Software instruments as an external sound source.



Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby torch » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:40 am

Does anyone use software instruments with a midi instrument? Recently I stumbled upon Gig Perfromer VST/audio plug-in host and Neo-Soundstation a sound library for Kontakt. They both work so well that it feeIs like I have a hardware sound module that I can customize anyway I want. If anybody is interested in this, I will share more.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby Glenn » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:33 am

Sounds interesting.
Is your idea to use a laptop with ASIO interface and suitable software as you describe in order to create a flexible and portable solution? I run cubase elements and Reason together but never really thought of using them with my accordion.
1) Ballone Burini 46C (4+5) cassotto (LMMH) 3/3 PA; 2) Accordiola Piano V (5+5) cassotto (LMMMH) 3/3 PA;
3) Roland FR8X; 4) Hohner Vox 4k (LMMH) 3/3 CBA
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby torch » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:51 am

If one wants just a bare minimum setup, Asio4All driver wil work well, too. Some report that Asio4All works even better than some of the USB interfaces with their own Asido driver. Not that I did any serious work with Reaosn, but a number of years ago I made a few patches in Reason for an accordion setup. Thanks to the flexiblity of Reason, the patches sounded pretty good. Gig Performer seems to be the most intuitive VST host I have come across. I asked them if they could implement a feature Roland calls patch remain. For some reason, these days very few keyboards/modules have that capability. Anyway, Gig Performer implemented the feature and they refer it to as patch persist. Very smooth sound transition. In fact, Korg calls smooth sound transition to come to think of it... Anyway, my idea is to use a midi foot controller to do all the program changes on multiple channels and Neo Station will change sounds instantly or Gig Performer will master all the plug-ins you have and allow you to make your own "sound module" so to speak. I have only live performance in mind. My reason for an foot controller is to totally keep the internal sounds of the Roland accordion or anything else from the modude/arranger/soft synths. That way your accordion's internal sounds are totally independent from the module.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby JerryPH » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:34 am

I started to dabble with it before I got my FR-8X.

The USB to MIDI intface acceprs the MIDI signals from my MIDI keyboard, it captures the input to a track that routes it to another track where I have a virtual instrurment assigned and tgat channel is assigned via ASIO driver out to a channel to a specific channel on my FireWire mixer, out to the amp and speakers.

I found it quite complex to get it all working from the DAW side, but once set up, it was interesting. The thing was that costs involved for the purchase of Kontact and then other virtual accordions and virtual instruments can quickly reach from the hundreds to the thousands and the hardware needed go make it run perfectly needed to be above average if you started to get as complex as I was doing it.

It is surprisingly more cost effective to purchase a Roland V-Accirdion and install all the expansion sets and get more accordion sounds and flexibility over doing it via VST. Once properly set up, an FR-8X, for example can offer you several hundred accordion sounds that can be customized in to thousands of variations and then add the 15 separate drum sets and the several hundred more orchestral sounds and finally, being able to layer all of these possible combinations all from the keyboard, once set up, and you start to see that VST is not cost efficient and more "studio only"than anything else. Oh, you can use VST live, but the amount of preporatory work would be tremendous, at least 10 times the time and effort needed to use the V-Accordion and still never as flexible on the fly. Add a Roland BK-7m, use MIDI capture and integration and there is enough there to keep pretty much anyone busy for years... lol

Just my opinion. :)
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby PolishMoonPolkaTrio » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:45 pm

torch - I plug my midi-ed accordion into a laptop running Reason. I use if for all my gigs, unless I'm just playing acoustic. It works well and is very flexible. Reason creates all the sounds I need, and laptops don't weigh very much.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby Mr turtle » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:41 am

I have used my old fr-3s and my laptop with a standalone called Miditzer 260, which simulates a wurlitzer organ.
Also used with vst plugs to access synths and also hammond organ sounds

Works great with reason or fruityloops for playing samples.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby torch » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:13 am

An FR7x fitted with a MIDI out and a half size of the factory battery is my main ax. At first, I didn't even want to take an amp to gigs, but then again I didn't want to work the bellows as hard, either. I forced myself to start to take a small amp such as the BA330. Of course, it sounds better, too. I sure like the convenience of the 7x. As much as I enjoyed playing good VST sounds at home, I never considered take the VST system to gigs. However, I am coming to a point where my software system is simple enough to take to gigs occasionally. I use a tiny Bluetooth transmitter. It is as small as the tip of a MIDI din connector. It is small enough to stay connected to the 7x and I can take the 7x in and out of the Roland gig bag with ease. The Bluetooth transmitter on the 7x will send midi directly to my IOS tablet without a single wire or interface device. I had been waiting for Korg to come out with an IOS version of their M1 Legacy. It was a legendary keyboard that started the concept of a workstation. I think I paid $20 for it and all the expandsion sound cards. There is a Roland app that incorporates a couple of Roland midi modules. It is around $20. I noticed that all Roland apps either for IOS or Windows all have what Roland calls patch remain. If you use a sustain pedal, you can change sounds without any cut off. These days very very few keyboards even have that feature. The flagship keyboard of Korg Kronos has that feature, and Korg calls it smooth sound transition.

