Helpful ReplyAural Exciters for Midi?

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Hotice226
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2017/12/18 21:41:40 (permalink)

Aural Exciters for Midi?

I recently heard someone say that they use exciters to make their midi instruments sound more natural.  I haven't used exciters on Midi trx yet. 
 
Has anyone else tried/done this? 

-- RHO Sound
#1
TheSteven
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/18 22:40:39 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Hotice226 2017/12/18 23:12:12
Were they smoking left handed cigarettes when passing this sagely wisdom?
 
It's an audio effect.
Like EQ, delay or compression - it may or may not improve the sound of a track or your mix.
Can't say that 'natural' is a word that I've not heard used to describe exciters.
 
Here's one example of an exciter plugin, among many...
https://www.waves.com/plu...-vintage-aural-exciter
Here's their promotional verbiage:
Modeled on one of only a few tube-powered units ever made, the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® plugin delivers all the unique character of the rare original hardware unit, with all the advantages of software.

When it was originally introduced in the mid-1970s, the Aphex Aural Exciter brought its distinctive sound to select sessions by leading recording artists, traveling from studio to studio as an exclusive (and expensive) rental unit.

A true groundbreaker, the original Aural Exciter was highly regarded for its ability to increase and enhance presence, brightness, and vibrancy on vocal and instrumental tracks alike. It was even credited as a "session player" on best-selling albums by the likes of Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, engineered by Val Garay, who worked closely with us on the development of the plugin.
 
Sometimes an aural exciter can help or maybe you need better MIDI instruments.
 

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils" Loius-Hector Berlioz

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#2
batsbrew
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/18 22:53:32 (permalink)
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
hmmmmmmmm

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TheSteven
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/18 23:00:16 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Hotice226 2017/12/18 23:12:20
Typically an aural exciter is used to add a little high end shimmer or sparkle to a track or mix.
For example to help a vocal cut through a mix.
Think of it as salt - a little might help but not a lot and not on everything.
 
In regards to "make their midi instruments sound more natural."
That just too generic a description since currently a everything in a song, including the vocals, can be a MIDI instrument.
 
If you're trying to make your MIDI tracks sound better - google, read and listen...
Here's some tips from Craig Anderton:
http://www.craiganderton.com/tips.html
http://performermag.com/home-recording/20-midi-tips-to-improve-your-tracks/
 

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Hotice226
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/18 23:21:05 (permalink)
TheSteven
Were they smoking left handed cigarettes when passing this sagely wisdom?
 ....

That opening line is hilarious! Additionally, I just bought the very exciter that you referenced ($29 at Waves right now)... kinda creepy reference. haha
 
Good advice, though!

-- RHO Sound
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sharke
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 01:44:25 (permalink)
I have the Waves Aural exciter and it definitely has to be used very sparingly otherwise things get brittle and fatiguing quickly. 
 
What I think it shines at is restoring a little high fidelity in old or crappy recordings that don't have much top end. I've been known to sample the odd recording from the 30's and 40's to use in modern style productions (mainly for atmosphere and contrast), and giving them a smidgen of aural excitement just adds a bit of polish so that they work a little better with the modern sounding elements in the track. 

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dubdisciple
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 02:28:38 (permalink)
I can't even imagine how a midi exciter would work. A few audio effects can be done more or less with midi ( delay being the obvious choice), but an exciter would be a ridiculous resource hog and sound terrible if attempted via midi.
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mikedocy
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 03:41:43 (permalink)
Hotice226
I recently heard someone say that they use exciters to make their midi instruments sound more natural.  I haven't used exciters on Midi trx yet. 
Has anyone else tried/done this? 



It is obvious that the OP was asking about using Exciters on the audio output of midi instruments, not on the midi itself.  
To answer the question... yes, you can use an exciter on the audio track of a midi instrument.
If the audio needs more high frequency content, and this cannot be obtained using EQ, then the exciter may be a viable option. 
 
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dubdisciple
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 03:59:09 (permalink)
It wasn't obvious to me at all
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ooblecaboodle
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 11:54:04 (permalink)
dubdisciple
It wasn't obvious to me at all

reading comprehension not strong point for you is?
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anydmusic
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 12:26:55 (permalink)
I was trying to find an old article that I think was in Sound on Sound but a lot of the older stuff is not online. It covered some techniques for enhancing MIDI parts by creating duplicate tracks and then duplicating some or all of the notes.
 
