Are there any tips or techniques for playing different midi instruments?

Trying to get the most realistic feel for playing midi instruments like the guitar and violin on a midi keyboard. 

9 followers

cjonesnyc 2 years ago | 0 comments

6 answers

  • Warrior Bob
    contribution
    60 answers
    106 votes received
    6 votes

    Research your instrument! You can't imitate it very well if you don't know how people make the sounds they do. In the case of violin, you have a whole host of Italian words referring to different ways of playing it - learn what those mean, and how you can replicate them on your MIDI instruments.

    Put recordings of different playing techniques through analysis tools like Ableton's Spectrum device. For example, what does the spectrum look like for a violin playing arco, versus the same note played pizzicato? How would the envelopes change? 

    Pick the properties that you care about the most and set up your controller and device accordingly.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • kleine Ableton staff
    contribution
    10 answers
    47 votes received
    4 votes

    It usually helps to realize the physical aspects of the simulated instrument in the real world and adapt this to your playing technique. Try to cleverly involve the modwheel, aftertouch and pitchbend to selected parameters and integrate it into you playing technique. And practice!

     

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • RobC
    contribution
    1 answer
    3 votes received
    3 votes

    Bowed string instruments, and wind instruments, have a lot of control over volume after the attack - having volume on the modwheel can help replicate this.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • patekswiss
    contribution
    1 answer
    3 votes received
    3 votes

    I think the question is too broad to answer in a prescriptive way. The one thing I would caution about is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of spending far too much time trying to get your music rig to sound like an acoustic instrument or an orchestra or whatnot. Can you do a convincing impression of one if you need to? Yes, but you will make a huge investment in time and effort, and the time required to get that last 5 percent of realism will probably be ten times as much as you spent to get the first 95%. And that is a shame, considering your music rig is probably capable of incredible otherwordly sounds, far beyond the capability of a violin or guitar. That's not to say it's never worth the effort to do this (and some people make a nice living from being a cheaper alternative to an orchestra), but I just find that people to tend to fall into a trap of making imitation their #1 goal, when there is so much more out there that lets you spend that energy focusing on composing the music.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • trommelmeister
    contribution
    1 answer
    2 votes received
    2 votes

    I have been asking myself the very same question now and then.

    For an acoustic guitar a nice hint is to make sure that the notes of one chord do NOT start at the very same moment. Instead, depending on the direction from which you want to have the chord played (meaning either from up to down or vice-versa), the bass note of a chord should start first, then the next note should follow and so on. This reflects the characteristic of a real acoustic guitar.

    Regards, Martin.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • theambler
    contribution
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    Guitar Strum - keep in mind strum down (play bass notes slightly before treble notes in a chord) and strum up (the reverse).   Edit the result to ensure the note tails join up with the next note. 

    Guitar solo - pitch bend wheel up to start of note -- and up/down during note

    Brass - grace notes and 'fall off' notes work well.  Use aftertouch to add 'swell'.  Consider using a wind controller like the Yamaha WX5

    Strings - chords which spread across the keyboard as much as possible.   In chord changes if a note repeats between chords then don't play it again, just hold it. 

     

     

    2 years ago | 0 comments

You need to be logged in, have a Live license, and have a username set in your account to be able to answer questions.

Answers is a new product and we'd like to hear your wishes, problems or ideas.