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Composition 101


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#1 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:05 PM

GM Music Composition
Composition 101

By: Freelancer Studios

Download Tutorial ZIP

Other guides:
Music Theory 101: Your guide to making better music


Outline:
-Introduction
-Choosing and Using Composition Software
-Actually Composing
-Melody and Bass
-The Keyboard
-The Staff
-Key and Time Signature
-Getting the most out of your Composition Software


Introduction:
indent-So you want to compose a song. How? What software should you use? How do you even use the software? What is a melody? How do you make a bass-line? If any or all of these questions apply to you, then you're reading the right guide. This guide was written in hopes of helping the composer-to-be enter a wide realm of sonic art: music composition.
indent-This guide is written as a sequel to (and is built upon) Music Theory 101 (by Freelancer Studios). Use both guides together for best results.


Choosing and Using Composition Software:
indent-To start composing music, you need some sort of software to do it, right? Right. So, what software is best for what you need to do? I'm sure you've heard program names like Fruity Loops, Sibelius, Noteworthy Composer, and Audacity thrown around. But how can you know which program to start with?
indent-Most people who enter the composing world want to start off cheap and easy, and what's cheaper than free? There is actually a surprising amount of free music software with more than mediocre results. The free software we'll be looking at is: Anvil Studio, Sound Club, TS-404, SimSynth, DrumSynth, DrumFlow, TrackAx, and Audacity.

-Anvil Studio
indent-Anvil Studio is perhaps one of the best known free MIDI sequencing pieces of software around. It has a user friendly interface including a piano roll editor, a guitar TAB editor, and a clef editor. It includes a virtual keyboard that helps you compose as if you were using a piano/keyboard. Anvil Studios also can take input from external MIDI devices, such as MIDI keyboards. It uses your computer's inbuilt MIDI instrument library, but has an option to export to WAV (so as to keep the instrument sounds constant across computers). Overall, Anvil Studios is ta great place to start for MIDI composition.
indent-Anvil Studio can be found at: http://www.anvilstudio.com/

-Sound Club
indent-Sound Club is a sample sequencing program similar to Anvil Studios. Like Anvil Studios, Sound Club has a piano roll editor and virtual keyboard, but, unlike Anvil Studios, Sound Club lacks a TAB editor and clef editor (composer). Also unlike Anvil Studios, Sound Club runs on a library of pre-recorded WAV samples, which means that when you compose with Sound Club, you're pasting short sound files together, rather than telling a MIDI translator what to do. This allows for sound consistency over multiple computers, but makes the initial file size bigger. The sample library available in Sound Club has a good range of instruments, and most are of pretty good quality. I recommend Sound Club primarily for its drum and bass samples, which can be mixed with your song through Audacity, TrackAx, or some other mixing software.
indent-Sound Club can be found at: http://www.bluemoon.ee/history/scwin/

-TS-404
indent-TS-404 is a virtual synthesizer which can be used for techno-sounding loops. It can produce some nice thick basslines, grinding rhythms, and electronic melodies. Once you get the hang of this cool little piece of software, there's really very few ends to the possibilities. TS-404 exports its samples and loops as RAW files, which can be imported and converted by Audacity.
indent-TS-404 can be found at: http://www.threechor...ad/ts-404.shtml

-SimSynth
indent-SimSynth is a nice little sound synthesizer, which is used to make those weird noises you just can't seem to find anywhere. SimSynth can export to RAW (which can be a pain to work with) or WAV files. The nice thing about the WAV exporting is that Sound Club can import and use WAV files as 'instruments'. This makes it very easy to incorporate SimSynth sounds into Sound Club projects.
indent-SimSynth can be found at: http://www.threechor.../simsynth.shtml

-DrumSynth
indent-Another gem from the people at ThreeChords.com, DrumSynth is a synthesizer specifically for producing drum sounds. It comes with a pretty big library of already defined sounds to give you some examples, since it can be a little confusing. DrumSynth exports directly to WAV, which, once again, allows for simple integration into Sound Club.
indent-DrumSynth can be found at: http://www.threechor...drumsynth.shtml

