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OSS Music Composer Gaining Attention

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the sounds-like-fun dept.

Software 116

An anonymous reader writes "Following in the footsteps of Psycle, VioLet Composer is a completely GPLed music composer for Windows that has slowly but surely been gaining attention. In an interview at Laptoprockers the author covers not only the program itself but the his reasoning behind choosing to open the source using the GPL."

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And now with link (4, Informative)

tcdk (173945) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067054)

The actual project:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/buzz-like [sourceforge.net]

The screen shots looks kind of nice, but I don't know enough about making music to be able to evaluate it's worth.

Re:And now with link (2)

MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067120)

Its got a fairly ugly interface, and doesn't look very feature rich, although the fact it uses a free-form object graph for audio rather than the braindead, should-have-been-killed-off-years-ago 'everything has to be like a mixer' metaphor that most modern DAWs use was a pleasant suprise.

Re:And now with link (5, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067204)

Er, the friggin thing lets you wire the "rack" and the "rack" devices are actual programs that you can enter and edit!

You call that a lack of features?

Basically a not as pretty version of "Reason" where you make your own devices. Plus some other things that are nice.

Re:And now with link (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18072292)

It looks like a tracker + programmable sound sources and drag&drop signal paths. An successor to Buzz in other words. It's neat, but pretty crude. It reminds me of the first versions of Protracker for some reason. It's ungodly slow though, the default song only plays with 500ms latency, any lower and it chops up. This on a machine where I'm used to the usual 4-8ms with piles of sounds... is this just on my machine?

Writing code for the sound sources directly is a cool thing, but kind of difficult to deal with. Wouldn't it be better and more efficient to just create a VSTi (or DXi)? It also doesn't lend itself very well to anything other than electronic-style music.

He says he tried FastTracker, then moved on to Buzz. The FastTracker style always seemed more intuitive to me, so for anyone who liked that style instead, try out Renoise [renoise.com] .

Re:And now with link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067148)

Sounds good :)

Re:And now with link (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067242)

downloading it now, and trying under wine...

oh well, must have version 2 or higher of the .net framework, guess I won't get the opportunity to evaluate it

Re:And now with link (3, Interesting)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067268)

Hey, know anyone good with Mono and Linux audio? You could have him/her work with them, then you wouldn't need wine.

C# (1)

taupter (139818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069280)

FOSS project for Windows written in C#.
Sometimes I think there's a ploy from MS to "taint" the FOSS community by writing "free" code tied to a de-facto closed platform.
I have a feeling this thing doesn't run with Mono. Even if it runs, it's aways on a platofrm _tolerated_ by MS before it gains widespread use, and then sue or menace to (as we've seen soooo many times).

Re:C# (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18070672)

You're a homo. Someone takes the time to contribute a software project to the community, and you bitch about the language and platform.

Please keep your conspiracy theories to yourself, as well. You're attempts at being insightful only illustrate what a fucking retard you are.

Backups (5, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067056)

FTFA:

This guarantees that in the future it will *always* be possible for *anyone* to pick up from some point in VC development and continue it or to make their own flavour of it. The GPL also guarantees that VC will always be available for free, even if I or someone else decides to make a commercial derivative later on.

The day the source code to Buzz got lost was a very sad day and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do. We'd just had an updated version of Buzz released and suddenly everyone realised there would *never* be another one. By publishing not just the application but also all of the files that go together to make it, I'm making sure this can't happen to my little corner of the scene again.
"Real men don't use backups, they post their stuff on a public ftp server and let the rest of the world make copies." - Linus Torvalds

I need a copy of that... (3, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067068)

FTFA:

I relieve my stress by working on other things such as my duplicate picture finder (for all those hundreds of thousands of pictures of... stuff... that I have)...
I need a copy of that. No, not that, that.

Re:I need a copy of that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18075486)

I'm not sure if it's his, but here's one that works. [photo-freeware.net]

Attention can be a bad thing (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067074)

I hope he stays under the radar of any RIAA swat team.

Re:Attention can be a bad thing (1)

CapitalT (987101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067540)

Huh?

What does the RIAA have to do with it? does it go after guitar makers too?

Re:Attention can be a bad thing (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067548)

I hope he stays under the radar of any RIAA swat team.

Hopefully not.

If this is program which allows you to do composition, and he's not providing any way of doing anything explicitly with copyrighted works, then hopefully he won't run afoul of the *AA's. (ie. this sounds as if it has "significant, non-infringing uses" and is hopefully safe from such things.)

I mean, you can still buy a guitar or a piano even though you could play music which is copyrighted. I can't see how this would be potentially any more infringing than that.

Cheers

Re:Attention can be a bad thing (2, Funny)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067820)

Gentlemen, we must find a way to plug the analog instrument hole. Only pre-approved instruments with prerecorded and approved music will be sold. With our new patented `like-playing' technology, customers can feel like they're actually playing. Any fair-licensed author-play instruments detecting the play of copyrighted works will immediately call home to beat those pirates and keep sales cost low!

Re:Attention can be a bad thing (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069206)

Even better, if it detects a series of copyrighted notes being played by the user, it automatically charges them the appropriate liscensing fee. So now they can fiddle around, secure in the knowledge that they are legal!

Re:Attention can be a bad thing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069662)

Only pre-approved instruments with prerecorded and approved music will be sold. With our new patented `like-playing' technology, customers can feel like they're actually playing,

So that's why MTV bought Guitar Hero. It all becomes clear, now.

Don't forget ModPlug (5, Informative)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067076)

Its great there are some good OSS music editors. I've not heard of VioLet Composer until now, but I'll check it out.

One great OSS music editor I've used is ModPlug.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/modplug/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067132)

Is "music editor" what we're calling trackers now?

I always hated those things, good for computer game soundtracks, terrible for anything else IMHO.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067238)

Trackers have moved on a long way since the early days of the 4 track Amiga etc.. trackers.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (3, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067262)

That truly is bullshit!

Why yes Trackers lend themselves to sample based music which is great for games - especially where storage or processing power might be at a minimum.

I have written many pieces of music using tracker software that you would be hard-pushed to tell what sequencer I used.
In addition trackers heritage actually lies in the old "Steptime" hardware sequencers used by the likes of Kraftwerk and other electro luminaries - modern trackers are way more advanced though these days!

So before you make comments like that make sure you know your history, In many ways we owe their heritage to many of the sequencers we have today.

