Sounding Off Colour....

Discussion in 'Computer Corner' started by Thirteen Ball, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Having recently spent the better part of a month digging around for my sibelius dics after purchasing a nice shiny new PC - I finally unearthed it, and after half an hour fighting with windows ******* vista (grrr!) I finally got it to install.

    Looks: Brilliant! I've got a nice new monitor, much bigger than my old one, so I can see loads of the score.

    Runs: Faultlessly, and much faster now I've got a better spec.


    ...erm... a half-cut penguin playing a kazoo....

    Do all modern PCs ship with absolutely apalling MIDI synths or what? Honestly I was nearly sick. It sounds like the worst casio keyboard you can imagine.

    And the Percussion parts sound like one of those beat-box keyrings from the 1980s.

    Just horrible.

    So Question. How do I cure it?

    Does it mean I've gotta go back to my supplier and get a decent sound card whacked into it? or is there a software solution?

    When I go to my device manager I've only the one midi synth.

    Anyone any advice? Please? It really is putting a heck of a crimp on my writing as everything I write sounds simply appalling...

    (...which yes, my writing probably contributes to somewhat but not that much! ;)
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep, they're usually pretty rubbish.

    You could look at something like a soundfont player or a soft sampler....depending what the issues are, a new soundcard may make some difference, but it won't cure rubbish sound sets (unless it comes bundled with something).
  3. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    In that case I've just added 'new sound card' to the shopping list. (As soon as I count the change from the Butlins beer.)

    If it doesn't come bundled with some new sound sets, how do I go about getting those? (And more to the point, getting sibelius to use them)

    Thanks KMJ!
  4. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Which version are you using Andi?

    I expect Mike Lyons and co are better equipped to answer this than me ;)
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    And while I think on, make sure you check thoroughly that any new soundcard you might get is totally Vista's being ignored by people such as me due to lots of incompatibilities, lack of stable drivers...or just lack of hardware / software suuport full stop.
  6. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I know the Kontakt Player thing bundled with versions 3 and up is a software alternative to midi. The basic version is pap though and the full version costs a bomb...

    Maybe search for an open source or affordable program along those lines?
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Oh, I don't know - £169 isn't really that bad for Gold....if it does what you need it to do.

    Then again, you could go for something like Garritan Marching Band if it'd integrate with's based on Kontakt Player 2 and includes Trumpets (sorry!), Euphs, baritones, tenor horns and other stuff......closest I've seen to a real brass band sample library (but still some way to go)....don't know what it sounds like though, but some of the Garritan stuff is good.

    Edit: Just looked - it's listed on the Sibelius page....funnily enough, that's £169 on there as well :D
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Although jusging by Bass Trumpet's post in the Sibelius 5 thread, you might want to explore more options ;)

  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Unfortunately real brass instruments instead of those nasty orchestral pretend ones are not well catered for in the sound sampoling industry. Probably that's because it is so difficult to get good, consistent samples. Squeak-oids and scratch-oids are much better catered for as are shed builders - but then they are easy to emulate ;-)

    I think the Garritan sounds are good enough to help me hear the music, but my MIDI card sounds are fine for me anyway as well (Edirol SD-20.) If you want flexibility, you could go for a soundfont based card (Creative et al) but watch out for poor Vista compatibility. (That's the trouble with new OS's - takes a dog's age to get stuff to work with it.)

    Who labelled me as expert, anyway? I'm just a mouthy old git with a twisted sense of the appropriate! :)
  10. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Me, but then what do I know ;)

    I was expecting Brassneck to pile in with his custom sondfonts as well...
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    cough! :p ... they make things sound better (I layer them on built-in soundfonts using SF banks) but with the range of articulation in brass playing it would be impossible to get brass soundfonts accurate! One of the problems with Sibelius is how the default instruments are grouped (flugel as french horn, Bari as tuba etc.). Better to group flugel, horns and baris under french horn & euph as tuba to get a better representation of a bad job!

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