What are you using for keyboard, strings, horns

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by popthree, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    Personally I think there was a lot of hype about how it tracked better than the 55/GK but I cant really tell much of a difference. Its still about adjusting your style of play. As the Fishman is PC based as opposed to peddle processor based its just different. Wireless is a nice touch but your still tethered to a laptop so to say.
     
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  2. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's

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    I have an older Juno and a really nice Roland Stage Piano - 88 weighted keys, a gas to play, but for the most part I am mow using a Novation controller and VSTs. I got a great deal on some Native Instrument VSTs, they are great sounding and very tweakable. My favorite of all is the NI Grandeur piano. Some of the stock Presonus ones are good too.

    I have played piano most of my life, but with the piano roll MIDI editor you can play pretty much anything then go in and clean up any of your clams with ease.

    Something else that I have been playing with is translating MIDI percussion patterns to keyboard notes to to create sequenced patterns. You can send identical or similar patterns to multiple VSTs set with different instruments or voices to create layered melodies, arpeggios or chords that can be pretty dynamic.

    Another fun trick is to record vocal or guitar parts, and convert them to MIDI with Melodyne Studio, and then turn them into anything you can imagine with one or more VSTs.

    So many ideas, so little time...I might need to retire someday.
     
  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    paratus-- these are all great ideas. I need to bust open my REAPER manual and start messing with MIDI tracks. I haven't taken the plunge yet because it seems a bit daunting
    even though I know it can't be THAT hard. Not as hard as learning how to play guitar or any other musical instrument, that's for sure.

    Am I wrong, or is the basic idea that when you open a MIDI track instead of an audio track, it records the digital MIDI codes instead of actual audio? And then these
    MIDI codes can subsequently drive any MIDI instrument, real or virtual. Once those codes are laid down it is not hard to go in and edit them (fix the clams). I also gather that when it
    comes to black keys and white keys the MIDI codes are quite straightforward. But if you are doing other stuff like using the mod wheel or the pitch bender, or other controls,
    how those controls map to MIDI from instrument to instrument varies and so you don't always get 1 to 1 correspondence.
     
  4. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I also use a H9Max which is blue toothed to the device using a laptop or an Ipad latency so far hasnt been an issue ,welcome to the future!:lol::lol::lol:
     
  5. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    You're right — it's not hard! It's as easy as falling off a log, or easier if it's a really big log. I was just like you, dreading the leap, but it was astonishingly simple even at the beginner level. Not to say you automatically know what these deep-MIDI guys know who've been doing it for years, there's much more to it than I'll ever understand, but can I write a basic organ track or a horn section? Sure!

    Yeah, there are no white and black keys in the piano roll. Two notches up, that's a whole step in the scale, one notch is a half-step. Move a note sideways to place the beat you want, adjust the velocity (volume) with a quick mouse move. ... Once you have a MIDI file, you can make it a violin section, marimba, oboe, French horn, whatever you've got samples for — not to mention the wide world of virtual synths! Go for it, dude!
     
  6. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all software instruments for me. I have a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboard, but any keyboard with MIDI out would do. I dig the coloured LEDs on the KK though :cool:

    But MIDI can become an obsession. Like woody said there are a ton of instruments like strings, synths, horns, keyboards, basses, you name it that come installed with Logic. I think all up there is over 100 Gb in the full library? African and ethnic drums etc., it would take you months to go through everything even without all the available articulations and filters etc..

    But to answer the OP I downloaded the Native Instruments Ultimate collection which is a library of - I don't know how many hundreds of Gb of pro recorded sounds. I have downloaded less than half the library and auditioned less than 10% of that. If that wasn't enough, I recently got NOVO Essentials, which is a cinematic strings package with some amazing sounds. I had been waiting for their library to go on sale, but when they released the cut down essentials package for $99, I pounced. I'm still working my way through the user manual, but wow!

