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Brought my first computer years ago with a midi keyboard for doing music etc, how ever my lifestyle changed as in got a little girl, so never had chance to mess about with it but now i have.
I used to have an atari st with cubase for the software and a midi keyboard, and new the system inside out, and had loads of 19" rack modules to generate the sounds, but what is the crack now, can some body point me into the right direction for sounds and midi sofware , free if poss, it would be nice to get the dust of this keyboard and play some music, with some nice piano sounds, i know that akai used to do some of the best.
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The Steinberg sequencers (Cubase, Cubasis, Nuendo) are the best - Logic is now effectively dead as it 'bought' by Apple...who then axed the PC version. There are other sequencers like Pro-Tools, Sonar, Orion, and cheaper ones (some even free which support VST plugins too!). You'd better just try the demos of all of them to figure out what's best for you. Reason is just a toy...not for the professional producer as it doesn't suppot audio recording or editing, only sample playback in the virtual samplers. FL Studio is another popular toy but I think it's rubbish as I can work the damn thing.
You can write/record MIDI and audio tracks with (most) of this software, you use the VSTi plugins (instruments) to play the MIDI tracks (or set any track to play out through hardware MIDI outs to use your old gear). VST effect plugins work differently - you insert them into slots on audio channels (and also the slots on the audio strip for any VST instruments you are using).
I think the best Piano sound you can get, as a plugin is Steinberg's 'The Grand' - it properly emulates the string resonance, pedals, dampers etc. 2 Huge multi-sampled pianos.
Very important is getting your computer equipped with a proper 'low latency' soundcard, not a silly gaming one - M-Audio's Audiophile 2496 is good at just $50. Otherwise, you'll have problems with the sound delay especially if you're playing keyboard through it.
Hey I could go on and on here. Get reading the magazines, WHSmith normally has 'Future Music', 'Computer Music' and 'Sound On Sound' which are the best. These magazines also have great websites too! Computer Music has it's own branded free software suite of sequencer and plugins.
Some of the best shops to buy gear/check prices from is
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