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#541582 - 06/18/19 09:13 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7536
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7536
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Originally Posted By: berntd
Worst of all, And I am actually a computer programmer - would you believe it?


Funny, I've said this many, many times over the years. It's the folks with a long time background in programming, IT or PC hardware who have the most difficult time when they decide to jump into digital audio.

The reason for this is PC's are not made for digital audio, they have to be sort of forced into working with it and obviously working in the business sector nobody cares about digital audio unless that business happens to be Sony Studios! This is a whole different world and you have to get it out of your head that you think you understand this stuff.

Just like programming has it's own technical jargon so does digital audio. You're correct and I completely sympathize with your trouble with not knowing what those terms mean. The best way to handle that is the instant you read an acrynym or term you don't understand is to pause right there and Google it. Take VST for example, simply putting that into Google comes up with this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology

Audio Driver this:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026994/windows-10-fix-sound-problems

Here's a beauty that will make you take a whole day off to study:

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/7-things-about-sample-rate/

Biab can have midi tracks and audio tracks together. If the sample rates are not set correctly you get loss of sync meaning the playback between the midi tracks and audio tracks start to drift apart.

These are just examples. This is what I had to do 15 years ago. You didn't learn computer programming in a week and you're not going to learn all about digital audio in a week either. It's important you not only understand this stuff from the software POV but from your Windows OS POV as well because they are intimately integrated.

I'm not going to provide details concerning how to set up Kontakt Player and all that. You've already been told how to do it, it seems your problem is understanding the jargon so just start Googling.

Bob



Edited by jazzmammal (06/18/19 09:35 AM)
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#541629 - 06/18/19 02:15 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/24/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Baton Rouge Area
Grem Offline
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Registered: 05/24/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Baton Rouge Area
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal


Here's a beauty that will make you take a whole day off to study:

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/7-things-about-sample-rate/





Yep, it took me a while to get that subject wrapped around my head!!


What I found hard is understanding how to place a VSTi so that BiaB can use it. I finally figured it out, and once I realized the logic behind it, it's really pretty simple! The hard part was getting it through this thick skull of mine. And I wasn't making it easy either!! smile

But I was able to get the 64bit version of BiaB to play a style (TRAIN+.STY (Ballad Crossover w/ Rock Feel+)) using Cakewalk's Studio Instrument's Bass, AAS Lounge Lizard for the Rhodes, Sample Tank 3 for the acoustic guitar and the organ and man what a difference!! I mean it sounds soo much better.

Now that I know how to do this, it makes the availability of other styles that PG has more useful. In fact, the door just got blown wide open!!

So berntd don't give up man! It's worth it.

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#541630 - 06/18/19 02:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: How can I get a better sound from the MIDI styles? [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Mike Head
Hi

Glad you are getting to grips with Coolsoft.
Which sound fount did you try , did you try the Timbres of heaven, or ChoriumRevA
As mentioned in the link in my other post

(Extract from my web page with links)
SOUND FONTS

My personal favourite at the moment is the excellent Timbres Of Heaven By Don Allen (219 MB uncompressed).
Link below:

http://midkar.com/soundfonts/index.html


Another nice sound font if you want something with a slightly warmer sound is ChoriumRevA

http://www.un4seen.com/download.php?extra/ChoriumRevA.rar


Mike




I have added Timbres of heaven.
I am not sure what that does though and it appears that I cannot change instruments' settingsin the MIDI setup in BIB when using the Coolsoft driver.
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#541632 - 06/18/19 02:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Originally Posted By: berntd
Worst of all, And I am actually a computer programmer - would you believe it?


Funny, I've said this many, many times over the years. It's the folks with a long time background in programming, IT or PC hardware who have the most difficult time when they decide to jump into digital audio.

The reason for this is PC's are not made for digital audio, they have to be sort of forced into working with it and obviously working in the business sector nobody cares about digital audio unless that business happens to be Sony Studios! This is a whole different world and you have to get it out of your head that you think you understand this stuff.

