Jump to content
Tezza

Acoustic Guitar VST required

Recommended Posts

Hey how do you transfer your acoustic guitar to a midi file?  

I have a lot of finger-picking going on in the track and I'd love to save it as midi file and play it through a guitar VST. I've never tried that. Melodyne?

WSS

Edited by Stephen Simmons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your asking me, I play the song on acoustic guitar and record it, then I play it back and manually and enter the relevant notes and information on a midi track linked to a VST guitar to match it. Midi guitar out of the right speaker and original recorded guitar out the left. There is probably a better way that half works, I don't know.

I am learning a lot about the weird timing I use when I play the acoustic solo with vocals. No matter what I do, it doesn't make sense on the grid and it is the same with all my songs played with that Jazz style. I remember trying this some time ago and just gave up. I do use the Acoustic to produce songs but that is for different songs in a different style that is more grid friendly and the acoustic never ends up on the final song, it's just a scratch track but I can get the beat, the bass, keyboard and electric guitars all from that scratch track.

These songs that I am trying to get done, are like jazz but it's doing my head in trying to work out the timing. Metronomes are complete distracting rubbish on this stuff. I am using a single finger click on an offbeat and that gives me the feel. Also, trying to add any sort of arrangement to them is impossible, the minute I do that, I have to start changing the guitar parts which I don't want to do.

I think these particular songs will work best with just acoustic guitar, a simple shaker and vocals, that's it. There is no problem with the vocals and the acoustic working together, it is as smooth as butter. I don't understand how it can sound so in time and smooth when I play live but when I try to move it to a midi grid, it all goes to hell.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, David Baay said:

Anyone have demos they've done themselves of any of these synths?  I'd be interested to hear how they sound in the hands of ordinary mortals with middling keyboard skills and limited patience for tweaking synth parameters.  ;^)

I occasionally write stuff on the piano that lends itself to finger-style guitar.  Here's an old example:

Red Mountain Reel

Pretty sure this used an Alesis QS-8/QSR patch called 'Quiet Time' with very little processing.

That's a great sound David. 

I spent a while making this cover using OTS Evolution Songwriter mixed with the Pettinghouse Acoustic Guitar 2. I am a guitarist though not great at finger picking and had limited time so decided to go the virtual guitar route.

https://soundclick.com/r/s8bpj0 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Stephen Simmons said:

Hey how do you transfer your acoustic guitar to a midi file?  

I have a lot of finger-picking going on in the track and I'd love to save it as midi file and play it through a guitar VST. I've never tried that. Melodyne?

WSS

Melodyne is a possibility but there are several caveats. Works best in the lower versions of Melodyne with a solidly recorded mono track. Not sure about the highest version  of Melodyne if it can do better than that or not. The more in tune the guitar was the better, though Melodyne can "pull it in" if the recorded file is clean. IOW not a lot of background noise. If notes overlap, you might need to do some midi editing of the converted track. Results can vary depending on the track.

Can't hurt to give Melodyne a shot and see how it goes if you have a decent file. There are also midi guitars and midi guitar pickups.. Some are better than others. Might be something you would be interested to look into if you plan to add midi instruments to your work often.

  • Like 1
  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Tezza said:

These songs that I am trying to get done, are like jazz but it's doing my head in trying to work out the timing. Metronomes are complete distracting rubbish on this stuff.

I'd be interested in having a go at helping you analyze the timing of a track. I mostly record without a click now and snap the timline to the performance after the fact if necessary to quantize or add parts that need to follow a rubato performance.  The rhythms of my stuff also tend toward jazz/swing and odd time signatures with inter-mingled triplet and straight 8ths or 16ths. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out what's going on after the fact, often not even being aware of time signature or oddball tuplets (e.g. 3 in the time of 5 16ths)  that I'm playing while improvising.

PM me if you want to share something.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ZincT said:

I spent a while making this cover using OTS Evolution Songwriter mixed with the Pettinghouse Acoustic Guitar 2. I am a guitarist though not great at finger picking and had limited time so decided to go the virtual guitar route.

https://soundclick.com/r/s8bpj0 

Wow. Nice work there, ZincT. Guitars sound great, and vocals are not too shabby, either. ;^)

I'm still resisisting buying a full version of Kontakt, but some of the libraries do sound pretty dang good.

EDIT:  I see OTS supports Kontakt Player. Will keep it in mind.

 

Edited by David Baay
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ZincT said:

That's a great sound David. 

