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Topic: A way to resolve those 'Got a bad Library blues'

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  1. #1

    A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    I still feel the primary reason users (i.e., me-but I assume I\'m not alone in this) want a way to get their money back is the simple fact that they are ALWAYS buying a pig in a poke. There is no adequate way to predetermine if a library really has the tools that the individual needs. Demos are inaccurate at best-MP3s do not show the true character of the samples and and are virtually always constructed to show the best features, while downplaying the weaknesses (of course...)

    I have many gigabytes of samples I will probably never use, and I know for a fact my collection is much smaller than that of many members of this forum. Every one of these libraries was purchased after careful listening to the provided demos, and every one of them proved to be something other than what I needed-I think.

    After listening to the works created by others using the same libraries, I know that some of the failure is my own, I don\'t understand how these lobraries were meant to be used. That\'s my problem, and I don\'t want to put it on the developers.

    BUT: It would be a great help to the user base if two things could occur-first, each demo be posted in two forms: the demo as it is in final form, and the demo without DSP or tweaks applied, just the real samples as originally recorded. Second, to ship the libraries with actual examples and documentation: this same demo deconstructed-a GSP with the raw samples used (from this lib,) the MIDI file that created the phrase and a list of FX applied, plus a quick exposition of how and why it was done this way.

    Yep-training! It\'s not a great additional burden. The demo is already done, just make a copy of the MIDI file and note the tracks that aren\'t from this library, and make a copy of the GSP, again with the other libraries removed. now a couple of paragraphs explaining what was done and why those choices were made, and the user can recreate it him/her self. And when those Altiverb-drenched horns don\'t sound the same with the user\'s Furman Spring Reverb, he can go back to the raw demo and verify that this is where the difference lies, not in his performance.

    This does several things-we get to hear both versions of the demo, so we hear what CAN be done, and what to expect out of the box, eliminating much of that \"Omigawd,this is terrible\' feeling we sometimes get when first playing a new file. Plus it gives significant insight into how to apply the samples in the way they were intended.

    If this could be done, I think many user post-sale complaints would vanish like the ring-bearer slipping on the One True Ring.

    For already-existing libraries, and for those that are so full there is no room on the CD, these files could be posted on the developer\'s website. They\'re not big, a page of tex, another MP3 and a GSP are only a couple megs at best.

    Comments? Criticism? Go back to your sandbox and leave the orchestration to the REAL players?

    Dasher

  2. #2

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Sample libraries are a bit like cars, you can rely on BMW to put out good quality, but you really gotta test drive it! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Too bad these sample libraries are just too large to download completely via the internet. Otherwise developers could go the Waves (and many other vendors of music software) route and let you download the fully functional version for a limited time before it self destructs. Wouldn\'t that be great? Of course there would be new technical issues for the vendor when allowing sample downloads instead of executable programs, but those could be handled.

    Carl

  4. #4

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Here\'s the scenario:

    I hear a great demo of the new IlioEastYellowFish brass section lib. Wow! Just the sound I\'m looking for. I plunk down my $400 plus tax and shipping, and a week later, it\'s at my door.

    SCENARIO 1:
    I install IEYF Brass to my system. But... the trumpets are out of tune, the trombomes have no bite and the horns sound like kazoos! These sounds couldn\'t have made the demo I heard, could they? Just for \'fun\' I try to emulate the deom, and even with all the processing I can muster, it sounds like a sick cat. Result-one unhappy customer, who does two things: I go online to Northernsounds and say \'This lib bites the big one,\' and I NEVER buy from that vendor again.

    SCENARIO 2:
    I install IEYF Brass to my system. But... the trumpets are out of tune, the trombomes have no bite and the horns sound like kazoos! These sounds couldn\'t have made the demo I heard, could they? I open the GSP file, which contains only links to the IEYF files, and and open the MIDI file of the demo, and read the demo info. IEYF used GOS and Dan Dean Woodwinds beside their brass lib. They also used 3dB at 1200Hz to brighten up the bones, cut 800 on the hornz and put a bit of chorus on trumpets 2 and 3 to help resolve the tuning. I have Dan\'s winds, but my strings are AO. Close enough-I set up the rest of the GSP to match the midi file and info, and apply some generic reverb to the result. Voila-it doesn\'t sound exactly like the demo, but it\'s well inside the ballpark. I study the midi file and see how the author used the sets to achieve his results. I\'ve learned something about how to make this lib work like it was intended, and I\'m now a satisfied customer. I tell NS it\'s a great lib.

    Now the next potential purchaser, who has zero experience with GS and samplers at large, but read my post, gets a window into how to use the tool, and decides to take the plunge. Another sale, another happy camper.

    And all it cost the author was an hour or so of time to set this up.

    Dasher

  5. #5

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Hmmmmm... Interesting. We also gotta regard the fact that we are within a young industry. I guess we are just aging and getting more sceptical. My first experience with sampling was a koto on the mirage sampler. It was to die for that I could actually play another \"real\" instrument on a keyboard. Today we want at least 250 voices in upcoming gigaproducts, we want 24-32 bit resolution, we want the choice of where the damn mics are placed, natural ambience, no ambience, dry and wet, we want bite, we want silk smooth strings, we want it all and we are getting it.

    But we have also matured and we cant respect any breakbeats out of sync or instruments out of tune. Hehehe. Human beings are fragile things.

