Cosmic Prism

What's a Decent Price for a MIDI Piano & String VSTi?

18 posts in this topic

Edited Question: What midi pianos and string vsti's are of good quality for orchestral string expressions? (I'm still checking out the links provided). And what's a good price range for them so I can come up with a plan over time to work towards them.

[Old Question: I deeply apologize for asking of this, but I seriously want to further my pursuit in music. And trust me, if I financially could, I would. 

But support would be appreciated. I started a gofundme so I can raise funds to get a midi piano & a decent orchestral vsti. 

[gofundme link]

I know this may seem ridiculous, but I honestly need the help.]

 

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Yeah, Meteo is right. Also, I'm not sure what string vst you're looking at that would cost 750, probably some over-priced garbage from 8Dio. You're in the USA and all prices are either Euro or USD. You can get CSS for like 399.

I saved up over a year and bought nearly 2000 (that exchange rate to Canadian is brutal!) in all the things I wanted to the point I don't see myself upgrading any time soon, while suffering the same expenses normal people do.

I just think you're very unlikely to find anyone sympathetic to your cause and you could also lower the amount required for a MIDI controller and string library easily

 

 

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I agree you can get plenty far for much cheaper.  Miroslav is a great starting point and SUPER affordable.  If you're looking for something more high end but still affordable, Adagietto, while not "over-priced garbage", is from 8Dio and is on sale right now for $118.  It's got everything you need to get you going as far as strings - all instruments, sections and ensemble patches, any articulation you'd need (including nice legato patches), mod support on sustains/legatos.  I also (foolishly) bought Albion years ago, and Adagietto pretty much eclipses it in every regard except for the spiccato articulations.  Unless you also need to buy the full version of Kontakt, $700 is way more than I think you need  to get going (which is hopefully good news!).

Watch for sales!  I always keep my eye on:

  • Native-Instruments - they've had sponsored bundle sales of third party instruments, which has landed me some incredible deals
  • Embertone - great solo instruments and prices, once you get to a point where you have a need
  • Soundiron - they've got sales pretty frequently
  • Ilya-Efimov - excellent ethnic winds and oddball instruments
  • Strezov Sampling - while I don't own any of their instruments yet, they've got some affordable brass libraries that sound really great

As blunt as MX is and as sour as I find almost every post of his I've read, I have a hard time disagreeing with most of his sentiments.  I started with a pretty bare setup.  I used the Kontakt's free factory library with Kontakt Player (also free) for my first game soundtrack years ago, and it worked out fine because I put in the time to figure out HOW to make it work fine.  I think good MIDI composition is much more about creative processing and knowing how to use what you have than it is about what you actually have.  Hopefully that's more encouraging than not haha.  Good luck!

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10 hours ago, Phonetic Hero said:

 I also (foolishly) bought Albion years ago, and Adagietto pretty much eclipses it in every regard except for the spiccato articulations. 

Not really fair to compare a string library to a full ensemble sketching library :P Albion is a pretty amazing sample library; it stands by itself really well and can create an emotive full spread. It's not as agile with line-writing as a full string library, but again, not really a fair comparison. What you get with Albion is tone and ease of mixing.

That being said, I think you're greatly overusing the word "need". You "want" gear and you "want" to get started on a music journey. You don't "need" to.

"Need" is stuff like, your life circumstances will severely diminish if you don't get it. Unless you've somehow bet your life finances on a music career you haven't even started yet, this is probably not the case.

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12 hours ago, Phonetic Hero said:

As blunt as MX is and as sour as I find almost every post of his I've read, I have a hard time disagreeing with most of his sentiments.

Blunt and sour, like the great lemon-flavored jaw-breaker it is, is often the only way the young and dreamy get the requisite wake-up call they need to truly advance in this line of art. Polite and gentle have their place in advice and criticism, but when they're doing very childish things in their paths to glory and trying to syphon money from people in the process, someone's got to grab them by the collar, shake and start screaming "Attention, New New York! Stop acting so stupid!"

I remember when I was young and poor in both sense and quality music. I had a lot of help in my development from a variety of sources, but it was always the blunt, sour kicks to the proverbial balls (and occasionally the very non-proverbial) that always leveled me up the fastest. That and a potentially unhealthy sense of jealousy and competition, but I'm only officially advocating the former there.

