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New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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Brewsir
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New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:00 am

Hey, just wanted to stop by and see if I could get a bit of information. A little background first. I am not, unfortunately, a musician. I play no instrument, and I don't sing. I do however love playing around in DAWS. A couple of things spurred me on to buy Mixcraft. First, I've had music creator touch with the Z3TA synth for a couple of years(at least). It was really cheap on sale in the steam store, and I thought, why not give it a try. Well, I've never done much with it because it's brutally user unfriendly, imho. I create simple songs, but as far as working smoothly, not so much. My grandsons were down for a visit recently, and we had some fun seeing who could make the best dub step song (I personally am not a fan, but, I'm grandpa, so...) I got to thinking a simple midi keyboard might be a welcome sight the next time they visit, so I went to guitar center and got a Oxygen 25. It came with Ableton's DAW, and unbelievably, I think it may be more unfriendly than Cakewalk's offering. Which started me on my search for something user friendly, the rest obviously, is history.

The other reason, is that I have a Drone that I use to make videos with, and when it's time to add music, rather than searching for, and then through royalty free music, I'd prefer the enjoyment of creating my own. Which brings me to my point, what I'm looking for. I'm looking for Loops that can be purchased in song kits, like the ones you get in Mixcraft's library. I know it seems like a contradiction, if my purpose is to "create" songs, then purchasing "created" songs blah blah blah. Obviously I'm new to all this, for all I know, most of them come that way. Hey, I'm old, humor me :) Not only that, but, I have a very difficult time trying to come up with something in my favorite genre, Rock'n'Roll. My brain keeps telling me, that what I'm thinking is too simple, and or too repetitive. Well duh brain, yeah, Rock'n'roll is simple, and repetitive.

Thanks in advance

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chibear
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby chibear » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:23 am

Another old guy here :mrgreen: Have you downloaded the demo and checked out the multitude of loops that come with Mixcraft?

As far as ease of use, I don't think you'll find a DAW more intuitive than Mixcraft. When I first began on version 5 years ago, I watched the intro video and didn't even refer to the manual until 3 days later. Plus, grandpa, we have the OFC (old fart's club) who don't mind approaching any issues from a multitude of different directions. You'll be at home here 8)
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mick
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby mick » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:40 am

70+ old geezer here! Click "Mixcraft" in the blue ribbon above and go down to "Mixcraft University" where you will find all sorts of videos. This is at the top of the list referring to loop composing. Here's one of the vids.

https://youtu.be/Xec4dPVms1c

Brewsir
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:39 pm

chibear wrote:Another old guy here :mrgreen: Have you downloaded the demo and checked out the multitude of loops that come with Mixcraft?

As far as ease of use, I don't think you'll find a DAW more intuitive than Mixcraft. When I first began on version 5 years ago, I watched the intro video and didn't even refer to the manual until 3 days later. Plus, grandpa, we have the OFC (old fart's club) who don't mind approaching any issues from a multitude of different directions. You'll be at home here 8)


Sorry, thought I made it clear, I've already purchased Mixcraft 7 Pro. I knew right away, this was the one for me. Only had the demo for a few days, when I purchased the pro version.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:05 pm

Welcome Brewsir, Glad to have you join the "family"!

I think song construction kits would suit your described needs well. And in addition I would add that they are a great resource for learning some basics of editing and mixing while quickly getting some pretty good results.
And what a perfect way to create some audio clips for your video footage! (Hey, that wasn't your rig hovering over my hot tub last weekend was it? :lol: )

The problem is that in the loop world, good complete song construction kits seem to be far less common than one would expect. And of course, most of them are Hip Hop, House, EDM, etc. genres. And many are things like guitar loop sets that leave you to programming your own drums, etc. which is not what you want from what you describe.

And when you do find some good ones they aren't very inexpensive. Part of the reason may be production costs, and the fact they are often sold in multiple file formats that sometimes include licensed sampler files that many of us don't really need for the intended purpose. But that said, if you want good files, they usually don't come from the discount bin. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $75 to $125 or so for packages of 10, 12 or so "deconstructed" song sets.

