Hey! Fiona, here, how ya doin'?
K, so, I've been noticing a lot of the same questions cropping up, eg, "Which site serves background music?", "Where can I get SFX?", "Audio Editors?", "Where can I get video clips?"
Now, this isn't by any means "THE definitive guide", so, chances are, I'll have missed a few things. If you spot something that you know of another resource for, put up a link in this thread.
So, here it is: Where to find what and stuff like that!
Okay, so this is one of the most sought after things I see. Sound Recorder is nice, yes, but frequently, producers look for high quality -- and Sound Recorder just cannot deliver. Plus, it's damned difficult to use for mixing.
EDITED: http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/main.html - Cool Edit is now called Adobe Audition. Find a crack at http://www.cracks.am/ . Just ignore the porn ads :p [/edit by TamTu]
Second best is Goldwave for recording and cleaning up lines. It's only got a trial version currently available, but hey, it works.
Next up is Audacity. This one is better than Goldwave if you want a decent audio mixer. It has a simple, clean and user friendly HCI. The recording facilities aren't too bad either. But it's noise reduction feature is darned difficult to use, which is a bit of a downside.
However, it IS freeware, so, you don't need cracks, nor do you need to pay a penny for a full version.
And for those wishing to (attempt) making karaoke files of their own:
AnalogX doesn't do too bad a job. But some times, it DOES botch the job completely.
Common radioplays and fandubs are those of the Sailor Moon series. If you're looking for music for Sailor Moon, go to: http://www.sailormusic.net/
For the "Pretty Guardian" stuff, go to: http://www.eternalwhiteprincess.com/pgsmmusic.htm for downloads.
Most producers can get their music through other resources. For example:
BitTorrent, if you have the software:
For game music, you can also turn to Blue Laguna: http://bluelaguna.net/pages/selectmp3.php --> They have a lot of Final Fantasy OSTs, as well as orchestral and piano arrangements, and OSTs for other games such as Kingdom Hearts, Chrono Cross, Lunar Silver Star and Tales of Symphonia.
For fan remixes of game music, OverClocked Remix is worth a shot (thanks for the reminder, Yun), as is VGMix.
Galbadia Hotel offers a large range of tracks from animé and video game OSTs. It's fairly new, but it's getting larger every day. Give that a shot, too.
Yunnie also suggests RealityLapse.com for lesser known animé BGM. ^^
You can also use Peer to Peer filesharing systems to download music (this, in fact, is my ally, and I highly recommend [sp?] it; WinMX): http://dld96.winmx.com/281553512/winmx331.exe
And mIRC is good for this too, if you know where to look:
A further resource is Anime Karaokes.com, which, according to Katie, has a large range of karaoke bgms available. <3 (I'm just checking it out, now, lol.) So, yeah, worth a visit -- it'll save you having to use vocal cuts.
If you have concerns about using animé/video game OSTs in the background of your project, there is another option open to you --
Creative Commons. This is a non-profit organization which offers music that has flexible copyrights -- that is, an artist can allow his or her music to be used for commercial or remixing use (though some only allow sampling [using only a very short clip of the music] or sharing [as opposed to use in commercial/remixing]). Most of the time, you can therefore use this music, so long as you credit the artist that created it.
Jing has suggested that some lesser known animé series may not have OSTs up for download, therefore it might make more sense to try buying it. Therefore, I'm including this section for any suggestions of sites where you can get good value for money buying OSTs.
~Yes Asia.com: http://www.yesasia.com
~CD Japan: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/index.html (Suggested by Seishiro)
Those on a 56k dialup find these particularly useful, though there's no reason why people on other connections can't benefit from them.
My reccommendation (sp?) is Download Accelerator Plus.
A problem has sometimes arisen with people being unable to encode MP3s because Lame Encoder DLLs are missing. So, here's a little linkie to help out.
Should be pretty obvious what these do. They playback your video and audio files.
And Windows Media Player frequently comes supplied with any Microsoft Operating System.
Spyware / Malware Removal:
K, so there's a lot of buggers out there who want to invade your computer with nonsense so they can track what sites you visit and even bug you with ads. However, there are some who do it for the heck of causing you some bother.
One such group is "CoolWebSearches", who hijack your homepage to one of their sites. The following software very neatly removes it.
