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#330050 - 01/07/16 03:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Chris_Kn]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 8571
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chris_Kn
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



User Chris_Kn, Is Halion 5 a sample player comparable to Kontakt? I followed your link and that was the first impression I got. If so, why do you recommend HaLion over Kontakt? While I do not have either sampling system if someone was to ask I would recommend Kontakt just because there appears to be more free and paid third party support for Kontakt than there is for HaLion. Also, what general midi type of sound library do you prefer to use with HaLion?
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Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (922) RB (Build 4) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
Laptop: i3 64bit Win 10 build 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
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#330055 - 01/07/16 03:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 12397
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
jford Offline
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Halion has some excellent sounds. I have Halion 4 (but Halion 5 is out, so can't comment there). Of course, as with all things Steinberg, you have to use a USB dongle.

Halion Sonic is the "lite" version of the full blown "Halion". Not as many instruments and not as much control.
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#330359 - 01/09/16 10:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: Derry,Ireland
musiclover Offline
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Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: Derry,Ireland
I have got Cakewalk TTS, Roland Dxi and NI Bandstand.

Here is an all midi example of each done in Realband as the default synth, will play direct on Chrome, may have to download on IE


Cakewalk TTS
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4ZlL1nYKFgndzExdWtyTlN1NTA/view?usp=sharing

NI banstand (a little glitchy in biab but fine in RB)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4ZlL1nYKFgncXZjZldvRTl3NUU/view?usp=sharing

Roland dxi
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4ZlL1nYKFgndDdza3dVT1oyNlk/view?usp=sharing

I usually use the Roland Dxi but kind of leaning towards Bandstand as well.

Musiclover
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#330429 - 01/09/16 05:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 8571
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 8571
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
jford,

I agree. The samples I've heard indicate Halion is a nice sounding sample player. What I'm trying to figure out is it more of a proprietary sample creator and player or more of a system like Kontakt which is also a proprietary sample creator and player but also has a underlying development system that encourages third party adaptation.


Musiclover,

What product is the Roland DXi? Is it the VSC (Virtual Sound Canvas), HyperCanvas or another product I'm not aware of? Roland has released bunches of DXi products over the years. I'm sure you are aware the Cakewalk TTS-1 also was made for Cakewalk by Roland.
_________________________
Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (922) RB (Build 4) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
Laptop: i3 64bit Win 10 build 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Music at: https://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#330482 - 01/10/16 02:44 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: Derry,Ireland
musiclover Offline
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Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: Derry,Ireland
Jim,

Its the VSC which as you know will only work on windows 7 32 bit, does gave an error message on exit of biab as well, no big deal.

musiclover
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Windows 10 (64bit) M-Audio Fast Track Pro, Band in a Box 2022, Cubase elements 11 and Cakewalk by Bandlab.

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#331467 - 01/16/16 04:21 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: Boca Bob]
Registered: 06/10/14
Posts: 3
jeanpanhuis Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/10/14
Posts: 3
Dear BIAB friends,
I'm using BIAB since 1994 now and started with a Roland VC 50. When I got a new computer cuouple of years ago I couldn't find a driver and did not have the serial interface anymore.
Currently using standard Coyote which comes with BIAB.

Maybe a stupid Question after being a fan and user for such a long time:
I would like to improve the sound quality (want it to sound much more realistic) and I only use real styles.
Will I gain in quality with Coyote forte DXI or Roland SD 50 if I only use real styles and no Midi styles?
thanks a lot for your answer.
regards
jean

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#331582 - 01/16/16 04:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jeanpanhuis]
Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2469
Loc: New Mexico
Larry Kehl Offline
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Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2469
Loc: New Mexico
Roland VC-50? is that a sound module? I can't find anything on a SYNTH module called a VC-50 (there is a video field convertor but that's a differ animal). But if you have ANY Roland synth gear that has an RS-232 (serial) interface I'm sure it ALSO had 5 Pin DIN MIDI? So you can still trigger it over MIDI from any OS: DOS up to current Windows 10 and from most any (all) Mac's.

That aside, and I don't mean to be rude but your basic question (and it's been asked by almost every new person to computer music) is analogous to asking which is better a golf club or a cheese bagel to fly an airplane.


If you are saying you ONLY use real styles that have zero (zip, nada, zilch) MIDI in them (no MIDI drums, no MIDI guitars, no MIDI pianos, no MIDI strings, horns, reeds, organs, vibes, etc.) than it is immaterial if you have ANY MIDI synths whether virtual (software plug-ins Like the Coyote Forte ) or actual (like the SD-50) and irrespective of cost: free, cheap, expensive, or astronomical.