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On 7/30/2018 at 6:31 PM, Meteo Xavier said:

Here's some advice for your journey then: don't beg strangers for money to afford non-essential items. Fewer things are more bush league and eye-rolling than trying to bum donations for a "music journey" that, let's be honest, has a very, very low chance of breaking even within even a few years because of how overcrowded the composer industry is. You yourself admit you feel bad doing it, so why do it? What does that tell you?

You don't "need" to do music. Cancer patients who can't afford chemo need chemo. People without health insurance who get in a car wreck need to afford treatment so they won't go blind (like someone I know last month had to deal with). If you want to do music that badly, then do it properly - use free stuff or save up for the expensive stuff. Can't make it financially work? Welcome to our world. Work on your living and financial situation until you can afford it like common sense dictates.

Not trying to come off overly elite and hardnosed here, but begging for non-essential things to chase a "journey" is high up on the list of distasteful things to post on. I don't know any composers who found any kind of success starting out by panhandling for $1,000. For god's sakes, you don't even need $750 for a decent orchestral VST! Go get https://www.jrrshop.com/ik-multimedia-miroslav-philharmonik-ce for $40! Lord have mercy.

On the contrary actually, I don't think your advice is overly elite or anything. It made me Think for the longest. Bluntness is how we learn.

I've been asking Film Composers and Video Game Composers what software they recommend as a good string vsti. And the common recommendations are eastwest, kontact full, and a few others in the same price range. And I'm told that I'll need to spend money in it, in order to have a sample quality that matches my composition quality. So my thinking I needed that price range was more of a culmination of advice I've been getting recently. 

So it was more of a mistake on taking advice from professionals on my part? I'm actually confused about this tbh. (Edit: I thought about it, and it's like a businessman saying you need 10k to start a business, he's viewing it from his perspective of where he is in life. Whereas you could easily start one with less and still succeed. I think that analogy is what you're getting at. I can still progress incrementally along the way) .

And as for 'can't make it financially work'. I guess I asked this out of, almost a desperation I guess. I came from a very abusive household, and when I was 20 and left, I experienced homelessness for 6 months (while still completing 2 programming courses at college). 3 years later I'm now I'm able to support myself on my own fully (rent, utilities, etc), but just barely. But when several professionals tell me it'll cost that much, there's this wave of helplessness and depression, and it starts to feel abysmally unobtainable. I'm a good composer, but I don't have a midi piano (and am told I need one to do it professionally). I got the wrong estimates I guess, and I didn't know. I don't know what reasonably priced midi pianos or string vsti's are considered good quality enough for doing it professionally. 

I appreciate everyone's feedback :) !! I'm going to shut down the gofundme and remove the link. But I'm keeping this tread open because the question has changed. 

What midi pianos and string vsti's are of good quality for orchestral string expressions? (I'm still checking out the links provided). And what's a good price range for them so I can come up with a plan over time to work towards them.

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19 hours ago, Phonetic Hero said:

 

As blunt as MX is and as sour as I find almost every post of his I've read, I have a hard time disagreeing with most of his sentiments.  I started with a pretty bare setup.  I used the Kontakt's free factory library with Kontakt Player (also free) for my first game soundtrack years ago, and it worked out fine because I put in the time to figure out HOW to make it work fine.  I think good MIDI composition is much more about creative processing and knowing how to use what you have than it is about what you actually have.  Hopefully that's more encouraging than not haha.  Good luck!

I'm definitely checking out those links! And that's really encouraging tbh. Seeing everyone's reply's calms down that "I'm going to lose time in my life and fall behind by not having them, and starting that learning curve now" feeling I've been having when thinking of my future in music. So it all helps :) 

It feels like the world is progressing so fast now, and there's this lingering feeling of being left behind if I don't evolve and grow with it.

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Well, this topic took a pretty major turn. I'll need to edit my post above so it actually makes some sense.

Also, the $40 deal I posted above is no longer applicable. It was only good until July 31st. The full price isn't too bad either compared to the $750 you were projecting, but just an update on that.

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39 minutes ago, Meteo Xavier said:

Well, this topic took a pretty major turn. I'll need to edit my post above so it actually makes some sense.

Also, the $40 deal I posted above is no longer applicable. It was only good until July 31st. The full price isn't too bad either compared to the $750 you were projecting, but just an update on that.

It did lol. I've been trying to take my own advice that I give to people about forming an instant reactive opinion online to things that may sting a little. and actually taking time to actually Think about it. Because everyone took time out of their day to reply and give advice, and since I'm serious about growing in this field and from experiences, I listened with an open-mind to everyone here :). So yeah, pretty much a complete 180 to the right question I should've been asking all along lol.  