-DrumFlow
indent-DrumFlow is a MIDI sequencer specifically for making drum tracks. It has a relatively large library of drums sets available, with more available for download. It also allows you to save your custom drum setups, so you don't have to search through piles of drum sounds every time you want to use the program. Because it exports as MIDI, DrumFlow sequences can also be imported into other MIDI programs, such as Anvil Studio, for easy integration into your song.
indent-DrumFlow can be found at: http://tnikolai.nm.ru/drumflow.html

-TrakAx
indent-TrakAx is a music mixing program with video/visual sync capabilities. TrakAx makes it easy to align tracks of music together into one song. It even has the ability to change a track's BPM in order to align the music properly. Although it can be a little difficult to learn, TrakAx is one of the most powerful freeware mixing softwares available.
indent-TrakAx can be found at: http://www.trakax.com/software

-Audacity
indent-Audacity is a free music mixing and mastering program. It has a wide range of effects applicable to your tracks, and powerful editing tools. Audacity is user-firendly and easy to learn, and you seem to continually find new ways to use it. Audacity is also the one best music recording programs I've ever used, free or otherwise, so break-out your microphones and connector boxes.
indent-Audacity can be found at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

indent-So we've got a good, long list of free software to start you off. You're now ready to get into the actual act of composing your own music. Someday, though, you may want to move into paid software. Although there are advantages to paid software, don't worry about it too soon. There are plenty of free things to keep you busy. And, when you do start buying software, programs like Acoustica Beatcraft, Finale, Sibelius, Noteworthy Composer, and Fruity Loops (plus countless sound libraries) are waiting for you to buy (and for me to write a tutorial about *wink*).


Actually Composing:
indent-You're now ready to start into composing your own music. It's exciting, huh? You've got all your software ready, your mouse is all warmed up, and your head is exploding with song ideas and melody riffs. But how do you get all the musical goodness out of your head and onto the computer? Well, here we go. Get ready to pour a cup of music juice into your composition software and come up with a freshly baked song.
indent-For our tutorial purposes, we'll start off using the piano roll editor to enter notes into our song. We're going to use this form of composition (for now) because most sequencers have a piano roll editor, so you'll be able to follow along relatively well with most software; all instructions given will, though, will be for use with Anvil Studios, with secondary instructions for use with Sound Club. Secondary instructions will be in parenthesis next to each step, like this (Sound Club instructions).

-Your First Song
1.Open Anvil Studio (Open Sound Club)
2.Your screen should look like this. If it doesn't, go to 'View' in the task bar, and then find and click 'Piano Roll Editor'.

Posted Image
Figure 3.1-Anvil Studios screen on left; Sound Club Screen on right.

1.To enter notes in the piano roll editor, left click on one of the squares in the large area in the middle of the screen. Drag with the left mouse button down for longer notes. The letters on the left side of the screen denote the notes corresponding with that horizontal sequence of squares. Try entering a few notes in the piano roll and click play. (For Sound Club, adding notes works the same, but you need to add an instrument. To add an instrument, click 'Voice' in the task bar, then click 'Add Voice'. Choose an instrument and click 'Ok'. The instrument will show up in the list on the bottom of the screen. You may now use the piano roll editor.)

indent-That's it. You've just composed your first song. If you listen really hard, you can probably tell it needs some work, but don't worry about it. We're getting the basics down and moving along slowly, but surely. The next thing we need to talk about is melodic and bass movement.