If you mean you ALMOST never use a MIDI instrument - then it's a matter of WHICH or what type/class (brass, strings, chromatic, etc.) of MIDI instrument you do use infrequently and need to sound "realistic." If only MIDI piano than you don’t need a full "spectrum" synth or even a GM synth you just need a really good dedicated piano plug-in or an external HW synth that has a really good piano. at least if narrowed to one or a class - folks can point you to a specific dedicated HW or SW solution that duplicates that one "class" of sounds really well.


If you mean you, and this is what I think you are really asking, use a lot of real styles but in reality you ALSO use more than a few BIAB styles that have more than one or two MIDI instruments, then it is a question of how much to you want to spend (see above discussion[s])? The sky is the limit on that one.

Coyote Forte is ~$40, or Music Creator 7 for just a few bucks more, $50, and you get the TTS-1, it is included with MC 7(TTS-1 is similar to, but different from, Coyote Forte - both are GM synths) on the other hand a Roland SD-50 (new, not used) is an order of magnitude more ($450). If you want only acoustic instruments a lot of folks here swear by the Ketron SD-2 (a little cheaper than the SD-50).

Note, you JUST missed a good one (holiday sales are over) if you have or have access to the FREE SampleTank 2.5 (the one that has both VSTi as well as DXi and also has a standalone .exe) then you can still get inexpensive libraries for that, that are actually pretty good for the price and in a lot of cases better than the Coyote or TTS-1 instruments. As matter of fact, Sonic Reality (eSoundz) has a GM lib called Omnisynth 2 that when not on sale is $26 and when on sale is $10 or $15.

https://www.esoundz.com/sounds/omnisynth-2-sampletank-expansion/4736.html


eSoundz also has the same lib for Kontakt (OmniSynth) but setting up GM libs is a P.I.T.A. in Kontakt and requires a lot of memory (not an issue for me with 32GB) and you need the NOT free version of Kontakt - but if you have the full Kontakt 4 or later then you have the factory lib and that already has a lot of good usable sounds (more than Coyote, TTS-1, or even SD-50 and I am a ROLAND "fan boy.").


Finally, you can start virtual fist fights over the question "what is best sounding piano (guitar, sax, solo violin, cello,...) ?" And that's without even considering best sounding piano (guitar, violin,...) for what use: solo [and is that solo for Jazz or solo for a piano concerto] or is that for comping and "sitting in the mix."

To compound that "which is best" piano (guitar, sax, violin...) you get the actual ivory-ponders (pickers, blowers, bowers) weighing in that that swear NONE of them sound real - because they can’t get sympathetic resonance coming out of wood into their finger tips (blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine, BS, BS, BS).


Good Luck and Welcome
Larry



Edited by Larry Kehl (01/16/16 04:22 PM)
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#331583 - 01/16/16 04:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Best Soft Synth? [Re: jeanpanhuis]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 8571
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 8571
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jean,

Real styles use RealTracks that are made up of audio files. Audio files do not use midi. PG Music includes a midi transcription with many RealTracks so the Band-in-a-Box and RealBand piano keyboard windows can work and so that notation can be printed. The midi has nothing at all to do with what you hear when you're listening to a Real style using RealTracks.

Of course Band-in-a-Box also includes midi (only) styles and hybrid styles as well as midiSuperTracks. All of these use midi commands to tell a soft synth what to play and how to play it. The most common format for songs to follow is general midi. General midi has 16 channels (like a mixer channel) and each channel can play one instrument from a standard list of 128 instruments. The 128 instrument list is standard so that when a midi or Band-in-a-Box song file says load up instrument number 1 a piano instrument sound will always be be loaded. While the general midi standard has 128 instruments, it is not the only standard midi instrument list. Roland and Yamaha also have midi instrument lists. General midi added additional instrument sounds that is called General Midi 2 (gm2).

The most popular midi instruments are keyboards that have midi instrument sounds built-in. If a keyboard has a USB or five pin midi connection and it has speakers then the keyboard most likely is GM or GM2 compliant and can play all the instruments in a midi song file at one time. That is also the way the midi players built into Windows and Android works but, it is not the only way midi players can work. Some players can play only one instrument sound at a time. That's the way many synths works. Some midi software players like Kontakt and SampleTank work that way. That means there has to be a player for each instrument in a song.
_________________________
Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (922) RB (Build 4) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
Laptop: i3 64bit Win 10 build 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Music at: https://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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