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March 9th, 2010

Time was, if your company needed quality music – for a Web site, a presentation, a commercial – you would spend a lot of money on rights to commercial productions, or go to a recording studio and have the engineers put together a “package deal” for you. Paying for musicians, engineers, equipment and studio time adds up fast. A new generation of composition and soundtrack tools now brings the power of pro music to smaller businesses, and CRE has the equipment to help you produce music on any budget, all the way up to G5 with Kona card rentals that can handle any audio job you want to tackle.

For high-quality drum sounds the “old” way, you would have had to set up a drummer and his kit in a room with baffles, sound deflectors, etc. Band in a BoxNow you can get digital samples, the actual sounds of real drums, in various sample kits from numerous manufacturers. These and other sounds – orchestra instruments, basses, guitars, all kinds of pianos, organs, synthesizers, and more – are also included in such “studio in a box” programs as Sonic Fire, Adobe Soundbooth, Band-in-a-Box and some members of the Cakewalk family. You can even cobble together music tracks with no outboard equipment whatsoever (or use analog mixing boards like CRE offers among its audio visual equipment rentals).

Adding analog

If you have more to accomplish than a self-contained program can offer, you can take the next step up with entry-level programs like Apple’s Garageband or Cakewalk’s Home Studio, which are based on “loops” that you put together like puzzle pieces. They are competent in the tracking arena, but fall somewhat short in terms of plug-ins and quality of effects (like reverb) that are essential to a project. Still, you can add a USB, Firewire or PCI-based audio interface allowing you to use microphones and electronic instruments to add real sounds to the real-sounding samples in your computer.

The pro level studios use one or more of the major Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software applications – Digidesign’s Pro Tools, Apple’s Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer (Mac only), Sonar (PC only) others – and you can also get “lite” versions like Logic Express, that will get you into the game and will run fine on mid-range PCs and  iMac rentals. Depending on the results you need to get, you can even get hold of a good sound professional and one of the Mac Pro rentals from CRE and still save a bundle over the alternatives.

Decisions, decisions

If you need to get some music tracks in a hurry without recording anything, you should choose “soundtrack” software that doesn’t require anything at all except a computer – no microphones, no interfaces, nothing. If you have more time (and expertise) then you move up one or two notches as described above. The more involved, the better the results, of course. Weigh your needs against your budget and capabilities, and then go for it. CRE can help in any way you need.

When you start a new project that’s a little different, you can count on CRE’s experienced Account Executives to inform you about all the options available. Call or send an e-mail, or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we will get you set up however you need. When it’s time to get the job done and done right, you can count on CRE to support you with the right information, equipment and expertise, so that you can make the “sound” move.

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