Sound Patches

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tallboy
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2005/01/05 14:29:52 (permalink)

Sound Patches

I've just got everything connected correctly and recording fine. Now I would like to be able to change the sound of some midi tracks to other instruments. My problem is there is a limited file of instruments available in PA9.
Where do I find sound fonts (freebies would be great) ?
How do I load them ?
I've read the manual but nothing's clicking for me yet. Your help is always appreciated.
#1

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    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/06 14:37:04 (permalink)
    tallboy,
    I'm not sure why you are looking for soundfonts. What are you using to generate sounds? An external synth or sound module? Your sound card's built in sounds? A software synth? Each of those choices should have hundreds of sounds available.

    Soundfonts are something you can load into certain sound cards to change the sounds that are built into it. That's in case you don't like some or all of the hundreds of built in sounds.

    Larry
    #2
    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/06 20:49:36 (permalink)
    Thanks Larry. Then I guess it isn't soundfonts that I need.
    What I'd like to do is change the sounds that I have. I'm not sure if they are from my sound card (EMU 0404) or from the keyboard I'm using (Casio CTK-451). But they sound very synthetic to me and I was hoping to replace them with real brass sounds for horns, for instance. I have found some wav files that are very real but don't know how to use them, install them, or change them.

    Thanks for your help. I've been a pro musician for over 25 yrs and also have been a computer professional for almost as long. In the past I purposely avoided midi and electronic synthesis because I like the natural sound but since samples sound so real now and I want to use CWPA9 for song writting & production, I've finally decided it was time to learn. But man, am I confused. I'm at the point where I have it up and running, I'm able to record both midi and audio, but I haven't learned the techniques of how to produce the end result yet. So this step to incorporate wav and/or samples will be a great help. Thanks for your time.
    Skip (tallboy)
    #3
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/07 09:43:55 (permalink)
    Tallboy,
    I think you want to use a sample playing product like GigaStudio. Check out
    http://www.tascamgiga.com/
    There are a lot of sample based products out there and some of them can be used with Cakewalk. I think some (many?) will run as VSTi or DXi plug-ins but CWPA9 does not support virtual instruments (which VSTi and DXi are). Some (many?) will run as a separate applicatin that Cakewalk can trigger but I think you get large latencies in the sound when you do that.

    There are many sample libraries for major products like GigaStudio.

    However, I have never used a sampler so I'm certainly not an expert. You need to do some research.

    By the way, from what I read it's real hard to get brass right, even when using capable samplers.

    Good Luck,
    Larry
    #4
    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/15 17:58:05 (permalink)
    Thanks, Larry. I will do some more research. I still don't understand how a sample player will allow me to change a midi track from sounding like a keyboard into a trumpet. I bought an EMU 0404 card to allow me to connect midi and since loading the software for it, my sound is now editable in the DSP PatchMix software instead of the Volume control (recording and playing).

    Can you tell me how the Gigastudio software allows me to change the sound in the midi tracks I have recorded.

    Thanks for your help,
    Skip
    #5
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/15 19:32:23 (permalink)
    I went to the EMU site and read about the EMU 0404. That's quite a nice card. It's oriented towards audio recording but of course it also has midi in/out connections.

    Note that there are no sounds in a midi track. The midi track has commands that are sent to some sound module (in your case the Casio keyboard). You select which sound you want played on each track in PA9 by selecting a channel and patch (sound) in the Chn and Patch columns. You select which device or software synth to be used in the Port column of the track.

    I also checked out the Casio CTK-451. It appears to have only 100 sounds and I don't think it is GM (General Midi) compatible. Unless you can create or otherwise get a PA9 instrument definition for the Casio you will have to select the sounds by number rather than name. If you right click in the Patch field of a midi track you get a list of patches. Does it list the patches (or sounds) of your Casio keyboard?
    In any case, you should be able to assign any Casio sound to any track.

    I don't think the Casio has changeable sounds and does not support sound fonts. You might be able to edit the existing sounds a bit but you probably can not replace them.

    So, you need a different (and better) sound generator. That could be a different keyboard/synth, an external sound module, or a software based synth or sample playback app. The Gigastudio is an example of the latter (and a pretty high end one at that). Note that if you got an external sound module you would need to connect it via midi. The best way to do that is to have a 2-in, 2-out (or 4-in, 4-out) midi interface. I think the EMU 0404 in 1-in, 1-out. Typically each external midi device wants its own midi in and out connections.

