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Ok, so you fancy yourself as the next master remixer or latest Stereophonics wannabe do you? Dont have the money to spend on recording time in a studio (believe me, it can get expensive)? Then you answer could be staring you in the face. Your PC. There are so many music packages available to the PC user today, it makes my mouth water at the thought.
Im hoping to give a bit of background on the ones I have used to get your music from the drawing board out to your listeners!
Im going to split it into 2 categories:
1)Dance music,sequencers and sounds,
2)Live music and mixers.
Dance music,sequencers and sounds. ----------------------------------
Dance music is huge now and most of the songs out there in the charts are samples with a few sounds, a bit of vocals and a drum loop. So how do you create these? Well, here goes...
*** DT DRUM STATION *** available from http://www.d-lusion.com
This gives you the drums you will need for your song. The Drumstation is a software drum synthesizer based on the famous drum machines TR-909, TR-808, and TR-606. Everyone must remember 808 state? No? Oh, Am I showing my age!!! Thats how they got their name. Named themself after a drum machine.
you can have up to eight channels for individual drums or WAV files. A typical set up might be: Ch. 1: Bass Drum Ch. 2: Snare Drum Ch. 3: Hi Hat Ch. 4: Crash Cymbal Ch. 5: Hand Clap Ch. 6: Toms Ch. 7: Low Bass Drum Ch. 8: Synth Drum It also gives you the ability to add effects and filters for each channel. So you could add some reverb to make the bass drum echo a bit or delay to make it sound a bit out of time like our drummer! Also included is a simple, programable step sequencer. It allows you to build your patterns up into a song. The trial version that you can download from the website cannot export WAV files. So you wont be able so save your drum loops unless you buy it! Cost: Free for the trial version : £29:99 for the registered copy. : Hacked versions are available on the web but Im not saying where. (unless you make it worth my while!)
*** REBIRTH 2 338 *** Available from www.propellerheads.se/
This is the software you need if you want to sound like Josh Wink. I have a separate op on this product but here is a brief run down. It's a combination of 3 different products,the TB-303, the TR-808 and the TR-909. This is the way all of those Techno classics were built. Trouble was, they stopped making these which made them collectors items. so some clever person decided to digitise them and put them into one computer package.
It offers you 2 X 303's. These are the ones that make the "peeyowee" type noises in songs. It gives you one 808 and one 909 which I have mentioned in the Drum Station review.
You simply build up patterns with this software making all sorts of bleeps and bangs, add the distortion effects so it sounds like early techno and export it to WAV files. The WAVs are then put into a mixer to create a song. Of course you have full control over effects and tempos as you do with DT Drum station, so you can match them both together at the right speed.
A great piece of software.
Price : Free Download trial version. Cant Save and it expires after 15 minutes. : The site says its out of stock (Yeah right, these are the people that make it!) Costs £199.99 normally. : Download a hacked version. Again I cant divulge this info (unless money is involved!)
*** Fruity Loops 3 ***
It claims it is the number one loop and songcreation tool on the net. Try it for yourself as they have a web download trial version. Too difficult to explain all it does here. you can make WAVs form Samples, midi tracks and entire songs all ready for MP3 playing. It can link in with Cubase too so it have a great overlapping capability between itself and its competitors. It offers one of the best tools for putting a song together as well as making the noises, drum loops and effects that its competitors use. If you check it out, you will see what I mean. It comes with a piano Keyboard so you can create your own tunes on it.
Really is a great tool. Check it out at the website.
Cost : Free trial download. Does not save though. : £49 or £99 depending on which version you want, Pro or Full : You know the deal on the hacked version.
If you own all 3 of these and now want to mix them down into a song after creating your individual sounds, you need to buy one of the mixers.
Live music and mixers. ----------------------
*** CUBASE 24VST ***
So you have your sounds and now you need a great multi track editing suite? Then get Cubase. Its used by professional musicians the world over. In fact, when we recorded our demo for the band (plugging my own music here) we had it mixed down to CD and then remastered using Cubase in the studio.
Thats how good it is.
Want to here the effect it has on live music? Then check out our songs at: http://www.mp3.com/vinylelektra Its basically a 64 track studio that you can literally do what you want with. It has full midi support, mixing desk functions, various effects, etc. In fact it does far to much for me to list. Just drag and drop your sampples into it and off you go. Moving them up to where they should be, aligning tunes and exen remixing!
Cost : Dont know about a free download. : £250 from the website : Mmm. My copy is very nice thank you.
*** CakeWalk Guitar Studio 2***
Yes! A great guitar recording suite that allows you to plug instruments right into the computer thank to the Line in socket on your sound card. Mic up the drum kit or use the sampler above. Plug in your guitar and then tweak it with the effects to sound like who you want to.
In fact, it does so much for you. Only problem is this is very memory hungry. Anything less than 128Mb of RAM... forget it. I run 256 Mb and it copes
Worth a try but not as functional as Cubase but cheaper.
The cheaper version is Guitar Tracks 2 at £50
Cost : Download a trial version form the website : £100 : Ah ha! I have this.
How about getting your music heard?
So you have produced an absolutely floor stomping smash hit but no one can hear it....
www.mp3.com comes to the rescue
Sign up, its free. Create a name for yourself, upload your song and then advertise it on their bulletin boards for people to listen. Good points are its free. You get money everytime someone listens or downloads your song.
Bad points are it takes about 3 weeks for them to approve your entry. If you are hoping for a Smash hit for Summer in Ibiza this year, forget it. Maybe a Christmas No. 1!!!
They also have stations on there to get your music heard on. People normally put other artists on their stations for listens if the other artist returns the favour.
So im open to offers if you want to swap songs on stations once you are up and running.