Cesium SoundSounds for MIDI Keyboards

"Why should I get more sounds?"

Why more sounds? The sounds are why you bought your MIDI synthesizer in the first place. You can get a whole band or small orchestra at the touch of a few buttons. What you may not know is that most of the sounds that came with the unit are actually synthesized from a set of acoustically sampled and electronically generated waveforms. And your synth is capable of producing a large variety of additional sounds. For less than a tenth the price of the unit itself you can get a whole new set of high quality sounds. These have been electronically synthesized in exactly the same way the factory sounds were. In fact, this is the single most cost effective way of upgrading your MIDI setup. You probably aren't even aware of much of what your instrument can do.
What are these sounds like? Some are completely unique, unlike any others you already have. Many are expressive and beautiful, ambient or atmospheric. Others are more traditional. However, I've applied my years of programming experience, and the many tricks and techniques I've developed to produce standard sounds that are a distinct improvement over many of the factory ones. For example there are deeper, bassier, punchier bass sounds, silky, full strings, and fat analog emulations.
The value of quality programming should not be underestimated. Rich, full, detailed sound makes music come alive. The joy of playing your instrument with these sounds will inspire you to play more, write more, and try new ideas. Just read some of the actual written testimonials I've received since I started this business.

"How do get new sounds into my synthesizer?"

There's an area of the synthesizer memory called RAM, which has space reserved specifically for user programmable sounds. The sounds are organized in banks, each of which can have anywhere from 32 to 100 sounds, depending on the model. Each of the Volumes in my libraries contain one bank of sounds. Sound banks can be loaded from your synth's internal disk drive if it has one, or sent to it from a microcomputer with a MIDI interface. This is called a System Exclusive patch dump or Sysex dump for short. System Exclusive means the sounds are in a file format that can only be understood by your model of synthesizer.
The sounds are available on internal disk format, as raw Sysex files, or formatted for many popular sound librarian programs. If you don't have a librarian program I can supply you with a public domain or shareware utility that allows you to both load and save Sysex dumps of sounds. It's always a good idea to back up any sounds you currently have in your machine by saving them to disk, but this is especially important when you are loading new sounds.
It's really inexpensive to advertise online this way, so new prices are even lower than the discounts I offered just before I stopped sending out mailings a few years ago. You can order by mail to the address on the sounds page or with a credit card using PayPal secure payment server. Your sounds will usually be sent within 48 hours.

"Who is this guy?"

That's what an Ensoniq sales representative asked a friend of mine, a salesman at a local music store, one day in 1987. He just happened to be standing there while I played an ESQ-1 with some of the sounds I'd been developing. The Ensoniq rep told me to call their Marketing Director and gave me his number. Ensoniq licensed 35 of my sounds for their first two cartridges and one for the internal ESQ-1 ROM sounds, and gave me access to their warranty mailing list so I could send mailings directly to ESQ-1 owners.
I actually began working with synthesizers in 1972 on the first one ever built, the Buchla Series 100, Serial #1. It still resides at the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music (CCM), in Oakland, CA, although it has been valued at $10,000. and sought by the Smithsonian Institute.
Before that I'd been composing music for traditional instruments, and playing guitar and keyboards semiprofessionally since age sixteen, most notably with Stewart Copeland who since founded The Police. Later I studied Electrical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley, worked as a live concert engineer and a synthesizer repair technician.
In the meantime I've played nearly every kind of popular music in numerous nightclubs, took a degree in classical music, then spent two years playing African, Indian, and Indonesian music. I've written for dance, video, musical comedy and film, including an Academy Award winning short subject documentary. I was also a composer consultant for the first commercially released MIDI sequencer program.
I started this business on a whim one day in 1986 by placing a free classified ad. The response I got convinced me to continue to sell the sounds I wanted to program for my own use anyway. By reinvesting profits, and continuing to release high quality programs, I built a business. A few years ago I stopped advertising sounds to release some of my own music, and to continue to pursue the research I was doing before starting Cesium Sound. Out of this work, I developed a new kind of software control architecture I call Gesture Synthesis, for which I recently received U.S. Patent #RE37654.
Along the way I've had the pleasure of talking to thousands of musicians and composers from all over the world. I'm happy to have heard of success stories from people who were able to get exposure and find markets for their music using my sounds with their MIDI setups. But I'd say the most important thing is to have fun getting where you want to go with your music, if only to be able to say it was worth it once the roller coaster ride is over.
copyright © 1996, 1999 Nick Longo
Cesium Sound

Gesture Synthesis

Gesture Synthesis
MIDI Sounds

MIDI Sounds


Early Research