Mixere is a free multitrack audio file mixer capable of playing multiple file types simultaneously. It runs on Windows NT/2000/XP, and supports WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, and Mod audio files.
The program allows you to load an interface known as a Document which consists of a number of tracks, each containing a single audio file. Imagine a rack full of media players connected to an automated mixer. Each track can be run as an independent sound file with basic transport and mixing controls for play, pause, stop, loop, mute, solo, volume, pan, pitch and position for selecting cue points. Many operations can be performed on multiple tracks at once, e.g. mute/solo, toggle play, toggle loop, etc. The usual Windows options are available including cut-and-paste, insert and delete, text search, similar in style to a spreadsheet.
Multiple Documents (GUIs) can be loaded for quick access to sound palettes and mixes. Document Snapshots can be saved for restoring mix parameter setups later and shortcut keys can be used for rapid transitions in a performance. Audio files are streamed directly from hard disc instead of loading them into RAM first, making it possible to play large sound files, although performance will depend on the speed of the drive and system components. The amount of audio tracks is subject only to the limits of Windows and sound card performance.
Once you’ve saved some Documents (mixes) you can then use the Crossfader feature to fade between them. This gives you the creative option to combine two seperate mix events. All Document master controls can be automated including the master Volume, Tempo and Crossfading. By using Mute/Solo fade it’s possible to specify how long subsequent mute/solo operations should take. The duration can range from 1/100 of a second to 100 hours. This powerful feature allows complex crossfades to be created with minimal user interaction.
There’s a powerful on-the-fly automation feature which allows you to automate any slider at the click of a mouse. Within seconds you can program the dynamics, rate and range of an audio file’s output to rise and fall in volume, pan from side to side or fluctuate in pitch. This makes for some interesting mix textures and crossfades. Auto-triggering lets you get some space into a mix by setting a time for the audio to start playing.
In Mixere, tempo is a scaling factor that’s applied to automation times in audio tracks. There are no notes or time signatures in the traditional sense. The time axis can be shrunk or stretched from 0.5 (half time) to 2 (double time). Each document has its own tempo slider which can be programmed to slow down or speed up. For a full description of tempo, synchronization and other features see the documentation and help page.
Mixere is designed for interactive performance and can be used live to create multi-layered sound collages or ambient style mixes. As a tool the application is very useful for soundscaping and experimental composition. It’s different from conventional digital audio/MIDI sequencers and editors, there’s no linear time-line or musical bars and it has no onboard effects or plugin capabilities. Mixere’s ease of use and fast learning curve bring other practical advantages, especially for people who want to quickly create an audio composition but have no musical or programming experience.
Being a standalone application without an installer makes Mixere highly portable, able to fit on a floppy. Once you’ve downloaded the files simply copy them into a folder somewhere on your PC’s hard drive and launch Mixere.exe.
Mixere is open-source software licensed under the GPL, and uses an open-source audio library called Audiere.
- automated volume, pan, pitch sliders
- auto-triggering of audio
- comprehensive help documentation
- useful keyboard commands
- loads multiple documents
- crossfading between documents
- dynamic looping of audio
- fully automated sliders
- multiple Snapshots of documents for restoring parameter settings.
- "soft" (gradual) mute/solo operations
- supports WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, and Mod audio files.
- tempo scaling of all automated sliders
- unlimited undo
- Windows NT/2000/XP
allows mixing of multiple file formats simultaneously
intuitive interface and concept
quick and easy to learn and use, with clear onboard help
no limit on audio file size
open source freeware
scalable automation parameters globally
- doesn’t support musical notes or time signatures directly
- no MIDI
- no time-line sequencing
- no direct recording of output, requires audio capture software.
- no input recording, playback only
- no FX or plug-ins
Bear in mind some of the cons may be considered desirable in terms of learning curve, creativity, system requirements and usability.
Other Chris Korda Software
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Samples and Loops
If you need sound samples and loops try looking in the Audio category of DISS site. There are also some links in the Audio Resources list. Stay tuned because there’s a big post on the way about Remix Culture, with lots of great sound sample resources and open communities at the cutting edge of digital music.
Mixere and Whorld