What does everyone use to make music?

The8BitMan

  • Posts: 424
Hi guys :D Been gone a while but I'm back now  :)
I have a question for everyone about music programs.
I have knowledge of composing (only guitar but it's transferable) and I think I can make okay sounds in all genres but my only problem is, I have no way of actually making them sound any good. So I decided to ask you what you use to record your music. I've used trackers, midi programs and recording live audio but nothing really worked for me because I was using the wrong tools for me. I have a mac so no windows only programs please  :D Thanks in advance for replies :)
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MetalRenard

  • Posts: 134
Assuming you have nothing yet, you need to get yourself quite a few things... All depends on your budget and how seriously you want to take this.
I've got a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and software, but even that's not much when it comes to making music to a high standard.
I do stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeoAM2d4npk

What's your previous experience with music? Just trolling around (sorry, my sister says that and it's rubbed off on me) with midi sequencers and strumming a guitar? If that's the case I recommend you try something like FL studio (no idea why, but everyone loves it...) or try my personal favourite, Reaper. Either is good but both are completely different.
You'll need a audio-to-USB/Firewire external sound card. I very strongly recommend the UX1 or UX2 by Line 6. They are fanTASTIC and have some beautiful guitar amp emulation software too.
If you want to record guitar music mainly, I recommend REAPER because it's built for live audio editing and mixing whereas FL is more for programming/looping MIDI sequences. They can do both though.

Next... Instruments. What's your budget for this, in total? How far do you want to take this?
Composer. Rocker. World Ambassador For Foxes.
http://metalrenardmusic.com/

The8BitMan

  • Posts: 424
All depends on your budget and how seriously you want to take this.
That's my main problem. I'm a high school student so I'm pretty much broke  :D Going over £100 is more than I would like  :(

What's your previous experience with music?
I'm currently level 4 at guitar (That's grade 9/10) so I know my way around it pretty well and I am pretty good at composing. I have a interface for plugging my guitar into my computer but that's about it. I only use Garageband and that is quite limited. What I need is something that can take midi inputs of a high quality for drums, piano, guitar etc. and then be easy to edit it.

Next... Instruments. What's your budget for this, in total? How far do you want to take this?
Instruments aren't a problem. I've got several guitars and basses and a modelling amp so I'm fine just playing, it's just turning that into digital with out it going bad. Thanks for your reply, I'll have a look into what you said. :D 
Need music, graphics, scripts? Just ask!

MetalRenard

  • Posts: 134
What I need is something that can take midi inputs of a high quality for drums, piano, guitar etc. and then be easy to edit it.
This is actually what I meant. :)
Without money you won't get good sounding -virtual- instruments like drums, piano etc.
The good ones cost money, it's that simple. £100 won't get you anywhere at all, sorry. u_u

(P.S. The "level 4 guitar" doesn't mean much to me, I never studied any music. Is lvl 4 good?)
Composer. Rocker. World Ambassador For Foxes.
http://metalrenardmusic.com/

The8BitMan

  • Posts: 424
I think so, you need grade 5 to get A* at A level so I'm assuming level 4, grade 9/10 is pretty high.
Need music, graphics, scripts? Just ask!

mazeon

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  • Posts: 140
It really depends on what you want to do with it.
I am working with Steinberg's Cubase and several hard- and software-synths.
Cubase is a little bit more complex but at least it leaves nearly nothing to be desired.
The education version is cheap.

If not already tried, Apple's Logic would be worth a try imo.

bonixmusic

  • Posts: 38
I'd recommend testing out some demo software out there to get some good quality software synths/samples. May take a while to find, but could be worth the trouble of looking. I know a while back SonicSynth ( I believe) had a demo version with a limited sound palette, but there was no time restriction. Also, in the past I've seen basic stripped down orchestra sample demos. Soundfonts are also a good place to start until you can afford better quality samples.

