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I need help with music and sound creating.


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#1 DragonStorm   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:09 PM

Hello. I have been sort of teaching myself how to compose music for about three years now, and I was never successful in finding the right sound library to use. I have mainly made music with my PC's default midi sound, but that is just not enough for me. Which is no surprise because default midi sucks. =p

Anyway, there are a few things I need help with.

First I need to find the right music and sound creation programs. Almost all music creation programs I have tested have been far too electronic sounding for what I want to make. My goal is to find a program that has a variety like default midi does, mainly the basic stuff. Like pianos, strings, guitars, bass, brass, good percussion, and the rest of the stuff.

To make this more complicating, I do not want it to sound too good or be crazy expensive. By not sounding too good, I mean I want it to sound more like Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or GBA than something that sounds like an actual band playing with real instruments. To make this simple, I want the instruments my default midi sound library has but have it sound good on the ears. I know I could just rip sounds from games and use those to make music with, but that is something I want to avoid at all costs, seeing how I am going to be making music for games that will be sold legally.

I have tried many music making programs, and I only liked using FL Studio out of them. My issue with FL Studio are it is too expensive and the default instruments on it are too electronic (an issue I listed earlier). The reasons I like using FL Studio are because of its built in keyboard function (it really helps so much) and composing music in the piano roll section. I have tried looking for VSTs to fit what I'm looking for, but no luck. If any of you do know any free or cheap VSTs that have a good variety of basic instruments and have it sound good, please share. That would save me a lot of time. I have decent sounding chiptune VSTs, but I want to avoid using chiptunes.

On another note about FL Studio, if I pay for its cheapest version, can I still use VSTs I make or download? (feel free to skip this question if you cannot answer)

I do not remember the name of most of the music programs I have used, so I cannot list them all. But if any of you know any music creation program that have a built in keyboard function, easy to compose music with (like using the bars on piano roll in FL Studio), cheap so a poor person like I can afford, and is VST compatible or has a good default sound library, then please share. =p

I also need a good place to start with sound creation. Do you have any suggestions for a good cheap (preferably free) sound effect making program I can use?

I am sorry if this stuff has been answered already and I could have easily found all these solutions, but I did search the forums a bit and read the stickies. I just did not find any of the specific advice I was seeking. I will really really appreciate the help. =p

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#2 advancedmusicsubstitute   Members   -  Reputation: 95

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:34 AM

Hello, I'm new to the forum here; my first post, actually. I've been producing music for over 8 years, the bulk of it being electronic-styled experimental, etc. What I use these days for all my tracks is a combination of FL Studio 9 and a VERY outdated version of Acid, pre-Sony buyout. There are a number of VSTi's that can definitely get you the sound you want, even if you're a preset junkie like me. (I hate twiddling knobs, I'll be the first to admit it). Still, if you'd rather sculpt your own sound, they also provide you with such capabilities. One in particular you may be interested in comes from a company called TweakBench, called "Peach". In case you don't already see where I'm going with this one, it's a total emulation of the original NES soundcard. Yes, you can take your midi tune that you create and give it all that 8-bit glory. I've made several tracks using it and it's one of my main arsenal when I'm looking for that old sound. In fact, Tweakbench has a great selection of FREE VST plugins that are great for working with most DAW's, including FL, most of which have a great vintage or analog sound. All of them are available via their website, just google "tweakbench" and enjoy.
http://www.soundclou...musicsubstitute Hear my tunes! Contact me with your project ideas if you want a custom score for your game. Don't settle for royalty-free repetition, get ORIGINAL, quality work!

#3 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3641

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:52 AM

First I need to find the right music and sound creation programs. Almost all music creation programs I have tested have been far too electronic sounding for what I want to make. My goal is to find a program that has a variety like default midi does, mainly the basic stuff. Like pianos, strings, guitars, bass, brass, good percussion, and the rest of the stuff.


What you're discussing is focused more on the samples (sometimes called patches) than the actual program. Almost ALL of the programs currently on the market either come with or support VSTs. While I've heard plenty of dance/electronic based music from FL Studio producers, I've also heard plenty of other styles as well. You just have to explore the sounds and methods used to create those kinds of music. Since you're after SNES-style music and like FL Studio check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB1TlBSUupI

It's definitely possible. Maybe you're just not going about it the right way?

To make this more complicating, I do not want it to sound too good or be crazy expensive. By not sounding too good, I mean I want it to sound more like Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or GBA than something that sounds like an actual band playing with real instruments. To make this simple, I want the instruments my default midi sound library has but have it sound good on the ears. I know I could just rip sounds from games and use those to make music with, but that is something I want to avoid at all costs, seeing how I am going to be making music for games that will be sold legally.


You can purchase or create 16-bit and 8-bit style samples and patches. These are sometimes called Chiptunes. Some sample libraries are completely free, others cost money - but not a ton usually.

