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"Improving" Sound of Virtual Instruments

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ScottBari
KVRer
 
13 posts since 16 Jan, 2013, from Connecticut, USA

Postby ScottBari; Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:38 am "Improving" Sound of Virtual Instruments

When you enter virtual instruments through a midi keyboard. Does the quality of your preamps on your USB interface ( say Focusrite 212 vs. Forte) have any bearing on the sound begin recorded? I guess the output to your monitors/headphone on playback would be affected,but not what's going in your DAW.

I'm trying to deduce "If u like bagpipes/ bouzouki or (pick your instrument), spend the time/$ on THAT specific virtually instrument cuz that is what is going DIRECTLY in when you record.

I'm not usually this dummm

Thanks,

Scott
Scott
padillac
KVRist
 
333 posts since 27 Nov, 2011

Postby padillac; Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:40 am

If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound. No sound is going through your interface's inputs!
ScottBari
KVRer
 
13 posts since 16 Jan, 2013, from Connecticut, USA

Postby ScottBari; Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:06 pm

Thanks Padillac

Your answer . "If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound." Brings up another question:

So is there a way to improve your virtual instrument sounds? It seems the loops that come with my Mixcraft DAW sound better when "played" than when the same instrument is selected through virtual instruments. Thanks, Scott
Scott
User avatar
Burillo
KVRAF
 
1589 posts since 15 Nov, 2006, from Hell

Postby Burillo; Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:40 pm

define "improve"
From Russia with love
jleeper
KVRist
 
44 posts since 22 Jan, 2009

Postby jleeper; Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:14 pm

No, your midi keyboard is just sending midi signals to your DAW. Midi is a not-to-complicated digital format that has nothing to do with the preamps in your USB interface. As long as it works, the cheapest Midi interface is going to send the same signal that the most expensive Midi interface will send. And the Midi interface part of your USB interface is pretty much completely electronically separate from the audio part of the interface.
trusampler
KVRist
 
294 posts since 2 Jul, 2007

Postby trusampler; Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:29 pm

It's all based off of your D/A converters which will allow you to hear the sounds coming from within your daw correctly. Your Monitors, and your room.

The next question is what converters did the sound designer use? Do certain plugins sound better then others?

Sure they do, now that you know these things, prepare for the endless battle of finding the right sounds,right gear, etc. Welcome to the STUDIO world my friend!
:D
padillac
KVRist
 
333 posts since 27 Nov, 2011

Postby padillac; Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:23 pm

ScottBari wrote:Thanks Padillac

Your answer . "If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound." Brings up another question:

So is there a way to improve your virtual instrument sounds? It seems the loops that come with my Mixcraft DAW sound better when "played" than when the same instrument is selected through virtual instruments. Thanks, Scott


Honestly I'm not sure what you mean by this. How are you "playing" the instruments differently from choosing them through virtual instruments?
michael2
KVRAF
 
2085 posts since 17 Jan, 2008

Postby michael2; Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:49 pm

padillac wrote:
ScottBari wrote:Thanks Padillac

Your answer . "If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound." Brings up another question:

So is there a way to improve your virtual instrument sounds? It seems the loops that come with my Mixcraft DAW sound better when "played" than when the same instrument is selected through virtual instruments. Thanks, Scott


Honestly I'm not sure what you mean by this. How are you "playing" the instruments differently from choosing them through virtual instruments?


i think he means that his DAW comes with pre-written MIDI loops that use a virtual instrument that also comes with his DAW. the loops are more convincing than his own performances.

that's just because whoever put the MIDI loops together is better at putting together MIDI parts. :)
macbook pro 2.88 GHz Intel Core Duo, 10 gigs ram, 750GB HD, Logic Studio 9
my blog and some music:
http://rabbitearsmotel.wordpress.com/
joeinternet327
KVRist
 
69 posts since 8 Aug, 2012

Postby joeinternet327; Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:37 pm

Virtual instruments are self contained, so the sound that they produce by themselves is limited to whatever controls are available on that instrument.

If you want to change the sound beyond that, you need to run the output of the instrument through some form of effects processor, such as distortion, filter, EQ, etc.

