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Realistic Midi?
Old 5th March 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Realistic Midi?

Hi,

I never was really into midi because of the cheeziness of it. I realize that it has come a long way in recent years and I was wondering if it has gotten very good? It appears that drums have gotten "there" but I was wondering how realistic other instruments have gotten? I know that back in the day a midi guitar or a midi trumpet really sounded not much like those instruments...how close is it today? have they found a way to make bending and vibrato more realistic? I love some keyboard vibrato but it doesn't sound the same as guitar. Thanks!!
Old 5th March 2010
  #2
Sonic Hooligan
 
Llitsor's Avatar
 

I think you need to elaborate some..
Midi as a data format has not changed in a long time (if it ever changed at all), so it "sounds" the same as it always has. But if you are talking about midi instruments, like various synthesisers etc, then they have progressed and evolved of course.
It's only going to sound "Cheesy" if you play them in a cheesy way. But if realistic guitar and trumpets are what you want, then perhaps what you need is a real guitar and trumpet.
Im not sure there is a lot of call for super realistic trumpets in electronic music though.. Still, the better players can probably make quite a convincing job of making midi trumpets etc sound real. And thats half your answer right there.. How well you can play? How well can you adapt?
Old 5th March 2010
  #3
ark
Lives for gear
 

One of the problems with using MIDI for instruments such as trumpets is that it isn't good enough simply to trigger a note and let its do its thing, because a human player will vary the loudness and other qualities of the note while it is playing. So in order to have anything like a realistic-sounding trumpet, you have to have a way of controlling the notes while they're playing.

One product that addresses that issue explicitly is Garritan Personal Orchestra. Let me suggest that you check out the demo at the top of their page as one example of what's possible with MIDI.
Old 5th March 2010
  #4
Gear maniac
 
keyboardman's Avatar
 

MIDI isn't a "sound," it's a communication protocol so it doesn't "sound" like anything. It "sounds" like whatever it's controlling.

The main advancement in imitative sounds is the direct result of the ever decreasing price of random access memory. Whether that's disk space or RAM, both have made imitative sound libraries capable of sounding incredibly authentic.

I say that because if you want an authentic guitar vibrato, you can buy sample libraries that have recorded a guy playing vibrato on a guitar. It can be controlled by MIDI but the vibrato itself (in this example) isn't "made" by MIDI.

Some companies have made little files with "MIDI samples" of controller data that one can paste into a performance. These are things like samples of a real guitar player playing a MIDI guitar and performing vibrato which is captured as pitch bend. This can sound less unrealistic than an LFO, IMO but not as good as a sample of a real guitar playing real vibrato (which, of course, isn't as good as a real guitar playing playing a real guitar.)

Anyhow, the point is, it isn't MIDI that sounds bad, it's the person using MIDI in an unmusical manner that sounds bad.

Unless you're into late-80's porno music.
Old 5th March 2010
  #5
Gear maniac
 
keyboardman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llitsor View Post
I think you need to elaborate some..
Midi as a data format has not changed in a long time (if it ever changed at all), so it "sounds" the same as it always has. But if you are talking about midi instruments, like various synthesisers etc, then they have progressed and evolved of course.
It's only going to sound "Cheesy" if you play them in a cheesy way. But if realistic guitar and trumpets are what you want, then perhaps what you need is a real guitar and trumpet.
Im not sure there is a lot of call for super realistic trumpets in electronic music though.. Still, the better players can probably make quite a convincing job of making midi trumpets etc sound real. And thats half your answer right there.. How well you can play? How well can you adapt?
Word.
Old 5th March 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
keyboardman,

can you direct me to some songs I can hear employing that guitar technique? or the products?
Old 5th March 2010
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
The cheezyness is due to the General MIDI soundset. Different thing.

Google for Prominy LPC and see what MIDI does.
Old 5th March 2010
  #8
Gear maniac
 
keyboardman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
keyboardman,

can you direct me to some songs I can hear employing that guitar technique? or the products?
I think the Yamaha Motif-might have some stuff like that.

There was a company and/or product called "Twiddly Bits" that made the files. Not sure if they're still around or not.

It's just controller (actually, pitch bend) data so it will all depend on the sound you play it back with. A cheezy cycle-looped guitar from a Sound Canvas or somesuch will sound like a cheezy cycle-looped guitar from a Sound Canvas with some pitch bend.
Old 5th March 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
key thing about midi based insts is you can't play the keyboard like you'd play a guitar. its gotten better.

I still think a keyboard guitar interface where the upper octaves are the fret and the C0 is the strum would be pretty interesting.

after touch could be pitch bend on the string or something, add in expression pedal for strum up or down??

seems like at some point its easier just to get a guitar though.
Old 5th March 2010
  #10
Gear maniac
 
keyboardman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
key thing about midi based insts is you can't play the keyboard like you'd play a guitar. its gotten better.

I still think a keyboard guitar interface where the upper octaves are the fret and the C0 is the strum would be pretty interesting.

after touch could be pitch bend on the string or something, add in expression pedal for strum up or down??

seems like at some point its easier just to get a guitar though.
IV-I
Old 5th March 2010
  #11
ark
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
I still think a keyboard guitar interface where the upper octaves are the fret and the C0 is the strum would be pretty interesting.
In that case, this may be for you.
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