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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Windows as a music workstation
Free software for windows...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject:  Free software for windows... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think that it may be possible to put together a pretty amazing electro-music kit using just a PC with a sound card and free music software. Let's use the topic to list free music software that runs on Windows. We have have separate topics for Linux and OSX.

If you know of any free software, please let us know about it. Include a URL to the homepage or whatever is appropriate and let us know your experience with it. Please don't post links to bootleg copies of commercial software.

Let's try to keep on-topic as much as possible. Start new topica in the Instruments and Equipment section for in-depth discussions of different programs.

I'd say we can include any sort of music software, sequencers, synthesizers, realtime processors, MIDI and audio, etc.

I'll edit this post with guidelines as we go along, if necessary.

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Last edited by mosc on Tue May 30, 2006 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ponk



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm repeating myself here, but I like using Buzz machines. Not that I'd have much experience with other software though...

Here's a magnificent site about all things Buzz:

http://www.buzzmachines.com/
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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hammerhead ( a free drum machine program ) has links to other free drum machines on their site if anyone is interested in that kind of thing.

http://www.threechords.com/hammerhead/other_drumboxes.shtml

edit : I have noticed the first plug-in on that page works under DOS(!) in addition to Windows platforms.
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gravehill



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess pretty much everything that's available for free can be found through these links:

www.kvraudio.com

www.vst-plugin.de

www.sadglad.com/freevstplugins6.html

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Mohoyoho



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.greenoak.com/crystal/

Crystal is an absolutely great free vsti. This instrument has great capabilities and sounds fantastic. It's very reliable on the Windows platform and I think they have a version for the Mac folks as well.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keykit is a super prrogram for working with MIDI processing and algorithmic music composition. Its author, Tim Thompson, is a member of the electro-music.com forum, TJT. There is a builtin programming language that had musical notes and phrases as primary objects. There is a neat GUI and Tim has developed lots of fun musical widgets and tools. I have used Keykit for many years - highly recommended.

http://nosuch.com/keykit/

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Audacity is a fine audio recorder and editor with import/export to mp3 and ogg formats. It supports hosting VST plugins, but I've peronally never tired that feature.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

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diskonext



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

While kvr indeed lists about everything, it'd be good to hear from people who've actually used stuff. It can be quite tedious to do the whole download->install->test->get dissapointed cycle over and over again.

All of this stuff listed below is Windows-based, exclusively, except for PD, CSound and SuperCollider.

Okay, so my little gem for today was: Muzys. Sequencer and VST host (mutli channel ASIO fully supported) which I managed to get up and running within minutes. Very intuitive, tho a bit ugly, felt rock solid. Alas, no longer in production, and it didn't feature audio inputs, so was useless for me.

Buzz is pretty cool in it's own unique way, have spent years with it. Tested ASIO input with it today, but was very dissapointed, lots of crackle and hiss.

Of course, PD, one of the fathers and children (d'oh) of Max.
CSound, DSP DIY.
SuperCollider is supposed to be out for Windows as well, right?

Renoise is a kick-ass tracker + VST host, which is free. Unless you want ASIO support etc. MIDI integration (MIDI input, that is) frankly bites, but that's my opinion.

Tracktion (sp?) is possibly still free to download, haven't checked. Looked like a solid sequencer / VST host, with loads of built in effects.

Synthedit, to create custom VSTs.

MidiOX and MidiYoke: MIDI filtering, monitoring, rewriting, rerouting, virtual MIDI ports, you name it, they got it.

Yes. That's about it!

-diskonext

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

diskonext wrote:

SuperCollider is supposed to be out for Windows as well, right?


Yes, in a way. It´s a crude port, maintained by just one individual. The help-file notes that some error messages are "normal" on startup and for example MIDI-out nor controll based on the mouse´s position are supported at this moment. The project has also been suspiciously silent....

...But it runs. It´s installed on my laptop right now.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

diskonext wrote:
Tracktion (sp?) is possibly still free to download, haven't checked. Looked like a solid sequencer / VST host, with loads of built in effects.


Unfortunately, the free version of Tracktion is no longer available.

The Clavia G2 Demo provides an excellent way to learn about analog style modular synthesis, http://www.clavia.com/g2/demo/index.htm

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JackDark



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For freeware VSTs out the wazoo:

http://jackdark.proboards39.com/index.cgi

Razz

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cebec



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, here are two of my recommendations based on personal experience:

first, AudioMulch, a real-time sound synthesis, composition, and processing environment --

http://www.audiomulch.com/

next is Plogue's Bidule, a real-time modular audio, MIDI, and FFT processing environment (which supports OSC) --

http://www.plogue.com/forums.html?option=content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=35

Both of these, especially Bidule, are far too comprehensive and detailed to do justice to in this post so find out for yourself. They both support ASIO, VST, and Bidule is Windows and Mac compatible.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ehm, just as a reminder, this thread's title was something with "free software" wasn't it ?

Jan.
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cebec



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

if that's directed at me, both audiomulch and bidule are free, now, and will be for a very long time until they reach v. 1 after which they will be available for a reasonable (low) price.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cebec wrote:
if that's directed at me, both audiomulch and bidule are free, now, and will be for a very long time until they reach v. 1 after which they will be available for a reasonable (low) price.


