Song automation

Good day everyone,

I’m sorry if this is posted somewhere else. This is on Windows 10 with version 2.4.2. My school group and I are trying to figure out if we can use Audacity to record each individual note separately and then, either with a tool or macro, automate a song by essentially saying, “Okay this note is first. Then this note comes second, and then this note is third,” etc. Is this possible, and if it is, could you direct me to where I may find out how to do this. My team and I are completely new to Audacity, and we’re not very musically inclined, so as much hand-holding as possible would be greatly appreciated. :smiley:

Best regards

It sounds like you are trying to reinvent a tracker.

Perhaps try OpenMPT!

Well… Audacity probably isn’t the best tool.

You can use Generate → Tone to generate tones at a specific frequency and duration. A [u]note-to-frequency chart[/u] will be handy.

But, the simple tones are not very “interesting” and there is no built-in [u]ADSR[/u] character to the note/tone.

You might look into [u]MIDI[/u]. (Audacity is not a MIDI application and I’m not a MIDI expert.) MIDI is basically “sheet music for computers”. It’s notes & timing plus some other information like the instrument to be played so if you have a MIDI file you can play it back as a piano or trumpet, etc.

Most of the background music you hear on TV & movies is now MIDI, and one composer/producer can create the sound of a whole band or orchestra. Typically MIDI music is created using a keyboard (a musical keyboard, not a computer keyboard :wink: ) but it CAN be done entirely on a computer and you don’t have to know how to play an instrument.

and we’re not very musically inclined

The more you can learn about music & music theory, the better!

I appreciate everyone’s feed back, but I don’t think I conveyed my thoughts very well. For this group project, we have to create our own cheap instruments and record a song (specifically Ode to Joy in this case). These instruments hypothetically are capable of playing the song. We can go about playing the song one of three ways: we can record ourselves playing Ode to Joy together, we could record each scale (high, mid-high, mid-low, and low) separately and then combine them together to make the whole song, or we can record each distinct note in the song separately and piece Ode to Joy together note soundbite by note soundbite. The third option may be my group’s best option if we can figure that out since none of us actually have experience playing any instruments.

You can do it manually with Audacity, but it’s a bit long-winded.
This page shows the MIDI note number for each note of a the usual “diatonic” scale: Computer Music: MIDI Key Number Chart

In Audacity you can use the “Generate > Pluck” effect to create single notes: Pluck - Audacity Manual
So for the notes: B B C D
you need to MIDI notes 59 59 60 62
and so on.

OK, this “ODE” song would make an interesting exercise. There are only five notes. In the key of C, they would be simply, C, D, E, F, and G. You could record someone singing or humming each note in each of five separate tracks, which we will call C, D, E, F, and G, respectively. If you do this in Audacity, make sure that you go to Preferences and turn OFF overdub while recording, and best to record in mono. Label (rename) the tracks.

Now, you can create a new track and copy track E to the new track. Then skip to the end of the track and again paste E. Now, select and copy F and paste that to the end of your ODE track. You could build up the whole song manually this way.

I am not sure how to pass parameters to macros, but you could certainly set up five macros to append one of these five notes to ODE. The biggest problem you may have is that although Audacity will help you “build” your song, I’m not sure Audacity would play it in real time - you would have to build the whole song first and then play it.

I hope this helps. If not, I hope I have given you some ideas. Also, re-read the comments supplied by the forum elves. They are very knowledgeable and have varied experiences. :smiley: