Archive for free software

Amazing iOS live remix app Ninja Jamm launches

Posted in Practice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by fgitler
IMG_0555

The main interface of Ninja Jamm (shown on iphone 5 here), using both clip and drill modes. Coldcut’s Beats & Pieces, shown here, comes with the free app when you download it.

I love working on various sound and music projects, but can’t find the time to lose myself in music production as often as I’d like. Then I started using the new Ninja Jamm app, developed by Ninja Tune & Seeper, and solved all that. Since downloading the free app, I’ve done remixes on the subway, waiting to get my hair cut, sitting in a café, a taxi, waiting for carrots to cook or laundry to finish the dryer cycle.

It has the thrill of an intense but simple arcade game (Pac-Mantronik?) and the temporal/tactile magic of MPC beat-making. Even as I compare it’s interface to a video game, do not mistake NJ for a toy. It’s running full 16bit 44khz sound, versatile and powerful. Each Tune Pack, (all songs by Ninja artists at the moment, with more possibilities expected soon) gives you many sounds to manipulate (41 sounds per tune pack) at a wide array of tempos (from sludge/drone slowness, to fast-forward chipmunk music) with an of different effects, and many different ways to completely remake the songs using the provided ingredients. And this is a live mixing process, there’s no editing or sequencing capability. Rather the focus is on live performance–the result of decisions made in the moment. This makes it a bit closer to djing than the more painstaking process of studio production work.

I’ve uploaded over 40 songs in the last month, and each one took less than 5 minutes to make (4:57 is the recording limit of the app, though you may jamm without recording as long as you like). You can then upload your live recording to a Soundcloud account. These files are uncompressed WAV files, and can get up to 50MB in size, so keep that in mind when uploading. Tune Packs also tend to be between 30 and 50MB. You’ll likely want access to either a fast data network or wi-fi when uploading your mixes or downloading the packs.

Here’s my latest, a slowed-down version of the Coldcut classic Beats & Pieces:

In addition to the free Tune Pack included from Coldcut, there are packs available for purchase ($0.99 each, with two EPS discounted) from Dj Food, Mr Scruff, Two Fingers, Bonobo, Emika, and many more, including a pack from Luke Vibert that is an exclusive song available in no other form.

I’ve used other iOS music apps in the past, including Propellerhead’s Rebirth and Figure, but nothing else has been so easy to actully make complete compositions with. Even if you have little or no background in music production, the app comes with an excellent interactive tutorial, and trial and error teaches an inquisitive user all kinds of cool techniques. For more info: updates are posted on the Ninja Jamm website, and the the Ninja Jamm Facebook page. Also I’ve compiled a bunch of links, videos, and reviews over at Stumbleupon. And yes the app is currently iOS only, but and Android version is in the works as are other exciting features. Hard to believe this is only version 1.

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Free and Cheap Theatre Sound Software

Posted in Practice with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by fgitler

I just happened to find this treasure trove of free and cheap sound software:

USITT Sound Wiki

“a project sponsored by the Sound Commission of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology”

Well done! It’s particularly well-timed as I’m just starting a new sound design project.

More free or cheap sound software

Posted in Practice with tags , , , , on January 3, 2011 by fgitler

Happy New Years to you all.

Just stumbled across this interesting looking multi-track recording shareware software

It’s worth noting that Apple’s online audio software section contains lots of Freeware and Shareware.
Take a look here.

This sound converter caught my eye.

another free music application

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by fgitler

I just came across Myna, the audio editor from Aviary.
I’m just amazed that all this stuff is out there and free now.

MYNA

Aviary software's Myna audio editor

Sound software for free (or cheap)

Posted in Practice with tags , , , , on May 4, 2010 by fgitler

In my post on recorded sound effect sources, I mentioned that you’ll need software to edit and manipulate audio. Below are listed a number of free (or almost free) software packages for manipulating (and creating) sound effects, speech, music — any audio. Many of the programs listed will be designed with musicians in mind, but anything that works with sound is a potentially useful tool for a sound designer.

I have not used most of these programs — these listings are a resource, not an endorsement.

iTunes
Apple’s cross-platform, ubiquitous audio library software has many good features for sound design. It can burn CDs, sequence tracks, adjust track volumes, play mp3, wav or aiff files, and it can import files in multiple formats. I’d write a whole post on these features except they’ve done that job already:
More about iTunes features

Songbird
An open source iTunes-like product that’s “part music player, part Web browser, and all about music discovery, management, and playback.”
More about Songbird

Audacity
Audacity is a very basic, very useful sound editor. I use it all the time. It’s limited, but easy to use.
More about audacity

Reaper
Reaper is a full-fledged audio and midi music production system, that is priced at $60 for personal/unprofitable small-business use, $225 for commercial use. The demo version is free, full-featured and does not expire.
More about Reaper

Let’s Mix Editor
A.k.a. the Pacemaker Editor, this free software is intended as the desktop component of an iPod-like DJ device, and is an easy way to line up multiple songs in a row, overlap transitions, even beatmatch and add effects. A quick way to build a pre-show program of music if you want it to be more ‘seamless’ than you might get straight out of an iTunes playlist.
More about the Let’s Mix Editor

Wavosaur
“Wavosaur has all the features to edit audio (cut, copy, paste, etc.) produce music loops, analyze, record, batch convert.” Windows only.
More about Wavosaur

Ardour
Another all in one package like Reaper, developed collaboratively. They ask for donations/subscriptions, but allow you to download without.
More about Ardour

Soundplant
A “customizable sound triggering device and realtime digital audio performance tool.”
More about Soundplant

MU.LAB
“A complete music studio”
More about MU.LAB

Kristal Audio Engine
A “multi-track recorder, audio sequencer and mixer” (Free for non commercial use.) Currently Windows only.
More about Kristal Audio Engine

From here on I’ve listed some additional software resources that have been recommended to me by musicians, audio engineers, and sound designers, but may be beyond what a theatrical sound designer is going to find useful. These links are just the tip of the iceberg–there are new sound programs being created and updated every day.

Pure Data
A “real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing”. Sound complicated and open-ended? I’m sure it is, with limitless possibilities.
More about Pure Data

Buzz Machines
“Modular software based synthesizer.” Free, unless you want to use VST plugins, then that version is $35. Again, not for the faint of heart…
More about Buzz Machines

Ppooll
A “networking system between max patches”. Programmers making sound modules.
More about Ppooll

Linux apps
29 music making applications for the Linux OS
from Audiotuts+

Mlooch
“If you enjoy droning, ambient sounds that go on forever and ever, then this just may be the right app for you.” Mac only
More about Mlooch

Audiotool
Collaborative music making — in a browser.
More about Audiotool

KVR Audio
News info and more about audio plugins.
More about KVR

Thanks to the forumites at Ninjatune and Propellerhead for their help in assembling this information.

this link also has good info on this type of thing: free music software