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Thread: Software based MIDI sound modules

  1. #1
    pp Pianissimo janvds's Avatar
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    Nov 2013

    Software based MIDI sound modules


    One of my customers is asking about a software-based MIDI sound module that he can install on his laptop. He wants to be able to plug his laptop into the Rodgers organ he has at his church and use it for a sound module to have extra voices such as orchestral strings, trumpet, flute, etc. He also wants to do the same thing on his Johannus organ at home.

    What software would you recommend?



  2. #2
    ppp Pianississmo mkillion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Louisville, KY

    Seems like you could do that with Fruity Loops, which is the software I use. I play a Johannus at church and at home I can either create or enhance midi files through Fruity Loops on my laptop. Then I export back to a MIDI file and play through my sequencer.

    While I don't actually use FL to generate sounds, I know that many do.


  3. #3
    pp Pianissimo JoelHof's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    NH/PA, USA

    There are quite a few really nice sounding modules available. Here's a good site to get a taste of orchestral type instruments.

    Some of these may be stand-alone programs, others VST plugins, or sample libraries. There are quite a few available around the internet at no cost. You'll have to do some research to find the quality level and cost you want. Be careful with sample libraries in that many only partially sample the instrument and then modify the waveform to get different tones. Others sample all the different tones including effects and what not.

    If they are stand-alone applications you are good to go. You can run them as they are but probably only one at a time. If you are interested in using a VST, you'll need additional software to play it with/through. A simple solution is to use a VST host such as Cantabile. (this is what I use to play multiple "instruments/vst's" at the same time and layer them, works well for live situations with midi to control it). A program like UVI Workstation is easy to use and works well also. Native Instruments Kontakt is an excellent sample player.

    Or you could step into the DAW world (Digital Audio Workstation software) such as FL Studio that Matt suggested. These allow you to make multiple tracks for multiple instruments, vst's, audio, midi, automation, play, record, loops, effects, mixing, mastering, on and on ... all fun stuff. There are a few good ones available for free or a nominal price that are very functional. Maybe more than what you need unless you want to get into looping and Ableton Live is excellent for that. Most of these have demo versions available so you can check them out before you buy. There are so many options available.

    I'm not an expert but I've been playin' with this stuff since the advent of midi, Cakewalk and Soundblaster on an XT/AT computer. Too much fun ...

    Last edited by JoelHof; 03-12-2018 at 03:59 AM.
    Instr: Conn Artist 721 Deluxe, Kawai SR7A, Wersi Arcus w/ Pegasus Expander
    In-Process: Allen 1203-4ManDKC
    Midi Ctlrs: Arturia KeyLab 49 x 2
    Comp: Dell Prec. T5500 WorkStation-Win7pro/Linux Mint, HP DL580-G5 Server-Linux Mint-Presonus Firestudio project x 2
    Sftwr: Arturia V Collection 4/5, ZynAddSubFX, Hauptwerk free ed, asst'd VST's, Cantabile, Ableton Live Lt, Ardour, Reaper, Cakewalk

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo Tim_at_Jonas's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Indianapolis, IN

    If he wants to do it on the cheap, Garage Band can do it, but it may be iOS only.

  5. #5
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Newhaven, UK

    No problem in getting a laptop to provide extra sounds per se. And, as you've been told, there are loads of choices. Some are stand alone, some will require a VST host.

    But you have to watch for latency, you'll want that to be sub 20 milliseconds for comfort. If the laptop's audio drivers won't provide that, install ASIO4ALL and that will usually give you low latency using the laptop's own soundchip.

    And actually accessing the sounds can be tricky. The organ isn't likely to send out much more than basic programme change data and that may be an issue when you want to change the orchestral sounds.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live -

    Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

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