Melody and Bass:
indent-The most prominent part in a piece of music is called the melody. The melody is that part you hear outshining everything else: that beautifully sung part, that pretty flute solo, or that piano part that's just so pretty. Essentially, melodies are the series of notes that stick out, and are those by which the song is remembered. Melodies play a huge role in keeping the listener interested in the musical piece. Besides melodies, we also have basslines, or basso continuo. Basslines carry a piece along (or hold it together, however you see it), giving the melody a firm foundation to rest upon. Although both melody and bass parts can operate just fine independent of each other, melodies usually sound pretty stark without a bassline, and a bassline gets boring pretty quick without a melody. Other parts to a piece of music include counter-melodies, harmonies, and so on. For more information regarding the parts of a song, refer to Music Theory 101.
indent-Creating a melody line (and bassline) relies heavily on your song's chord structure. Chord structures are discussed in Music Theory 101, which you should refer to, but, for now, we'll take the basic chord structure I IV I V. Those Roman numerals stand for which part of a scale to use for the key you're composing in. For now, just know that in the key of C, the I IV I V chord structure is C, F, C, G (refer to Music Theory 101 for more information).
indent-So, now that you've got a chord structure, what do you do? Well, a melody line usually follows the song's chord structure. Try making a quick melody from the roots of the chords (the notes the chord is named after, in this case C, F, and G). Pretty cool huh? All right, now erase all the diddling you just made and let's look at adding a baseline to a melody.
indent-First, put this melody in your program. Add a half note, or two beats, in C. How do you know how many beats your note is? For Anvil Studios, one beat is four of the smaller squares made of dotted lines (the distance between the solid lines). For Sound Club, one beat is the distance between the solid lines as well, although there are no smaller squares. Once you've got your two-beat C note, add another half note in F immediately following it. If you've done everything right, the F should end at the thicker line (which denotes the end of a measure). Repeat this process again with another C, and a G. You should now have two measure's worth of notes.

Posted Image
Figure 4.1-Your melody with an octave in the bass part.

indent-Now that you've got yourself a nice little diddy, try repeating the same notes an octave down. What you've just done is create an instance of the simplest form of harmonic melody and bass lines. By using the same notes in both parts, you've kept everything nice and simple. But what if you want to add more complex melody parts? Or maybe you want to add chords? Or more than two parts? There's just so much to cover that I can't possibly talk about it all here. Luckily, I've released another tutorial that can help you out in this area. Yes, once again, take a look at Music Theory 101, it really will help you out a lot.

The Keyboard:
indent-Keyboards. The keyboard is one of the most useful arrangements of notes in all existence. Yet, for many, this wonderful tool is a mystery. How do I find which note is which? Why are there black keys? Why are the black keys in little cliques? Well, wonder no further, because your keyboard instruction is soon to begin.......and here we go!
indent-Despite all of the keys on a keyboard, there are only twelves notes available on it. If you don't know why there are only twelve notes, or why there are more than seven notes, take a look at Music Theory 101. In any case, these twelves notes are A, A#/Bb, B/Cb, C/B#, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E/Fb, F/E#, F#/Gb, G, and G#/Ab (# means sharp, b means flat; see Music Theory 101 for more information pertaining to sharps, flats, and why some are the same). The white keys on a keyboard represent the seven notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. These notes are all part of the C major scale (lalso known as the Ionian mode of C), so if you started at C and went to the next C on the keyboard, you'd have played one octave of the C major scale (more scale info in the other guide I keep mentioning). But where is C? A C note can be found to the left of every group of two black notes. From there just count up. Here, look at this:

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Figure 5.1-The keyboard and its notes (screen shot from Anvil Studios Staff Editor/Composer)

indent-Hope that picture clears up any confusion. But, wait, the black notes aren't labeled! Don't worry, they're easy. A black key is the sharp or flat of the keys next to it: the sharp of the note to the left, and the flat of the note to the right (these double note names are called enharmonics...just read Music Theory 101). So, if you were wanting to know the name of the little black key to the right of a C, you know that it must be C sharp (because it's to the right of C), but it's also D flat (because it's to the left of D). The more you practice (and read up on enharmonics from other sources *cough*), the more all of this will make sense. Practice makes perfect.
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#2 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:06 PM

The Staff:
indent-No, I'm not talking about a thick stick used for fighting. A staff is a group of five horizontal lines used to display music in written form. Different characters placed on or between different lines of the staff represent certain tone and length values. In order to determine which tones are where on a staff, though, we have to have a little symbol called a clef. A clef shows you where a certain note is, from which you can determine the positions of any other note in relation. The two most basic clefs are the treble clef, or G clef, and the bass clef, or F clef.
indent-The treble clef symbol looks a little like the deformed byproduct of a one night stand between an S and a G. Jokes aside, this clef is used by higher ranged instruments, as it represents the higher end of the musical spectrum. If you'll remember, the treble clef is also called the G clef. This is because, by looking at the end of the treble clef that's on the staff, you can determine which line G lies on. See the swirl end on the staff that does not have a ball on it? The last line that swirl crosses before coming to a point is the line denoting the note G. From prior reading and understanding of music theory, you may know that there are many occurrences of the same note, called octaves. For reference purposes, this is the first G above middle C, or G1. The next G up would be G2, and so on.

