Guitar midi sounds

I am using latest version of n and using midi files as backing tracks.
I have an Audigy soundcard and am playing this through my hi-fi system (JVC). The problem is that playing back midi files with any guitar parts sound absolutely pants. Anybody any ideas how I can improve the quality ? The rest of the tracks (drums, piano and bass) sound fairly good but the rhythm guitar (muted, distorted jazz or any other of the midi guitar sounds are really tinny). Any advice would be most welcome.

Soundblaster cards are able to use soundfonts in their own synths. You need to load a better soundfont in the instruments you want sound better.

Yup, getting better sounds is the only real answer. Check out HammerSound for some free SoundFonts and SonicImplants for some good “paid for” SoundFonts. There are a zillion other options with VSTis and samplers, but hopefully this will get you started. Between Marce and I, we know of about a zillion guitar sounds.

The Roland Virtual Sound Canvas (VSC3) by Ederol makes them sound a lot better. It can be used as a plug-in within n-Track or any other host program, or as a stand-alone. VSC3 sells for about US$20 and can be found at:

Marce and Bubba are right though…if you want more realistic guitar sounds you will have to go to sound fonts.



Direct link:

Many thanlks for the feedback guys. I’ll have a hunt about for some soundfonts (via the links you kindly posted)

Thanks again.

This month’s Computer Music magazine has a whole article on it. They also provide some guitar chords and single-note samples from various guitars and MIDI files. (In addition to their full suite of software)

The tutorials are specifically on how to make realistic guitar strums in MIDI.

Thanks Tim, I’ll check that out.

with approx 77% of the instrumentalists’ survey indicating guitar is their main instrument, it seems almost sacreligious to be talking about sampled guitar here :;):

Quote (archimedes @ Dec. 21 2004,14:10)
with approx 77% of the instrumentalists' survey indicating guitar is their main instrument, it seems almost sacreligious to be talking about sampled guitar here :;):

Archi, since I am primarily a geetar picker, I agree. However, since starting to fool around with MIDI, I have discovered the use of an instrument sound other than what you initally think would work, is sometimes not the case. For example some horn sounds work great for faux string pads and such.

The GM guitar sounds really stink though. On that I can agree with. Same with the distortion VST plugins. I have not found one YET that sounds decent. Gimme my Pandora or better yet mic an amp or a good acoustic guitar.

The GM guitar sounds really stink though.

It depends on the synth you use. Use a nice GM synth, it'll sound swell. Use the junko Microsoft synth, well, it sounds like poo.

Agreed. The Roland VSC guitar sounds are not much better IMO. I have not heard any “high-end” sound libraries or samples. Just the MS GM and Roland GM/GS stuff.


Oh yeah, the VSC isn’t very good for guitar. Unfortunately, for many guitar sounds, you’re gonna have to plunk down the change to get anything decent.

Yes, I guess the thing about VSC is just that it gives you a lot more patches for cheezy guitar sounds. Having said that, I use them all the time. What can I say. But when compared to naked (can you say that on here?) MIDI, it sounds great!

I just got a new(er) Sound Blaster Live! Platinum card and I’m just geting into sound fonts. Stay tuned!


Yes, I take the point about sacriligous, especially as I play the guitar myself. However. the sort of thing I was hoping to do was to use a midi track with rhythm already laid down so I could solo (and perhaps sing) over the top. My rhythm playing isn’t up to much and I was looking for a solution to perhaps assist me in playing in a pub. I have seen a number of people recently playing up a storm in a pub with just themselves playing along to backing tracks. These are obviously slightly home made tracks as they are different from the normal shop bought stuff (ie jam with Santana, Gary Moore etc. etc.). I use this as justification for my lack of enthusiasm for playing rhythm myself :;):
I sped most of last evening downloading fonts and trying them out - so far they are, shall we say, less than excellent :(