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Music Software Tools Something I've not actually written up about yet is tools that are useful for you to use when writing and creating music for RPG Maker. Some of these pieces of software are free other aren't. If you have any other useful stuff that you'd suggest any budding musician to use than reply below and I'll add them on DAW: Digital Audio Workstations DAW's is the MUST HAVE software for musicians. If you are wanting to take Music Production seriously then you need to invest/use one of these babies, with it you can create almost ANYTHING that your heart can have. Avid ProTools: Description: An Expensive Audio Production Center for Windows and Mac. I will openly admit knowing FA about Price: Â£550.80+ Cubase Description: A industry Standard DAW for Mac and Windows Only however, due to this is rather pricy... Price: Â£244 Apple Logic Pro: Description: The MOTHER of all DAW's only available for mac sadly, I personally don't like it as much, but it's what most modern day producers use. Price: $199.99+ FL Studio Description: A DAW that I know a little about, and is actually used by quite a few of the other RPG Maker Musicians! Price: From $99- $299 (Not including VAT) Sonar X3: Description: Another DAW in the countless end of DAW studio, is good for a medium sized budget, has a larger feature set than Reaper and LMMS and is what I currently am using now. Comes in three different flavours: Standard, Studio and Producer, each offers more effects/instruments etc for use in your tracks. You can also get it on Steam...if that floats your boat Price: From Â£119-499 (direct from Cakewalk) LMMS Description: A freeware DAW designed for simple day to day use with VST Instrument support available on ALL platforms Price: Free Reaper: Description: A GREAT value for money piece of software that is as quality as EVERY OTHER SINGLE DAW but is at a fraction of a price. You can download a DRM free trial version, (you are asked to purchase a licence after 60 days though) Price: Personal/Small Business Licence: $60,Large Business Licence: $225 Propellerhead's Reason: Desciption: I once again no very little about this software, it's not bad, but for me abit restricive, and the price tag is pretty high but provides a good amount of "Rack's" which have instruments bundled in on them. Not bad DAW. Price: $400 Finale Notepad Description: Powerful notation software that will, essentially, get your ideas onto actual sheet music that you can print out. The samples that come with it aren't the best, but I find it can be more useful than a DAW at times. Price: Free (there are paid options available if you need more powerful features! VST's (Virtual Studio Technology) Instruments and Sample Libraries Once you've finally got yourself one of the DAW's up there you'll have access to a wide variety of expensive and not so expensive VST Plugins. These work alongside your DAW's and are key for Music Production. Most DAW's come with their own VST instruments and samples but these give you more alternative choices. DSKMusic I love their series, and without them I wouldn't be able to have got this far, all of their VST instruments are FREE for commercial and Non Commercial use, and some of my earlier pieces used all of DSK instruments, you can get everything from Piano's to Choirs and then to Classical Guitars and even Sitar and Tablas. Price: FREE! Cakewalk Dimension Pro Description: A recent, accidental purchase of mine, and I really don't regret it. Over 3.5GB of instruments are located in this beautiful VST. Everything from Ghost Pianos to full Orchestral Ensembles. I don't normally sing the praises of more expensive VST's but this is BRILLIANT value for money, and it actually comes with three free expansion packs! I wasn't complaining that's for sure. Price: Â£69.00 EWQL Description: Oh holy hell. this is the BEST of the best, It is used by the best Music Producers in the industry, If you can afford it. GET IT. It's ridiculously HQ and sounds EPIC. Price: $199+ (that is it in it's current sale price ) LA Scoring Strings Description: Another one of the beautiful string libraries out there, it's also quite pricey too, if you afford it it's another one you could get Price: $999.00 Vienna Symphonic Library Description: Another library that is similar to EWQL, but is argued to be better uses Kontakt as well. Price: Varies SSO Description: Is EWQL too expensive for you? Then this sample library is beautiful enough to create some pretty damn good music with, i use it myself and it can sound amazing! Price: Free Kontakt 5 Description: Kontakt 5 is a VST that is, for the most part, extremely powerful in its versatility. It offers several articulations for a wide variety of instruments and styles, ranging from orchestral to band to full-blown choirs. One of the biggest issues I have with it is its... Price: $399. I have purchased this myself Also, there are discounts available for you if you purchase a Kontakt Player instrument LUMINA A sample library from Project Sam in their Symphobia series. I cannot say enough good things about this library, the newest in my collection. The expressive possibilities, the articulations...it's all first rate. This library is particularly suited for writing fantasy type game music. You've got pretty much everything you'll need for that in one library! Price: $699 (Current Price direct from ProjectSam) 8dio Description: They have everything you could think of in their beautiful VERY detailed libraries. However personally, they're useful once you've got the basics cause they really are very detailed and useful in certain situations unlike things like Kontakt, EWQL and others. Price: Various Orangetree Description: Value for money, but beautifully sampled instruments, I love their Angelic Harp! Price: Various SYNTHESIZERS: Massive Pretty much