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PC SETUPS - LOOP-BASED STYLES

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Author: admin
Date: 20-Apr-99

[dancetech database recompiled in 1999 - some articles listed April '99 are older]


So... you DJ ?, or spin in your bedroom ?, and you want to make some custom remixes ?, original stuff, primarily made with loops from CD's, vinyl etc, combined with breakbeats, and original beats made yourself with drum-samples...

Ok, in the old days (and to a most extent still for live shows), people use samplers... sometimes 10 or more for bigger shows with more samples in the days when samplers had smaller memories... these samples are triggered by a sequencer with Midi note data .. ...

Working at home more, the pc steps in as a superb tool to get cost effective music-making with samples... Now original hardware Samplers can either: 1. Play breaks & loops or hits, like drums or stabs 2. Have many samples mapped across a keyboard and played from key's to imitate instruments...

Well primarily, both these sample players do the first job... and for these sort of sample-based styles & jobs, two programmes come to the fore, ... Similar... but each has different facilities in a few key-areas.... Those programmes are ACID, and MAKING-WAVES... and you can think of them both as 'Audio-Sequencers' & sampler drum box's... you could even do jungle on these s/wares... and one of them will let you create original patterns from different instrument samples... hmmm !...




AC-E-E-E-E-E-D



Sonic Foundry's 'ACID' is a hip-hop Jungle & breakbeat dream, a remix Nirvana, a radio-mix-tape compilers paradise,... any music where you want to build it with samples... this includes being able to make beats yourself with original drum samples to use with loops and longer bits of audio...

In essence ACID like MAKING-WAVES is a non-destructive digital multi-track... tracks can be effected in many ways down to super-tight edits in many areas, and the addition of digital FX such as delay/echo & reverbs as well as many many others from valve-sound-bass-enhancers to de-clickers for old vinyl make them very versatile.

So for example... You take a most basic disco remix .... To get a basic start going, you record from cd the original track... take the sections you want to build the track.... Maybe the new track is a 2 bar loop from a disco instrumental verse, repeated, leading to the bridge (if any) and into the chorus with various new drum patterns over the top and a cross bassline loop that comes in at a certian point from another cd....The chorus is done as a full loop of the actual cd chorus... ok....

You can then put the 4/4 or whatever KIk-drum pattern over the verse loop... add a hi-hat pattern.... you can create that hat pattern if you like from maybe 3,4,5, or however many different hat samples.... just use a track for each sample.... once you have the beat, you can mix it down in the digital domain into a single new stereo or mono loop... close the drum or just the hat tracks, and open up the newly-created loop .. simple !!.... or leave the drums seperate... whatever... you can do stuff like fade up rolls with a drum sample or whatever... just put in a row of snare sample at 16th intervals and do a fade up with the fader.... there's even an auto fade up and out etc...

Again for hip-hop, ACID OR MAKING-WAVES is a wicked option over a sampler... You can record any amounts of vinyl into the pc from your dj mixer, chop 'em up in a simple editor like Cool-Edit Pro (see box), and save them to your hard drive to create a library of your loops and samples you want to use... add to this sample cd's or web samples or whatever, and you can have any mixes of original beats with any drum samples, loops, breakbeats, endless samples... you can get like 8 & 9 GB drives for 150 quid now, that will store literally hours & hours of loops & samples .... With the ACID programme, you can use Direct-X FX on the tracks... and... with ACID, You can put down vocals, it will record like a tape machine...

DECENT VOCAL MIC
Just get a decent mic...Then, all you gotta do is get a lttle mixer with decent eq and mic inputs... or, a rack mic-amp & eq unit... whatever... something to get a good mic level into the PC... You can record vocals over the backing you've created... yup... and then do backing Vocals (BV's).... and then mix 'em in with automated faders, pan, and effects.

KEYCHANGES, AUTOSTRETCH & AUDITION
One great thing it has for any styles is you can put markers along the track at wherever you like, (even at divisions of bars), and tell any Loop parts to change key... So you could have a great little hip-hip thing going with say a double-bass bassline loop... and you can make it change key... heh heh.. BUt... it stays the same length !... yup... it just auto-stretches it to keep it in with the tracks tempo.... perfect everytime as it plays along !!...

ACID also allows you to browse your hard-drive directories, clicking on sample loops and it will start to play that loop in perfect time with the running track so you can audition waves before loading them.

It's so pefect if you work with loops and samples... Just get a demo copy... It is more expensive than Making-Waves below, but the auto-stretch thing & key-changing is a killer app' for remixing, and loop based music cos it works very fast.... watching some-one doing time-stretch in a sampler after using this, is like watching some-one struggling with a square wheel !!... I swear.. just try the 'Lite' version even... mind-blowing.... you could easily make a loop based hip-hop or remix product on this...There are 2 versions... ACID LITE, which is about 130 , and Full ACID at about 300...

All in all ACID is a great s/w, but it cant play a melody such as a bassline very easily or effectively with a single sample, like in a hardware sampler ... MAKING-WAVES does that well tho ...






MAKIN' WAVES ?



