Virtual Instruments articles

  • Working with virtual instruments
    Getting started

    Working with virtual instruments - The ultimate guide to audio recording - Part 79


    The long chapter dedicated to recording electric guitar has come to an end. That said, the articles in the coming weeks will deal with topics that could easily be integrated into it. But I made the choice to separate them because the things we will be addressing go well beyond the scope of the guitar. In fact, the end of the last installment where…

  • Killer Sounds from Lethal

    Killer Sounds from Lethal - A video review of the new synth from Lethal Audio


    Lethal Audio recently released Lethal, a crisp-sounding "rompler"-style software instrument with a heavy emphasis on EDM, but which will also be useful for pop, rock, hip-hop, and film scoring.

  • A Rapture on a Budget

    A Rapture on a Budget - A review of Cakewalk Rapture Session


    Recently, Cakewalk announced Rapture Session, a new member of its Rapture software-instrument family. It offers less sounds and no programmability, but it has the same synth engine as the flagship Rapture Pro and comes with almost 4GB of content. What makes it most notable, however, is its super-low price tag: $29.95. So is Rapture Session a great…

  • 5 Top Soft Synths You Might Have Missed

    5 Top Soft Synths You Might Have Missed - These synths may be lesser known, but they sound awesome


    To help you avoid making music that sounds like everyone else’s, I want to tell you about some premium-quality soft synths you may not know about. Although none of these instruments are terribly obscure, each deserves more attention than it normally gets. Some are relatively new but haven’t gotten much ink, while others are all but forgotten by an…

  • MIDI Learn Explained
    Getting started

    MIDI Learn Explained - Control your software remotely with real knobs, buttons and faders


    I’m often surprised by musicians who use their mice or trackpads to change MIDI software parameters, and then complain that they miss using real knobs and buttons. I’m surprised because they could use knobs and buttons if only they’d take advantage of MIDI Learn (sometimes called MIDI Assign), which gives you the ability to assign the physical con…

  • Hive: Be Careful, It Stings!

    Hive: Be Careful, It Stings! - A review of the U-He Hive virtual synth


    Hive, the latest instrument from u-he, does not claim the precision of Diva the richness of Zebra 2, or the modularity of Bazille or Ace. No. Hive looks and feels simple, is easy to use, and provides a fat sound. Mission accomplished?

  • 5 Free Vintage Synth Plug-Ins

    5 Free Vintage Synth Plug-Ins - Classic synth emulations that won't cost you a dime


    You often hear that a $1,000 laptop today has the power of a billion dollars worth of computer equipment from 50 years ago. Likewise, the equivalent of thousands of dollars of vintage synthesizer gear often exists in the form of a low-cost or even freeware plug-in. To say it’s a beautiful time to be a computer musician would be an understatement.

  • Drumming with a Pro

    Drumming with a Pro - A review of East West ProDrummer


    The drum instrument market is a crowded one, and already full of excellent choices. East West, a company renowned for its high-quality instruments and sound libraries, has just thrown its hat in the ring with ProDrummer, a new MIDI drum instrument library that runs standalone or as a plug-in on the East West Play platform, and comes with 14,000 MI…

  • 5 Cool Plug-ins You May Never Have Heard Of

    5 Cool Plug-ins You May Never Have Heard Of - These instruments and effects may not be well known, but they sure are powerful


    Some people become addicted to plug-ins; others become connoisseurs. That is, they're borderline addicts but too refined to splurge on just anything. They need a certain something, which is what the following plug-ins — all available in AU/VST formats for Mac or Windows—have. These instruments and processors do things a little bit differently, an…

  • Instruments from the Cloud

    Instruments from the Cloud - A review of the EastWest Composer Cloud subscription service


    Subscription-based plans are becoming more common for music software. While presumably a good thing for the developers, they’re not necessarily so great for users, who have to pay over and over for a license, and can lose access to the software if they let the subscription lapse, or if the developer goes belly up. That said, one subscription plan …