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How To Create A 6/8 Beat Using Audacity

May 22, 2018 - By 

Audacity is a musical composition program downloadable for free. There are limitations with this program, but they allow producers to “think outside the box.” One way we can “think about the box” is by composing a basic 6/8 drumbeat with Audacity.

Here’s a sample of the track we’ll be producing today:

Here is how to do it.

1. ADDING A CLICK TRACK

Audacity doesn’t come with an attached grid. We’ll create one.

Go to Generate > Rhythm track.

This adds a metronome to your entire track, in order to keep you on beat for additional add-ons.

In the below window, change Tempo to 180 beats per minute and change Beats per measure to 6.

Your click track will look like this.

Now go to Analyze > Beat Finder.

Once you’ve selected “Beat Finder,” you will see a “threshold” window. Don’t change it. This just tells you how sensitive it is.

The threshold window will give you markers reading “B.”

The clicks and the B’s are slightly “off,” meaning they don’t connect precisely. Let’s snap them together. First, zoom in by clicking the magnifying glass icon with a plus sign “+”.

Before you do anything else, make sure “snap to” on the bottom of your screen is selected, reading “Nearest.”

Select the Time Shift Tool, then click “rewind.” (Time Shift first, then rewind.)

Move your clicking sounds slightly right so they snap on a gold yellow line. This line will appear vertically from the B’s and lock the clicks and B’s together.

2. IMPORTING DRUM SOUNDS

2a. KICK

Go to File > Import > Audio. (Or type Ctrl+Shift+I.)

Import a kick. Any one. (Here’s one I chose.)

In that folder, I found this, but you might need to source drum or soundkits to personalize your project.  Check out the latest soundkits from our featured producer AraabMuzik if you’re interested.

(Once you’ve selected your kick, you’ll get an “FFmpeg not found” window. It doesn’t mean much. Just click OK.)

A kick should appear below the B’s.

Snap the kick in place by selecting Time Shift Tool then “rewind.” (Just like you did for the clicks.)

Loop this kick seven times at every two second mark (plus approximately 17 milliseconds to keep on beat with the metronome). Click the selection tool (shaped like an uppercase I) and highlight the kick from its beginning to the sixth clicking sound, as shown below.

To really make sure you’re selection is accurately two seconds apart, go down to the bottom of your screen and type your start and end markers exactly two seconds from each other.

Now go to Effect > Repeat.

Type “7” in the empty box to repeat your kick 8 times.

 

2b. HI-HAT

Go to File > Import > Audio. Import a closed hi-hat. Any one.

Once the hi-hat is in your project, snap it to the beginning clicking sound, like you did with the kick.

Use the select tool to highlight a selection between the beginning of your hi-hat and the next clicking sound. This should be one-third of a second apart.

To be accurate with the length of your selection, type this in “start and end of selection.”

Go to Effect > Repeat. Repeat it 5 times.

I asked you to repeat it only five times, because if you repeated that selection more, the hi-hats would drag off beat as your track plays.

To repeat these six hi-hats so they fit on beat, select the below range in your hi-hat track…

…go to Effect > Repeat. Then repeat that section 7 times.

2c. SNARE

In File > Import > Audio, pick any snare.

Snap the snare to the FOURTH clicking sound.

When selecting the loop containing the snare that you wish to repeat, make sure it’s two seconds apart, like the kick.

Select Effects > Repeat to repeat the snare 7 times.

 

  1. EXPORTING

Before you export this project, delete the track with the clicking and the track with the B’s. Click the X on each track to the left of “Audio Track.”

Now go to File > Export.

Use WAV this time. (MP3 exporting requires a plug-in I’m not sure comes with what you use.) Just save any random WAV file name to what’s below.

Add metadata (optional).

And you’re set!  Feel free to download and use the track we provided at the beginning of our article and sound off in the comments if you wanted other popular drum beats broken down.  If you’re looking for the hottest hip hop beats online look no further then License Lounge.


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How To Create A Four-On-The-Floor Beat Using Audacity

April 30, 2018 - By 

There are many ways to compose music on a computer. If you’re familiar with my beat breakdowns, you most likely know by now that I love to use FL Studio 12 to make beats. It’s not the only program recommendable. Audacity is another commonly used software for musical composition, and you can download it for free online.

If you would like to make a simple four-on-the-floor drumbeat on Audacity, here’s how.

1. OPENING YOUR PROJECT

When you open up Audacity and see the screen below, don’t bother with any other options than OK. Just click OK.

2. ADDING A CLICK TRACK

Audacity doesn’t come with an attached grid. We’ll create one.

Go to Generate > Rhythm track.

This adds a metronome to your entire track, in order to keep you on beat for additional add-ons. In the below window, leave everything as is. (Remember your tempo is 120 bpm.)

Your click track will look like this.

Now go to Analyze > Beat Finder.

Once you’ve selected “Beat Finder,” you will see a “threshold” window. Don’t change it. This just tells you how sensitive it is.

The threshold window will give you markers reading “B.”

The clicks and the B’s are slightly “off,” meaning they don’t connect precisely. Let’s snap them together. First, zoom in by clicking the magnifying glass icon with a plus sign “+”.

