I don’t count myself as a banjo or guitar player. Yet they keep showing up on my tracks…
Back Down the Road a Bit
About a year ago, I started to release a series of four albums in the DreamState series: Dreams, Liminal Space, Lucid Dreaming, and Awakening. At that time (and still to this day), I was deeply focused on the inspiration from dreams. Hopefully, some of that shone through the tracks that I wrote.
At the same time, I pushed myself to learn and use the music technology available to me. Some of that is pretty boring and geeky. But I will enjoy sharing these bits of banjo and guitar tech with you today. I think they’re really fun.
As I’ve matured as a musician, I continue to focus more on the piano (and keyboard). I’m not really a guitarist though I used to play one for the portability. My shift away from guitar means I’m really appreciating the great virtual guitars available.
On “Lucid Bossa Nova”, I featured a great sounding Evolution Steel Strings by Orange Tree Samples. Orange Tree always does an excellent job of sampling instruments. Plus, I’m accustomed to their interface. Check out the animation showing where the strings are being held down.
It’s not all banjos and guitars
Not all virtual instruments have flashy animation. Some just sound good. I’d say that’s the case with Tina Guo cello by CineSamples. This VI has been around for a while, but still holds up fairly well.
I used this cello side-by-side with RealGuitar “Classic” (aka classical) from Music Lab on the track Morning’d Better Come. Music Lab put some nice touches in this VI including the animated guitar image.
Banjos R Us
I think the banjo sounds so cool. In addition to several songs that include real, live banjo played on them, I have just as many with virtual banjos. Plus, I’ve already done a comparison of three virtual banjos. Please read and hear it here.
From Banjo to Guitar
Now, I’ll shift back from banjo to guitar. It’s possible that I may have saved the best for last. Ample Sound makes excellent banjo and guitar (and other) VIs. Above, you saw and heard their banjo. In “a day in the recording studio of an indie musician” I shared a video of their China Dongxiao (flute).
Now for one of their incredible metal guitars. They named this one Hellrazer and for good reasons. I did not use any tricks to create the introduction to “Be You” using only this guitar. With nine strings, I had plenty to work with. Check it out.