Open Source / Free software for music authoring

All aspects of development related to audio and sound.
User avatar
Othello
Novice
Novice
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:15 pm
Location: Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Contact:

Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Othello » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:02 am

Hey everyone,

I thought I would open a topic on the creation of quality music using Free/OpenSource tools. I would like to know what you are using! Whats good whats bad. It might help people who want to create music but don't know how to make it sound good!

Here are my tools / resources:

Composition
- Psycle - its a modular synthesizer, much like Jeskola Buzz was. Fortuantly the source has not been lost for this one. The current version includes a graph for patching machines (which can be instruments or effects), to pipe your music through various effects before outputing, a simple sequencer, and a track editor, much like a Tracker (FastTracker / ImpulseTracker). It has its own plugins, but they're not very good for analog music. However, it has the ability to host VST plugins, which are very valueble, look at the next items.

- SFZ VST - VST plugin for playing Soundfonts. Playes soundfonts without needing a good MIDI card. I import it in Psycle and use it to play high-qualitity sound-fonts. Hard to come by, you can not download it anymore from the original publisher.

Resources
- The FreeSound project hosts thousends for free samples. Just register and you can access all these high-quality SFX. Not many good instruments though, but other than that, very usable.

- Soundsfonts.it has a nice collection of downloadable soundfonts. Beatiful instruments you can use to make your songs sound like they've been played by a real ochestra!

Sequencing
- You can use Psycle for simple pattern sequencing, but its not very usable if you wish to edit multitrack. Fortunatly Psycle has the ability to export certain channels or sequences to WAV. The next new version if Psycle will have a sequencer like Buzz used to have. Until then...

- Audacity is a audio-editor, but can also be used for sequencing. I often use it to compose my songs from the exports I made in Psycle. It takes a bit of getting used to opposed to pure wave-editors like SoundForge or Auditon, but once you get the hang of it its pretty good.

Post-editing
- See above. Audacity you can even edit individual samples, and it comes with build-in Ogg support

Well, thats it from me. Let me know what free tools you use!
"I'm a Mog, half man, half dog... I'm my own best friend!" - Barf

My blog
User avatar
Saphy
Novice
Novice
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Saphy » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:10 pm

Isn't rosegarden a much better choice for sequencing? There is a reason why the music notation (whatever it is called in English) is used for centuries.

I personally can't understand how audacity can be used for sequencing O_o Or did I confused sequencing with something else?

Anyway, regarding soundfonts, qsynth and fluidsynth is another good alteratives. However, it is hard to find a really professional soundfonts; I personally use Cadenza, with custom piano and violin channel.
marcusvinicius
Peon
Peon
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:19 pm
Location: South America
Contact:

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by marcusvinicius » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:35 pm

I personally can't understand how audacity can be used for sequencing O_o Or did I confused sequencing with something else?
Audacity can not be used for sequencing
User avatar
dariunas
Novice
Novice
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:52 pm
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by dariunas » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:23 pm

Hmmmmm,

My experience has mostly been with Wavelab and SoundForge. As far as I know, sequencing is not really do-able as you don't have a global playback option to play all windows at the same... Unless you deal with two sound sources at a time... but as far as I know - most audio editors are extremely challenging to use as sequencers! I would say your best bet is stick to the dedicated sequencers or even think about soft studios. (Personally I think sequencers should be called Soft Studios and vice-versa - it makes a lot more sense when you think about it)

I've heard Rosegarden come up a lot as the freeware sequencer of choice due mainly to its interface which apparently mimics the expensive sequencers.
User avatar
Saphy
Novice
Novice
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Saphy » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:17 am

dariunas wrote:Hmmmmm,

My experience has mostly been with Wavelab and SoundForge. As far as I know, sequencing is not really do-able as you don't have a global playback option to play all windows at the same... Unless you deal with two sound sources at a time... but as far as I know - most audio editors are extremely challenging to use as sequencers! I would say your best bet is stick to the dedicated sequencers or even think about soft studios. (Personally I think sequencers should be called Soft Studios and vice-versa - it makes a lot more sense when you think about it)

I've heard Rosegarden come up a lot as the freeware sequencer of choice due mainly to its interface which apparently mimics the expensive sequencers.
I haven't seen any so-called-expensive sequencer that is as simple/easy to use as Rosegarden. I only use notation editing (the main selling point in Rosegarden), I couldn't understand all those fancy knobs or graphs in professional sequencers. There is a reason why music notation has been used for centuries.

