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#231676 - 12/30/13 10:12 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds?
GodfreyY Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Buckinghamshire, England
Wondering if anyone has any ideas to share.
I like writing Celtic style tunes but have never managed to find any good instrument sounds for melodies. Just updated to BB 2014 and am very impressed with some of the realtrack styles and realtrack rhythm instruments but the MIDI sounds for things like ethnic fiddle are still pretty dire.
Any advice on how I can get better sounds, either finding different sources or any ideas for tweaking existing sounds (which I've tried endlessly but never managed to come up with any real improvements) would be very welcome.
Many thanks.

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#231771 - 12/30/13 04:52 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Probably not a lot of help.....but here's a Celtic/Bluegrass tune that we did using instruments from both genres. I guess it's really three genres because we started with an old traditional blues tune. I did a lot of cutting and splicing multiple generations of RTs in my DAW. I suspect only the rhythm hints at the Celtic feel.

Cypress Grove
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#231882 - 12/31/13 07:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: Janice & Bud]
GodfreyY Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Buckinghamshire, England
Hi Janice and Bud - thank you for your reply.
Love your song - very nicely done. I started up a Soundcloud account a couple of days ago (although there's nothing in it as yet) so I'll follow yours and listen to more of your work.
My problem is I'm not a singer or songwriter so my tunes are instrumental. What I need to find are some good sounds for traditional style lead instruments, things like fiddle, whistle, accordion etc.
I'm essentially a rhythm player. Bass is my first instrument but I also play tenor guitar and bouzouki and sometimes mix one or more of these with my BIAB tracks.
I have done some tunes playing the melody lines on the bass but generally I do them with a MIDI keyboard.
Thanks again
Godfrey

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#232153 - 01/01/14 09:44 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Posts: 5735
I'm not a big Celtic music fan but my guess would be that you select the style and write the music then choose the instruments (in Real Band) specific to the genre and see how it turns out.

BB/RB can do so much....and if you figure out the work arounds to where it seems to stumble, you can get even further down the road.

Who would think that with over 3000 styles in BB that there would be anything lacking.... but there is. In trying to duplicate the style for a friend's song....from the recording in a night club.... there did not seem to be a matching style that I could find.

Back to Celtic.... fiddle and acoustic guitar are the basis of this style are they not? I would think a folk style would get you there. I seem to recall seeing celtic in the style listings..... or am I wrong? If so, they already have that style....I'd need to open the DAW to see...Look under the folk category.
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#232352 - 01/01/14 10:38 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
MotleyFool Offline
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Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
You might want to take a look at MOTU's "Ethno Instrument 2: softsynth; links:

MOTU Ethno Softsynth Info
Celtic MP3 demo
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#232408 - 01/02/14 07:42 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Guitarhacker Offline
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acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, penny whistle/flute, bagpipes, harp, and hand percussion.....

Those instruments will get the job done and you have most of them in BB/RB
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#232616 - 01/02/14 11:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2322
Loc: Sacramento, California
Godfrey, since you're not a vocalist, you could buy a Vocaloid to sing the melodies. Avanna is supposed to be a Celtic-accented singer.

Your question got me to do an arrangement of The Water is Wide using BiaB and Avanna.

I probably should have re-word some of the pronunciation, and I overdid the reverb a bit. laugh
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#232637 - 01/03/14 06:30 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Mac Offline
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Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Originally Posted By: GodfreyY
...MIDI sounds for things like ethnic fiddle are still pretty dire.


Likely not a Band in a Box problem, but a function of whatever you are currently using for your MIDI synth.

There are both Software and also Hardware options available that can improve those MIDI sounds quite a lot.


--Mac
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#232710 - 01/03/14 03:19 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Guitarhacker Offline
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I'm playing around in BB now.... look under the WORLD/Ethnic styles..... a bunch of celtic stuff in there.
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#233591 - 01/07/14 04:17 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: Guitarhacker]
GodfreyY Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Buckinghamshire, England
Many thanks to all who have replied.
Yes, I agree that there are some very nice Celtic styles in BB that include some very good sounding instrument phrases and motifs, but it is the quality of the lead melody instrument sounds that is my problem.
It may have to do with the synth I'm using but it's the one provided by PG Music, Coyote WT.
Mac - I'd be very grateful if you could expand on some of the ways I might be able to improve my MIDI sounds.
Many thanks
Godfrey

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#233611 - 01/07/14 06:00 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Mac Offline
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Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Godfrey,

While I'm not up on Celtic instrument samples, my advice would be the same for any chosen genre, you should do some websearching and investigation concerning MIDI solutions, both hardware and software, in an effort to find out which ones cater to the Celtic instrument lineup, hit websites and listen to samples and demos, things like that. Actually part of the fun of this thing.

And, yes, there are a lot better sounding MIDI solutions available than the Coyote.


