VirtualKeyboard is a highly configurable virtual keyboard for use as a 32/64-bit MIDI Instrument or Logic MIDI Effect plugin, or as a standalone program. Display multi-channel MIDI input in a resizable keyboard layout to learn new songs, show what you are playing in your video demos or send notes by clicking on its keys if you don't have a MIDI controller. The standalone version includes a SFZ player and offers a free download of an acoustic piano.
The demo is free and fully functional but stops working after 3min and includes an add banner.
You'll find this virtual keyboard more flexible than other ones because it allows you to:
Stop the cursor in your DAW and still see what notes were being played (note that most virtual keyboards will clear all notes when you press stop).
"Mute" or "Solo" MIDI channels and display their notes in different colors. To mute a channel: "Cmd"-click (Mac) or "Ctrl-click" (Win) on the MIDI channel legend or click on the "Mute" button. To solo it: Alt-click on the MIDI channel legend or click on the "Solo button".
Make the notes fade away instead of ending abruptlyto help you visualize quick runs. Use the "Fade" sliders to set their visual queue in milliseconds for each channel. Notes sustained with the sustain pedal can be set with a longer, independent fade out. Tip: set the sliders to the maximum for infinite fade outs.
Visualize the Soft, Sostenuto and Sustain pedals and play them with your mouse (or hide them by dragging the top of the pedals to the bottom). You can also use the "Shift" key to control the sustain pedal if you don't have a physical pedal. Please click inside the plugin if the keyboard focus is lost while switching between plugins.
Display the Pitch and Mod Wheel changes or use them to send your own values. You can also hide them by dragging their right border to the left.
Change the color of the highlighted notes that are on or sustained.
Hold "Alt" to drag the keyboard horizontally with your mouse.
Hold "Alt-Cmd" (Mac) or "Alt-Ctrl" (Win) and drag the keyboard to stretch it (changing the key width).
Resize it: drag the bottom-right corner of the keyboard to change its height and width, drag the pedal boundaries to change their dimensions and edit the key width in the menu.
Label the keys with their note name, octave or MIDI number .
Hide all settings to show only the keyboard by clicking anywhere on the keyboard while holding the "Cmd" (Mac) or "Ctrl" (windows) key.
Use it to trigger notes with different velocities (clicking at a different height of each key if "Velocity" is 0 or send constant velocities if "Velocity" is greater than 0).
Play, pause and resume MIDI files at different speeds. You will probably find the following keyboard shortcuts useful:
'spacebar': play / pause.
'left arrow': rewind 4 seconds.
'right arrow': fast forward 4 seconds.
'up arrow': increase the speed.
'down arrow': decrease the speed.
Play notes too with your computer keyboard. Click on 'Settings' to configure your computer keyboard. The key mappings for a QWERTY keyboard are:
'1 octave' mode:
"asdfghjkl" for notes CDEFGABCD.
"z": decrease octave.
"x": increase octave.
"c": decrease velocity.
"v": increase velocity.
'2 octaves' mode:
"zxcvbnm" for notes CDEFGAB, "qwertyuiop" for notes CDEFGABCDE (+1 oct).
", ": decrease octave.
".": increase octave.
"k": decrease velocity.
"l": increase velocity.
Use "Shift" to control the sustain pedal in both settings. Important: please click inside the plugin if the keyboard focus is lost while switching between plugins.
Save your settings automatically with your DAW project.
Finally you can use the VirtualKeyboardStandalone version to open, play, pause and resume MIDI files at different speeds without loading a full featured DAW.
This download includes 2 VST/AU plugins: VirtualKeyboard and VirtualKeyboardSynth, and a 'normal' standalone program: VirtualKeyboardStandalone.
VirtualKeyboard doesn't produce sound (it is only a MIDI plugin). VirtualKeyboardSynth or VirtualKeyboardStandalone have a SFZ (AKA Sound Font) Sampler built-in where you can select a piano or other sounds.
Cubase (option A): Click on "Devices" > "VST Instruments" on the top application menu (or F11). Add VirtualKeyboard and your Synthesizer of choice as "Rack Instruments" (right-click on the background to have this option). Create a MIDI track, select "All MIDI inputs" in the input and select your Synthesizer of choice in the output. Then go to the "MIDI Sends" tab, click on the second line of the first slot and select "VirtualKeyboard Midi In".
Cubase (option B): Create instrument track, select "VirtualKeyboard" as Instrument on one track and select "All MIDI inputs" as MIDI input. Now create another instrument track, select your synthesizer of choice as Instrument, select as MIDI Input "01 VirtualKeyboard - MIDI Out" and click on the little speaker below the track's name to monitor it.
Logic Pro 9: Logic Pro 9 unfortunately doesn't support "MIDI FX" (you would have to upgrade to Logic Pro X). Add as an AUi (Audio Unit Instrument) in one track and add your synthesizer of choice as an AUi in another track.
Logic Pro X: Add in the "MIDI FX" section of your mixer track that contains your synthesizer.
Ableton: Insert MIDI track, select MIDI From "All Ins", "All Channels", drag and drop the "VirtualKeyboard" plugin in the "Drop an Instrument or Sample here" area, select Monitor "In". Insert another MIDI track, select MIDI From "1 Virtual Keyboard", "VirtualKeyboard" (instead of "Post FX"), drag and drop your synthesizer of choice in the "Drop an Instrument or Sample here" area, select Monitor "Auto".
FL Studio (option A): Click in "+" to add a track with "VirtualKeyboard", then click in the top left "gears" icon of the track to go to settings, go to "plug settings" (second tab) and select "Output port 1" in the "MIDI" tab. Add another track with your synthesizer of choice, go to the track plugin settings and select "Input port 1" int he "MIDI" tab.
FL Studio (option B): Alternatively, if you just want to use one track, you can use the "Patcher" to connect "VirtualKeyboard" with your favorite synthesizer using the MIDI output cable.
Add it as a regular AU or VST Instrument to your DAW. Note that it can't be added to Logic's MIDI FX rack. If you want to add it to the MIDI FX rack, use VirtualKeyboard instead, without the "Synth" suffix.
Run it as a normal program. Use it if you don't want to wait for a full featured DAW to load or you don't know what DAW, VST, AU or plugins are yet. VirtualKeyboardStandalone is compatible with Windows Audio, DirectSound, ASIO and Apple's CoreAudio devices. If you are runnning Windows, please select ASIO to minimize latency (and if your soundcard doesn't include an ASIO driver, try with ASIO4All).
A few links follow with MIDI songs you can download and play with VirtualKeyboard.
To add new sounds to VirtualKeyboardSynth or VirtualKeyboardStandalone follow the next steps:
First you'll need a SFZ instrument (AKA "Sound Font") containing both a .sfz file and its samples. SFZ is an open format and there are many sounds available for free on the Internet. A few download links for free SFZ sound fonts follow:
The price of a license is 22 EUR and it allows 1 individual to enjoy the plugin in up to 3 computers, removing the add banner and the time limit. Please understand that infringements of this agreement may result in the revocation of your license without refund.
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