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.
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.