There is no limit to the use of technology and with advancements in technology, musicians can now get access to thousands of features and options. This technological advancement benefits musicians too. Anyone who owns a digital piano can get connected to a variety of virtual instruments and devices using MIDI interface and plug-ins. VST plug-ins give you option of using your digital piano for recording or you can even make it a controller for getting control over your computer. A variety of software are also available that enables you to connect to different banks of sound with combination of effects and sounds from various virtual instruments. Thus you do not only have access to sounds of your digital piano but you can go beyond the limits and use other tones and effects to make your performance even better. These options give you more chances of adding versatility to your performance and practice sessions.
Things You Will Need:
Before giving you details on how you can and should use VST plug-ins with your digital piano, here is a list of things that you will be needing:
- Digital piano
- Computer system
- Sound card
- VST plug-ins and software
Digital Piano: In order to use this option, you should have a digital piano that supports MIDI or USB connectivity. Many of the reasonable quality digital piano and most of the new models would have either MIDI port or USB connectivity or both.
Computer System: The next most important thing is to have a computer system with a fast speed and good space. Your computer processor system should be fast and must have a reasonable size RAM so that you can quickly and easily save and transfer your music samples and plug-ins with your computer system.
Sound Card: In order to enjoy better quality of sound and for increased expression, you should have a good quality sound card installed with your computer system.
Virtual Studio Technology VST Plug-ins: This plug-in technology enables you to connect your digital piano with the software. Software would have various sounds stored in it and with the plug-ins you will be able to trigger those sounds as you play keys of the piano. Plug-ins could be sounds of various instruments, audio or MIDI effects and more.
Software – Plug-ins could not work on their own but they would need a software to host them. You will find thousands of free software available and some are FL studio, Cubase etc.
Using Digital Piano with VST Plug-ins:
Now that you have everything ready and checked, follow these simple tips for VST plug-ins:
Connect your digital piano with your computer with the use of either MIDI port or USB connectivity port (whatever available with your particular model of digital piano. Connect through sound card and install the plug-ins software.
Now run the software over your computer system and configure your digital piano.
You are now ready and can use any sounds or effects that are stored in your VST library just by pressing your digital piano keys. Sound will be triggered by pressing keys.
Different VST plug-ins are available at varied prices. You can get a demo version of a software and check if it works well for you. Many a times, you will get a better quality at a better price paid. However beginners would do well with basic plug-ins only and as you progress, you can find some advance ones too. When choosing plug-ins remember that some may be offering you great sound samples but may take a lot of space on your disk. So keep space in mind too.
You can consider simulations that make use of mathematical calculations for reproduction of sound. However they would not be able to exactly replicate the acoustic piano sound but they will closely replicate. With simulations, you will be able to save space with their low requirement of storage space and get more flexibility. But these would work with a fast processor as calculations would need a powerful processor.
Some good VST plug-ins are:
- Akoustik Piano
- mda Piano
- The Classic Effects
- TruePianos etc.
If you are not sure of how to use these plug-ins, do not worry. You can find tutorials of these plug-ins online on their websites or on YouTube. You can also check manuals or can ask questions on related online forums.
With the use of these VST plug-ins, you will be able to explore a wide world of different sounds and effects and you would not need to buy more of the other instruments and devices that otherwise would cost a good amount of money and consume a lot of space. With different types of VST plug-ins and software available, you get to choose the one with the options you need. You will find ones that are free and commercial software with plug-ins too. The only requirement is that you should have a reasonable computer system with a fast processor and a large amount of space for data storage. Using VST plug-ins is not difficult and by following these simple steps you will be able to explore the different instrument sounds and effects with your digital piano.