Mod Archive Forums

Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: TheMathGuy on October 12, 2007, 07:30:24

Title: What's within the realm of possibility?
Post by: TheMathGuy on October 12, 2007, 07:30:24
So I've always been a fan of electronic music, and recently I've discovered someone named Nathan Profitt ( on MySpace who writes some truly awesome sounding techno/trance! I'm sure it probably takes years to get as good as he is at it, but what I'm wondering is this: Is any kind of electronic music in principle possible with a tracker? Or are there certain things that no tracker can ever do? (Besides the obvious ones like vocals or being creative for you.) Can a person make professional-quality music (like the stuff Nathan Profitt has written, for example) using a tracker?

I'm very new to all of this!

Title: Re: What's within the realm of possibility?
Post by: Saga Musix on October 12, 2007, 12:58:29
Short Answer: Yes, you can compose music like that in a tracker.

Long Answer: Everything is possible in a tracker. It's just a question of skills and your setup. Modern Trackers support technologies like DSP ( or VST (, just like those expensive sequencer programmes. You write your compositions in trackers as you write them in sequencers, there's just a different notation. However, to make it sound good, you have to optimize the output in both program types: Adding EQs to add bass or treble, adding reverb so your tracks don't sound too dry, adding compressors to avoid big differences in the dynamics. Even if you use programs that don't allow you to control this (like basic loop-based sequencers for all those beginners out there), the signal is still processed through this kind of effect processors.

Of course, the best technology can't replace skills, so it's good if you a basic knowledge about how audio works. You will need some of this knowledge when applying VST effects to your audio.
Don't try to fulfil all these requirements at once. I'm just getting into this VST stuff, using free VST effects, for almost a year now. My first tracks sounded poor of course, and so did Nathan Profitt's. Everyone develops and learns, this is very normal. So don't try to copy his style and his techniques but rather try to develop your own style and techniques. It's just a question of inspiration, endurance and will.

If you're new to all this, you can try ModPlug Tracker / OpenMPT ( This tracker has a native Windows look, it's easy to learn for beginners but also suitabl fore semi-pros.
By the way, I don't understand why you think vocals are not possible in trackers. If you think like "I can't record Vocals in modplug, so i can't add vocals to my songs", then you would have to think like that about sequencers too. All you need for vocals is a voice ( :D ) and a recording program (Audacity ( is a decent freeware program). Just record your voice with the recording program and load the wav files into your modules.

I hope, you can learn a bit from this article and don't give up ;) It's all a question of practice. Listen to my tunes and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Title: Re: What's within the realm of possibility?
Post by: Ceekayed on October 12, 2007, 14:23:45
I'd even say that you don't even need VSTs for achieving a commercial quality with a tracker. As I've said numerous times, the professional sound comes mostly from good sound balancing, which can be done with any tracker if you've just got the ears and some samples to choose from or the knowledge for editing the samples to suit your needs.

But of course, why would you want to use an oldschool tracker when there's Renoise? (
Title: Re: What's within the realm of possibility?
Post by: Eagle on October 25, 2007, 09:46:05
Saga, this lad is a newbie. I bet he may barelly even have a clue what you are talking about with all that technical jargon. :]

But yes, trackers are in theory just as capable as a sequencer, if not more. It's just two different mediums but with many things in common. If you have the creativity, the tools and the imagination, you can create professional music dependless if you use pen and paper, a sequencer or a tracker. It's all up there in your head.

About the vocals, there are plenty of ways to create those. In fact, you do not even need to be able to sing yourself. You can let your computer sing for you! Of course, finding a virtual singer is not the easiest. The only one I know you can use for free is Virtual Singer that comes with Melody Assistant - which is a sequencer.

If you got the time, you can use a vocoder and record whatever voice you have and then modify it to sound good. It will probably sound a bit like the lyrics in Boten Anna, though, and also require quite a lot of time and technical insight. But hey, it's an option!

The cheapest and easiest way is just to record someone or yourself singing and put it in fresh and raw into the tracker. Not everyone has the voice of a winner from American Idol, but hey, with the right mixing, maybe no one will notice that you sing like a crow. ;D

Just have fun if you get into it and see where it takes you. There's no limit to the options, you know, so if tracking does not work for you, just try something else. :)
Title: Re: What's within the realm of possibility?
Post by: Saga Musix on October 25, 2007, 17:02:28
Saga, this lad is a newbie. I bet he may barelly even have a clue what you are talking about with all that technical jargon. :]
Remember, there's always Wikipedia and you can't develop skills if you don't know anything about music and how to do music on a computer :P