Is it possible to play this Bach piece on a MIDI keyboard

with instrument set to cello?

Edit: I messed up the original question by confusing cello with violin.

  • possible to play it, or play it so it sounds exactly like that video, or...? – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 27 '16 at 16:35
  • exactly like that video or something really close.. – meowlicious Dec 27 '16 at 16:46

[Answer tweaked after question update]

Possible... ermm... yes.

Sound good... unlikely.

It is possible to make midi cello & violin sound good, but it isn't really a case of 'dial in the sound on a midi keyboard & hit the right notes'
At least, you need some kind of controller structure, mapping velocity to volume isn't enough - you need to be able to map attack separately from volume, vibrato separately as intensity & speed, string 'overhang' depending on whether the next note is the same or a different string, note-glissando/slides, etc.

The standard sound set from any keyboard with 'built-in' sounds is very unlikely to be at all convincing without significant post-production.

[Opinion source: I was employed for a decade by a major multinational electronic instrument maker (name on request;) to produce such things as onboard & point-of-sale style & song demos for their products - & I'm extremely aware of the difference between what you can achieve with a month's work for a demo vs what is actually possible to simply 'play']

Listen to some of the demos on these links, possibly some of the finest solo emulations I have heard. [I own both these 'instruments' but have no affiliation to this company.]

Embertone Blakus cello
Embertone Friedlander violin

Using a standard Midi keyboard, it is quite difficult to get sufficient controller data to truly emulate a cello/violin in realtime - though you can tweak afterwards in a sequencer. For realtime playing & post production, these days I use this system for iPhone/Pad as a further control surface - http://hexler.net/software/touchosc

*I just realised that very same Bach prelude is one of the Blakus demos... though I don't think it's as good as it could have been made, & is presented in a significantly smaller 'space' & closer-miked, it's a fair attempt at the piece.

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  • Jeeze, that Embertone Blakus is impressive. (My only experience with MIDI instruments is from the default Finale and Sibelius players 5-10 years ago, though.) – Kyle Strand Dec 27 '16 at 19:19
  • wow that blakus bach piece is almost there. thank you for linking to that. I have a roli rise 25 so there is '5 dimensions' of input, so i am guessing that should be enough to control all the parameters. – meowlicious Dec 27 '16 at 22:42

It's possible to emulate just about any instrument using a MIDI keyboard, and a module capable of producing sampled sounds. You ask about violin, then feature a cello piece. Note wise it'll work, using a cello sound will be far better, but you'll need to emulate the vibrato on the longer notes. A lot of keyboards have a mod wheel, which can be programmed to do that.

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  • oops you are right. I updated the question to be consistent. I have a roli seaboard which can do vibrato on per note basis. Looks like I can start learning cello as my first instrument. – meowlicious Dec 27 '16 at 17:34
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    Very impressed by the Roli seaboard! If anything can do it, that will! Obviously, that only facititates the playing aspect, you still need a good cello sound from a synth, etc. – Tim Dec 27 '16 at 17:41
  • I am totally blow away by it, I got it as a gift. Since I haven't played any instrument before, I am not quite sure how to go about learning to play cello on it. Do you think I should take lessons from a regular cello teacher and try to figure out translation to roli myself. Not even sure where to find a teacher that would accommodate this. I have some experience with synth and sound programming. – meowlicious Dec 27 '16 at 17:45
  • It's pretty intuitive, but I bet finding a teacher who knows about is ain't going to be easy. – Tim Dec 27 '16 at 18:23

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