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Band in a box / Garageband / others??

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, wondering whats a solid, easy to use music software that I create drums, keys, etc...

    On mobile browser, hard to search, sorry in advance! Im sure theres a million threads.
  2. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    It depends on what you're running on. If it's any Mac look no further than GB as a starting point because it's bundled free and amazingly able. BIAB's strength is more in the auto composing/playing of parts based on making a simple chart, but I haven't used it in a few years, and, in the same vein, the OSX version I used was a bit clunky compared to the Windows version, and it used to always run a version or two behind with OSX releases.

    The version of BIAB which I'm familiar with would be better for creating parts, including drums, based on simply making a chord chart. GB, which doesn't do that at all, gives you lots of sound files and loops so that you can create realistic drums and instrument parts based on loops and licks. You can also, naturally, play the parts into the track via a midi controller (keyboard) if you have one. GB comes with some great instruments to get you started. BIAB is mostly midi based (as opposed to sound file) but you can add sound file packs to create real instrument tracks, but I *think* those require purchasing extra sound packs. Maybe they bundle some in, dunno.

    They're both great, but different, and one is free. If you're on a Mac it's a no brainer to get into Garage Band and in the meantime see if any of the features of BIAB are ones you'd like to pay to have. BIAB's auto accompaniment/auto composing aspect is really what sets it apart. If you don't want that there are other, simpler, cheaper options.
  3. ^ Thanks for the response. I'm back home so I can write out a bit better of what I'm looking for.

    I would like to create drum loops w/ changes and fills to practice to.


    I would like to create entire songs as well, while recording my bass over them. I would love to get a wide array of sounds, from synthy/club like tones, to funky guitar and horns, and whatever... just a lot of options.

    That and the possibily to do post EQ if I find my bass tone needs a little tweeking.

    I'm a Windows user.. and if the Software is good enough, I don't mind spending a few bucks.

    Lastly, my head has a DI out (both digital and analog) - what other hardware would I need to buy to record to my PC?
  4. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Does your TC head have the usb port? If so, I think you are most of the way there, at least for your bass.

    Also, lots of the modern multi effects have usb ports to connect to your computer. My RC-300 loop station or the Zoom B9 have usb ports and midi.

    A program with "drag and drop" loops, like garageband is nice. (Another mac user here)

    If you want to use a program like Cubase and the internal synth stuff like Halion you'll need an interface with midi so you can use your keyboard.

    Most folks start with a simple interface that will let you plug in a mike, instrument, and midi.

    Do some reading, there's tons of info in the sticky.

    FWIW, I bought a presonus firepod for an interface, (scratch and dent sale $300). I run it into a mac by fire wire. The interface came with a version of CubaseLE. I can use my Casio by midi to play synths in Cubase.

    That said, the whole Cubase DAW thing is overkill for me. I'm much more likely to mess around with garageband.

    If you were ever tempted to join the Apple crowd and go with a mac, this would be a good reason to do it. macs make this kind of stuff pretty simple.

    A decent drum machine might be more usefull for most of what you want. Or a looper.
  5. ^ Yeah, I just got a new PC - spec'd all out so I wont be going Mac anytime soon. Does Garageband only work with Mac ? Seems like a more simple software to use.

    I would like the prospective software I buy to allow me to create drums & other sounds too.

    I'll look into interfaces - thanks. How do I record bass (which allows me to edit for fudge ups) onto the software I wind up buying? Do I need a mixer?

    I'm a TOTAL NOOB when it comes to any of this. I've never recorded or created a drum loop in my life. But I'm ambitious... just need a point in the right direction.

    I looked at some of the stickies but some date back to 2003... looking for more up to date info.
  6. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    There's Ableton's Live and the old Sonic Foundry now Sony Acid. In fact, Acid is what GB and Live etc are all based on. All are very intuitive once you start using them. Live and Acid will work on pc.
  7. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  9. What Acid version are you speaking of? Also, what else would I need in addition to the software? (interface, etc...) ?
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  11. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I used acid back in 2000-2003 when sonic foundry still owned it. In 2003, I switched to Mac and was bummed that acid couldn't be used on it. Live came out shortly there after and I've been happy ever since. I personally hate garage band. Sony bought sonic foundry around this time, but since I stopped using it I also stopped following it.

    I started with acid lite (or something similar) then went to acid pro (not sure which version...but that was so long ago i prob doesn't matter anyway). I also used sound forge which was the audio editor from sonic foundry for editing my clips. Not sure if you still need an audio editor or not. Live seems to be able to handle all my edits just fine.

    The good news is that you can use soft synths and samplers as vst's to make your own beats and music. Your only limited by the power and memory of your pc. Many vst's are free too.

    You can probably download the demos for free to at least try them out.

    Otherwise, you need an audio interface. I use an old presonus firebox. It's FireWire. Has midi connections. Works just fine for me and was cheap used. You may want a midi keyboard or sample pad but you can find these cheap used as well. You can run the outputs to your stereo, bass amp (will sound a bit too bassy though), or headphones.

    I used to pour through future music magazine back in the day and the sound on sound magazine. They gave a lot of great info on desktop music making.
  12. Cool - great info. And a DI ? My head had one... I know people use all sorts of DI's today (Sanamp, Aguilar ToneHammer, etc...) I'm guessing they all are pretty much equal, huh?
  13. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    DI's being equal will start a debate on TB for sure.

    I get pretty good results going right into the firebox direct. I wouldn't say you need one ASAP but down the road maybe. I'd save the loot for your software.
  14. Try Impro-Visor. It is free and great for practicing looped chord progressions with accompaniment.

    Of course, there are the Digital Audio Workstations, but I am not sure that is what you meant. They are more expensive and might have more features than you really need.
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    Sorry I missed this. The drums are generated by BiaB, and the sounds are their "RealDrums" add on. BiaB works with styles, so that drums and other instruments work together seamlessly. It's SUPER easy to use, and they sound great!
  16. Gtripdub


    Jan 14, 2012
    reaper is cool and cheap

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