Don't let the simplicity of the screen-layout above, fool you... This is a great versatile s/w yeilding excellent results, again, a dream for this sort of work compared to a real sampler & sequencing.... and very, VERY affordable at about 50 squids... If you want to get into this game, and don't want to spend a packet, but want to get WAY WAY more creative than the DJ-sample-player type s/ware's.... then 'Making-waves Land' is a Paradise island place to go !!... Just as with Acid, it allows you to mix any combinations of loops, and individual drum samples, to make beats, loops, etc etc, you can add digital fx etc, and like Acid, it'll make something good enuff to put out.... But, it also has a feature where you can put in a single sample like say a synth sample of say an SH101 buzz-sound or a square wave... and make a tune with it...

GI' US A TOON THEN
It has an ability to play a melody from a sample, just as with a sampler... It's real simple to do on an easy to understand grid... the latest version features filters, and of course you have vOlume, pan and digital effects too. Again with this you can create your own custom beats with drum samples etc, (all you need is a decent drum sample collection - you do get a library of samples with each s/w), or use stereo sections from other songs, or sections for remixing, breaks, beats, loop etc... and mix them all together...

If you don't want to learn to play a synth, and don't want to get into the more complicated midi and sequencing (etc) world, with all that 'cables, and synth-editing' etc.... But, you DO fancy being able to add-in your own bass or synth lines or sample-based melody made with a choosen sample, then check this making-Waves out.... you can do alot with it...

You can think of it as a sampler in a pc, that can also let you play melodies such as basslines or trancey riff's, and add filter etc to the sound.... If you're on the web, download the demo and try it out... or, if you've no internet, get a mate to d/load it for you or even try some council internet place, college, whatever.

Making-Waves is regularly updated, and often evolves, and stuff is due soon like being able to send tracks to multiple-output soundcards to mix on a real hardware mixer etc...







I think both softwares also out a midi clock, so with a clock-converter box, you could run a 303 or 101, 202 or whatever clock-able analog to it, or a keyboard with a sequencer, a s/ware synth like the Rebirth 303-clone etc... Also, as far as I know, the new MAKING-WAVES will output and save the sample melodies you write and the drum parts as midi note data too.... so it could trigger a software synth or soundcard-synth on the same pc with the right midi driver like say the free HUBBI's LOOPBACK-DRIVER to connect the s/wares &/or Soundcard-synth internally... That IS exciting , cos it'd allow you access to a massive selection of excellent s/w synths &/or a card-synth to use with the sample player!!

again, you can make product on this MAKING-WAVES, If as with ACID, your music is based on custom drum beats & loops, and samples...... All in all a great s/ware, and made in Britain too...






So.... thERE is a way to make your own product :-)... all you gotta add is talent... bear in mind a few things...




  • Go for Making-Waves if you also want to create original melodies like basslines as well as sample & loop playing.

  • If you're a loop man first, or loop-based remixer who also wants to make original drum beats to go with, then Acid is way faster with the auto-stretch & audition thing, although Making-Waves does have a similar facility, Acid is a treat.... But, Acid cant do melodies like that with a sample as well as Making-Waves can...

  • Important: !! - What you hear coming out of your pc, is effected heavily by your soundcard, cables, amp, & speakers, speaker wiring & placement etc... But all in all, if you work in this medium, what you need is simple... DECENT QUALITY MONITORING of what those mixed samples are sounding like.... So a you need a simple, good quality stereo analog soundcard.... fed to a decent hi-fi amp & speakers, (take your pick)....

  • There are many dazzling spec's for soundcards now, with samplers, and synths and all sorts of wizzo claims on the boxes, and alot of them work ok... but with MIDI..... BUT.. IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH AUDIO & LOOPS ONLY, what you need for this is to hear your mixing of the samples & loops clean & clear... so... get a good quality soundcard... stereo, with decent RCA phono connectors at least... If you have a DAT, get an s/pdif card... feed the s/pdif to the DAT, and route the DAT analog out to the amp & speakers... you can monitor like that too... and get direct digital to DAT transfer via the s/pdif as soon as you hit record on the DAT... if you don't want the DAT on all the time, use a pair of PC plastic speakers to compile the track, then just link it across to the DAT for the final mix and taping...

  • Alternatively, or with no DAT, burn it to cd...Cd burners are starting at about 150 for a decent one now... both the above programmes have the facility to digitally mix all it's own tracks down to a single stereo master track.... then compile those finished tracks, and burn them to cd... or convert them to MPEG and put them on the web etc.... that is basically where it seems to be going with music... on the web you can sell your own roduct direct to the punter... if they like your demo's... they might buy your CD... then you burn 'em one, and send it... sorted !!

  • You will also need a general purpose editor to trim and edit your samples you've recorded... If you go to my site, there is an old demo version of 'COOL-EDIT-PRO' there you can download.... it's an older version, but a wicked s/w... it really is a good editor, and it works with a simple restriction which you can read about on the Cool-Edit-Pro page at my website..... unlike most demo's it CAN save the edited results !!... Well if you're porr-ass-broke, it's free !!.... and nope it's not my s/w, and i don't work for 'em....

