Midi has become a standard tool in music production.
Midi used in mixing is an industry standard electronic communication protocol that defines various notes or playing codes for electronic musical instruments and other performance devices (such as synthesizers), allowing electronic musical instruments, computers, mobile phones or other stage performance equipment to be connected to each other , Adjust and synchronize to exchange performance data in real time. If you want to listen to the midi music offline, you can search for “midi music” on youtube and use flvto youtube to mp3 to download.
Virtual instruments have gone through wonderful and historical products since the 1980s. You may still feel that the music you make with Midi is a bit plastic. You know in your heart that if this is for the insider, They can hear that this is not a real recorded instrument.
The performance of certain parts of Midi instruments is still inferior to the beautiful music played by humans. What is often criticized is the dynamic and timbre.
Here are 5 tips to share with you all to make your Midi virtual instrument sound less plastic, sound real, and more like a musician playing in front of you.
1. Have a Midi keyboard / Pad that makes you comfortable
Unless you are the kind of music producer who is passionate about drawing Midi on DAW with a mouse, to have a good Midi instrument performance, it is best if you are actually playing an instrument.
When it comes to music creation, the audience is keen. He may not be able to tell whether you are playing with a mouse or a keyboard, but the audience may say, “Oh, I love this string. He sounds so soulful!” Or “I think this piano is weird, it sounds flat!”
In the process of creating music, the more you use “creative and imaginative” methods to create, the listeners will feel completely different.
Playing through the keyboard is more emotional than drawing Midi with the mouse.
The most common Midi controller in the musical instrument market is usually a keyboard. A Midi keyboard ranges from 700-3,000 yuan, and the price varies according to the functionality.
If you have learned piano by yourself, you can find a keyboard with half-weight keys or full-weight keys, which will be similar to your habits.
But if you are a friend like me who has no experience in playing piano, it doesn’t matter. You can buy an inexpensive one, find the sound name and the corresponding Midi keyboard button, and start creating. After you’re comfortable, it doesn’t hurt to upgrade again.
Of course, you can also choose a Midi controller that is not in the form of a keyboard. For example, the Pad that hip-hop producers often use to make Beats is also a good choice. In the process of playing Midi, you will find that you can use your imagination more than the mouse to operate Midi.
The point of this is not to ask you to buy more expensive and more advanced keyboards, but to find ways to make you more creative.
Everyone who plays a phrase has a different growth background and the way he likes to play.
Whether it is the change of strength or the control of the length of the note, it is unique and soulful.
It’s more important to note that when you are using Midi to make each virtual instrument, it’s best to spend some time to understand the background of that instrument. Some phrases may be simple to do on the keyboard, but you can’t actually use that instrument to play. .
For example, you can use a piano to play chords and add a little monophonic melody to trigger a virtual acoustic guitar instrument, but this is not logical when it comes to guitar playing.
All in all, finding a Midi keyboard or Pad that you can play comfortably is very helpful to your Midi authenticity.
2. Understand the changes in force
In Midi’s language, in addition to notes, the best thing is that he also stores the information “strength”.
This means that if you press harder on the keyboard, the stronger the sound of the virtual instrument will be. In other words, the tone and volume will be different.
To capture the authenticity of the dynamics of the instrument, strength is very important!
The good news is that the strength parameters of all Midi instruments can be adjusted after playing.
When playing an instrument with a Midi keyboard, it seems that it will not be the same as a real instrument. This is almost certain. Because we are not actually playing that instrument, but triggering it through Midi, this gap cannot be made up.
So what I recommend is that you can fine-tune the strength of your notes “one by one” every time you finish playing with Midi, until the whole phrase sounds natural.
Musical instruments such as piano and jazz drums that require great effort to express dynamics and Grooving require you to do so.
Although it sounds a bit exaggerated, in order to let the audience hear the most beautiful music, it may be worth your extreme.
Give full play to your music master spirit!
3. Appropriate use of Midi’s quantization function
Speaking of Midi, of course, he must mention his quantitative function. With the quantization function, it is more convenient for us to make music after playing, and easily match our beat in the DAW. But we can still explore some details in more depth.
Quantization allows users to adjust the alignment of each note according to the beat. You can set the rhythm of the song according to the 16th note, 8th note, etc., and move the notes you choose in the same amount according to the rhythm you want.
You can even choose triplet or dotted notes. Although aligning the beat is an important thing, if we align all the notes completely on the beat, it is very easy to make your virtual instrument produced by Midi too perfect. But too perfect, it sounds like a robot.
Since people do not “completely” match the tempo when playing an instrument, if we use a virtual instrument like this, it sounds a bit lacking in humanity. I suggest that whether it is on the melody or rhythm instrument, keeping a little down or grabbing the beat when you are playing is actually a good thing. Of course, it cannot be too exaggerated.
The criterion for judging is that human ears cannot tell that the instrument is completely out of tempo. But keeping a human touch is something you need to pay attention to in this little trick. In Cubase or other DAWs, you can set the Swing function not to directly hit the beat
4. Make good use of the music expressions in Midi
In addition to the three most basic and important tools of Midi: note, strength, and note length. Midi can also record portamento, modulation, tone switching, and external volume pedal functions.
Among them, Pitch bend and mod (modulation) wheel have the highest probability.
Making good use of these two tools can make your virtual instrument more lively and make the music sound more different. But note that not all musical instruments support these additional functions. You can play with your keyboard more when recording Midi to create more different styles of music.
5. Treat your Midi instruments like other real instruments you record
Most of the virtual musical instruments and sound libraries are produced by many professional sound engineers, equipment and professional musicians.
For example, the string sound library of the well-known soundtrack Hans Zimmer is composed of 344 musicians and 26 different microphone angles.
In addition, like Steven Slate Drums 5, my favorite drum kit sound simulation, it is also produced after a lot of recording and mixing.
A total of 77 snare drums, 84 Kicks, 58 Toms, 11 sets of Hi-Hats, 14 Crashes, 6 Rides… etc. are covered.
The recording of a virtual instrument is quite complicated. For each strength value, the musician will be asked to play the instrument once and gradually increase the strength.
If your virtual instrument can adjust the space, or the angle of the microphone, then each force will be recorded again in each space.
It is conceivable how much time they spent on creating a virtual sound source and musical instrument for use by a large number of musicians.
In order to allow users to have greater possibilities, virtual instruments are mostly in a clean state. It may be that the reverberation of the space is insufficient, or the tone is too cold and warm enough to resemble a real instrument.
For example: if it is a drum, you can add your favorite space Reverb in post-production, or add tape emulation like Tape to give your sound a unique space and warm sound.
The rapid evolution of technology, modern music can hear the songs created by the sound library.
These high-quality recorded instruments are designed to lower the threshold for us to make music, so that everyone can add more different elements at home or any of your works.
These five tips require constant practice to experience the mystery of them.
But you only need to grasp these 5 tips to make MIDI sound more real. I believe that in the future, using Midi with more attention to details, you can also create cinematic, theater-like, and exciting music.