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Author Topic: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)  (Read 9242 times)

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Offline Ben Armatto

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Please excuse me if this has been shown already.

Ok, for years now I have thought about trying to get a decent sound from midi files with a standard computer. I finally got around to it. This may not be the easiest or best bet but it works pretty good and I like it.

You know, you convert some sheetmusic or abc  to midi or you download it or whatever and it sounds like rubbish.  So try this for size:

Get yourself a decent midi player that will handle soundfonts.  I like Synthfonts.  It's free and it lets you change your soundfonts pretty easy:

http://www.synthfont.com/Downloads.html

Get yourself some soundfonts.  These are midi sounds with an extension of .sf2

There are a bunch here:

http://sf2midi.com/  You do have to log in but it's worth it and free.  My favorite soundfont for violin is here - Cadenza - it has quartet instruments and there is a whole orchestra bank too.

You can also find Cadenza at

http://soundfonts.homemusician.net/ensemble_soundfonts/cadenza_strings.html   without registering although it is in SfArk zip format rather than winzip - you can get the SfArk at sf2midi and probably other places too.

Another cool violin soundfont is Florestan String Quartet from

http://www.hammersound.com

Another bunch of free soundfonts are here:

http://www.soundfonts.it/?a=soundfonts&c=7#7

If you're like me you'll spend a bunch of time strolling around the internet collecting soundfonts.  I'm sure there are even better ones that you can buy.  Then there's the whole issue of VST which is another technology for midi sound that I haven't tried out yet.

So anyway, let me know what you think and here's a sample of Cadenza - pretty natural sounding on the lower end - gets a little synthetic on the E string but, hey, it's so much better than the windows default and it sure makes it more palatable to hear what a midi file of a song will sound like!!!





Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 20, 2010, 03:13:46 PM »
Ok, well, just so you know, you can add VST instruments and effect to Synthfont.  Use the VSTI Prog button to get to the VST interface.  Note that the VST instrument or effect will be a .dll file.

Offline guitarnene

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 20, 2010, 11:41:01 PM »
Thanks for the tip Ben :)

Offline mswlogo

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 2010, 08:00:54 PM »
Can you post an MP3 sample of the final result?

I went down this path once and still was not happy with results.

Now I just use the el-cheopo MIDI Acoustic Grand Piano (Usually Instrument #1) for the Melody and it sounds quite good (IMO)

You are not gonna learn technique from the MIDI anyway and the Piano sounds so much better.

It's also very portable. Almost any MIDI player hardware does ok on the Piano. Laptops, USB Speakers etc.

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 2010, 08:06:25 PM »
Go to eBay. Look for an E-Mu Proteus 2 Orchestral. It should be quite cheap. Sub-$100.00 cheap. Use that. It has string samples from the legendary Emulator III burned onto its ROM. It will fill the bill admirably, and you get a whole slew of other instruments as well. I know this because I used to own an Emulator III, and still have an E-Mu APS soundcard in my PC. (BTW: The APS is what the soundfonts were originally designed for. It's a heck of a recording card if you can find one.)

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline mswlogo

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 2010, 10:19:37 PM »
Go to eBay. Look for an E-Mu Proteus 2 Orchestral. It should be quite cheap. Sub-$100.00 cheap. Use that. It has string samples from the legendary Emulator III burned onto its ROM. It will fill the bill admirably, and you get a whole slew of other instruments as well. I know this because I used to own an Emulator III, and still have an E-Mu APS soundcard in my PC. (BTW: The APS is what the soundfonts were originally designed for. It's a heck of a recording card if you can find one.)

..Joe

I had an EMU 0404 sound card as well as a TASCAM 144 MKII. I tried some fancy sound fonts recommended and I just didn't care for it. I think they sounded to "Classical" rather "fiddle". I know there are tons to try. And maybe I would be happy with one but I just gave up. I know use software to get teh muscle memory into my fingers. After that I tend you use real recordings.

I would only try something that is try before you buy before trying anything else. Or a sample using MP3 to show me what it would sound like on a good comination of cards and soundfonts. That's why I asked for a sample.

The box you're pointing at is like 20 years old, feels like a can of worms. But it may be a great recommendation.
« Last Edit: Nov 08, 2010, 10:35:16 PM by mswlogo »

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: How to Get Good Midi Sounds for Violin (and other strings)
« Reply #6 on: Nov 08, 2010, 11:10:15 PM »
The 0404 is after Creative Labs took over E-Mu. The APS was before, and has a complete, 16-bit, 64-voice sampler built in, which is why I continue to use it even though it's been discontinued for 10 years. It's built on the Emulator III technology, which - even though it's pretty archaic by today's standards - is still a revered sampler for its sonic capabilities.

http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_emu_audio_production/

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

 




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