MIDI environment from the 1990’s
These two pieces use software-generated piano. Although, in search of a decent sound the only real solution was, and is, a real piano – the sound, the attack, the touch, the feeling (our choice Yamaha – no recordings).
However putting several instruments together without creating a band or disturbing the neighbors, then a keyboard controlling snyths and VST* instruments can serve well. *VST = ‘Virtual Studio Technology’
Our keyboard is a Roland RD600 with an Alesis QSR synthesizer – both dating from the late 1990’s. Piano is from Steinberg while Native Instruments provide the B-3 emulator, named “B-4”! CuBase holds everything together via MOTU’s MIDI controller and audio mixing unit.
In the photos you can see how this is all handled physically within a custom-built housing incorporating twin screens, computer keyboard, and a Dell tower computer.
Technique behind the above 3 sets of audio tracks:
Top set: RD-600 rhythm and keyboard, Steinberg Grand VST piano within CuBase.
Middle set: MIDI tracks recorded in 1999 using the Roland keyboard and Logic MIDI software. The audio tracks were made about 10 years later from the original MIDI files – CuBase with Steinberg piano, VST bass sounds and Alesis QSR strings.
Lower set: Audio created from demo MIDI tracks by Native Instruments ‘B4’ and Steinberg piano. First track prioritizes ‘B4’ organ, second track prioritizes Steinberg piano.
With the risk of changing keyboard and VSTs in 2019, it is useful to recall the original RD-600 on-board sounds – through the 3 demo pieces programmed into it:
1. Piano Prologue: 2. Take Me There: 3. Moving Waves:
The Alesis QSR synthesizer has five demo songs (haven’t said much about that device, it is a rack version built in just above the keyboard).