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> Midi Controller, Vst Sound Banks
Brandon Earman
post Mar 29 2011, 09:30 PM
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Hey GMC. If you buy a MIDI controller keyboard, you will not be able to create any sounds on your computer straight out of the box, correct? So what is the best way to get some good keyboard, organ, etc. quality sounds without breaking the bank? VST software or what?


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 29 2011, 09:37 PM
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Your DAW may have some sounds already in it. If not, you can get the FREE versions of all the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS products which are fully functioning, all be it a bit more limited than their non free counterparts. This will work as a plugin inside your DAW.

Here is a link to every free NATIVE INSTRUMENTS plugin (including software synths, etc.) available in one bundle. Including the free version of GUITAR RIG. This is hands down the best free bundle I've ever seen.

http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/pro...lete-7-players/


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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Mar 29 2011, 03:30 PM) *
Hey GMC. If you buy a MIDI controller keyboard, you will not be able to create any sounds on your computer straight out of the box, correct? So what is the best way to get some good keyboard, organ, etc. quality sounds without breaking the bank? VST software or what?


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 29 2011, 09:41 PM


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Brandon Earman
post Mar 29 2011, 09:44 PM
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Perfect! Thanks for the fast reply Todd.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 31 2011, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Mar 29 2011, 10:30 PM) *
Hey GMC. If you buy a MIDI controller keyboard, you will not be able to create any sounds on your computer straight out of the box, correct? So what is the best way to get some good keyboard, organ, etc. quality sounds without breaking the bank? VST software or what?


You will need a VST in order to get some sounds. Todd's suggestion is the best one.
Also check out free VST archives online like : http://www.vst4free.com/

Cheers,
Bogdan


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 31 2011, 05:22 PM
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Depending on what keyboard controller you are getting, they often come bundled with some software, and they usually include some VSTis.

Let us know about your choices, I will be happy to help. It's important to choose wisely, because not all controllers have good software, which is very important if you want to integrate it with some third party software.


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Brandon Earman
post Mar 31 2011, 07:15 PM
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I think I am looking for two things:

A MIDI keyboard, not a micro one, one with 61 keys or something that I can actually learn to play like a piano.
A drum pad MIDI controller with some nice pads that are velocity-sensitive.

I don't need anythings super fancy for these two, the only thing I ask is that they are pretty sensitive when it comes to velocity sensors.

I was looking at this possibly, if anyone has any comments about it: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Akai-Professio...336-i1448782.gc



This post has been edited by Brandon Earman: Mar 31 2011, 07:38 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 31 2011, 08:07 PM
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This looks good, I'm not sure if anyone had experience with this particular pad. During the years, I've found that it is best to keep things simple as far as MIDI controllers go. Software come and go, and it's more efficient to work with mouse and keyboard as far as moving knobs and all.

I had M-Audio Oxygen 49 MIDI keyboard, and it worked nice as far as the keys go. But, as for knobs and sliders, I had LOT of trouble connecting them to controls in various software. MIDI values restart randomly, and in the end it was a lot easier to work with mouse.

In the end, I sold this keyboard, cause it was easier for me to program midi with keyboard and mice, cause it took some time to learn to play piano. Guitar was more interesting smile.gif



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OzRob
post Apr 1 2011, 05:20 AM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Apr 1 2011, 04:15 AM) *
I was looking at this possibly, if anyone has any comments about it:


Brandon, I have the MPD26 which is a bigger brother. For what I do, it's indispensable. It has a footprint of about 12"x12" so you'll need a sturdy surface and sufficient arm movement space to whack away at it. The pads are very good and you will probably need to invest some time mapping them correctly for your drum VSTi.

If your budget will fit it, or if you are serious about making music more than just as a hobby, I would recommend paying a bit more and getting either the 24 or 26. They have sliders, knobs, and another bank of presets. They also have transport controls (ffwd, rwd, play, stop, rec). When you are sequencing percussion from scratch you will use transport constantly and it's way less frustrating having them a finger tap away as opposed to reaching for the mouse and trying to control those functions in the DAW. Up to you of course, I'm just speaking as someone who uses one of these all the time.

As for keyboards, I have a Behringer UMX490 which I'm very happy with so I would have no problem recommending the UMX610 (61 keys). Entry level M-Audios or Korgs or whatever are certainly comparable. The main difference will be the feel of the keys when you strike them. Only way to find that out is go into a shop and press away at a few.

This post has been edited by OzRob: Apr 1 2011, 05:25 AM


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Brandon Earman
post Apr 1 2011, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for your input everyone!