Another personal reccommendation (sp?) is Ad-Aware 6.0. This searches your computer and allows you quarantine as well as remove the troublesome buggers.
The first website I'm gonna give has been one of my favourite allies in the past when working on productions.
You can also try: http://www.ljudo.com/
There's a bunch of other SFX websites that offer free sound fx at high quality:
http://www.audiolicense.com/sfx/default.asp <-- suggested by Lirifox. *hugs to you <3*
http://www.findsounds.com/ <-- suggested by Rpnara
For fandubbers, another resource -- videos!
Sailor Moon clips can be found here: http://www.millan.nu/sailormoon/multimedia/dramatic/
You can also get the full Pretty Guardian Episodes via SSUK:
And for Final Fantasy fans:
You should also be able to get hold of episodes and clips via the BitTorrent links given above.
Virtual Dub. I know many people who swear by it. It doesn't gain any brownie points with me, since I don't know how to use it, but.. *shrug*... maybe you can figure it out. ^.~
Plus it's freeware, so... it's at least better than other pieces of software that nag you to register.
The folks at Goldwave have made their own video editor available -- http://www.goldwave.com/
It's just a demo, though, and will only convert 40 or so seconds of video, which is a bit of a downside, considering that the HCI is pretty user friendly.
Also try: http://www.adobe.com/products/ (yeah, same address more or less where you get Adobe Audition) to download Adobe Premier. You might need a crack, so see above, under audio editing facilities.
For those looking for servers for their websites.
~ Geocities. ( http://www.geocities.com/ )
Yeah, okay, they constantly loose peoples' files, but it's relatively easy to use for any net n00b.
~ Freewebs. ( http://www.freewebs.com/ )
Notoriously slow for uploads and downloads (unless you have the paid WebZoom extra) Certainly userfriendly for building a website. Also has two settings -- beginner and expert.
~ Angelfire. ( http://www.angelfire.lycos.com/ )
Relatively user-friendly. Quick and easy to set up. But they don't like direct linking.
~PhotoBucket.com ( http://www.photobucket.com/ )
User-friendly, and used frequently to host image files, since it allows direct-linking (yay!). Avatars and sigs are commonly put here.
~MadeInMusic ( http://www.madeinmusic.com/ ) [Now EuropaMP3.org]
These folks earn major brownie points from me <3. This website offers webspace, and your own special page for your OWN music (for all those singers and musicians out there ^^). True, it's all in French, but they have a wee translatory-thing up on the top-left hand corner. Only other downside is that downloading is reserved for registered folks, but you CAN stream the music, which is good.
Another file server which runs along the same lines as YSI and MegaUpload, but your file stays there indefinitely. Won't be moved, won't be deleted. They're quite strict about copyright violations, though, apparantly.
If you only need webspace for a few days, you can also upload to:
~YouSendIt.com ( http://www.yousendit.com )
YouSendIt.com offer free space for any file that you upload. Basically, you upload, and it sends a link to your file to the email address that you provide before (it IS before, isn't it?) uploading. Your file stays there for somewhere in the region of a week.
~MegaUpload ( http://www.megaupload.com )
Here, your file stays in storage for a bit longer. The only drawback is that if your file has no downloads in 30 days, it will be removed. However, if you have a premium account, I believe it will stay put for longer.
Most servers have paid packages available, including Geocities and Freewebs.
A few others are:
Bravenet ( http://www.bravenet.com/ ) -- Guestbooks, polls, royalty free graphics, and just about everything else you could ever want.
Ezboard ( http://www.ezboard.com/ ) -- Forums for free, though with Gold membership, a very nice lack of adverts is included. Good HCI. Simple to use.
Livejournal ( http://www.livejournal.com/ ) -- Provides weblogs for people who want an online journal.
Try Winzip.com for a good and easy to use zip program, "WinZip".
Since Blue-San has kindly put the audio tutorials back up, I've asked for his permission to place a link to his thread here in the Resources post. His two radioplays were something that I learned a lot from, so, it's with that, that I am now including these in this thread. Seriously huge thank you to Blue for making these.
Newbie and Producer Guides to Politeness and Do's and Donts
I think I've covered just about everything here, but, there are bound to be a few glaring omissions. If you guys spot anything, just post here with a link or extra information. (Thanks. ^_^)