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

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


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.


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.



Performance Apps


Software Samplers

Freeware Samplers

Soundfile Resources

Software Samplers

A Few Sample Library Companies (there are many)