everyone's favourite commercial synth, this baby has three oscillators, two multimode filters, mappable modulations and various modulation types (from envelopes to LFOs to direct control via MIDI CC or velocity, or even macros within the VST). It can make some great leads, basses, and everything in-between, but its interface is not very beginner-friendly despite how sleek it is. Oh, and it has some nice in-built effects, though the EQ is kind of crap because it only has 3 bands and you can't control where they lay and what their width is. Price: $199, but you save a lot of money getting it in Komplete, which I recommend doing as I believe this synth is a tad overpriced compared to some other offerings which have similar capabilities. FM8 An FM synth with a lot of character, it has 6 normal operators, a filter, and a noise generator. Loads of other parameters and built-in effects make up the rest of this almost modular synth but it is NOT beginner-friendly AT ALL. However, once you learn how to use it, you'll be making everything from classic PC-8801 sounds to modern dance basses or chord pads. A lot of people dig this synth and I love it too, but it takes a while to learn how to use it, and even veterans will have to put up with a little bit of a learning curve. It comes with an insert effect version that you can use to process other sounds, but I don't really use that. Price: $199, but I believe it comes with Komplete so you'll save money just getting that bundle to get these synths, Kontakt, and the next entry in this list. Reaktor 5 Not really a synth so much as a somewhat simplified software synth development tool and runtime environment. Synths made with Reaktor 5 can only be used by other users with Reaktor 5, and making your own synth is a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, Reaktor 5 comes with a decent lineup of great user-made synths and Lazerbass, which is fantastic. Some of NI's other synths require Reaktor, or come with an install of the free Reaktor 5 player, which allows you to play Reaktor synths but not modify them or make your own. Price: $399. Get Komplete instead and save the money, because in my opinion this VST is only really worth it for a few of the synths that come with it (particularly Lazerbass) but they don't add up in value to $400 for me personally. So getting it in a bundle with a bunch of other stuff would be a better idea. Absynth 5 A semi-modular synth I haven't used much. Has some nice in-built effects and comes with an insert effect version you can drop into your mixer, but I don't really use that. Has some great presets and a soft, configurable randomizer you can use to give yourself a slightly weirder variant of any sound you pick or make yourself. Price: $199. Get this with Komplete. Z3ta+ 2 A hell of a powerful synth with 6 oscillators, two multimode filters, loads of mappable envelopes and LFOs, waveshaping, built-in effects, a huge modulation matrix that allows you to map envelopes, LFOs, MIDI controls, and more to either parameters or functions in varying ranges, and visual representations of just about every main part of the synth. The GUI is great, the presets are good, and there's so many options that you can make pretty much any sound you can think of. There's loads of included waveforms and you can even use your own! This is my personal choice for a commercial synthâ€”there's so much you can do with it you'll be able to use this baby in most situations. Oh, and the built-in EQ is actually very good, as it shows you at least which frequency band you're affecting and it has multiple modes. Price: $99. A pittance compared to other commercial virtual synths, and for how much it does it is very cheap. DRUM SAMPLERS: Battery 4 A very good drum sampler which has built-in effects and an internal mixer. You can map drums to external outs as well if you'd rather mix them in your DAW instead. The included kits are varied and extensive, and mapping is very simple and logical. The interface is also very intuitive. It's my personal choice for a drum sampler, but it's probably because I've only used FPC and Drumaxx before and am not a fan of those as compared to this. Price: $199. In my opinion, worth it on its own but if you want to get other NI stuff, get it in Komplete. Geist Looks good, though I don't have experience with this one. A bit flashy for my tastes and a little pricey, but it does have time manipulation effects, envelopes, multi-output internal mixer buses, and a sample browser... much like Battery. Price: $249 FREEBIES: Synth1 I haven't used it before but I've heard good things and pretty much everyone loves it. For a free synth (or for a synth in general) it's quite powerful, and includes a few mappable LFOs as well. The GUI is cluttered and dated, though. Crystal The other free synth by which all free synths are measured. This thing is... really complicated. However, if you can master it, it's very good for making all kinds of noises, right up to absynth-style soundscapes. This is because it includes built-in effects and practically anything can be modulated, directly from the synth itself. The GUI is not the best, but it's intuitive enough and things are organized into tabs and the like. You could say this is like Absynth's free (possibly older? No idea) cousin, and it's certainly as capable. You might like it more! Other Useful Software Audacity: Freeware Audio Editing Software, also useful for looping OGG Files TinyWav Editor Useful for looping WAV files for IG Maker If you have any others that you find useful then add them below using this format:
I know it's already part of the site's "tradition", but don't you think the name "Music Academy" is a little misleading? When I first saw the name I thought it was a forum for learning how to compose or arrange music. Do let me know if I'm making a fuss about nothing here, please.