Just like programming has it's own technical jargon so does digital audio. You're correct and I completely sympathize with your trouble with not knowing what those terms mean. The best way to handle that is the instant you read an acrynym or term you don't understand is to pause right there and Google it. Take VST for example, simply putting that into Google comes up with this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology

Audio Driver this:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026994/windows-10-fix-sound-problems

Here's a beauty that will make you take a whole day off to study:

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/7-things-about-sample-rate/

Biab can have midi tracks and audio tracks together. If the sample rates are not set correctly you get loss of sync meaning the playback between the midi tracks and audio tracks start to drift apart.

These are just examples. This is what I had to do 15 years ago. You didn't learn computer programming in a week and you're not going to learn all about digital audio in a week either. It's important you not only understand this stuff from the software POV but from your Windows OS POV as well because they are intimately integrated.

I'm not going to provide details concerning how to set up Kontakt Player and all that. You've already been told how to do it, it seems your problem is understanding the jargon so just start Googling.

Bob



Yes but:
I purchased this BIB package to get away from my usual problems with technical issues. I really just want to play trombone and have it provide the band around it. I want it to work and sound great, with the simplicity as shown in the demo videos and without having to spend days to learn all that stuff I do not need to know at this stage in my life.

Just like the average computer user using apps and programs does not need to know how it works behind the scenes.



Edited by berntd (06/18/19 02:35 PM)
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#541634 - 06/18/19 02:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 05/24/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Baton Rouge Area
Grem Offline
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Registered: 05/24/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Baton Rouge Area
Originally Posted By: berntd


Yes but:
I purchased this BIB package to get away from my usual problems with technical issues. I really just want to play trombone and have it provide the band around it. I want it to work and sound great, with the simplicity as shown in the demo videos and without having to spend days to learn all that stuff I do not need to know at this stage in my life.

Just like the average computer user using apps and programs does not need to know how it works behind the scenes.



We all were in your shoes at one time. I'm just learning BiaB too! But I can tell you, once you do have it working and sounding the way you want, you will realize it was worth it. It can sound like a band, a real good band, playing for you to solo over! But to have it perform the way you want, your gonna have to give some effort. No way around that.

Do you have any VSTi or know what they are, or how to get them to work? Because if you want the best sound, your gonna have to learn about them. If you want easy, you will get those sounds your complaining about.

I haven't read the whole thread, but I am willing to help.

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#541647 - 06/18/19 04:10 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: How can I get a better sound from the MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 1114
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 1114
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi again

Quote
“I have added Timbres of heaven.
I am not sure what that does though and it appears that I cannot change instruments' settingsin the MIDI setup in BIB when using the Coolsoft driv”


Ok first which tracks are you trying to select the midi voices on .
You can do this on the Melody or soloist track for your own playing, or notes entered via notation, On these tracks.

You can use midi voices on any other midi style tracks to change the voices.

You can only do it to realtracks if they have midi note transcription a lot do not.

Use the pull down menu at the right hand side of the track and select gm voice then choose your voice,
The mixer track should indicate your chosen voice in YELLOW.

Don’t forget to
take the tick out of the BIAB use vsti/dxi synth box in your midi settings.
I suspect its on at the moment as you have been trying to use Vsts.

Also don’t forget to select your sound font in coolsofts’ sound font tab from the list of sound fonts that you have installed in Coolsoft. If you select more than one you will get the last one in the selected list top to bottom .
Personally I would just select one (green highlight in box)

Mike


Edited by Mike Head (06/19/19 05:43 AM)
Edit Reason: extra info
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#541681 - 06/18/19 07:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: Grem]
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Grem


Do you have any VSTi or know what they are, or how to get them to work? Because if you want the best sound, your gonna have to learn about them. If you want easy, you will get those sounds your complaining about.

I haven't read the whole thread, but I am willing to help.


Hello and thanks for the replies and patience from everyone!

So I googled VST and VSTi. The Wiki lists it a piece of software that converts MIDI to Audio and/or effects.
BUT then it lists Band-In-A-Box as a VST but not the Coolsoft and Kontakt-Player.

Wikipedia VST

So I am back to no wiser again :-(




Edited by berntd (06/18/19 07:23 PM)
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#541685 - 06/18/19 08:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7536
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jazzmammal Offline
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Haha, I can see where that confusion comes from. The Biab VST is a brand new feature for 2019 so the Wiki is correct. However, that's not what you're using, you're using the standard Biab program.

