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Happy Jack

Useful software for bass players

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It's a perennial topic, but we don't seem to have a place for pointing each other in the direction of software we have found particularly useful.

Just to see if others find this useful, here's a brief heads-up on

THE AMAZING SLOW DOWNER

You can download ASD from the InterNet ( [url="http://www.ronimusic.com/"]http://www.ronimusic.com/[/url] ) as a free demo, which will give you (IIRC) full functionality but only let you play the first 30 seconds of each track. For about $50 you can buy the product.

I consider it one of the better $50 purchases I've made. :)

I use it to:

* slow down tracks, or bits of tracks, where I can't work out what the bassist is playing at full speed.

* loop tricky bits of tracks so that I can play them again & again.

* change the pitch of tracks which have either been Vari-speeded or which are in awkward keys (e.g. Eb to E).

* change the key of tracks which I want to sing but which are outside my range in their original key.

* minimise the low frequencies on the track so that I can play along without being distracted by the original bassline.

All these changes can be made 'on the fly' and in real time. There's no need to "re-process" the file after each change.

Once you have the settings you want for a track, you can save it (separately from the original, of course) with those settings and come back to it later.

Just about the only gripe I have with ASD is that it won't save files in mp3 format, only as WAV.

If Roni Music could somehow combine this with an mp3 editor, they'd have an absolute killer product on their hands.

Despite being priced in $ the product is actually Scandinavian (Danish, I think). Despite the low price, on both occasions when I've needed support I've had immediate and very helpful responses.

Highly recommended. Edited by Happy Jack

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[quote name='chris_b' post='1043486' date='Dec 1 2010, 10:41 AM']Can it carry the gear in as well?[/quote]

Don't be silly, Chris ... [i][b]someone [/b][/i]has to guard the van.

:)

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I'm a bedroom studio geek, and for me the best software for home audio recording, at least in terms of value for money, is Propellerhead's Record:

[url="http://www.propellerheads.se/products/record/"]http://www.propellerheads.se/products/record/[/url]

Costs about £160, but does absolutely everything you'd ever want and is 100% stable: seriously, come the apocalypse, there'll be a computer somewhere, still happily running Record (along with a TV playing re-runs of Friends on E4... but I digress).

If you're interested in writing your own songs, or producing 'saleable' quality recordings of a band, then I recommend checking it out. You can download a demo for free, which let's you play with the software without being able to save your work - frustrating, but you can have it running all day if you like and get a feel for it.

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He we go again.

Reaper, ~ £25 ($60 in fact) for a small business/non-commercial license. Free trial offer too with full functionality.

Best DAW I've used for recording in Windows. Best return on investment for software I've ever got too.

Does all your slow down stuff too btw...

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[quote name='Skol303' post='1043542' date='Dec 1 2010, 11:13 AM']I'm a bedroom studio geek, and for me the best software for home audio recording, at least in terms of value for money, is Propellerhead's Record:

[url="http://www.propellerheads.se/products/record/"]http://www.propellerheads.se/products/record/[/url]

Costs about £160, but does absolutely everything you'd ever want and is 100% stable: seriously, come the apocalypse, there'll be a computer somewhere, still happily running Record (along with a TV playing re-runs of Friends on E4... but I digress).

If you're interested in writing your own songs, or producing 'saleable' quality recordings of a band, then I recommend checking it out. You can download a demo for free, which let's you play with the software without being able to save your work - frustrating, but you can have it running all day if you like and get a feel for it.[/quote]


Me too... 51m0n just beat me to it :)

Reaper is a DAW that can produce pro quality recordings, is as stable and versatile as you described - unlimited tracks, unlimited VST/i's, PC and Mac compatible, MIDI capable etc,etc,etc.... It comes as an unexpiring,uncrippled demo that lets you register for $40 ( it's on offer atm) when you want - all in a 4.9mb download.
I like it so much I paid for it!

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I am really impressed by "Transcribe!" software - free 30 day trial then costs about $50.

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[quote name='OldG' post='1043649' date='Dec 1 2010, 12:13 PM']Reaper is a DAW that can produce pro quality recordings, is as stable and versatile as you described - unlimited tracks, unlimited VST/i's, PC and Mac compatible, MIDI capable etc,etc,etc.... It comes as an unexpiring,uncrippled demo that lets you register for $40 ( it's on offer atm) when you want - all in a 4.9mb download.
I like it so much I paid for it![/quote]

^ Yup, Reaper is a good piece of software too! Practically unbeatable if you're on a budget. I think it won "DAW of the Year" in 2009, or something like that.

