Originally posted by darvlay
There's tons of software out there. Some of which is more user-friendly for "classical"-type compositions and scoring and comes with software suites of virtual instruments. But before you invest in any software, you should understand that your computer will likely need an upgraded music card or audio interface to ably playback your compositions from this s ...[text shortened]... with some links to free programs:
Also you need a MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard, most of the Casio's you see in Walmart and such have MIDI in's and outs and are not much money. But you want one with touch sensitive keys and aftertouch if you can get it. But don't settle for less than touch sensitive, where if you hit it soft, the tone is quite and hit the key hard and it plays louder.
I just got an outstanding deal on an interface, the Tascam US1800, under 300 bucks, it has 8 XLR audio jacks with mic preamps built in and MIDI in's and outs. So if you want to start recording audio as well as making music on a keyboard you have everything you need for a studio.
It also comes with a software set, Cubase LE5, limited edition but you can record MIDI or audio directly into it, play it back, record it, and burn it to a CD if you have a burner.
I am a long time Sonar user, now have Sonar X1, they are up to X3 now but my desktop only has winXP and you need win 7 for X3.
I have Cubase LE5 hooked to a laptop and that records really well! The Tascam I/O fits right under the laptop and all the controls on it right in front. It also has optical outs too.
My personal keyboard is a Kurzweil PCX1, an older but really GREAT 88 key weighted piano keyboard!
I also record acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and the like.
Just used the laptop/tascam combo at my buddies house the other day where we recorded about 8 tracks, we have a little band where we play civil war era music, there are civil war era dances around here and when they come to town we are the band. We play about 50 tunes over a 3 hour stretch, tunes theoretically from the mid 18's but we play newer ones too and some of my own tunes, the dancers can't really tell what century a tune comes from
So another couple of sessions and we will have our first CD ready for sale.