I think a lot of what they suggested is now pretty mainstream like adding a sub bass note, like a simple sine, to some of the bass drum beats or to selected notes from the bass line. Mixed in so that it is felt rather than heard.
 
Another example was to take the right hand part of a piano and duplicate it to a marimba an octave or two higher, set the volume until you can just hear it then turn it down slightly. If available the suggestion was that you added some reverb to the marimba to create some high end gloss.
 
From memory a lot of the suggestions covered adding bottom end, mid range punch or high end gloss by adding some additional MIDI instrumentation based on an existing part pitched to fill the gap. And this was in the days when the processing and memory capabilities of MIDI sound sources was pretty limited. Not sure that these techniques made the sounds more realistic but executed with care they did make the overall sound better,
 
It may have been something like this or the layering of MIDI sounds that was being suggested.
 
Of course these days there are easier ways of achieving some of these effects.

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gswitz
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 13:22:48 (permalink)
All clever thoughts. You can't break it. Have a party.

I love midi. Synths are terrific fun.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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Kalle Rantaaho
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 13:26:25 (permalink)
ooblecaboodle
dubdisciple
It wasn't obvious to me at all

reading comprehension not strong point for you is?




On the opposite.
Comprehending the OP the only correct interpretation would be the one Dubdisciple made. The OP clearly says: I haven't used exciters on MIDI tracks yet. He doesn't mention audio at all. 
Then again, it's quite possible that he meant audio tracks, but that we do not know. Just reading the text, it's MIDI he talks about.

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batsbrew
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 15:45:26 (permalink)
midi is midi.
 
audio is audio.
 
aural exciters are for audio.
it's in the name.
 

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Bats Brew albums:
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"Stay"
"The Time is Magic"
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gswitz
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/19 20:44:19 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ooblecaboodle 2017/12/21 13:08:24
We all know he meant on the output of a midi synth. He wasn't trying to apply an exciter to the midi data itself.
post edited by gswitz - 2017/12/20 07:58:10

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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Jeff Evans
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/20 04:59:35 (permalink)
I feel with care in your engineering process you don't need an aural exciter.  I agree with Sharke in that using it to give some top end life to dull sounding sources e.g. transferring early recordings etc can be useful.  But in productions where you have full control from start to end I have found anyway you don't need it.  I am usually trying to tame top end most of the time, not increase it.

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sharke
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/20 06:12:52 (permalink)
dubdisciple
I can't even imagine how a midi exciter would work. A few audio effects can be done more or less with midi ( delay being the obvious choice), but an exciter would be a ridiculous resource hog and sound terrible if attempted via midi.



As Frank Zappa would probably put it, aurally exciting MIDI is a bit like fishing about architecture!

James
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dubdisciple
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/20 06:36:18 (permalink)
ooblecaboodle
dubdisciple
It wasn't obvious to me at all

reading comprehension not strong point for you is?

Being an a-hole is obviously a strongpoint for you
post edited by dubdisciple - 2017/12/21 19:41:05
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ooblecaboodle
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/21 13:10:08 (permalink)
Jeff Evans
I feel with care in your engineering process you don't need an aural exciter.  

The same is true of eq, compressors, chorus, delay and reverb. But it's nice to have those tools to shape sounds into whatever way you so desire.
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bitflipper
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Re: Aural Exciters for Midi? 2017/12/21 15:27:00 (permalink)
I once tried a MIDI track with no audio. It was pretty boring. Then I turned on the amplifier.
 
It's common to refer to software instrument tracks as "MIDI tracks", just to distinguish them from pure audio tracks. You might say "this project has 8 audio tracks and 4 MIDI tracks". Even if a screenshot clearly showed 16 tracks in the project.
 
To address the original question: an exciter is a distortion unit. It adds harmonic distortion much the same way a fuzzbox does, just more gently.
 
Using exciters is like using salt in cooking: a little goes a long way, and the effect is cumulative. You can end up with salty-tasting soup even though you followed the recipe, if you didn't take into account the saltiness of the bacon you added. Similarly, distortion is additive. Like salty ingredients, one adds zest but multiples will cumulatively result in too much spice. Too many exciters results in nasty, grainy-sounding mixes.


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