Theses effects can either be software or hardware.
All DAWs sound alike... except when they don't.
harikaram
KVRer
 
14 posts since 19 Aug, 2009, from London

Postby harikaram; Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:03 am

It's likely that the loops (presuming that is what you mean) are actual recordings of the real live instrument being played by a musician and being recorded through a preamp and fx chain.

Simulating the musicianship will be tough but you can simulate the FX chain via many of the high quality emulators out there such as PSP Vintage Warmer or many plugins in the UAD suite. Also adding some ambience via a a reverb (early reflections only - minus the tail) is a useful quick improver. Waves IR series and TruVerb work wonders here.
Introducing, the Sound Wand...
padillac
KVRist
 
333 posts since 27 Nov, 2011

Postby padillac; Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:21 am

michael2 wrote:
padillac wrote:
ScottBari wrote:Thanks Padillac

Your answer . "If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound." Brings up another question:

So is there a way to improve your virtual instrument sounds? It seems the loops that come with my Mixcraft DAW sound better when "played" than when the same instrument is selected through virtual instruments. Thanks, Scott


Honestly I'm not sure what you mean by this. How are you "playing" the instruments differently from choosing them through virtual instruments?


i think he means that his DAW comes with pre-written MIDI loops that use a virtual instrument that also comes with his DAW. the loops are more convincing than his own performances.

that's just because whoever put the MIDI loops together is better at putting together MIDI parts. :)


fair enough. that's what I was thinking...the way to make MIDI sound better is to play with more expression. and/or process the resulting audio.

as someone else pointed out below, if OP is comparing live-performed audio loops to his own MIDI sequences, that could account for a difference in sound quality
michael2
KVRAF
 
2085 posts since 17 Jan, 2008

Postby michael2; Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:50 pm

padillac wrote:
michael2 wrote:
padillac wrote:
ScottBari wrote:Thanks Padillac

Your answer . "If you mean plugins in your DAW, no, the preamps will have no effect on the sound." Brings up another question:

So is there a way to improve your virtual instrument sounds? It seems the loops that come with my Mixcraft DAW sound better when "played" than when the same instrument is selected through virtual instruments. Thanks, Scott


Honestly I'm not sure what you mean by this. How are you "playing" the instruments differently from choosing them through virtual instruments?


i think he means that his DAW comes with pre-written MIDI loops that use a virtual instrument that also comes with his DAW. the loops are more convincing than his own performances.

that's just because whoever put the MIDI loops together is better at putting together MIDI parts. :)


fair enough. that's what I was thinking...the way to make MIDI sound better is to play with more expression. and/or process the resulting audio.

as someone else pointed out below, if OP is comparing live-performed audio loops to his own MIDI sequences, that could account for a difference in sound quality


i know that the MIDI loops that came with my DAW (Logic) are waaay more convincing than anything I can get out of them. when I look at them versus my own stuff in the piano roll, I feel like a caveman. :)
macbook pro 2.88 GHz Intel Core Duo, 10 gigs ram, 750GB HD, Logic Studio 9
my blog and some music:
http://rabbitearsmotel.wordpress.com/
padillac
KVRist
 
333 posts since 27 Nov, 2011

Postby padillac; Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:10 am

michael2 wrote:i know that the MIDI loops that came with my DAW (Logic) are waaay more convincing than anything I can get out of them. when I look at them versus my own stuff in the piano roll, I feel like a caveman. :)


how about midi drum loops? "oh...so it's not just a bunch of 16th notes"
michael2
KVRAF
 
2085 posts since 17 Jan, 2008

Postby michael2; Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:47 am

padillac wrote:
michael2 wrote:i know that the MIDI loops that came with my DAW (Logic) are waaay more convincing than anything I can get out of them. when I look at them versus my own stuff in the piano roll, I feel like a caveman. :)


how about midi drum loops? "oh...so it's not just a bunch of 16th notes"


haha. :D

actually a lot to be learned there. someday.
macbook pro 2.88 GHz Intel Core Duo, 10 gigs ram, 750GB HD, Logic Studio 9
my blog and some music:
http://rabbitearsmotel.wordpress.com/

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