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  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    How to create a realistic MIDI guitar/bass part
    Hi All/Joe Another area I'd really like to get better at is creating better guitar/bass tracks using MIDI and a suitable virtual instrument. I'm not a guitarist so (in the short term anyway) I'm not going to invest in a guitar/bass, learn to play and then record an audio track. So I'm constrained to using a MDI controller or computer keyboard and whatever VI's I can get my hands on. I've tried using Xpand!2 in Pro Tools First but it just sounds like a harpsicord, as there is no option to add the all important articulations that make it sound like a guitar. I've also tried the excellent AmpleSound Guitar Martin VI which sounds excellent but then I'm limited to one guitar sound unless I buy a number of their VI's which is too expensive. I'm sure there are some 'tricks' to creating slides, pulls, mutes etc using standard MIDI commands which would give me a more realistic sound but also the flexibility to use different guitar VI's and/or virtual amps like Amplitube? If I can get 95% close to the sound of a sample based VI like AmpleSound I'd be very happy. Any immediate thoughts? Or is this big enough to justify a generic training class that could be used in any DAW? Cheer Steve
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1520
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: How to create a realistic MIDI guitar/bass part
    Hi Steve - There are numerous virtual guitar instruments that include extra samples of the various guitar techniques [like the ones you mentioned] -- as you noted they're usually triggered from extra keys/controllers, and can often be played in realtime or programmed/overdubbed into MIDI guitar recordings after the fact. The same goes for virtual bass instruments. While I find it easy enough to create virtual bass parts that sound realistic [a lot has to do with emulating a bassist's phrasing/note lengths/etc], I find it more difficult to do the same for virtual guitar parts. But I do play guitar & bass and so I've never really had the patience to dig in too deeply to those virtual guitar instruments. However, a friend of mine used to get excellent results with them, so it's definitely do-able if you do have the time/patience to become well-versed in how a particular virtual instrument handles all the characteristic guitarist performance gestures [for both strumming & melodic playing]. Off the top of my head, I know there are decent virtual guitar & bass instruments from Native Instruments [Session Guitarist [various electric & acoustic guitars], Scarbee guitars & basses] and IK Multimedia [MODO Bass] & Toontrack [EZbass], all of which should offer multiple instruments -- a search for "virtual guitar plugin" or "virtual bass plugin" should turn up many more [including the one[s] you've tried], but those might be a good place to start. As to courses, since each instrument would be expected to use different methods of implementing the nuances of guitar/bass performance gestures, I think a course in a particular piece [or brand] of software would be more likely, but it couldn't hurt to make a suggestion in the Suggested Training subforum [Forums Home > General > Suggested Training].
    Reply
  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    Re: How to create a realistic MIDI guitar/bass part
    Hi Joe Just to finish this thread off, I wanted to update you that I found an excellent guitar VI (RealStrat by MusicLab https://www.musiclab.com) that has all the articulations, sound library and chord generator that I was looking for. It's available on VST/AU/AAX and although it's not cheap ($140) they offer a free two week trial that was long enough to convince me it was good value for money. If you have a moment check this video out that gives a fun overview of the articulations in the VI: https://youtu.be/ydkhg9Y7jvk Cheers Steve p.s. I think it was one of your colleagues who did an article recently about guitar VI's that made me aware of MusicLab. Thanks to them!
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1520
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: How to create a realistic MIDI guitar/bass part
    Hi Steve - Yes, Hollin Jones' recent Ask.Audio article mentioned MusicLab's guitar VIs, among several others. Many of the demos do sound pretty good, especially the finger-picking ones, though (as I'm sure you realized) the determining factor is ultimately how playable the VI is, especially if you prefer to play the parts in in realtime..
    Reply
  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    Re: How to create a realistic MIDI guitar/bass part
    You are quite right Joe but as a songwriter/arranger/engineer I'm not concerned with ease of live performance but with being able to construct a realistic guitar part in my DAW, even if that means hand crafting every note, articulation and automation. In my opinion that is the strength of the MusicLab products, as they are not the most intuitive of GUI's and take some time and effort to learn. By the way, the manual, online tutorials and support are all excellent. Thanks again for you advice and guidance on this subject Cheers Steve
    Reply
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