I'm a keyboardist (Yamaha PSR-2000), and recently, I've been wanting to replace my keyboard with a simple 'MIDI controller' keyboard connected to a PC, and have the PC produce the sounds. The reasons are basically:
- The sound quality and realism is better
- More variety of instruments
- More customization
(If I'm right about these...)
I've been looking for software that just provides a large variety of high-quality instruments, and not electrical synths (Minimoog etc.) of which there are plenty, but actual musical instruments like trumpet, guitar, piano, bass, flute, sax, and of course drums. It would be nice to have some customization but I basically just want good instruments. I've come up with (basically):
- Native Instruments Komplete/Kontakt/Kore/etc.
- Propellerhead Reason
- Steinberg Halion Sonic / Halion 4 (I don't know the difference) (I don't think I could deal with their USB copy protection.)
Firstly, is there anything else? Is there anything free or low-cost ($100 or less)? Or am I looking completely in the wrong category?
Thanks in advance.
(P.S.: This is intended for live performance as well as for recording.)
UPDATE: Maybe I should add Toontrack EZDrummer to the list as a low-cost drums-only solution? And Cakewalk Studio Instruments as a low-cost ($50) drums, bass, strings, electric piano solution? How is the quality of these things?
ALSO: I know that a lot of DAWs come with their own virtual instruments. I may be getting Pro Tools SE if I actually by the Avid KeyStudio 49, and I have Cubase LE, but haven't installed them -- would anyone happen to know how good whatever they come with is?