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Discovery
Does anyone know of any good music software that you can compose music with? Perhaps something that I can put notes into and assign them to different instruments. Is there any free software about?

I have Sibelius, but I'm looking for something with better sound quality in playback. Sibelius is good for notation, but I want to something to help me compose music.

Many thanks,
Discovery
SimonWSTS
Cubase is an awesome piece of software, you can create anything you want with a midi keyboard and a microphone.

DRAWBACK: its really really (I mean majorly) expensive. 300 if you wanna buy it as a full version.

Of course there are ways around actually buying it but I am not here to endorse software piracy, it is wrong.
wavecage
I'd suggest the $20 Melody Assistant from Myriad-Online.

It comes with a default sound base which is ok,
but you can download better quality ones - or make your own -
so your playback quality can be as good as you like!

Hook it up to a Midi keyboard or not, its still pretty useful,
assign different instruments on staff by staff basis,
import digital tracks etc, apply effects, great notation editor and for printing.

No, its not Cubase or Sibelius, but $20 includes all future upgrades - pretty good value!

Don't be too put off by the shareware version - its pretty limited,
the full version is money well spent.

(I,ve used it since 1997)
Dragate
The best ones I know are

Overture
and Guitar Pro

They are possibly free, from where you download them. I do not encourage any illegal acts, so I will not give any links, not saying I use any of them if I did have links.

Just search on google about it. I think overture has a free trial.
soulman
I dont remember the exactly name of the software, it's like CoolEditor or CoolEdit... that's a good software, most of my friend use that to compose their songs with music...
tony
as far as free software goes:

for linux:
ardour
audacity (mixing, effects, wav-editing)
muse
rosegarden
hydrogen (drums only)

for windows:
hydrogen (drums only)
audacity (mixing, effects, wav-editing)

links:
ardour: http://www.ardour.org
audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net
muse: http://www.muse-sequencer.org
rosegarden: http://www.rosegardenmusic.com
hydrogen: http://www.hydrogen-music.org
Tahp
Well it all depends on how much you already know about composing music in the real world I think.

Assuming you are already somewhat wise in real world producing (you know what the basics link OSC, OFO, and ASDR mean) I would suggest using Reason. Reason why I say Reason is because it works with both Windows and Mac.

Like Tony stated above, Audacity is a great sound editing program that works with Win, Mac, and Linux. Best of all it's free. =) You can use Audacity for all your sampling, and mastering needs if you really had to.

I can go on for days on this subject.. but then I wouldn't want to just blab if no one's payin attention. Rolling Eyes
nitesh
Reason 3.0 is definitely a good software. its is one of the best sequencers I have seen so far...the only drawback is its cost.
okullar
Fruit is a very nice program... A little hard to learn but maybe you like it.
molif
woah.. i didnt know about some other softwares...

since ive been using Guitar Pro 5 which looks pretty good to me..

i wonder wat other softwares can do.. same like guitar pro...?
purcebr
I would spend the extra money and pick up logic pro. It's got a score editor, but its got tons of really sweet synths, and effects
deStructuralized
There's an absolute plethora of programs you can look into (as you can see from the above posts). My recommendation is to evaluate what you want to do personally as far as music goes. If you just want to compose stuff, get a really simple sequencer with MIDI recording capability, and buy a MIDI keyboard. The reason all of these programs cost quite expensive is they come with a ton of other features you may or may not need, depending on your personal needs.

Also play around with a few of them and see which ones you like working with better. For example, I think sequencing in Acid Pro & Cubase is much more convenient than sequencing in Reason or Cubase because of the layout.
actualeffection
The best software to create music in what you would say 'put notes into and assign them to different instruments' would probably be either Fruit Loops or Reason 3.0. They are both expensive, but they are both the most professional software you can get for what you want to do. Here is how you would choose-

Reason 3.0-
Pros-
Very good synthesizer
Cons-
Not a very good sequencer

Fruit Loops-
Pros-
Very good sequencer
Cons-
Doesn't have as great of a synth editor as Reason

You can record straight onto Fruit Loops with the Wave Editor... I personally use Fruit Loops to create my music considering I don't focus mainly on synthesizers. If I did, I would probably use Reason instead.

