Recommendations for music mixing software?
October 17, 2005 10:31 AM   Subscribe

I'd like your recommendations for intuitive sound studio software for mixing .wav files into original music. I have very little experience mixing music, so simple is good, but not at the expense of power and versatility.

Cost is a factor also... but I'd be willing to splurge on more expensive software if it's worth it.

I tried something called Fruity loops a couple years ago, and it was easy to use, but even professional demo mixes made on the software always sounded like one of those little Casio keyboards. There has to be better stuff out there.
posted by Osel to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
Audacity is free. May not be as powerful as you are wanting...but it's a start.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:34 AM on October 17, 2005

FL Studio is a pattern based not sample based so perhaps it doesn't suit your purposes but you make a mistake in dismissing it as a toy. It is as powerful as any sequencer out there if you are interested in creating electronc dance music.
posted by dydecker at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2005

I'm a big fan of ableton live. The new version is really nice, too.
posted by atom128 at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2005

If you don't think Audacity is powerful enough then perhaps Ardour might fit the bill. They are both free.
posted by rycee at 11:00 AM on October 17, 2005

part of the things that probably made that fruity loop stuff sound bad to you was the use of their synths/emulated stuff. generally, using it with wavs is going to be as good as the original wavs and samples are.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 11:08 AM on October 17, 2005

I'm a big fan of Tracktion.
posted by toastchee at 11:10 AM on October 17, 2005

Man, Audacity and Ardour are pretty hard to use. Ableton live is amazing, but its more of an instrument than a master recorder. Fruity Loops is for kids.

To just start out try n-track studio or protools M-Powered.

But really, for a price of a PC rig you can get an iBook with Logic Express.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:17 AM on October 17, 2005

Yeah right. Kids like Matthew Dear, Akufen, Jeff Samuel, Reinhart Voigt, and Mike Oldfield. Whatever.
posted by dydecker at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2005

It's just a colorful sequencer, man.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:32 AM on October 17, 2005

I was speaking of several years ago, it looks like they now have a big stuido product.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:34 AM on October 17, 2005

Not exactly what you're trying to do when you say "mix music" (that could mean a lot of things) but look at Sony Acid. There is a 30 day demo so you can try it out. Tons of loops available and a very deep program.
posted by aaronh at 11:35 AM on October 17, 2005

Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro) is supposed to be very spiffy from what I hear on the audio grapevine. Cost is $299. You probably either want something like this or Tracktion so you can fly in wav files and tweak 'em without getting too involved in plugins, sync, and all the other complexities of digital recording/mixing.
posted by gallois at 11:49 AM on October 17, 2005

I second the Adobe Audition recommendation.
posted by dydecker at 11:52 AM on October 17, 2005

I'll second Acid. It's a doddle to use, and you'll get good results.

You may want to check out the Steinberg software such as Cubase. It's professional-level, so may be far too complex for what you want to do - although it will definitely be able to do it.

Fruity Loops is good, but it's not as fully-featured as other software. The demos it comes with do sound cheap, but they're not "professional", they're very basic. They may use all the features, but they don't necessarily use them well :-) Fruity Loops will definitely do what you describe.

If you're just looking to layer one .wav file over another, then you could probably get away with something very simple like Cool Edit Pro (now part of Adobe Audition, although that link apparently offers the original demo software). But this is probably too basic for your needs.

I've no experience of it but maybe Apple's GarageBand software is the sort of thing you're looking for? Sounds like you use a PC, so maybe it's not for you.
posted by ajp at 3:58 PM on October 18, 2005

dydecker - nice to see Akufen mentioned in a thread here :-)
posted by ajp at 4:00 PM on October 18, 2005

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