5 Mistakes To Avoid When Using MIDI & Virtual Instruments

If you use virtual synths, samplers or hardware synths, it's likely you've been dabbling with MIDI. Perhaps without realizing it. Joe Albano outlines 5 mistakes to avoid to help get better results.  

Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. He's also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz... Read More


Great tips! I've been using midi since its beginning and you are right that it is easy to get spoiled with how much easier the music process is today. I really have to agree with your mention of aftertouch. I forget about it all the time, and used correctly it is amazing. Thanks for the great tips!
Joe A
Hi Lurch -

Thanks! My main keyboard also has aftertouch, and I also hardly ever use it (it's a weighted keyboard, and even the aftertouch requires a fair bit of pressure). But recently I had the opportunity to play around with the Roli MIDI controller, and it renewed my interest in keyboards (and other controllers) that respond to pressing, squeezing, shaking, sliding, and all manner of expressive gestures—an interesting (and positive) trend in MIDI playability!
Excellent article ... after all these years, I forgot that the bottom octave often has those options! Very Cool Joe ...
Everything about this article is fantastic—except the title! :) They're not really mistakes to avoid but more likely tips we should all practice. So much programming goes into virtual instruments, that we forget what they can actually do to sound more realistic or how they can sound so much bigger, better.

Perhaps you'll have another article expounding on this with specific examples for particular instruments (strings, guitar, saxophone, etc.), that are tricky to emulate using a keyboard?

Thanks man.

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