Good luck! Wink
HDirtwater
You can also buy an upgraded version of Sibelius' sounds. I think it's called Kontakt Gold or something like that. I use Sibelius as well as Finale, and Sibelius is much better (easier) and just as powerful.
deStructuralized
actualeffection wrote:

Fruit Loops-
Pros-
Very good sequencer

Actually...I do have to say that FL has one of the less user accessible sequencers I've used. Sequencing is much more practical to do on Acid Pro or Cubase, imo.
Tyler
I would definitely go with Finale. I find it much easier than some other programs. The sounds in Finale 2006 are excellent, very well improved.
hofodomo01
I think Sibelius is one of the best tools out there for composing...it's user-friendly and formatted for the very purpose of writing scores. Of course it's gonna sound bad...it sequences frikkin MIDI files!!!! The Kontakt Gold that somebody else mentioned just converts the MIDI into a .wav file. That's all...so if you are looking for better sound quality (which you won't find no matter what composition program you use), then probably search for a good MIDI>MP3/WAV converter.
deStructuralized
hofodomo01 wrote:
it sequences frikkin MIDI files!!!! The Kontakt Gold that somebody else mentioned just converts the MIDI into a .wav file. so if you are looking for better sound quality (which you won't find no matter what composition program you use), then probably search for a good MIDI>MP3/WAV converter.

Absolutely incorrect for three reasons.

1. MIDI is not sound, and MIDI does not "sound bad." MIDI is a computer function that lets you control the playback of sounds through "on" and "off" signals. The reason most people think "MIDI" sounds like trash is because the General MIDI set (GM) that comes included on everyone's computer is filled with sounds that are relatively unrealistic and thus unsuitable for realistic playback. But there are plenty of programs you can buy and use with MIDI to make realistic sounds.
See:
MOTU Symphonic Instrument
M-Audio Keyrig
M-Audio Drum n Bass Rig
Spectrasonics Dream Synth
Spectrasonics Trilogy

2. You can offset the "unrealistic" sound of MIDI through proper and natural changes in velocity (volume) and timing. If you quantize everything to hit on a 4/4 note, and you flatten the sound to always hit at 82, of course it's going to sound dead. But buy a MIDI controller and things can get a lot more lively.

3. I'm certain that's not all Kontakt does. Anybody who tries to sell you a program that "converts MIDI to wav" is ripping you off. That function comes STOCK with the majority of sequencing software (like FL Studio, Reason, Ableton, Cubase, Acid) and the majority of instrument software (like the above mentioned synths).

So my advice for the first poster is--buy a good sequencer that can also work as a VST host (read the features on the box). Then buy VSTs that sound good and load them up in your host program. All-in-one programs aren't going to give you a solid sound, so build your setup piece by piece.

Don't get CoolEdit, it's just an older version of Acid Pro.
Bakera
I'm a fan of Fruity Loops. It's easy to lose track of time making stupid little beats and things like that.
hofodomo01
Well, Kontakt player comes with Sibelius (but not a part of it), and basically replaces the MIDI squence with higher quality audio. Quite frankly, it doesn't matter what Kontakt also does, since he mostly likely already has it (once again, it comes on the Sibelius disc).

And since the first poster already had Sibelius, using Kontakt player or getting something similar would be the best choice. He never mentioned anything about creating a home studio though...

yes, and I almost forgot to thank you very much for pointing out every technicality of my post...
deStructuralized
Nah, don't get me wrong, I hate being a stickler and I didn't intend to offend you if I did, but...

Understanding what MIDI is and how it works is an incredibly important subject if it's the main thing you work with. Saying that MIDI will always produce low quality sound is untrue, and most software lets you convert MIDI to .wav audio already.
Tyler
Well, for high-quality sounds, Finale 2006 is the way to go because it has SmartMusic Orchestra2Go sounds, taken from real instruments. The sounds are very high quality. Also, if you just want the software to print a score, what does the sounds the program produces matter?

However, many of my very successful pieces I have done in Finale. It's an excellent program. I highly recommend it.

Now the dispute about MIDI. MIDI is no more than a series of computer generated sounds set at different tones. It merely raises or lowers the sounds, although it sounds overly unrealistic. However, there are many way to make MIDI sound better by purchasing certain hardware. Also, as far as MIDI controllers, I highly recommend one, especially if MIDI is where your headed. But if you're going into full-fledged composing that will be performed by actual musicians, program sound quality doesn't matter.
Discovery
Thank you all for your input.

I don't have a MIDI keyboard. I only have a computer to do all my recording from my piano. When I want to write a score, I would use Sibelius, but that is very time consuming because I have to input note for note.

I guess I should play around with the software that's available and see which I prefer?

In your experience, what would be the most user friendly, and which have the better features, bearing in mind that I'd just compose via the computer?

Many thanks,
Discovery
tizziano
i always use my favorite : Guitar pro , you can have it with payment , but if you search hard , maybe you can find the free version of this program , but its not aright . thank you guys Razz
jamesjolliffe
If you're trying to get Reason and can get your hands on a student ID you can buy the "Educational Version" which functions exactly the same but costs half as much. Check it OUT.
jadefalken
soulman wrote:
I dont remember the exactly name of the software, it's like CoolEditor or CoolEdit... that's a good software, most of my friend use that to compose their songs with music...


