Midi newb

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by FF Petro, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. FF Petro

    FF Petro

    Feb 16, 2004
    I have 20 years experience recording audio but MIDI has me confused. I bought an AVID Keystudio to help teach my daughter the keyboard and to play around with a MIDI controller in general. It hooked straight up to my IMac and was playing with the limited instruments in Garageband.

    Now like any true gearnut, I would like more instruments to play around with. So I would like some advice from some of you who are more experienced in this department. I was thinking of upgrading to Logic before I started playing with the MIDI stuff; would the additional virtual instruments in Logic be enough to persuade me to upgrade? How many instruments are in Logic?

    Also, if I google 'virtual instruments' I get all these results for plugins that help you make different noises. I thought a virtual instrument was a prerecorded sound that you selected in the software to make sounds of strings, horns guitars, drums, etc. am I not using the right terminology?

    I would really appreciate your help and any other insight you could provide to a guy new to the MIDI world.
  2. Try Googling synth/sampler. In the past few years "virtual instrument" has come to mean just about any VSTi plugin. If what you want is "instrument" sounds, (horns, guitars, drums, etc.) as you wrote, then the software that produces those sounds is more commonly called a synth/sampler, or just sampler. Look up the audio company called "Native Instruments". That company makes a lot of stuff that either synthesizes instrument sounds, or sells samples of real instruments. Another company is "IK Multimedia".

    I have been using a program named "SampleTank" for several years. It produces some very good piano, organ, strings, and bass sounds. The guitar sounds are not very good. So, I just use a (shock) real guitar. For drums, I use a collection of .wav files that are little clip recordings of real drums. I sequence the drum hits in a midi recording, then use another program that reads the midi info and triggers the little sound clips, in order.

    Anyway, many of these synth/sampler programs work as a VST in your recording DAW program. Buy, they really are a midi controlled synthesizer.
  3. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    get an ipad and some synths and an irig
  4. Yes, you will find a nice library of Virtual instruments and modules within Logic, leaps above Garageband. Logic comes pre loaded with a great sampler and a nice host of Soft Synths (Modules). But, there are companies out there that make some great stuff. The Komplete series is really good in my opinion. Think of the Virtual instruments or Soft Synths like the Rack mount keyboard/Synth modules of the 80's/90's and early 2000's. Its the same theory except now instead of having them in a 19in rack that weighs 80 lbs they are installed nice and neat in you computer and instaed of using a 5pin MIDI cable your using a USB cable.
  5. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    No, that's not the right terminology. The "prerecorded sounds" you speak of are called SAMPLES. There are hardware instruments that are designed to re-play these samples, called samplers, and usually there's other electronics to manipulate the sounds in various ways, like changing their pitch, applying filters and so on.

    The term "virtual" synth means that there's no separate hardware device, all the "action" happens inside a computer. There are virtual sample players, and virtual synthesizers too.