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I am looking for some advice on what to look for to achieve a better sounding soft synth. My feeling is both synths that come with this package is....well marginal at best.I have tried them with some of the super midi and they sound ok,but limited on my instrument selection and quality.RealTracks sound great but I am also reaching for more to customize my backing tracks. I play electric bass and enjoy playing a variety if genre's, but mostly smooth jazz/funk blues and country. I have listened to the synth demos PG has provided on the other software page,and seems each synth has a strong suite.My preference would be to keep using BIAB/RB as I am new to this and have never used any other daw software. I guess I just need to understand a bit more about the limitations of soft synths and what to watch out for to use this program. Where do I expand my library for quality midi files? Are there quality programs that I should look at to compliment BIAB/RB?
I realize this is a loaded question as to the open checkbook...but I am a bit of a tight wad. grin


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For your use, and minimal cost, I'd think the TTS-1 would be better than Coyote or other (fairly) inexpensive ones.

http://www.pgmusic.com/musiccreator.htm

Whether you decide to try Cakewalk as a DAW is up to you, but for the cost you get the synth too.
Not sure if you can find it for less $$ elsewhere, didn't check. That's up to your self-proclaimed 'tight wad' side. <grin>

Anyway, I think it'll work better for your style than most others at this cost.

In RB you can easily use many different synths, so if you like Drums 'A' from one synth and piano 'B' from another you can have both. (or many more)

As far as sound quality and control, I find hardware better, but way more expensive.


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Cakewalk's Music Creator (MC) comes with TTS which really isn't a big improvement over what you have. I wouldn't buy MC for TTS. I would however, buy MC for Sound Center.

MC has the Cakewalk Sound Center (CSC) which is a sample synth and Cakewalk sells a number of add on sound libraries for $20 or so each. In addition it has other sound... bass, keys, pads and guitar synths in it. I've never used them so I can't say much from a personal experience thing.... but others use them in the Cakewalk forums and they do sound good.

CSC sounds really nice for the price. I have it and use it a lot for bass and piano when I need to do a custom midi part using a synth.

Another synth to consider is Native Instruments Kontakt. This one is more expensive but well worth every dollar. It also is a sampler and has a complete orchestra as well as a number of other things in it. If you can afford it, the NI Komplete set is an entire group of high quality synths. Pads, strings, sounds, instruments, drums, and more. Kontakt also has the distinction of being a professional quality synth. You can use it for TV & Film as well as Gaming scores. In addition, it has a very large and decent 3rd party aftermarket group of vendors who make unique sound libraries for it. I've picked up and used a few of these and they are awesome. Very realistic sounds all the way around with Kontakt.

Another option is the East/West libraries. Very high quality stuff, but not cheap. Again, worth every dollar. I also have one of the E/W library synths.

Those are my 3 recommendations and I own and use all 3.


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Props2,

The TTS-1 soft synth is a really nice tool to have in your musical toolbox. It is one of the few (with Coyote Forte being the other) GM compatible multi-timbrel soft synths. A GM compatible multi-timbrel soft synth plays multiple instrument sounds simultaneously. GM compatible means they automatically select and insert the instrument so you don't have to worry about midi settings. Many people use TTS-1 or Forte as their primary soft synths to create their songs because of their ease-of-use and have decent instrument sounds.

A step above would be ++ SampleTank ++ or ++ Omnisphere2 ++ While both are multi-timbrel they are not GM compatible so you will have to select and load each instrument sound (most people call an instrument sound a "patch").

Your next xhoice is something like ++ KontaKt ++ where the player plays 1 instrument patch.

One last option you may want to consider and that is to buy an inexpensive all-in-one keyboard with midi and audio connections. Most likely the most inexpensive solution besides Forte or TTS-1


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props,
Coyote Forte is the best bang for your buck (well, that's my opinion at least). Keep in mind BIAB is a GM program and therefore really needs a GM synth to do what it does (in a simple manner). But that does not mean you can not move on at some point to a dedicated non GM VSTi synths which are sounds which can be more fine tuned for quality and realism. Most of us use these in a dedicated DAW.

BTW, McHenry Il, is just minutes up the road from me down here at Route 12 and 22 ???


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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Cakewalk's Music Creator (MC) comes with TTS which really isn't a big improvement over what you have. I wouldn't buy MC for TTS. I would however, buy MC for Sound Center.

MC has the Cakewalk Sound Center (CSC) which is a sample synth and Cakewalk sells a number of add on sound libraries for $20 or so each. In addition it has other sound... bass, keys, pads and guitar synths in it. I've never used them so I can't say much from a personal experience thing.... but others use them in the Cakewalk forums and they do sound good.

CSC sounds really nice for the price. I have it and use it a lot for bass and piano when I need to do a custom midi part using a synth.

Another synth to consider is Native Instruments Kontakt. This one is more expensive but well worth every dollar. It also is a sampler and has a complete orchestra as well as a number of other things in it. If you can afford it, the NI Komplete set is an entire group of high quality synths. Pads, strings, sounds, instruments, drums, and more. Kontakt also has the distinction of being a professional quality synth. You can use it for TV & Film as well as Gaming scores. In addition, it has a very large and decent 3rd party aftermarket group of vendors who make unique sound libraries for it. I've picked up and used a few of these and they are awesome. Very realistic sounds all the way around with Kontakt.

