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Old 02-05-2005, 06:26 PM
Mark Walsen (markwa)
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Default Tim, This is quite a thorou


This is quite a thorough description of your music making studio. The good quality of the final sound production of "Notomonotony" demonstrates that one doesn't need a lot of expensive sound gear and software.

The process by which you compose illustrates one of several alternative ways that MidiNotate Composer serves as a composer's tool. It doesn't do the composing for the composer, but it makes it easy for the composer to save and notate his musical ideas. The option you use is live recording. This happens to be my method of composing. Therefore, MidiNotate Composer is particularly well-optimized to support this method of composing, as the author of Composer had some special influence in the choice of Composer's features.

You have an excellent memory, or perhaps good records, of what you spent for the various pieces of equipment. Your purchasing methods illustrate not only frugality but also a practice of incremental building of a studio. One doesn't have to buy everything at once. One can add extra pieces to the studio as one's needs and desires increase. This approach to building a studio works equally well for music hobbiests (a category I would include myself in) and semi-professional and professional musicians.

One of the techniques you describe in the above posts is that the sound source for the piano and violin sounds come from your music keyboard. You play from MidiNotate to your music keyboard; it sends audio back to your soundcard input line; and then you use a separate audio recording program to record the audio coming in on the soundcard input line. This does introduce signal noise, but the technique is quite adequate for many purposes less ambitious than the producing music CDs for mass distribution. I haven't employed this technique myself, but I should do so to get a feel for how some MidiNotate users like yourself do this. I'm wondering what the least expensive and/or easiest-to-use tool would be for recording the audio. Would the free Windows / Accessories / Sound Recorder work?

Your interesting "how I compose" post should serve to inspire others on how they can piece together a studio, hopefully without intimidating some who might think that one needs all of these things to compose and arrange music. It is possible to accomplish a whole lot with just two things: (1) MidiNotate Composer, and (2) any sound card, such as SoundBlaster. If one has music keyboard skills, good keyboards with 60 (instead of 88) keys, and reasonable softness/loudness (MIDI velocity) sensitivity, can be purchased for as little as $100-$150(US). Starting with such a basic studio, one can then purchase more gear as one's needs and desires increase, if one's spouse allows such.

-- Mark

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