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Windows 7: Serious synth recording on Win7 with a modern computer

12 Aug 2019   #1
ToughDiamond

Win 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 
Serious synth recording on Win7 with a modern computer

I used to be able to easily record from a MIDI keyboard on an old desktop computer with a good PCI soundcard that had a MIDI input socket for the external keyboard. For the software I used an old version of Logic Audio, .sf2 soundfonts and Logic's EXS24 synth files for the sounds, and Windows XP operating system. I was able to mix multiple tracks of synths (recorded in MIDI format) and regular audio, and got very nice results.


How can I get something like that working on Windows 7 on a modern computer? Recording plain audio seems easy enough with a decent USB mic, and something like Audacity or even an old copy of Audition runs fine for me. But MIDI keyboard recording presents a problem because there's no MIDI input socket, and no PCI slot for my old soundcard. I can easily buy a USB keyboard, and Logic will run quite well in the XP Virtual Machine, but it won't recognise the MIDI input from USB.


So does anybody know of a (preferably freeware) program that would "hear" a USB keyboard and generate, record and play synth sounds? Naturally it'd need to be low-latency (don't want a noticeable time delay between hitting the keys and hearing the sound), and it'd be very desirable for it to have .sf2 soundfont support and to be able to record and play audio as well, in a multi-track editor. Audacity and a few other programs do a good enough job with audio, but none of them seem to really support MIDI. I expect a lot of MIDI keyboards would be bundled with some kind of a studio-type program, but whether or not they'd be suitable for serious music recording is hard to know before buying and trying.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2019   #2
Paul Black

Win 7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi ToughDiamond,

Things might get disjointed having two threads going => Opening Audacity changes volume/balance of Sound Blaster X-Fi 5.1 card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2019   #3
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Hello ToughDiamond

What is wrong with a MIDI to USB adaptor? For example the M-Audio Midisport 2x2 MIDI Interface, Anniversary Edition. This device supports Class compliant USB on Windows XP/Vista/7, so no additional drivers are required.

For shareware software, best check SourceForge or CNET for downloads. Without too much effort, I was able to find Psycle Modular Music Creation Studio, which features VST and MIDI.

For a "fully functional DAW with 64-bit sound engine, MIDI capabilities and VST" then check out Zynewave Podium and Zynewave Podium Free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2019   #4
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

I don't know anything about what your doing but it seems that this unique solution might work for minimum cost-

MIDI DAC For Vintage Synth Hacks | Hackaday
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2019   #5
ToughDiamond

Win 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iko22 View Post
Hello ToughDiamond

What is wrong with a MIDI to USB adaptor? For example the M-Audio Midisport 2x2 MIDI Interface, Anniversary Edition. This device supports Class compliant USB on Windows XP/Vista/7, so no additional drivers are required.
Nothing wrong with it at all, except that I don't know much about them. But M-Audio stuff is usually good. Thanks for the tip.
Quote:
For shareware software, best check SourceForge or CNET for downloads. Without too much effort, I was able to find Psycle Modular Music Creation Studio, which features VST and MIDI.

For a "fully functional DAW with 64-bit sound engine, MIDI capabilities and VST" then check out Zynewave Podium and Zynewave Podium Free.
OK, it looks like that one would play VST instruments. That's a start. It'd be nice to have something that would play (or convert VST to) .sf2, seeing as how I've got tons of those. A convertor would be a good workaround. Meanwhile I'll try Podium out. Thanks for the heads-up, I didn't know it existed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2019   #6
ToughDiamond

Win 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wither 2 View Post
I don't know anything about what your doing but it seems that this unique solution might work for minimum cost-

MIDI DAC For Vintage Synth Hacks | Hackaday
It's an interesting device but it looks like it's for interfacing hardware synths., and I don't have any of those. I use "softsynths" such as .sf2 soundfonts, and a simple music keyboard that just has a MIDI output and no instruments or sound output of its own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2019   #7
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Welcome to General User GS link

Quote:
Compatibility: Although GeneralUser GS was originally designed for use with Sound Blaster audio cards, the most recent development has been focused on SoundFont-compatible software instead. The current version of GeneralUser GS requires a SoundFont synth with support for SoundFont 2.01 modulators. Compatible synths include FluidSynth 1.0.9 or later (and other software that uses FluidSynth such as Qsynth, LMMS, and ScummVM, just to name a few), MuseScore 2.0.3 or later, SynthFont2 2.0.3.0 or later, and VSTSynthFont 1.080 or later.
Here you will not only find a collection of soundfonts you can use on your Wavetable soundcard, but also SoundFont editors, players, and utilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2019   #8
badcrc

Windows 7 Pro x64 sp1
 
 

Cubase Elements 10 is only about 75. I use an older version with a USB keyboard and a Soundblaster Z card (for low latency). Cubase is a bit of a steep learning curve, but it comes with a ton of sounds, and there's lots of free VSTs online.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2019   #9
ToughDiamond

Win 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iko22 View Post
Welcome to General User GS link



Here you will not only find a collection of soundfonts you can use on your Wavetable soundcard, but also SoundFont editors, players, and utilities.
Thanks. I can't figure out how General User GS could help me, but Hitsquad mentioned sfz+ which seems to be a VST instrument that plays .sf2 soundfonts. If it'll do that in Podium without trouble then it could be just what I need. Sadly Hitsquad's download link only led to an announcement by Cakewalk that they'd closed down. I've not been able to find a sfz+ download anywhere, but after a lot of unsuccessful searching I found this link to sfz (without the "plus"), which seems to be the same thing without so many features: Download Free Sampler plug-in: Sfz by Rgcaudio Now all I need to do is figure out how to get it all running (Podium and sfz) and find out whether or not it actually does the trick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2019   #10
ToughDiamond

Win 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badcrc View Post
Cubase Elements 10 is only about 75. I use an older version with a USB keyboard and a Soundblaster Z card (for low latency). Cubase is a bit of a steep learning curve, but it comes with a ton of sounds, and there's lots of free VSTs online.
Yes I played with it a very long time ago, though I only used it for audio tracks. Didn't find it all that hard to work with, it wasn't unlike Logic. Does it play .sf2 soundfonts? Don't want to lose the ability to use the sounds I'm used to. Hmm.....soundcard.......yes I'll probably need that, now I come to think of it. Not likely to get very far with the onboard sound, that'll have some latency for sure.
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 Serious synth recording on Win7 with a modern computer




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