Yes, it was directed to you.

I read this for audio mulch

Quote:
Pricing
AudioMulch is distributed as shareware, the registration fee for a single-user license is currently US$50. Alpha and Beta versions of AudioMulch expire 90 days after their release date. Registering AudioMulch disables program expiry. See the registration page for further details.


And for plogue bidule see http://www.shareit.com/product.html?cart=1&productid=215790&stylefrom=215790

from which I'll quote :

Quote:
This "early bird" is a special license that you can buy before Bidule gets to v1.0, to keep your copy from expiring (all builds of Bidule expire 3 months after their original release dates). Sometime in 2005 we will release the "full" version of Bidule 1.0, and a "Lite" version. If you buy this "early bird" license now, you will automatically get the "Lite" version and subsequent bug fixes, as well as a significative rebate on the "full" version.


It's try-ware from what what I read.

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cebec



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, i apologize for inadvertently straying from the rules of this thread. thanks for clarifying the terms of use for audiomulch and bidule for the benefit of others. i should've done that, myself.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As I've been looking into an E-mu 161 laptop interface, I've done a bunch of research. Which lead me to come across some SoundBlaster Live! / Audigy / Emu soundcard "drivers".

http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/forums.html?skip=1

It is a Windows driver set, WDM/ASIO/GSIF compatable, which also allows you to take over the fairly powerful DSP that's on board. There's a system associated with it, which is very much like a Nord Modular editor: Software editor, that controls DSP code. AND it comes with an SDK that includes a compiler/debugger. These cards are found nearly everywhere for $5. Who knew? Shocked Shocked


kxdsp.gif
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dnny



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

fREG is drawn sound or plastic audio waveform generation tool. sounds are created by drawing the sound waveform whit mouse. what you see is literally what you hear - very easy to use and hours of fun noise making

fREG at squidsoup.org
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very nice for live performance whit data projector


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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm surprised no one has posted this little baby. It's a freebie-donationware VST Modular!!!- bung the developer some dollar I reckon! Very Happy

http://www.karmafx.dk/


oh here's a pic from the site- to whet your appetites!;


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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Free antivirus software
Subject description: Avast
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Although not music software in itself, every PC should have an antivirus program installed.

I can recommend Avast by Alwil Software.

Alwil provide a free version for home users. In my experience Avast is easily the best antivirus software out there.

DJ
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Free antivirus software
Subject description: Avast
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DrJustice wrote:
Although not music software in itself, every PC should have an antivirus program installed.


I disagree.

For music workstations I think it's preferable to install only software from reputable sources, then freeze the stup. This means no internet access (just don't plug in a cable) and scanning everything that would go in on a second computer. This will also keep Windows from loading spending recources on osme ethernet managing programs.

Virus scanners are notorious resource hogs that will infest every corner of your system, besides, considdering the workings of modern spyware I think it's preferable to scan files with a virus scanner that runs on a different OS from the one the files are meant to be used on. Remember that commercial audio CD's aren't safe either with the whole Sony rootkit thing. Distrust everything.

I feel a Windows audio workstation is a bit like a baby born too early; it has a good chance of growing into something beautifull but it needs constant care and it needs to be protected from the outside world.

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Free antivirus software
Subject description: Avast
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Kassen wrote:
Virus scanners are notorious resource hogs that will infest every corner of your system

This is a generalization, YMMV. Avast has no big impact and is a very clean piece of software, hence the recommendation.

While I understand your wish for total purity, I don't think everybody has the luxury of having several PCs. Should a PC running e.g. Photoshop also be banned from a net connection? As long as you're behind a firewall and run antivirus software, and possibly an anti spyware program like Adaware, then it's quite safe to access the internet from the same PC as you run music software (or anything else) on.

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zynthetix wrote:
Hammerhead ( a free drum machine program ) has links to other free drum machines on their site if anyone is interested in that kind of thing.


I was having a lot of fun with this (hammerhead)- until I thought about what I could do to send a donation (to encourage a better machine with more time signatures, better mixer etc etc)- and there was some blurb in the drop down menu going on about "Long live William Gates III- World Dominator/ Apple Macintosh- NOT!". Come on you dumb bonehead developer- does it really matter what platform one chooses to go with? Both are very good and both have different strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps if you developed on both platforms you would be a lot richer than you are now?? The PC/Mac debate is so last autumn!
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:31 am    Post subject: Re: Free antivirus software
Subject description: Avast
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DrJustice wrote:
Avast has no big impact and is a very clean piece of software, hence the recommendation.


Avast's working well on my PC (although it's yet to catch anything!!) Smile

I think Kas may be referring to Norton Antivirus? I wouldn't be surprised if Norton creates its own virii just to justify its own sordid existence!! Cool

However with the track record as it is; OSX has only ever had ONE virus- PC- well I've lost count hehe- This Mac will stay on the net while I wont bother connecting up the PC. FWIW- I've noticed that I actually do some work when Rosie's surfing the net and I'm building things in synthedit or writing thesis' on Word on the PC Very Happy
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've got Avast running on mine, I don't find it hogs resources at all. I easily stay below 20 running processes, and my PC does everything. Net, music, design, photos, web authoring, and Doom3 screams. Keeping one PC in tip top shape is plenty to keep me busy.
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