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Program for Making Jam Tracks


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#1 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

I need to make some generic background music sound tracks. I teach music and want to give clients something useful for practicing learning how to solo. I know there are tons of "free" jam tracks online, but I want to generate my own materials. I'll be publishing a book and might want to include some of them.

I'm having trouble finding the perfect program for this. I'm on a PC, and I'm looking to spend in the neighborhood of about a hundred bucks US. Or less.

I also want to be able to program and change stuff.

Years ago I had a fantastic drum machine by Boss, I think it was a DR-5. It had built in pre-set kits and samples of styles with a four-track mind, a drum track, bass, a rhythm instrument, and a solo track. I could modify anything in it by going into the music and just changing it. However, the work was labor-intensive. I wish I could find some affordable software that does all that.

Here's where I'm at so far...

Band-in-a-Box looks best to me. I can define a style, select the chord changes, and get something instantly. But...I can't edit anything really. The loops are sealed in superglue or something.

I looked at Abelton's DJ software and that will probably do most of what I need, but it leans to a certain style of music. I'm looking mostly for rock, metal, poop, country, maybe even string quartet, that sort of thing, not beat box, hip hop, trance/dance, etc. I was going to look into Fruity Loops too but backed off when I discovered it leans toward a particular style as well.

I've considered Cakewalk Music Creator.

Sony Acid Studio

Music Maker 15

I have a Lexicon Alpha and it came bundled with a very basic version of CuBase.

Plus I already own Cakewalk Music Creator 3, and have the free Audacity program.

I don't really understand how all this fits together. My main purpose here is not recording, but mixing sound loops, I guess. Most of these programs can patch together sound samples, but where do I get those? I checked out pre-packaged loops and they are very costly, like $50-100 for a collection of drums, guitar tracks, etc. By the time I'm done, I'll have invested hundreds of dollars! Yikes. Can't go that route. I don't need the latest, greatest sounds/instruments but just something decent.

And I'm not interested in 'borrowing' free sound online. I am willing to pay, but just can't afford a collection of loops as mentioned above.

I have Finale notation program and I can generate a WAV file of anything I write, even pick the instruments I want, and if it wasn't so labor-intensive, it would work for me. But I want something with pre-made loops of sound that I can edit.

Can anybody help me sort this out?

Thanks.

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#2 Capn Easy

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 09:21 PM

I'm not entirely clear about what you're looking for. In terms of getting "loops" that you can edit, it sounds like you're looking for royalty-free music -- with the added criterion that the license has to permit you to edit it. If that's what you're looking for, there are plenty of stock music sites out there. Google would be your best bet in finding them. You'll probably find that each source specializes in only a few genres, so you'll probably have to check several.

#3 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:20 AM

I'm looking to do more than just paste loops together. But yes, I'm aware of all the loops for sale online. I just found a program that looks mostly like what I want, called Mixcraft. It comes with quite a few loops. It's very similar to Garageband, but for the PC.

I am a music teacher and am always on the lookout for different programs that can do different things. Another program similar to Garageband is Band in a Box. It looks pretty easy to generate a very simple accompaniment.

My music notation system, Finale, can play back anything I score, and then I can export as WAV files. I just discovered that I can make my own loops with it.




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