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Need info on software synth downloads please

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Hard to say what I'm looking for in the subject, but I have a relatively decent computer with a not-so-decent sound card... The instrument samples in the card are pretty bad, so my midi songs sound like they're done on a 15 dollar garage-sale Casio. I was wondering if there were any software synths you guys would recommend, and preferrably something that's free or has a demo that I could try. I used to have a Yamaha DB50-XG daughter card on an old SoundBlaster16, but I accidently sold it when I sold that computer... So I looked around for software XG synths, but they're either obsolete or don't work well on my PC (Windows 2000). Does anybody know of any software synths I could download that sound pretty good? I previously mentioned Yamaha XG MIDI technology, but I'd definitely use general MIDI too. Thanks!

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The first sample package I ever bought was OmniSynth by Sonic Reality. It's only $80, which is about as cheap as sample libraries get.

http://esoundz.com/details/viewDetails.php?ProductID=232



It isn't perfect, obviously, but for an entry-level sample library, you get a lot of great samples. It's definitely worth the money, IMO, and it's much more professional-sounding than crappy GM tones.

There aren't a lot of free sample libraries, and most of them aren't any good IMO. Some people swear by free soundfonts, though, so I guess you have to try them to see if you like' em. There are a lot of free soundfonts at www.hammersound.net

You'll need a sequencer that supports VST plug-ins to use software-synths. I think Cakewalk makes an inexpensive one. Home Studio 2 is only a hundred bucks, but there's a cheaper version... the name escapes me.

If you're looking for analog synth sounds, there are a lot of cool freeware softsynths. Just go to www.kvraudio.com and search.

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I recently discovered Jeskola buzz at http://www.buzzmachines.com/
It's kind of weird at the beginning, and easy to get lost. Also its old code (run in Win95 compatibility mode or use the new fixed exe), and songs can be "uncompatible" within different installs....

but you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, there are hundreds of synth algorithms for it (each with adjustable parameters that make the sound change), it renders to WAV and it's completely free. Try downloading some MP3 samples of other people's works first, so you see what it can do.

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