistered if you are interested.
      My Builds:
      5E3 Deluxe Build
      5F1 Champ Build
      6G15 Reverb Unit Build

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      • #4
        We could never recommend such illegal acts. Arrrrrr me hearties.

        GarageBand comes free with the Mac, and there's nothing quite like it available for Windows. Apple put a lot of thought into making a music production program that would be easy to use and fun for the average Mac user to casually dip into. It has some surprisingly good amp simulators, backing tracks with automatic chord changes, and several GB worth of loops if you install the optional package that came on the DVD with your new Mac.

        Underneath the hood it is a cut-down version of Logic.

        Reaper is a digital audio workstation similar to Pro Tools. I don't think it has the "band in a box" capability of making up a backing track for you.

        My favourite DAW nowadays is Ableton Live, available for Mac and PC. It comes with a good amount of premade loops, but they seem to be aimed at electronic and dance styles. I mostly use it for looping my own guitar playing to make practice more interesting, but it gives the impression it could do anything.
        "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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        • #5
          Wittgenstein...please don't advocate the use of pirated software. Those of us who actually buy it might have to spend less if EVERYONE who used it bought it, and maybe they'd lower prices (from more volume sales=more profit=better upgrades and/or lower pricing), or at least keep them more reasonably-priced. Maybe they could offer Sonar for a lot less if people weren't stealing it? If you owned a liquor store, could you keep your prices low if the mob came in every week and demanded 20%?

          Anyway, to Broken Flyer:

          What im looking to do is be able to take me playing guitar, and doing vocals,and add bass and a beat and some effects to it.
          What you will be attempting is doable, but extremely difficult. A much better thing would be to put down at LEAST the drums, first, if not the drums AND bass. I've tried to fit drums into an existing acoustic guitar/singer recording, and it's extremely time-consuming and frustrating to get drums to try to follow the slight inconsistent timing of a lone guitar.

          If you know the song, it's better to arrange the drums...main beat, fills, breaks, etc.,, then put in bass. That will give you a consistent timing reference to play to, plus the bass pattern will help you keep track of where you are in the arrangement. You'll likely also "get into it" more, since you'll essentially be playing with "a band".

          Trust me...trying to fit software drums into an existing guitar/vocal recording is not for the impatient. I had to resort to a combination of a main beat loop that I created with several passes of MIDI-triggered keyboard (kick and snare, tapped out...back it up...add toms, etc....back up...add cymbals), and THOSE had to be micro-massaged in a MIDI editor for timing, etc. Then, I had to manually enter into the editor the fills, etc...note for note. Took a long time.

          My advice would be to construct the backing tracks and arrangements FIRST, and then play/sing along with them.

          Brad1

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          • #6
            Yes, if you want it to work, you have to play along to a rhythm generated by the computer so everything will be in time and easy to edit.
            "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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            • #7
              Coincidentally I've just bought the new Garage Band for my Mac...for the whopping price of U$ 14 bucks. I can second Steve Conner's opinion on Garage Band, though I'm still learning, but already impressed with it.

              As for piracy, you know SOPA is just around the corner and I'd never advocate you download illegal software, especially considering the Patriot Act and DMCA, you can probably be labeled a terrorist and get waterboarded, detained forever and finally executed if you download illegal software. Having said that I'll just leave this here isoHunt

              Don't search for expensive electrical engineering books or music programs there, you might end up clogging your download pipe which is a criminal offense under SOPA.
              Valvulados

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              • #8
                Speaking of pirated software in the past many recording studios used pirated copies of software they had purchased because it was not prone to all of the problems associated with copy protection (and those damned dongles!) I don't know if this applies to audio programs, but many mainstream programs these days insist on "phoning home" before they will run which requires an internet connection. At least for Windows-based DAW's it is strongly recommended that you install only the software you will need for recording and have it connected to the internet only when absolutely necessary for installation or updates. For one thing, if you are never connected to the internet (or a network) you probably won't have to run an antivirus program 24/7- just be sure to test anything that you load onto that computer.

                The reputable sites that distribute pirated audio software strongly encourage members to purchase any program that they find useful for their musical projects and will be using on a regular basis. Although many of those programs have trial versions available, their limitations can prove to be a real deal breaker. I might use a trial version for a few hours one day and not need to use it again for a month or two, by which time it had already expired. (I guess that is one program that I will not be purchasing. )

                I have a shelf full of programs I purchased that I was never able to use for one reason or another (usually my own fault because I could not figure them out.) Much of the DAW software is priced on the assumption that it will be used for professional applications so that shelf full of unused programs represents a large chunk of money.

                IMO people using pirated software do not increase the price of software for everybody else- the mfgs usually charge as much as they can get away with whether there are 1,000 paying customers or 5,000. However if everybody was using pirated versions and nobody was buying them then the companies would not have the money to develop new versions and new applications.

                Just my own 2 cents worth...

                Steve Ahola

                P.S. It does bother me that it seems like there is an entire generation who does not believe in spending money on music or programs since they have always been able to download whatever they want for free. An attitude like that will kill off the golden goose that they think they have found.

