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Calum Findlay

Instrument help (I'm new)

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Hi everyone!

I will start by saying I'm a COMPLETE newbie to this. Like, I only just learned what a DAW is.

I downloaded Cakewalk because I was hoping to have a go at composing some music (like something for a film maybe), but now I realise it isn't as simple as downloading and doing.

I've got the basics of Cakewalk down now, but there are like 5 instruments. All I want to do is have a go at composing with a modest selection of instruments, like an orchestra or something. Do I have to download a bunch of separate VSTs to do this?

I hope I've given enough information, thank you for your help!

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You can start with the Cakewalk TTS-1, which is a General MIDI synth (see here if you don't know what that means). It's got 128 instruments available, 16 categories with 8 instruments each. The categories are

  • Piano
  • Chromatic Percussion
  • Organ
  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Strings
  • Ensemble (things like String Ensemble, Choir Aahs...)
  • Brass
  • Reed
  • Pipe
  • Synth Lead
  • Synth Pad
  • Synth Effects
  • Ethnic
  • Sound effects
  • Percussion

So, plenty you can do with that! 

The sounds range from not too bad to pretty awful, but there are many software synths you can get later that are much more realistic, some dedicated to a single group of instruments like Addictive Drums or Addictive Keys.

Hope that's helpful!
 

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Thanks very much for your replies!

@AlChuck I've found the  Cakewalk TTS-1, and that seems more than enough to get me started! However I'm not sure how to actually find and select any of the instruments... All I'm getting is about 128 pianos!

@JoeGBradford

I will check those out thank you :)

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There's lots more to go at but best to focus on a few instruments to start with otherwise you'll be overwhelmed - I know I still am 😉

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Here are two ways to set the instrument in the plug-in UI. Each one of the 16 channels may have its own instrument assignment and there are up to 4 outputs set in the system > option buttons on the Plug-in UI.

D1a0k56.gif

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Calum, try selecting the Bank named 15488-Preset Normal 0 at the top of the list...

image.png.9fdec340df5eac18be796eec7b715b6e.png

then you should see all the proper instrument names appear in the Patch list:

image.thumb.png.a96f9dfaf5c056932ebc5467924960f9.png

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Thanks @scook, just what I needed

@AIChuck, I don't seem to have this option. These are my drop down options from the track dashboard:

image.png.7f50e2262d4f47e4467cb094d51924b5.png

 

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The track drop downs are not there because of the workspace setting. The are visible in the instrument (MIDI tab) and MIDI track inspectors regardless of the workspace setting.

I prefer using the TTS-1 UI to setup the plug-in just like most other plug-in synths. Few soft synths support general MIDI and do not take advantage of the track drop downs.

 

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I've got as far as this:

image.png.75fac3af95a9716d1e5ba376f5050206.png

 

But I just need the C, B and P to go into that track, is this easy to do?

Also, if I'm not asking too much, what's the difference between the instrument tracks (with the keyboard icon) and MIDI tracks (with the paint pallet icon)?

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There are two basic track types in CbB: Audio and MIDI.

The signal flow of  a soft synth is MIDI > Soft synth > Audio

So soft synth need at least one MIDI track to hold its data and one Audio track to capture the sound produced by the synth.

An instrument track is a hybrid track created from a MIDI track and an audio track with a soft synth routing. IOW, it is a simplified version of the minimum setup needed to use a soft synth.

 

 

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19 hours ago, JoeGBradford said:

Hey that's great - better than anything I have managed! Did you just use TTS or other sounds?

Thanks! I started with TTS but eventually replaced them with better free VSTs I found. A couple of TTS I left in but the important ones I replaced with products from Spitfire LABS

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