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Free software with MIDI sequencer and sample support?

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I was wondering if I get can any free composing software with specifically these two features: 1) MIDI sequencer (either note-based or piano scroll) 2) Ability to mix in WAV samples (maybe even record samples) I can get this stuff done by combining other programs, but I was hoping there was something that supports both. Trackers are out, just because I am really uncomfortable with them. (It''s ok if the tracker has a normal sequencer, it''s the tracking I hate.) I have JazzWare and Anvil Studio. Jazz doesn''t do samples, and Anvil''s interface is really clumsy. The whole half web browser thing doesn''t work for me, not to mention the sequencer is uncomfortable. So, any suggestions?

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Im unaware of any myself, but there is a sequencer out from Cakewalk called ''Music Creator'', which is a real cut-down version of Sonar, its big big brother. But its amazingly versatile for a tiny price (AUD$89, and AUD$59 for students)...

Anyway, anyone else know of free ones?

-s

www.mp3.com.au/scottbuckley

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A free sequencer would be Anvil Studio.

A free sampling program would be modplug tracker.


http://www.anvilstudio.com/
http://www.modplug.com/

You can sequence a MIDI using Anvil and then import it into Mod Plug to load samples onto the file and export as MIDI or just save it as a Module Format like XM, S3M, MOD, or IT. I think it also exports to WAV but it''s been a while since I''ve used Mod Plug so I can''t really remember.

Peace.

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I honestly don''t know of any good, free programs with the capabilities you want. You could try a tracker, but they''re not intuitive at all- good ones include MODplug (previously mentioned) and Psycle. You could try Buzz Machines also, but I''m really not familiar with that.

My advice would be to purchase FLStudio 4.5 for $99 (www.flstudio.com), quite possibly the most cost-effective software around. It''s the best sequencer I''ve yet used, and I''ve used quite a few, such as Reason 2.5, Sonar 3, Cubase SX 2, and so forth.

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Personally, I''d say that it''s worth it to become familiar with a tracker. For professional-sounding synthesis, it''s your best shot short of buying several grand worth of expensive keyboards and synth banks.

I really like ModPlug. Its interface is really quite good. It also supports MIDI-in for input, and, if you play your song while inputting, it becomes a sequencer.

ModPlug''s other advantage is that if you''re REALLY not comfortable with the tracker interface, you can sequence with something like Anvil and import the MIDI to ModPlug before messing with the tracking. (Personally, though, I say you''re better off doing the whole thing from within th tracker.)

While we''re talking about sequencing, though, I might as well mention Noteworthy Composer. It''s not free, but it is cheap, and I really like it for sequencing and writing sheet music.

Still, I say give tracking another shot.

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I disagree. Trackers are pretty much outdated technology (unless you''re doing system-specific songs, for systems Gameboy Color or Gameboy Advance) and sequencers such as Reason, Sonar, Logic, and Cubase are generally superior in every respect. The reason a lot of people still use trackers is only because they are used to it, and find the note input faster after years of practice; however, the piano roll is generally accepted to be more flexible and intuitive.

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I just posted Anvil Studio and ModPlug because you can''t sample with Anvil Studio, and ModPlug isn''t a sequencer.]


Also, Fruity Loops isn''t a sequencer, it''s a mixing and sampling program. It''s primary use is for Mixing/Editing/Creating Loops.

MIDI sequencing programs cost a bit if you get the brand spankin'' new ones like Sonar 3 or Cubasis and such, but if you don''t mind using outdated software and hardware, just by the earliest version of Sound Blaster Audigy, along with Cakewalk Pro Audio 9. You won''t spend over 200 dollars on that, and you''ll have everything you need(short of downloading a hellaciously large amount of samples.

Other alternatives would be to buy expensive Sampling software like Gigastudio, but most soundcards will give you hell when trying to use Gigastudio, so you are forced to buy one of the many expensive GSIF Compatible soundcards.

Next, you have VSTi and dXi interfaces(FruityLoops uses these) that can use a different kind of instrument sampling method. However, I''m not too familiar with VST because I never really got into it. Fruity Loops 4 supports just about all types of samples you can get though, so it''s a definite plus. However, if you want a staff view you are screwed.

Then there is the simple horrific method of using a program like Timidity to convert MIDIs into WAV or MP3 files, but it gives you little to no control over the final result of the sound, and the last time I messed with it(over 2 years ago) you had to have a full soundbank or at least one with all the instruments in the song you are converting.


Still, I would suggest getting into Tracking, While it''s outdated and obsolete by some select people, it''s still being used frequently because of the GBA, and if somebody developing for GBA comes along and offers some dough for you to compose for their game you''ll have that nice ability to make 4 different Module Formats. If you learn Anvil Studio at the same time, you''ll have a really powerful Sequencer on your hands, despite how most people make it look. Anvil has the ability to add all the controllers that you''ll need, even Portamento(if your soundcard supports it).

Anyway, I gotta jet. Just think of it this way... It can''t hurt to learn several different programs that all have different features that the other doesn''t have, but it can hurt to only learn one, and never find anybody that needs what you make with it.

Peace.

