Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

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nilshi
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Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby nilshi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:39 pm

What would be your suggestion for sounds for a beginner? The scenario is to learn a sequencer by making music, so it would be best to get a good matching collections of sounds and instruments?

I'm thinking synthesizer sound for melody, chords and bass as well as drums.

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby lilith » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:46 pm

How much can it cost?
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby ssj71 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:24 pm

I'd just recommend some sf2s in fluidsynth probably. There are tons of free options. See https://bedroomproducersblog.com/catego ... -shootout/ for some short lists.
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby ssj71 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:27 pm

plugin wise I'd say
drums: AVLinux drum lv2s
piano: mda piano
synth: amsynth (lots of presets to cover the bases)

bass? I'm not sure other than using amsynth. I use a mix of samples synths and recording myself.
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby lilith » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:38 pm

I thought it was about hardware gear ...
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:27 pm

lilith wrote:I thought it was about hardware gear ...

Certainly I think that we could use some clarification from nilshi before we can really be helpful.

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby nilshi » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:49 pm

Software.

I appreciate the answers so far. But you can be more specific!

Imagine this scenario:

You have a workshop or a class, a few hours only. You provide them with ready to use Linux Audio computers and you can teach them about how to set a note in Ardour or how to load a plugin in Carla.
But you want to make music as fast as possible. Pointing to AMSynth, or Zynaddsubfx or a GM Soundfont is certainly the right thing to do in most cases, but *here* you are dealing with people that don't know how a Lead is even supposed to sound. They will happily try to pair a Jazz brush snare with a dubstep bass synth and then wonder why it sounds so bad. They have never heard of any standard instrument configuarations and ensembles. Be it classical ("what is a string quartet") Jazz (Trio: Double bass, piano, drums) or 80s EDM. (TR808 + DX7 etc.)

Basically I want to provide a session with pre-defined instrument so that the students can concentrate on learning the sequencer handling and of course the composition itself.

Can you help me (and all of us!!!) by sharing actual sets or even settings to have some instruments that sound well together?


Generalisation: I strongly believe that beginner friendly setups, that take as much choices out of the users hand as possible, are much needed in Linux Audio.

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:41 pm

nilshi wrote:Software. I appreciate the answers so far. But you can be more specific!

Thanks, it is more clear now what your target audience is. At this point I think we need to narrow down a specific style of music, and what kind of workflow you want to teach.

It sounds like you are talking about people who don't necessarily have any background in music theory, composition, or recording. Based on that, they probably aren't going to care a whole lot about sound quality, so when faced with a decision between "easy" and "sounds good", let's pick "easy".

If the audience has any experience at all with notation, probably the absolute easiest thing would be to launch MuseScore, load a template with a few instruments (or even just a double-staff piano score), and let them drop notes and hear MuseScore's playback with default soundfonts.

If you have some kind of midi keyboard available at each workstation, you might just provide Carla and show them how to load a soundfont, wire it up to the midi keyboard, and plunk around on the keys. Then go into adding more effects like reverb, or show them that they can launch rakarrack and play with the presets.

If you want to teach more of a DAW experience, there are of course a lot of options, and it would be easy to overwhelm your students. I would recommend something really simple. Even though I love Ardour, I'm not sure how suited it is for introducing an absolute beginner to audio production on Linux. one of QTractor or Muse or Rosegarden *might* be better.

Anyway, if you're wanting more specifics about sounds to use, you are going to have to be more specific about what exact workflow you want to present. In my opinion, this kind of pedagogy is hard; ideally you would have a routine with some very specific and realistic goals to accomplish by the end of your session, but be flexible enough to accomodate somebody who wants to explore something outside of the material that you have prepared.

As an aside, I recently showed my music room to my brother, who has very little experience with Linux. He plays ukulele and guitar, so I launched Rakarrack, used Carla to wire it up to my stereo mic input, gave him some studio headphones and a ukulele, and showed him how to pick presets. I think he spent at least a half hour just messing around with it. He liked it so much, he said he'll bring his acoustic guitar next time. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby sysrqer » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:45 pm

For what genre? You mention classical and dubstep so it's hard to say.

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby tavasti » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:14 am

LMMS might be suitable option, including everything itself. To get properly paired sounds, you should select what sounds to use. With your selected sounds, you could order students what to use, or remove unwanted presets & samples from installation.
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby jonetsu » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:30 pm

nilshi wrote:What would be your suggestion for sounds for a beginner? The scenario is to learn a sequencer by making music, so it would be best to get a good matching collections of sounds and instruments?

I'm thinking synthesizer sound for melody, chords and bass as well as drums.


A single set of all-encompassing soundfonts, such as the ones provided with many Linux systems, can provide all kinds of instruments, from drums to cello, flutes, bass, trombone, piano, etc... All in one single soundfont set. Then use qsynth (a front end to fluidsynth) to interface with your sequencer and to provide all needed instruments.

You mention synths but you will not show and teach synthesis, that seems to be too advanced for the audience you describe. So get that part of the way to provide focus. Zynaddsubfx has 1000 options and no user manual in sight. It can be easy to get lost or ask unneeded (and difficult) questions about Zyn synthesis.

If you really want to complement the soundfont kit with a synth you can perhaps use OB-Xd which is simple but has a very good synthesis engine.

You first mention a sequencer then later on you mention a recording DAW, Ardour.

There's Muse, which has an embedded soundfont player, again simplying the interface for beginners.

http://muse-sequencer.org/index.html

Linux provides everything for free for learning music. The idea with beginners is to keep it simple, and not splash them with undue layers/complexity. Eg. why use Carla if it's not needed ?

Cheers.

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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby ssj71 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:37 pm

yeah, name a genre and then we can get somewhere.
Picking the sounds that go well together? Isn't that what song producers get paid to do? ;)

I think the most genre agnostic set will be just a GM soundfont like what ships with most distros. There are some better ones out there but good luck finding the ones that don't have licensing issues. I don't think GM sounds are ever that great, but its, well general...
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby tavasti » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:07 pm

ssj71 wrote:Picking the sounds that go well together? Isn't that what song producers get paid to do? ;)

Anyway, if someone has some answer to it, it would be nice to know :-)
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Re: Suggestion for a good set of sounds for beginners

Postby jonetsu » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:52 pm

ssj71 wrote:yeah, name a genre and then we can get somewhere.
Picking the sounds that go well together? Isn't that what song producers get paid to do? ;)

I think the most genre agnostic set will be just a GM soundfont like what ships with most distros. There are some better ones out there but good luck finding the ones that don't have licensing issues. I don't think GM sounds are ever that great, but its, well general...


The sets provided with Linux distros are not that bad. Won't make anything pro with them, but then that's pretty far away from the context description here.

It seems that the person who wants to set up these convenient ready-to-use systems might also not be well-formed in music. If it was the case, then it would be easy to select sounds out of a soundfont set, totally bypassing the use of synths, and load them in a session of some sequencer/DAW, then saving this session and copying it to several properly configured computers.

The notion of using the additional Carla layer is also a bit strange, if one wants the simplest setup there is.

Ah well.


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