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Nolita
05-04-2007, 08:50 PM
We need a sticky. For folks who think lyrics sans melody is a song. Come on, they at least need a beat. Rappers can't sing, that's why they loop sounds. So come on, let's get this sticky started.

Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) No money, no studio, no problem. Multiple tracks + effects and the ability to alter pitch and a boatload of other stuff makes this app a must have(even for a casual mash up). Bonus points because Brian Eno uses it. He's a god.

Sweet Little Piano (http://www.ronimusic.com/sweet_pi.htm) I think it's probably easier to use if you don't have experience with a real piano/keyboard. Also, the bass, it's the same sound as in the Seinfeld theme.

Add to the list and hopefully it will become a sticky. I don't expect people to be musical geniuses, I just want more than written words.

III
05-04-2007, 09:34 PM
If you buy a Soundblaster Audigy series sound card for your computer it comes with its own editing and mixing software which is decent, and you can do just about any input. We need to get MacDuff on this thread - he's the professional. There's always Acid or Cakewalk, but they can be pretty pricey.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-05-2007, 09:50 PM
The surviving version of the incredible Logic engine for the PC -- Apple bought Logic & killed their PC version -- is the Magix Music Studio bundle. You can get a more recent version, or go back as far as v. 5 for only a few dollars on Amazon or eBay. (That's the first version, IMNSHO, where the promise of the simplified Logic engine began to look worth the effort to a serious semipro.) This gets you a powerful pro studio... but you really do need as much memory as you can afford. Newer versions of MMS include all sorts of virtual instruments, including killer synths, beatboxes, & processors.

If you want to only spend a tiny bit of cash, try out the other Magix products like Magix Music Maker -- more oriented to the home dabbler, but has a lot of power despite the simplified skin. I've bought these unopened CDs as gifts for friends & kids for under $10, sometimes just pennies (plus postage) on Amazon. Even their dumber-looking fromducts like MM Kids or DanceMaker have the same underlying software, but they trade files freely to their big cousins if you find something catchy, & you might want a simple interface to goof around with.

Nolita
05-08-2007, 09:00 AM
Amplitute Uno? Yes/No? What? It's the bitty-baby try-out version of the real application, but since the real app can get pricey, well? Any of the actual players wanna give it a go?

No miracles, I still can't play, sort of playing scales right now, and poorly at that :P

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-08-2007, 10:23 AM
It's fun enough, but I either keep limber (a) unamped, (b) plugged into my classic Crate, or (c) with a dreadnought.

I do subscribe to Computer Music (UK) just for demos & little gems like Uno, but I find that I'll go months without even opening up the new CD. There's just something more hands-on about pushing one switch to turn on a synth or amp, & clicking another button to start the recorder. I'm pretty sharp with virtual kit, but it's not my love.

JRH
05-08-2007, 04:13 PM
For those who can read and write notation, Myriad's "Harmony Assistant" is one of the better composition tools on the market, (particularly for the price). It and it's companion "Melody Assistant" come as shareware but can be purchased for $70 for the former and $20 for the latter.

For those who lack the physical skills to play any instrument and either know or are willing to learn some basic music theory, It's a very workable alternative which I've been using since 1995 and can be found at http://www.myriad-online.com/en/products/harmony.htm

It's been good enough to win me 7 HMs in various Song Contests and provide the basis for the professional demo of my song "Standing Room Only" which won Second Prize Country in the 2002 Billboard Song Contest.

17 of my songs can be found at http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=328379&t=1
that can give you an idea of what can be done with the program.

Jim Hoye, (JRH)

michaelmcneil
05-19-2007, 08:06 PM
I get an awful, stacking delay when I record with Audacity. My best experience has been with Cakewalk Music Creator 3, which I still use. It's pretty affordable at around $30, and don't even try pirating it--it's not worth the waste of time. I did, and soon realized that they make you register it online.

My band's bassist, Nick, has had a lot of success with Reason, a virtual soundboard type of software that lets you customize your instrument voices and design custom effects. Fortunately, it can be pirated.

Gillhoughly
05-20-2007, 05:38 AM
Please forgive, but I'm an utter neo at this.

I have the songs in my head, but have always played by ear. Half, quarter and whole notes are Greek to me. I was hoping to find software that would make up for my lack in that area.

Will the software mentioned above translate musical sounds into printed notes?

(As in I play the tune on my keyboard and my 'puter figures out the timing thing and turns it into sheet music for me.)

Thank you!