Well, Rosegarden isn't useful for creating "noises" people produces with strange software these days. I am quite skeptic of how people in modern days have such funny taste in music. Nothing beats a good classical music.
User avatar
Pajarico
Warrior
Warrior
Posts: 592
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Pajarico » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:27 am

Here is a software oriented to doing SFX. Since there isn't a sepparate subforum for that I'm posting it here:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2007/12/ ... s-for-all/

There is a Linux and Win32 version (there is a MacOS version but you will have to search for it).
Lv.: Maggot
Please, read the FAQ before posting.
User avatar
dariunas
Novice
Novice
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:52 pm
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by dariunas » Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:37 pm

Hey all, (I'm alive, sorry to disappoint) :D

I just found out about a sequencer that you guys might really like

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/

Not used this myself, but heard a lot of good things about it!
lethaljellybean
Peon
Peon
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by lethaljellybean » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:13 pm

Not sure if you would be interested in this:
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/
Basically a free FL clone.
I'm currently using it for my industrial project, but I'm very sure you can use it for many more things (ie find ambient/atmospheric synths, and create music for landscapes).

You can get a few very good and free synths from here:
http://www.vstplanet.com/
http://www.tweakbench.com/

Hopefully this was resourceful! Get composing!
nycsounddesign
Peon
Peon
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:17 pm
Location: NYC, USA
Contact:

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by nycsounddesign » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:38 pm

I like these links, there are links to freeware, and forums about audio software, etc.:
http://www.kvraudio.com/
http://www.hitsquad.com/
User avatar
Crush
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 8046
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:08 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Crush » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:10 pm

I am using Linux Multimedia Studio (which runs perfectly fine on other operating systems, by the way)
  • former Manasource Programmer
  • former TMW Pixel artist
  • NOT a game master

Please do not send me any inquiries regarding player accounts on TMW.


You might have heard a certain rumor about me. This rumor is completely false. You might also have heard the other rumor about me. This rumor is 100% accurate.
User avatar
Nard
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: France, near Paris

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Nard » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:02 am

Saphy wrote:I haven't seen any so-called-expensive sequencer that is as simple/easy to use as Rosegarden. I only use notation editing (the main selling point in Rosegarden), I couldn't understand all those fancy knobs or graphs in professional sequencers. There is a reason why music notation has been used for centuries.

Well, Rosegarden isn't useful for creating "noises" people produces with strange software these days. I am quite skeptic of how people in modern days have such funny taste in music. Nothing beats a good classical music.
And every musician knows that notation is not sufficient to transcribe what people call "interpretation" or "feeling" or "groove"... those fancy knobs or graphs allow your music to be lively ad less mechanic. There is a reason why developers and musicians sweat on sequencers. Try to play a Chopin sonata without programming the tempo or other midi parms and you will get him raise out of his tomb.

http://icking-music-archive.org/index.php
http://www.mutopiaproject.org/
http://www.synthzone.com/

Note: personnally i sometimes like to hear that, when in GY :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcAJpsWWuIY :)
"The language of everyday life is clogged with sentiment, and the science of human nature has not advanced so far that we can describe individual sentiment in a clear way." Lancelot Hogben, Mathematics for the Million.
“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness.
"If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy." Donald Knuth.
User avatar
o11c
Knight
Knight
Posts: 2262
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: ^ ^

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by o11c » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:27 am

