poke16384 wrote:95% VSTi's for me at the moment.... It's convenience mainly I guess!
I can sit down and compose/arrange fairly instantly on those days when I have an idea bouncing around in my head.
The standard of sampled instruments has got better and better, mainly over the last few years. So much so that it's now
virtually impossible to distinguish from the real thing, (in the right hands). It really makes me laugh when people comment
on the latest 'orchestral' remixes that the instruments sound 'artificial'. NO! they don't... They ARE the real instruments!!
It's the arrangement and style of playing the instruments that sometimes makes it obvious that you're listening to a sample
rather than a physical performance. (Omoroca.... take note ).
I still like to use my guitar to add a touch of 'human' to the MIDI but I've found that having the ability to play a few instruments
helps me a lot when it comes to arranging the MIDI performances. So, I suppose the logical conclusion is that you can't/couldn't
and wouldn't have the gorgeous VSTs that we now enjoy, without the understanding of the original instruments.
Back in the 80's there were people who cited the same argument against the mini-moog the DX7 and the Juno6. It was reckoned
that whole orchestras would be put out of work by one-man-and-his-synth. How ironic then, that we now have the people who
question the validity of using digital recordings of those 'Now classic' instruments. IMHO, what the critics missed back then is the
same thing the critics are missing now.... It's all about the performance! It's about the way you arrange it and play it.... and in this
context only, musicianship becomes primary.... the source instrument or sample becomes secondary.
I both agree and don't agree with this view... it's very true, that you have to know how to play the original instrument to make the most out of sampled versions of it, but you will be limited to the extend that the samples are flexible... you could articulate a guitar string a thousand different ways, but would never be able to sample them all... this alone makes samples less flexible than the real thing.
It's the same with analog synths in my opinion... yes, you can get close in emulation, but they're never quite there in my opinion when it comes to algorithmic immitations... with samples it has more of the original sound, but the performance possibilities will be less flexible and only to what extend the samples allow you... that's why I would not use anything other than the real thing... otherwise I could as well sample my analog machines, and sell them again...
Especialy when you get to a point where you don't just "program" musik... but actualy PERFORM it live, and rely on your performance skill on a keyboard, the samples limitations become extremely apparent... at least for me... I want to be able to twist the mod and pitch wheel live while playing and so on... try this with a sampled MOOG for example... you have Modulation data, Pitch wheel data, Aftertouch data, Velocity data, all of them intermodulating eachother as per the presets structure... you just cannot get that dynamic sound from samples.... when we're talking imitation of "the real deal" of course.
Samples can still be modulated in many other ways that make them an "instrument" in itself I think... and that's what I use samples for... to be what only they can be... then I leave the MOOG sound to... well... a MOOG synth
But does all of this mean "bad music" if ou use samples anyway!?... not at all... it could still be that killer sound that one likes... no bars... use what inspires you I'd say to be the golden rule... some people will be satisfied with something other won't... I'm one of those that would NEVER substitute a sampled version of my MOOG Minitaur, that's for sure... not because I happen to have one, but because I can hear a differense that matters to me