Nick ... [bandwagon.co.uk]

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (2, Informative)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067320)

Hm. Naming problem. Colloquially they're called 'module trackers' or 'midi/music sequencers', but essentially they're both the same thing: a program that places hardware/user-defined notes in user-designed spots in songs. To the talented, they are a good as a room full of fine musical instruments. To the less talented, they're much like a cat with a tether attached to its tail, labeled 'swing me'.

There are also 'sound editors', like Sound Forge, that allow you to mess with the raw sound data, and Cakewalk and Audacity, which are excellent 'multitrack recorders' with SF-like functionality built in (Cakewalk's a MUCH better program, but as for Audacity, 'free' is a good selling point).

None of these could be considered 'music editors', which to me implies something that can take in raw PCM data and let you select out and remove, add, and modify notes. No such program exists to my knowledge.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (4, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067500)

I think you're looking for ProTools [digidesign.com] . It does pretty much what you say. It is, however, quite expensive and needs specialized hardware to be used to the full extent. Hence the Pro part of the name. I don't know if it natively works on a note by note basis, I think conceptually it's more of a software based multi-track recorder. It does, however, have plug-ins that allow for such thing as locking pitch/etc. You know, all the effects used on pop-divas to make them actually sound bearable.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068490)

Requiring expensive external hardware surely does not professional software make.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068572)

See my sibling post to yours. ProTools is not 'inherently' about manipulating audio on a note-by-note basis, in the manner described by the GP -- although it is favoured within the industry because the interface allows you to work with your audio recordings in that kind of way quite quickly and easily, from the arrange page.

Conceptually, it's probably best described a DAW [wikipedia.org] , though I'll grant you "multi-track recorder" is a pretty close approximation for all intents and purposes ;-)

These days, imho, ProTools is by no means far out in front of the competition, as it arguably was in the 90s. Rivals like Steinberg's Nuendo [wikipedia.org] give you the same highly slick chop-up-your-audio-to-sample-accuracy-from-the-arr ange-page capabilities. Also, if you're doing any sort of even semi-professional audio, you're going to need a (semi-)professional audio interface (24 bit, 96khz minimum, probably multiple I/O) - this is one big chunk of what the ProTools hardware does, the other big chunk being DSP to run your plugins without straining the native CPU. Again, ProTools is no longer unique in this regard - TC's PowerCore [tcelectronic.com] is probably the best known similar product. Finally, as you say, there are plugins available for ProTools for things like autotuning, but again - this is very far from unique to ProTools these days. You can get Antares Autotune in TDM (the ProTools format) but also as native VST or DX (which basically means any serious music software under the sun can utilise it). There are a few plugins that are only sold as TDM, not in VST/DX/AU/RTAS, but there arent that many anymore, and you can bet there are roughly equivalent alternatives in the native (or powercore) formats.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

TufelKinder (66342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068920)

As a Cubase user, I can vouch for this. I love Steinberg's products,
and thankfully they don't have asinine policies like forcing you to
use only a certain specific brand of hardware, like Digidesign does.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

tigeba (208671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069292)

For the record, your choice of interface is only restricted on the LE systems. When you move to HD, you do have a small, but high quality set of choices. I don't see the LE situation as any different than the OSX / Mac situation. Their motivation is probably the same as well.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

tigeba (208671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069486)

I think the most significant advantage of HD systems these days is expandability, low-or-no-latency, and delay compensation. PowerCore is similar in terms of offloading processing, but is not really the same experience as an HD system. That said, I know there are quite a few HD users that also have a PowerCore because of some PowerCore-specific plugins that people like. They do suffer from having added latency as a result.

Supposedly Nuendo has delay compensation as well, but I have various reports on how effective it can be.

Full disclosure: I have an HD3 system, and I like it. I hate to say it but it "just works", which I actually appreciate in the context in which I use it.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070332)

I believe full PDC* (plugin delay compensation) is now present on Cubase, not just Nuendo. Can't remember about Logic but I think the latest version at least has it too?

I don't have the latest version of any, so I couldn't give you my report as to it's effectiveness.

Low latency is pretty much a given with any (semi)pro audio interface, like a MOTU or whatever, again, not really a ProTools thing.

By the way, just to clarify: my previous post (and indeed this one) wasn't intended to detract from ProTools at all. To be honest, I've never used it! So I'd be a fool to bash it. I'm not trying to do it down; it's just the post I was replying to seemed to be kinda in the "I've heard that real professional uses ProTools because it does tons of stuff that no other solution can do" camp, which isn't a realistic appraisal of the pro-audio market in 2007.

I think your "just works" comment is revealing, taken in unison with your sibling post griping about Digidesign forcing you to use their hardware. Broadly, I guess you could say that Digidesign are going for the Apple model, where they control the entire stack, both hardware and software, in order to get that "just works" result. Nice if you can afford it, and you're prepared to go "in for a penny, in for a pound" with any single vendor - if not you can do a mix-and-match approach with Steinberg/Emagic + MOTU/Apogee/RME, etc.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070456)

Oops - I forgot to add the note for my *

If you've got a ProTools HD rig then I'm obviously not telling you anything you don't already know, but for the benefit of anybody else...

Plugin Delay Compensation basically means offsetting tracks to adjust for how long the DSP's in your chain take. So, for a very crude example, if you've got a piano going through a cheapo EQ which adds no delay, and a guitar going through a demanding convolution plugin which adds 1ms of delay, without PDC, your guitar is going to come out 1ms late. PDC = automatically detects this, and sends the guitar signal to the convolution plugin 1ms "early".

Full PDC is where it does this across busses and groups as well. That is, even in complex routings, where the guitar is fed to another channel as a send effect, processed, grouped back with the original channel in a bus, etc - it still works out PDC across the board. This is important - arguably even more than simple PDC - because it allows parallel processing. In reality, the guitar being a tiny bit later than the piano may well not be noticed by human ears. However, if you parallel process something (a classic example being "New York compression"), and one signal is delayed, then you'll end up with phasing between the two, which is very noticable.

PDC in itself isn't very new, I think even my (relatively ancient) sequencer does it. But full PDC is something which has only really appeared across the board in the last few years, I believe.

Oh, and since I'm replying to myself already - I've just seen your reply to the sibling, where you actually said exactly the same as me about the Mac analogy *chuckle*. Should read the whole thread before restating something you've already said! ;)

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

tigeba (208671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071352)

I agree fully that you can pretty much get the job done on just about any platform hardware/software combo. I disagree about the latency issue to some extent. As far as I know, most of the solutions involve some sort of low latency mode or monitoring without effects, where with an HD system, there is generally no issue, and the latency is normally measured in samples, not ms. I don't base this on any recent personal experience however. Mostly just anecdotal evidence, as it always seems to be one of the most common issues I see discussed in forums. Actually, I am participating in the RPM Challenge http://www.rpmchallenge.com/ [rpmchallenge.com] , and I saw a thread discussing Audacity and the first issue that popped up was latency.

