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RECOMMEND: MIDI Synth Software

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Illbay, Mar 3, 2008.


  1. Illbay

    Illbay

    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    I want a simple software package for Windows that will allow me to plug in my MIDI keyboard and just play. Recording is the ultimate object, of course, but I'm looking for something that will allow me to just plug in, dial up some standard settings (plus some synth patches) and get a decent sound.

    As it is, using something like "LIVE" or whatever, you have to go through this complicated setup just to get a nice sound out of the rig.

    Linux has several such nice applications such as KOrgan and Spiral Synth, but since you typically need to pay REAL MONEY for such things for Windows, I want to make sure I'm getting what I want.
     
  2. hunta

    hunta

    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    What kind of synth sounds are you going for? Something like the GForce minimonsta gives you a lot of nice synthy sounds. Most synth programs or samplers have a stand alone mode you can use outside of a sequencer to just "plug n play". Personally I never use stand alone because I like to throw effects on it too. It's not really that complicated to set it up once you get used to it.
     
  3. If you want to actually record it, you must have a DAW almost everytime, i can't recall any software synth to have built in recording capabilities.

    For a DAW, try Reaper. It's available as shareware with no restrictions and easy to set up.

    For Softynths, there's a free synth called Synth1 with a ******** of user-created sound available at kvraudio.com
     
  4. Illbay

    Illbay

    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Well, that was my point, I'm not worried about the DAW software, I just want the SOUNDS.

    Thanks for the tip regarding Synth1, that's what I'm aiming at. Heck, Audacity by itself does about 90% of what you need a DAW recording studio for.
     
  5. Illbay

    Illbay

    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Well, I'd like analog synth sounds, of course, but I also want the General Midi patches to sound good: A Grand Piano like a Steinway, e.g.
     
  6. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    The GForce Minimonsta gets stellar reviews, but for some reason the demo won't play nice with my system so I'm not really able to evaluate it myself. I do have Arturia's minimoog V, which sounds fairly Moog-y enough. Judging from your avatar (great album by the way!) you may want to check out GForce's M-Tron, which is a virtual Mellotron, sampled key-for-key (with all the loving imperfections included) from a collection of various Mellotrons. I own it and I love it. Nails all those old Tony Banks choir/brass/strings Tron sounds (among dozens of others.)

    As for General MIDI sounds... the only thing that immediately comes to mind is Bandstand by Native Instruments, which is supposed to be simply a high-quality GM sample set. I've never used it but it may be worth looking into.
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    There are many many software choices. For me, my rule of thumb is percussive or plucked sounds like pianos, xylos, harps, ... are best with samplers. Sounds that are played as ensembles like orchestras, horn sections, are best with samplers. But things played solo with expression, or anything electronic (organs, synths) are best done with synths. This isn't always true as Garritan samples libs allow for a lot of expression.

    If you want a cheap, gm, sample player, Coyote Forte DXi is dirt cheap for good sounds
    http://www.coyotes.bc.ca/index.htm

    ForteRD for super grand piano at a cheap price.

    Super simple, plug and go, some of the new sound modules look and sound good:
    http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?ObjectId=897&ParentId=20
    http://www.ketronus.com/sd2.html
    But these can make it harder to record separate parts at the same time. Not enough tweakability or I/O sometimes.

    There's just too many choices. And all can be mixed and matched. So don't be afraid to start with something. You can always use it later.
     
  8. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    kvraudio.com is the best site I've found for VST plugin information. You can search their plugin database to find exactly what you want.

    You can start with something very simple like TobyBear MiniHost. I'd also recommend checking out Kristal and Reaper, because you'll probably want to start recording your synths.
     
  9. I reccoment the "minimonsta" rather than the arturia minimoog, i tried both and liked the first one way more.
     
  10. Illbay

    Illbay

    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    I've got Ableton Live 7, so no problems there.
     
  11. Illbay

    Illbay

    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    I've just been over to the GForce website. I had heard something about them before, but I took the time to read up, and I must say they appear to have taken everything into account.

    I think we'll end up purchasing Minimonsta and the Mellotron thingy. However, that's NOT what I really had in mind, which is a very simple software synth that will take my midi keyboard and allow me to have a piano, an organ, a harpsichord, etc., as well as some of the other synth stuff. This is mainly for composing and trying out ideas, not performance or even serious recording.

    I'm not that good on keys, anyway.
     
  12. remo

    remo

    Jan 15, 2005
    I would hold off on that if I was you... if you are willing to buy some software and you want to use it for songwriting you need a board range of sounds... and multitimbrality would also be a major plus..

    I would buy either this: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=120051365722&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=002

    or this: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/NEW-IK-MULTI...ZWD1VQQ_trksidZp1638.m118.l1247QQcmdZViewItem

    Both come with a HUGE array of sounds, from accordions to xylophones, heaps of synth sounds as well. Both are multitimberal and both are expandable...

    Seriously you will be very hampered trying to song write with just Minimonsta and a Mellotron emulator..
     

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