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I searched the forum but couldn't find much info on this. I'm looking for (as the title says) VST apps for Android for piano, and keyboards more broadly (Rhodes, organs, etc). I want to practice with my portable midi controller while travelling. I know Ravenscroft 275 is on ios but that's no use to me.

So far I've located:

iGrand Piano by IK Multimedia
gets good reviews apart from the fact that it doesn't read information from sustain pedals

Perfect Piano
free and better than nothing but not a serious contender for sound

ORG 2021
looks interesting and I have to research it further but doesn't appear to be what I'm looking for

GSi VB3m
for Hammond B3 sounds

Happy to be directed to an existing thread if I missed one.

Thanks.

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Googling:

Android music studio app

gets several "10 Best Music Studio Android Apps". Several of those have playable digital pianos. I have one -- "Music Studio" -- which I think is a version of FL Music Studio. I haven't used it enough to comment -- but even the full, paid version is inexpensive, and has lots of capability.

You'll probably need an inexpensive "OTG" (on-the-go) adapter, to connect your MIDI controller to the USB jack on your Android device.


I _think_ that there are problems with the way that Android handles audio interrupts, that makes it difficult to write low-latency DAW software, and I suspect the same latency problems would show up in VST's. (I expect somebody else who knows more, will comment.)


. Charles
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thanks. other Google searches with different terms have been relatively unhelpful. I'll check this out

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Cubasis and Caustic have sounds you can trigger over MIDI.

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thanks anotherscott.

I've done more hunting and it's really surprising how few options there are out there, and how difficult they are to track down.

i haven't been able to test the following with my MIDI controller yet (I'm on the road) but will do so and report back. in short, it looks like there are recently released apps which make the situation much better for Android users than was the case even very recently.



piano:

Concert Grand Piano by Sporkysoft

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sporkysoft.concertgrandpiano

seems to be a new app. developer seems very responsive to feedback judging by feedback and comments on Google Play. sounds good and looks very promising with more pianos to be added soon (currently only 1). free version seems fine on first look



epiano and dx7 synth sounds:

Rockrelay Synth FM (by Rockrelay)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rockrelay.synth.dx7.piano

some great epiano and synth sounds. developer seems active. free version appears fine on first look



hammond:

GSi VB3m by Genuine Soundware

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.genuinesoundware.vb3m

of these 3 apps, the only one i haven't downloaded yet and the only one without a free version. sounds really good though there is a fair bit of debate around about different Hammond VSTs as you'd expect. this one is based on an older version of one of the better known plug ins. Sounds good to my ear just on the presets going on YouTube demos. The Leslie options are limited but good enough for my purposes with an app. Newly released and developer is very responsive judging by the talk on the relevant forums.

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Merriam Music (the ones who produce the great piano videos with Stu Harrison on YouTube) have a useful looking page at: https://www.merriammusic.com/pianos/digital-pianos/15-piano-apps/ - given the excellent advice/opinions in the videos I'm guessing an article on their site is probably pretty good recommendation too. (Having said that they could have said a bit more about the quality of the sound samples perhaps?)

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My colleague's team was responsible for testing video game performance of phones on Andriod and Apple phones. With respect to latency, he said Android devices were all over the place whilst Apple's devices generally performed well.

His view was that this difference was not due to hardware but rather software. Apple just had just a few devices to support so it was easier to optimize performance.

Your Android device may work just fine. To save time, just try something quick and free to see if performance is good. With an organ or synth maybe performance isn't as important as it might be for piano or drums. If performance is poor, maybe consider a different direction.

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Hi jackopiano,

Here's my take on what you've tried and I've used as well:

iGrand Piano by IK Multimedia - best piano, has EQ, tuning, Release knobs.

Perfect Piano - more sound options, play along tunes, no adjustment knobs

ORG 2021 - full packed sounds, adjustable, free version terminates controller connection every 5 minutes or so.

Rockrelay Synth FM (by Rockrelay) - simple gui intuitive , generic sounds.


But the best App for midi control is Fluidsynth Midi by Volcano Mobile. Because unlike the above mention apps, this can load any sf2 or sf3 soundfonts you like. Best part you can lock your phone to save your batt.


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thanks josh, and 1903, and newer - very helpful. I'm looking forward to checking out all the (free) recommendations

i connected my korg microkey 2 to my pixel 4a 5g using the neat usb otg connection that comes with the phone

the Concert Grand Piano and Synth FM apps both connected unproblematically to the keyboard and i could play them both. no noticeable latency (note - i am not a latency jedi so ymmv). headphones out of the phone and my practice set up for traveling in my van is up and running

i played for about half an hour (headphones only, no Bluetooth) and the phone battery went from 55% to 47%. i closed all apps before connecting the keyboard to the phone, and after it was running opened YouTube to play along with some songs for probably a bit over half that time.

Concert Grand Piano doesn't run in the background but the developer already said he is going to fix that

Synth FM does run in the background. it sometimes hangs on a note when you switch from it to another app but this is pretty simple to work around in my case. it has a few Hammond sounds (nothing like the VB3) which will do me for a while at least

thanks for all the recommendations which, as i said, I'm looking forward to checking out

Last edited by jackopiano; 05/06/21 09:24 AM.
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Originally Posted by josh_sounds
But the best App for midi control is Fluidsynth Midi by Volcano Mobile. Because unlike the above mention apps, this can load any sf2 or sf3 soundfonts you like. Best part you can lock your phone to save your batt.

I second this. Together with the sounds from https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/ is the best option. I like it better than everything else I could try (even on the computer).

