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Airova

Complete beginner, completely lost, many questions

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Are there any tutorials that exist for ACTUAL beginners, for Samplitude X Pro Silver and not a different version? I'm assuming the answer is no, since I haven't found any. Failing that, I wonder if any of the experts on here would be so kind as to help a beginner out. All I'm trying to figure out how to do now is record drums. I have figured out how to record other instruments, but my version of the program does not seem to come with any drums. There are drum kits that I've stumbled on in different parts of the program, but they are very complicated and I can't figure out how to link them to my keyboard. The only instrument plugin controllable by my keyboard that seems to have come with the program is the MAGIX synth Revolta 2. There are lots of cool sounds on there, but no drums that I can find. I'd also like to find a simple piano sound, but that also doesn't seem to be an option. I found some free VST files for piano, but they don't seem to work with Samplitude (something about 64/32 bit program or something).

Heartfelt thanks to anyone who can help me out, here. I've never understood how anyone gets into this kind of software to begin with... If it's designed only for people who know what they're doing, how on earth did they learn what they're doing to begin with? Doesn't everyone have to start somewhere?

I wrote a long post with a lot of explanation, but apparently the site logged me out mid-way through writing it and I lost the whole thing. So here is the meat of it. I've been recording analog music with microphones and editing it with Audacity for years, without any confusion. I taught myself to use Adobe Photoshop and Premiere quickly and easily. Yet I have not been able to find any software for recording MIDI which doesn't make my eyes bleed, and there never seems to be any real instructions on how to use it. All manuals, help topics, and tutorials all seem to assume that the user already knows what they're doing. Even this forum: in order to register, I had to answer a question about MIDI recording (which I had to google). If I knew anything about MIDI recording, I wouldn't need to register for these forums to ask for HELP.

I know how to play music. I know how to use most types of complicated software. But I'm getting lost and frustrated trying to figure out how to do something simple with Samplitude, and although I've searched for simpler software, none seems to exist (at least, not anything that actually works). Please help me out. I just want to make some music. Thank you very much.

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Hi,

You started with pretty much the top line program. I don't have Samplitude, I have Samplitude Music Studio, which is a step down. I also have Magix Music Maker which is at the bottom end, but is much more geared towards beginners, with a lot less bells and whistles.

Did you download and install the additional instruments and sounds? See under Help for something like Download additional instruments and sounds. Download everything.

Here is a link to the Samplitude Music Studio tutorials which should help you.

You should also read the Tutorial part of the manual and follow along. This is really the only way to understand what is happening - you have to try it.

You can view my tutorial for getting started in Music Maker which is simply an easier version of Samplitude. It will show you some of the basics to get going.

You can also go through the Kraznet tutorials on his YouTube site. He has more than 150 of them. Look for the very basic getting started type tutorials.

When you get everything installed, let us know what instruments and synths that you have.

HTH

John

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First of all, thanks so much for replying. I was worried no one would want to help a real beginner. Much appreciated.

I didn't realize this software was anything but standard. I don't need this level of software, but it was what came with the keyboard. I'd use something simpler if I could, but it seems I'd have to buy it, and I really and truly don't have the money. I splurged just to buy this keyboard for £50, and I can't buy anything else music-related for a long time.

Okay, I've found a couple of free drum kits that sound okay. Now I'm playing around with recording. But there is a problem: Whenever I open Samplitude, it kills the audio on every other program. Is there any way to stop that from happening? I can't watch tutorial videos while the program is running, and I can't play music in the background (I wanted to play along with other songs).

Second question: is there a way to record in a loop so that your input gets *added* to the current recording, rather than overwriting it? I can't seem to find a way. I can record in a loop, but every time the new input just erases the old. I wanted to layer my input for the drums rather than having to input them all at once, or take up several tracks of the file just for one instrument.

Thanks a lot!

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Sorry to double-post, but I just wanted to note that I've edited my previous post and I now have two questions, one about system audio and the other about recording. See above post, and many thanks for any assistance offered. I've been trying to find answers elsewhere, including in the manual and help files, but I can't find anything.

UPDATE: Whoa. Well this is lovely. Apparently this "silver" version of the software limits me to FOUR instruments. When I try to select a plug-in for a fifth track, it gives me an error message and says "this version of the software only allows a maximal number of 4 plug-ins per object, track, or master." In other words, this software is useless. I am never going to be able to do what I need to do with only four instruments, and I'm kind of pissed off that I spent all this time trying to learn the software (which I was assured would be fully functional) only to find out it's essentially a demo.

I'm going to try out some of the free software out there. I bet I can find a free program that does everything I need.

To be sure, if the full software were affordable, I might just buy it, now that I'm getting used to it. But 500 euros? That's insanity. I could barely scrape together the 50 pounds I needed for this keyboard.

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Hi,

The version that you have is indeed limited, but it is free and is a teaser for the real thing.

Here is a link to a discussion about it.

Here is a link to the Samplitude site for your version, with a description of the features and limits.