I'm no expert with sound, but I've played around with lilypond to generate scores and MIDIs, and timidity to convert MIDI to OGG. Make sure you get the fluid soundfonts, not just freepats (there is a lot of outdated documentation indicating that freepats is the only thing available with a decent license and this generates FUD about MIDI. But converting to OGG before distributing eliminates the question of end users having them or not)

I'm really disappointed that the tmw-music repository doesn't contain the source files (defined as "preferred form for editing"), not just the OGGs. This is supposed to be GPL here.
Former programmer for the TMWA server.
User avatar
Nard
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: France, near Paris

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by Nard » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:03 am

o11c wrote:[...]I've played around with lilypond to generate scores and MIDIs, and timidity to convert MIDI to OGG. Make sure you get the fluid soundfonts, not just freepats
I do like lilypond wich gives nice results in sheet music. the midi files you can do with it cannot be compared to the results you obtain with a good sequencer though.(it is the case with most sheet music editors)
I'm really disappointed that the tmw-music repository doesn't contain the source files (defined as "preferred form for editing"), not just the OGGs. This is supposed to be GPL here.
problem: what is a source in music? surely not an audio file even if author societies tend to admit them as an edition form.
For sheet music, commonly used formats are PdF :( , lilypond, MusiXTek, Finale ( :? )
http://lilypond.org/
http://icking-music-archive.org/software/indexmt6.html
http://www.ctan.org/pkg/musixtex
The problem with these (nice) for typesetted music is that they are not that much convivial to a lot of musicians.

Midifiles are the bare minimum which can include some interpretation and nuances. They cannot include samples though (drum loops...)

Csound would be nice for these musicians who like programming :P
http://www.csounds.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Csound
"The language of everyday life is clogged with sentiment, and the science of human nature has not advanced so far that we can describe individual sentiment in a clear way." Lancelot Hogben, Mathematics for the Million.
“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness.
"If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy." Donald Knuth.
User avatar
o11c
Knight
Knight
Posts: 2262
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: ^ ^

Re: Open Source / Free software for music authoring

Post by o11c » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:50 pm

Nard wrote:
o11c wrote:[...]I've played around with lilypond to generate scores and MIDIs, and timidity to convert MIDI to OGG. Make sure you get the fluid soundfonts, not just freepats
I do like lilypond wich gives nice results in sheet music. the midi files you can do with it cannot be compared to the results you obtain with a good sequencer though.(it is the case with most sheet music editors)
I call FUD. It all depends on the quality of the soundfont(s) you have installed. And converting from MIDI to OGG before distributing means that only the person doing the conversion has to have all the soundfonts installed, not all the people who play it. Note, at least on Debian installing timidity only installs freepats (which I'll admit doesn't sound too good)
Nard wrote:
I'm really disappointed that the tmw-music repository doesn't contain the source files (defined as "preferred form for editing"), not just the OGGs. This is supposed to be GPL here.
problem: what is a source in music? surely not an audio file even if author societies tend to admit them as an edition form.
For sheet music, commonly used formats are PdF :( , lilypond, MusiXTek, Finale ( :? )
http://lilypond.org/
http://icking-music-archive.org/software/indexmt6.html
http://www.ctan.org/pkg/musixtex
The problem with these (nice) for typesetted music is that they are not that much convivial to a lot of musicians.
"preferred form for editing" has to mean "whatever format was used by the author". Since we're not dealing with sheet music, that is not relevant (though of course in some cases it is trivial to produce sheet music from the same source)
Nard wrote: Midifiles are the bare minimum which can include some interpretation and nuances. They cannot include samples though (drum loops...)
I call FUD. There is explicit support in General Midi for a percussion channel, and this is supported in lilypond. Again, whether you hear anything or not depends on whether you have the relevant soundfont.


I'll admit my interest in music is merely amateur, but I haven't yet seen a defensible argument against MIDI. Do you have a specific example of a source-to-OGG conversion "with a good sequencer" that cannot be represented in MIDI?
Former programmer for the TMWA server.
Post Reply