Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

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VikingBlues
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Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:35 pm

... no really! It can be!

A year and a half since I last plugged the Alesis Q25 USB/MIDI keyboard Controller into the PC and played around with free VSTs in the DAW. Had a try tonight and this three track recording emerged like some half formed alien thing.

------> http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13351050 :roll:

This recording is mainly using a free "ProtoPlasm Pro Synthesizer" - described as a 'Athmo, Soundscape, Pad & Texture Synthesizer'. Two tracks with this, one track using a patch called "Shining" (the sound is loosely based on the Kubrick film score). Plus a string sounds track from the Vita strings built into the DAW package.

Inconsequential - but fun for me at least, though maybe not for listeners! :lol:
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:17 am

You should do this more often - the result sounds quite professional. Very dark mood, could be used in a movie! :clap:
It's fascinating what can be done with all these midi boards, I sometimes get lost when playing mine, so many things possible...

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:50 am

12bar wrote:You should do this more often - the result sounds quite professional. Very dark mood, could be used in a movie! :clap:
It's fascinating what can be done with all these midi boards, I sometimes get lost when playing mine, so many things possible...
Thank you - glad you liked it. So far I have pretty much stuck with using presets on these synths, but the options for changing the sound are huge.
As seen in this page about the ProtoPlasm synth I used http://www.vstcafe.com/2009/04/h-g-fort ... e-pro.html

One of the things I like with a lot of these synth VST is it doesn't just play one note when you hit a note on a keyboard - it plays a sequence of sound that can change and evolve as you keep the key pressed down. Which you can listen to, anticipate, and try to react to with what you play next. It is a bit like a live collaboration.

I do like dark, moody film soundtracks and it's nice to pretend I'm making one! :cool:

Ignoring what it says in the thread title .... you can then pick up a guitar and add it to your recording.

Like this ........ :music1: https://app.box.com/s/qu21ow1apez18qf9ekjczn75et1afysg
The dark mahogany tones of the Tanglewood TW133 to go with the dark moody tones already there.
Better ... worse ... different??? :think:
Doesn't matter ..... it's fun! :big_smile:
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:09 am

The huge amount of settings is what makes it so fascinating yet frustrating. I use Ignite software, which has tons of settings and plays melody lines, too. Once you get away from the presets you can spend years fiddling out what is possible.
I used it for example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce87Gxgi-JU

The acoustic guitar is a nice contrast to the electronic sound! :thumbsup:

What DAW do you use for VST midi?

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:40 am

12bar wrote:The huge amount of settings is what makes it so fascinating yet frustrating. I use Ignite software, which has tons of settings and plays melody lines, too. Once you get away from the presets you can spend years fiddling out what is possible.
I used it for example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce87Gxgi-JU

The acoustic guitar is a nice contrast to the electronic sound! :thumbsup:

What DAW do you use for VST midi?
I hear how effective your touch is with ambient sounds in the video, and I notice you even have some subtle quotes from classical music too. To get nearly 20 minutes of music like that is an achievement! You manage a wide range of tones and dynamics that naturally flow. I have the impression that you have a decent knowledge of chord shapes etc on a keyboard - which is more than I have!

I was just having a look at a basic demo video about the Ignite Software you mention - it's very different in its concept to what I'm using. I'm just using the MIDI keyboard as if it was a piano and the only function of the software is the type of sound that is played when a note is hit. I even keep forgetting I can go in and edit wrong notes in MIDI and I re-record a track when I make a mistake out of habit.

The DAW I use for these MIDI recordings is the same one that I use for my usual guitar recordings. Magix Samplitude Music Sudio 16 (released in 2011). I do have the 2013 version but I don't find it as user friendly, especially for setting up a mixture of MIDI and audio tracks - which is a shame as the 2013 versions orchestral strings VST is very good indeed. I've been using Samplitude Music Studio for a long time now in several versions - I'm used to it - I've tried other DAWs in recent years and found them baffling probably due to this old dog not being very good at learning new tricks any more.

Due to the limitations of the built in VST range in the DAW software I built up a collection of free VST synths over time. I'm very reluctant to spend a lot of money on anything in this field as it is very likely I'll not be able to get it to function!

I think adding the guitar to my recording has moved the recording away from ambient background music to something a bit different. I'm not sure if either version is better - I'm thinking they are just different.
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:46 am

My son uses Samplitude, I've tried it but went back to the simple audacity, it's just faster and easier for me and records Ignite as well as my guitar.

I had some keyboard lessons when I was a kid, but hadn't played for 30 years until I got this midi keys. I usually search for a chord progression and try to variate over this, sometimes with success, usually without. :lol:

Anyway, I think the guitar is a good addition, it sounds more natural.

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:56 am

Is that Samplitude Pro or Samplitude Music Studio your son uses?