As far as I can tell, it has a limit of 8 tracks (midi/audio), so you are limited. If there is a limit of 4 for midi, you could try exporting them to a wav and importing to a new project, then you should be able to have another 4 midi instrument tracks available, or something like that.

For what you are doing, either Music Maker or Music Studio (if you need to record to more than 1 track at a time - up to 4, I think) would probably be suitable, Samplitude Music Studio would be better. However, all of these cost money. Remember, you only get what you pay for.

Regards,

John

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I understand that the best software costs money, but I don't have money to spend. I was misled (by the person who sold me the keyboard) into believing that I had fully-functional software, and invested all this time learning it because of that. I never realized it was basically a demo or a teaser. Now I'm just frustrated that the time was wasted, and that I basically got conned. It's too late to return the keyboard now, so I have to find some free software that works. Maybe someday I'll have enough money to buy something nice, but right now I simply don't.

Also, I've heard that Music Maker and Music Studio don't work on Windows 7, so I can't use them anyway. : /

It seems there are some free programs out there that can do everything I need. Hopefully I can get them to work.

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i don't think that sam prox silver is only a teaser, that let you stay in the rain!

and also the time you spent learning is not wasted!

samplitude it is a great software and all you learned while using it, is worth it. parts of it will even translate to other software, as you learned about the concepts of digital audio inside the computer.

so don't worry about that too much.

sam prox silver is featurelimited, yes, but nonetheless it is a workable solution, if you don't have any more money to spend right now.

i have it installed here side by side with the professional samplitude prox and use it for quick things when the my codemeter dongle is not plugged in.

to your questions:

what audio-driver model are you using right now? there is asio, wdm, mme, for example.

some of them are multiclient, which means you can run different programs through it at the same time.

please tell.

i assume you are recording midi with the keyboard?

there are different ways for midirecording like, replace or add. try to find the midirecording options in the program.

i will have a look and tell you where it is when i am before my machine the next time.

don't give up. the learning curve is steep at the beginning, but you will find your way through!

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hey airova, when you are still reading here:

the midi record modes are set in the menus at the top under playback/midi record mode/...

the modes should be self explanatory.

i hope this is called the same in the english version of the program, i have to guess it from the german program here.

the work around the limitation of the plugin instances possible, work out the four tracks you are able to do.

then in the mixer under the fader, rightclick the fx button and save your tracksettings (with vsti, you will be asked).

then rightclick the tracknumber right under the pan button and choose trackfreeze. you'll get an audiofile on the track now.

then delete the vsti on the same track, so you can add another vsti on other tracks.

it's even a good practice to work like this, as you won't be tempted to fiddle around with tracks too much. you can also work on the audio directly, cut things out or apply effects.

when you need to work on some freezed tracks with the midi again, unfreeze it and load the saved tracksettings into it.

you can have a maximum of twelve tracks in a vip, when you set them in the new vip window. in the vip itself it will stop you at eight tracks with the limitation warning. if this not enough, you can mixdown a group of tracks onto a bus, then delete the tracks and work on new ones.

to do that, set an empty track as bus (rightclick on the tracknumber in the mixer under the panknob, choose trackproperties/submixbus ) and then route all the tracks you want to mixdown to this bus (rightclick on the "out" field under the fader in the mixer and choose the bus as destination). now freeze the bus as you would do with a track. you'll get a wavefile with all the audio from the tracks.

now delete your tracks and go on.

the original midifiles and audiofiles are still in your projectfolder and you can reimport them anytime if you wish.

i hope this gets you started. samplitude is a powerful program, that is really worth to learn. good luck and lots of fun!

mathias

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correction: be aware, that midifiles are not saved automatically as files in the projectfolder, like audiofiles.

you have to do that manually via the midi editor files/midiexport before you delete any track with midi on it!

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Hi Mathias. Thank you very much for your helpful information! I am currently trying out another program that a friend recommended, and I might stay with that because he can teach me how to use it. But I will bookmark this page and I will keep Samplitude as well. I would not have thought to save the MIDI as audio so I can free up the plug-ins. That's a great trick.

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yes, it's always good and a real timesaver if you can ask someone directly!

hope you will soon have fun creating/recording your music!

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@ mathias: good of you to check out silver and make these suggestions. Wish I'd had the inspiration.

@Airova

I didn't think of it, and I'm away from home helping my son with some home improvement projects, but Mathias has pointed a way. In fact, what he suggests is actually what we had to do in the days of using tape to do personal projects (even studio projects in the early days). I was lucky and had a 4-track recorder, and another 2 track. Laying tracks in those days was just as mathias suggests: midi tracks you sequenced in another application, but rendered to an audio track on tape. You can do that all in one program now. You mixed and bounced tracks as you went along. It took lots of work, and often took several tapes, but in the end you got what you were after: a two-track "mix" of your song(s). We're spoiled today, but even with basic tools you can do good things. And Samp's tools are darn good. The audio engine itself draws users. Object editing is almost unbelievable. Learn the tools and when you can afford to advance, the basics will still be the same, only the limits and capabilities will expand.

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