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-20-2007, 08:32 PM
I know the Magix (& thus Logic) products turn real-time playing into standard notation. The easiest way is to go in & specify its quantize function -- for instance, assume you're not going to be doing fast little trills or anything, & tell it you'll be playing in 4/4 & any short or grace notes should "snap to" eighths. Then just go ahead, hit record, & play away. (Having it play an audible metronome helps you stay in time.) When you play it back, if a note goes a little short or long, or your timing is off a smidge, you can edit easily -- in the sheet music, in the "piano roll" editor, or in MIDI code.

With a little practice, you'll be able to start out with something aware that you want to play in 3/4 with a certain amount of "swing" & the software will do its best to follow along.

Once you get something that sounds good, & doesn't have little rests all over the place, you can mess around with accelerandos & ritards, cresc & decresc & stuff, if you want, or just print out some pretty credible-looking sheet music. Magix makes it easy to add lyrics to the sheet, & some software inserts guitar-chord boxes & tablature if you want to go there. The better software makes it easy to (say) shift a part from trumpet to trombone if you're intending to have other musicians play from it.

Gillhoughly
05-20-2007, 10:02 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I'll go software hunting and see if my equipment is compatable. There's been a song banging around in my head for a couple of weeks and I want it out for others to hear.

Most oddly it is country western and I only ever listen to classical. :crazy:

Now--which version to get? (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-1433808-6348055?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=magix+music+&Go.x=11&Go.y=6)

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-21-2007, 09:24 AM
Damned forum software lost my post by logging me off...

Anyway, someone on eBay is selling Music Maker deLuxe v.10 for $18.95 (free shipping to U.S.). I prefer Music Studio deLuxe (I have v 5 & 6 & 7), but it can be a bit daunting (& unless you're getting into stuff like timecode matching, stick to the MIDI Studio half & avoid the Audio Studio, which is just way too much nerdy fun).

RG570
05-21-2007, 08:53 PM
I don't quite get the OP...do you mean programs that provide accompaniment? If you want a phony band behind you for whatever reason, you can't beat Band In A Box. You don't have to know a damned thing, just the chords you want to use, and it fills in any instrument you want. It has different styles, jazz, whatever. And if you are willing to spend time with it, you can program the styles yourself.

As for plain old recording, I just use cakewalk. Tried acid for a while, but after using cakewalk, I can't imagine using anything else.

benbradley
05-21-2007, 09:19 PM
Please forgive, but I'm an utter neo at this.

I have the songs in my head, but have always played by ear. Half, quarter and whole notes are Greek to me. I was hoping to find software that would make up for my lack in that area.

Will the software mentioned above translate musical sounds into printed notes?

(As in I play the tune on my keyboard and my 'puter figures out the timing thing and turns it into sheet music for me.)

Thank you!

Actually, no - Audacity and the others are multitrack sound recording packages. I've used Audacity and a few others, they work great, but aren't what you want.

You mean if you've got a MIDI keyboard or other interface where the computer is told which keys are being pressed, there's software to do it, but it's only approximate unless you're a near-perfect keyboard player. You're surely going to have to learn a little music notation and edit these things yourself. But it's not too hard, I promise.

But if you mean using recorded sounds, like a song off a CD, the technology doesn't quite exist yet to turn a polypholic sound recording into MIDI or sheet music. Such transcriptions still have to be done manually.

There's a shareware thing at http://www.noteworthycomposer.com that may do what you want. Give it a try and see.

At the other end of the spectrum is http://www.sibelius.com which at $159 street price is cheaper than I thought, but it's meant to print out orchestral scores with dozens of parts, surely overkill for you, and more than you want to learn.

But there's surely lots of stuff in between.

ETA:

If you don't want to mess at all with music notation (as in you're sure you won't print things out for someone who can read music to play), there are MIDI editors that do what's called "Piano roll notation" which is a screen where a note is a horizontal line on a graph paper. The start and end of the line determin when the note starts and stops. A line closer to the top of the screen makes a note that's higher pitched. It's a lot more "intuitive" than standard sheet music notation, and you might like it better. I recall that N-Track Studio (yet another audio recording program) has this for MIDI editing, but you might want a MIDI-only package to do it. Look on freeware/shareware sites such as http://www.download.com for piano roll. A quick look shows something called Music Masterworks as a good possibility.

