A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software

Posted by: Shuryou

A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 07:38 AM

I have a Casio CDP 220R. I wanted utilize the capabilities of a digital piano more, so I started using Anvil Studio for midi recording. It's a good start, I guess. I searched around the internet about digital piano software, and I came up with names like Garageband and Synthogy. From what I understand, Synthogy can turn what you play into something more beautiful in terms of sound. Though I'm a newbie to software, what exactly is Synthogy? (and those other programs like Garageband, Audacity, etc). What would be the best software for a beginner to use for audio recording? Inputs are greatly appreciated. laugh
Posted by: peterws

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 10:08 AM

I use Audacity ,and Videopad fot adding the visual aspects for Youtube; both free. Others here will advise on piano etc software no doubt.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 12:04 PM

Unfortunately the world of digital audio software is very complicated, with some programs providing all-in-one service while others are plugins to plugins to plugins. It's complicated enough that I will probably say some things that are not technically or universally right. But here are some clarifications:

Audacity is an audio editor. You can record incoming sounds from your DP, adjust levels, and trim, change audio formats, etc. Use this if you are recording from an audio cable from your DP. It doesn't do anything with MIDI afaik.

Garageband (as I understand it...I don't use mac) is digital audio workstation software. It does a bunch of things like record MIDI and render it by running it through plugins that turn the MIDI into audio (virtual instruments). You will have to talk to someone else for details because I have not used it.

Synthogy is the company that makes Ivory II and other software pianos. These software pianos take MIDI signals (that come from your piano or from digital audio software) as input and turn it into audio. They essentially do what your DP internal hardware does, but much better. These software pianos can be used as plugins to various digital audio workstation software (Kontakt, etc.). Be aware that Kontakt doesn't have sequencer capability (i.e., it can't record MIDI or play MIDI into the software piano...but Kontakt can be a plugin to a VST host, which typically have sequencers).

Anyway there are a bunch of nuances and some of this software can't be cleanly grouped with peers because they offer differing levels of functionality.

To answer your question about how to get started, if you want to record straight from your piano, run a cable from your AUX-out to the line-in on your computer, fire up audacity, hit record, and play. If you want to make a video, record the visual of yourself with a camcorder as you play. Replace the audio track in the video with the one you got from audacity in video editing software.

If you want to use a software piano like Ivory or Galaxy, buy it. Then get a VST host with sequencer capability. There are some free ones like minihost and vsthost as well as paid ones like cantabile (or does Ivory come with cantabile? I use Galaxy, which comes with Kontakt player.). Then you can play and save either the MIDI file for later rendering and tweaking or the audio file of your performance, rendered live.
Posted by: peterws

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 02:10 PM

This is of particular interest to me at the moment since I`ve just been looking at software pianos. Vintage D is very nice; if I bought this, could I actually play it through my DP; and do setting up instructions come with it? Sorry to butt in on someone`s posting, but it sounds so similar to what I was gonna ask! (and it is related . . )
Posted by: Kumi_27

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 02:22 PM

You can use software like Zynewave Podium. It has a free version, but full license is not expensive. But it's for Windows only.
You can record both MIDI and audio with it, and it can host VST instruments and effects.
So, for example, You can load Ivory into Podium, route the midi data from DP to the Ivory and record the audio from it in real-time, to just another audio track in the same Podium.
Then You can make another one, mix the tracks, add effects etc.

There are also many free VST instruments and effects available on the net, as well as many commercial. Also other host software packages.
But for start it's nice to have some free options.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: peterws
This is of particular interest to me at the moment since I`ve just been looking at software pianos. Vintage D is very nice; if I bought this, could I actually play it through my DP; and do setting up instructions come with it? Sorry to butt in on someone`s posting, but it sounds so similar to what I was gonna ask! (and it is related . . )


Yes, if you buy Vintage D and have a computer close by (with speakers or a headphone) and you have a USB cable and your piano as USB-TO-HOST then you have everything you need. Vintage D comes with some kind of instructions but they aren't great. If you get stuck, let us know and we'll help you out.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 04:30 PM

Ivory II comes with Cantable.
It's also open to use any of the piano's on another host.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Ivory II comes with Cantable.
It's also open to use any of the piano's on another host.


Ahh that's what I thought. Does it come with the full version or lite? The reason I ask is that the lite version (which you can download online for free) doesn't have recording capability or offline render.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 07:49 PM

I'm not familiar with VST hosts in general. I do know, from the Ivory II manual:
Ivory Cantabile, a special Top Ten Software's Cantabile application, lets you get straight to the business of playing Ivory! Ivory Cantabile is made specifically for Synthogy, and has many of the same features as Cantabile, but is streamlined enough to serve as a simple stand-alone host for Ivory in Windows. (Note: Ivory Cantabile replaces the old Ivory Standalone application, which is no longer included or supported.)

As I understand. This is a custom Cantabile they call Ivory Cantabile.
Yes, it works on Mac. I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't. smile (Above was from the ms section.)

It will record.
Not sure what you mean about offline render?

Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/20/13 08:32 PM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Not sure what you mean about offline render?


I mean if you have a MIDI file on your computer, will it render it into an audio file.
Posted by: Macy

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/21/13 03:24 AM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
This is a custom Cantabile they call Ivory Cantabile.
Yes, it works on Mac. I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't. smile


Actually, there is a separate Ivory standalone application for Macs. It is not Cantabile and doesn't have the same features as Cantabile. There are no recording options, no MIDI filtering, etc. in the Mac standalone application.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/21/13 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy

Actually, there is a separate Ivory standalone application for Macs. It is not Cantabile and doesn't have the same features as Cantabile. There are no recording options, no MIDI filtering, etc. in the Mac standalone application.


Thanks for straightening that out. I really didn't mean to deceive anyone. I bought Ivory II without caring what host it provided to run on. I realized it can run on any host.

Originally Posted By: gvfarns


I mean if you have a MIDI file on your computer, will it render it into an audio file.


I really don't know. Haven't gotten that far into it yet. Not even sure it will load other plugins. From what I have experienced. This is much closer to if not a light version. Not even sure it will load other plugins. The Ivory manual just refers to the Cantabile manual. That is for all versions.
I also confess. I have a problem worrying about anything on this ms computer. Don't get deep into anything on it. Too many years of vaporwear with ms. Mac, when I get a new one, is a different story. I'm also learning a ton right now. In music. Also in exercise. I gotta have the most highly detailed, explanitory, understanding, exercise system in the world for laymen. So I'm learning a ton. Getting overloaded here. Trying to have fun.
Maybe Macy can help you pin down just how close to whatever version this is?
I really didn't intend to deceive anyone. If I were running this on Mac. I'd have the heart to learn it deep and remember. Hopefully soon.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: A (somewhat) newbie in digital piano software - 02/26/13 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Not sure what you mean about offline render?


I mean if you have a MIDI file on your computer, will it render it into an audio file.


I have you answers straight from Synthogy support.

The Cantabile is very close to the lite version.
It will record midi files.
It will replay a midi file through Ivory.
You need to make a choice in the recorder on this.

It won't do anything with a midi file though. It isn't near what the full version of Cantabile is. He talked about doing things with the MIDI file. Nope...not on this version. Just a simple playback through Ivory.