    Once you have added another sound generator PA9 would let you select it via the Port field in each track. This goes for external sound modules and software based sound modules as long as the software module has an interface that works with PA9. Currently you should be able to see the MicroSoft GS Wavetable SW Synth in the Port field. You might find that it sounds as good or better than the Casio. Give it a try!

    Well, I hope I'm understanding your situation and what you want to do. This should give you some more food for thought.

    Cheers,
    Larry
    #6
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/15 19:57:00 (permalink)
    I just happened to run into this is Scott Garrigus' DigiFreq newsletter:

    * sfz High Quality SoundFont Player - "The rgc:audio revolutionary
    high quality sample-playback engine packed in a freeware SoundFont
    Player. Outstanding sound quality, built-in effects, adjustable
    CPU/quality settings to adjust it to your hardware, fully
    multitimbral operation and several loading modes including direct-
    from-disk streaming make sfz the perfect choice for SoundFont
    enthusiasts and composers. A 'must-have' for any freebie-hunter."
    http://www.rgcaudio.com/sfz.htm

    It's a VST plugin so to use it in PA9 you'd have to get a VST adapter/wrapper. I haven't tried one but have thought about it since there are so many VST plugins out there and PA9 supports only DX.

    Larry
    #7
    garrigus
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/16 16:33:22 (permalink)
    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for reading DigiFreq! I hope you're enjoying it.

    Best regards,
    Scott

    --
    Scott R. Garrigus - Author of Cakewalk, Sound Forge and Sound Forge 6, SONAR, SONAR 2, SONAR 3 and **Sonar 4 Power!** books. Books up to 37% off at:
    http://www.garrigus.com/

    Publisher of DigiFreq. Win a free copy of Native Instruments' INTAKT software loop sampler and learn cool music technology tips and techniques by getting a FREE subscription to DigiFreq... over 17,000 readers can't be wrong! Go to:
    http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/
    #8
    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/17 19:12:24 (permalink)
    Thanks again, Larry. I think the fog's starting to lift. I've learned to record via midi and audio now using my keyboard, guitars, etc., so my next step (I hope) will be connecting a sound module or software synth ? The synth will play VST files (soundfonts) on my Casio ? Does the sound module connect to the keyboard or PC ? Is that why you mentioned that I'd need a 2-in, 2-out configuration ?

    Thanks again for your help, Larry. I was so glad to be at the point where I can now record midi & audio, that I recorded all weekend no stop, so I didn't do any research yet, but I will look into Gigastudio soon. I'm going to look at the High Quality SoundFont Player at rgcaudio tonight. The tip is very much appreciated.
    Skip
    #9
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/17 20:37:14 (permalink)
    You need to distinguish external (hardware) sound modules versus software sound modules or synths that run on your PC. Gigastudio and the High Quality SoundFont player are software modules that run on your PC. So no extra hardware is needed to run them. (Well, they can take up serious CPU cycles......but that's a different story.)

    When I talk about an external sound module/synth, I'm talking about a hardware device that needs to be connected to the PC, typically via midi. The Casio keyboard is one example of an external sound module (which also happens to have a keyboard attached). There are many external sound modules that don't have a keyboard - these are triggered (or made to play sounds) only when they receive midi commands via the midi interface. So, if you bought another external sound module and kept the Casio too, then you'd need a midi interface that would handle 2 midi devices -- thus the need for at least a 2-in, 2-out interface.

    I believe the Casio you have is quite limited in its capabilities. There are many keyboard synths that have hundreds of different sounds built in and can play 32 or 64 notes simultaneously where every note can be a different sound/instrument. Many keyboard synths have sound banks that can be modified so that you can buy new sounds and download them to the keyboard/synth from the PC.
    Many sound modules without keyboards can do the same thing.

    By the way, congrats on recording both midi and audio. That's no trivial feat to accomplish.