The only problem I've had is that it can be quite easily overloaded with VSTs, which can cause serious lag if you're not careful. I mean sure, you can plug an "unlimited" number of VSTs into it in theory, but good luck getting it to run on a standard desktop PC if you do! ;-)

Definitely a good place to cut your teeth before perhaps investing in other software (though I know a few folks who run Reaper alone and swear by it).

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[quote name='Skol303' post='1043687' date='Dec 1 2010, 12:47 PM']^ Yup, Reaper is a good piece of software too! Practically unbeatable if you're on a budget. I think it won "DAW of the Year" in 2009, or something like that.

The only problem I've had is that it can be quite easily overloaded with VSTs, which can cause serious lag if you're not careful. I mean sure, you can plug an "unlimited" number of VSTs into it in theory, but good luck getting it to run on a standard desktop PC if you do! ;-)

Definitely a good place to cut your teeth before perhaps investing in other software (though I know a few folks who run Reaper alone and swear by it).[/quote]

It is good to cut your teeth on before moving to other software, yes (I run Logic now) but Reaper is also fantastic as just something to lay down a quick track with before an idea slips out of your head. Without VSTs or the like it's blazing fast

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Ok the software I use is ;

Guitar Pro - much better way of learning songs than tab and I like the way you can mute the bass and the other intruments

Band in a Box - easy to program and good to practice with BUT most of the instrument sounds are pretty rubbish so I only seem to use it for walking bass over a piano, which isnt my thing !

Cubase Le - because it came with my Zoom - a bit of a faff and can be quite resource intensive and TBH some of the quality of the recordings are not great BUT it was free :)

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[quote name='51m0n' post='1043636' date='Dec 1 2010, 12:06 PM']He we go again.

Reaper, ~ £25 ($60 in fact) for a small business/non-commercial license. Free trial offer too with full functionality.

Best DAW I've used for recording in Windows. Best return on investment for software I've ever got too.

Does all your slow down stuff too btw...[/quote]


Yes yes yes yes!!!! Love this DAW! - I've bought the licensed version too because it is THAT good. All of my YouTube videos were edited within Reaper too! (Syncing hi quality recorded audio to webcam video) - I do all my mix downs to MP3 in Reaper too along with writing all my demos. I'm sorry I don't have any to upload right now, but I will do!

Reaper is by far the easiest DAW to get up and running and has been the most stable I have ever used - honestly. But the great thing about it, is that if you need all the bells and whistles - they *are* there - but the are not cluttering up the interface like some other DAWs when you open them up. 5 stars on this one! I noted that it has been suggested that Reaper is more for beginners? - I think the very early versions of Reaper were like that - but the latest version is ram packed with pro tools.

I also use:

ToonTrack Superior 2 drum software for programming life-like drum parts as it uses real recorded drum samples and a simple to use effective GUI.

Guitar Pro - mentioned already - a staple tool in the guitarist's 'kit bag' I think! - I'm about to upgrade to 6 - it looks waaay better.

Tux - this is a free alternative version to Guitar Pro and will open GP files. Like previous versions of GP it isn't without it's little and rather annoying foibles! - Still, both are value for money when comparing against other similar apps for notating and playing back band parts via MIDI.

and an old favourite of mine - the *original* version of Sound Forge! - Nope, not the Sony version, Sonic Foundry's original 4.5H with the MP3 plug in. If you can still find it, shim it and it will run in Windows 7 like a dream. So simple, but it really is like a Gardener's favourite spade. I use it for fast access to 'slowing down' or 'looping' difficult phrase. Also excellent for stripping out drum loops for jamming with and a whole host of mastering facilities.

Line 6 Pod farm and Gearbox is actually a good set of tools if you use any of their interfaces. - No, they don't sound great 'straight out of the box' but a bit of tweaking can get some excellent recorded results.

Following on a recording theme and trying to get decent guitar and bass recorded tones, look up 'guitar cab impulse convolution files' (others can explain it far better than I can!!) - I've been using a few to great effect in audio plugins. But for bass, you can't go wrong with the incredible Ampeg SVX plug in - it is brilliant!

in my 'utilities' I have a YouTube downloader so that I can work on tracks offline, VLC Player, DropBox (for sharing projects with bandmates) and housekeeping tools, such as CCleaner for getting rid of unwanted temp files etc,

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[quote name='Happy Jack' post='1043477' date='Dec 1 2010, 10:33 AM']It's a perennial topic, but we don't seem to have a place for pointing each other in the direction of software we have found particularly useful.

Just to see if others find this useful, here's a brief heads-up on

THE AMAZING SLOW DOWNER

You can download ASD from the InterNet ( [url="http://www.ronimusic.com/"]http://www.ronimusic.com/[/url] ) as a free demo, which will give you (IIRC) full functionality but only let you play the first 30 seconds of each track. For about $50 you can buy the product.

