Opinions on the best free sequencer?

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jamoo
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Opinions on the best free sequencer?

Post by jamoo » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:05 am

I'm in Timbuktu with a new box. No software installed save Audacity. Can anyone recommend a free sequencer?

I'm a Cakewalk/Sonar user, but I just need something basic that will run on Windows 7 Starter. Gracias. :)

JoePublic77
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Free sequencer

Post by JoePublic77 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:20 pm

Audacity is the best one I have found out there so far, although there are different versions of Audacity that will allow you more flexibilty than others. The beta version is the one that i like best because it allows you to use VST plugins...something the standard version does not allow you to do. Unfortunately, all the free sequencers that I have found are very limited in track count, save features, ect.

trevord
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Post by trevord » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:55 pm

i would hesitate about anything free now
almost all "free" downloads have been hacked with a virus or some sort of invasive program (you are lucky if its just ads)
if not the actual executable then the installer tries to all kinds of crap to your system

As for under $100 US sequencers I would recommend the following
1) Cubase Elements 6 $99
Rock solid sample accurate midi and the standard for VST
2) FL Studio Fruity $99
Cheap version of probably the most advanced midi sequencer on the market - Fruity version has limited audio capability tho
3) N-track - $64
Developer support second to none - but midi implementation not too deep but good for general music sequencing

You didn't mention what your goals were - Cubase and FL Studio have extensive midi control that goes way beyond general music sequencing.
For general music sequencing don't overlook the old hardware sequencers, its a different mindset from the software sequencers and I have seen computer illiterate musicians give up on the software but do wonders on these hardware boxes. They were designed for "musicians thinking" if you know what I mean.
They are the Yamaha QY series and the Roland/Boss DR series - the smaller ones go for less than 100 on ebay.
But it looks like the venerable Yamaha QY-700 prices have actually begun to go UP!!

Also remember - If you are sequencing midi - you probably have midi keyboards/module - some of these have reasonable sequencers built in and you already have them!! FREE - LOL
Old KORG and EMU products had some really nice sequencers - the more advanced EMU products had things like Beat Slicing/Stretching .

All of the software sequencers have demo versions which are on many sites as free - But either the executable or installer has been modified to do some damage to your system - You are lucky if you can see a change - some of them just install keystroke loggers for your passwords.

Hope it helps

crow
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Post by crow » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:38 pm

Trevord, it sounds like you're taking "free" to mean "pirated", in which case, yes, avoid pirated software for all sorts of reasons, one of which is data safety.

That being said, I haven't had any such problems with software that is free in the sense that it is open source and/or the developer is licensing it freely to anyone who wants it. Such programs (Audacity being the one that comes to mind, though I don't know if it handles multitracking or midi) can sometimes be tough to configure and less user-friendly than some commercial products, but are not dangerous as far as I know, and if downloaded from the correct website don't tend to be invasive installs or hacked.

And all that being said, I am a huge Reaper fanboy these days, and while it is not actually free, it is quite inexpensive ($60 for a hobbyist/student license, $250 for a professional one), and the trial version is permanently uncrippled (contributing to the widely-held notion that it's free software), which depending on your situation can get you out of many a jam. if you're in timbuktu and need a functioning DAW ASAP, you should try it; it's a tiny, non-invasive download (Cockos, the company that makes Reaper, prides themselves on this matter), and does just about anything you might want it to do (I've switched from Cubase and Logic to Reaper full-time). I have a feeling that if you download it to use the trial version while you're away from your Sonar rig, you'll return home itching to buy a license. That's how they hooked me. I downloaded the demo to do some remote recording, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I love it so much that I blather on and on and on about how much I love Reaper. So I'll stop now. Good luck!

