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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
Okay, so finally let's take a look at virtual instruments. Now in this chapter we've already looked at hooking up an external controller and using it to play virtual instruments in your laptop or in your computer. And in other chapters we've actually look to the virtual instrument as a plug-in and initiating it. In this section, we're just going to take a quick look at the virtual instrument and how it relates to MIDI, and show how we can use the tracks from our last movie and change some of the voices around some of the qualities of the sound that we are working with. This is what's so great about MIDI is that you get the information as MIDI, but you can also change how it plays back, or what voices it plays, back via virtual instruments or sound modules.
So let's play around a little bit with a virtual instrument. First I will give you the exciting satisfaction of hearing our hot track back one more time. (music playing) Listen for the claps. Oh yeah! All right, so it's a hot one. I am going to go ahead and open up the virtual instrument that we are using for the organ sound there. I am going to solo it out, and we will do a little bit of listening back. So right now, we're basically sending that MIDI to this plug-in, and we've got a patch loaded, this reggae organ. And it's generating the sound that we're hearing right now when I hit Play.
We can go in here and change what sounds we're using, use the same note information, the same MIDI information, and listen back to a different sound. (bells ringing) Then we can also go ahead and make adjustments to those sounds. Now virtual instruments will vary, and some have very specific tasks, others are kind of like big, general sound banks, like this virtual instrument.
But most of them, in addition to letting you load sounds, will give you quite a few options to change or manipulate those sounds. So I am going to play that back and play with a few of the features they have here, just to show you how you can alter these sounds once you have got them loaded up. And once you have got the MIDI, to show the performance you want, or it's hitting the notes at the right time, then you can actually use the virtual instrument to kind of tune in the sound. (bells ringing) Okay, let's go ahead and load up another sound and play around a little bit more, something ethnic, melodic kalimba.
That's good. I am going turn this baby off, and go back to the old mix window here. (kalimba playing) And maybe one more choice here. Let's see what we have for some strings here.
(strings playing) That's pretty 80s. (strings playing) (electric keyboard playing) So hopefully this gives you an idea of some of the different things you can do with virtual instruments: you can load in patches and play with different settings for each patch, change that sound but have that original MIDI information playing back.
So for all those examples, we were listening to the same set of MIDI information, just changing the characteristics of the samples being played back via the virtual instrument. Now this just really is scratching the surface of what's possible with virtual instruments, and the goal here is to show you that they exist and what's possible once you start playing around with them. So if you are going to be doing any music production or sound design, I really encourage that you start to explore virtual instruments. They can give you a whole new level of power and flexibility in terms of working with sound.
In order to take advantage of virtual instruments, you have to also work with MIDI. So hopefully this will be enough to kind of get you excited to go out and learn more about MIDI and virtual instruments.
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