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#283968 - 02/11/15 07:37 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Best Soft Synth?
Boca Bob Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/08
Posts: 42
Loc: South Florida
Is the Coyote Forte DXi soft synth the best one I can get for BIAB 2015?

I'm running Windows 7 64bit on my desktop, and 8.1 64bit on my laptop.

I'd like it to run on both computers.

Any suggestions would be appreciated...

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#283971 - 02/11/15 08:20 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10451
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
"The best" is a tough one to describe. Best for what?

Lots of folks like the Coyote Forte DXi for its sound in a number of instruments and it is very affordable.

You can get much better sounds, but you'll have to spend more than $40.

Forte used to come with BIAB as a 30-day trial. I don't know if it still does (I'm not at my music computer, so I can't check). You might want to look for the EXE file installer and see; if so, you can always install it and try it out for 30 days to decide whether you want to purchase it or not.

Other folks also like using the Cakewalk TTS-1 ($39), so in the same range, but you get that by buying Cakewalk Music Creator (you really get the Music Creator DAW with the TTS-1 included).

Or if you already have Sonar, you probably already have TTS-1.

The Coyote WS that installs with BIAB is not the same as Forte. It is merely a wrapper for the MIDI sounds that are included in Windows already (and doesn't sound very good).

So I would say that those are probably the best in the $40 range.

You can also go free by getting a free soundfont VSTi (such as Synthfont) and using a good free GM soundfont file, readily available on the internet.

Or you can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for softsynths which much more realistic sounds (but generally not GM, so it's not just plug and play for MIDI - you have to specify each instrument within the softsynth for each MIDI track).

Others will chime in, I'm sure.
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#283977 - 02/11/15 09:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jford]
Boca Bob Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/08
Posts: 42
Loc: South Florida
Thanks for the advice. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

Now, how 'bout an upgrade? A good soft synth for up to $100 that's plug and play (GM) and will work with Windows 7/8 64 bit.

I don't want to assign stuff. Plug and play GM up to $100 or so.

Bob :-)

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#283990 - 02/11/15 11:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11000
Loc: Hamlin NY
Bob, IMO you have two good options. TTS-1 is one of the better GM softsynths. The free soundfont player(s) and GM soundfonts that John also mentioned are as good as if not better than many of those purchased for $100 or less. One great features about soundfonts is that if there is one in your set that you don't like you can easily replace it. With a little work you can have things like 5 different trumpets, 3 different violins etc that you can use. There are a lot of options. Soundfonts are Ok but they are old technology, much like the GM VSTis and ST2 that is shipped with BiaB. They are usable but not the best in the world of MIDI.

But if you want really good MIDI sounds you have to purchase better sound sources and assign them. Assigning them is not a big issue but that is better done in a DAW like RealBand, Sonar etc IMHO.
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#284002 - 02/11/15 02:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
jazzmammal Online   content
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6494
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Boca Bob
Now, how 'bout an upgrade? A good soft synth for up to $100 that's plug and play (GM) and will work with Windows 7/8 64 bit.

I don't want to assign stuff. Plug and play GM up to $100 or so.

Bob :-)


We've all wanted that for years. Doesn't exist but there are workarounds like Sampletank with the Omnisynth library. ST is free and Omnisynth goes on sale a couple times a year for $10 but it's not simply plug and play inside Biab. However there are instructions how to make it work in the Tips and Tricks forum.

The thing is none of the softsynth companies cares one bit about GM sounds. GM isn't considered pro, it's not even semi-pro. GM is basically for sending generic midi files over the internet so your friend can play them. For us Biab uses though it's very convenient.

Bob
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#284006 - 02/11/15 05:01 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
jcland Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/15/01
Posts: 301
Loc: Springfield, MO
If you don't mind loading a good sound font, by all means look into CoolSoft Virtual Midi Synth. It is free and I have been using it for a few years now on both BIAB and TablEdit in order to get better MIDI sounds. It runs just fine under both x86 and x64 versions of windows XP, 7, 8 and 8.1

It is not my favorite, since I am a die-hard Yamaha XG fan but since there is no 64bit support for my Yamaha SW1000 card or my DBXG50 Daughter Card, CoolSoft is a very good alternative.

http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth

I have also successfully loaded Yamaha's fabulous SoftSynth, S-YXG50 VSTi Plugin using jBridge under Windows x64 8.1 and have had no problems running it as a vsti Synth in BIAB ever since jBridge was released. Unfortunately for most people Yamaha's VSTi SoftSynth has been discontinued for a number of years now by Yamaha, but if you are lucky to own that program you can try using jBridge to load it

For all others, give CoolSoft Virtual Midi Synth a try. It might be exactly what you are looking for. The one good thing about using CoolSoft with sound fonts is that if you don't like the sound of one particular sound font you can always load another and there are quite a number of free sound fonts on the web.