For a lot of home recordists, I don't think it is that big a deal. It is my impression that a lot more people are making electronic-ish (hop hop, techno, trance, ambient, whatever) at home than recording multiple acoustic musicians simultaneously. At least that is my impression. Other packages (Logic, GarageBand, not so much Nuendo) really seem to be geared more toward songwriting and composition, where something like ProTools is more focused on mixing and post production. I think many people would find Pro Tools confusing because it presumes you have a good deal of understanding of analog mixing.

That being said, after recording for a week and a half solid, the biggest sonic improvement I have made recently was a new microphone and preamp. Truly worlds of difference there. The thing I would recommend to anyone who records themselves and finds it awkward and difficult is the TranzPort http://www.frontierdesign.com/Products/TranzPort [frontierdesign.com] . That thing works with just about any software out there, and trust me, it is absolutely awesome.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (2, Informative)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069842)

I've worked with ProTools and I even with the specialized hardware, there is no "easy button" that allows you to make hit music from crap musicians. You still have to have talented composers, musicians and vocalists as well as a decent audio engineer/producer who has musical skill to make it all work together. Pitch locking isn't just some simple effect you run to straighten out someone's off key vocals. If they can't carry a tune, pitch locking isn't going to help in the least. So, hate it if you must, but "pop divas" have to have a good amount of vocal ability to make things work. And the audio engineer needs to know enough about the music to make the right decisions when applying pitch locking/tracking. In the end ProTools, while the defacto standard, is not the "easy button". If you had a talented and technically able audio engineer, he could put the effort in with a Linux box and Ardour and get identical results with a little extra work.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (4, Informative)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068450)

This is not entirely on point. Since it's a rare day on slashdot where I actually halfway know what I'm talking about, I can't resist pitching in :)

Hm. Naming problem. Colloquially they're called 'module trackers' or 'midi/music sequencers', but essentially they're both the same thing: a program that places hardware/user-defined notes in user-designed spots in songs.
Although at the most simplified level I suppose this is correct, they're not really the same thing at the level beyond that. Trackers are step-time. Commonly, each step equates to sixteenth notes (four steps per beat of the bar). Modern trackers may allow you to choose greater resolution, but in the past (and by "past" I'm talking turn of the century here, which was when I used them, not decades ago!) it was pretty common to simply work at double-bpm if you needed more resolution. On the other hand, midi sequencers... well... clearly I can't claim they're continuous, as that's obviously a theoretical impossibility in a digital system. But they don't come across as step like. Resolution-wise, even at the same sort of period ('99), Cubase had an internal MIDI resolution of 15360 [harmony-central.com] PPQN (pulses per quarter note). Most decent DAWs these days (Pro tools, Nuendo) will allow you to spot events to sample accuracy (ie, if you're working at cd quality, you've got a resolution of 44,100 per second) or locked to various types of timecode (for, eg, film scoring). Against, while it's possible modern trackers incorporate this (I haven't really used them for a few years), I would certainly say that older trackers (FT2, IT2, Modplug-as-I-knew-it, Buzz) do not allow you to put your notes on spots as defined by (eg) SMPTE timecode. Also, the "note" in a trackers was traditionally triggering a sample loaded directly within the tracker software, whereas the notes in a midi sequencer drive hardware, or a software sampler/synth/instrument (the most common format being VSTi). Admittedly, these days many/most trackers can output midi and use software instruments too, so I admit the definition is pretty thoroughly blurred. Still, it helps to realise the different backgrounds they've come from, because whilst it's blurred, you still can't really see them as identical.

To the talented, they are a good as a room full of fine musical instruments. To the less talented, they're much like a cat with a tether attached to its tail, labeled 'swing me'.
True!

There are also 'sound editors', like Sound Forge, that allow you to mess with the raw sound data, and Cakewalk and Audacity, which are excellent 'multitrack recorders' with SF-like functionality built in (Cakewalk's a MUCH better program, but as for Audacity, 'free' is a good selling point).
Cakewalk these days is known as Sonar. But even with the old Cakewalk branded versions, considering it a multitrack soundforge would be doing it a bit of a disservice. Like Cubase and Logic, it's essentially a hybrid DAW/Midi sequencer.

None of these could be considered 'music editors', which to me implies something that can take in raw PCM data and let you select out and remove, add, and modify notes. No such program exists to my knowledge.
Well, no, not really, because it's barely possible for computers to pull apart PCM data in that way... In fact as little as five years ago I'd have said impossible, but we are getting there. The closest there currently is would be melodyne [celemony.com] . I haven't used it (because it's bloody expensive!) but reviews I've read suggest you can pretty much treat audio as midi - ie, select and alter individual notes from an audio file. Even then, it will struggle or outright fail if the source material is (eg) heavily effected with delays/reverbs/etc. And while it's ok for monophonic audio, you're not going to be able to (say) change the flute line from the midst of an orchestral recording.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067880)

I'm the guy you replied to and I started out using Roland analogue synths and drum machines in the late 80s (still own analogue and MIDI hardware sequencers).

I think that another commenter said it best, that trackers had moved on since the Amiga days. The lines between what we used to call tracker, midi sequencer, sampler and DAW have been mostly eroded since back in the day. All taken, I still stand by my comment that they are primarily useful for game music and wikipedia supports my opinion. [wikipedia.org] Furthermore;

The traditional tracker stigma of unwieldy, complicated programs (aimed at a predominantly technologically-minded audience) is slowly being cast off

Is this why in 20 years I have never seen a tracker used on a commercial session? Alternatively this could be because bedroom studio techno-heads don't hire studios? Whatever, it would appear that my opinion is neither unique or bullshit so kindly put your dummy back in!

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068628)

So in other words you agree with me when I am saying that we owe a lot of the advances in music technology to that which came before it.

I too have been making music since the late 80's and have a collection of analogue synths and drum machines. Although I owe much of my roots to humble beginnings on Ubix music and Octamed on the Amiga. Those early trackers greatly influenced me as a musician and I often go back to them because in many ways the limitations actually spurn creativity. So I find it interesting that you originally stated that you have always hated them and they are only good for game music. I stand by my remarks that your comment was bullshit!

