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AYork33

Real Sounds

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I am fairly new to composition. I have been using muse score for a few years, first when in grad school for a couple projects and recently started using it for studying composition and putting thoughts to page. My issue is the sound fonts that my laptop uses. Horrible midi sounds! I have had people here tell me they can't decipher anything about my music because it is midi. They have asked why I don't use real sounds? Where can I find real sounds? I honestly do not know what I am doing and don't know where to start. Could anyone please help me? I would really appreciate it!

Andy

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What you call "real sounds" are called Libraries, (the real recording of each note of each instrument, what we call "samples") and these are loaded using a "VST instrument", I don't know this MuseScore but you need a program that supports VST, these programs are called "DAW", so what you need is this:

 

a Library (such as Garritan Personal Orchestra aka GPO, East West quantum leap symphonic orchestra aka EWQL, Vienna Symphonic Library aka VSL; there are many many of these, depends on the sounds you want)

 

a VST (such as Kontakt or Aria Player) this one might be included with the library, and these two must be compatible eachother.

 

a DAW (such as Cubase, Sonar, Reason, FL Studio, Pro Tools etc)

 

 

What you see in this picture is the 3 things working together. In the background is the DAW (in this case is Cubase) which contains the sequence of notes for each instrument and other settings, all this is sent to VST (in this case is Kontakt, that window) and this Kontakt has loaded a library (this case Alicia's Keys) which is a very realistic library of piano.
You can have as many libraries as you want/need/pay (see at left of Kontakt that computer has installed also "Acoustic Legends" "Session Strings" "Vir2 Violence" "SR5 Rock Bass" etc, and you can load into DAW as many VST as you need.

 

9B7.jpg?9033

 

 

This way you can use "real sounds" of instruments to play your music.

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And I think there are some people here who use MuseScore with additional sound libraries, so yes, there are compatible ways to do it with the software you have.  But even with a good library, it takes a lot of fiddling to get all the decrescendos and tempo changes and accents to play back just the way you want.  If you have the instrument available and the talent to play it, a live recording is often faster and better.  Crank up that piano!  (:  

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Yes, that is why you need a real DAW like cubase and not a notation software with vst support like sibelius, it only loads sounds but is not designed to control them properly, any library no matter how good it may be, won't give you good results within a notation software.

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Not to mention that unless you are specifically composing electronic or electro-acoustic music (for which very different samples and knowledge of production are needed), live performances/recordings have the added benefit of contact with real players who can offer advice on writing for their instruments.  This is better ear training than even the most venerated instrumentation textbook.  If you play piano, try and get together with others to play chamber music, or at the very least go to as many concerts as you can. My usual caveat that this, like most aspects of composition, takes years of work to build up, goes without saying.

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