As a final note, if you want to try CoolSoft's program, don't use the current 2.x Alpha version, use the stable v.1.12.1 version that was released on 01-07-2015.



Edited by jcland (02/11/15 05:03 PM)

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#284014 - 02/11/15 07:23 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jford]
Muzic Trax Offline
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Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4932
Loc: California
Does the Super Midi in Biab provide sound?

Or,

Are they just better midi arrangements?

Thanks,

Trax

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#284023 - 02/12/15 02:09 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Muzic Trax]
VideoTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 8121
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Muzic Trax
Does the Super Midi in Biab provide sound?

Or,

Are they just better midi arrangements?

Thanks,

Trax


MIDI data is only ever 'messages' to control a MIDI device that then actually makes the sound. MIDI data never has any sound of its own, it only has events that are received by a MIDI capable device that then converts the events into whatever sounds it has available. Essentially, MIDI Super Tracks are just better (more realistic) arrangements of MIDI data. But you still need something to receive the MIDI data and convert it into sounds. This would typically be a Soft Synth (e.g. Coyote Forte) or a Hardware Synth (e.g. Ketron SD2).
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#284028 - 02/12/15 05:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: VideoTrack]
GravityWave Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 5
I'm actually partial to the Roland VSC (Virtual Sound Canvas). It does GM2 and GS. It has the SC88 Pro-stuff as well. Patch files, etc are already setup for BiaB. It used to be included (for free). The setup files are part of my BB2010, but apparently those don't play well with W8.1. Fortunately, I have a VST version still working (I dumped the DX stuff long ago). I have issues loading it into BB2015 (?) directly, but can pipe midi to it using MidiYoke (which does install after using some compatibility settings) via VST exe shell for the VSC.

The CW-TTS1 is more programmable (FX,etc) and does GM2 but I think it lacks the extra Roland soundsets. The TTS1 does load into BiaB2015, but is natively DXI, though it can be wrapped into a VSTi shell, which is the better way, as DXI support is disappearing.

As noted, these are just GM/GS sounds, so not considered 'pro' but more than adequate for composition stuff. I use RBand/Sonar/FLS and my own VSTi's when a song is worth the effort to 'finish' with better samples/instruments. Though the whole export midi/audio is a bit tedious which is the plug for RBand.

I'm actually pretty bummed with the SampleTank/AmpliTube BiaB stuff. They are just demo's and while nice are pretty pricey. The real downside is that they scatter files all over the place and don't clean up after themselves well, leaving IKM junk scattered all over including the registry, so I don't even consider installing the demo's anymore as they are more trouble than they are worth. The IKM copy protection stuff is just a real PITA (imho).

It's been awhile since I've played with SoundFont's (given their age/legacy). While not quite as PnP as the VSC, they are more versatile, though require more work (searches, DL's, comparisons, etc) and setup. Basically, they are reduced feature set SampleTanks.

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#284029 - 02/12/15 05:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5677
The BEST softsynth.....

wow, is that one hard to answer.

Best for what? Many synths are specific to a certain style and genre of music. Some are all around general synths that cover a wide range.

Some like TTS and Coyote are inexpensive. Others like Kontakt and East West are not inexpensive. Some sound like synthesizers and some sound like real orchestras..... it all depends on your needs AND your budget.

In BB for example, in my rig, TTS is the default synth for playing the midi and it sounds relatively decent for that purpose.

If I had to keep just one synth out of all the ones I have... it would be the mid-priced Kontakt. It has professional quality samples in it and it covers a wide range of sounds.

There are also synths in my stable of synths that just do drums, or just do some other instrument.... and they do, what they do, well.
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#284214 - 02/14/15 08:17 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
jazzmammal Online   content
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6494
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Best is very subjective but very good can be described. Very good costs real money. As a keyboard player I probably have 15K (new prices) worth of keyboards right now. The best overall synths I have are the Kurzweil PC3 and the new Roland FA06. The Kurz retails for about $2,800 and the FA for about $1,500. Excellent sounds. For modules I have a Roland Sonic Cell. About $500 new. The new Roland Integra is about $1,700.

Good sounds cost real money. You can save by going software vs hardware. To equal the sounds of my keyboards again, it's real money. Kontakt with all the sound libraries is $6-800 and the other big name softsynts are about the same.

When somebody asks for the "best" on this forum anyway they usually mean the best for cheap. That is problematic because there is nothing that is even close to "best" for less than several hundred bucks.

$300 for ST 3 is a steal imho. But when someone talks about the aggravation in using stuff like this, getting it all set up, having problems, all that stuff all I can say is welcome to the real world of digital audio. Somebody has a problem with IKM's authorization process? Try other companies with their iLock dongle. You have to be a true computer nerd to get all this working if you want anything close to the "best" sounds. Lots of folks simply want something that they can load up, sounds like a million bucks with no hassles and all they have to do is hit play.

Good luck with that.