QUOTE (OzRob @ Mar 31 2011, 11:20 PM) *
They also have transport controls (ffwd, rwd, play, stop, rec). When you are sequencing percussion from scratch you will use transport constantly and it's way less frustrating having them a finger tap away as opposed to reaching for the mouse and trying to control those functions in the DAW.


Rob, can you explain this process to me? Like a specific example of how you would use these controls? Because yes, I do want to make drum patterns from scratch.


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OzRob
post Apr 2 2011, 06:28 AM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Apr 1 2011, 10:15 PM) *
Rob, can you explain this process to me? Like a specific example of how you would use these controls? Because yes, I do want to make drum patterns from scratch.


I'm not sure what level of background knowledge you have of DAWs etc, but I'll assume some. When you're wanting to record, the normal way is to press record in the DAW. Usually with a mouse or key command. Same with stop, play etc. There are ways to make some things easier such as loop-recording and auto-punch but I'll leave that alone.

So when you're recording via midi keyboard or drum pads, you need to move a hand over to the mouse, move the pointer onto a button and press it. Straight forward enough, but....

Press record, start playing, don't like the rhythm, press stop, delete, move the cursor back to the starting point, press record, play, like the rhythm, press stop, move the cursor back, press play, tap the pads to work out the next layer, stop, rewind, tap again. Ready? Rewind, press record, doesn't work, press stop, delete, rewind, record, play, got it this take! Rewind, press play, how's it sound? Great? Next layer, rewind, play, tap out next part over existing part, sounds good, stop, rewind, record, tap out part, stop......ad infinitum.

The amount of movement required to constantly control the mouse, arrange the cursor, press buttons and so on, is greatly, greatly, simplified by having those transport controls right on the drum pad box.

Generally speaking, I start with the biggest, deepest drums (taikos, timpanis, frame drums), then move up the instrument chain through toms, smaller frame drums etc lastly to things like cymbals, sticks and wood blocks. In your case, you'd probably be using a normal acoustic drumkit, but the process will be much the same. You keep adding layers until every part is recorded for the whole kit. Transport buttons close to hand make the process less frustrating.


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Brandon Earman
post Apr 4 2011, 04:26 AM
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ok Thanks man.. that makes clear sense! I will consider one with the features you've mentioned, - those seem like a must now.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 4 2011, 07:04 AM
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OZ ROB is 100 percent right. Your DAW is a CRUCIAL factor in your setup. I am a Big fan of APPLE LOGIC but recently I've been getting way in to REAPER which runs on PC as well. If you have not tried it yet, I'd say go download REAPER. You can download and use it for free. Here is a link.

http://www.reaper.fm/index.php

A nag screen pops up reminding you to buy it but doesn't impede functionality.
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VST IN REAPER
You can use VST instruments and VST FX in Reaper. It's got wads of both built in which is handy.
Here is a quick how to on using Virtual Instruments in Reaper
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Apr 3 2011, 10:26 PM) *
ok Thanks man.. that makes clear sense! I will consider one with the features you've mentioned, - those seem like a must now.



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Brandon Earman
post Apr 4 2011, 02:29 PM
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Todd,

I have been lighly using Reaper for the past year, but now hope to use its greater capabilities. I am about to purchase the full license.

Thanks guys biggrin.gif


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Brandon Earman
post Apr 4 2011, 04:19 PM
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I found a good deal on eBay for an MPD24 drum pad. Question: Should I use the USB plug (Which powers the unit), or should I use MIDI in and out to my focusrite interface? If I only use the MIDI, I will need to have the USB in for power, or buy an AC adapter (don't want to use AC adapter if possible).


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 4 2011, 05:09 PM
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The answer would be: anyway you like smile.gif

USB MIDI connection will require you to install USB MIDI Drivers that will emulate MIDI interface via USB. If you connect MIDI via Saffire interface, you won't need to install the drivers I guess.

I don't see anything else wrong with both cases. USB MIDI connection should work just as good as MIDI connection on Saffire.

I would say, go for USB version, you will have less cables, and if there are some problems, then connect the pad via MIDI cable to Saffire.


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Brandon Earman
post Apr 4 2011, 06:50 PM
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Sweet, I'm glad to know I can save desk space and money without MIDI cables.

Thanks for everyone's input as always.


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OzRob
post Apr 5 2011, 12:36 AM
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Yep, USB. Have fun with it, mate!

The map programming isn't very intuitive so read the manual.

This post has been edited by OzRob: Apr 5 2011, 12:37 AM


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