Now one bit of a warning, while this is a fun way to create music clips as for the purpose you describe, and a great way to learn some skills using your DAW IMO, it is not as easy as one might imagine to bend and tweak the song sets into something you may have in your head. They tend to come out pretty much very strongly resembling the song as it was created. As in pretty un-original.
That's not to say amazing things aren't possible, but you may find going beyond creating sections (Verses, choruses, intro/outro's etc) and arranging them into a tune of desired length, going far beyond that can be surprisingly frustrating. And sooner or later, you may run into the situation where someone has used the same resources to make music that sounds awfully similar........ Which brings us to the folks who "create" songs this way and try to declare copyright entitlement when the little bots identify similar music.......

I still recommend it for your described purpose, and if you are interested, PM me with some specifics about the desired style/genre and I'll guide you toward some resources if I can.
Stay in tune, Mark

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trevlyns
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby trevlyns » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:04 am

Hi Brewsir!

I think young Mark nailed it there on the song kits...

Just wanted to throw out a huge welcome to the Old Folks Home. Despite my avatar, I'm fast approaching the big seven zero :mrgreen:
Keep on trackin'

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Brewsir
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:21 am

Mark Bliss wrote:Welcome Brewsir, Glad to have you join the "family"!

I think song construction kits would suit your described needs well. And in addition I would add that they are a great resource for learning some basics of editing and mixing while quickly getting some pretty good results.
And what a perfect way to create some audio clips for your video footage! (Hey, that wasn't your rig hovering over my hot tub last weekend was it? :lol: )

The problem is that in the loop world, good complete song construction kits seem to be far less common than one would expect. And of course, most of them are Hip Hop, House, EDM, etc. genres. And many are things like guitar loop sets that leave you to programming your own drums, etc. which is not what you want from what you describe.

And when you do find some good ones they aren't very inexpensive. Part of the reason may be production costs, and the fact they are often sold in multiple file formats that sometimes include licensed sampler files that many of us don't really need for the intended purpose. But that said, if you want good files, they usually don't come from the discount bin. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $75 to $125 or so for packages of 10, 12 or so "deconstructed" song sets.

Now one bit of a warning, while this is a fun way to create music clips as for the purpose you describe, and a great way to learn some skills using your DAW IMO, it is not as easy as one might imagine to bend and tweak the song sets into something you may have in your head. They tend to come out pretty much very strongly resembling the song as it was created. As in pretty un-original.
That's not to say amazing things aren't possible, but you may find going beyond creating sections (Verses, choruses, intro/outro's etc) and arranging them into a tune of desired length, going far beyond that can be surprisingly frustrating. And sooner or later, you may run into the situation where someone has used the same resources to make music that sounds awfully similar........ Which brings us to the folks who "create" songs this way and try to declare copyright entitlement when the little bots identify similar music.......

I still recommend it for your described purpose, and if you are interested, PM me with some specifics about the desired style/genre and I'll guide you toward some resources if I can.


Awesome post man! Thank you, that's the information I was looking for. I created a song going way off what the kit intended, and while it makes me cringe now, my daughter and grandson are fans, so.... Mixcraft, unlike other daws, is very inviting, so, I've been spending quite a bit of time "making music". Which brings me to another question. How do you keep from hating your song? :D Working with a song kit, I listen to the different chunks over and over, and then larger chunks, and then the whole song, repeatedly (This has to be normal, right?). By the time I finish, the song makes me wanna hurl ;) I came up with a technique to combat this, I construct for a while, and then move on to a different song for a while. Problem is, when I come back to the original song, I'm like, "who wrote this shit?", because, since I last worked on this song, I've learned something new, (or more likely, several something news), that needs to be implemented. lol It's a good problem to have, I think?