I spent a while making this cover using OTS Evolution Songwriter mixed with the Pettinghouse Acoustic Guitar 2. I am a guitarist though not great at finger picking and had limited time so decided to go the virtual guitar route.

https://soundclick.com/r/s8bpj0 

 

Nice work, you've got some convincing finger picking going on and a soft, warm voice with great harmonies, the overall mix of all of your productions sounds very professional.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, David Baay said:

I'd be interested in having a go at helping you analyze the timing of a track. I mostly record without a click now and snap the timline to the performance after the fact if necessary to quantize or add parts that need to follow a rubato performance.  The rhythms of my stuff also tend toward jazz/swing and odd time signatures with inter-mingled triplet and straight 8ths or 16ths. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out what's going on after the fact, often not even being aware of time signature or oddball tuplets (e.g. 3 in the time of 5 16ths)  that I'm playing while improvising.

PM me if you want to share something.

Thanks David, this is what I was hoping, that someone with more technical musical knowledge than me might be able to identify the timing that I am using or at least give me some direction here. I am making the long journey into town today (I am in a rural area) so I'll pick up some new strings for the acoustic and also pick up the Indiginus Renegade Guitar,  then I'll record a verse and chorus for you of the actual song on the acoustic and PM it to you, see if you can make any sense out of it. If I am able to duplicate it with Renegade, I'll send that as well.

Nice work on Red Mountain, it's hard to believe that is a synth patch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Tezza said:

I'll record a verse and chorus for you of the actual song on the acoustic and PM it to you, see if you can make any sense out of it. If I am able to duplicate it with Renegade, I'll send that as well.

Sounds like a plan.  A big part of making a sampled/synthesized patch of a real instrument sound convincing is playing with articulation, voicing and melodic countours  appropriate to the instrument. Rhythm guitar strumming patterns are difficult or impossible to simulate in real time on a keyboard; finger-picking is easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fret_man said:

I'm surprised no one has mentioned MIDI Guitar as a good way to convert guitar audio to MIDI. It works very well.

Looks very interesting! I mostly looked at guitar plugins as something keyboard players use to approximate a guitar. Many other possibilities for the guitarist as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fret_man said:

I'm surprised no one has mentioned MIDI Guitar

It probably is time it came up, given how the thread has evolved,  but the OP was asking  specifically about acoustic guitar VSTis for parts he had already transcribed to MIDI from acoustic guitar. I assume guitar trackers are optimized to work with DI signals from e-guitar pickups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only used MIDI Guitar with my acoustic and it works very well. It probably works just as good with electrics. I believe their documentation says it works best with unprocessed direct signals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, fret_man said:

I've only used MIDI Guitar with my acoustic and it works very well. It probably works just as good with electrics. I believe their documentation says it works best with unprocessed direct signals.

Interesting, thanks fret_man. I had never tried it with my acoustic but now I have I'd say it tracks better than with an electric. I guess the cleaner signal helps.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did end up purchasing Indiginus Renegade Guitar. It's quite bright and the E and B strings are pretty overwhelming out of the box. With a couple of jazz standards that have midi tracks of quite fast and complex finger picking, I was hoping I could just drop it on the track and all would be well. All I could hear was the E and B strings cutting through and not much else. Previously, I had my Kontakt factory nylon running on that track with no problems. Balancing the strings was a problem, by dropping the velocity of the E and B strings on the track (and everything played on the E and B strings) it's starting to sound more balanced in volume, I had to drop the velocity on those strings by 40 velocity points which is quite a lot. On all the "F" notes on the middle string I had to raise it by 25 velocity points because that note on the middle strings sounds dead. There is also something going on with the D#, sounds like fret buzz of some sort but it cuts right through the mix in a really irritating way.

The finger picking is also problematic, it's not coping with the piece flipping all over the place with louder/softer sounds being spontaneously generated for no apparent reason.

Currently, I regard it as not usable but I will try again later as it is new and I may have something wrong with the settings somewhere. I like to get it sitting as best as possible before adding compression or equalization and reverb.

In terms of my original stuff where there is just the guitar and vocals at the moment, it worked a bit better, still with string imbalance though. It is really nice having an option of an acoustic guitar VST that is really clean, makes my transcribing easier and I have been able to create 6 bar loops of one of my songs, so I have an idea of the timing.

The actual sound quality sounds good but different to what I am used to from my guitar, again, very bright, might tone down a bit with EQ. I thought last night I'm probably running it completely wrong. I'm sitting at 70 with the velocity, to give myself headroom to move in either direction but I think it should probably be around 100 for a better sound, will try it out. These are early days and I think it will improve as I use it more and understand it.

Edited by Tezza
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit more time, it's starting to make it. Responds well to equalization, boosting the lower frequencies gives you more of the sound hole sound and more of the wood, which I like, not just more bass frequencies. Tapering off the high frequencies gets rid of the brighter sound and giving it a boost in the high end gives it some air without harshness. Running velocities at about 100 for the baseline produces a better balanced sound and evens out the dead and clangy strings, not so noticeable.