This is now owned by Adobe, calling it Adobe Audition. Good program though, and you don't need asio support from a higher end sound card to run it properly.
The Mitchell
Quote:
Absolutely incorrect for three reasons.

1. MIDI is not sound, and MIDI does not "sound bad." MIDI is a computer function that lets you control the playback of sounds through "on" and "off" signals. The reason most people think "MIDI" sounds like trash is because the General MIDI set (GM) that comes included on everyone's computer is filled with sounds that are relatively unrealistic and thus unsuitable for realistic playback. But there are plenty of programs you can buy and use with MIDI to make realistic sounds.
See:
MOTU Symphonic Instrument
M-Audio Keyrig
M-Audio Drum n Bass Rig
Spectrasonics Dream Synth
Spectrasonics Trilogy

Well put. You can also export specific tracks from sibelius i believe and import them into any half decent sequencing or sampling software such as cubase, ableton live, or reason etc. These midi melodies are then used to trigger samples, synthesisers, drum machines, or anything you wish pretty much inside the sequencer.


Quote:
2. You can offset the "unrealistic" sound of MIDI through proper and natural changes in velocity (volume) and timing. If you quantize everything to hit on a 4/4 note, and you flatten the sound to always hit at 82, of course it's going to sound dead. But buy a MIDI controller and things can get a lot more lively.

Midi controllers are also another cost. It is possible as i say if you read music to export from your copy of sibelius which can then be imported into any sequencer or you can go the other way and sequence according to the notes on the keyboard in your sequencer. This how i do all my music and then i program in velocity changes to get a more natural feel to sounds such as drums or synthesisers etc. You can input notes to a sequencer easily and then use any synthesiser or piano or array of samples you like with it.

basically take a look around. maybe go into a music store and ask to have a go on a demo machine or even check the websites of popular sequencer for demo to try them yourself.

I use ableton for elecronica and techno although this doesnt suit all. Cubase wins hands down for live recording purely on sound quality and thats not to say ableton sounds bad!
The Mitchell
Tyler wrote:
Now the dispute about MIDI. MIDI is no more than a series of computer generated sounds set at different tones. It merely raises or lowers the sounds, although it sounds overly unrealistic.

This is actually totally incorrect. Midi is not tones at all. it uses optical isolators to isolate ground loops. It uses a digital type of signal (ie binary 1s and 0s) these signals are used like electrical gates. so 1 would be on 0 would be off (like on your computer power button) there you have a simple midi message. 1 tells the computer to play a sample ay no specified pitch, velocity, or any of that. remove the finger from the key and a 0 message would be sent turning the sample off. these 1s and 0s can be stringed together to create pieces of information about the pitch, length and velocity of notes etc. so 1 to tell you sampler to play the specific sample and 0 to tell it to stop playing said sample. 1 to start playing synthesiser 0 to stop playing synthesiser. Midi does not involve any audio whatsoever it is merely a digital way of controlling audio samplers or synthesisers.
Flarkis
I would sugest using finale notepad. It has a good set of features i use it when i compose my violin and cello scores.
moldgame
I think that the best soft about music maker is FL Stduio 7 ! It's great !
liljp617
Probably won't get anything good without spending some money. Only free one I know is PowerTab (of course most programs are free if you care to steal :O)
keit
i use cubase for daw

this software is so expensive, but i can use many free VSTi & sampler by using Cubase!!
currently, free sampler provides very high quality sounds to user.

that's good!!
The Mitchell
started plying with protools yesterday a bit more. its actually really nice. far nicer than cubase interface. the main reason i tried is because cuase was having problems with precisely the same setup as was working perfectly in pro tools. :s
deStructuralized
lucky Smile

Or I guess that's an unfair word to use, what I really mean is...
<< jealous

But you know what I mean, haha
The Mitchell
hehe. My housemate is dyslexic and managed to get a bit of a nice deal though our uni. 1 imac, 1 real copy of cubase, 1 digidesign mbox 2 with protools le, 1 real copy of reaktor 5 and 1 real copy of reason 4


not a bad colection 4 free. makes me cry though. lol but alas my macbook pro should be here any time *goes and sits by the front door and waits patiently for parcel*
ilyash
Discovery wrote:
Does anyone know of any good music software that you can compose music with?


Please take a look at my program Musical Palette - Melody Composing Tool. The program is based on the composition theory and harmony theory. The site of the program is located here:

http://www.palette-mct.com

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