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Old 04-03-2013, 01:27 PM   #1
pushkar000
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Question about MIDI

hey guys
complete noob here in this recording/mixing/etc aspect of music.

i have a question about midi files.
i made this thing on tuxguitar and exported it as a midi file.
as far as i am aware, i can apply different sounds to each midi track and thus use the original midi file with different sounds to make it realistic?
my question is, if this is possible, how do i do it? what programs would i require?
i didnt know how to phrase this question in a google-friendly manner, hence my posting here. apologies if this has been posted before.

my thing on tuxguitar sounds like crap, and i want to put some realistic instrument sounds to make a little nicer sounding.

thanks in advance!
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Hi.

First off, you'll need a DAW. Try Reaper; it's free-ish, and I think it has a sequencer. I use FL Studio, personally, but it's more geared towards electronic music (although it can easily do rock).

When you make a MIDI file, it has all the notes in your song, along with instructions on how to play them (like the tempo and instrument layout). A DAW is used for basically all your audio anythings; recording, mixing, and synthesis. It can run programs ("plugins", sometimes called VSTs) inside it, that act as instruments and effects. What you'll do is import the MIDI file into your DAW, and it'll split each instrument into tracks (if it's any good). Then, you can put an instrument plugin on each track, and it'll read those notes like sheet music.

The problem is that good plugins are expensive. One good way to start is to get a "soundfont player" (there are probably some free ones out there), which is like a virtual synthesizer keyboard; you tell it to sound like a certain instrument, and it will. To do that, it reads off a bank of instrument samples called a "soundfont". Look for Fluid R3; it's a free soundfont that sounds decent. And remember, you'll need a player too.

Welcome to the world of midi.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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Its pretty difficult to emulate a realistic sounding guitar from synthesizers.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
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He didn't say guitars, and I hope he didn't mean guitars.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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Just sharing knowledge. Chill
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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Right. As has been mentioned, midi is little more than a set of instructions that basically tell an instrument to play what note, when to play it, how long to hold it, how loud to play it and what kind of a sound to use.

The sound quality is ultimately dependent, not upon the midi data itself, but on the quality of instrument the midi data is being asked to play. If your "instrument" being played are sounds built into the wavetable of your soundcard - an instrument worth about 50 cents - it will sound like you are playing an instrument worth about 50 cents. If you use a high-quality virtual instrument with high-quality samples, or a high-quality hardware sampler it will sound like a million bucks. Think Timbaland, Moby, etc.

That said, there are *very* few convincing guitar emulations and *very* few human voice emulations. Even triggering high quality samples is touch-and-go at best.

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:48 AM   #7
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
pushkar000
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thanks a lot guys! appreciate the advice!

i did, in fact, mean guitar. i am assuming that would be an issue. but no matter. close to anything is better than the tuxguitar sound.
i can use both guitar and piano sounds for the main instrument so its no worry

i dont need a realistic professional level sound, i just need something that sounds roughly like its played on strings cause tuxguitar sounds nothing like it.

Last edited by pushkar000 : 04-04-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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I may create a blank sticky thread, just so I can name it 'MIDI IS NOT A SOUND, IT IS A COMPUTER LANGUAGE'


TS, honestly - the guitar synthesizers that are out there sound quite fake, because simulating the guitar in all its glory is a very big challenge, even just listing all the variables that affect the sound, before you even get from the guitar to the amp. At the end of the day, you would be better off spending your time and money getting a cheap guitar interface and recording the parts yourself with free amp sims, than trying to find realistic guitar simulation that will do what you want without hours and hours of tweaking settings.

Just some of the things that affect how your playing sounds: tuning accuracy, string gauge, wood used on body of guitar (resonance), wood used as top for the body (brightness/high end), bridge type and resonance, shape of guitar and how light/dense it is, neck joint, how other strings resonate, note-dependent sympathetic resonances, age of strings (affects brightness, speed of transient response/'attack' and decay time), plectrum material used/fingers, duration note is held leading into next note, how the previous note is played...

The list is bigger than that, but already you can appreciate just how many things will affect how real a simulated guitar can sound.

Even just sampling notes/chords doesn't cover all of these bases, as you don't stop completely to silence between each note or chord you play, and there are variances in the attack of the notes depending on how you play them.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
I may create a blank sticky thread, just so I can name it 'MIDI IS NOT A SOUND, IT IS A COMPUTER LANGUAGE'

Please don't do that, we have WAY to many stickies as is.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
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Maybe we should just have the "ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS" Thread

Which just has obnoxiously smug answers to really basic questions. Half the answers being "Read the FUQING sticky"
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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If you want a better fake guitar sound, you can try running a clean tone ("steel guitar") through an amp sim (there's a sticky about them). It'll sound marginally better than TuxGuitar, but again, it'll still sound like ass. Don't expect miracles.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
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The only time I've seriously tried to the clean vst through amp sim approach was when trying to replicate the NiN guitar tone.


It didn't really work.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Maybe we should just have the "ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS" Thread

Which just has obnoxiously smug answers to really basic questions. Half the answers being "Read the FUQING sticky"

Half the stickies are like five years old anyway. It might help to just burn them down and start over with fewer. Or just one huge, super-laconic "how to record a song" checklist.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #15
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The two I made are like a year old xD
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
The two I made are like a year old xD

Then maybe we should burn you down too
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Last edited by Cavalcade : 04-04-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #17
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D=

Though tbf the interfaces one needs a little updating.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #18
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The spam I made is like that of a one year old xD
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:08 AM   #19
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[Almost convincing adbot spam, copied post from elsewhere and tried to insert dodgy links... UG Spam Filters 1:0 Adbot]
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