What controls are essential for a midi piano to have for a composer?

Would this be a good midi piano? (I'm not sure how far the 'you get what you pay for' concept I've learned in life goes in applying it to midi pianos): https://www.amazon.com/midiplus-AKM320-MIDI-Keyboard-Controller/dp/B00VHKMK64/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RDTWV7FHZTKZHB56X5NN&dpID=41oy7RP%2BghL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=detail 

And damn, noticed that deal expired too, but yeah it still pales in comparison to what I was projecting. Which is definitely a good thing like @Phonetic Hero was saying. 

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1 hour ago, Cosmic Prism said:

What controls are essential for a midi piano to have for a composer?

I really don't think you need a MIDI controller, honestly.  You can do anything a MIDI controller would let you do by properly routing controls to your MIDI outs and clicking things in - they're really only for expediting the process, if you're good at playing things in or recording automation live.  I bought one when I was just starting out because I was under the impression that it was a necessity, but I've really never used it or any other hardware MIDI controller and I'm doing just fine (worth noting that I don't have piano chops anyway though, haha).  If you're trying to save money, I'd say don't bother getting one yet and put that money toward improving your orchestral arsenal, if that's what you want.  It's just another luxury.

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I would also recommend looking into Berlin Orchestra: Inspire.

I'd argue it's the best "all-in-wonder" library out there and is about 400 and some USD. It was designed to be a "sketching tool" or for getting ideas down quickly, but honestly (and as the demos show) it's pretty damn great if that's all you have and I'd easily take it over Miroslav or Symphonic Orchestra.

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Inspire is pretty good. Inspire 2 also should be good.

I personally would recommend Albion, because I think it's wonderful, but you'd do pretty well with either one, and they cover bases. They're also easier to use since they're in consolidated sections instead of individual instrument types.

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On 8/1/2018 at 12:18 PM, Phonetic Hero said:

I really don't think you need a MIDI controller, honestly.  You can do anything a MIDI controller would let you do by properly routing controls to your MIDI outs and clicking things in - they're really only for expediting the process, if you're good at playing things in or recording automation live.  I bought one when I was just starting out because I was under the impression that it was a necessity, but I've really never used it or any other hardware MIDI controller and I'm doing just fine (worth noting that I don't have piano chops anyway though, haha).  If you're trying to save money, I'd say don't bother getting one yet and put that money toward improving your orchestral arsenal, if that's what you want.  It's just another luxury.

I think you're right. The quality of the String Samples is more important than the expedition of the process. And after thinking about it, there's a subtle intricacy in doing it click-by-click lmao. So I can put that on the backburner for a bit and focus mainly on sample quality :)  

On 8/1/2018 at 1:12 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I would also recommend looking into Berlin Orchestra: Inspire.

I'd argue it's the best "all-in-wonder" library out there and is about 400 and some USD. It was designed to be a "sketching tool" or for getting ideas down quickly, but honestly (and as the demos show) it's pretty damn great if that's all you have and I'd easily take it over Miroslav or Symphonic Orchestra.

 

3 hours ago, PRYZM said:

Inspire is pretty good. Inspire 2 also should be good.

I personally would recommend Albion, because I think it's wonderful, but you'd do pretty well with either one, and they cover bases. They're also easier to use since they're in consolidated sections instead of individual instrument types.

@AngelCityOutlaw & @PRYZM I checked both of those out when I read your message, and those are Fantastic libraries! But my main concern is the price tbh. 

I did get advice from someone to check out E/W Composer Cloud, and they gave me this link for a review: https://sonicscoop.com/2016/03/17/new-software-review-east-west-composer-cloud/

I think I'm going to try E/W Composer Cloud and give it a try? I still have some doubts because it almost sounds 'too good to be true' tbh lol.

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7 hours ago, Cosmic Prism said:

I think I'm going to try E/W Composer Cloud and give it a try? I still have some doubts because it almost sounds 'too good to be true' tbh lol.

Oh yeah, that's actually like, the most obvious option no one here thought of lol.

I tried out composer cloud for a while, but wound up canceling after a month and just bought stuff outright.

East West's instruments are good, but most of them are very outdated in terms of programming, and Hollywood Strings, while amazing, is HUGE in file size and pretty demanding on your system.

I'd say give it a shot

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