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Using Songsmith to make a full song (Migrated from community.research.microsoft.com) RRS feed

  • Question

  • songsmithrichard posted on 07-01-2009 8:36 PM

    0. Adjust the microphone (one time thing)

    Recording levels
    Adjust recording level so that
    singing medium loudness vocals show low levels on the bar meter and
    singing loud vocals show more than halfway but not peaking all the way.

    Recording latency
    Start the record and say a quick syllable "Da!" exactly when you hear the start of a measure.  Do this for several measures.  Stop the recording and examine the start of the red visual audio waveform.  Adjust the recording latency until your recording of the syllable shows audio waveforms starting right at the beginning of each measure.

     

    1. Record a rough guide track.

    Pay extra care when selecting the tempo and style.  After you record, you are stuck with the tempo and time signature for the remainder of this particular songsmith project.  If you choose a 3/4 style you will only be able to use other 3/4 styles for this particular songsmith project.  Of the 30 styles (not counting the expansion packs), 2 are 3/4 and 28 are 4/4.  If in doubt, stay away from using the 3/4 styles because you will be limited to a selection of only 2 styles.

    Make a separate songsmith project for each part of the song, i.e.: intro, verse, chorus, bridge, ending.

    Set the style to piano ballad, set the happiness to middle (not too bright, not too dark) and the jazzines to minimum (lowest complexity).  Press record and hum the intro of the song with at least one empty measure before and after.  Make sure to hum the correct pitch and in time with the beat.  If your pitch is off or if your main beats aren't at the start of each measure the chord calculation will be inaccurate.

     

    2. Adjust the chords.  (change tempo here)

    Turn down the vocal level (but not all the way down) so you can hear the instruments clearly.  Lock down the chords that sound correct.  Try different chords for the unlocked measures until you find the chords that sound best.  Lock down the chords as you find them.  I find that piano ballad is the best style for this step.

    If you want to change the tempo of the song and time signature you can write down a list of the measure numbers and chords, start a new songsmith project, set the new tempo, and then enter the chords manually from the list.  If you want a 3/4 time signature pick a style with 3/4 in the name.  All other styles are 4/4.

     

    3. Record the final audio.

    You can skip this step if you like the audio the way it is.  Otherwise, record the final audio.  The previous audio will be erased but the chords will remain intact.

     

    4. Adjust the mix.

    Play around with the different styles, instruments, and instrument volumes until you get the best-sounding combination.

     

    5. Create the other song parts.

    Repeat the above steps for the other parts of the songs, creating a separate songsmith project for each part, i.e.: intro, verse, chorus, bridge, ending.

     

    6.  Put the song parts together.

    Export the audio of each songsmith project as .wav files a edit them together using Audacity (a free program you can get from the internet).

    Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:35 PM

Answers

  • songsmithrichard replied on 07-13-2009 5:58 AM

    Step 6a. Use Sony Acid Music Studio 7 instead of Audacity 1.2

    While trying to add an instrument riff to my songs I discovered that Audacity does not allow you to edit MIDI.  I couldn't find a free audio/midi sequencer that was any good.  And the major programs (Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Sonar, Cubase, Acid, FL Studio 8, Sequoia) were either too expensive or too difficult to use.

    Of the low-priced audio/midi sequencers which I was able to try, I think that Sony Acid Music Studio 7 ($54.95 USD) is the best while meeting the following features:

    • Easy to learn and use
    • Can import audio and midi from Songsmith
    • Able to add and edit audio and midi
    • Able to combine 3/4 and 4/4 measures
    • Able to keep audio and midi in sync during tempo changes

    But I have decided to replace Audacity with Samplitude Music Studio 15.  It cost more and doesn't look as nice as Sony Acid Music Studio but for $99.99 USD it has the above features and also has a vocal pitch correction tool.  I find that pitch correction is a nice thing to have when dealing with untrained vocals.


    About audio stretching and pitch correction:
    Songsmith records audio sampled at 44.1kHz.  Acid Music Studio and Samplitude Music Studio can record new audio at up to 48kHz.  But either 44.1k or 48k does not allow much room for a lot of audio stretching or pitch correction. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your tempo and vocal pitch used in Songsmith is redone until it is correct.  Any tempo/pitch correction will degrade the audio.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:35 PM

All replies

  • songsmithrichard replied on 07-04-2009 6:10 PM

    Step 1a

    I found a free tool to help you calculate the best tempo to use.  It's a webpage at

    http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm

    You tap your quarter beats while singing your song to yourself.  The thing that makes this "tap tempo" program superior to other such programs is that it gives you an average tempo instead of an instantaneous tempo.  And it automatically resets if you just stop for a second, and then you can do it again until you get the perfect tempo for your song.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:35 PM
  • songsmithrichard replied on 07-13-2009 5:58 AM

    Step 6a. Use Sony Acid Music Studio 7 instead of Audacity 1.2

    While trying to add an instrument riff to my songs I discovered that Audacity does not allow you to edit MIDI.  I couldn't find a free audio/midi sequencer that was any good.  And the major programs (Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Sonar, Cubase, Acid, FL Studio 8, Sequoia) were either too expensive or too difficult to use.

    Of the low-priced audio/midi sequencers which I was able to try, I think that Sony Acid Music Studio 7 ($54.95 USD) is the best while meeting the following features:

    • Easy to learn and use
    • Can import audio and midi from Songsmith
    • Able to add and edit audio and midi
    • Able to combine 3/4 and 4/4 measures
    • Able to keep audio and midi in sync during tempo changes

    But I have decided to replace Audacity with Samplitude Music Studio 15.  It cost more and doesn't look as nice as Sony Acid Music Studio but for $99.99 USD it has the above features and also has a vocal pitch correction tool.  I find that pitch correction is a nice thing to have when dealing with untrained vocals.


    About audio stretching and pitch correction:
    Songsmith records audio sampled at 44.1kHz.  Acid Music Studio and Samplitude Music Studio can record new audio at up to 48kHz.  But either 44.1k or 48k does not allow much room for a lot of audio stretching or pitch correction. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your tempo and vocal pitch used in Songsmith is redone until it is correct.  Any tempo/pitch correction will degrade the audio.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:35 PM