Techno composing programs?

Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 01:49 am
Hi. Firstly, please don't hate me because "techno is an abomination". I'm actually very musical and have a strong classical background.

Does anyone know of any freeware programs I can use to write techno? I would prefer one that works using traditional score notation (eg Sibelius) and for it to run on a PC, but please, anything would be good.

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Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:37 am
The only free program I can recommend to you is Audacity.

Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 03:45 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks, but that can only edit sounds, not make them.
Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 04:05 pm
I'm not too familiar with this, but my understanding is that you'd use other tools to make sounds, and audacity has the ability to capture them (e.g. from line in, etc). Then you plug in instruments like a midi keyboard with a synthesizer or somesuch to make sounds that you edit and mix.

But remember, you asked for free, and I really don't think there's a lot of options at that price that will do all things you want. Here's the most well-known commercial option I have heard of: http://flstudio.image-line.com/

It used to be called Fruity Loops, and I know a lot of amateur DJs who made techno with it though I haven't used it myself. It has a trial but the software costs $99.
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Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 04:16 pm
I've done a bit of searching for free synthesizers, didn't find anything that struck me as worth downloading but you might want to have a look.

Basically I think you need two main components (that may come bundled in some software) for what you want:

1) A software synthesizer - To generate sounds
2) A digital audio workstation - To take sounds and record, edit and mix them

You don't technically need number 1 to make music, you can do amazing stuff just through sampling. Check out this amazing video, of a song made entirely from youtube sampling.

And if you decide this is all too much complication for how much you want to try your hand at it (I know I did every time I explored it) you might wanna settle on this fun little toy:


Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 06:19 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks so much for your help. Very cool video, and idaft make me lol lol.
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Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 05:20 am
I doubt many "techno composers" use notes. The best program for you would probably be something like Cakewalk Sonar or Steinberg Cubase, but they're both very expensive. And there is Propellerhead Reason which I'm sure is very popular among composers of electronic music, but it's more technical/oldschool with actual simulations of cables dragged between different virtual machines, like synthesizers, filters etc. It doesn't feature notes, but it has a piano roll editor (i.e. you see a virtual piano keyboard on the side (vertically), and bars represent notes ( the longer bars, the longer notes).

If you're just looking to make some more or less simple techno music just for fun you could go for some kind of "tracker", like Modplug tracker, for free. Wikipedia has an article about trackers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker

Trackers are inherently suitable for composing techno music. The concept is that you have a matrix with one column for each sound channel, and you input notes using the keyboard. Notes are represent like "C-4" or something like that in the matrix, the number being the octave. Of course, you need sound samples for them.
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 01:32 am
Yea I got Fruity Loops Studio and I love it. It was a bit hard to use but now I've sort of got the hang of it.
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Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 02:55 am
If you want to be as awesome as basshunter, fruity loops is where it's at. I use Orion Platinum myself, an old version. I'm not sure about the whole sheetmusic Sibelius-style stuff, it's not exactly a 'techno' kind of thing (normally they use piano rolls), but I would bet that you could find something like that from Adobe or perhaps a company like Sibelius itself.
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