Bob


Edited by jazzmammal (02/14/15 08:27 AM)
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#284273 - 02/14/15 05:14 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jazzmammal]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5677
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal

.....Good sounds cost real money......

When somebody asks for the "best" on this forum anyway they usually mean the best for cheap. That is problematic because there is nothing that is even close to "best" for less than several hundred bucks.

Bob


Bingo!!!

When people say they want good sounds for under $100 ... I have to shake my head..... because while you can get decent sounds, no sir, they will not be realistic enough to fool anyone. Coyote and TTS are good synths but they are definitely bottom of the barrel when it comes to sound quality...and yes, I have and use TTS every single day I am recording....it's my default BB synth. The only thing lower in quality it the wavetable synth. (IMHO)

There are a few decent low cost sample libraries... GPO is one, Miroslave lite is another.... The NI stuff is good and Kontakt is a benchmark and at the lower end of the professional sounding libraries. Some of the "best sounding" libraries are several thousand bucks.... and out of the reach of most home hobby recording enthusiasts.

Good does cost money. Best costs even more.


Edited by Guitarhacker (02/14/15 05:15 PM)
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#284290 - 02/14/15 08:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
jazzmammal Online   content
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6494
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Something to add, I'm not trying to scare anyone or make them feel foolish because they don't understand this. Most of us here including me don't use Biab itself with the best sounding synths. We mostly use it as the first tool to get a song layout. The basic synths are plenty good enough for that. If I really want some good sounding horns or strings I can always hook up my Kurz or Roland but with all the Real Tracks and what I use Biab for, the Forte DXi is usually good enough.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#284310 - 02/15/15 03:01 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jazzmammal]
ZeroZero Offline
Expert

Registered: 07/15/07
Posts: 1632
Loc: Bynar
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Something to add, I'm not trying to scare anyone or make them feel foolish because they don't understand this. Most of us here including me don't use Biab itself with the best sounding synths. We mostly use it as the first tool to get a song layout. The basic synths are plenty good enough for that. If I really want some good sounding horns or strings I can always hook up my Kurz or Roland but with all the Real Tracks and what I use Biab for, the Forte DXi is usually good enough.

Bob


Well said Bob +1
Coyote Forte Synth seems good enough here.
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#284320 - 02/15/15 05:13 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Chris_Kn Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 53
Loc: NW England
The best soft synth if you really must is this probably this one https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/halion_and_halion_sonic/halion_5.html#c216893
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#284333 - 02/15/15 05:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: ZeroZero]
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11000
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: ZeroZero
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Something to add, I'm not trying to scare anyone or make them feel foolish because they don't understand this. Most of us here including me don't use Biab itself with the best sounding synths. We mostly use it as the first tool to get a song layout. The basic synths are plenty good enough for that. If I really want some good sounding horns or strings I can always hook up my Kurz or Roland but with all the Real Tracks and what I use Biab for, the Forte DXi is usually good enough.

Bob


Well said Bob +1
Coyote Forte Synth seems good enough here.


Another +1

That is exactly how I work, i.e. Coyote Forte to much better sounding softsynths.
_________________________
The only exercise I did this month was run out of money!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#284355 - 02/15/15 08:06 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: MarioD]
earl kirby Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 456
Loc: Mountain Home, Arkansas
tss-1 for me. But for what I do I also really like the Garraten personnel Orchestra. You have to assign instruments but you do get the better sound for the your $100.
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#329394 - 01/04/16 01:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: earl kirby]
glossum Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/16
Posts: 3
Yes, Garritan is good, but not fully automatized.
IMO, Old Yamaha XG Softsynth is still the best option for standard 128-instrument General Midi.
I just listened to couple of soundfonts mentioned here, none of them is good enough compared to Yamaha.
The key moment is BALANCE. Sure that every soundfont has "Excellent sounds". Yes, single instruments can sound realistically. But any COMBINATION of them involves calculation of individual chorus, reverb and many other parameters. The Yamaha still manages this task better than any soundfont, no matter how huge it is.
I'm very big fan of GM midi's since the 2000 year and Pentium era. Regularly I've been monitoring the web for new soundfonts, softsynths and other. The answer is no. Not a Roland, not a Native Instruments. The more instruments are involved - the clearer is the difference.

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#329411 - 01/04/16 02:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Jim Fogle Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3799
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
How about a digital audio worstation (DAW) with built-in instruments?

There are a few forum users (I'm not a user but if I was looking for a DAW this would be my first choice) that use MultitrackStudio. It is easy to use, stable, well supported, works with Windows or Mac and within your price range. You can find out more about MultiTrackStudio, or MTS, ++ HERE ++
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#329508 - 01/05/16 02:06 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Happy Birthday Kevin Woolley Online   content
Expert

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 831
Loc: Pietersburg, South Africa
You can also try this updated version of Rolands classic...

http://www.roland.com/products/sound_canvas_va/

A bit expensive but it works well with Band in a Box and it sounds good from the tests I have made.


Kevin smile

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