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Figure 6.1-The treble clef. The internal twirl ends after crossing the line denoting G.

indent-So, now that you know where G is on the treble clef, you can just recite the musical alphabet forward (up) or backward down) to find other notes. Remember that the musical alphabet consists of only the letters A through G. Also, sharps and flats do not receive there own lines and spaces, so the space above G is A, and the line above A is B, and so on. In order to save you the time, here's a staff labeled in the treble clef.

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Figure 6.2-A staff labeled in the treble clef.

indent-Okay, so you're now an expert on the treble clef. But there are more clefs right? Right. The next clef we're going to learn is the bass clef. The bass clef contains, as you may guess, lower notes than the treble clef. The bass clef works basically in the same way as the treble clef, but each line and space stands for a different note value. The top end of the bass clef (with the big dot on it) rests on the line denoting the note F, thus the F clef being another name for the bass clef. There is also a dot over, and under (resembling a colon), the F line. From there, use the same technique used to determine the treble clef.

Posted Image
Figure 6.3-A staff labeled in the bass clef.

indent-In the bass clef, octaves are not referred to by numbers, like they are in the treble clef. The higher G on the bass clef (found right above the F marked by the clef and colon) is the first G below middle C, and is called small G (being in the “small octave”). The small G is represented as a lowercase G figure, like so: g. The next lower G, found on the bottom line of the bass clef, is great G, and is denoted by a capital G figure, G. The next octave is known as the contra octave, and its notes are represented by two capital figures, like GG or AA. Most keyboards don't contain any octaves lower than the contra octave, but, just so you know, the next octave is the sub-contra octave (ie. GGG), and the next is so stupidly low, that it doesn't matter.
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#3 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:07 PM

Key and Time Signature:
indent-So we now have a working knowledge of the staffs, but how do we denote sharps and flats? And once we have those, how do we determine how long each note is held for? For these tasks, we have two special modifiers for the staff called the key signature and the time signature. The key signature shows us which notes are raised a semitone (sharp) or lowered a semitone (flat) for the key we're playing in. But what is a key? A key is the root of the scale being used to compose a piece of music. For instance, if you're using the modes of the C major scale, the key would be in C. More information on scales can be found in Music Theory 101.
indent-So, key signatures show us which notes to raise or lower for the key we're playing in. A key signature looks like a bunch of sharps (#) or flats (B) at the beginning of the staff, to the right of the clef. The line or space a sharp or flat is the note that is sharped or flatted. So, if, in the key signature, there is a sharp on the line for the F note, then, whenever there is an F in the piece, it will played as F#. Since it would be confusing to explain all the different key signatures, here's a list of them below. Remember that a key is derived from the root of the Ionian (major) mode of the scale you're working with. Modes are simply different ways to play a scale in order to make it sound different. For now, notice that each scale is given in its major and minor key, which should suffice for now. So, C major is also A minor, etcetera.

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Figure 7.1-Key signatures in the treble and bass clefs

indent-So, now that we've got key signature down, there's the time signature. A time signature tells you how many beats to hold a note for. But, wait, we don't know the different note types yet. Remember how I said you place notes on different lines or spaces to show their pitch? Well, you use different note figures to represent how long (in relation to the time signature) to hold that note. The most common note shapes are the whole note, the half note, the quarter note, and the eighth note (they continue on forever, just divide by two each time). Here's what they look like:

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Figure 7.2-Note shapes.