  • Both programmes come with a load of samples ready for you to use with your own cd's and vinyl... Hey, remember... You can also make patterns with old synths played by hand, then looped etc etc etc...... out.






    Well there it is... working with samples only.... it has it's limitations, but also has creative strengths...and as you can see these s/w's go beyond that to true versatility.... the best is simple... GET A DEMO OF EACH !! - For further dream-music-making, register both !!, cos the results of working in either, can be saved and loaded into the other !! ... ye-es !, oooh-jah !!.. add a few cheap s/ware synths.... & bob's you're auntie's husband....mix & match !! ..... You can check the other sister-article to this one... It is called: 'PC SETUPS - SYNTH-BASED STYLES'.... check it out....














    COMMENTS FOR:

    'PC SETUPS - LOOP-BASED STYLES'


    There are a total:  15  comments posted to this page.


    Name:  John
    Email: 
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  28-Apr-99

    4/27/1999

    I'll have to agree w/ you kilo... Acid is one of the easiest pieces of music software I've ever used... I was able to create a cool demo using a 909 drum track and sounds from a PC pinball game. Just find the sample you want to use drop it into a new track, drag it to however long you want it to play - use the volume envelope to fade it in and out, etc, etc...

    This program is awesome. Do yourself a favor and get the demo.

    Another cool thing is they have Acid Loop CDs for cheap. Example, I bought 'On a Jazz Tip' sample CD from EastWest for $100 U.S. and you can get the Acid version for around $60...

    PS... Just got into all this PC/MIDI music stuff and your site is by far the best resource on the web for someone trying to make sense of all the stuff out there (Synth Site is good too).

    Thanks,

    JP

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    Name:  Gage
    Email: 
    Activity:  part-timer
    Date:  05-May-99

    Thankyoooooou. Your article has opened up a new door for me. I have all the equipment to have a nice little studio but I didn't know how exactly to use my PC. Now I have some basic knowledge on s/w and how to use it. Thanx again. If you have anything else that could help me get along, I am working on house trax I would be grateful. Peace.

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    Name:  10000BC
    Email: 
    Activity:  part-timer
    Date:  13-Jul-99

    I agree totally with your comments on Acid. A lot of 'seasoned pros' have got really grumpy about it - they're always whinging in the press and on the web: "In my day you had to chop loops by hand, it took 3 hours to do one loop. blah blah. And it cost me 10,000 for 2 seconds sampling time, these days any old commoner can do it - and it's a well known fact that poor people with no classical training just don't do 'proper' music".

    heh heh.
    Bolox to 'em!

    But hey, how about in Acid version 2, if you could do 'pitched note' trax, with a keyboard like in Making Waves (or Fruity loops), then that would be truly THE killer music app that would destroy all others. And maybe for version 3, being able to record FX movements, ie filter sweeps.

    Go to it Soundforge!!

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    Name:  jason
    Email: 
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  24-Jul-99

    how do i get a free mixer to try out to see what its all about

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    Name:  Scott Rawstorne
    Email: 
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  06-Oct-99

    Can you please let me know whether there are any issues that must be considered when deciding between purchasing a laptop or a desktop PC?

    Thanks.

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    Name:  jojo the dog faced boy
    Email: 
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  23-Dec-99

    Nice work there kilo-san

    How bout a bit of a looksie ate some supposed toy consumer s/w like mixman eJay groove maker etc.

    personally i use mixman which is good for the moola. and you can play it live, difficult but it can be done which gives extra versitility

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    Name:  lee roberts
    Email: 
    Website?:  http://www.tinyonline.co.uk
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  05-Dec-00

    how would i get it on my desktop to mix my music?

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    Name:  jerald
    Email: 
    Activity:  Professional
    Date:  17-Jul-01

    yeah

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    Name:  dadiar fetanat sanchez
    Email: 
    Website?:  fr.mp3.com
    Activity:  part-timer
    Date:  17-Nov-02

    I wanna have a free pc mixer

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    Name:  moraj
    Email: 
    Website?:  no
    Activity: 
    Date:  22-Dec-04

    pls i wan to downlode ri mix setups with working in win 98ok

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    Name:  anthony
    Email: 
    Activity: 
    Date:  30-Apr-05

    do you have to pay

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    Name:  subhash
    Email: 
    Website?:  subhash_rythem@yahoo.co.in
    Activity:  part-timer
    Date:  31-Aug-05

    it is good.

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    Name:  DAVE,JULIAN,ANDREW,MCCRAW
    Email: 
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  20-Sep-05

    YOULL HAVE A BALL

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    Name:  jeevagan
    Email: 
    Website?:  google.com
    Activity:  Hobby-ist
    Date:  29-Nov-05

    this programm is realli gooddddddddddddddddddd

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    Last added comment

    Name:  javarick
    Email: 
    Website?:  www.freewebs.com/javarick/
    Activity:  part-timer
    Date:  01-Feb-06

    i want to know how to download the beat machine the one when you can use your keyboard that is on your computer

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