I am a skinflint, and am therefore looking for a FREE (or very cheap) software program that would allow me to create some fairly simple drum progressions to provide the backing for some recordings, and save out to *.wav or *.mp3 format. Here's the background so you get an idea what I am trying to do.
I play the guitar and try to sing. Years ago I had an old Tascam 244 Portastudio and multi-tracked a number of songs to cassette. I've since managed to recover a few of them to *.mp3 from those old cassettes and it inspired me again to get into some recording using the PC.
While I was getting to grips with multi-tracking, and as part of guitar practice, I shamelessly used some ancient backing tracks that I got on skinny little "vinyl" 45's that came with Guitar magazines. I recorded them to cassette from my "Hi-Fi" and then played lead guitar, sang, and basically jammed my way to a few fairly good mix-downs on cassette. Now you'll know how far back I'm going!!
Oh my, this is quite embarrassing, especially for you younger folks who don't know what a "Hi-Fi" was, and for whom the word "cassette" conjures up images of your grandparents.
On a couple of my tracks I actually resorted to using a simple little Casio keyboard that had a headphone socket and I could record into the cassette multi-tracker. I used some of the built-in basic rhythms and used the setting where a single key played a nice chorused chord for string sections, and (surprisingly) managed to get one track that I was (and still am) quite amazed by.
Well, obviously things have come on a long way since then and, while I build up callouses on my playing fingers again, I tested my options with the computer and realised that I needed an external interface and software that supported ASIO Drivers, so bought a discounted Line 6 TonePort UX2 that came with its "Gearbox" software and a Line 6 Edition of Ableton Live. It has since advanced to "PodStudio":
I have messed with the Toneport and gearbox software while I put together a PC to use solely for music recording, but one space that needs to be filled is percussion. I can put a guitar through an Octaver to get the semblance of an electric Bass, I can even use that old Casio keyboard again for string section swells if I really needed to, but I don't have anything to create fairly realistic drumming.
I was watching some software for about $8 on eBay, but never got around to buying it. The software was definitely quoted as being for the Windows platform, and I have attached a *.pdf file showing the contents of the original eBay auction that has long since vapourised. In the details, I saw mention of "Hydrogen" softwaer, so I looked it up.
It does say that there was an "experimental" offshoot in development to port this software to the Windows platform, but I can't find this and it seems that this software is only for Linux or Mac. OK, so I can install Linux and use the plethora of recording-related OpenSource software, but I am choosing to run XP on the PC I want to use for recording.
Perhaps that software would actually end up being too complicated for me to use anyway, and the sounds more aligned to Hip-Hop (urrrrggh!). So my thoughts turned to one of those gizmos that people buy for bored husbands or kids at Christmas, without considering the long-term implications. Something like this:
or a much smaller and affordable but ... well ... crap "pad" versions:
This bozo thinks he's an Amazonian cannibal or from a West Senegal tribal dance troupe, or perhaps the "drum kit" can't produce anything other than sounds like that:
Obviously you get what you pay for, and I don't want to pay anything because I am broke.
Does anyone know of some software that allows you to assign your normal keyboard keys to drum sounds and get a fairly realisting "real-time" percussion effect?
I'm not looking for anything overly complicated here. I don't need to sound like Steve Porcaro or Buddy Rich, just something that helps me to create a backing for various different types of (mainly) acoustic guitar music and record it in real time to take account of my ... ahem! ... syncopation due to rusty technique ;-)
You know, I once came up with an idea many moons ago when a drummer friend was asked to step in to cover for illness in a band that played kind of funky stuff. His conventional kit didn't cut the mustard, but he had an old Moog synthesiser box and zero disposable income. I had been expermenting with sticking piezo-ceramic transducers (http://img.en.china.cn/0/0,0,316,983,450,330,72be807c.jpg
) to the underside of acoustic guitar soundboards and feeding output into amplifiers. We tried that through that old Moog Synth and he got a good mix of conventional and synth drum sounds (boiiing, duuung, etc imagine the decay decreasing rapidly in pitch :-)
I could "amplify" some cardboard boxes and old Costco coffee tins?
Any ideas anybody?