Free Software To Get You Started

DAW's, Audio, MIDI, VST's and all other music software.

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SysExJohn
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Re: Free Software To Get You Started

Unread post by SysExJohn »

I'm sure it's been mentioned in various posts, but not here I think, which it definitely should be.

It's Cakewalk by BandLab, formerly known as SONAR.
You can start the registration/download process from here: www.cakewalk.com

Following the Gibson financing fiasco, the MIDI/audio sequencing software (or DAW software if you prefer) the SONAR program was bought by an organisation known as BandLab, and they decided to continue to develop it and to make it available for FREE!
This really is a fully fledged piece of software rivalling the very best on the market.
It no longer comes, quite naturally, with some of the 3rd party plug-ins that it used to, but the stuff included is of the highest quality.
It's now fully 64 bit.
The only thing I'd say about it in a negative sense, is that it is mighty complex for a beginner to get to grips with.
However, once mastered it is a superb piece of software. Some of the team were taken across into Bandlab and are working actively to keep it at the top of the pile.
I bought a copy of Sonar 7 back in 2013 (as I recall) and have recently done the upgrade to the latest version.

Just thought I'd mention it.
JohnG.


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Saul
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Re: Free Software To Get You Started

Unread post by Saul »

Thanks John. It is an incredibly powerful DAW and for FREE it is even more amazing!

Shame it was never ported to the mac but then I guess we are not exactly short of DAW's and music software in general ;)


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yeto
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I would like to make a .sty file but I don't play keyboard.

Unread post by yeto »

I have WinJammer 3.0 and I have studied the "STY create file" PDF from the jososoft website but I still don't have any idea how to get started. I would like to try and create the file using piano roll view. Could someone point me to a step by step tutorial that explains how to create the file using piano roll view?

Thank you,
yeto

***Upon further review I see that this software only creates MIDI files and not STY files. I guess I am back to square one. Any suggestions?


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SeaGtGruff
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Re: Free Software To Get You Started

Unread post by SeaGtGruff »

You actually do need to create a MIDI song file first, after which you can use JoSoSoft's "Midi 2 Style" program to create a style file from the MIDI song file.

I have no familiarity with WinJammer, so I don't know what its capabilities and shortcomings are.

You might want to read up on how a Yamaha style file is organized, by which I mean what its various sections are as well as what parts (essentially what MIDI channels) it uses for playing its looping bars and one-shot bars, because having an understanding of what a finished style file will look like and how it will function should help you in creating a MIDI song file whose bars have been designed to be played back as loops or one-shot sections.

Basically, there are 8 parts that a Yamaha style file normally uses:

- Rhythm 1
- Rhythm 2
- Bass
- Chord 1
- Chord 2
- Pad
- Phrase 1
- Phrase 2

A style file doesn't actually need to use all 8 of these parts, and you might be able to use some of them for alternate purposes (although I don't know if or how that would even work), such as using one of the Chord parts as an extra Bass part, or using the Pad part as an extra Phrase part. But I would definitely stick to the basics until you've gained experience at creating styles, and leave any experimentation until you are very familiar with the whole process.

As for the sections, there can be differences between the various models of Yamaha arrangers as to which style sections they can use, with some models being limited to 2 style variations (A and B) and other models being able to access 4 variations (A, B, C, and D), plus the models can differ as to whether they can use "Break" sections along with the usual "Fill In" sections. So you'll want to keep the capabilities and limitations of your specific model in mind as you create your initial MIDI song file and then convert it to a style file, since it would be pointless to spend time creating loop variations and one-shot variations that your model can't even use. But generally speaking, the different sections of a Yamaha style are as follows:

- Intro (one-shot or non-looping; there can be 1, 2, 3, or in rare cases 4 variations)
- Main (looping; there are usually either 2 or 4 variations, depending on the model of arranger)
- Fill In (a one-shot bar used for seguing between different Main variations; there are usually 2 or 4 variations)
- Break (a one-shot bar used to break up the monotony of a Main loop; there are usually 2 or 4 variations)
- Ending (one-shot; there can be 1, 2, 3, or in rare cases 4 variations)

The JoSoSoft site has pages and a downloadable lesson document that should explain all of this, and I believe it also has links to other sites where you can find pages and downloadable documents about Yamaha style files. It can be fairly deep or involved reading, so take your time absorbing the material. You might also want to download some free style files that you can look at in a MIDI editor or style file utility to see how they're organized as you're reading about Yamaha style files, because it should help to have some actual examples to study for illustrative purposes.


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yeto
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Re: Free Software To Get You Started

Unread post by yeto »

SeaGtGruff wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:05 pm You actually do need to create a MIDI song file first.......because it should help to have some actual examples to study for illustrative purposes.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to help. This information is very helpful. Looks like I have some studying to do.

Again thank you,
yeto


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yeto
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Re: Free Software To Get You Started

Unread post by yeto »

JJazzLab sequencer/jam buddy

I have been trying this software for a few days now (great for someone who wants to use/play Yamaha style files but does not have a Yamaha keyboard) and I am finding it very useful for creating quick backing tracks for song writing purposes. The home page gives you an overview of the software. It really is free. There is no trial period type catch or anything of that sort. It has a good forum and help pages. You can get a response from the person who wrote the software. I am not connected with this company in any way, shape or form except that I have been using the software for a few days now.

https://www.jjazzlab.com/en/

Hope this helps someone,
yeto


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