Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More D. I. Y. Recording Tips - Software/Freeware

There are several free programs available online that I find very useful, here's a breakdown of some of the ones I use the most and a few tips on how to use them. To ensure you get the latest version I will suggest you google them by name instead of provide links. Power Tab Editor: Originally designed for guitarists to learn to play their favorite songs this software went on to prove to be a powerful scoring program. Not only that, it's MIDI capabilities make it a very useful songwriting tool that can also be used to provide actual tracks. To write a score you enter the tab fret number on the string you want and it can be played back in MIDI. Having at least a basic knowledge of music theory will help immensely, especially the time part when scoring a track. The options of sounds your score can be played back in with MIDI is very surprising. The funny thing is, the guitar options are about the most unusable for actual audio use, other than learning to play a song, but the bass guitars, drums and several of the keyboard options sound great. I have written parts for songs in all of these that sounded good enough that I exported the MIDI track and converted it to a WAV file and used it in a finished track, with some tweaking in an audio editor, usually Audacity. A quick google search for "MIDI to WAV converter" will get you lots of results, I use the NCH model, which also allows conversions to and from mp3. Once you have your file in WAV format you can load it into Audacity and edit it into whatever you need it to be. To hear what can be done with Power Tab Editor listen to "Silicon Dirge" at YouTube, everything you hear in the first minute or so was created in Power Tab Editor with this process, even the deep voices. Only the guitars that show up at certain points were played in real time on this song. So to re-cap; with a computer, free downloads of Audacity, Power Tab Editor and a MIDI to WAV converter(and some imagination) you can create something like this:Silicon Dirge at YouTube

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