indent-Ok, so we've now got all these note shapes that go on different lines and spaces to show when and where to play a note. But how long do you hold each note? For the answer, we finally look at time signature. A time signature shows how many beats are in a measure, and how many beats each note shape receives. Time signatures are written like fraction, with the beats per measure on the top and another number on the bottom. The number at the bottom is used to show you which note receives the count of one beat. It also shows you how many beats are in the whole note. For instance, in 4/4 time, there would be four beats in a measure and four beats in a whole note. So how do you use that to find which note receives one beat? Well, a half note is half of a whole note, so it receives what? Two beats. The next note shape is the quarter note. If a quarter note receives one quarter of a whole note, in 4/4 time, the quarter would receive....right, one beat. Note values continue just like that, in fractions.
indent-Some common time signatures are 4/4, 2/4, ¾, and 6/8. Though they may look confusing, just use the math operations I described above. 2/4 time would be two beats per measure with the quarter note receiving one beat. ¾ would be three beats per measure with the quarter, once again, receiving one beat. 6/8 time is a little trickier, though. It's Six beats per measure with the EIGHTH note receiving one beat. How do we derive that? Well, with the eight on the bottom, we can see that the whole note receives eight beats. So, with one eighth of eight being one beat, the eighth note is obviously the choice for the one beat note. Just keep practicing the math to this and you'll have it down in no time.

Getting the most out of your Composition Software:
indent-Well, we're about done guys. I know its been a long ride, but I hope it has been worth it. The guide hasn't gone much in depth, but there's always room for more tutorials and one-on-one help. The biggest thing you need to do is practice (over and over and over and over) with the theory and using your software. With a little creative thinking and using your programs together you can make really cool sounding pieces of music with freeware programs. I made this examples with DrumFlow, Anvil Studios, and TrakAx just to give you a taste of what can be done with a little work.

517419 QuickMix

Edited by Freelancer Studios, 16 January 2009 - 07:40 PM.

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#4 benburch2001

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:11 PM

;)

lol good effort for writing all that up, im just glad im not learning music for this first time ;)

Nice guide though.
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#5 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:27 PM

I tried to make it un-confusing as possible, but I fear I may have failed *wink*. We'll see, hopefully.

FLS
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#6 lewa

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:24 AM

Looks very nice. This is great for those who are having a hard time with software!

Where's our 50ft tall pic of a bass clef? ;)

Maybe you could include (if not in this one, later) programs such as SynthFont (which I thank ben muchly for directing me to it), and a good source for sound fonts.

That's an amazingly long list of good and free software. If I ever need any sort of non-general software (such as techno-loops), I'll definitely come here first (if I remember) (man I use a lot of parenthesis).
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Supercilious, I know. Sorry. I blame GIMP.

#7 Evano

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:38 AM

OOoo very interesting tutorial thingy. Just something completely random, why is the title 101? is there like 100 other tutorials out there or did you just put it there since it sounds cool like Die hard 4.0 or something ;) ;)

#8 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 03:03 AM

The 101 is just a general term for introduction. In the United States, taking the first in a line of courses (mainly in college) is usually a 101 course (like Biology 101, Composition 101 (usually called Comp1, it's an english course, etcetera.) In any case, I'm glad you like the software list, lewa, and I'll look into some more software. I'd eventually like to have something more about using the software, as I didn't have much chance to go into that in this tutorial.

Oh, I couldn't find a 50ft bass clef. It seems the rest of the world is racist against us bassists... (for those of you who don't know, I'm primarily a bass player [which means upright and electric bass]).

FLS
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#9 RpGJuNki3

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:56 AM

Yo Freelance! =)
Nice tutorial man!

Maybe you should add guitar pro to the midi composing programs! =)
I think its a great program for beginners! :D
It has a friendly user interface
Mini Digital Keyboard
Guitar Fret board
Exports to midi
But what makes this program so sik...plus great for beginners is.....!
You compose in Tabs rather then music Notation....(but it does offer it ofcourse ;D )
So the "big wall"(music theory) thats stand between a beginner from composing a decent sounding
piece...they get a small sigh of relief cause they can start composing in no time though tabs! xD


The treble clef symbol looks a little like the deformed byproduct of a one night stand between an S and a G.


haha genius xD

-RpGJuNki3 :)
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#10 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

Thanks RpGJuNki3. I'll take a look at Guitar Pro, as I'm not familiar to it. there's always room for amendments and additions to the guide. Oh, and I was hoping for at least one comment on that line, so thanks for that too.

