Thread: Good set(s) of Virtual Instruments to start on

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  1. #21
    Join Date Nov 2006
    Location Long Island, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Good set(s) of Virtual Instruments to start on

    Haha!

    But really, it is a similar "putting yourself in the shoes of the player" that you need to compose well for an instrument, whether real or fake.

    Forgetting to give brass and woodwinds any time to breathe is a common mistake, for example, and will make a part sound more fake. Similarly, not having enough dynamics, having all notes snapped to grid, or not making good use of different articulations can also make a part sound more fake.
    Another thing is the envelope, the attack and decay in particular.

    Attack: Strings and horns don't go from silent to full amplitude instantly like an electric car horn.

    And the delay being exactly same on every note is neither desirable nor realistic. Another thing is that if you leave the attack the same on everything, some of the notes wind up starting late. So you may wind up using fader moves/ automation/ editing to make it work better.

    I have spent very little time so far actually doing this. I've heard pretty impressive things done entirely with soft synths but I imagine there are techniques people are using that I'm unaware of.

    Decay: The decay on a piano patch is the most obvious difference between piano soft synths.

    But you can get away with the cheaper one often because there isn't a sustained chord/ note in the music and/or the piano is in an ensemble with other sound sources that are masking the unrealistic decay.

    Another thing to consider is that there are decades of precedent for unrealistic sounds being as useful, or moreso, than realistic ones in certain contexts. Neither a Wurli nor a Rhodes, nor Yamaha's and Kawaii's hammered-string electric pianos from the '70s sounded like real pianos but they all got a lot of use.

    The attack on a Melotron makes it sound unrealistic but for many uses that's a feature, not a bug.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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  2. #22
    Join Date May 2013
    Location Ciderland, UK
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    Default Re: Good set(s) of Virtual Instruments to start on

    Another thing is the envelope, the attack and decay in particular.

    Attack: Strings and horns don't go from silent to full amplitude instantly like an electric car horn.

    And the delay being exactly same on every note is neither desirable nor realistic. Another thing is that if you leave the attack the same on everything, some of the notes wind up starting late. So you may wind up using fader moves/ automation/ editing to make it work better.
    Definitely, that's why I don't like whole sections of instruments sampled, and much prefer layering separate instruments. I play the parts myself, as much as my meagre keyboard skills will allow, and clean up any major mistakes after the fact.

    EDIT: I also play most midi cc automation in live too. Some software instruments have too many parameters for 4 limbs (especially the samplemodeling saxes and horns, which are really designed to be played with a breath controller and keyboard).

    Another thing to consider is that there are decades of precedent for unrealistic sounds being as useful, or moreso, than realistic ones in certain contexts. Neither a Wurli nor a Rhodes, nor Yamaha's and Kawaii's hammered-string electric pianos from the '70s sounded like real pianos but they all got a lot of use.

    The attack on a Melotron makes it sound unrealistic but for many uses that's a feature, not a bug.
    For sure.
    Last edited by Rev. Juda$ Sleaze; March 21st, 2017 at 08:26 PM.

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