What other tools, if any, do you use?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that many of you are multi-instrumentalists. I’m not, really. I’m just an acoustic guitar player (and for the most part, for my own stuff, it’s just strumming). Oh, I can strum my electrics, and maybe play some rhythm with them, and I tinker with bass guitar, but that’s another story…

I’m considering trying to take up other instruments, but that’s beside the point of this post.

Are there any tools “external” to Audacity that you use to “substitute” for instruments? I have a couple that I’m thinking of using (I have them installed, just haven’t made any “tracks” using them yet) for future songs (or possible re-mixes, eventually), but I don’t know if I can post them on here. One is a digital drum machine, and the other is a “sheet music” type of software that allows for many different types of instruments. Though even that seems like it would take a while to do.

And since I will be focusing mostly on country music, I figured I can use my drum machine software for some drums, and the sheet music software for things like violin/fiddle, piano (where needed) and bass guitar.

Of course, that still leaves me with learning how to play country lead, but I think if I can learn some simple lead that might be good for future recording sessions. It also opens up the potential for having to learn “lap steel” (I found one for relatively cheap, so if I try it and it doesn’t work, I’m not out a whole lot of money).

So do you use additional, “external” tools to sub for instruments? How did it work out?

Note that “Audacity can load VST effects (but not VST instruments)”. See https://www.audacityteam.org/download/plug-ins/

Audacity is an open-source project. I would think that there would be no problem posting source code tools. But I am not sure if I am understanding your question correctly.

I’ve recently got to play around with these two tools; Drumbit and Musicgrid.
These two programs are easy to use as a beginner.
If you are looking for more variety in instruments, if you have access to garage band, I like to use that program as well.
In the end as long as you can convert the sound files to MP3 or WAV files, it can be easily imported to Audacity.
I also play around with acoustic instruments , but now I’ve been switching over to electric acoustics(guitar and uke), so that its directly linked to my 2 channel audio mixer, so I wont get any background sound if I decide to play live.

I’m not exactly sure where you’re going with that. Even if you have software that sounds like several instruments, you still have to play them somehow. You might involve MIDI in there. You can make a MIDI song sound like other instruments and in the older MIDI you could do that to 16 different instruments at once. Audacity support for MIDI isn’t too good. so that’s right out of our world.

So do you use additional, “external” tools to sub for instruments?

Sort of, but probably not what you want. I have a small Yamaha keyboard with a bunch of different voices including drums and rhythm backing. I connect the headphone socket to audacity and do everything else through overdubbing. Lay down the main theme while listening to a click track. Play that and add the drums, then play both of those and add the bass, etc. etc. My computer has stereo line-in, but you can get the same effect with a stereo line adapter such as the Behringer UCA202 (which supports overdubbing).

Once you get everything set up, you can mount an existing song as backing track and play along with the original artist—and record the whole thing.


What about something like MuseScore, or the Hydrogen Drum Machine? Those are the things I was talking about.

But I was also “introduced” to Band In A Box…which, I can then make tracks that way, import them into Audacity, and do my vocals in Audacity, correct anything I need to with my vocals as best as I can, and do things that way.

Mostly I work with real instruments and record via a mixing desk into Audacity.

When I do use software generated sounds and effects, some that I use most commonly:

Synthesizers & samplers:
QSynth (fluidsynth)

Calf LV2


and of course, Nyquist for both synthesis and effects: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/nyquist.html