What is a Softsynth – or Software Instrument
What is a softsynth? A software instrument or ‘softsynth’ is a computer plug-in that generates digital audio. With the speed of current computer systems it is now possible to recreate the sounds and set the parameters of the conventional keyboard the synthesiser. This is where our input device or master midi keyboard comes into its own. Gone are the days when I used to have a stack of hardware synthesizers in my studio or live set-up. Now with my Master Midi keyboard I can play various synths all from the softsynth plug-ins installed on my computer.
A Hollywood Orchestra or Steinway D Grand Piano in your Studio!
With one of my favourite virtual instruments (softsynths) I have a complete orchestra with a rich string section of Violins, Violas, Cellos, (my personal favourite, I love Cellos they add so much to the recordings) and deep double basses. I can also play a Bechstein D-280 or Steinway D grand piano. There is no way I could fit a grand piano in my home studio, but now I have the sound of the grand piano with the softsynth. I have an 88 note fully weighted master midi keyboard so it’s just like playing the real thing!
Here is a link to one of my favourite sites http://www.soundsonline.com/hollywood-orchestra
And the pianos http://www.soundsonline.com/pianos
How about adding a Choir or Opera singers or Soul Voices?
Well with softsynths you can, again all played on your master Midi keyboard! Add backing vocals to your mix with hundreds of expressive phrases in every key! How about some ethnic vocals. Bulgaria, Serbia, Mongolia, and beyond. The world’s vocalists all on my keyboard plugged into my USB port of my Mac computer using softsynths! Wow I love my home studio!
Vocals link: http://www.soundsonline.com/Vocals
What about the Free SoftSynths supplied with GarageBand?
Garage band comes pre-loaded with some very nice softsynths. Steinway Grand Piano, classic electric pianos, 80s Sync lead, all very nice. The patches (softsynths) supplied with GarageBand include Bass guitars like picked uprights or muted basses. Complete drum kits like Motown soul heavy metal or R&B drums. Orchestral Brass, French Horns, Trumpets, Tubas and Trombones. Chamber choirs or male and female ensembles. Cathedral, romantic or wedding organs. Smart strings. Woodwind, Saxophones Flutes and Oboes all available to me with the use of softsynths!
You have in the GarageBand collection of Softsynths, pads and lead synths, vintage organ sounds even Chinese traditional sounds! All and much more supplied with your GarageBand free software that comes with your Apple Mac!
All these Wonderful Rich Sounds Played From Your Midi Keyboard?
So now your creative juices and following, so to speak, how does it all work? Hundreds of amazing sounds I can play in my home studio on one keyboard? How?
How, with the amazing software development that is softsynths. Here are the different types of software synthesizers.
- Subtractive Synthesis
- Analog Modeling
- FM synthesis
- Physical Modeling Synthesis
- Additive Synthesis
- Sample-bassed Synthesis
Wow! That’s some list! To going into all of them would take a long time, so I’ve added the links to Wikipedia, just click on each synth type to find out more. I think it’s worth having a look at each one.
Here are some great softsynth developers:
Softsynths have come a long way! Having all these sound at my disposal it something I could never have imagined back in 1986 when I set out on my home recording studio journey. It really is amazing. I loved composing and playing in my studio back then, but now, wow it’s incredible! I have a Steinway Grand Piano in my studio all thanks to softsynth technology!
Here is a review on the powerful Rob Papen Predator 2 Virtual Instrument Comes with almost 6000 presets!
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about softsynths, or you want to add to this post, please leave a comment below.