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Enjoying the Realism of Flute VST Plugins

 

If you know anything about audio production in general and music production in particular then you will know that this industry has witnessed revolutionary changes. There was a time when the cost of music production was exorbitant and only affordable to the rich or record labels.

The reason for this was simply that the cost of owning and operating a recording studio ran into hundreds of thousands of dollars. As you can see from the history discussed here, expensive hardware gear had to be purchased, acoustic structures put in place and music instruments and other back lines purchased and installed.

The story today has radically changed and with a few thousand dollars, one can set up a simple studio from which they can produce professional level music and audio projects.

This has largely been because of the availability of practically any hardware equipment in software form. This means that instead of purchasing gear for tens of thousands of dollars, you can get a software version for just a few hundred dollars or less.

This brings us to the core of our focus in this article which is the VST platform, one of the platforms on which these software also known as plugins operate.

 

What is a VST Plugin?



The first question we should probably ask is; what is VST? We will begin by answering this first question.


VST is an acronym that stands for Virtual Studio Technology and is a platform that facilitates the virtual replication of traditional studio hardware and instrument functions by digitally processing these signals using software called plugins.


VST, which was developed by Steinberg, is simply one such platform which allows plugins built by different brands to be usable across different DAWs (Digital Work Stations) and operating systems that support VST.


You can find a more detailed explanation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology.



How to Make the Right Choice



VST plugins can be created for practically anything today. We have virtual effect processors, microphones simulators, amp and cabinet simulators and of course virtual instruments.


Our focus in this article falls under this last group – virtual instruments.


These plugins eliminate the need for studios to have live musical instruments and the challenges that come with effectively recording them. While large studios that can afford it can still use these hardware and live approach, small studios can now compete at the highest level with top quality emulations of these.


In this case, a home or project studio does not have to get a professional flutist to be able to record a flute track. The biggest challenge that many used to have with these virtual instruments was the fact that they did not always sound realistic.


With improved sampling technology, the level of realism that can be achieved toady is nothing short of mind blowing.


To help you choose from a flute VST list that will ensure you get the best virtual representation of a flute sound and performance, we will look at some things to consider while making your choice.

 

Sample vs Emulation

 


This is easily the very first thing you should consider when choosing a virtual flute instrument. An emulation plugin will consist of a synthetic representation of the natural instrument’s sound achieved through precise programming expertise.


On the other hand, sampling will actually record the instrument extensively, capturing the varied nuances of its play along with different ambiance and microphone settings.


Most producers prefer the sampled versions because it is easier to achieve a high level of realism with them. They however come at some cost.

 

Size

 


This is another thing you should consider. While discussion sampled versus synthesized virtual instruments, we mentioned that using the sampled versions come at a cost. Well, this does not just refer to cost in terms of purchasing price.


A VST flute plugin that consists of sampled sounds will have a much larger space requirement because the sample libraries are usually huge. The synthesized variations on the other hand will require far less space.


You should therefore make your choice with this in mind.



Expression Options

 


An instrument like the flute has a lot of expressions and effects that can be achieved while playing it naturally. This can be the result of microphone positioning or actual playing techniques.


Considering this still brings us back to the issue of choosing between a sampled sound and a synthesized one. The sampled sound will usually include as much expression types as possible – whether it is the result of microphone positioning or playing technique.


You need to understand that the more the expression options that are available to you, the easier it will be to achieve a very realistic flute performance in your production.

 

Ease of Use

 


Now, this is something that is very crucial in music production. While choosing plugins, you need something that can easily be incorporated into your existing setup.


This may be a USB keyboard with its expression pedals and other accessories. It may also simply be a midi controller from which your trigger your samples. Whatever your setup and DAW is, you need a plugin that will fit easily into it.


If you really want to get a very clear picture of what we’ve been discussing above, then you should read this article.



Conclusion

 


Music production has really grown in leaps and bounds. You are basically no longer restricted by budgets, space and inability to play some instruments. If you know exactly the sound you want, chances are that you can find a plugin you can use to achieve it.


In this article we focused on the flute and believe you have gotten some important information that will help you choose the right plugin for your next production.

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