virtual – “not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so”
What is virtual playing?
Virtual playing is my term for playing the simulated sound of a real instrument by using a piano keyboard and software based virtual instruments. (In technical terms, playing a MIDI controller and recording the notes through VST plugins using a computer in place of a multi-track recording studio)
What do I do?
I add virtual drums, bass, strings, or even full orchestra to an original song as an alternative to hiring live musicians and booking time in a recording studio.
The idea is to take an original guitar + vocals song or a piano + vocals song (sometimes called a 1+1 song = a vocal and 1 instrument) and make it sound very much like a full band recording or perhaps to take a full band recording and add some strings or other accompaniment to create a more rich, full sound.
I often re-mix all the tracks, apply EQ, boost the volume and apply noise reduction to improve the sound of the final result. When necessary I may apply some pitch correction if the singer is a little off on a few notes.
Visit my Before & After page to hear some sections of songs before and after I worked on them or listen to any of the songs I’ve worked on by using the links on the right hand side bar.
When I’m not working on music, I’m working on my free orchestral sample library: Virtual Playing Orchestra. It’s a collection of free orchestra instrument sounds from various sources, gathered together into a single library, configured to respond to a MIDI keyboard. Visit my Virtual Playing Orchestra download page to learn more.
What I don’t do
I tend not to create music from scratch. I don’t create music based on just a set of lyrics. I prefer to start with a song with at least a finished guitar or piano track that is already good on it’s own before I add anything extra to it. I need to be inspired by the music.