Game Music is still a valid form of music only a musical snob would suggest otherwise! Just because a tune was created one way or another it doesnt make it any more or less valid an artform. If I composed a tune using only a mono Moog would you say that it was crap because Moog's are only good for playing one note at a time?

you are just a snob

N.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069156)

Game Music is still a valid form of music only a musical snob would suggest otherwise!

I never said anything bad about game music, I said I hated trackers (the software) and that they were mainly useful for game music. Go and kick your straw man somewhere else.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (2, Informative)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068870)

Is this why in 20 years I have never seen a tracker used on a commercial session? Alternatively this could be because bedroom studio techno-heads don't hire studios?
Well, it's the latter really. Plenty of commercially released and successful dance music (<pet-peeve> no, not all dance music is "techno", any more than all music made by bands with guitars is, say, "punk" </pet-peeve>) has been made with trackers - including many considered classics in their respective styles.

But you don't see them in "proper" hired studios, for the simple reason that they'd be rubbish at it. Why go to the expense of hiring a studio? It's not to program beats, which you can do quite happily at home... OK, whilst it would clearly be simplifying to say this is the only reason to get a real studio, it's probably fair to say the most compelling reason is to record vocals or instruments. After all - all those classic hardware EQs, compressors, reverbs and effects can be reproduced with software these days (especially now that convolution [soundonsound.com] technology is making such strides) - but you can't download a well-designed acoustic environment ;-)

And if you're recording long takes of audio from a vocalist or instrumentalist... you don't use a tracker. Because by and large they don't / can't do that all, and even if they can, they'll do it badly, compared to something designed for the task (ie, a DAW).

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069776)

Take my comment in context, I'm saying that trackers are of limited utility and mainly useful for game music (obviously they are also used for some dance stuff). Over the years I must have seen every midi sequencer and DAW in existence. I've never seen a tracker in real life, not once. The only person I ever knew who used one wrote music for computer games.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18074650)

You probably won't recognize it but here's a video of a Venetian Snares [youtube.com] song that was done with Renoise (a modern tracker)

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067304)

Not some but MOST of the most beautiful music I know was written by MOD trackers. The free software and openness of the various MOD formats really captured the imagination of composer hobbyists over the last 15-odd years.

MOD is a testament to all that is possible in a society free of copyright, closed IP, and DRM. MODs convinced me long ago that as soon as music is broadcast publicly it is public domain.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

rilister (316428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069594)

yup. Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGK-EzEa45U [youtube.com]
Venetian Snare playing back "Vache", composed on ReNoise.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069694)

Thanks for the link!! Vsnares is one of my all time favourite producers, and he uses tons of open source music tools (open source music, not tools) in his repertoire. I can't remember which MOD tracker is his favourite, but it's an old school 8 or 16 channel one.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

tillerman35 (763054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067324)

Since you have some experience, could you please recommend an F/OSS MIDI sequencer? I'd like to do some work on my Yamaha Clavinova, but I'm having a hard time finding a decent sequencer that works under Kubuntu (Edgy) and/or XP.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (3, Informative)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067566)

Since you have some experience, could you please recommend an F/OSS MIDI sequencer? I'd like to do some work on my Yamaha Clavinova, but I'm having a hard time finding a decent sequencer that works under Kubuntu (Edgy) and/or XP.

apt-get rosegarden

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (4, Funny)

shish (588640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067786)

If you're going to reply to a question with a command line command, at least make sure it's the right one... (you want "apt-get install rosegarden")

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067892)

Yes I've been planning to get Rosegarden for a long time - it does look spectacular. Does anybody else recommend it? Also can anybody tell me if it will work (through Linux) with a Yamaha keyboard? (PSR-550 to be exact) The keyboard required its own driver under Windows, does Linux have some generic MIDI keyboard driver or am I screwed?

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

High Hat (618572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067990)

Well, it surely has standard Midi In / Midi Out connectors? If so you should be able to connect it to a standard MIDI interface (available from 20 upwards) or even to a bulk sound card with MIDI/Gameport connector using a special cable.

So recording MIDI from the keyboard or sending MIDI to the keyboard (to have the notes played back with the keyboard's synthesizer / sampler) shouldn't be the problem. Only thing you might need the windows drivers for is if it supports loading samples from the computer into the keyboard, there is no standard interface for this.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

High Hat (618572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068020)

So Slashcode munched up my euro sign. This site is just sooooooo US-Centric!

Well anyway, that was supposed to say "available from 20 EUR upwards", but I think you can safely s/EUR/\$/ for small amounts of money...

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18072450)

This site is just sooooooo US-Centric!

That's a long standing bug in slashcode. Though I did think they'd made a special case for the Euro at the same time as they did for £

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068278)

Standard MIDI interfaces are slowly dying out, since the USB specification includes a MIDI device class [usb.org] . Any device implementing the MIDI profile can be used with any operating system that supports it. This works beautifully on OS X (as you'd expect, since most MIDI users went the Atari ST to Mac route and ignored the PC). Support is under development for Linux, but I don't know what the current status is.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18074314)

Any particular reason you can't just try it yourself?

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067808)

It's not open source but Anvil Studio [anvilstudio.com] is free and runs on Windows, for those who don't currently have the Linux option.

Re:Don't forget ModPlug (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071576)

I was confused at first. How could anyone possibly use "music" and "oss" in the same sentence? That means they don't know jack! Then it dawned on me that they weren't talking about the old Open Sound System for Linux... :-)

Ruling the World (2, Insightful)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067138)

OK, I'm a Linux user (geek, dork, whatever), but bias aside, there's a lot to said for Open Source and Free software. Right now many of the tools may not be as good as commercial counterparts (though many are better). But the powerful thing about OSS is that it tends to get better. Sometimes improvements are slow and dependent upon a particular developer, but more often there's rapid change. The music software right may not have all the needed features of a pro or semi-pro package, but it may be just "good enough" for a lot of folks. In a few months it becomes "good enough" for a few more. At some point it crosses a threshold where it's not only good enough but something of a standard.

Take OpenOffice for example. MS Office power users will miss some features, but the vast majority of students and home users can now use it for all their tasks.

Re:Ruling the World (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067300)

But the powerful thing about OSS is that it tends to get better. Sometimes improvements are slow and dependent upon a particular developer, but more often there's rapid change.

The same can easily be said of closed source. Or are you trying to tell me that Adobe Photoshop has always remained the same and that this is the side effect of closed source?