I consider it one of the better $50 purchases I've made. :)

I use it to:

* slow down tracks, or bits of tracks, where I can't work out what the bassist is playing at full speed.

* loop tricky bits of tracks so that I can play them again & again.

* change the pitch of tracks which have either been Vari-speeded or which are in awkward keys (e.g. Eb to E).

* change the key of tracks which I want to sing but which are outside my range in their original key.

* minimise the low frequencies on the track so that I can play along without being distracted by the original bassline.

All these changes can be made 'on the fly' and in real time. There's no need to "re-process" the file after each change.

Once you have the settings you want for a track, you can save it (separately from the original, of course) with those settings and come back to it later.

Just about the only gripe I have with ASD is that it won't save files in mp3 format, only as WAV.

If Roni Music could somehow combine this with an mp3 editor, they'd have an absolute killer product on their hands.

Despite being priced in $ the product is actually Scandinavian (Danish, I think). Despite the low price, on both occasions when I've needed support I've had immediate and very helpful responses.

Highly recommended.[/quote]


I use Best Practice for this. Its free and appears to do everything your one does except from removing the low frequencies - you can change the pitch, tuning if what you are listening to isn;t quite to pitch without having to retune the bass to compensate, change the speed and loop. You just adjust any parameter you need to and it does it almost right away

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If it hasn't been mentioned already, you can get a Realbook on the iPod, called iRealbook I think (imaginative I know :). It's a very useful and handy little app to have in your pocket if all you need is a quick glance at the charts of jazz tunes etc. The app will also transcribe the charts to different keys too.

PS... I think it works on Android phones as well, not just iPod. Edited by derrenleepoole

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[quote name='Delberthot' post='1043867' date='Dec 1 2010, 02:53 PM']I use Best Practice for this. Its free and appears to do everything your one does except from removing the low frequencies - you can change the pitch, tuning if what you are listening to isn;t quite to pitch without having to retune the bass to compensate, change the speed and loop. You just adjust any parameter you need to and it does it almost right away[/quote]

Any chance of a link?

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[quote name='derrenleepoole' post='1043877' date='Dec 1 2010, 03:00 PM']I think it works on Android phones as well, not just iPod.[/quote]

I know there are several tuners available as Android apps, but the reviews are pretty mixed.

Can anyone recommend a tuner app that's really good for bass?

A metronome app wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

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[quote name='Happy Jack' post='1043878' date='Dec 1 2010, 03:01 PM']Any chance of a link?[/quote]
+1 for Best Practice - good for a freebie! :)
[url="http://www.xs4all.nl/~mp2004/bp/"]http://www.xs4all.nl/~mp2004/bp/[/url]

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Looking at it on screen, it's pretty clear where they got their 'look & feel'! :)

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[quote name='Mike' post='1043670' date='Dec 1 2010, 12:29 PM']I am really impressed by "Transcribe!" software - free 30 day trial then costs about $50.[/quote]
Seconded, one of the most used pieces of software I use.
Brilliant yet simple.

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Well,I've been a lazy sod when the band was goin'. I've been a bit apprehensive as well with the bits I have.
I have Logic(a keyboard friend of mine recommended it to me big time).
I also have pod farm and Ableton live/riffworks. which came with my Line 6 UX1
I still have Gearbox which came with my Toneport GX.
And Garageband on my Mac.

The reason (which looks good) I am apprehensive about Logic is the graph type stuff.
When I used to use cassette recorders peak meters were easy to understand.
It seems like you get an awful lot for your dosh.But with so much stuff, it makes stuff more complicated than need be imho.
I was wondering if it's worth going on a one day course for Logic.I have books ,but keep putting them off.

Now that I am bandless, I need to do something with this stuff.

Nice thread by the way :)

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Well, I like Audacity. I like it a lot.

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Happy Jack - are you sure your version of ASD doesn't supporting saving as an MP3? The version I've got will save as mp3, m4a, AIFF (WAV) and Quicktime (though I suspect I'd need the full version of Quicktime to save in this format - I've never tried).

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Ok, bit of software for the phone only (I believe one calls it an 'App).

Guitar Toolkit is one piece of software I use on an almost daily basis.

You select your instrument, whether that be 6, 7 or 12 string guitar, 4, 5 or 6 string bass, banjo, mandolin or ukulele. Then chose what tuning you want it to be in (Standard EADG, drop D, tenor ADGC & so on).
Choose a reference pitch (eg, A: 440 hz) & then right or left handed.

Then there's a tuner, a fretboard (which allows you to view & play any scales you want), a metronome with various time signatures and a chord chart (you choose any chord you want & it'll show you all the variations of it).

Don't let the guitar bit put you off, bass is very well accommodated for.

I have it on my iPhone, not sure if the make it for any other phones.

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