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DragonXXIV

A little help for the newb?

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Ok, I'm new to everything here. I came in trying to find some useful tips on creating music for my computer, but I find that every other word is unknown to me. I need to create high quality music and sound effects for an RPG, but I'm not in a hurry. The RPG is fantasy/sci-fi. I don't mind spending a few years gaining experience, but I expect I will be the main composer for the game so I need to know every thing. I do not know how to play any instruments at the moment. I have a great speaker set and I can get a good mic if I have to. I have a built in motherboard soundcard, an Nvidia nForce that has never failed me yet. And lastly I have time. Oh, and I am trying to keep this low-cost. If you can point me in the direction of any programs that are either free or less costly I would be thankful. Thanks in advance.

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This is a complex and vague question so I'll just give you my recommendations. Go get yourself some software. A great program to start with would be Propellerheads Reason because it sounds great, is relatively easy to use, does not require any 3rd party software, and will remain useful regardless of what software you upgrade to in the future. Eventually you'll want to get a real sound card, some studio monitors, and learn how to properly mix and master your compositions but don't get ahead of yourself, these things are useless to you at this point, just have fun learning to write music.

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Wow, now that I think about it I didn't state the question very well. Let's rephrase that, shall we?

I would like someone to point me to some good tutorials on making music, some good cheap programs, or at least give me some tips and pointers.

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Quote:
Original post by DragonXXIV
I would like someone to point me to some good tutorials on making music, some good cheap programs, or at least give me some tips and pointers.


First off - what sort of tutorials are you really looking for? Tutorials on how to use music software? Or tutorials that deal with things like music theory etc.?

I'm afraid that when dealing with music, whether or not a cheap program is any good - usually depends on what you're looking for to begin with. What sort of music are you looking to create? That will determine roughly what sort of software you need.

It's unfortunate that you are in the US - if you were in the UK, I'd simply tell you to get a copy of Computer Music magazine and play around with the free software they give away first... Note that for most software, you will require a MIDI keyboard. The only real exceptions to this is tracker-based software, (as opposed to sequencers), since you can usually use the normal computer keyboard instead. If you'd like to test a Tracker out - try Renoise (www.renoise.com). This tracker also supports VSTi's (virtual instruments) - many of which are available for free - (from places like www.kvr-vst.com).

Darren Tomlyn
Tune-writer and Fiddle-player
http://www.ic-musicmedia.com/DarrenTomlyn

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Quote:
Original post by DragonXXIV
Wow, now that I think about it I didn't state the question very well. Let's rephrase that, shall we?

I would like someone to point me to some good tutorials on making music, some good cheap programs, or at least give me some tips and pointers.


I'm a beginner too, but I can tell you what I'm using.

First off, how much do you know about music to begin with? While I've only recently starting writing my own music, I did use to play the trombone, and I've been teaching myself piano, so I already knew some of the absolute basics (such as how to read music and basic chord structure).

If you don't know much already I'd recommend you get a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory. I recently got a copy myself, and it's pretty good for the beginner (don't let the "Complete Idiot" part fool you, there's a lot of good stuff in here). The first half of the book teaches you the basics of how to read music and what the lingo means. The second half (which is why I got the book) teaches you the basics of composition and improvisation.

For software, I recommend you dig up the thread where I asked that very same question a few weeks back and see the replies I got. I'm presently using ModPlug Tracker to learn composition, and I'm using Audacity to record samples from my synth. keyboard. Both are free.

As for additional tools, it depends what you are comfortable with. I really couldn't compose anything without a keyboard, since I have to experiment with chords and melodies to hear what sounds good. But there's probably other ways to do composition too; I'm only a beginner so I haven't really decided on the best method for me yet.

Good luck! I'm finding writing music to be a lot of fun, so I hope you enjoy it too!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ok let me break it down simple for you, get Reason and play with it. Don't worry about what note is what and what chord is what and which octive is which and all that. Read the Reason manual and start playing around. If songs don't start to happen, then you should not play music. If you find that you can write songs, then you might want to get the theory book the other guy suggested but if you're not musically inclined then books wont help you. You need to learn to write music first, duh.

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Yes, obviously Anonymous Poster is an expert in the field of music. If you have a lot of music theory behind you, you could write very good music without having any "musical inclination". I started with a standalone synth program called TS-404. First I'd load up a preset and change the notes, then just make different patterns and switch to them during playback to make some music. They sounded horrible. You could similarly get a demo of reason or fl studio, open up a song that comes with it and start tweaking it.

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More clarification is needed!

I am actually gonna be writing quite a few different types of music. In the game the character may travel through 'technology' or 'magic' paths. Magic will have traditional symphony music and that kind of stuff. Technology will have be darker with more futuristic stuff. Can't really describe it well.

As for music, I can read notes somewhat, but have no idea about anything else. I would like to try a demo for a program and get good at it, then maybe buy it. But for that I need the name of a good program.

Thanks for the help. Really. Thanks. This helps more than you can imagine.

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These are pretty beginner friendly i guess:

orion http://www.synapse-audio.com/
fl studio http://www.flstudio.com/
reason http://www.propellerheads.se/

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seriously i think u should not be even thinking of making music when ure NOT EVEN A MUSICIAN.. dude.. if u think u can make symphony music and dark futuristic music, URE DREAMING.. when will you people learn to wake up?..

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