Friday, October 03, 2008

More Music and Free Glee

Friday October 3, 2008

Hello and Welcome! I'm back with the weekly dose of computerized merriment and artistic commentary. The topic this week is music and the focus is a on a great free sequencer. A sequencer program is the heart of a virtual music studio, in which you can record, arrange and edit compositions. Sequencers range from free trackers to costly and capable professional systems. I've advocated free and open-source software from the beginning of Mark's Digital Arts but I hadn't found a solid music sequencer with all the bells and whistles for zero bucks. Then this past week I stumbled onto MU.LAB from Mutools. MU.LAB comes in two versions; a slightly limited (6 tracks and 16-bit mixdown) free version and an “unlimited” version for a rather reasonable 50 Euros. MU.LAB free covers all the basic necessities (audio and MIDI, recording and mixing) and some advanced features (VST plug-ins). As will all music software you'll have to devote a little time to learning it but there is a complete HTML online manual and some short tutorials available at the Mutools site. The interface has a slick look and there is an included synthesizer instrument and some effects. I'm still experimenting and learning MU.LAB free so I'll have to save the detailed judgment for another day. Suffice for now to say that MU.LAB free is the only free music application I've found that approaches the sophistication of commercial offerings. Stay tuned for more about this intriguing and excellent free find.

The picture of the week was created using Bryce.
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are some synthesizer sequences.

The book of the moment is Teach Yourself PHP and MySQL. Any computer book with a black cat on the cover gets my attention.

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.

Bye for now!