Before you do anything else, make sure “snap to” on the bottom of your screen is selected, reading “Nearest.”

Select the Time Shift Tool, then click “rewind.” (Time Shift first, then rewind.)

Move your clicking sounds slightly right so they snap on a gold yellow line. This line will appear vertically from the B’s and lock the clicks and B’s together.

3. IMPORTING DRUM SOUNDS

3a. SNARE

Go to File > Import > Audio. (Or type Ctrl+Shift+I.)

Import a kick. Any one. (Here’s one I chose.)

(In that folder, I found this.)

(Once you’ve selected your kick, you’ll get an “FFmpeg not found” window. It doesn’t mean much. Just click OK.)

A kick should appear below the B’s.

Snap the kick in place by selecting Time Shift Tool then “rewind.” (Just like you did for the clicks.)

Loop this kick seven times at every half-second mark (plus approximately 17 milliseconds to keep on beat with the metronome). Click the selection tool (shaped like an uppercase I) and highlight the kick from its beginning to the next clicking sound (where the yellow line snaps you in place).

To really make sure you’re selection is accurately half a second apart, go down to the bottom of your screen and type your start and end markers exactly 0.5 seconds from each other.

Now go to Effect > Repeat.

Type “7” in the empty box to repeat your kick 8 times.

3b.HI-HAT

Just follow the same instructions you used to add the kicks. The only difference should be importing a hi-hat instead of a kick.

3c. SNARE

In File > Import > Audio, pick any snare.

Snap the snare to the SECOND clicking sound.

When selecting the loop containing the snare that you wish to repeat, make sure it’s one second apart, not a half second.

Select Effects > Repeat to repeat the snare “3” times instead of “7.”

4. EXPORTING

Before you export this project, delete the track with the clicking and the track with the B’s. Click the X on each track to the left of “Audio Track.” After that, they should be gone.

(This step is optional. You can loop your whole composition four times by typing Ctrl+A to select all tracks, making sure your selection is four seconds apart on the bottom of the screen, and typing “3” in the Effects > Repeat box to insert three repetitions.)

Now go to File > Export.

Use WAV this time. (MP3 exporting requires a plug-in I’m not sure comes with what you use.) Just save any random WAV file name to what’s below.

Add metadata (optional).

5. MORE ON AUDACITY

Audacity is a powerful software, yet it has limitations. Luckily, these limitations allow producers to think “outside the box.”

If you are looking for the best place to buy beats online, you’ve come to the right place. License Lounge has the latest dirty south beats available from our exclusive industry producers.


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Beginner Tutorials for Audacity – Part 1: Installation and Plugins

March 19, 2018 - By 

Audacity is one of the top free DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) available on the market and is one of the few to remain completely open-source.  While some DAWs like FL Studio have a free version, you generally need to pay the full fee in order to get all of the software features. This isn’t the case with Audacity.

Installing Audacity

Audacity is available for a free download here, and maintains updated versions for Windows, MacOS, as well as Linux.  

After running your installer take note of the location of your installation folder as you’ll need this to manually install some plugins and filters.  Generally the default address is C:\Program Files\(x86)\Audacity\Plug-Ins.

When download new plugins you’ll need to drop them into that folder in order to access them via the software’s main dashboard.

Finding and Installing Effects and Filters

As Audacity is open source, there’s a huge amount of open source plugins, effects, and filters you can take advantage of that might normally be a paid add-on for standard DAWS.

Once installed to your file location, you can reach the list of installed plugins and activate or deactivate them by navigating to the Plugin Manager within Audacity.

You can reach this three ways:

Generate > Add / Remove Plugins

Effect > Add / Remove Plugins

Analyze > Add / Remove Plugins

Once selected you’ll be presented with this screen:

From here you can view the installed plugins and activate new ones you may have just added.

Nyquist Based Plugins

Nyquist is a programming language focusing on sound synthesis and analysis and provides the backbone for a number of Audacity’s plugin libraries.

Audacity’s team maintain a full curated list of plugins available in this language and you need to download these, and drop those into the C:\Program Files\(x86)\Audacity\Plug-Ins folder in order to activate them.

What are LADSPA Based Plugins

LADSPA is a common plugin language used across multiple DAWs that stands for “Linux Audio Developers Simple Plug-in API”.  You’ll need to install this directly into the plugin folder within your existing Audacity install in order to access the library of LADSPA plugins.  

Once installed you follow the same instructions as Nyquist based plugins in order to install these effects and features.

LADSPA (despite having “Linux” in the name) can be used across all operating systems – the Linux in the name just refers to the language the plugin was originally built in.  This plugin opens up a number of effects and filters that are to be used alongside the main LADSPA plugin. Linux-sound.com maintains a curated list of effects, filters, as well as a number of scripts for plugin developers to use.

The LADSPA homepage also maintains a running list of various LADSPA based plugins.

Moving Forward With Audacity

As one of the larger free open-source DAWs, we’re going to continue to publish tutorials and tips for producers using this type of software.

While it’s commonly known there is a bit of a learning curve to open-source software (compared to more common tools like FL Studio and ProTools) Audacity still remains as a powerful piece of software that has the almost unlimited ability to be customized to fit the needs of your studio.

 


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