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  • The MIDI Messages Forum  Ask and you shall receive

    The MIDI Messages Forum
    Ask and you shall receive

  1. finn
  2. MIDI Software
  3. Saturday, 30 December 2017
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if i wanted to make orchestral music with a midi device and software, are some softwares better than others. i'm more interested in mainly making classical themes. i currently do not have any equipment of any sort so i am asking before i buy something i wont need.
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Michael (@MS-SPO) Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hello finn,

think of the difference between notating music and how it sounds.

~~~
Let's follow one of many pathes from notation to sound, via MIDI.

You can notate music with programs like MuseScore (open source), where you enter one or more staffs for each instrument, creating your score. Usually these programs accept note input via mouse, keyboard (PC) or keyboard (MIDI). Please find examples here (and listen to them online), e.g. to Bach or Butterfly.

They usually can play your score, too, or export your score as MIDI. In both activities the program or the (external) MIDI-player convert notations into sound. That's where soundfiles and synthesizers enter from a technical perspective, some sounding great, some sounding bad on the same partition.

When you import your MIDI-file into a DAW, the DAW opens one or more MIDI-tracks, just like you had in e.g. MuseScore. DAWs mimick the mentioned sequencer (hardware) inside your computer. Again, the DAW let's assign you different synthesizers or sounds to each track. From there on you can do anything to your interpreted sounds, as you could for analog inputs, e.g. from microphons: amplify, add sound effects, filter, stereo-positioning (panning) etc. (You could also notate in DAWs on MIDI-tracks, if you like, e.g. from live recordings of your keyboard.)

From a program point of view there are some free ones available, like Anvil. However, they may not be much fun to work with. E.g. I'm fine with Presonus Studio One, which was bundled to my MIDI-keyboard. But the others mentioned are fine as well and work pretty much the same way.

~~~
So in summary you may want to have to enjoy creating and listening to classical music:
* sth. like MuseScore (free) for notation
* an USB MIDI-keyboard for easier note input to any staff and instrument
* a DAW, perhaps bundled to the keyboard
* some good audio output, perhaps via headphones.

For the audio output your computers sound card may be all you need, as they improved year after year. However, you may need some adapter between your computers output pin and your headphone.

So this totals to 0 Euros/USD, if you just stay with MuseScore, or sth. like 200 - 500 Euros/USD for new devices mentioned here.

Hope this helps, Michael
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 1
Michael (@MS-SPO) Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hello finn,

think of the difference between notating music and how it sounds.

~~~
Let's follow one of many pathes from notation to sound, via MIDI.

You can notate music with programs like MuseScore (open source), where you enter one or more staffs for each instrument, creating your score. Usually these programs accept note input via mouse, keyboard (PC) or keyboard (MIDI). Please find example here (and listen to them online).

They usually can play your score, too, or export your score as MIDI. In both activities the program or the (external) MIDI-player convert notations into sound. That's where soundfiles and synthesizers enter from a technical perspective, some sounding great, some sounding bad on the same partition.

When you import your MIDI-file into a DAW, the DAW opens one or more MIDI-tracks, just like you had in e.g. MuseScore. DAWs mimick the mentioned sequencer (hardware) inside your computer. Again, the DAW let's assign you different synthesizers or sounds to each track. From there on you can do anything to your interpreted sounds, as you could for analog inputs, e.g. from microphons: amplify, add sound effects, filter, stereo-positioning (panning) etc. (You could also notate in DAWs on MIDI-tracks, if you like, e.g. from live recordings of your keyboard.)

From a program point of view there are some free ones available, like Anvil. However, they may not be much fun to work with. E.g. I'm fine with Presonus Studio One, which was bundled to my MIDI-keyboard. But the others mentioned are fine as well and work pretty much the same way.

~~~
So in summary you may want to have to enjoy creating and listening to classical music:
* sth. like MuseScore (free) for notation
* an USB MIDI-keyboard for easier note input to any staff and instrument
* a DAW, perhaps bundled to the keyboard
* some good audio output, perhaps via headphones.

For the audio output your computers sound card may be all you need, as they improved year after year. However, you may need some adapter between your computers output pin and your headphone.

So this totals to 0 Euros/USD, if you just stay with MuseScore, or sth. like 200 - 500 Euros/USD for new devices mentioned here.

Hope this helps, Michael
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 2
Geoff Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I would suggest that you could also use any sort of 'sequencer' software, which may be a lot simpler that the DAWs mentioned.

However, it depends on just what you plan to do.

A sequencers will be totally dependant on some external unit (keyboard, or tone module) to actually make the sounds. And you will be restricted in the sounds you can make to the unit you have. Many of the DAWs can load external sound files, which can be changed, added to, etc, however, if you want your creation to be used by any third party, then they must have the same facilities else your creation will not sound right. I would suggest that you stick - initially at least - to GM (or maybe GM2) sounds so that your sequence can be appreciated by anyone.

Using the facilities of many more modern sound modules will allow the creation of OK music, using the extra tweaks of midi (controllers, effects) can add to that, if you've got tracks/channels to spare you can do layering etc to enhance the sound.

You can make as good, or as bad, a midi file as you like, it's all down to the planning, and how much effort you put into it.

You should find a number of midi files of music you like, and listen to them, and look at the midi data in the file, and see what's been done. There are MASSES of classical midi files existing (as much of the work is out of conyright).

There is at least one book tht you might try to find - called 'Classics in Sequence'. I don't know where my copy is right now, in a box burried in the garage I think. The same authors/publisher also produced 'Rock in Sequence' and I think another one. The book contains a set of projects, getting more complex as the book progresses, but explaining a lot about what you may be trying to do.

If you want any more info, feel free to come back.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 3
finn Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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thanks for your help i will be sure to check them out
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 4
Steve Caldwell Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Wow that is a tough one. There are many many pieces of software out there that can do this type of thing.
In general they are called DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).
Some examples:

  • Ableton Live
  • Reaktor
  • Studio One
  • Sonar
  • Reaper
  • Traction
  • Traktor
  • Cubase
  • GarageBand
  • Kontakt
  • VirtualDJ


The list goes on.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 5
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