At some point it crosses a threshold where it's not only good enough but something of a standard.

Standards are easy. Anyone can write up a standard. It's a question of the overall validity of this standard in any particular market that determines if the standard applies.

So, aside from Linux tell me where this accepted standard in the world of open source vs. closed source exists?

Not to harp on the OSS movement because there is something of value there but you're trying to make it seem like the way that open source progresses and it's acceptance is somehow different from closed source. It's simply not. Maybe more eyes get to see the workings of the OSS project but that doesn't always mean better and upto this point in time there is little evidence of it.

I'm glad that there is stuff out there so the novice can work on this type of software without breaking the bank or turning to illegal methods to gain the software but the bottom line is that this, like most OSS, is not ready for primetime on the professional market.

Also, I feel where you think the strength of open source exists is not the real strength at all. For one, the values you're putting on OSS as a strength really hasn't appeared to be one because of dominating closed source pro-tools. Second, I feel you're missing the point of having something that people can work with on their own to produce something that is closer to what they need while the same feature may not have real marketability. This is the only real plus I see to OSS; the ability to make mods where you need them the most. The sad fact about this is that if someone else hasn't already adopted this mod into a OSS (or closed source model for that matter) project than there probably isn't much of a call for it.

I find it fantastic that Google can mod Linux to be what they need it to be without any baggage to make for some really kick ass servers that suit their needs but unless you're doing modifications on an OSS project to suit your needs the only thing that is progressive about it is the savings in software costs. And I'm still a fence-sitter on the question of that being progressive. Profit is still the largest motive in innovation.

Re:Ruling the World (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067624)

The same can easily be said of closed source. Or are you trying to tell me that Adobe Photoshop has always remained the same and that this is the side effect of closed source?

Except for an unrelated point about OpenOffice being "good enough", I never implied that closed source, proprietary software is not improving. Are you trying to tell me that Canada is evil? It makes as much relevance as your post. The obvious difference is that OSS can be downloaded and used without cost. Of course, OSS helps drive the proprietary development too. After all, it's very difficult to compete with "free". MS IE stagnated for years until other products innovated forcing MS to improve their product.

Standards are easy. Anyone can write up a standard. It's a question of the overall validity of this standard in any particular market that determines if the standard applies.

So, aside from Linux tell me where this accepted standard in the world of open source vs. closed source exists?


Again, I didn't impugn closed source but I guess you need something to argue about. Apache is something of a standard. MySQL is something of a standard. Look at the software space and you'll see thousands of products that assume apache, or perl, or gcc, or countless other products.


Also, I feel where you think the strength of open source exists is not the real strength at all. For one, the values you're putting on OSS as a strength really hasn't appeared to be one because of dominating closed source pro-tools. Second, I feel you're missing the point of having something that people can work with on their own to produce something that is closer to what they need while the same feature may not have real marketability. This is the only real plus I see to OSS; the ability to make mods where you need them the most. The sad fact about this is that if someone else hasn't already adopted this mod into a OSS (or closed source model for that matter) project than there probably isn't much of a call for it.


And you missed my point completely and entirely, much as a 747 in New York misses an airfield in Paris as it flies into LaGuardia.

OSS gives anyone the ability to use and experiment with production quality tools. It can be something as complex as CGI tools or viewers for Protein Database molecules. Or it can be something as simple as a CD burner. I bought a laptop the other day that included a DVD/CD burner. However, the inluded software was crippled and couldn't burn ISOs. It's such a basic functionality of a CD burner software that you'd expect the most limited commercial offering to include the feature. But it didn't. Until this stops happening there's going to be a need for proper OSS tools. And if proprietary vendors are more focused on making profit rather than functionality, then OSS already has a leg up.

Re:Ruling the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068474)

Man, talk about side stepping the facts here.

Except for an unrelated point about OpenOffice being "good enough", I never implied that closed source, proprietary software is not improving.

Then why the constant need to scream open source anytime you had the chance? If you really felt that there was no difference between the closed source and open source model you'd have little if anything left to your original post. It would be like talking about food and saying "vegetarian" as often as possible and claiming that I meant for it to mean nothing in difference to non-vegetarian food.

Again, I didn't impugn closed source but I guess you need something to argue about.

Again, I didn't say "open source" every other word. I didn't make it seem that OSS somehow was more progressive than closed source. I guess either you don't read your own posts or you're just such a lemming that you can't help it. I guess you just need to pat yourself on the back about open source.

Apache is something of a standard. MySQL is something of a standard.

I'll certainly give you Apache. Thanks for pointing it out.

But MySQL? Are you kidding? It's considered by many in database circles to be a joke. It's given about as much regard as MS Access if not less.

OSS gives anyone the ability to use and experiment with production quality tools.

I guess you don't read too well. My point was that often OSS doesn't produce professional quality tools. Let's get back to the truth here.

I bought a laptop the other day that included a DVD/CD burner. However, the inluded software was crippled and couldn't burn ISOs.

So this was a demo software, OK. That's not abnormal but I agree it is unfortunate.

It's such a basic functionality of a CD burner software that you'd expect the most limited commercial offering to include the feature.

OK, but from what I'm reading here it was simply crippled. The idea was to get you to buy the "commercial offering" in order to uncripple the feature.

Until this stops happening there's going to be a need for proper OSS tools.

Really? How does OSS make a difference in this case? I could make a closed source tool that does the same thing. I don't think OSS means what you think it means. People have been building and distributing free utilities of all types for ages. Most of them were closed source. I have zero doubt that a closed source ISO burner exists. The fact that it's closed or open doesn't mean jack to me since, even if I were going to use it, I would find no need to modify it.

And if proprietary vendors are more focused on making profit rather than functionality, then OSS already has a leg up.

This would only be true if a large number of software offerings in the closed source model were less functional. They're not. In today's market close source is used more often not because it's closed source but because it is more functional. The types of people who normally by software in the corporate would generally don't give a damn about open vs. closed source.

The software you got was crippled by design, this is what's known as demoware in the PC world. What's the question?

Re:Ruling the World (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069768)


Then why the constant need to scream open source anytime you had the chance? If you really felt that there was no difference between the closed source and open source model you'd have little if anything left to your original post. It would be like talking about food and saying "vegetarian" as often as possible and claiming that I meant for it to mean nothing in difference to non-vegetarian food.


Must suck to be you.

Re:Ruling the World (1)

paaltio (978687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067904)

Take OpenOffice for example. MS Office power users will miss some features, but the vast majority of students and home users can now use it for all their tasks.