A VST requires a host. Some VST's can run standalone but the only reason for doing that is you have a midi controller instrument you want to play the VST with. Since I play keyboards, there are gazillions of keyboard CONTROLLERS that have no built in sounds. They require a separate synth for sound just like Biab does. Biab is a host CONTROLLER same as one of those keyboards the only difference is Biab is a software host while the keyboard is a hardware host or controller.

Back to the Biab VST. Many people use their own DAW's (Digital Audio Workstation) for song creation and use Biab tracks for part of that and they'll record some part too. Prior to the VST they would create tracks in Biab then save/export them out as wav files so they can import them to a DAW. The Biab VST eliminates that step. They can use the Biab VST as the slave to their DAW host.

I'm sure I just gave you another day's worth of Googling but that's the name of the game. Either you learn this stuff or just give it up now and go on with your life. BTW, there is a long time user on these forums also from Australia named Graham who plays 'bone in a big band. He's been using Biab for like 20 years to practice his parts and to create charts that he emails to other players.

One final thought. Biab really is very easy to use but your problem is you jumped right away into the midi styles which immediately brings up the problem of sound quality which is a huge subject. The vast majority of users use the Real Tracks which bypasses all these complex midi explanations.

The complexity of midi is exactly why most users who are not that knowledgeable on this stuff simply decided to drop midi and use RT's exclusively. Much easier BUT the Catch 22 is you cannot customize the RT's while midi can be edited and exact. You have already discovered that and I agree with you. WITH A GOOD SYNTH the midi styles can sound just awesome. There are tons of midi files out there that are exact covers of famous songs if that's what you need but then of course you are back to what is a VST, how do you set it up, what are the best midi sound libraries and on and on.

A Real Track Style really is plug and play, Input the chords and that's it but they are a compromise if you're picky about the actual style.

Bob
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#541687 - 06/18/19 08:55 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/20/16
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Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Teunis Offline
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BIAB comes as a “Standalone” program (.exe) or it can be added to a DAW as a VSTi plugin. The VSTi plugin component was added to BIAB 2019. Kontakt is similar I can be a stand-alone or used as a VSTi plug in.

When using something such as Kontakt one loads a compatible instrument into a “channel” within Kontakt then points the midi track to the channel. There are many virtual instruments available to something like Kontakt.

VSTi’s come in many varieties for example, Addictive Keys is basically a lot of pianos of various kinds. Addictive Keys allows one to make changes to things such as mikes, Compression, tones etc but it is about pianos. There are any amount of drum VSTi’s available. Then there are things such a TTS1 that allow various instruments to got to different channel (basically similar to GM but better).

Then you get into many synths. Say Z3TA 2 where you can design you own sound. FM8 a FM synth that works on a different method to manufacture a sound. In every case one simply points the “midi” track to the synth and it plays whatever instrument is loaded.

Essentially the midi track that you can easily see in the piano roll view in most DAWs is like what the player pianos used (rolls) hence the name piano roll. It is similar to the disc used on kids toys that used to pluck tongs to make a sound. (Hard to say what I mean). In a nutshell the MIDI track itself makes no sound it needs to be pointed at an instrument usually a VSTi. The MIDI track tell the VSTi what note to play, how Long and loud to play it for. There are many more options in a MIDI file to allow the sound to become more realistic. In fact one can see this in a spreadsheet format in most DAWs by looking at the “events list view” of the MIDI track. One can often also get a “Staff View” where the dots are put all over lines that some folk really understand.

This could go on and on as there is so much to learn and even more possibilities (we haven’t got to using MIDI to control lighting, guitar amps, scene displays et. al.). But I will say learning about MIDI not only teaches you more about sound design and production, there is a fair chance it will enhance your ability to play your chosen instrument as it will give you an understanding from a different perspective.

IMHO

Tony


Edited by Teunis (06/18/19 09:16 PM)
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#541698 - 06/18/19 10:37 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 05/02/19
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berntd Offline
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
@ Bob:
Graham is the one who introduced me (via the trombone forum) to BIAB. That is why I am now here.
Unfortuantely there seem to be no Realtrack options for Dixieland.

