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  • in reply to: Build Decent Sampler instruments automatically #3925
    Risto Sipola

    In my previous message I mentioned the idea of listing items/samples vertically in order to detect possible timing issues. I introduced a hacky way of doing that using the arranging script. Now we can forget that since I developed new scripts specifically for that purpose.

    Here’s a tutorial video:

    in reply to: Build Decent Sampler instruments automatically #3919
    Risto Sipola

    Just a quick clarification: The bug found had nothing to do with the chopping script. Bringing the chopping script up was a bit off-topic but hopefully some of those thoughts were useful. I think getting the automatic chopping right is key for the usability of the system. Other phases in the process are more predictable and easier to monitor. It seems to me that the chopping script works really well. I hope to hear if it works for other people too.

    By “one should worry about” I meant “one should pay attention to”.

    in reply to: Build Decent Sampler instruments automatically #3918
    Risto Sipola

    I just found out that there was a critical bug in the DS instrument builder. The problem has now been fixed in the newest version. I learned about the bug via a bug report. I don’t know if anyone else had encountered this showstopper bug.

    If there are any problems with the scripts, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Chances are that a bug is easy to fix and I can make a new version quickly. In these initial phases there might be some clumsy mistakes in the code.

    At the moment I don’t really know how many people have tried the scripts and what kind of user experiences have they had. Feedback and questions are welcome! 🙂

    If we can get the scripts working reliably, I think they could be really useful to the Pianobook community. In my estimation it is possibly eliminate almost all of the time-consuming, boring, and tiring work. As a trade-off one must learn to use the scripts and perhaps pay close attention to some new aspects in a sampling project.

    One of the things one should worry about is the chopping accuracy and consistency. It would be great if one could eventually trust the automation almost fully. One way to check the chopping quality is to arrange the items/samples vertically right after chopping. In practice you would create a marker ‘arr 39 nopitch’ or something. The number can be whatever as long as it’s smaller than 40*. Running the arranging script should now place the items on new tracks. After that it should be easy to see/measure if there are any inconsistencies with the sample start times. Once this check has been done, one can undo the action and return to the normal workflow.

    *for more tracks use a dynamic level point, for example ‘arr 39 39 1 nopitch 65’. This should give you 78 tracks. ‘arr 39 39 39 1 nopitch 40 80’ gives you 117 tracks.

    My experience has been so far that the chopping algorithm works really well when there isn’t too much noise in the signal. Usually the “side-chain EQ method” can help a lot when there is a significant amount of noise in the recording. I introduced this method in the video “Chopping a noisy drum recording” and used it again in the video “Creating a sample piano”.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


    in reply to: Build Decent Sampler instruments automatically #3468
    Risto Sipola

    Thanks for the comments!

    I set up an email account where users can send bug reports. You can also send me feedback and questions. The contact info is included in the readme files (now available on github).

    in reply to: Sampling guitar tips? #3439
    Risto Sipola

    A clarification: By “string patch” I was referring to the two sample sets included in RJS Guitar: ‘New Strings’ and ‘Old Strings’. Both of those are independent sample instruments. So, for one sampled guitar I recorded ca. 200 samples.

    in reply to: Sampling guitar tips? #3438
    Risto Sipola


    Maybe I can share my thoughts on the subject. Some of this will be about sampling in general, and you might already be familiar with that stuff.

    I think a good way to start a project is to assess how many samples you are ready to record and process. It is also useful to think about the articulations because some articulations are harder to execute than others. The practicalities of sampling can be the biggest challenge. A well planned sampling session can save you a lot of time and energy.

    Samples inhabit a 3D space:

    1. notes on a keyboard,
    2. velocity layers,
    3. sequence positions (round robins).

    It makes a huge difference which dimension you decide to emphasize. And the workload will practically force one to make compromises here.

    Let’s say you want to make a library suited for heavily distorted metal music with lots of repeated notes and not much dynamics. In this case I would prioritize round robin samples over velocity layers.

    With RJS Guitar I did the opposite. I prioritized velocity layers because I like instruments that respond well to dynamic playing. For that I sacrificed range and rapid fire repeatability of notes. Each string patch has 210 samples in it. Some of the samples are shared, so, in total I recorded something close to 400 samples. My success rate for recording a note was maybe somewhere around 70-80%, meaning that for 7 or 8 usable samples I had to record 10 attempts. The success rate is a rough estimate, it could actually be a bit worse. Anyway, I think the performance was pretty good. So, I probably recorded something between 500 and 600 samples. And I also ended up chopping a lot of samples that were eventually discarded. It’s tedious work. Poor choices made in the beginning can cost a lot later.

    Processing and mapping samples by hand takes a lot more time than recording them. (At least if you don’t have to design and arrange an acoustic recording setup.)

    Regarding your questions:

    I think every articulation you list could work. Bends might be challenging because they imply rhythm. Vibrato is a little bit in that category too, but there seems to be some tolerance for vibrato that goes against the rhythm of the music. RJS Guitar has vibrato and it has never really bothered me that much. I didn’t know if it would work at all when I started making the library.

    About circle of fifths etc: I think sampling every other note (2 semitone spacing) is really good. 3 semitone spacing works ok. 4-5 semitone spacing is probably where the problems start to show up. If there are no round robin samples nor a significant amount of velocity layers then playing adjacent notes will reveal that they are the same sample. Repeating timbral qualities start to poke your ears in a toy-piano-like fashion. And connecting samples that are far apart might be awkward because of the changes in timbre (caused by pitch shifting and the guitar itself). Somehow these effects are not equally detrimental to pianos.

    About processed vs dry samples: I tried processed samples, and they didn’t work for me. It could be possible to make them work. If you make a large sample set, don’t commit to a printed sound unless you have done extensive experimenting and are really sure about using the printed effects. Of this I’m pretty sure: Pre-printed distortion won’t mix convincingly in chords, if the aim is to sound like a single guitar. If you record dry guitar straight into your computer and organize your project well then you can easily experiment with printed effects by re-rendering samples. Old sample files just get overwritten so you don’t have to change anything in your Kontakt instrument.

    About release samples: They probably would do some magic as a final touch, but, are they a good investment? Maybe. The resources are limited. How to spend a sampling budget?

    If you happen to be a Reaper user then you might want to check out the automation scripts I created after chopping those 500 samples. 😉

    I hope this was useful! 🙂


    in reply to: Build Decent Sampler instruments automatically #3426
    Risto Sipola

    Here’s a new tutorial!

    Decent Sampler Instrument Builder Kit: Creating a multi mic true legato instrument

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)