So it does not have to be expensive or complex. In fact, I am thinking that a person can have a very simple, inexpensive MIDI accordion and take advantage of some inexpensive hardware and software tools out there.

JerryPH wrote:I started to dabble with it before I got my FR-8X.

The USB to MIDI intface acceprs the MIDI signals from my MIDI keyboard, it captures the input to a track that routes it to another track where I have a virtual instrurment assigned and tgat channel is assigned via ASIO driver out to a channel to a specific channel on my FireWire mixer, out to the amp and speakers.

I found it quite complex to get it all working from the DAW side, but once set up, it was interesting. The thing was that costs involved for the purchase of Kontact and then other virtual accordions and virtual instruments can quickly reach from the hundreds to the thousands and the hardware needed go make it run perfectly needed to be above average if you started to get as complex as I was doing it.

It is surprisingly more cost effective to purchase a Roland V-Accirdion and install all the expansion sets and get more accordion sounds and flexibility over doing it via VST. Once properly set up, an FR-8X, for example can offer you several hundred accordion sounds that can be customized in to thousands of variations and then add the 15 separate drum sets and the several hundred more orchestral sounds and finally, being able to layer all of these possible combinations all from the keyboard, once set up, and you start to see that VST is not cost efficient and more "studio only"than anything else. Oh, you can use VST live, but the amount of preporatory work would be tremendous, at least 10 times the time and effort needed to use the V-Accordion and still never as flexible on the fly. Add a Roland BK-7m, use MIDI capture and integration and there is enough there to keep pretty much anyone busy for years... lol

Just my opinion. :)
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby torch » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:19 am

PolishMoonPolkaTrio wrote:torch - I plug my midi-ed accordion into a laptop running Reason. I use if for all my gigs, unless I'm just playing acoustic. It works well and is very flexible. Reason creates all the sounds I need, and laptops don't weigh very much.

Good for you!!! I am sure that you are a rare breed merging the accordion with Reason. I have not updated my Reason in the last 10 years. when I got into Reason at first, I understand Reason was not known for its orchestra/tranditional instrument sounds. Still, when made a few patches, they sounded very good. I am going to get back to Reason soon or when they come out with Version 10. Maybe we can share info.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby torch » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:30 am

Mr turtle wrote:I have used my old fr-3s and my laptop with a standalone called Miditzer 260, which simulates a wurlitzer organ.
Also used with vst plugs to access synths and also hammond organ sounds

Works great with reason or fruityloops for playing samples.

Yes, Miditzer 260. Less than 3 MB or so, right? (The 1st generation of the Concerto midi accordion has a sound board which is only 4 MB!) Yet, it sounds darn good, and it's free. If not, they have a free version. I have an arranger called Desktop by V 3 Sound, and I have a theater organ sound board in it, but I want all my sounds in my PC, too and there are fantastic theater organ VSTs out there.

Since your FR3s has a MIDI out not like the FR7 and FR7x, you might want to look into a bluetooth MIDI transmitter. There is one caveat; The FR3x will power the bluetooth MIDI transmitter. The 8x will. I had a friend install a midi jack in my 7x. It did not power the transmitter though the MIDI out sends midi out. If I use the Roland adapter for the 7x, it will power the transmitter, but I did not want to use the ugly and bulky Roland adapter. Later I learned that there was another wire that needed to be connected.
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Re: Software instruments as an external sound source.

Postby Glenn » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:21 pm

torch wrote:
PolishMoonPolkaTrio wrote:torch - I plug my midi-ed accordion into a laptop running Reason. I use if for all my gigs, unless I'm just playing acoustic. It works well and is very flexible. Reason creates all the sounds I need, and laptops don't weigh very much.

Good for you!!! I am sure that you are a rare breed merging the accordion with Reason. I have not updated my Reason in the last 10 years. when I got into Reason at first, I understand Reason was not known for its orchestra/tranditional instrument sounds. Still, when made a few patches, they sounded very good. I am going to get back to Reason soon or when they come out with Version 10. Maybe we can share info.

One nice thing about Reason (and you can get the cut-down version for €60 which has a ton of stuff) is the ability to easily make an instrument combination and then control it via a midi controller.
If you consider the bellows of a midi accordion (eg. Roland V accordion) as a controller you can suddenly see the advantage.
The bellows can control envelope, attack, modulation, filter etc... The choice is yours and is a great playground to experiment.
Of course if you are looking for a software instrument that is a faithful representation of an Gola etc. then you are out of luck using this approach.
1) Ballone Burini 46C (4+5) cassotto (LMMH) 3/3 PA; 2) Accordiola Piano V (5+5) cassotto (LMMMH) 3/3 PA;
3) Roland FR8X; 4) Hohner Vox 4k (LMMH) 3/3 CBA
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