@Tony:
So is a VSTi one single instrument for one MIDI track or a complete solution that contains and generates all the instruments for the whole MIDI stream?
I know what player piano rolls are, I used to own a player piano restoration business in the late 1990/2000s.
I also know what MIDI is as far as format and output goes. I developed a piano recorder that output MIDI as a final year student engineering project back in the day. It was meant to allow the recording of player piano rolls.
It all gets fuzzy after the MIDI signal since I never went beyond that stage until now.

Regards
Bernt



Edited by berntd (06/18/19 10:49 PM)
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#541709 - 06/19/19 01:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/20/16
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Teunis Offline
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A VSTi can be an individual instrument or an instrument with several channels pointing to different sounds. A drum VSTi for example might have one channel incoming and send its output to 18 or so output tracks. It would see the Midi track coming in for individual drums (based on notes) and each note has a different percussion instruments associated with it.

Something such as Kontakt might have several instruments loaded say a flute on channel 1, a piano on channel 2, an organ on channel 3, bass on channel 4. So you have a part to go to piano send it to Kontakt on channel 2. When you select an instrument in Kontakt it displays a channel just send the midi you want for that instrument to that channel.

Note: I export to a DAW rather than do this in BIAB. I’ve not tried to pull Kontakt into BIAB. There are however other VSTi plugins in BIAB and similar rules apply.

As a matter of fact since discussing this today I have just gone back to look at a song where I could not get a RealDrums track the way I wanted. I thought dumb guy. I went back to the song in BIAB changed the track from RealDrums to MIDI, exported the MIDI sent it to Addictive Drums I was then able to reduce the Ride Cymbal that I found distracting in the original RealDrums track. The Midi was easy to edit whereas the audio not so. It is easy to get stuck on a method.

As with most things there are many ways to arrive at a result. The important thing is to enjoy and not get hung up on technicalities. I learnt a long time ago to experiment and enjoy is the way to gain knowledge and do things you thought were not possible. I used to enjoy programming until I spent years at uni learning the “correct” procedures (which these days have largely gone by the wayside.)

Tony
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#541712 - 06/19/19 01:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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Update re: making a video addressing Kontakt, MIDI, and all the other stuff.


I actually went out yesterday after work to buy a headset at the local PC store, and he was out. I will try and head into town this afternoon where there are a million shops that stock that kind of stuff.

In the meantime, however, the "stuck note" issue I posted about a while back has cropped back up consistently beginning the second or third time I hit play after closing and opening the program. As I intend to be starting and stopping dozens of times as I demo various features and concepts, this issue is crippling my ability to do anything with this program :-(

I noted that someone else was recently having this issue, and methinks a patch is long due.

I hope PG Music takes note of this!


Edited by DeaconBlues09 (06/19/19 01:38 AM)
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#541730 - 06/19/19 05:40 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: How can I get a better sound from the MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/10/15
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Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Posts: 1114
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi


Not sure how you got on with my last post re getting coolsoft and timbres of heaven working.
But I forgot to mention if you are having a go at this make sure you take the tick out of the BIAB use vsti/dxi synth box in your midi settings.
I suspect its on at the moment as you have been trying to use Vsts.
This may be why you could not seen to change voices with coolsoft as your midi was being sent to the vst.
I will edit my other post.

Mike
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#541819 - 06/19/19 01:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7536
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Berndt, you should have given us your background info in the first place so we know where you're coming from. You already have a decent background in midi all you need to do is catch up a little. You're obviously capable of learning it so don't worry about it it's not that hard.

It was just mentioned to uncheck the VST/Dxi box. Dxi? What's that you ask? That's Windows version of a synth, Dx is Windows sound mostly for gaming. We usually only talk about VST's but there are Dxi synths as well it's just that the VST's are usually better sounding and more expensive too of course.