    Larry
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    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/18 08:09:02 (permalink)
    Ok. I understand. Now I've downloaded the High Quality SoundFont Player and ran through the installation but I don't see an icon or start up anywhere. Can this player play wav sound fonts and exchange that sound from one that the Casio has ? Or should I say - will the Casio play sounds that the SoundFont player has ? What I'm trying to do is replace the sound of the tenor sax on the keyboard with one that sounds like a real sax. I have a disc that came with a home recording magazine that is full of brass sounds (wavs) but I'm still not sure how to get them where I need them in Cakewalk.

    As always, thanks for your help, Larry.
    Skip
    #11
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/18 16:25:29 (permalink)
    Skip,
    I think we've just about exhausted my "knowledge" in this area. I can make some educated guesses.

    The sound font player will play sound fonts and sound fonts are *not* wave files. A google search will turn up sources of sound fonts and maybe even some ways to create your own but I've never dealt with sound fonts.

    The sound font player is a VST plugin. So you need a VST host app which PA9 is not. The host app will give you access to the plugin's interface. A plugin will not run on its own and has no stand-alone interface. You can use a wrapper to make the VST plugin work in a DX host such as PA9. Check out the "VST Adapter" forum in this Cakewalk Forum. There are several sources of VST adapters besides the one Cakewalk makes. Google to the rescue again to find them. Once again I have to say I've never tried a wrapper but many people do just fine with them.

    If you are successful with the VST wrapper then the sound font player should appear in a PA9 menu -- Options>Midi Devices...>Output Port.
    (Well, all this sounds like fun -- maybe I'll give the sound font player a try myself!)

    Can the Casio play the sounds in the sound font player? I'm not sure how you would cause that to happen. When you play a note on the keyboard a midi note command is sent to the PC and you can record the midi note command with PA9. If you play back the midi track you can assign the track output to the sound font player. If you want the key struck on the keyboard to trigger the sound font player directly, you need to provide a connection. Maybe you can get PA9 to echo the input to the sound font player. Also check out (via Google) MIDIOX and MIDIYOKE. One of them may be exactly what you need. I've never used them because I've never needed to.

    You and I are having quite a fun conversation. I'm surprised someone else hasn't jumped in and provided some more info/options for you. Or pointed out some things which I've gotten wrong. There has to be some!

    Cheers,
    Larry
    #12
    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/19 08:17:24 (permalink)
    Well, I'm definitely on the right path now. I've finished my first complete song in Cakewalk playing all instruments. So the part I have left is working out the SoundFont player and changing the horns to real sounding ones instead of synthetic.

    Larry, since you're a horn player using Cakewalk, what do you use it for ? Are you into recording tracks and/or colaborations ? My song could sure use a trumpet ride...

    Thanks again for your help.
    Skip
    #13
    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/19 18:11:15 (permalink)
    I'm mainly a jazz player -- standards mostly. I use PA9 in a couple ways.

    I've done audio recordings of trumpet duets and then I can play along with myself.

    I've acquired midi files of something like a jazz trio and big bands and then edited the midi to provide some ad lib solo space for me.

    I've used Band-In-A-Box to generate a midi file which I've edited in PA9 so it's better to play along with. I use such files and Band in a Box directly to learn new songs and to practice my ad lib soloing skills.

    I've also converted midi tracks to audio (by recording the audio outputs of the synths) and mixed them with my trumpet and flugelhorn audio tracks and cut a CD. My friends and family like it. I describe it as "lounge" music. Things you'd hear in a jazz bar or lounge at 3am when everyone is sleepy.

    You mention collaboration. I've certainly recorded tracks but never for someone else's work. Tell me more about what you're looking for. Might be fun!

    Larry
    #14
    Tallboy1967
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/19 19:37:12 (permalink)
    Well, the song that I just recorded has a horn part, could be a sax or trumpet. I used the trumpet on the Casio but it's so synthetic and I love real horns. My favorite group is Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. Anyway, I would love to have a real trumpet on the song. If you're interested I can email you the file and let you work your magic on it. It would be great to have you do something with it.
    Skip
    < Message edited by Tallboy1967 -- 1/19/2005 9:52:00 PM >
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    larrymcg
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    RE: Sound Patches 2005/01/23 15:36:40 (permalink)
    About that sfz High Quality SoundFont Player -- I just noticed that it is a VSTi (a VST Instrument). You can't get one of those to work in PA9. A VST adapter will allow a vanilla VST plugin to be used but not a VSTi. Bummer.
    Larry
    #16
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