FLS

EDIT: Oh, and Anvil Studios also has a TAB editor. I thought I put that in the guide, but I may have missed it. I'll check later.

Edited by Freelancer Studios, 16 January 2009 - 02:04 PM.

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#11 fawful

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:24 PM

Ah!
This is exactly the sort of thing i need to improve my abilitys,or develop them more like.
I'll come back and look at this some other time with Fl studio and try and learn something.

Thanks tons for this man,im sure it will help a lot!
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FABULOUS


#12 LegacyCrono

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 05:34 PM

Dude, you're the man.
Good work writing all this information! ^^

I haven't read the WHOLE thing, but I've gave some attention to pieces here and there... :)
IMO it's preety well explained. I'll read it completelly later, as I'm preety busy now. >_<

Keep it up, buddy!
SEE YA!!!!!
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#13 Evano

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 07:17 PM

Read the other tutorial he's made. Genius he is, writing all that. Might actually read them both since i sort of forgot how to do some theory :)

#14 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:57 AM

Thanks a lot for your kind words. I hope the guides did end up helping you all.

FLS
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#15 Marcus Derekus

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:06 PM

I know I am gonna sound obsessed to some people that have seen me around but how about you add LMMS to your software list.

http://lmms.sourceforge.net

It IS free and it is great software, very close to FL studio and equal quality.

Here is my topic about it

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=416498

Edited by Marcus Derekus, 22 January 2009 - 11:07 PM.

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*I AM CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE*

I Compose music for SERIOUS games/projects of any sort for FREE. For samples of my work check here

If you are interested then PM me

or email me at Colburn.b.hayden@gmail.com

#16 Marius Derekus

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:24 PM

Hey freelancer, very nice tutorial! You are good at these I guess. Well, to tell the truth, I never actually read the full tutorial part, just a few paragraphs. This is ONLY because I know I know it all (no, that was not a typo, read it over a few times an it'll makes since.) BUT, for someone who does not know this stuff this could really get them a head start The thing i personally liked the most was the software list as that can even help someone who is experienced in music. A lot of the software you listed I don't have and so I will install them, especially the drumshynt program because anvil studio doesn't have a very good drum selection.

EDIT: I meant DrumFlow, cuz it is the midi drum synthesizer.

Edited by Marius Derekus, 22 January 2009 - 11:27 PM.

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Hello. If you need music for a project of any sort, then contact me at marius.derekus@gmail.com or send me a private message and I will see if I can compose for your project. I am free and only require credit. If you would like to see some examples of my music, then go to www.myspace.com/cameronhayden

NOTE: I am moving my example page to http://www.reverbnat...m/cameronhayden but I am still uploading some songs.
Also, I will embed my ReverbNation playlist to my MySpace profile .

#17 benburch2001

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:02 AM

I know I am gonna sound obsessed to some people that have seen me around but how about you add LMMS to your software list.

http://lmms.sourceforge.net

It IS free and it is great software, very close to FL studio and equal quality.

Here is my topic about it

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=416498


So have you actually used FL studio yet?
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#18 Marcus Derekus

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:17 AM

I know I am gonna sound obsessed to some people that have seen me around but how about you add LMMS to your software list.

http://lmms.sourceforge.net

It IS free and it is great software, very close to FL studio and equal quality.

Here is my topic about it

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=416498


So have you actually used FL studio yet?


Nope, I haven't, but I am pretty sure I'm right, I am using equal reasoning as the that say LMMS sucks when they have never used it or that linux composition sucks when they have never tried it. Altleast I'm not cutting down an app. And if I get my chance I will try Fl studio out, I am just not in the mood of downloading a 100mb file right now.

Either way LMMS is one of the best FREE music composition softwares there is and since Freelancer here is only posting free apps I find this one very relevant.

Edited by Marcus Derekus, 23 January 2009 - 03:19 AM.

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*I AM CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE*

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#19 benburch2001

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:21 AM

I know I am gonna sound obsessed to some people that have seen me around but how about you add LMMS to your software list.

http://lmms.sourceforge.net

It IS free and it is great software, very close to FL studio and equal quality.

