If I am not in the right topic, I am sorry
You can delete it if I did a mistake
Sometimes ago I wroted an article about the freeware
Jeskola Buzz tracker (created by Okari Tammelin).
Main site : http://www.buzzmachines.com/
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
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.
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 :
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
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
There is also some improvisation machine (automatic improvisation -
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
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
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.
it here :
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
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 :
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
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 +
Here is how he describes the way he uses Buzz :
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"
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).
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
If you took a VSTi synth and connect it directly to the Master, it will sounds
This is because VSTi synths have internal reverb, chorus or compressor and
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
- 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 ?
developer (Oskari Tammelin) crashed his hard disk on which was all the original code of
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.
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
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.
site help section if you have problems.
the buzzmachines.com site
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.
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.
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 :
Monkey Business, 03:34’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 5038 kb :
Funk. This is 100% Buzz. Only the vocals are sampled loops. Needs some
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
Easy lizzy -th0-mono-guiT-mic Mix, 05:38’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 7944
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.
March, 03:28’, mp3 192 Kb/s, 4876 kb :
Classical. Unfinished and quickly done in one evening. Free VST and free
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.
all this was useful
Thanks to read and sorry to be so long.
Edited by Martin Walker (27/08/11 04:35 PM)