Another subject of interest, my songs have no vocals, nor do I at this point intend to include them. Just seems that it would up the difficulty level out of my paygrade, so to speak. That, along with the fact that I often deviate wildly from the songs "intended" structure means that many of my songs, tend to meander a bit rather than hold to the, verse chorus verse chorus etc. I suppose I should listen to more, Satriani, Vai, and maybe Eric Johnson, to get a feel for instrumental song construction?

Anyway, as far as style/genre, My favorite band is Chevelle, but, I like nearly ever rock song kit in the Mixcraft library. Honestly, I enjoy it so much, I actually play around with genres I'm not crazy about, or even don't like at all, like jazz, disco, funk etc. The wife was a "Disco Queen", back in the day, so, I'd like to surprise her with a Disco song. If there's one thing that oughta be easy, it's making a danceable disco song, right? Don't know If I'd want to pay for that kit though, the rock gods might strike me down.

I assure you, that was not my drone hovering over your hot tub. I live in Texas, and my drone doesn't handle shotguns very well.

As far as bending songs to what's in my head, there's nothing in my head ;)

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Mark Bliss
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Mark Bliss » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:08 am

Well, I'd say it sounds like you are on a familiar path........

Hating the song:
I often tell people who are just wading into mixing that if they don't hate the song, they probably haven't spent nearly enough time on it yet. :D
It gets better, but I am not sure if that is because your songs get better, or if you become used to it. I certainly got to a point where I got pickier about the time investment and would reject or abandon some songs sooner. A good project holds my interest a lot longer anyway.

Learning song structure:
I tend to wander from the common formulas and don't worry about them too much, but then it helps to have some structure. Recognizing and counting measures and so forth.
I tend to enjoy the art of an arranger who can create the subtle build up of energy, and has a grasp of the art of suspense and release. That's where some of the finer appreciation lies for me.
Influences? Anything learned from the Satch would be of value. IMO Vai tends to wander more aimlessly vainly showing off every fancy trick ever performed in every performance, (if you know what I mean.) Great stuff to learn if you want to be a stuntman. Johnson generally sticks to the roots. Nothing wrong with starting with the roots eh?

There should be plenty of material in the Mixcraft library to create convincing Disco I think. Then you can say "did that" and move on right? :lol:

And though way off topic, drones:
Backstory- I have been into racing of any kind since I was a kid. The odder the better. I always said if there were three tricycles in the yard at my house, I am looking for someone game to race. (Now that I am older that doesn't sound as fun, but you get the idea.) Friends actually at one point (as adults) would have cookouts and end up having races on a backyard flattrack on four little Honda XR75's that were season prizes from racing full sized bikes. Great crazy fun. I have raced motorcycles (Moto, road), cars (drag, road), go-carts, "toys" of various types, (slotcars, RC cars, etc) flown stunt and combat u-line and competitive aerobatic RC planes, virtually game for anything that moves as a younger guy. Now I am old and tired, bearing a few scars...... But still ready to line up and go! Its just "in my blood"
Anyway, drones-I recently ran across this- https://youtu.be/aIZnZnzg3tU
Even after seeing drones, cameras, aerial photography and FPV headsets for remote flying, somehow I didn't see that coming, which leaves me to ponder why? Its an obvious result!
Last edited by Mark Bliss on Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Stay in tune, Mark

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AHornsby
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby AHornsby » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:09 am

Brewsir wrote: How do you keep from hating your song?


It doesn't matter. Someone out there will appreciate it.

I was reading your post and kept thinking... "Baby steps, man." So maybe of you could just go ahead and put together a song you already know. (For me it was 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter' ) :lol:

Well, at your age your attention span probably isn't what it used to be so adios for now.

-h

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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Tiasdad » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:02 pm

Hi & welcome Brewsir,
I would get my head into some You Tube 12 bar tutorials and make use of that keyboard,
You may not think you're a musician but you soon will be ;)

Try these ... https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... ard+basics
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Mark Bliss
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Mark Bliss » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:47 am

That's a good tip, for both some basic structure and some basic music theory.
Whether you choose a keyboard, guitar, ukulele, kazoo.....

