Midi Software, soundcards, etc..

Posted by: wiredbyduffy

Midi Software, soundcards, etc.. - 01/26/04 08:15 PM

I'm new to the world of MIDI and am trying to use the quality action in my digital piano to play and record tracks using software on my PC.

I'm hoping that because this forum is full of enthusiasts of digital music technology, that I might find some advice to help me short cut my research.

I've set up a laptop and purchased a Midisport 2x2 USB Midi interface to connect my laptop to my digital piano. I have downloaded half a dozen demo MIDI sequencer applications like Cakewalk and FL Studio which have great features but fall short on producing the properly with the action of my DP. (sounds fall off too short, are delayed (samples), and in some cases cannot be played on more than one key at a time)

My goal is through a combination of hardware and software to in real time assign instruments and instrument layers to keys played to allow live playing with many voices. If I understand MIDI correctly my digital piano should send data on the key played, velocity, duration, and even pedal action, and then my computer should be able to assign one or many sampled or synth sounds to that data in real time.

I researched many forums and found terms like, SoundFonts, VST, etc... that seem to suggest various standard for producing instrument sound via MIDI where some sounds are sampled others are synthesized and many require a sound card.

Currently I have a laptop running XP at 800MHz that I can run my software on. So I am wondering what software can I use to play QUALITY sampled or synth instruments and if I need a sound card what would work for a laptop.
Posted by: Zymtil

Re: Midi Software, soundcards, etc.. - 01/26/04 10:42 PM

Are you trying to reproduce the MIDI file on your digital?

What digital piano do you own (manufacturer, model number)?

Which version(s) of Cakewalk(etc.) have you downloaded?
Posted by: wiredbyduffy

Re: Midi Software, soundcards, etc.. - 02/04/04 03:38 PM

Sorry for the late reply.

No I am not trying to reproduce a MIDI file on the digital. I'm using the digital as a controller. Goal is to play the digital and have the sound play through my PC using intruments/tones on the PC.

Technics SX-PX663 is my piano. I deleted the Cakewalk software and cannot remember off hand. Problem with it was it would not work with the soundcard built into my PC.
Posted by: Craig S

Re: Midi Software, soundcards, etc.. - 02/04/04 08:13 PM

I believe that if you are trying to play sounds through your PC then you will be limited by your sound card or soft synth software. Most built in sound cards that I have looked at have limited midi capabilities. That is, you are limited by the sampling that was done when the card was created or by the software program used to synthesize the sound.

My understanding of midi is that you can use your PC to do all kinds of manipulation of the midi format but for a quality reproduction of that sound you need to run it to a midi output device. I believe that Roland makes such devices.

I haven't tried it yet but my solution was going to be to create a recording on my Roland keyboard,send it to the PC in midi format, clean it up on the PC and then send it back to the Roland to use the sampling in the Roland using it as an output device. The Roland will decode and play the midi file. I then take the "audio" signal output from the Roland and send it to the PC as a wav file so that it ends up in an audio format as opposed to midi format for the finished product. I can then burn it on a cd and play it on a decent sound system.

Well that may have helped or confused you, but there it is.

Craig
Posted by: ryan

Re: Midi Software, soundcards, etc.. - 02/07/04 10:04 AM

If you want quality sound out of your laptop, you need a soundcard that has good AD converters. Personally I would look at the RME-Audio stuff. They make really good converters and have a variety of configurations available for laptops and desktops.

One thing about soft synths and samplers, you may have varying results getting them to play in real time on your laptop. But once you get it up and going the results can be very good.

Ryan