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FLStudio is definitly a sequencer; it processes all events in MIDI form, and can also arrange/mix audio. Also, while it''s ORIGINAL purpose was meant for simple loops, it is perfectly capable of being used to compose full songs of any genre at this point.

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quote:
Original post by a_zircon
FLStudio is definitly a sequencer; it processes all events in MIDI form, and can also arrange/mix audio. Also, while it''s ORIGINAL purpose was meant for simple loops, it is perfectly capable of being used to compose full songs of any genre at this point.


Okay, so I''m assuming that since it''s a sequencer you can change the velocity for this note and that note, use the expression, modulation, portamento, etc controllers, use...well...ALL the controllers that come standard in sequencers, as well as the pitch wheel.

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quote:
Original post by CBlockDis
I just posted Anvil Studio and ModPlug because you can''t sample with Anvil Studio, and ModPlug isn''t a sequencer.]


Except I already have both and it''s basically what I''m using at the moment.

The problem with tracking is basically that it gives me no visual cues. It''s like reading code. While that''s ok when I''m coding...it''s near useless for composing because the entire musical sections of my brain do not appreciate that, at all. Piano rolls and staff edit both give me visual cues about where a note starts, its pitch, and how long it is. Tracking gives me a note start.

Anvil just has a somewhat uncomrfortable interface, especially compared to NoteWorthy (which I rather like). I think I may as well buy NoteWorthy, as it''s the most comfortable sequencer I''ve ever used+; it''s just that I want piano roll editing as well.

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quote:
Original post by CBlockDis
quote:
Original post by a_zircon
FLStudio is definitly a sequencer; it processes all events in MIDI form, and can also arrange/mix audio. Also, while it''s ORIGINAL purpose was meant for simple loops, it is perfectly capable of being used to compose full songs of any genre at this point.


Okay, so I''m assuming that since it''s a sequencer you can change the velocity for this note and that note, use the expression, modulation, portamento, etc controllers, use...well...ALL the controllers that come standard in sequencers, as well as the pitch wheel.


Yes, of course you can.

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quote:
Original post by a_zircon
quote:
Original post by CBlockDis
quote:
Original post by a_zircon
FLStudio is definitly a sequencer; it processes all events in MIDI form, and can also arrange/mix audio. Also, while it''s ORIGINAL purpose was meant for simple loops, it is perfectly capable of being used to compose full songs of any genre at this point.


Okay, so I''m assuming that since it''s a sequencer you can change the velocity for this note and that note, use the expression, modulation, portamento, etc controllers, use...well...ALL the controllers that come standard in sequencers, as well as the pitch wheel.


Yes, of course you can.


Ah. All I''ve ever heard come from FL is dance music and such, and have never heard anybody make good use of velocity in FL. Now...there is also the fact I have FL4 and haven''t had a chance to really play with it...but I''m too lazy to open it up and learn anything about it.

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I downloaded the FL trial, and I like it...even though I haven''t actually managed to achieve anything in it.

I might just shell out the money for the cheapest edition.


Oh, and I tried to learn tracking but I hate it. Like I said before, music needs to give me visual cues. Staff and piano roll give me that, the tracker doesn''t. Anvil will have to do for now.

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quote:
Original post by CBlockDis
quote:
Original post by a_zircon
quote:
Original post by CBlockDis
quote:
Original post by a_zircon
FLStudio is definitly a sequencer; it processes all events in MIDI form, and can also arrange/mix audio. Also, while it''s ORIGINAL purpose was meant for simple loops, it is perfectly capable of being used to compose full songs of any genre at this point.


Okay, so I''m assuming that since it''s a sequencer you can change the velocity for this note and that note, use the expression, modulation, portamento, etc controllers, use...well...ALL the controllers that come standard in sequencers, as well as the pitch wheel.


Yes, of course you can.


Ah. All I''ve ever heard come from FL is dance music and such, and have never heard anybody make good use of velocity in FL. Now...there is also the fact I have FL4 and haven''t had a chance to really play with it...but I''m too lazy to open it up and learn anything about it.



It is most certainly capable of doing any genre of music; I have routine composition competitions on IRC where most people use FL, and the orchestral work some of the people submit is really outstanding- some of it is film score quality. The problem is that it since dance music is fairly easy to make, new users to the program tend to write that kind of music.

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Man, every time this question comes up here, it seems like trackers are the 1st thing suggested. I always feel like I've fallen into a time warp. I expect someone to say..'hey, have you heard about this new thing called midi?' Anyway, if you still like trackers best... that's fine, but come on, don't advise people starting out to go in that direction.

I'd recommend, as a start, picking up a copy of Computer Music magazine. On the CD that comes with it you'll find a decent sequencer. It is a VST host, and you'll get a bunch of nice vst instruments on the CD too.

Better yet, follow Buckles' advice and get the most basic Cakewalk sequencer, then when you are ready for more advanced stuff you can upgrade to Sonar.

(I guess if you're happy with FL, it's not really a bad choice. I would be concerned that someday down the road you're going to feel constrained by it's limitations. It would be worth it IMHO to just invest the time and money in a real sequencer from the start.)

[edited by - DanaHawkes on March 28, 2004 8:26:14 PM]

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