3 major chords, 12 bar structure and a minor scale melody and away we go! :D
Conquering the basics of this little stage is worthy of a smile, a sense of accomplishment and provide great fun! And its not hard at all once you dig in!

Then later you add some slight variations and your making music, AND know and understand the foundation of a million blues, rock and country songs. Literally!

Soon enough you begin to listen and notice that you sense the key, the pattern and chord progression in your head, and quickly learn to figure out a lot by ear.

.... until some dude with a funny hat and a pencil mustache sits down with a worn looking archtop guitar with what looks like a wah pedal but turns out to be a volume pedal and starts riffing modal scale jazz runs over some diminished 9th chords with hardly a detectable pattern at all, and your brain turns to scrambled eggs.
Watch out for those guys, their agents of the devil. 8)
Stay in tune, Mark

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Brewsir
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:18 am

Tiasdad wrote:Hi & welcome Brewsir,
I would get my head into some You Tube 12 bar tutorials and make use of that keyboard,
You may not think you're a musician but you soon will be ;)

Try these ... https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... ard+basics


Funny thing is, my dad played electric guitar and mandolin, and he was really really good. He played real country and western, with emphasis on the western, he was more of a Marty Robbins, Don Gibson kinda guy, he didn't like George Jones, Johnny Cash, or Conway Twitty. He enjoyed instrumental more, so he listened to Chet Atkins and Tommy Motolla among others. Meanwhile, as a youngster, I was too focused on girls to be bothered with something that would've gotten me the girls I was after ;) I know from personal experience, "youth is wasted on the young". My oldest brother has been performing (country) for years. He had a band for a long time, but, has been a solo act for some time now. My uncle was the front man for a Blue Grass band for years. Some of my best memories as a kid are Bluegrass Festivals.(lotsa girls)

Then you come to me. I wasn't completely without talent. My instrument of choice was trumpet, I played from 4th grade through high school. If I'd been smart, I'd have chosen drums, piano or guitar, not much use for a trumpet in a rock band. Problem there is, they didn't use guitar or piano in school band, until high school, but, I digress....

Brewsir
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:43 am

Mark Bliss wrote:That's a good tip, for both some basic structure and some basic music theory.
Whether you choose a keyboard, guitar, ukulele, kazoo.....

3 major chords, 12 bar structure and a minor scale melody and away we go! :D
Conquering the basics of this little stage is worthy of a smile, a sense of accomplishment and provide great fun! And its not hard at all once you dig in!

Then later you add some slight variations and your making music, AND know and understand the foundation of a million blues, rock and country songs. Literally!

Soon enough you begin to listen and notice that you sense the key, the pattern and chord progression in your head, and quickly learn to figure out a lot by ear.

.... until some dude with a funny hat and a pencil mustache sits down with a worn looking archtop guitar with what looks like a wah pedal but turns out to be a volume pedal and starts riffing modal scale jazz runs over some diminished 9th chords with hardly a detectable pattern at all, and your brain turns to scrambled eggs.
Watch out for those guys, their agents of the devil. 8)


Color me skeptical, no offense, but, it seems as I age, memory, and learning in general, don't come as easily as they once did. I'm not an imbecile by any means, yet ;)

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outteh
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby outteh » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:06 am

I assume you are aware that there are quite a few loops in Mixcraft library that are actually small progressions in the 12 bar format. If you check out some of the guitar rythm loops of the blues genre, you'll hear them. From here you can plugin some of the guitar leads and drum and bass loops and actually create a simple 12 bar blues song. :D

Brewsir
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Re: New to Mixcraft Help an old guy out

Postby Brewsir » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:42 am

outteh wrote:I assume you are aware that there are quite a few loops in Mixcraft library that are actually small progressions in the 12 bar format. If you check out some of the guitar rythm loops of the blues genre, you'll hear them. From here you can plugin some of the guitar leads and drum and bass loops and actually create a simple 12 bar blues song. :D


Thanks for that, I do love the Blues. I've been cleaning up many of my embarrassing songs in the song kits category, but, this will be a nice break.


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