Lets talk DAWs and Audio Engines

BroGamer #563 0 70

Hey I was just looking through the link library, a very cool collection. However, in the audio section I realised there were a couple things missing. I use the DAW use Studio One 3 its free (limited AF though, I think they don't allow VST plug ins) or there are two paid versions. Its a pretty serious tool though.


Just a heads up about DAWs, so far on my search I have not yet found a DAW that is free and good A when I mean free I mean completely free, limited time free or free until you start making money I'm not considering free because you still need to buy a license eventually. DAWs are expensive (Generally). The best DAW that is close to free I would recommend Reaper. I haven't used it much, but from what I've seen its pretty sweet. Then next would be Ardour, its not free, its pay what you want. So thats pretty sweet. I haven't used it yet, but its going to be my next download. For linux users who are serious about audio, Ardour is really your only choice by the looks. Rosegarden is pretty shite and LMMS is more of a loop stations like FL studio. I used to be and still am a big fan of Logic Pro, IMO its the best DAW, so if you have a Mac go for that.

Audio Engines

Audio Egnine - Wwise, and FMOD also need a mention in there. As a composer and programmer I know audio is an after thought in a lot of games. But don't let it be, think about how you're going to use audio effects and score your game in the earliest possible stages.

Also for any Unity developers there is a pretty sweet audio engine called Psai, its about $15 (in my currency) and its amaizingly powerful. However I am only just learning to use it, they have stop development (updates) but the engine is tight and flawless, and they are still active on the forums. Plus the give source code so if there is broken stuff you can always fix it :). They good documentation and tutorials but its pretty old, so I'm going to try my best to learn it fast and do some of my own.

Anyway, any other game composers or audio programmers out there? Let me know your thoughts on your journy so far. There are very few of us, lets stick together :D

Fodder #593 0 41

I'm a music composer, I made all the music for my game which I've uploaded as a project on this site (Not playable yet - sorry.)

The DAW I use is OpenMPT. Its learning curve is extremely steep, and I don't know anything about VSTs, but OpenMPT has a very powerful sample/instrument _____ (engine? correct word here). It can use pretty much any sound file as a sample to be used as an instrument. It's also completely free.

BroGamer #563 0 70

Nice, I haven't heard of that one will check it out. - I have one question, if you found the learning curve extremely steep (I'm guessing you mean hard to learn) what made you  stick at it and not find another easier DAW to use? Based on looking at the screen shots it made want to cry lol where is the piano roll? There are too many numbers 0.0

Fodder #593 0 41

Ahah I started using it because it is what my brother used to use. I stuck with it because I couldn't find anything as powerful as it, except maybe MilkyTracker but in my mind OpenMPT was just as good so there was no point in switching. And there is no piano roll, each channel is a timeline straight downwards. I like to think it's neatly organized that way.

Jmcm16 #1004 0 37

Nice to see more music composers here!

A little background: I have experience with a program similar to OpenMPT (a tracker), and constantly work in Logic Pro X (a DAW).

Trackers are not the same as DAWs. Both serve the same function for music in video games, but in drastically different ways. Trackers come from the early days of game music programming when file storage was a premium. Instead of streaming MP3 audio, you could use code to trigger music cues such as effects, notes, and patterns (or phrases) not unlike MIDI. Unlike MIDI, trackers offer more custom instrument options and integrate more nicely in game engines. It's easier to store one small snare hit audio sample and play the music by code than have a whole track inside of a long music audio file.

As for DAWs, they focus on building music cues by long audio files now that games can contain GBs worth of information. The cool part is that we can process the music a whole lot more before it even hits the game engine.

Unity natively supports both tracker and audio files, although trackers are becoming a more dated and primitive option. It's best to view it this way: if you are a programmer who loves hexadecimal numbers and numerical data, trackers are a wonderful way to go! They give you a very data-driven music approach. If you are like me, and far more musically oriented, DAWs give you a lot of freedom with traditional music terminology without being bogged down on all the numbers.

Do note that trackers are simpler to get started into, as there are many free ones available online to just dive in. Most good DAWs can cost anywhere from $100 to $600 depending on if you want extra sounds and more. 

TLDR: Trackers are data-driven by numbers and easy to find. DAWs deal with audio directly and can be more expensive up front. Both are used to create game music in different ways for different reasons.

Hope this helps!

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