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Joined: May 2001
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I often hear music in my head that I believe to be original, but I can't always get it
out using my piano (I'm not at all trained as a composer, although I've composed a few original pieces for piano).

Part of the issue is that I hear in my head the parts for various instruments in the orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, etc.) but don't have the skills to write them out.

I wondered about keyboard (or software, my Estonia grand is midi capable) that would let me play the
parts on my piano (within the proper range for said instrument(s)), arranging them on different tracks that could be converted to notation (again, with the proper software).

Am I asking too much?


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You're not asking too much at all. This is exactly what DAW software can do. Throw on a pair of headphones and you can hear a string section while playing your piano. Record a second track with an oboe. Converting the MIDI to a score can also be done with the DAW, but my impression is the the conversion is a little coarse and might give you a beginning point rather than a finished product.

This is a rabbit hole you are about to enter and you can go as deep as you care to. Enjoy!


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You just need your keyboard, a computer, and something like this: https://www.garritan.com/products/personal-orchestra-5/

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Originally Posted by Piano World
I often hear music in my head that I believe to be original, but I can't always get it
out using my piano (I'm not at all trained as a composer, although I've composed a few original pieces for piano).

Part of the issue is that I hear in my head the parts for various instruments in the orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, etc.) but don't have the skills to write them out.

I wondered about keyboard (or software, my Estonia grand is midi capable) that would let me play the
parts on my piano (within the proper range for said instrument(s)), arranging them on different tracks that could be converted to notation (again, with the proper software).

Am I asking too much?

You've got the Yamaha Tyros and Genos keyboards that do arranger functionality and workstation functionality. The Tyros 4, 5 and Genos are all pretty good but quite expensive. Used models might be an option though.

Last edited by Doug M.; 07/02/21 01:35 PM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
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Hello,

And there is the quite sympathetic Freepats project:

http://freepats.zenvoid.org

Cheers and happy creative sessions,

HZ

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I think a DAW is the way to go. Either with your piano or a controller. But it could be a steep learning curve, although maybe enjoyable, and taking you to a new world of things. There are free DAWs if you want to dabble.

Last edited by spanishbuddha; 07/02/21 03:04 PM.
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Hey Frank, what type of compute, Apple or Windows are you on?

If Windows check out Mixcraft Pro Audio. It is very capable DAW and not too much money. It is not as deep as other DAW's but still very good IMHO. If you want free, who doesn't, check out Cakewalk by Bandlab. One of the most deepest DAW's around and now free because a very rich man brought the company and decided to keep developing the software. They just had a nice update too.

If on Mac I can't help you frown

Oh and yes since you have MIDI on you grand piano I would go the DAW route. As others have said you are opening a big can of worms wink


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There are two distinct methods of creating orchestra music with MIDI keyboard(s):

1) Improvising (using one or more instrument sounds simultaneously) and then post-editing the MIDI results in order to recombine them and to be able to get a readable traditional music notation;

2) Writing a score in traditional notation and then performing and recording its parts incrementally in order to get a verifiable sound.

There are many specific advantages and disadvantages of both methods. Which one to apply depends on personal preferences, skills and available tools: keyboard buttons for real-time switching of the sounds, automatic rhythms such as metronome or arpeggiators, specific features of applied DAW & VSTi and/or keyboard onboard sounds, acoustic environment etc. I created many pieces using method (1), but I'm more an improviser than a composer. For those with more distinct symbolic thinking, method (2) is better.

Last edited by Andrew_G; 07/03/21 12:16 AM.
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Frank, don't know what your budget is like for something like this.

A lot of 'other sounds', strings, organ, pad, bass might play better on a semi-weighted board vs a piano
A thought could be a Kurzweil PC4-7; semi-weighted - around $2000

Frank Lloyd Webber commissioned a model of the PC3 for use in his musicals where they performed around the world (he's authored Cats, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, and others). He was using several at his international performances for the pit orchestra. Also, as a plus Kurzweil music systems was founded by 3 entities...one being Stevie Wonder; who also had a PC3 model commissioned. With the PC4, you can create multiple layers and stack them or play them using different portions of the keyboard....or just play them 'out of the box' - and Kurzweil has been known for it's orchestral sounds-programs.

...I gig using a PC4 and PC4-7, and have owned a variety of boards, also having a KAWAI RX-7.

PM me if you want a little discussion on this....


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