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Jeskola Buzz tracker new
      #295623 - 11/05/06 10:09 PM
If I am not in the right topic, I am sorry
You can delete it if I did a mistake

Hi all,

Sometimes ago I wroted an article about the freeware Jeskola Buzz tracker (created by Okari Tammelin).
Main site :

I thought it may interest some of you.

It's a large overview of buzz. I didnt speak about ALL the stuff related to Buzz, just a general point of view.
It was written for people that dont know Buzz at all.
I post it here too, hoping some of you will be interested
I am sorry about my poor english. I hope you will understand me.

Buzz, an incredible story.

- 1) What is Buzz ?

This "home-studio" is free. F.R.E.E
Buzz is a freeware.
With it you can write a song from scratch, mastering it and export it as an audio file to burn on cd by example.
It offers so much that you may think : if it's free, that means that it's not very good, it may produce a poor quality sounding.
In fact it's wrong but it's a bit long to explain why. We'll see that later in the article.
And sure, Buzz doesnt offer a fancy GUI, full of 3D graphics that make it looks more like a X-Wing than a music software.
But this is why you can use it on a pentium 166 with 64 mb of ram!!
So, ok, I admit that sometimes, for a Buzz newbie, it's like working with Excel to make music
In fact buzz is very easy to use. Take a look at the beginner's tutorial here, you'll see that the use of Buzz is very clear and simple :

If you check any commercial software, you'll see that no one offers as much tools (I mean for such a price).

- 2) What is provided with it ?

In Buzz you'll find "machines". A machine is a module that you can connect to another module (that's why we say that Buzz is modular).
You have mainly two kind of machines : generators (machines that produce sounds, like synths, drum machines and sampler - there is more than 250 generators)
and effects (you know that : reverb, Eq, filters, chorus, compressor, mixing table and many other from the very simple to the very sophisticated filter - about 350/400 of them).
In addition, there is some "special" machines like the Peer series.
It's a bit long to explain here but the idea is to "drive" another machine and this way you can use automation to tweak any parameters of the machine. A simple example : you make the level of the cutoff of a synth goes high and low, this way you create an "automated wah-wah" but you can do many, many, many other crazy things with Peer machines.
There is also some improvisation machine (automatic improvisation - automatic composition).
There is one artist that is a specialist of these these Peer machines and improvisation machines.
He is french and is name is Tinga. What you hear in his music is created with and BY machines. Tinga didnt wrote what you hear.
It's all automatically generated !! All buzzers know Tinga's work, it's fascinating.
His files are the only one where you dont have to press the Play button to play the music (you open the original file in Buzz and it plays songs automaticaly!!)
You are lucky because one day Tinga registered this automated music and export it as mp3. If you have not Buzz you can listen to his music.
Listen to it here : ongid=2747

And dont forget VSTi, VST effects, samples, soundfonts and midi/it/xm/xi/mod/s3m file import (with an external tool)!!
Imagine ALL that you can do with such a musical arsenal
The VST wrapper in Buzz is certainly one of the best that you can find today, commercial wrapper included.
Take a look here :
and you'll discover how powerful is this VST loader.

- 3) I create my music with samples and loops, can I use Buzz ?

Buzz is able to work with samples only (one note sample for musical instruments, one shot samples for drums, and looped samples and sampled music from other artists or sample cd).
Like Acid Pro, Magix or e-Jay softwares, Traktion and so on.
You have the choice between many samples machines full of great functionalities.
There is also since some months two new interesting generators for working with samples :
PitchWizard, a machine that can do pitch time stretching and this is amazing coz the only other free time stretch stuff that I know is the AnalogX freeware (not very good by the way), all others are commercial (and not always as powerful).
PitchWizard can pitch a sample to a higher or lower note "without changing the original bpm" and without changing the "original length".
Many commercial softwares editors would like to have a machine like that coz it's very hard to code (there is not so much of time stretch pitching software).
The second machine that could interest people working with loops (and particularly with drumloops) is Live Slice.
This is what the coder say about it :
"...lets you manipulate your loops in a visual environment. The loop is split into 4,8,16, or 32 slices of equal length, that can be rearranged using drag and drop".
More info about it here :

I know some Buzz artists using Buzz with samples and loops only.
Example : trunk79 from Australia. He records all the loops with his band and build the song with Buzz (Fx + EQ + Mastering).
Here is how he describes the way he uses Buzz :

"ok so technically (songs) are made in buzz, all my songs are made from loops of recordings so no buzz synths, vocals are recorded and then dump the 3minute file in buzz, buzz is the best loops and sample manager, I can have over 30 Matilde trackers (a famous Buzz sample player) running with delays/comp/eq, playing over 80 samples in a song, including a 3min vocal track and still only 6% cpu usage, try doing that with any other samplers"
A trunk's song :

- 4) And if I want to write my music by myself, with instruments ?