Here is my topic about it

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=416498


So have you actually used FL studio yet?


Nope, I haven't, but I am pretty sure I'm right, I am using equal reasoning as the that say LMMS sucks when they have never used it or that linux composition sucks when they have never tried it. Altleast I'm not cutting down an app. And if I get my chance I will try Fl studio out, I am just not in the mood of downloading a 100mb file right now.

Either way LMMS is one of the best FREE music composition softwares there is and since Freelancer here is only posting free apps I find this one very relevant.


Well maybe if you'd try FL studio you would see they are no where near "equal quality". LMMS is a good freeware app though.
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#20 Marcus Derekus

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:24 AM

I know I am gonna sound obsessed to some people that have seen me around but how about you add LMMS to your software list.

http://lmms.sourceforge.net

It IS free and it is great software, very close to FL studio and equal quality.

Here is my topic about it

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=416498


So have you actually used FL studio yet?


Nope, I haven't, but I am pretty sure I'm right, I am using equal reasoning as the that say LMMS sucks when they have never used it or that linux composition sucks when they have never tried it. Altleast I'm not cutting down an app. And if I get my chance I will try Fl studio out, I am just not in the mood of downloading a 100mb file right now.

Either way LMMS is one of the best FREE music composition softwares there is and since Freelancer here is only posting free apps I find this one very relevant.


Well maybe if you'd try FL studio you would see they are no where near "equal quality". LMMS is a good freeware app though.


Okay, I am downloading it right now, but to be fair maybe you should try out linux composition before you say it sucks compared to windows. But you are right, I need to test it to really know what I am talking about so I will. :-)

EDIT: Also, just a question, have you tried LMMS?

Edited by Marcus Derekus, 23 January 2009 - 03:25 AM.

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#21 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:10 AM

No need for heated discussion here, we all have opinions and it's none of our places to correct someone else; that's not to say you shouldn't voice your opinion, just voice it less violently. In any case, I went to look at LMMS and it looks pretty good, but seeing as how I was getting an 8.5 kb/s download speed and don't really have time to wait for a 16 mb to take 35 minutes, I couldn't be assed to wait for it. In any case, I 'll check back later to see if the download goes faster.

Though I doubt I'll add any more software to this guide, I may add it (and others, of course) to a future guide, likely one pertaining specifically to software.

FLS

Edited by Freelancer Studios, 24 January 2009 - 01:11 AM.

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#22 Marcus Derekus

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:48 AM

No need for heated discussion here, we all have opinions and it's none of our places to correct someone else; that's not to say you shouldn't voice your opinion, just voice it less violently. In any case, I went to look at LMMS and it looks pretty good, but seeing as how I was getting an 8.5 kb/s download speed and don't really have time to wait for a 16 mb to take 35 minutes, I couldn't be assed to wait for it. In any case, I 'll check back later to see if the download goes faster.

Though I doubt I'll add any more software to this guide, I may add it (and others, of course) to a future guide, likely one pertaining specifically to software.

FLS


Ok, your topic, your choice, thats fine. Plus, we weren't really discussing violently, but I definately see how that could be perceived. ^_^

Any way, great topic.
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or email me at Colburn.b.hayden@gmail.com

#23 deric007

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 10:08 PM

WOW ty
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#24 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:55 AM

You're entirely welcome. Let me know if you need any individual one-on-one help.

FLS
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#25 sharky

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:16 PM

That's a great service you're doing the GM community. Some mod should sticky those posts.

http://www.dontcrack.com/freeware/ has a good variety of free apps for windows and mac,too.

My 2 cents as a composer:

> Divide your melody into 2/4 bar phrases - put some rests between these. Melodies that go on and on without stopping soon sound unnatural. Generally, if you can't whistle your melody, it's not in phrases or has too many jumps in it.

> Your melody should end on the FIRST beat of a bar, not the last (people seem to think it should end just before the barline, because of the block-like way most of these programs work)

> Good tunes have repetition in them - don't just keep flying to new territory - come up with a cool little idea (could just be 4 notes) and keep using it. On the other hand, don't loop things too much - if you have a section that's just the same as the last one, change a few notes - add a new instrument on top etc.