I've often pondered the subject of open source in very specialized, relatively niche software like audio. It seems that, for obvious reasons, open source development works the best in areas where there is strong general public interest and as such more people interested in helping develop the software. OpenOffice seems to be a good example of an app, well a suite of apps rather, that has strong momentum and is able to compete at least to some extent with the commercial products, although I'm hardly an expert in office software. And of course Firefox et al.

However for audio the situation is a lot different I think. There are many remarkable open source audio software projects that I don't want to discount in any way, but on the other hand I'm also a working as a composer for a living in film, TV and video games both in Hollywood and in my native Finland, and I can pretty much say that in 99% of the cases the professional composers are sequencing with Logic Pro (OS X), Digital Performer (OS X), Pro Tools (OS X + Windows), Cubase (OS X + Windows) or Sonar (Windows). There's lots of other cool apps like Live etc., but I've yet to meet anyone who would use them only, and I can't really see how that would be efficient unless you're only working with loops etc.

Personally I work with Logic because I find with its vast support for keyboard shortcuts combined with a good macro program such as QuicKeys for automating repetitive tasks, it simply makes me work the fastest, which is absolutely vital in this business.

The one common factor with all these, of course, is that they're proprietary and commercial.

Feature-wise, I think it'd be an uphill battle to compete with the professional audio apps, because the competition in that market is pretty fierce and the developers are adding huge amounts of new stuff with every major revision. However, therein lies a problem also, because the software tends to be pretty buggy these days because of the race for more and more features. It's all getting just a little bit too bloated and unstable, and the companies seem to be less interested in even fully fixing the programs anymore -- just check the Cubase forums for example and the outcry when Steinberg announced they're not going to patch SX3 anymore.

The niche that open source could probably fill in that market would be a really stable program that just "works". Of course if it would also be a really modular design where you would only have a really efficient core MIDI/audio engine with abstract data that would be easily accessable by custom modules so you could for example add notation, Live-type loop handling, a new sequencing interface etc. and update it pretty much separately from the core app, that might help the open source model work better. I have a programming background but certainly don't have time to build anything from the ground up. However if it would be possible to for example create a new MIDI editor GUI in a few weeks, I probably would take the time to do that -- I've certainly developed an ideal design for these types of things in mind along the years, and none of the available programs fully meet that criteria

Re:Ruling the World (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068374)


However for audio the situation is a lot different I think. There are many remarkable open source audio software projects that I don't want to discount in any way, but on the other hand I'm also a working as a composer for a living in film, TV and video games both in Hollywood and in my native Finland, and I can pretty much say that in 99% of the cases the professional composers are sequencing with Logic Pro (OS X), Digital Performer (OS X), Pro Tools (OS X + Windows), Cubase (OS X + Windows) or Sonar (Windows). There's lots of other cool apps like Live etc., but I've yet to meet anyone who would use them only, and I can't really see how that would be efficient unless you're only working with loops etc.


Certainly -- no argument there. There are some very simple audio utilities on Linux, but having just purchased a low-end consumer sound program (Cakewalk Music Creator 3), I can see that the other OSS tools I've tried are not *yet* competitors (E.g., Ardour, Audacity, the JACK and ALSA plugins in some packages). At your level the OSS tools obviously will not work.

But that's the gist of my point. I am not a sound/creative professional as you are. The most I'll need is something to maybe clean up some sound, normalize a few tracks, etc.. Maybe at some point synchronize it to the time signal that's currently unused in my video editing software. If an OSS tool does that then good for me.

It's also, I think, good for the high end from both vendor and consumer perspectives. For the consumer it "floats the boat". I.e., the whole software base for the niche gets better because of increased competition on the low end. The low end software must make their product attractive versus the free/oss versions. They do this by adding features. At some point, the feature set of the low-end consumer software starts rivaling the mid-end, which in turns starts rivaling the high-end. Even if the vendors do not compete on price they will need to make the product more attractive either by services, free updates, more plugins, more samples, etc.. This is markedly apparent in the video editing field as even the low-end bundled packages are doing things that once cost in the hundreds of dollars.

Re:Ruling the World (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068964)

Take OpenOffice for example. MS Office power users will miss some features, but the vast majority of students and home users can now use it for all their tasks.That isn't really a good example. All OpenOffice does is attempt to copy MS Office, and it does it rather poorly. It is slow and bloated, and still doesn't have the entire feature set. It is lagging a few versions behind, and the .doc support isn't perfect. There is no reason anyone would want to switch (on Windows), besides cost.

Re:Ruling the World (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069024)

Should have previewed:

Take OpenOffice for example. MS Office power users will miss some features, but the vast majority of students and home users can now use it for all their tasks.
That isn't really a good example. All OpenOffice does is attempt to copy MS Office, and it does it rather poorly. It is slow and bloated, and still doesn't have the entire feature set. It is lagging a few versions behind, and the .doc support isn't perfect. There is no reason anyone would want to switch (on Windows), besides cost.

Moo (3, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067142)

He made it OSS? Why, that's music to me ears!

Much needed (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067192)

Though I work as a web developer right now, I have a long past of involvement with music. I will definitely start back up with it at one point or another. I'm sure when I do, stuff like this will be really useful. My hats off to the developers on this project. I'll definitely check it out when the linked page is no longer dead.

OSS alternative to Logic? not there yet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067198)

I have been keeping an eye out for a digital music workstation app that fits in between GarageBand and Logic, and runs on one of the BSDs or Linux. This is promising but doesn't appear to be there yet. IMO it appears in the screenshots to be a little heavy on the geek factor. For composition or improvisation you expect to see a timeline horizontally, and a stack of instrument voices vertically, and some kind of panel or pane in the UI , a library from which to choose instruments.

Re:OSS alternative to Logic? not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067314)

Try Rosegarden [rosegardenmusic.com] .

It's available via the package manager on Ubuntu / Debian systems and works very well for me. You can also purchase a "Live CD" with everything pre-setup for you to work on for a reasonable price.

Something more interesting than Logic? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067404)

For composition or improvisation you expect to see a timeline horizontally.
For a Logic Pro / GarageBand / Cubase clone, you're right that's exactly what you need. The site for this thing is slashdotted, so I can't look at it, but I hope it's something different. (Having said that, plenty of people would like an OSS Logic clone).

I've only dabbled in music software (Cubase ages ago, GarageBand more recently) and the convention you describe doesn't really gel with me. It just seems to linear. What I'd *like* to do would have multi-instrument phrases which you could manipulate in an OO-like manner.