Of course, you can use the included buzz native synths and Fx, soundfonts, samples and VST to create your music.
Sometimes, here and there, I saw some people saying that Buzz doesn't sounds very good.
I think they say that just because it's free. They think : if it's commercial, it's better (or it sounds better).
The fact is that if you connect a synth directly to the Master (the sound output), it will sounds sometimes a bit flat.
This is because unlike VST, Buzz synths dont provide internal FX.
If you took a VSTi synth and connect it directly to the Master, it will sounds better.
This is because VSTi synths have internal reverb, chorus or compressor and so on.
So it will sounds immediately better.
A buzz synth can sounds as good without problem, but you have to add by yourself the needed Fx.
This seems annoying but in fact this is why I like it so much!
When you understand that, you know that you can create the sound of your dream.
You are totally free. I have used some native Buzz synths in very different way and with a totally different sound each time.
By example, there is a synth called PercFM. I used it to create bass synth, bass guitar, ePiano/rhodes like and some other original sounds.
This helps me a lot to understand how audio works and learn which kind of tool is needed for this task.
Here are two songs that are "Produce in Buzz using almost 100% Buzz synths and no VST effects. These are roughly mixed and unmastered, this is raw Buzz output." like say the author, HamsterAlliance.

- 5 ) What is the future of Buzz ?

I have choose as title for this article "Buzz, an incredible story." for a good reason.
Buzz is dead!!
The soft himself didnt change at all since 1999 (I think). Why ?
Because the developer (Oskari Tammelin) crashed his hard disk on which was all the original code of Buzz...
But the software never died. It's the same that in 1999 but many "external" improvments have been added.
One of the most important was the Overloader (created by Cyanphase, another great buzz coder) which added a lot of functionality.
The last version of the Overloader added some great features like some internal wav editor to work on wav (and mp3) samples directly in Buzz.
Check the cyanphase site if you want to know more about Buzz machines coding :

So Buzz is a kind of "Zombie software". It's dead but alive in the same time.
Plugin development never stops, better, there is more and more coders involved about Buzz with more and more innovative stuff.
But if Buzz is dead, some childs are coming
There is some new software in project (more or less advanced) to replace Buzz.
The most advanced and the most interesting is BUZZle done by Hotkey.
More info here :

Some words from Hotkey :
"The main goal is to have a good successor to Buzz with new features. But what I definately do NOT want to do is to introduce an all-new machine architecture. Almost 100% of all Buzz machines work in BUZZle. In addition to that VST's, VSTi's and some more audio APIs are planned to be natively loadable, too. BMX (native Buzz file format) files are supported as far as possible - including compressed samples!"
Hotkey did a great job. It's Buzz but with great enhancements

I hope you know Buzz better now and will try it one day.

Some useful links :
plenty of tips, tricks, faq, technical stuff...
if you dont have the buzz manual you can download it here in english and in some different language.
the site help section if you have problems.
the site FAQ
a wikki page with tons of help.

If you’re interested, here is a pack of 10 songs I produce with Buzz, I tried to choose some songs in some different genres. Sorry, all these songs are Work In Progress, they are not totally finished.

Movin Day, 01:35’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 2249 kb :

R&B. Made with Buzz synths and Fx. I used too a free VST for the accoustic piano. The choir are made with the free version of SampleTank.

The Smile, 03:48’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 5357 kb :

Jazz. Here I used some “external” instruments. Free soundfonts for the sax, bass and flute, mda free VST for the the ePiano, drums are programmed with a native Buzz drum machine (SampleGrid) with one shot samples, the guitar is a real guitar played by a great artist called Blipp. All other is Buzz native.

Are you experienced Jimi, 06:46’, mp3 160 Kb/s, 7949 kb :

NuJazz. Same inspiration and more or less same setup than the previous one but here the guitar is played by guiTmic, another talented french jazz guitarist : guiTmic.

Monkey Business, 03:34’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 5038 kb :

Funk. This is 100% Buzz. Only the vocals are sampled loops. Needs some mastering.

Underwater Paradise, 04: 03’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 5714 kb :

Chill. 100% Buzz again. Drums are a buzz drumsynth. This one was written to test some new Buzz synths.

Horizon, 02:29’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 3505 kb :

Poetry. Some free VST, buzz synths, free soundfonts, vocals were made with free online synthetic voice generator. The poem is from Christina Rossetti.

Where is the beast, 02:39’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 3749 kb :

Acid Jazz. Buzz synths (bass, pads and leads), buzz drum machine, one brass sample (tweaked with a lot of Fx) and a free VST for the gapped synth near the end.

Easy lizzy -th0-mono-guiT-mic Mix, 05:38’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 7944 kb :

Synthpop. All done with Buzz except the (real) guitar solo between 01:54’ and 02:40’ played by guiTmic. Vocoded vocals are made with buzz native vocoders and synthetic voice

The Man behind The Door, 02:29’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 3499 kb :

Jazz/Latin. Mainly all done with Buzz, only the piano is mda free vst and the ePiano is also a free VST, ZynadubFx if I remember well.

2006 March, 03:28’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 4876 kb :

Classical. Unfinished and quickly done in one evening. Free VST and free Soundfonts.

99% of the Fx used in these songs are Buzz Fx. All other are free VST Fx.

Some of my songs are avalaible as BMX (Buzz original format). If you're interested just to check and study it, just ask.

I hope all this was useful

Thanks to read and sorry to be so long.

Edited by Martin Walker (27/08/11 04:35 PM)

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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies

Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17904
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Jeskola Buzz Tracker [Re: magmavander]
      #295808 - 12/05/06 09:15 AM
Welcome to the SOS Forums magmavander!

I've moved your post from the PC Music forum, as it fits far better into the User Reports section.

Well done by the way!



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