How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

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Spillby
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How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by Spillby » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:20 am

I find it hard to make a good and realistic guitar sound from a MIDI track in Live. Especially when you play multiple strings at the same time, the result from the MIDI doesn't sound as good as a real guitar.

I have done some tings to improve the MIDI:
-I first replaced the original piano chords I had with exactly the same notes as you would get from a guitar
-I then put in small delays between the notes, when multiples notes are played at the same time. Like when you play all the strings on a guitar, the deepest string is played (I guess) a few milliseconds before the lightest string.

These two things did help, and I got the MIDI guitar to sound a little more realistic, but it's still not enough. A real guitar is better.

Any idea what I can do more? Manipulate the velocity? Some EQing? Some other setting on the instrument? Another VST? I now use only stock Live devices and packs.

fishmonkey
Posts: 4096
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by fishmonkey » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:21 am

life is too short!

probably the best sample-based guitars are the MusicLab stuff:
https://www.musiclab.com/

and the best modelling guitars are the AAS ones:
https://www.applied-acoustics.com/strum-gs-2/
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

jlgrimes
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Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by jlgrimes » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:59 pm

Spillby wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:20 am
I find it hard to make a good and realistic guitar sound from a MIDI track in Live. Especially when you play multiple strings at the same time, the result from the MIDI doesn't sound as good as a real guitar.

I have done some tings to improve the MIDI:
-I first replaced the original piano chords I had with exactly the same notes as you would get from a guitar
-I then put in small delays between the notes, when multiples notes are played at the same time. Like when you play all the strings on a guitar, the deepest string is played (I guess) a few milliseconds before the lightest string.

These two things did help, and I got the MIDI guitar to sound a little more realistic, but it's still not enough. A real guitar is better.

Any idea what I can do more? Manipulate the velocity? Some EQing? Some other setting on the instrument? Another VST? I now use only stock Live devices and packs.
Alot comes down to keyboard techniques, where you have to think like a guitar player.

I would study guitar chord voicings as they can be played very differently than a keyboard.

A dead giveaway is using a piano voicing for a guitar part. While it is possible to play many voicings on a guitar like this, alot of common chords are played much differently.

I would study bar chord voicings which is common on a guitar.

Also keep in mind chords can be very difficult to play on guitar, so a crazy piano chord progression perfectly played can sound wrong for a guitar part. So a little bit of timing slop can help. Also certain notes might be muted on a guitar every once in awhile.

Strum tools can help as well but it is good to practice strumming on a keyboard.

Also certain things like tapping, and such can be hard to emulate on keyboard.

I've heard keyboard players that can do very convincing guitar parts though. Advanced sample libraries with scripting help too but I remember hearing a keyboard player in the mid 90s play a very convincing funk guitar part before scripting was common.

oratowsky
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Location: los angeles

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by oratowsky » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:59 am

it's true, life is too short.

i think everything mentioned in terms of playing like a guitarist timing etc is necessary but also probably you just need the best most modern guitar plugins which will get you 80% there with great sounds.

check Ample sound, Omnisphere, East West,

Ample has actually a free acoustic vst that pretty much nails it every time.
and these plugins will have notes that are actually commands to change the articulation, fret and finger noises etc.

sowhoso
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:14 am

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by sowhoso » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:20 pm

the biggest difficulty of emulating a guitar is the right hand techniques. thinking like a guitarist and midi programming will not get you there

it's currently impossible to electronically replicate a pick scraping across the strings of a guitar or fingers picking and strumming

best thing is to write simple guitar parts you can bury in the mix or better yet hire a guitarist

jonbenderr
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by jonbenderr » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:25 pm

Would like to throw my vote out there for Orange Tree's Evolution Strawberry.

https://www.orangetreesamples.com/produ ... strawberry

They have some other nice guitar libraries as well.

They actually have it set up so a traditional keyboard player will still sound as if they are playing actual guitar. So specific piano chords will play as proper guitar chords. Still kind of learning my way around it but have accomplished some pretty cool things.

xgman
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:27 pm

Re: How to make a realistic guitar sound using MIDI?

Post by xgman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:32 pm

jlgrimes wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:59 pm
Spillby wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:20 am


Alot comes down to keyboard techniques, where you have to think like a guitar player.

This is probably the single most overlooked and important item to playing any instrument via midi. The most brilliant classically trained pianist can sound horrible trying to play, say a flute via midi keyboard.

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