                P.P.S. Getting back to the question posed by the OP, I would recommend Band in the Box for the PC. It has been around for over 20 years, starting out as a MIDI-based program but they started adding samples of real instruments about 10 years ago. While MIDI geniuses could get great results in the old days mapping the MIDI data to their own hand-picked sounds and samples, that is now available for the rest of us (the 99%). The basic BIAB package is $129, but you can pay more to get more styles and samples ($669 for the complete library which is a good price compared to what some companies charge for DAW plug-ins).

                I am not crazy about the BIAB user interface- I wish it could parse text files so you did not have to enter chords manually in the program. IMO it is much easier to use Notepad and type in something like that:
                |C|%|%|%|
                |F|%|C|%|
                |G|F|C|%|
                Add in symbols for repeats and codas and you would be cooking with gas! I have a hunch that someone with a background in programming could come up with a utility program that would do exactly that- convert a text file into a BIAB song file.
                Last edited by Steve A.; 12-16-2011, 07:27 PM.
                The Blue Guitar
                www.blueguitar.org
                Some recordings:
                https://soundcloud.com/sssteeve/sets...e-blue-guitar/
                .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brad1 View Post
                  Wittgenstein...please don't advocate the use of pirated software. Those of us who actually buy it might have to spend less if EVERYONE who used it bought it, and maybe they'd lower prices (from more volume sales=more profit=better upgrades and/or lower pricing), or at least keep them more reasonably-priced. Maybe they could offer Sonar for a lot less if people weren't stealing it? If you owned a liquor store, could you keep your prices low if the mob came in every week and demanded 20%?
                  I did not advocate or condone the use of pirated software. I merely pointed out that others have done so with success. I even went so far as to offer my legal (unregistered) copy of Cubase LE for free to Broken Flyer. I do think there is a valid argument to trying out $500 plus software to see if it suits your needs before taking the plunge. I equate it to free mp3 samples, which help one decide whether to buy an album or not.
                  My Builds:
                  5E3 Deluxe Build
                  5F1 Champ Build
                  6G15 Reverb Unit Build

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brad1 View Post
                    Wittgenstein...please don't advocate the use of pirated software. Those of us who actually buy it might have to spend less if EVERYONE who used it bought it, and maybe they'd lower prices (from more volume sales=more profit=better upgrades and/or lower pricing), or at least keep them more reasonably-priced.
                    If that were the case then Microsoft Windows should cost U$ 5?
                    Valvulados

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                      ...Reaper is a digital audio workstation similar to Pro Tools. I don't think it has the "band in a box" capability of making up a backing track for you...
                      If the original recording is made with a click track. REAPER would work fine for what the OP wants to do. For me it was a user friendly, easy to learn interface. They're constantly upgrading it. Check it out if you haven't tried it in a while.

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                      • #12
                        I hadn't considered trying Reaper myself, because I thought it was Windows only. But I see they brought out a Mac version. Guess you're right about the constant upgrades!

                        It looks like a great tool for more hardcore users, and I'll definitely give it a try. I used to use Pro Tools LE for everything that Ableton wouldn't do, and it looks like it could beat that easily.

                        But I still don't see it delivering a Garageband-like experience.
                        "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi, everybody. I'v been rather busy and just finally got around to looking at all of your suggestions and think for starters ill try that reaper program. I already have audacity and use it occasionally but i wanted something more catered to music production. Also I'v got some more computer audio related questions so i figured id ask them here. Well i recently built a computer and after using it awhile iv decided id like to upgrade/change the audio set up a bit. My main issue/concern is that the case i have, "raidmax skyline" has some really really crappy useless 1/8th stereo jacks on the front of it. The is a mic in and a line out but both are so cheap/make a bad connection so not really useful. The integrated audio on the motherboard is great and that's what iv been using but it is very big inconvenience to pull my computer out from the wall every time i need to plug or unplug something which is getting to be more and more as im started to experiment with recording music. What i would like is a better audio interface on the front of my computer. Possibly something that fits in one of the cd drive bays as i have 4 not being used. I think i would like multiple 1/8th jacks "6 would be good" and if possible maybe some rca jacks or even a few 1/4th stereo/mono jacks as well. Im not sure whats available for front mounted aftermarket audio interfaces so i thought id check. So far the closest thing to what i want that i found was this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820162031 but this doesnt do much for me as you loose all of the jacks on the back of the computer with this setup.
                          I would just get a discrete audio card but i really really want the jacks to be on the front of the computer vs. the back. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wittgenstein View Post
                            I did not advocate or condone the use of pirated software. I merely pointed out that others have done so with success. I even went so far as to offer my legal (unregistered) copy of Cubase LE for free to Broken Flyer. I do think there is a valid argument to trying out $500 plus software to see if it suits your needs before taking the plunge. I equate it to free mp3 samples, which help one decide whether to buy an album or not.
                            What exactly is Cubase LE? I might be interested in a legal copy of it if you just wanna get rid of it. Ill take some time and research it later but it might be fun to play with even if it won't do exactly what i want it to do for recording.

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                            • #15
                              I just looked up cubase and it looks very cool. I would very much like to try it if you want to send me your legal copy that you mentioned. I just sent you a pm to get the details. Hopefully it sent.

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