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Author Topic: What is the best way to learn how to compose tracker music for a complete newbie  (Read 2640 times)

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I've always liked listening to tracker music but never bothered to want to make some, well, now I do but I'm kind of at a dead end at my end, I'm motivated to make music but have no idea where to start, I've messed around with fasttracker II but struggling hard to make music, this is probably because I have no idea how 60% of the menus work and that I've never made music, so what are the best docs/tutorials/suggestions/anything at all really to help me get started, especially a good doc/tutorial for composing music, I seem to be really bad at it lol, I hope there's other people who started off like me not really knowing how to make music and able to give me some guidance

Saga Musix

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The problem is twofold:
1. You need to know how to make music
2. You need to know your software

1. If you have never made any music, I think the start is going to be difficult no matter what software or tool you use to get into music. Learning music theory can be helpful in understanding why some things work and sound good while others don't. Music theory is applicable no matter if you are using a tracker or a DAW.

2. There are various tutorials both in text and video form (search on YouTube for "fasttracker tutorial") but I cannot recommend any particular one. FastTracker comes with a manual that's worth reading. For sure it will not explain everything but it should get you started with the basics.

One important part of tracked music is its open-source aspect: You can learn a lot just from looking at other modules and observing how other people manage to create certain sounds.

Last but not least: Many oldskool trackers are not particularly user-friendly. You may want to have a look at OpenMPT as a more beginner-friendly alternative with an extensive manual (which includes a tutorial), tooltips everywhere and generally just a more standards-conforming user interface.

Edit: Forgot the most important thing that causes many people to give up: Lack of persistence. Noone becomes a great composer within a month, or even a year. Don't expect listenable results anytime soon, but do keep trying and learning.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 21:32:02 by Saga Musix »
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Well...Saga Musix is certainly correct hands down...

But a few things from my perspective too...Yes, like Saga says music must be learned to some degree...I played bass for 9 years when young and was in numerous bands so trained my ear & also learned theory but started out jamming to records (yes, I am OLD...SO OLD!!) but this is great way to train the ear then when you listen to music you can decompile the progressions in your mind thus recompile at the QWERTY or MIDI controller....

Some will disagree with this but when I hear what is being made it is quite clear something is lacking...High BPMs, constant wall of sound with no breaks, lack of dynamics, just syncopation & filter sweeps...More akin to soundFX rather than music...

On Trackers though hard to say as there are so many & the popular ones I tend to not like...BUTT-

Recent thread I started for MED Soundstudio 2.1 is PRETTY EASY!...

The most recent version of Psycle has a LUA Piano Roll...That helps...

Try MODplug...I didn't like it...

As far as absolute simplicity of Trackers Sequential Vibes & H8Tracker are the bomb...I plan on doing a video tutorial on H8Tracker soon...

I really like SkaleTracker it is an elegant cadillac some plugs work in it just fine but I like its native AKAI format support as well as soundfonts...Great mixer & very visually appealing...

The late Arguru's Aodix 4.2 is very nice VST ONLY & ASIO ONLY very nice 'tickless' environment has INGENIOUS vertical piano roll built right into the tracker view & you can shove notes anywhere even on top of one another...Just has a VST bug you hafta test VSTs by saving a song & reopening if it crash you cannot use that plug...I did an intro with it here-

Many are using SunVox & capable if you wish more 'electronic' sound rather than sampled 'real' instruments (guitar-bass-etc)...It does read XI instruments but they sound terrible in it...No VST support & I tried years ago to even just get dev to read sf2 format but no way...You can load WAVs...I did a tune with it-

So the upshot is TRY EVERYTHING!!! What works for others probably won't 'hit the spot' for you...
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