    So yeh, MIDI can become rabbit hole that has the potential to distract you from actually making music. But the samples becoming available these days are so good and lush and true, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart from an actual recording. If you can develop the ability to use the MIDI editor skilfully, you can record professional sounding productions without touching a musical instrument. Still gotta sing though, they haven't come up with a good voice synth. Yet. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  7. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    speaking of midi and midi control did any one other than me get into Virtual Instrument magazine when it came out? its now gone but it was a fantastic resource on VI instruments that would link up the memebers of the web site with any questions direct to the manufacturers of Virtual instruments , I was sad to see them go, but I was lucky enought to get all the printed issues of the magazine, plus I down loaded every issue online from the first to the last down loadable copy of the last issue of the online magazine .
    it covered all things from a specific VI to how to set up a computer farm for multiple computers to interviews with the guys like Klaus badelt, Hans Zimmer, all the guys doing movie scores.
     
  8. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    I've been writing strings, horns & keys using the piano roll.

    Today whilst bored I had a look at fleabay for MIDI keyboards and spotted one at a pensioner friendly price and then wandered over to the Yamaha Clavinova in games room for a look and it's got a MIDI out, I've already got the MIDI to USB cable and Reaper has some very handy MIDI JS plugins that do everything but wipe yer bum.

    New toys to play with and things to learn while her indoors thinks I'm doing chores and $50 or so saved for beer :)
     
  9. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I keep an old Korg keyboard, a Yamaha keyboard, and a Roland midi bass pedal controller.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    thing about digital gear is... it all requires ram memory, a processor, storage and audio in/out... all things which your computer has much more powerful/vast versions of.
    I started out on a korg 05rw years ago. great cheap unit. eventually moved to an emu sampler... don't miss loading samples at all! roland jv, etc.

    kontakt is a vsti that can take any sample and make it into something you can fire via keyboard/elec drumset/trigger. The instruments you can make and buy for it are miles above any keyboard you will buy. In fact, I have several instruments that are essentially a sampled roland/korg/yamaha keyboard. If you want the best - that is it. I use a korg tactile and an akai mpd32 + a frankenstein elec drum kit for inputs but I also write a lot on the piano roll in fruity loops.

    essentially you need either a keyboard controller, or a drum pad controller. then you want either a vsti sampler, or one of millions of vsti synths. omnisphere is an amazing one but there are many free/paid great vsti synths.
     
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  11. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I tried various keyboard controllers. I'm just not a keyboard player and could never accomplish what i wanted.

    I bought a fishman triple play and made a guitar specifically for that pickup. It's pretty good--you can play chords in real time; it has dynamic range and you can do some pitch bends. There's also a piece of software called Midiguitar that's extremely good and will convert your analog guitar signal to digital all in software.

    The problem is the chords sound like guitar chords, not like piano chords. It helps to do drop 2 voicings or put the bass on the E string and the rest of the cord on the top three strings. But they still sound like guitar chords. Below is an example of me trying to play guitar cords using the fishman. You can see the limitations pretty clearly, especially in the comping under the solo starting at 3:55.


     
  12. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's

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    Woody's reply was spot on. One thing tho, in Studio One (the DAW I use) there are black and white keys on the piano roll.

    It looks like this:


    Most DAWs will let you quantize the notes to line them up on the timing grid, or move them 50% closer, or humanize (add slight differences to the levels) so they don't sound so mechanical.

    Studio One (and other DAWs I am sure lets you automate various parameters such as velocity (loudness), pitch bend, mod wheel, and sustain pedal. You can edit these functions to get them dialed in the way you want them.

    You can also automate most functions that have a control on the VSTI, such as filters, eq, resonance etc.



    It's fun stuff for sure.
     

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  13. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think most modern era DAW's have the Piano Roll. I know that Pro Tools, Studio One and Sonar do. I'm not any kind of a KEYS player but I can fake it real well. The options to edit and move midi notes around are crazy simple. Using the embedded sounds ( I'm on Pro Tools) makes it almost appear that I know what I am doing, that is , if I decide to use one of the midi instruments. Now and then I'll fool with a MIDI Bass line, a Wurlitzer Electric Piano , a B3 or maybe a DX7 . I'm not much of a strings arranger , by birth I am a Country boy. :eek:

    Using both the midi editor and the typical track editors, slip, grid , align, etc...it's all just shy of a late 19th Century magic act ! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  14. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I use a Korg Krome. Ideal for adding Strings, Horns & Piano for gigs - and good fun to mess about with at home.
     