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I tried "Fluidsynth" last night to a Samsung A10 tablet. Whether I used one of the SF2 they offered as a download or downloaded one separately (soundfonts4you) and selected it after download I found 2 things:

1) the key curve wasn't great - you had to hit the keys of the MIDI device pretty hard to get a reasonable sound

2) there was some kind of tremolo/vibrato modulation if you held the keys down for any length.

As the UI is so sparse there doesn't seem to be anywhere to control things like velocity sensitivity or modulation.

(as it's lightweight, portable and USb powered (from the tablet itself) I was simply using an Alesis QX25 (25 key) controller as the key source to try it out)

The idea of an "empty vessel" into which you can slot any SF2 sounds like a great prospect but not if the keys are not playable or there's some strange modulation going on.

To rule out the specific Android/MIDI implementation on the tablet I may try it with my Mi 10T phone if I can find the USB-C to OTG connector.

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one thing that put me off using Fluid Synth and iGrand is that they want permission to access media files (including photos). i understand that they need to access sound files because of the way they are designed to work, but neither DX Synth nor Concert Grand Piano need any permissions and they both function completely fine for my purposes so I've just gone with them. if i were recording or performing i might have a different attitude, and i understand this won't be an issue at all for many people

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Originally Posted by jackopiano
one thing that put me off using Fluid Synth and iGrand is that they want permission to access media files (including photos). i understand that they need to access sound files because of the way they are designed to work, but neither DX Synth nor Concert Grand Piano need any permissions and they both function completely fine for my purposes so I've just gone with them. if i were recording or performing i might have a different attitude, and i understand this won't be an issue at all for many people
Oh that's okay. Regarding the FluidSynth please see the permission from google play as well as below:
Originally Posted by Google Play on FluidSynth MIDI Synthesizer
Storage

read the contents of your USB storage
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

Photos/Media/Files

read the contents of your USB storage
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

Storage : Technically, when you install any app, it needs to read/modify/delete contents of your internal storage. Otherwise, it cannot make new folder for installation, it cannot check if you need updates, and it cannot delete any post install leftover crap. It also needs to read you soundfonts (.sf2) files.

Photos/Media/Files: According to this Post#53266309 it pertains to external storage. This is because if the soundFont (.sf2) you chose has a size of 1Gb and you have it stored on your microSD card, then the app needs permission to external media. As you can see, both permission are the same.

DX Synth: I believe you are pertaining to Rockrelay Synth FM as per your post#t3113896. As you can see the Synth FM permissions have both permissions, same as FluidSynth
Originally Posted by Google Play on Rockrelay Synth FM
Photos/Media/Files

read the contents of your USB storage
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

Storage

read the contents of your USB storage
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

Well, since you said DX Synth is acceptable to you, FluidSynth MIDI Synthesizer will suit you just fine as well. smile
Go ahead and load up your custom soundfont and enjoy!

*disclaimer:i am not an android expert, only a google master laugh


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thanks for this and sorry for the slow response.

i can confirm that on the permissions list in my phone i have:

- 7 apps 'allowed to manage all files'

- 7 apps 'allowed to access media only'.

neither the Concert Grand Piano app nor the Synth FM app are on either of those lists.

indeed, both are in the 'denied' list. and when i go into the permissions for each app individually through settings, it clearly states that they both have no permission to access any media file.

both are working fine

p.s. you were right - i was referring to Synth FM and not DX Synth in an earlier post. apologies for the confusion

Last edited by jackopiano; 05/15/21 06:04 PM.
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I have received lots of positive comments from Android ownders using FluidSynth and soundfonts from my site https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
so I'm thinking there must be something on your midi controller (like a modulation not zeroised) cusing the strange sounds.

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Audio Evolution Mobile
It has usb drivers compatibility, nice latency(for android).
I use my android straight in to my Clp 745, using internal speakers

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Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
I have received lots of positive comments from Android ownders using FluidSynth and soundfonts from my site https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
so I'm thinking there must be something on your midi controller (like a modulation not zeroised) cusing the strange sounds.
@1903wrightflyer I think that was for you.

@Jonky Ponky , Thanks for chiming in for Fluidsynth! Love your site! I am enjoying the NiceKeys...Thank you site master for your collection...

@jackopiano just go and try out Fluidsynth already...


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Originally Posted by josh_sounds
Originally Posted by Jonky Ponky
I have received lots of positive comments from Android ownders using FluidSynth and soundfonts from my site https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
so I'm thinking there must be something on your midi controller (like a modulation not zeroised) cusing the strange sounds.
@1903wrightflyer I think that was for you.
Apologies. I meant to post back. So I switched to a different MIDI source (actually a Casio LK280 - please don't laugh - that's why I need a digital piano!) and there was absolutely no problem with modulation when notes are held. So it seems my Alesis QX25 has some fault or strange setting that is acting as if the mod wheel is being operated when it isn't. Dunno how I haven't come across this in the past but Fluidsynth in Android is exonerated. To further isolate where the problem was coming from I also got a USB-C to OTG adapter and used my Xiaomi MI 10T Lite 5G phone in place of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A10.1 I had been using and can report that works as a nice combination too. For completeness I should try a Novation Remote 25 MIDI controller I also have or perhaps a Yamaha SY35 synth as alternate MIDI sources but it does seem it was simply the Alesis that was behind it all.

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Oh, hi! Thanks! By the way, how much time can you play with your controller on that Mi 10T of yours?


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Originally Posted by josh_sounds
Oh, hi! Thanks! By the way, how much time can you play with your controller on that Mi 10T of yours?
More than any amount I personally would want to play for if you mean "how long do the batteries last?". This phone is great on battery life for all things and I only charge it every 2-3 days.

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