Re: Midi vs Real Tracks (cont'd) #RealTracks

David H. Bailey

On 2/8/2021 3:41 PM, Sam Buttrey wrote:
I've enjoyed the helpful discussion regarding using BIAB's midi output (and a suitable sound source) vs. Real Tracks. Following Bob Norton, I don't object to losing a little purity of musical tone, in exchange for the convenience of Midi. But surely there's another aspect: that is, whether the Midi itself is well constructed. Even with an excellent sound module, some Midi files might well sound mechanical, by virtue of hyper-precise timing, no variability in velocities, and so on. I know Bob sells his own styles, and I'm sure they're excellent, but my question to anyone listening is, are the built-in BIAB styles generally rich enough in this sort of variation to sound like (excuse me) a real band? Are some genres generally better than others, or maybe are more recent styles better than older ones?
I appreciate any thoughts you might have,

For years we could only use midi styles because that's all there were and I was very happy with them when using an external midi module or keyboard. Using the windows built-in fm synth they were horrible. It was the tone -- the timing was fine and when played with great sounds they sounded fine.

Then PGMusic started including the Coyote DXi soft-synth so that people who didn't have external modules/synths could have better sounds than the fm-synth built into most soundcards or the Windows fm-synth soft-synth.

Then PGMusic started using "Real Drums" because many people didn't like the possibly overly precise drums of the midi styls that PGMusic sold with BIAB. Then they branched out into "realtracks" of other instruments and kept on improving their technology and sampling methods and the algoriths of using the realtracks and realdrums until we get to these days when they work very nicely except that PGMusic hasn't quite figured out how to get the endings right the way they have with Midi styles. Many (most?) realstyles endings work fine but there are many where one or more of the realtracks keeps on playing as if they were played by an excellent musician who wasn't paying attention.

However not all the realstyless are the same as the midi styles, and there are some midi styles that I prefer to the comparable realstyles so I am extra glad that we've got good soft-synths to use so that I can continue to use those midi styles I like best along with realstyles I also like.

Having good softsynths to work with BIAB is especially important for me because I use BIAB a lot in my private lessons, which are all online now. I teach using either Zoom or Skype (I give my students their choice) and I share my computer's sound so that they can have backing tracks to play along with. For the past year I've been finding a comparable realstyle to use in place of the midi styles, and that grows old fast when I'm in the middle of a lesson. Which is why this whole discussion about soft-synths has been so great.

Now that I have the HalionSE installed and working, and have managed to separate TTS-1 from the Cakewalk installation so I can decide whether or not I want to uninstall Cakewal or keep it, I can use both midi styles or realstyles as I wish.

I appreciate all those who have participated in this discussion. I'm sure it's opened many people's minds to other possibilities than just using the realstyles.

David H. Bailey

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