Very different in price (Pro is 5 times the price), and I suspect complexity. I use the cheap Music Studio version.

I have tried other DAWs but have found that for me Samplitude Music Studio is more intuitive, but I know that's not the case for lots of people judging by Amazon reviews. But I tried Reaper (very popular) for example and struggled to even work out how to record the first track! :think:

Chord progressions eh! That's well ahead of me for keyboard playing! :lol:
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:10 am

It's the simple version he got for a few bucks. Meanwhile I tried Reaper (like you said, not really intuitive), Adobe Audition (an old version) and Cubase LE. None of them I found as simple as audacity, which can record and edit - that's all I need. For free...

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:31 pm

I've been looking at video demos of Ignite. It looks like a very interesting and useful concept! It's amazing how much quality of sounds can be had now for not large amounts of money. MIDI has come a long way.

Oddly enough one of the demo videos is by a certain David Wallimann ... now that name sounds familiar, I'm sure I've seen it somewhere. :wink:

I'm feeling a few urges to grab an M-Audio controller keyboard that comes with free Ignite software.
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:52 am

VikingBlues wrote:Oddly enough one of the demo videos is by a certain David Wallimann ... now that name sounds familiar, I'm sure I've seen it somewhere. :wink:
:lol:
VikingBlues wrote:I'm feeling a few urges to grab an M-Audio controller keyboard that comes with free Ignite software.
It's really worth the money! :thumbsup:

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Sun May 01, 2016 4:23 pm

I realised that as I have an Alesis Q25 USB MIDI keyboard that I could get a free download of Ignite!!! :aha:

I had originally started to download a trial copy of the software but a Digital Rights Management piece of software was going to be installed. No thanks!

However the free download with having the Q25 just has a download of Ignite and nothing else. So I've done that. :thumbsup:

Just had one go at putting a multi clip together and it sounded not at all bad.

I can only use it if I use the Alesis iO2 interface as the recording and playback device. The PC sound is integrated on the motherboard and if I try to use that there are very horrible sound glitches.

Thanks for the heads up on this software Gerd. :clap:
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Mon May 02, 2016 7:31 am

VikingBlues wrote:I realised that as I have an Alesis Q25 USB MIDI keyboard that I could get a free download of Ignite!!! :aha:
:rofl: Fantastic! Have a lot of fun and discover all those hidden settings... :think: :thumbsup:

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:32 pm

I have been using the Ignite software now and then, but nothing has come from it as yet in terms of recordings.

However just recently I've had a go at using some software called 'Instant Orchestra' issued by Garritan.

Its unusual aspect is that it's presets are geared towards being groups of instruments rather than individual ones. Some of the groups of instruments are of different types of instruments and they are blended together in a way that means use of the modulation wheel on the keyboard can change which instruments are dominant in the mix live as played. For example playing a chord of a long duration you can change the voices of the instrumentation during the chord. Or you can build a phrase more effectively by ending it on a stronger type of instrument.

Very early days still in my experimenting - just 4 days of trying it out in fact. The recording linked below is just under a couple of minutes long and shows my lack of keyboard skills and composition skills (made up as I went along to be honest). A single MIDI track using an instrument blend called 'Evolution 1' - this was a single take, unedited, as played live for the MIDI track. Then a single track of acoustic guitar plugged in direct to the interface.

I tried to get a moody noodle on the guitar (Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap Signature). :icon_whoknows:

:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13445361

Lots of work to do to make a proper go of this sort of stuff.
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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by 12bar » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:31 am

I didn't know this software before, so I browsed through the website - it's pretty impressive what you can do with it. Even your short try :thumbsup: sounds already quite professional. The guitar makes it sound more natural, one of the drawbacks of this electronic stuff is that it sometimes sounds "too" perfect.

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Re: Sometimes it's musical fun not to pick up a guitar and ...

Post by VikingBlues » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:53 am

Thanks Gerd - I do hope I'm not getting pretensions of grandeur trying this! :shy:

Regarding the orchestral sounds on their own, I'm already getting what sounds to me way more realistic sounds than I have with other plug ins.

Here's the orchestral backing on it's own that was in the recording above:-
18.9 Mb Wav file - https://app.box.com/s/uge0l69rek05mckompf5lwuwvc0yte1r
2.6 Mb mp3 file - https://app.box.com/s/3fyijbcc0j35fkd0ei4w21oq3x1r3ihp
and here's a few tests of presets:-
63.7 Mb Wav file - https://app.box.com/s/jkdb17ssc5zs9edfhrb15x5nexywjpt0
5.8 Mb mp3 file - https://app.box.com/s/u3xpn9ovdxj398maebj8oijd3smkz1fq

I think the way it's possible to get the sounds to swell, naturally fade and modulate helps a lot.
Not perfect indeed, but the software that gets close to that ideal is mega bucks and a no go for me!

Overall I'm encouraged. :D
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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