“I’m looking for a music re-mix program. I don’t currently plan on recording my own music. I want something simple that will allow me to sample loops of pre-recorded music from my collection of CDs and MP3s and layer them together in tracks to create new ‘musical collages’. In other words, take a James Brown song, create a loop out of one bar of a riff, add another loop created from a horn solo by Miles Davis, and continue adding tracks, layering, fading in and out, etc. just for amateur fun. Don’t need pro quality features. Anything like that out there?”
There are a ton of application choices for sampling music from your person collection and building music collages. Prices for looping software range from free up into the hundreds of dollars range. While you could go with a pro tool like Propellerhead’s Reason or Sony Acid, I would suggest starting with one of the more basic tools that get you started in creating your own loops and samples.
At the free end of the spectrum, Audacity allows you to import any music, cut a music track to the length you want, and loop the selection while layering other music on top of your loop. Audacity’s interface isn’t the most intuitive and it lacks a number of features that allow you to quickly add in additional sounds like drum beats. Audacity is truly for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to do everything manually. If you want to experiment with music sampling without being out of pocket, download Audacity and get started immediately.
Jumping to a slightly higher price point, Mixcraft is another great alternative for building your own samples and loops. Mixcraft also supports a wide range of loops you can import and work with, as well as the ability to layer virtual instruments easily under your own edit music samples. The Mixcraft interface is far more intuitive than Audacity, making it faster to get the results you want. I frequently use Mixcraft to quickly build simple audio loops. You can try Mixcraft for free, so if you want to compare the two applications, download Mixcraft and see which solution looks like it might be better for your needs.