You've been talking about the Coyote Wavetable synth, what about the Sforzando synth? You have that too. Then there's the free Cakewalk TTS-1 referenced Here

It's a sticky post at the top of this forum from Dr. Gannon himself which is there for a reason, you should have read that already. The TTS-1 is still not at the level of Kontakt and other big name synths but it's certainly better than the Wavetable. The Sfortzando is a soundfont player that installs with a soundfont but you can change it. This was talked about earlier in this thread and people gave you links to some good soundfont libraries.

The Sforzando and TTS-1 are both GM synths so they are plug and play, no manually setting up instruments. Try those first and see how you like them before shelling out money for a bigger name synth.

Bob
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#541831 - 06/19/19 02:29 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hi everyone,

Yet again, thanks for ALL the help and persistence here. This is a great forum!
I will look at it asap and report my findings. I can only really work at it on the weekends.

@jazzmammal

I do have Sforzando (it came with BIAB 19) but as soon as I try and select it in the MIDI settings (somewhere), BIAB stops responding (crashes). I do not know what to do about it.

I also had the VST/Dxi box ticked. I have since un-ticked it and the sound did change a lot since then with the Coolsoft Timbre...

I am making progress but it seems haphazard since I still do not know exactly what I am doing.

Regards
Bernt




Edited by berntd (06/19/19 02:39 PM)
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#541836 - 06/19/19 03:16 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: Mike Head]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
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Originally Posted By: Mike Head
Hi

Then there are the sound font players have a look at this on my web site.

http://mikesmusic.byethost16.com/my_technical_articles2.html#Coolsoft_VirtualMidiSynth_Timbres_Of_Heaven_Soundfont__Sonar_instrument_def

Try the COOLSOFT sound font player and the “Timbres of Heaven” sound font. That’s some good midi sound !
Have fun
Mike


Mike, I know a little about your music, so if you like Tibres of Heaven, I bet I will also. But I tried the link and downloaded a large 7zip file which I tried to open in WinRAR. No joy, file appears corrupted and will not save a .sf file on my drive. Any ideas?
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#541841 - 06/19/19 03:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 06/05/12
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VideoTrack Offline
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: berntd

I do have Sforzando (it came with BIAB 19) but as soon as I try and select it in the MIDI settings (somewhere), BIAB stops responding (crashes). I do not know what to do about it.

When it crashes, does it generate an error report that you can copy/email to PG Music?
_________________________
BIAB & RB2021(Audiophile), SonarPlatinum, Izotope Prod.Bundle, Roland RD-1000, Synthogy Ivory, Kontakt, Focusrite 18i20, KetronSD2, NS40M StudioMonitors, Pioneer Active Monitors, AKG K271 Studio H'phones

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#541855 - 06/19/19 04:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 1114
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 1114
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi DAN

Try this SF2 copy I have uploaded to my Boxnet zipped with 7z
Size zipped 237 MB.

https://app.box.com/s/5xloadqc78gl4920ozu4326p3dgqru0f

Also you will find a Sona instrument def that I wrote that you can convert to a pat file for Biab on my web site.

Have fun
Mike
_________________________
BIAB2021 UltraPlus,AsusN55S1Tbssd, W10/64,Akai EIEpro
Yamaha CVP405,SquireStrat, CoolsoftVMidSynth
Novatation Impulse61 Ctr kbd, Cwalk blab Kontakt

http://mikesmusic.byethost16.com/

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#541859 - 06/19/19 04:51 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 216
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
Originally Posted By: berntd

I do have Sforzando (it came with BIAB 19) but as soon as I try and select it in the MIDI settings (somewhere), BIAB stops responding (crashes). I do not know what to do about it.

When it crashes, does it generate an error report that you can copy/email to PG Music?


From memory... No. I have to kill the application from the task manager.
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Band in a Box
Latest: ULTRA 2020 (730) on Win 10
And: MEGA 2020 (720) on Windows 7


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#541860 - 06/19/19 04:55 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7936
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7936
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
Thanks, I was having trouble with WinRAR not handling the 7z file well. I kept at it and have now just loaded into BIAB 64 within VSTSynhfont64. Seems to be loading nicely, I will have to spend some time listening. Thanks
_________________________
Dan,
BIAB2021, Dell XPS 8920 Intel Core I7-7700 @ 3.60GHz 16GB RAM
"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

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