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Things To Consider Before Buying Music Software

Things To Consider Before Buying Music Software

With the ride range of music software that is currently available, there are many options and features that have their strengths and weaknesses. Before you choose sequencing software you should think about the tasks that you want the software to perform. Will you likely be creating your own instrumentals and vocals, or will you need a lot of synthesized sounds and hooks? Different software is better for different types of music (such as dance, rock or pop). Budget is also a concern because some types of expensive software offer advanced features that cannot be found in more affordable music software packages.

Starting off

Starting your own home studio can be challenging and very costly. The major questions are “Where do I begin?” and “What do I need?” If you’re venturing into this territory as a beginner, these are valid questions. That’s why planning and budgeting is essential. You need to know the purpose of your home studio to draw up an action plan.

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The sequencer is the most basic form of digital music production because it enables the user to operate a synthesizer with MIDI commands. Most sequencing packages have options to produce high quality sounds, use of loops and samples, soft synths, and various audio effects. Some examples of popular sequencer software include Steinberg Cubase, and Apple Logic. Steinberg Cubase software allows for audio and MIDI editing and recording on both Apple Macbook and PCs. Apple Logic software comes only with the PC version, but has a wider range of sequencing features available.

How can I learn more about music production?

There is some excellent software on the market for those interested in developing their own music. In particular, Cubase tutorial will help you make that transition from a performer to a recording artist.

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Some digital music software takes sequencing a step further with the addition of studio-like software that mimics audio hardware. This includes the ability to produce entire songs with just one software program. These advanced sequencers usually have detailed interfaces that resemble the hardware found in most professional music studios. Propellerhead Reason is one example of an advanced sequencer featuring a user-friendly interface and a large library of sounds that can be added onto the on-board music library.

Audio editors are another piece of software used in digital audio studios. Audio editors are useful for cropping, removing unwanted noise, and adding various effects using a variety of audio formats. Sony Sound Forge is a popular audio editing and recording software application that is available in both lite and professional versions.

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Audio settlers are useful for playing back segments of audio. They can play selected audio back at different pitches to create filters and other sound effects for a track. While many of the features of digital samplers are similar to those of hardware samplers, electronic samplers tend to be more user-friendly than their hardware brethren. Native Instruments Kontakt is a popular electronic sampler that incorporates up to 5 different modes which enable the user to experience sampled playback, in addition to pitch shifting and drum looping options.

While most sequencing software comes with effects of their own, additional packages of filters and plugins can be bought as add-ons. This way, external software can be used as if it is part of the native software.

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Conclusion

The entire process of music production cannot be learned overnight. There will be a lot of things that you will discover and learn along the way. Your patience and determination will surely be tested, but eventually it will all pay off once you get to enjoy the beautiful music and sound elements that you are able to produce.

Featured photo credit: Music Software via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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