> If you spend an hour working on a track, your mind gets into it and you start to get used to any wierd bits in it. Every now and then, go away and make a cup of coffee. Coming back to it after 20mins and listening to it again often gives you new insight or spot mistakes more.

The final test should always be if you can sing or whistle the stuff you're writing. (And if you can remember it!)
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#26 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:34 PM

Thanks sharky, and I appreciate your "2 cents."

To any new composers, read sharky's tips. They'll help.

FLS
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#27 chopinfiles.com

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:30 AM

Thanks sharky, and I appreciate your "2 cents."

To any new composers, read sharky's tips. They'll help.

FLS


oh cool thanks, i wasnt going to read his post until you told me to.
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#28 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:28 AM

I thought as much would happen. Hence my suggestion.

FLS
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#29 sharky

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:13 PM

Freelancer, if you're a dab hand with a DAW and like writing about music, you may be interested by http://audio.tutsplu...ite-a-tutorial/ they pay for audio tutorials. I tried once, and they didn't accept my one about general composing as they seem to prefer step by step guides that are specific to one piece of software, but it's worth a look.
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#30 chaz13

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:55 PM

Nice work, dude.

I trawled through it to try and catch you out (you bear) but you don't seem to have made any mistakes. Anyway, I think we all know piano's will take over the world some day and encage all gutiars, bass or not.
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#31 lewa

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:37 PM

Definitely. Piano pwns any instrument ever completely and totally. Irreversably even, and to the benefit of all who play it.
I really want to get an upright. I have an ancient electric piano.

@Freelancer: I use that scale sheet a lot. I even made one that looks similar for the minor scales, because I liked your format so much. I think that next you need to cover how to use scales, especially the effects of minor/major scales on mood. I personally think that the 1st 4th and 6th sound better than the 1st 3rd and 5th. [/blah]
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#32 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:09 AM

Lewa, I've been pondering throwing something out there to cover scales, intervals, melodic and harmonic motion, contrapuntal motion, and cadence (perfect cadence mainly). Interested? I may end up just setting up a blog for the serious people out there, though posting here always helps someone.

FLS
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#33 lewa

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:05 PM

Lewa, I've been pondering throwing something out there to cover scales, intervals, melodic and harmonic motion, contrapuntal motion, and cadence (perfect cadence mainly). Interested? I may end up just setting up a blog for the serious people out there, though posting here always helps someone.

FLS


That would definitely be awesome, especially since I don't know what most of those are. I think a good idea would be to include .mid files (which we will open in Anvil) to show what you are talking about.
As far as the blog, it's up to you. I think another topic is a good idea, but

Your tutorials really are very helpful. You led me from being able to compose basically nothing, to this: http://www.mediafire.com/?yo2mzzdydvg (kinda repetitive, but it's game music). Of course it's not all you, but you made music theory a bit easier to digest.
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#34 Freelancer Studios

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 11:33 PM

Half bump, half reply. I'm glad I could help out lewa, your music is starting to sound really nice. Reminds a little of Dauði Baldrs by Burzum. Keep up the good work.

FLS
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#35 lewa

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:19 PM

Thanks :-) Inspiration is key :-P
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#36 sharky

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:33 PM

I reackon you should get a blog for this content before GMC swallows it up in other threads.
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#37 HayManMarc

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:13 AM

Hay Freelancer--

I agree, nice work with this. Very helpful and informative to non-musicians and experienced musicians alike.

I would like to further promote LMMS as a great free tool to make music with. It's what I use and what I prefer until I decide to spend some money. LMMS is an open source project and is constantly being improved and updated. Check it out here: LMMS

Cheers to bass players! I am a self-taught bassist (and guitarist and songwriter).

---HayManMarc

Music is hard. Music is easy.
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#38 JakobePaulobe

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:29 PM

Great guide. Another music program I would recommend is Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio). Preferably 9 or 10. I've been using it for almost a year now and It's been giving me great results for the most part.
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#39 fyaopo

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:54 AM

LMMS is a FruityLoops clone, but buggier. Still, it's a powerful tool if you know how to use it correctly.

Interesting guide, though I have no idea why it was bumped 3 years after the last post.
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