So, for example, you could record all the parts for a basic verse, a chorus and a middle eight, then copy those out to form a basic song structure : verse twice, chorus, verse again, middle eight, chorus, chorus (of course, the software wouldn't constrain you to such a traditional structure). Now if you fiddle with your verse "class", all the verses will inherit your change. Or, you can make some of the verses subclasses -- second verse has a more strident piano line, last verse has strings etc.

Plus, if phrase classes had rules (if next phrases is a chorus, last bar contains drum fill), you'd have a lot of compositional power.

Even if a program such as this didn't make nice enough noises to use as the final product, I reckon it would be a valuable composition aid.

Re:Something more interesting than Logic? (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067670)

Try looking at Ableton Live's interface (they have a demo available on their site) - it pretty much does things in the way you are describing them.

Re:Something more interesting than Logic? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068130)

Try looking at Ableton Live's interface (they have a demo available on their site) - it pretty much does things in the way you are describing them.
I knew it was a good enough idea that someone else would already have done it.

Will definitely try the demo when I'm at a loose end one day.

Re:OSS alternative to Logic? not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067450)

Please pull your head out of your ass.

Thanks, the rest of the internet.

Re:OSS alternative to Logic? not there yet (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068740)

This isn't attempting to be an alternative to GarageBand or Logic. It's coming from a different ethos of music altogether. It's "family tree" consists of the likes of Octamed / Fasttracker / Buzz / Renoise, not Cubase / Logic. See my post here [slashdot.org] for a fuller explanation.

From what I've picked up reading slashdot and many music production forums, the closest OSS to what you're looking for is Rosegarden. I haven't tried it myself though - no point really, as I'm happily (yes, really) running XP (no, it doesn't bluescreen :rollseyes: )

You might be interested in this article [soundonsound.com] , about a couple of Americans who run a studio entirely on Linux-based MIDI and audio software.

Re:OSS alternative to Logic? not there yet (1)

agg-1 (916902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073086)

Well, this isn't designed to be like Logic, it's advanced tracker software instead. You probably want a sequencer software like Rosegarden: http://www.rosegardenmusic.com/ [rosegardenmusic.com]

Another Buzz alternative? (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067272)

Like Buzzle? I guess making it Open Source means that they can't lose the source code when a drive crashes, like when Jeskola lost the original Buzz source... Sad day that was.

Shoutout to FUK (1)

usrusr (654450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067308)

Hey Frequnknown, looks interesting!

Honestly, i did not expect the VC project to outlive so many other clonez, keep that good luck going! Kudos btw for leaving that gloryfied macro assembler (c++) behind, looks like quite some pioneering work that you do.

Buze and Aldrin also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067338)

There's also Buze (http://trac.zeitherrschaft.org/buze/) and Aldrin (http://trac.zeitherrschaft.org/aldrin/, the linux frontend using python.

For years there wern't any alternatives, and now within the past 2 years, there are so many.
Buzzle, Buze, Aldrin, Buzztard, BEAST & Violet. All open source.

Some User Feedback... (2, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067368)

Some free end-user feedback for you guys ('cause I know you're reading). I'm running this under Windows 2003.

On the config dialog:
  - Why don't you read the default sound card selection off of the "Control Panel"? (Audio panel)
  - What's up with the "(fix bad sound)" labels? (Audio panel)
  - Why do I only have "Desktop" or "MyDocs" as choices for "Recording Directory". (I'd like "D:\Music".) (Audio panel)
  - Don't put the "HELP" button in red text. It's 2007 - if people need help, they'll know to look for a help button or just as likely, hit the web. (Same thing for the doc; if you think you have to write the text in red to get people to understand it, it's probably because the doc wasn't that clear in black.)

Next screen:
    - What's up with the "Learn about stuff!" titlebar?
    - No, it's not true that "You've Upgraded!". I just installed the software for the first time.
    - Why is the "show next startup" box checked by default? I don't know any other software program that shows me the release notes with each launch. (Especially when I'm supposed to be relaunching the program several times to check audio settings.)

The actual program:
    - Don't bug me with the "Violet needs testers and developers" prompt. WTF do you think I'm doing?
    - OK, I loaded a sample. Where's the "play sample" button? (Also, why not tie the sample to the "keyboard" at this point so I can see which pitch I want to play the sample at.)
    - Why don't you start with at least one track in a new pattern?

Looks like a good start. I'll try to write something in it over the weekend. (I should also tell you that my favorite tracker is something called "OctaMed" so you know where I'm coming from.)

Re:Some User Feedback... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068072)

I'm running this under Windows 2003.
You are coming to a sad realization; cancel or allow?

fir57 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067436)

BSDI is also dead, and coomiitees Pooper. Nothing Something done

For Buzz-lovers (not alcoholics, but musicians)... (2, Interesting)

Agram (721220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067466)

...there is also a cross-platform Buzz-port titled Aldrin which is actually comparable if not more mature than this software. It has already a majority of Buzz objects ported over and has gained some momentum among the Buzz community. And yes, it does run on Linux...

It will gain more attention... (1)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067480)

... when Timbaland rips off one of its built in tracks to make a new hit song.

nice project but this is nothing new... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067494)

What makes violet Composer so special? There is already a lot of free or even open source software, that allows hobby musicians to have (nearly) as many possibilities as professional musicians.

Jeskola Buzz has been around for a while (it is free but unfortunately not open source... well, the developer lost the source anyway). There is a very vivid community around it (see for example http://www.buzzmusic.de/ [buzzmusic.de] ) and many people have already created a lot of nice music with it. Now there are even efforts make open alternatives to buzz (see http://trac.zeitherrschaft.org/aldrin/ [zeitherrschaft.org] or http://trac.zeitherrschaft.org/buzzrmx/ [zeitherrschaft.org] or http://www.buzztard.org/ [buzztard.org] )
Check for example the music of http://www.paniq.org/ [paniq.org] . Most of this is made with buzz or aldrin.

Appart from the buzz scene, a lot of other virtual studio software and other audio tools have been created. Especially for Linux. See http://wired.epitech.net/ [epitech.net] , http://lmms.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] , http://beast.gtk.org/ [gtk.org]

So, as the Violet Composer surely is a nice project, there is already enough stuff out there for low-budget computer geeks to unleash their musical creativity!

Violet composer's strengths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18067512)

Violet Composer's strengths:

1) Written in C#
2) wavelet based synthesis
3) Machines are distributed in source form and compiled using the code DOM.
4) Preliminary Buzz Machine support

Mono (2, Interesting)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067702)

Anyone got his running on Linux using Mono yet?

