DIY Music
February 23, 2006 2:02 AM   Subscribe

I want to start making music on my computer. I have no real experience in this field. Where is a good place to start: forums, tutorials that kind of thing? What software should i look into?
posted by FidelDonson to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

If you want to make loop or sample-based music, Sonic Foundry's Acid Pro is great. Of course, to create samples of your own, you'll want something like Cool Edit Pro (or Audacity as I believe it's called now).
posted by tom_g at 4:27 AM on February 23, 2006

Actually, Cool Edit Pro is now Adobe Audition (Windows only, tryout here). Audacity is also a fine free alternative, but you get what you pay for. SoundForge is another great, for pay product, now part of Sony. Windows, trial here.

Acid Pro is also excellent, and has also been bought by Sony. Windows only, free limited version here, but good enough for a start.

All in all, I agree with tom_g. I also heard good things about Fruity Loops.
ReBirth emulates all techno classics synthesizers TB-303, TR-808 and TR-909, and is now free. Fun little thing.

If you're on a Mac, you can't got wrong with GarageBand for a start...
posted by XiBe at 4:59 AM on February 23, 2006

Look into Jeskola Buzz. It's freeware, and there's a even little developers' community around it. You can use it to make whole songs or just add effects to samples.
posted by Laugh_track at 5:38 AM on February 23, 2006

What OS are you running?

If you're on a Mac, Garageband is perfect.
posted by unixrat at 6:34 AM on February 23, 2006

You might find the programs linked in this blog post helpful. Check out part one as well. Note: I don't make music, nor is this my site.
posted by Meagan at 7:07 AM on February 23, 2006

Buzz is a little too involved, imho, for a beginner. Go with Fruityloops for a year or so, then graduate to Reason. After that, you'll probably head into Ableton Live or Cubase or some such.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:37 AM on February 23, 2006

IF you're completely new and want to try loops, Fruity Loops is a good bet. It's EASY. It's SIMPLE.

And it doesn't take much to get impressive results, have decent MIDI support, and a huge sound library. They have a trial version available.

Get your computer upgraded with a semi-pro sound card.

And get a little MIDI keyboard. Just something from RadioShack would be fine - it doesn't have to be expensive (since the sounds can be changed once it's in the puter) or have a massive library. Try to get something with full-sized keys and levels of pressure.

I've setup a whole sound puter for my ex before, and I went with the M-Audio/Midiman Delta Audiophile 2496 for a card. It wasn't too expensive, it has great signal/noise ratio, can be used on both a PC/MAC, highly compatible with pretty much any config, and hasn't failed him yet.
posted by Sallysings at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2006

Another vote for Garageband. It's extremely easy to use, fun, and self-indulgent (musical typing!).
posted by ORthey at 12:34 PM on February 23, 2006

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