Another option is the East/West libraries. Very high quality stuff, but not cheap. Again, worth every dollar. I also have one of the E/W library synths.

Those are my 3 recommendations and I own and use all 3.



I also have all three and agree with Herb. Kontakt is my go to sound source for most all of my sounds, although I do have and use others.

I would like to state that Kontakt is not a sampler for recording sounds: note there are some very good free sound samplers, just google/bing to find them. Kontakt is a sampler in the realm of taking sampled sounds, placing them on certain keys (turning them into an instrument) so you can play them with a MIDI controller. I just wanted to clear that up in case one was going to buy Kontakt to sample sounds.

Personally my choice for a beginner would by to get CSC, learn it then get Kontakt. East/West libraries are extremely good but they can be a little harder to set up and use, but YMMV. But by all means if you can afford all three these are the three to get, just be sure to budget more money for more sounds for them. All three have extra sounds/patches that you buy. Now you know why I am always broke!


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Props

Another possibility.....

If you are comfortable not using a general midi synth but using one where individual tracks are set (like Kontact), you could use Sforzando that comes with BIAB 2017 and soundfonts. There are heaps of soundfonts on the net for free.... some are really good and some are really bad.

Also some instruments translate and play back really well as midi (e.g. piano, organ, strings, etc.). Some others don't always sound as good when interpreted as midi. For these, the instrumental nuances that define 'realism' require advanced midi engineering skills and the midi file in use might not always contain such data.

Lastly, if you want to learn how to drive midi, this is much easier done in Realband than BIAB (as rharv has already mentioned).

Regards
Noel


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Very good points Noel.


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Herb & Mario,

Thanks for mentioning Cakewalk Sound Center. I didn't even think of it and I should because I have it. The difference is my version came with Music Creator 6 and the only included instrument patch is for the drums. MC7 includes drums, bass, strings and electric piano (if my memory is correct).

Another bonus with Music Creator 7 is it, and its accessories, are available in both 32 & 64 bit and you are allowed to download and use both versions!


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Thanks guys for your input. Calkwalk is probably the way I should go, because I need to learn. At the same time I am in the camp of "I hate to buys tools twice". Its a sickness of mine. I don't mind spending the money if it really works for me.I have looked at Kontakt and was intrigued by it,but I dont know what I dont know.I have not done any recording...heck I dont even have an interface yet,as I am still learning about those. My primary interest is making quality backing tracks. BIAB has been great at getting me hooked in this stuff. Sheesh...its never going to end,is it? Guys, thanks again for taking your time to help out. I will take everyone's advise and try to make an informed decision. Maybe hardware has to come into play??


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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
props,
Coyote Forte is the best bang for your buck (well, that's my opinion at least). Keep in mind BIAB is a GM program and therefore really needs a GM synth to do what it does (in a simple manner). But that does not mean you can not move on at some point to a dedicated non GM VSTi synths which are sounds which can be more fine tuned for quality and realism. Most of us use these in a dedicated DAW.

BTW, McHenry Il, is just minutes up the road from me down here at Route 12 and 22 ???


Ah yes..Lake Zurich?? I know that busy intersection all too well. That was my route to Oak Brook everyday. I spend most of my time at my second home in Des Moines Iowa.


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Originally Posted By: props2
Thanks guys for your input. Calkwalk is probably the way I should go, because I need to learn. At the same time I am in the camp of "I hate to buys tools twice". Its a sickness of mine. I don't mind spending the money if it really works for me.I have looked at Kontakt and was intrigued by it,but I dont know what I dont know.I have not done any recording...heck I dont even have an interface yet,as I am still learning about those. My primary interest is making quality backing tracks. BIAB has been great at getting me hooked in this stuff. Sheesh...its never going to end,is it? Guys, thanks again for taking your time to help out. I will take everyone's advise and try to make an informed decision. Maybe hardware has to come into play??


You make a few good points here..... Getting Cakewalk Music Creator also gives you a fully functional DAW to use for mixing. It's very easy to learn and use. Your last line is so very important.

Yes... you should also be looking at hardware if you are going to be more than just a casual user. And from your interest in better quality synths, it sounds like you are planning to get deeper into this home recording thing.

Absolutely, you want to be looking at the USB based interfaces which have the required number of inputs you need..... most home studio guys and gals can easily get by with a simple two input interface. Also be sure it has phantom power for condenser mics, and that it uses ASIO as it's driver. Avoid the multi-function gizmos and buy a solid, dedicated, musical interface.

That is one decision you will not regret. Get a good one because it's the heart of your studio and a good interface will last you for years and provide superb service and make the recording process easy.

BTW: Here's the bundles Cake is offering now> https://shop.cakewalk.com/1244/catalog/category.60467/language.en/currency.USD/?id=NZvnDnncNy we haven't mentioned this but it also includes the complete STUDIO INSTRUMENTS synth/samples as well. To avoid buying things twice... just get the complete package for $150 and you're good to go. Great DAW, CSC with all the packs, TTS, and SI complete package. Spend another $150 to $250 on the interface and you're all set.....


....of course then you'll need mics, studio monitors, cords, and lava lamps..... dang... this can get expensive fast.

Last edited by Guitarhacker; 01/09/17 03:10 AM.

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Does the lava lamp work with ASIO?


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Nope, lava lamps are just MeMeMe


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