OSS Audio 'quality' just isn't good enough (1)

SonnyJimATC (939056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18067772)

As much as I 3 FOSS, I had to install the VST dssi wrapper and install some Windows commercial plugins. I have always found that pretty much every single OSS audio synth/fx unit just doesn't sound half as nice as the commerical ones :-(

Stutters badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068822)

System:
PIII 1GHz
640 MB RAM
Audigy 2
WinXP Pro (.NET Framework 2.0)

I followed the configuration recommendations (22KHz, 200ms buffer latency) and tried all of the available soundcard options, restarting the application after changing, they all stuttered horribly, constantly buffering when playing the included default composistion. I tried some other combinations of settings all with the same result. CPU use averaged about 80% during playback while buffer latency was set to 200ms or less and maxed out at 100% when the buffer latency was set to 500ms or more.

The application consistently generates this error on exit:
AppName: wavelet tracker.exe AppVer: 0.0.0.1 AppStamp:45d7cbc9
ModName: pa19.dll ModVer: 0.0.0.0 ModStamp:42ee9246
fDebug: 0 Offset: 0000500b

Perhaps my system does not meet the requirements?

Re:Stutters badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071244)

This is 2007. Upgrade your ghetto machine.

That's not music composition (1)

giorgosts (920092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068888)

This is digital sound synthesis and manipulation, but not music

Finale http://img470.imageshack.us/img470/7861/screenshot 1lx3.png [imageshack.us] is software for composing music. There is nothing equivalent in the OSS world, and there's no finale for linux either.

Re:That's not music composition (1)

joshpar (955632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069196)

Neither is Finale. Finale is horrible at dealing with sound that doesn't fit neatly into the 12-note, even time division based world of sound.

Why isn't synthesis, sampling and manipulation music?

Re:That's not music composition (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069228)

Finale (and Sibelius) are essentially for "composing" scores (ie, traditional notated sheet music to print out and put in front of musicians).

I am interested to know what universe you live in where "music" isn't "music" unless sheet music is involved. I mean, whilst the "if it's made electronically and not played on 'real' instruments, it doesn't count as music" attitude is utterly ridiculous, it's at least... almost... nearly... sort of... possibly... barely... understandable.

But your definition would appear to rule out pretty much the entirety of jazz and rock as well as electronic stuff... Not to mention the vast swathes of the world's music which doesn't use the European-classical tradition of scoring / notation... *genuinely dumbfounded*

Re:That's not music composition (1)

sorabji (1066020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069740)

Lilypond is the OSS music notation software, and has been around for a long time. It's code-based, and I guess it's closer to Score than to Finale or Sibelius. But it produces pretty impressive stuff once you wrangle with it enough. There are some GUIs for Lilypond, including a Win32 plugin for jEdit, but I've never used them. Lilypond, the gnu project music typesetter [lilypond.org] .

Re:That's not music composition (3, Interesting)

David Greene (463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070936)

Thank you! I switched to Lilypond several months ago and never looked back. It is so much more flexible than Finale and its ilk due to the fact that it isn't constrained by a graphical representation. I also find that writing music in text is a lot faster than point-and-click or even recording and going back to adjust all of the quantizing problems.

I love the ability to use music variables to hold repeating sequences. I love the programmability (even better with the new streams model). It's extremely easy to write parts for each instrument and mix-and-match them into different scores. I find that, for example, some people in choirs like to see the full SATB parts in a traditional two-staff layout, others prefer a four-staff layout while some prefer just to see their own part. The pianist really wants to see the SATB put on a standard two-staff piano score. No problem with lilypond, I can tailor the presentation to each individual choir member if I wish.

And it makes beautiful engravings, too!

In my opinion, Lilypond completely outclasses commercial and proprietary music scoring software.

Re:That's not music composition (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073050)

Thank you. That's something I've been looking for for a long time. It looks superb, and I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Very interesting essay on engraving they've got, too.

Re:That's not music composition (1)

agg-1 (916902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073260)

There are other ways of composing music than scribbling notes on score paper or its virtual equivalent. Ever heard of algorithmic composition? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_compositi on [wikipedia.org]

a better one: rosegarden (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069154)

check THIS out:

http://www.rosegardenmusic.com/ [rosegardenmusic.com]

and paired with audacity for chopping and converting samples you would have everything you need to make your own music:

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

A nice drum machine:
http://www.hydrogen-music.org/ [hydrogen-music.org]

use ardour to mix it all!
http://ardour.org/ [ardour.org]

Still not up to par (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069472)

As much as I think OSS is cool adn all, I still haven't found any OSS that comes close to matching the features, speed, and/or ease of use of the commercial applications I use like Pro Tools, Sound Forge, Reason, Live, Vegas, etc. I have tried pretty well every app I could find and they were either lacking in features or the UI was so unruly that it would take months to be comfortable enough to work at a decent pace. For applications like this OSS programmers/designers are really going to have to work hard to win people over. A lot of musicians out there are still terrified of tech and if there is no way they are going to use some of these apps because they just aren't newbie friendly.

Ubuntu Studio (1)

apharmdq (219181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070086)

People have already mentioned Rosegarden, Ardour, etc as alternatives to commercial apps, like Logic Pro, Cubase, Reason, etc, but I should also mention that there are several distributions, such as Ubuntu Studio (mentioned previously on /.) and Demudi (the inspiration for the former) that are specifically built around supporting these apps. Personally, I think it's all a lot more flexible than the commercial apps, despite being harder to use.

In any case, it's a pity that Violet isn't available for Linux users yet, though I'm sure it will be ported over reasonably soon. I'll be keeping my eye on it . . .

Re:Ubuntu Studio (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070470)

Please explain how the OSS apps you mentioned are more flexible than say Pro Tools, Vegas or Sonar? The OSS apps are missing support for some sound cards, file types, and other things like ReWire, etc. Sure, you could prgram your own features in, but that is fraction of the percentage of the market for apps like that. So, in the end they are harder to use and have less to offer. Not really a good choice in my opinion.

Re:Ubuntu Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071000)

> The OSS apps are missing support for some sound cards

Not really the apps fault is it? I agree the situation could be better but it's the manufacturers who fail to release drivers or specs.

> file types

One of the reasons SSL funded Ardour was because there's no de-facto file interchange format for multi-track audio sessions.

> Rewire

We're too busy jacking off [jackaudio.org] to care!
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