An Introduction to Music Technology, 2nd Edition by Dan Hosken

Chapter 15: MIDI and Software Instruments —What do I need?

Hardware

The hardware of the MIDI and Audio Systems discussed in this chapter overlap significantly with the hardware from Chapter 7: Audio—What do I need? and the MIDI hardware was discussed in Chapter 9: MIDI Hardware.

Software

Sequencer/DAW Software

Most of the DAWs discussed in the Audio section also have the ability to sequence MIDI data and host software synthesizers and samplers. Here is a representative list:

Software Synthesizers

Freeware Analog-modeling SoftSynths

Other Freeware SoftSynths

Demo SoftSynths

Additive Synthesis SoftSynths

Subtractive Synthesis/Vocoder SoftSynths

Frequency Modulation SoftSynths

Physical Modeling Synths

Granular Synthesis/Processing SoftSynths

There are few commercial softsynths that use actual granular synthesis though there are several that use a limited form of it. All of the synths listed in Music Programming Applications allow for various forms of granular synthesis.

Music Programming Applications

Some of this software requires a greater investment of time and energy in order to begin making music, but it's all incredibly powerful and most of it is free.

Boxes-and-Lines

Text-based

Performance Apps

 

Software Samplers

Freeware Samplers

Soundfile Resources

Software Samplers

A Few Sample Library Companies (there are many)