Realistic Sounding Midi?
I have written a few songs over the past few months with Midiillustrator Maestro and I think they would sound awesome if it clearly wasn't a midi sequence. Is there any software that has realistic sounding midi insturments? I'd prefer one with a staff layout(like sheet music) rather than a standard layout like Garageband of FL Studio. Cost isn't an issue at all.
What genre of instruments are you looking for, and for what style? There are some really nice sounding orchestral recreations out there, which are nice because they can encompass a large variety of strings/perc/acoustic. I've never been too happy with acoustic instrument midi sounds, but I play them so i'm a bit biased. :p
Also I'm assuming since you mentioned Garageband you might not be partial to recording in Logic?
My songs use mostly piano, synthetic instruments (sawtooth lead, square lead, etc), french horn, saxophone, percussion, choir voices, and strings such as guitar (acoustic and electric), violin and string ensembles. Just about all of my songs are progressive rock. I also do not understand your last sentence so you probably are assuming right.
Logic Studio is Garageband's steroid-pumped big brother. It's a full-on, 50GB+ suite of professional software containing recording, audio editing, loops, tracks, production, and live performance applications which host some excellent high-quality and unique midi patches. You can read heaps about it at Apple.com, in the "Mac" section under Software, where you can view demos and stuff. It retails around $500 and a new version, 9, just released this last summer with some nice updates.
You might find more of what you're looking for in these various software packages and also hardware modules which can manually "patch in" to whatever writing software you want to use. It probably sounds complicated the way I'm describing it, but really it's just like installing downloadable content for a game. You'll find a bunch of stuff just by googling different phrases like "realistic midi" and stuff like that. There was one program that really, really stood out to me a couple years back as having some incredible patches, but I just can't remember where it was. I'll post if I think of it.
Here's a page with some killer orchestra patches on its software, I think including most of what you just listed sans maybe the synth stuff - Synful
If you're willing to go the hardware route, and this can depend largely on your computer setup particularly your audio card, check out Patchman Music, LLC Online
It's a site devoted to wind controllers like the EWI and Yamaha WX5, which function mostly as midi controllers for wind musicians. I know this isn't what you're looking for, but the education you can get about getting into the world of MIDI is right up there on this site. It's a very "Go-to" kind of place for a lot of people.
Some nice gear to check out are the Roland Modules and software packages. It can be a little on the pricey side here, but the gear is definitely worth the ticket.
I hope that wasn't too much to throw in at once lol. I can go on forever about this stuff. :p
Actually I did want to mention, and I didn't want to add to that last post any more than I already did, if you decide hardware modules might be in your future...Do a search for the Roland JV-5050 sound module. It's a single space rack that comes loaded with over a 1000 different midi patches from the Roland sound bank. I used it with my own installed patches, but the stuff that comes preloaded on this module is great. And this one DOES include some really nice patches for almost all the instruments you mentioned above, ESPECIALLY the synths.
These modules are out of production but still highly sought-after equipment. It still ran a good $400 or so plus on ebay auctions when I last checked, but if you're lucky you might find one on craigslist a lot cheaper.
Thanks for all the information. You were a big help:D. Between this and a response on another forum, I have a really good idea of what hardware/software to look for.