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Trying to make digital mixes, what do I use.





TheGeek
I'm trying to make digitally mixed music. What I'm looking for is a program that I can put down my ideas into something that I will actually remember. Mostly what I come up with could be considered hip hop beat/techno sorta like crystal method, chemical brothers and gorillaz. What programs are available that I can put this stuff down. I have played with some programs (who's names escape me at the moment), but none of them have really done what I wanted them to do. Either they could only put the sound down in the form of a synthesized Piano or you could only used snippets of pre-made sounds and you could not easily add your own or take a snip of another song to mix in.
deStructuralized
No one computer program is going to give you all the features you mentioned.*

"A program that I can put down my ideas into something that I will actually remember"
You're looking for a multitrack sequencer, which basically allows you to create different arrangements of sounds, save those arrangements for future loading, and render those arrangements into audio formats like WAV or MP3:

The better sequencers out there: Logic, Sony's Acid, Steinberg's Cubase, Cakewalk's Sonar, Ableton Live.

Try a few demos out and see which suits you best.


"Or you could only used snippets of pre-made sounds and you could not easily add your own"
You're looking for two things:
1. A good software sampler, which will let you efficiently load various sounds. Some are good for instruments with notes, others are better for drums. Again, it's up to your needs & preferences. Steinberg is top notch as far as these go.
2. VST instruments.

People tend to like Reason 3.0 for those two jobs.

The samplers and instruments that work best for you probably won't come packaged with your sequencer. But the sequencer's important because it serves as a host application--in other words, it lets you load your various instruments or samples and record new parts with them.

"Or take a snip of another song to mix in."
Two options:
1. Sequencer, see above. I do all of my cuts exclusively in Acid Pro.
2. An audio editor, like Soundforge. Most people take this route.


Nobody knows your needs and working preferences better than yourself. Your best bet is to do some heavy research into what each of these programs do, how their functions are laid out, and how they sound...and decide for yourself what to get.


*FL Studio ("Fruityloops") is an all-in-one studio package that includes a sequencer, various VST/VSTis, and audio editing capabilities. It's very powerful in a general sense, but I find it lacking as a sequencer. So it doesn't count.
TheGeek
o ok, thanks a lot, that really helped clear up some things.

That was the program i was thinking of, Acid Pro. I did not have the pro version however, the last version I had was Acid 3 and it was only the trial demo CD I got from them a long time ago.

I will definitely look into the other programs you mentioned above and see which ones I like best. Thanks so much for your help!
The Mitchell
acid pro is good but limited as are all programs really. Generally most producers or musicians tend to use a few different programs. reason is good if you have recycle for turning loops into rex files. That way you can use reason for sequencing synths whilst making your own loops using say something like wavelab and recycle together. then rewire cubase up to reason and run live recorded tracks too. The problem is with this kind of setup your gonna need a lot of ram and processor power so a pretty hefty setup uis needed. Unfortunately though if thats not available its a case of making do. make stuff up in reason then export it as a stereo audio file and then import it to cubase would be the way i do it. but its personal preference.

Its honestly just a case of playing with lots of programs to find what suits you best. I personally hate cubase but im hoping the new cubase 4 seems a little more toward my taste. I know many people dont like the linear feel to reason. Its all a case of a compromise between what you like in a program and what you need to do with a sound. Get a few try before you buys and see what you think of a few progs then go buy.
TheGeek
Well Processing and RAM are sort of a limitation now, however, after Christmas I hope to do some upgrading and get a dual core processor (and I always overclock) and an extra gig of RAM so I should be ok I'm thinking after that.

Really then the only problem becomes price, these program are like Photoshop in comparison with prices its rediculous.

I downloaded the trials of Acid Pro 6 and Reason, However, when I go to download them I get an error saying that I am unable to install because the source is corrupt or something...WTF?
deStructuralized
TheGeek wrote:
Really then the only problem becomes price, these program are like Photoshop in comparison with prices its rediculous.

The thing to remember is that these are powerful high end programs, typically used by professionals or serious musicians. So if you won't be using all of the features anyway, or you're not that serious about it, it's possible to get "lite" versions of these programs for a lower price...for example, Acid Music Studio 6 (I saw a copy in Best Buy for about $60), or Cubase LE.

There are also freeware sequencers/samplers/VSTs/VSTis out there. It's a matter of finding them.

TheGeek wrote:
I downloaded the trials of Acid Pro 6 and Reason, However, when I go to download them I get an error saying that I am unable to install because the source is corrupt or something...WTF?

Not sure what the problem might be...I've never experienced that problem with the demos.
The Mitchell
truea lot of midi stuff is coming with fairly simple sequencing software too nowadays
Srs2388
try fruity loops, i have used to a few times and it works pretty good Smile
TheGeek
Ok, looks like the drive I was downloading the installers to is corrupt or something so I'm working on that. But I downloaded fruityloops in the meantime and man, this thing is confusing. So far I figured out how to make my own loops, but they aren't that long and some of the samples that I can put into the songs will overlap themselves if I put them in. How can I make the loops longer? Is there a tutorial I can use until I decide to purchase them because I can't figure out how to use it well enough without using a tutorial and you can't use the tutorials on the site without buying the program...what can I do?
hsadmin
Well, for using mac/apple computers, deffinitly go with garage band. Otherwise, use.. You know what.. I forgot what it's called. I'll ask my teacher tommorow.
TheGeek
Ok, well figured out what was wrong with my drive...it didn't like having a 25% fragmentation and it needed some sectors cleaned up, so I just re-downloaded everything and it works fine now.
hsadmin
Oh. I just remembered the what that program was. It's called cakewalk. I love using it. It's good for almost everything.. And it comes with several sample sounds... Like, using a gun noise, then earing some birds freaking out, then some thumps.. LOL! Look up " cakewalk music program"
TheGeek
My dad used that one for the longest time to mix his recordings (He plays instruments not DJ mixes) and he said he liked it too, I may see if I can get his CD from him sometime.
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