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Which of These Sounds Better?


anathematized_one
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Which One Sounds Better?  

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  1. 1. Which LIbary Sounds Better?

    • Library A
    • Library B
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I need to know which of these sounds better and/or more realistic.

I am not telling you which one is which sound library, because I need unbiased opinions

Both pieces are exactly the same, just made with different sound libraries. Also, I didn't mix Library B that well, so please don't let that influence your choice. Just pick which one sounds more realistic.

Library A

Library B

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The first sounds like notation software and the second sounds like notation software with a particularly terrible lead string sample, or a very poor live string line over a bed of samples.

I'm not used to the second library yet, I've not gone all through it, but I agree that I don't like that lead in the second one.

I'm just asking which one sounds more realistic.

You kind of just said they both sound like scraggy. That doesn't really help...

And yes, they were both made with notation software. I don't own a keyboard and I can't play keys so that's pretty much my only option. Also, if you're interested, the notation software I used was Finale 2010 (which I'm really not much of a fan of).

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If I had to pick, I would probably choose the second with better mixing and sequencing and a different lead sample. The thing that kills both is sloppy sequencing though. The samples themselves have a nice enough sound in both cases and they don't sound inflexible, but the MIDI work is rough-hewn so it's difficult to judge how the pieces *could* sound with the given two libraries.

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If I had to pick, I would probably choose the second with better mixing and sequencing and a different lead sample. The thing that kills both is sloppy sequencing though. The samples themselves have a nice enough sound in both cases and they don't sound inflexible, but the MIDI work is rough-hewn so it's difficult to judge how the pieces *could* sound with the given two libraries.

I'm not sure what you mean by the MIDI work being "rough-hewn."

I could probably make better examples if I had a better way of sequencing them, but all I have is Finale 2010 (as I can't play keys and don't have a MIDI keyboard or MIDI guitar). So my only way I can sequence them is via Finale 2010.

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I understand, but that's not entirely true — you *can* have a better way of sequencing them and that is by using a sequencer. Finale, as with any other notation software, is intended for producing professional notation, and not professional audio output. The fact that it supports virtual instrument plugins does not mean it is very adept at giving you the ability to use them optimally. That entire functionality is largely a marketing plot aimed at those who are not aware of how music is professionally produced on a computer, or for those who don't mind things sounding unrealistic.

Sequencing MIDI is done from within a sequencer like Cubase, Sonar, Logic, or Reaper and does not require a MIDI keyboard although having one does significantly speed up and streamline the process. Ultimately it comes down to what you're after: if you are looking for convincing audio then notation software simply isn't capable of producing it, except when you completely cover the score with hidden MIDI instructions and other aggravating micro-managing. It's not the way to go. If you want a realistic rendering then a sequencer is your only option; whichever one you feel most comfortable using. As with all things worth knowing, there is a fairly steep learning curve to figuring out how to use a sequencer properly, but the fact of the matter is that if you have spent money on any virtual instruments then you owe it to that investment to make the best use of them — something you simply can't achieve when shackling them to a notation program.

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Well, luckily for me I already have Reaper, and somebody else was telling me about it. Also luckily for me, I am a really fast learner, so all I need to do is hump the Reaper manual a bit, especially perusing the section on MIDI sequencing (I've used Reaper's MIDI editor already a little bit, so I am not completely out of the loop on it).

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  • 5 months later...

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