Most people who do composing for a living will be using tools and sounds that are beyond your budget, so don't expect to get the same high-quality production. The key is to work on what you have and hopefully over time as you become a better musician and composer you'll have access to better tools. It is correct in stating that those in the professional arena have an unfair advantage, as they have access to the latest cutting edge tools, but they too had to start from somewhere :)

I use Logic and Cubase as my DAW's. EWQL samples for symphonic work.

Best Regards,
www.BonixMusic.com
Peter Gunder

aroncruce

  • Posts: 214
fruity loops is amazing for a beginner, if you want something more complex and actually play stuff through midi I HIGHLY recommend Reason.

SovereignVis

  • Posts: 8
I use Anvil Studio it's free and super easy to use.  :)

MetalRenard

  • Posts: 134
I had a look at Anvil studio. From their page it looks interesting, nice find.
Of course, many of its features you have to pay for so it's not really "free", just a kind of demo. For example, you can't use 3rd party VSTs so as soon as you want to upgrade your sound you'll need to move on to something more substantial.
It looks like a nice place to start if all you want to do is work with midi and not have any realistic sounding instruments.

EDIT:
Right... After messing around with Anvil Studio for about an hour I can tell you Mulab will work better for you. Anvil Studio has some very strange quirks such as not displaying all the notes on the piano-roll view unless you specifically tell it to. Why would it do that? O.o
Plus it doesn't have any "real" instruments, only midi playback whereas Mulab has virtual instruments and will introduce you to the world of mixing and production.

Here's a comparison for you. First file is what you can make with Anvil. 2nd is what you can make with Mulab (I used 3rd party plugins for the instruments in Mulab), in both cases I didn't have to spend a penny. I haven't mixed them, just exported with the instruments as-is.

:)

« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 01:44:58 am by MetalRenard »
Composer. Rocker. World Ambassador For Foxes.
http://metalrenardmusic.com/

SovereignVis

  • Posts: 8
Well yeah, if you want super high quality music then Anvil Studio is not meant for that. But if you just wanted to compose music and make MIDI files just for your background music in your games then it works great. Also MIDI files are a lot smaller than MP3 files, so if you don't need super high quality and you don't want your game to be too big of a file/longer loading time. Then it works just fine. Another thing I like doing is opening up some of the old school video music and seeing all the notes and tracks in them. You can see what they are made of.  :) You should try it, you can find tons of MIDI files of the old classics at http://www.vgmusic.com/

MetalRenard

  • Posts: 134
Yeah, I enjoy doing that too (opening old vg music), I also like putting realistic instruments on the tracks to hear what they would sound like if they were made with an orchestra. That's always fun.
I even recorded a few on guitar. ^^

Composer. Rocker. World Ambassador For Foxes.
http://metalrenardmusic.com/

SovereignVis

  • Posts: 8
Well I think with a username like The8BitMan he might prefer the more retro old school sounding music anyways.  ;) If he's making his game too 8-bit as well. But yeah he could always compose in Anvil then convert it later. I know absolutely nothing about making music. But using this program seemed to be super easy, so I'm sure someone who knows something about making music would be able to do much better with it. After missing around with it for a while and learning how to use the program I ended up with something. I had no idea what it was I was going for but it kind of sounded like it could be some boss fighting music. I don't know if it can to classified as music or if it's just noise. XD 

tibonev

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  • Posts: 30
Reaper + several free VSTs + EZD(with a couple of EZX) + your guitars and bass, and you're set to make pretty much any music you want, in any style.

It's all about looking for the right sound at the right moment.
And it's really fun doing it.

Just remember that gear is only one piece of the puzzle, your brain is the most important one.

KungFuFurby

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  • Posts: 487
I use Schism Tracker... and for samples, sampleswap.org is a good start. Both are free. :) And Schism Tracker is perfectly Mac compatible... I myself have an iMac G5 running Mac OS X 10.4.11.
Hi, all! I'm KungFuFurby, music composer. If you're looking for some music for your game, just PM me.
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