I have tried many music making programs, and I only liked using FL Studio out of them. My issue with FL Studio are it is too expensive and the default instruments on it are too electronic (an issue I listed earlier). The reasons I like using FL Studio are because of its built in keyboard function (it really helps so much) and composing music in the piano roll section.


Many DAW (digital audio work station) programs feature a piano roll editor. Besides the cost of FL Studio ranges from $50 up to $930. I can certainly understand not wanting to spend $930 but can you really not afford to spend $50 on software?

I do not remember the name of most of the music programs I have used, so I cannot list them all. But if any of you know any music creation program that have a built in keyboard function, easy to compose music with (like using the bars on piano roll in FL Studio), cheap so a poor person like I can afford, and is VST compatible or has a good default sound library, then please share. =p


Since you're on PC I'll just list PC-supported DAWs:

- Cakewalk Sonar
- Cubase (and Nuendo)
- Pro Tools
- Reaper
- Reason
(just to name a few)

I also need a good place to start with sound creation. Do you have any suggestions for a good cheap (preferably free) sound effect making program I can use?


Any of the programs I listed above also would work for sound design. I'm not so sure about FL Studio though.
Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#4 DragonStorm   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:22 AM

Thank you both for the fast and helpful responses. I do really appreciate it. =p

It seems to me I should stick with FL Studio for now. The others are just far too expensive and I do not know them like I know FL Studio. I can definitely afford the cheapest FL Studio stuff, maybe a bit above the cheapest. I'm just not in the position to spend $500-$1000 dollars on something I cannot guarantee to make me money.

So it seems to me my goal should be to find the right VST.

As far as that Mega Man X music arrange, I think it is great. My issue is it directly uses instruments from Mega Man 7 to capture the SNES Mega Man sound. When I make music, I do not want to make people think of any of the classics. Directly using SNES sound is something I want to avoid. I am wanting something more along the quality and variety, not an imitation. Wow, I sound like a picky kid refusing to eat most foods. Posted Image

I actually have the Peach VST downloaded, and I think it is fantastic. But I want to avoid using chiptune for the project I am currently working on. It is there if I fail to find any VSTs I like, I would most likely resort to using it. Not the worst thing in the world. =p

If anyone has some more good VSTs to recommend, I would really appreciate it. I am going to continue the search for those again soon very soon myself.

#5 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3641

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:52 AM

http://www.flstudiom...aded-loops.html "Because they're royalty-free, you're welcome to use the samples in your music in any way you like - all we ask is that you don't re-distribute them."

http://www.flstudiom...ps-effects.html

http://woolyss.com/c...sic-samples.php (The 8bit family volumes seem pretty good!)

http://www.plogue.co...cts/chipsounds/ (I actually own this one and it's quite powerful and you can really tweak the sounds)
Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#6 DragonStorm   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:31 AM

The last link (chipsounds) was fantastic, but there is no way I could afford that. ):

As far as the vst search, I have not had any luck and am pretty stressed about it. Either I find too powerful or too electronic. I would have guessed having more basic instruments that sound good would be easier to come across than complicated electronic instruments that sound good.

What I really want is a vst that just has a good variety of normal instruments. It would be great if I found something that had the majority of default midi instruments that is not bad or too powerful. I need something more in the middle. My searches have led me nowhere so far though. The closest I came to finding the solution was discovering free sound font banks, but those are just too powerful for the most part and are simply too big as far as file size goes.

I have a feeling what I'm looking for is not actually hard to find and I'm just not searching correctly. I'm sorry if I'm not communicating well enough, it's hard to find the right words to describe what I want here. =p

I would greatly appreciate if someone could help me find what I'm looking for. I want matching pianos, strings, electric bass guitars/acoustic bass, percussion, brass, choir ahhs, etc etc etc that are not too crappy or powerful. The basic stuff, as far as I can tell. But seeing how it's so hard for me to find decent ones, maybe they are not so basic. :\

#7 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3641

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:05 PM

The last link (chipsounds) was fantastic, but there is no way I could afford that. ):


I don't know your financial situation but I can attest that for $95 the Chiptunes module offers a ton of power, flexibility and range to cover many types of situations. It's well worth the investment.

As far as the vst search, I have not had any luck and am pretty stressed about it. Either I find too powerful or too electronic.


You do realize that many of the VST programs allow for you to tweak the sounds yourself to your individual tastes and needs, right? You don't have to use them strictly as-is.

I would greatly appreciate if someone could help me find what I'm looking for. I want matching pianos, strings, electric bass guitars/acoustic bass, percussion, brass, choir ahhs, etc etc etc that are not too crappy or powerful. The basic stuff, as far as I can tell. But seeing how it's so hard for me to find decent ones, maybe they are not so basic. :\


I'm not an FL Studio user so I cannot speak to what it has or doesn't have but every other DAW I've used at a deep level (Reason, Pro Tools, Sonar, Logic) has come with these kinds of sounds. Does FL Studio seriously not have ANY of these kinds of sounds bundled with it? If it doesn't, then I'll look into one of these other solutions. Hope that helps.
Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios




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