There is a control which try's to predict up and down strokes for finger picking, it gets a bit out of control in the harder parts so I just turn it off, sounds more predictable and the alternating loud and soft sounds go away. In the Jazz standards I am covering, some of the odd picking sounds that have arisen happened because the midi programming was a bit off.  It wasn't noticeable with the nylon string VSTi which blended into the mix but when I put the steel string on, it stuck out and was noticeable.

It's growing on me but there is one caveat with acoustic guitar sample libraries that I wasn't aware of. Some sample all the frets and some sample only the first five or so, then follow the high string up. On a keyboard, each note responds to one pressed key but on a guitar, the same octave note can be found on different strings, different frets. For example, the E on the 8th fret of the third string is the same octave as open E on the sixth string but they sound very different and have a different timbre. This is important if you are playing jazz chords for example, you want the right timbre. But if I play a Jazz chord that involves the E on the third string/8th fret, what the sampler plays is an open E which is not want I want. This is what is contributing to it sounding brighter than it should.

Some of the Orange Tree samples and the Ilya Esimov guitars and others do sample all the notes so you can get that 3rd string/8th fret E sound, I think through key switching, not sure.

Also, it automatically applies effects with the main presets but that is not obvious until you look at the buttons on the fx page. I turn them off and run it through guitar rig with a compressor and IR.

I'm not sorry I got it, it does other things that I haven't yet tried and I'll see how far I can go with programming it to sound like my playing and guitar sound. I've got it sounding as jangly, woody and rough as my own acoustic now, just leaving it like that  while I transcribe. They've got construction going on near me at the moment but using the VSTi I am still able to "record" acoustic guitar and can continue to work on the song.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/30/2020 at 9:22 AM, David Baay said:

Sounds like a plan.  A big part of making a sampled/synthesized patch of a real instrument sound convincing is playing with articulation, voicing and melodic countours  appropriate to the instrument. Rhythm guitar strumming patterns are difficult or impossible to simulate in real time on a keyboard; finger-picking is easier.

I haven't forgotten enlisting your help in the timing issue. It's become apparent to me that I have to spend more time trialing different libraries to find the one that will work for me, I have most of them now and have been going through them. My problem is that my style of play falls between strumming, solo and finger picking modes. I pluck chords "claw" style, a number of notes at the same time, while also doing a little finger picking and break in and out of the occasional strumming, I also move up and down the neck doing this. All this may happen within one short piece.  The acoustic guitar VST's are struggling with this since they tend to break things up, you are either in strum mode, solo mode or finger picking mode and there are different rules for each that don't fit the way I play. I just want one mode where I can do everything. Also, they can't easily detect where on the fret board I am playing.

I am having some success though, but it is taking time going through the libraries/manuals and learning if they have the relevant key switches I need or not. I probably won't get the time to work it out until the weekend. I didn't think it would be this hard but then when I think about it, it is hard to get the VST to play the exact same chords I am playing when you consider that on a keyboard and midi roll, one note exists only once in each octave. On a guitar, there may be 5 or 6 instances of one note, all the same octave but played in different fret positions on different strings and therefore a very different sound or timbre for each one. This is the problem for me and different libraries have different ways of handling this or not.

I am hoping to get as close as possible to getting exact replication of what I am playing, I think it is possible, will just take a bit more time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Tezza said:

I haven't forgotten enlisting your help in the timing issue.

Any time, no pressure.  ;^)  Interesting comment about playing different notes on different strings and frets. As a keyboard player, I hadn't really thought about that, but it explains why guitar is sometimes difficult to transcribe; some of the subtle changes in chord voicing aren't due to changes in chord structure, but to pitches moving to different strings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, David Baay said:

 As a keyboard player, I hadn't really thought about that, but it explains why guitar is sometimes difficult to transcribe; some of the subtle changes in chord voicing aren't due to changes in chord structure, but to pitches moving to different strings.

Yes, exactly, in reality, there are about 4 different alternate notes per octave (on the higher notes) these VST's have to cover. I don't think guitarists are interested in playing high notes on the 22nd fret of the lowest E string.

It wouldn't be functional to have to put in key switches for every note on the midi roll to identify the string being played, not even possible I think, especially if you have 4 or 5 notes all being played at the same time. At the moment, I am experimenting with Amplesounds "forced capo" feature, which is available in open play mode (some VST's have this feature but only in strum mode). This tells the sample player that you are playing in a certain range of about 4 or 5 frets and it must select the notes being played from that range. It only requires two keyswitches per bar generally before you move out of that range and then require another 2 keyswitches. It requires 2, one to tell the sample player that you are going to force capo and another midi note to say what string is the root. It's doable in terms of programming, I'll see how it goes.

It's probably worth saying that these problems wouldn't be encountered by most keyboard players seeking a strumming acoustic guitar to put into the mix. They want and expect the open string sound, or they can capo the VST to strum at a certain fret. All the VST's can do this in one way or another.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...