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#233692 - 01/08/14 07:49 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5735
The most difficult part of making midi instruments sound realistic is actually 2 parts.

1. You really have to think the part like a player of that instrument would play it.

2.Going along closely with #1 is you have to insert all the articulations into the midi track that a real player would do.


I picked up a steel guitar synth demo version once upon a time many years back. I listened to the audio demo's and was highly impressed. So I downloaded the synth software demo. It ran as a fully operational synth for 10 days after which it shut down to a demo mode. Nothing produced with it in it's first 10 days was saveable but you could hear what it could do.

So I loaded it up and started to play with it. I might as well have just sat down at a real steel guitar for all the good that synth did me. I had to learn everything..... what keys on my midi keyboard caused a bend on the 5th, or the 3rd, which ones bent up and which ones bent down, and how to bend an entire chord up or down, how to vary just one note in a chord..... attack and release, muting of the notes.... all the things that a real steel player does while playing..... of course, they learned what they know over years and years of study, practice and gigging..... as a guitarist and even with my modest keyboard skills, I knew that to reach the level where I could fool most of the people into thinking I could handle a steel guitar to some level of skill, was in fact, going to take many, many months, if not years of practice to get the articulations that a steel player has.

All that to say, that's why most synth instruments don't sound real. Not because they weren't sampled correctly or accurately, but that the player of the midi track either doesn't take the time or know how to insert the proper articulations native to that given instrument.

That is one reason, and probably the biggest reason I bought BB all those years ago. After hearing the steel in their demo, I decided to risk it and haven't regretted it. When I have steel players who have been playing all their lives, who I have known from my gigging days, ask me who is playing steel on my tunes, you know it's done right.

I was looking for a song I did using guitar samples... it's not online.... while they sounded really good, the articulations were missing and difficult to add properly. Every guitarist I know nailed it immediately. Non-pickers probably didn't pick up that aspect. I spent a few dollars to buy the sample library back when I was getting started to compensate for a dynamic mic and funky guitar. It was a fun experiment but a waste of money.

Good samples with proper articulation and thinking like a player can get it done.

Actually playing the instrument.....even better.


Edited by Guitarhacker (01/08/14 07:53 AM)
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#233694 - 01/08/14 08:18 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: Guitarhacker]
alfstone Offline
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Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 91
Loc: Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Godfrey, it's not BIAB's fault at all, it's Coyote's fault! smile

I mean, since you are talking about the sound of MIDI, it has completely to do with the quality of your MIDI SOUNDS you use for MIDI tracks. Coyote is a middle-level solution for general purposes (as many other similar software), but if you want something REALLY good, you have to go to different solutions, such as the many specialized libraries for Kontakt.

For instance, for Celtic music:

http://www.timespace.com/product/CI-110/4/8888739/big_fish_audio_celtic_instruments_%28download%29.html

...but there are super-specialized libraries pratically for EACH music instrument you can imagine.

So, the procedure is:

- you make the MIDI tracks on BIAB, then

- for a better editing, you drop the obtained MIDI tracks in a nother DAW

- from inside the DAW, you choose a GOOD library (made of VST INSTRUMENTS) for each one of your MIDI tracks (fiddle, flute, harp, guitar...you decide...) made with BIAB.

I hope I understood myself.... grin

Ciao
Alfredo


Edited by alfstone (01/08/14 08:19 AM)
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#233742 - 01/08/14 02:51 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: alfstone]
GodfreyY Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Buckinghamshire, England
As always, lots of useful help here and I now have an idea of what I should be looking for - thank you all.
I've been playing around with what I already have and of those, Coyote, Roland VSC and Creative Soundblaster, I think Soundblaster is marginally better, however, I will take your advice and search the internet to see what I can find.
Thanks again,
Godfrey

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#233765 - 01/08/14 04:41 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: GodfreyY]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11193
Loc: Hamlin NY
Godfrey, if you haven't already google/bing celtic sf2. There are many celtic instruments listed.

I hope this helps.
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#233807 - 01/08/14 10:13 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Decent Celtic solo instrument sounds? [Re: Guitarhacker]
VideoTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 8208
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
The most difficult part of making midi instruments sound realistic is actually 2 parts.

1. You really have to think the part like a player of that instrument would play it.

2.Going along closely with #1 is you have to insert all the articulations into the midi track that a real player would do.
...


Herb's comments above are right on the money. The synth can only reproduce the sounds the way they were sampled. Players can introduce their own articulations on a real instrument in an enormously varied number of styles and techniques. That level and variety of realism cannot usually be generated automatically by the synth, it takes external articulation, as Herb stated.

Listen to the "factory demo" horn or woodwind samples of top level synths. Fantastic. Then buy it and go and try to reproduce that sound by playing notes alone. Good luck with that.

There's more than meets the eye... And that's why we've got RealTracks
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