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casey campbell
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Post by casey campbell » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:08 am

ardour

rosegarden

eisenkraut

jokosher

LMMS

Qtractor

numberthirty
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Post by numberthirty » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:48 pm

crow wrote:And all that being said, I am a huge Reaper fanboy these days, and while it is not actually free, it is quite inexpensive ($60 for a hobbyist/student license, $250 for a professional one), and the trial version is permanently uncrippled (contributing to the widely-held notion that it's free software), which depending on your situation can get you out of many a jam. if you're in timbuktu and need a functioning DAW ASAP, you should try it; it's a tiny, non-invasive download (Cockos, the company that makes Reaper, prides themselves on this matter), and does just about anything you might want it to do (I've switched from Cubase and Logic to Reaper full-time). I have a feeling that if you download it to use the trial version while you're away from your Sonar rig, you'll return home itching to buy a license. That's how they hooked me. I downloaded the demo to do some remote recording, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I love it so much that I blather on and on and on about how much I love Reaper. So I'll stop now. Good luck!
It's also worth pointing out that the quantize element of Reaper is very bonehead friendly.

jamoo
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Post by jamoo » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:04 pm

trevord wrote:i would hesitate about anything free now
almost all "free" downloads have been hacked with a virus or some sort of invasive program (you are lucky if its just ads)
if not the actual executable then the installer tries to all kinds of crap to your system
[snip]

Hope it helps
Thanks for the thoughtful response and all the security caveats. That's my basic bent, but that said, I wouldn't be surprised if these keystrokes were being logged.

My goal is a basic interface that supports MIDI and audio. For now (here in Timbuktu), I would settle for MIDI. I cut my teeth on Cakewalk Pro Audio v5.0, and it would still do 90 percent of what I'd want under ideal settings (it lacks, for example, real-time effects).

Alas, old software doesn't work on new computers. I'm using Windows 7 Starter... hoping to get old Linux and XP boxes up soon.

There's a downloadable SONAR (Cakewalk's evolution) demo, but it's so sophisticated it could fly The Concorde. I watched the video demo and halted download immediately. I don't even know what they were talking about. Software has gotten away from itself. I wish they would just make things faster and more robust than ladening them down with features - maybe make the basic interface modular.

The term DAW scares me. If you're trying to produce from a Neve level, sure, but I'm just a hobbiest.
casey campbell wrote:ardour

rosegarden

eisenkraut

jokosher

LMMS

Qtractor
I'll check those out. Hopefully I'll get some experiental input - security, robustness/compatibility with 7 Starter, interface ergonomics, etc. (I used one of the first versions of Cubase too, it came with my Alesis, and it was pretty cludgey.)

jamoo
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Post by jamoo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:38 am

crow wrote: And all that being said, I am a huge Reaper fanboy these days, and while it is not actually free, it is quite inexpensive ($60 for a hobbyist/student license, $250 for a professional one), and the trial version is permanently uncrippled (contributing to the widely-held notion that it's free software), which depending on your situation can get you out of many a jam. if you're in timbuktu and need a functioning DAW ASAP, you should try it; it's a tiny, non-invasive download (Cockos, the company that makes Reaper, prides themselves on this matter), and does just about anything you might want it to do (I've switched from Cubase and Logic to Reaper full-time). I have a feeling that if you download it to use the trial version while you're away from your Sonar rig, you'll return home itching to buy a license. That's how they hooked me. I downloaded the demo to do some remote recording, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I love it so much that I blather on and on and on about how much I love Reaper. So I'll stop now. Good luck!
Just wanted to acknowledge this post too. I've finally check out Reaper (not dl'd yet, but visited the site), and it looks really attractive. learning curve is a bit intimidating, like anything new these days, but seems worth while.

They must have some kind of prompts or some such to buy the thing after the trial. Otherwise, it seems easy for even an honest soul to forget.
casey campbell wrote:ardour

rosegarden

eisenkraut

jokosher

LMMS

Qtractor
ardour - linux only

rosegarden - linux only

eisenkraut - audio only

jokosher - audio only

LMMS - ding, ding, ding, ding*

Qtractor - linux only (covers audio + MIDI, though. yea)


*this is the one i'm just about to download. it looks like it's sold to the beats and loops crowd, but we'll see. fingers crossed for basic MIDI and audio implementation.

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