Rivana
05-22-2007, 01:59 AM
Great idea Nolita. :-)

I'll add Finale Notepad (http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/Default.aspx) which is a free notation software that lets you make sheet music to print. It also allows you to sound out the tune while writing it. You cannot, however, save the music as an audio file, but you can if you upgrade to Songwriter for $39.95

Gillhoughly
05-22-2007, 06:25 PM
I've a smattering on how to write notes, but will have to delve more into that and just learn it, no way out. I refuse to be like a writer in one of my workshops who thinks he's too special to learn basic sentence structure for writing his book.

A friend is going to let me experiment with her Sibelius software. Pricey, but I'll have to get a faster 'puter anyway for this kind of project. If it's good enough for Michael Tilson Thomas....http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

Thank you all again, very much!!

Nolita
05-23-2007, 06:51 AM
I don't quite get the OP...do you mean programs that provide accompaniment? If you want a phony band behind you for whatever reason, you can't beat Band In A Box. You don't have to know a damned thing, just the chords you want to use, and it fills in any instrument you want. It has different styles, jazz, whatever. And if you are willing to spend time with it, you can program the styles yourself.

As for plain old recording, I just use cakewalk. Tried acid for a while, but after using cakewalk, I can't imagine using anything else.

Actually this should be like the junk drawer in the kitchen, but for music software/freeware. Stuff you can use and may or may not need for songwriting. The idea's that no matter how broke nor inexperienced you are, you can write a song, and there is software available to help you do it.

I'm not needing an app that writes notation(duh! can't even read the stuff), but see, it's way cool if someone else needs it. Actually I can't see why there wouldn't be such an app involving a midi keyboard. In my head it makes perfect sense, would be like a word processor but instead would take down your notes instead of words(not sure how complicated chords would be for software). Keyboard would be an input device.

Rivana
05-23-2007, 01:40 PM
Actually Nolita the program I use -Finale Songwriter allows you to plug in a midi keyboard and have the notes you play transferred to the computer and made into written notes. And as I said -If you download the free Finale Notepad first and upgrade from that the cost is only 39.95

JRH
05-23-2007, 06:09 PM
The full "Finale" package costs $600 and is roughly comparable to "Sibelius"

The cheaper "Finale" products are relatively new and judging by the cost of upgrades to the full product, probably fairly limited in what they can actually do.

"Finale" and "Sibelius" are primarily "Notational" progams designed for printing and editing scores. I looked at both a few years ago and could not see that they offered as much as "Harmony Assistant" by Myriad software, in being a composition tool, although the claims made for Songwriter and Allegro concerning playback and built in synthicizers indicate that might have changed, and Ravenna's success with Songwriter shows that it may be equal to Harmony and cheaper as well as being friendlier to midi users.

I seriously doubt that "Finale Notepad" would be anything but a toy for noodling around on.

JRH

Rivana
05-24-2007, 01:58 AM
JRH: You're right about Notepad in the sense that it doesn't provide midi support or the option to save as audio file etc, but it's a start if you want to see how the notation thing works before upgrading, since it sounds out the notes. Yes, of course Songwriter is probably inferior to other more pricey things, but it's nice to start out with and as you say -you can do some neat stuff with it. It's just annoying that you have to save the different tracks individually to audio for mixing in Audacity if you want much control over levels and the like. But for the poorer people among us (namely me) it's definitely all in all a good thing.

JRH
05-24-2007, 04:53 PM
Hi Rivana,

A "trial" version of Harmony Assistant, can be downloaded for free at http://www.myriad-online.com/en/products/harmony.htm

There is no time limit in using the trial version but while unregistered, saving is disabled and printing is limited to one page only.
If the software matches your expectations, you can then purchase a license for US$ 70 (or 70 euros).

Melody Assistant, which is a cut down version of the same package, can be found at the same site on the same basis, which means you can use it for free, with no limit in time, and pay a fee (US$ 20 or 20 euros), only if it matches your expectations.

Limits of the unregistered versions are: no clef or time signature change, export limited to a few seconds, watermark on printed pages.

I'm detailing this, because the shareware status of both programs can allow you to check them both out for FREE to see how they compare to Songwriter although they may be too "notationally" biased for your uses.

JRH

Rivana
05-25-2007, 09:52 AM
Sounds like a bad deal with the shareware. :( You can't really evaluate the experience if some features are completely locked. I like my trial ware to be fully functional for at least 30 days. I'm going to be installing Magix Music Maker 12 Silver and see if that puppy is of any more use.

Rivana
05-25-2007, 10:16 AM
Scratch that, don't think it's any better at all. *sighs*