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Any virtual synthesizer (or sample) programs out there?

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jonpall
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Hi guys,

I'm using programs like Cubase at home to write my own music and while I can record my own voice, my guitar and bass playing and use EZDrummer for drums, I find it hard to add other sounds, which a synthesizer would allow me to do - because I don't own a synthesizer or keyboards. Now, I can use the mouse to "paint" MIDI synth parts, but surely some of you guys know a quicker way?

Perhaps there is a program out there that works as a virtual synthesizer that makes it very easy to add stuff like strings to your music? Or sound some various sound effects, sounds and noises. Or perhaps I could find some program that makes it easy to work with audio samples that I can add to my songs?

I'm getting slightly tired of using only drums, bass and guitars for my songs so any suggestions would be cool. I know that some of you like Geno have been using keyboards in their songs but perhaps you're just playing an actual keyboard? Btw. I'm a very limited keyboard player.

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Ok. FYI, I'm simply looking for something that add a slight "modern" sound to my songs, which are mostly rock songs at the moment (and many of them aren't fully finished because I want to add some samples, loops or some electronic sounds to hear how it sounds - I even have a slight "industrial" sound in mind at the moment.).

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jonpall - there are a ton of virtual instruments out there.. the list is practically endless. I'm using Sonar X1 Expanded - it comes with a ton of virtual instruments built in. I'm sure Cubase has a bunch too, doesn't it? Currently I'm using mostly synths that came with Sonar, but they are available for any DAW like Cubase. Dimension Pro is an all around versitile sampler based synth - it's got everything from weird soundscapes to strings, brass, guitars, organs, etc. Z3ta is a great synth too - more analog sounding and very punchy. Those are two that I use often.

3rd party synths I use are: GPO - a great low cost orchestral package, and B4 II a very convicing Hammon Organ synth which is great for those old rock tunes.

You can input with the mouse, but a midi keyboard controller will make life a lot easier, even if you don't play keyboards. You can get them really small and light. Or, you could buy a midi guitar if you're more comfortable using guitar. That said, I often get very lazy and instead of hooking up my midi controller, I input using the trackpad on my laptop. It is tedious, but can be done.

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I'm sure Cubase has built in VSTs and synths etc...? Get yourself a cheap MIDI keyboard. If it's only strings and synth textures you want to add to tracks then you'd only need a small one. If, like me, you play piano you'll need at least 60 odd keys but even then you can get them cheap. Personally i use Logic Pro but im adamant Cubase has good MIDI stuff, the likes of which you are looking for.

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I Midi keyboard won't actually make the sounds. You'd still get the software recommended above. But the midi keyboard is how you would input the notes into the synth. Some programs let you 'play' the notes on your computer keyboard, too, which will work for real basic tracks.

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