  15. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    When I was a kid, I expressed to my parents that I wanted to learn to play the guitar and play rock. They sent me to a piano teacher to learn piano. They correlated rock with drugs at that time. So, I was self taught in playing guitars. Took small lessons here and there as I moved on forward. My take away from the piano lessons was reading notes. So, I have that inkling towards keyboards.

    Anyway... I have an ancient Roland Juno Alpha, but I don't use it. I use an Alesis Q49 as my controller and whatever is included with my DAW (Magix). I am happy with it.

    My sample:
     
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  16. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Home recorder here. I have an 80s era Korg DW6000 and a late 70s ARP Quartet for strings/piano/organ/synth sounds. If I'm real careful I can get a passable brass sound out of the ARP. Just recently I picked up used EHX B9 and a Synth 9 pedals and have been experimenting with those. They get some pretty good sounds if you play them like a keyboard and not a guitar. But my guitar playing FAR outweighs my keyboard ability. By miles. :)
     
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not too good on keyboard with two hands, but I can do ok with one hand. One thing I really like about keyboards is they take me out of any boxes that I might
    naturally put myself in when playing guitar. If I'm messing around on a keyboard trying to come up with a melody or chord progression my hands naturally find
    melodies and inversions that I would be much less likely to discover when noodling around on guitar. Better yet, as much as possible, I try to hear and sing
    a line in my head first before I touch any musical instrument. I sing it, then I play what I just sang to figure out what the heck it actually is.

    I haven't taken the plunge to incorporate any of my synth work into our live band. (We have a kb player, who has a great synth, but he mostly uses it to
    generate cool lead keyboard sounds like a super saw. He does not use the synth the way I would-- to also generate cool pads, special effects, spacey stuff,
    deep bass, wild stuff with the filter and resonance, etc.) I'm thinking that it would actually make more sense for me to set up an actual keyboard synth
    on the stage and occasionally use it. I can certainly teach myself whatever lines I am planning to play on a song even if my free improv is pretty limited.

    I have messed with guitar synths including the EHX and the Boss, and they are very cool, but at that point it's really more like another pedal, IMO.
    With a keyboard synth I can twist knobs like the filter, resonance, delay, reverb, chorus, LFOs, and other things. I guess with the Boss synth and
    an expression pedal a lot is possible, but I do like the immediacy of an analog synth interface with actual knobs, mod wheel, and pitch wheel. At this point
    I'm just using the synth in my home studio and haven't had the chutzpah to even contemplate doing it with my band. I guess I need to bust it out at an
    upcoming practice and see if the guys think it's a good idea or not. Also I need to be careful what I ask for. I already have to set up my guitar rig and
    the band's PA. If I have to set up a synth rig as well that would make load in and load out even more of a hassle!!
     
  18. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Now you're diggin' where there's taters! :D
     
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  19. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a bit of a synth nerd. Here is my current setup.

    Pic 1:

    Yamaha Montage 6
    Behringer Model D
    iPad (with various soft synths)
    Roland XV-3080

    Pic 2:
    Kurzweil K2000RS
    Roland MKS-70
    Yamaha Motif (original)
    Fatar SL-990 88 key controller
    MicroKorg
    Korg DSS-1
    Casio CZ-101.

    not in pictures is my Ensoniq TS-10


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Arturia Keystep 32 (and Beatstep Pro) along with a Korg 05 R/W. I like not having to mess around with the computer. I am also very unlikely to ever touch the presets and would rather audition new sound banks than attempt to use an editor. I sometimes wish I had fewer options because I don't actually believe the impact of the end product requires 5,000 different sounds in a 3 minute song.
     
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