moving away from sound font banks...Rewire?

playing MIDI using VST plugins

I normally render my midi tracks using sound font banks
mapped with controller 0 in n-track. I am thinking
of upgrading my sounds and so I
was looking at the Atmosphere Dream synth, among others.
It does not use sound fonts as far as I can tell.

The requirements (for the software) say that I need a
VST host or a wrapper to use it as an instrument plug-in.
Can I use n-track and rewire to do this? I have used VST plug-ins for effects, but not for instruments…

If I can use it, then how do I go about selecting the VST instrument for a midi track? (I am at a loss since I have no Rewire/VST instruments currently.


The VST .DLL files go into the n-track VST plugins folder.


and then when you create a new midi track, the VST instrument can be selected as the output instead of your soundcard or whatever.

You may need to use the LIVE button to hear the output. The big difference between using soundfonts will be latency. If you are using soundfonts from within a creative soundcard, then to all intents it is zero latency. To drive a VST instrument requires processing power, hence the output will lag a keypress. You can reduce this on high spec cards to <10ms, but you need a good rig.

An alternative method is to create the tracks using soundfont or outboard synth, and then switch them to drive the softsynth for mixdown. Once it is not a live performance, latency doesn’t matter as n will automatically compensate and line everything up.



A couple things. N-track is a VST host, therefore it should work with Atmosphere. Just follow the install instructions that come with it and make sure you choose the correct VST folder as Maaszy mentioned. Usually most VSTi installers find the folder automatically.


It does not use sound fonts as far as I can tell.

Just to clarify, SoundFonts are simply a sampler format like Giga, Kontakt, or Halion. SoundFont does not determine quality, so if you see a sample library in both Giga and SoundFont, they shoul dbe more or less identical. The reason I bring this up is some times SoundFont versions are slightly less expensive. For whatever reason, people get cheap or free SoundFonts that sound like cheese and think that is just the way SoundFonts sound. Not the case. It is like saying Word documents are bad, they are just a format. It is up to the developer to make it not sound like cheese. :)

Well, I ended up with Atmosphere and it works great. The only issue I had with it was the Atmosphere registration process and N-Track didn’t handle it. For that (the registration process) I had to start up the Cubasis that came with my sound card. Once the registration process was done, it worked fine (and sounds awesome :D).

There is a playback lag issue with my imported MIDI files versus the synth, but since it’s a constant amount I just move the soundfont midi files by that constant amount until I convert everything to WAV. The mixdown process doesn’t seem to have the lag so I have to line everything up again once I mix down the MIDI files. I’ve always had to do that since mixing down soundfont based MIDI as individual tracks doesn’t seem to produce synced up WAV files.

As for sound fonts, I have a few nice ones I got for free, but as with anything, you can get better sound if you’re willing to pay for it. Music
is such a money sink. :)