    Love - Chris

  6. #6

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Chris, I\'m not sure I understand your point. I\'ve seen hundreds of complaints on this board about the inability to properly preview sample libraries, and the inability to resell one that turns out to be inadequate for our purposes.

    To help us make a decision to spend hundreds, and now thousands, of dollars, all we as consumers have to listen to are demos created by someone which display a particular library, showing it\'s strong points and doing its best to hide its weak ones. This is called marketing, and when it applies to a bar of soap I have no problem. If I think the soap sucks, I\'m out a buck or two. But if I think the library sucks, I have just eaten up a significant portion of my annual budget for new sounds, and I can\'t legally do anything about it.

    I bought this library based on a demo, or demos (what ELSE did I have to base the purchase on?) What\'s wrong with asking the demonstrator to pull back the curtains and teach us how he performed his magic? The implied promise of the demo is that I, too, can make this kind of magic, if I can decipher the author\'s processes. If he shows me how he did it, then I have a MUCH better chance of doing this also, making me a better-educated user, a better performer/creator, and a happpier customer. I stop bad-mouthing the library, and start praising it, and the developer. I buy more of his libraries, because I have confidence in the company and author. I stop complaining that I can\'t resell the library, becuase now I want to keep it. As I see it, this is a win-win situation.

    And I can do this at the expense of only a very few hours of the developer\'s time.

    Hey, my first sequencer was a single-track MIDI recorder I wrote in Apple Macro Assembler and called, prophetically, Performer, and my first sampler was the Apple Mountain Hardware digital oscillator card set, with a front end and driver I wrote in Applesoft and assembler. I took the Computer Music Journal\'s sounds-of-the-month and typed them in, byte by byte, and when it was all entered, compiled it for the card (8-bit, 256 step pitch and amplitude for 16 harmonics.) Amazing sound!

    But now, that flute that blew me away because it had breath in the attack has a couple dozen articulations to choose from, perhaps keyswitches, velocity or mod wheel selection of articulations, phrases, or dynamics, and there are simply too many choices to spend hours or days figuring out how THIS developer assumed his library would be used. Documenting the demo file would quickly put the processes in perspective.

    What am I missing here? Is this really too much to ask for? When I buy a $29 game, it comes with instructions, why can\'t my $1K string library? [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

    Dasher

  7. #7

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Just to play a bit of devil\'s advocate here.... It seems to me that in this fast-paced \'need it now generation\' many people expect everything handed to them instantly. I\'m not saying this as a cut on you at all, I sort of agree with you, however there are no \'secrets\' , getting good results come from PRACTICE of your craft. That can\'t be given in a midi file, it can be acquired by continually honing your craft. I for one, am a little turned off by all of this software coming out that makes anyone a freakin genius just by installing the software. I like that I have to work to get decent results and that I\'m not where I want to be yet soundwise. I like that I feel like I have worked hard to improve my craft over time. Asking sample developers to provide your samples, engineer your sound, produce your sound, give you all of their techniques - that\'s asking alot and I don\'t think it\'s their responsibility. I think the beauty of Giga is that it captures real sounds - which in the real world are sometimes raw. If you go to a studio and track a drum kit, with no compressors, eq, verb, etc. it sounds pretty raw. Now when you start to tweak, a little tuck here, some comp here, that\'s when it starts to sound like something - both polished - and more importantly - YOUR OWN. Your input and tweaking makes it your individual sound - and I for one would rather work hard to achieve my own decent individual sound, then using a stock unmodified sound that makes you sound like everyone else. I think most of us can judge pretty well from these boards if a library is a dud or is great and take it from there....

  8. #8

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Dasher,

    Since you’re on the subject (even though this wasn’t specifically directed at us): The pending update for GOS will include additional tutorials explaining some of the more interesting of the original technique demos posted on the GOS site, plus a couple of new ideas. These tutorials will cover such things as the site’s opening theme, arpeggios, rapid runs, double stops, and glissandi. The explanations will include instrument lists, MIDI data files and screenshots to help the user decipher the demos. We actually started the tutorial process with the last update where we included explanations of the variability short bows and Slides Toolbox. I’m sure there will be more such tutorials offered in the future. We try our best to give users support in realizing the full potential of the library. Sometimes that means providing help over the telephone on specific hurdles they are encountering. We may not have all the answers but we give it our best shot. There\'s also a user tips section on the GOS site.

    One other thing: Almost all of the full orchestration demos on the GOS site are submitted by users (lots of them!). To date we have purposely avoided producing a big and slick in-house demo for the reasons you stated. It is much more valuable for people to hear what actual users are able to create with the tools we provide. A features “overview” demo has been created for the NAMM show but that’s a little different than the usual big, fully orchestrated demos. Someday we may create an all-out demo to see how far we can take these tools but that will be primarily out of curiosity.

    Tom

  9. #9

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    With reference to the first comments on this, I\'m still working on my \"big project\" but I certainly go along with much of what is said.

    Although it is still a long while from completion, I\'m almost ready to push out some demo sounds and downloads on my upcoming website.

    My ambitions/thoughts are simple.

    1.Produce valid demos of excerpts from well known pieces to show how it can be done with the tools provided (and with no cheating).
    2. Provide them in straight \"wav\" format for full quality and MPEG3 for quicker downloads.
    3. Provide them in totally dry original form
    4. Also Provide them in suitable reverberated form as I feel they should be used.

    In addition I also intend to provide usable GS downloads (though very much falling short of the actual possibilities achieveable with the full library) which should serve as a sufficient incentive to purchase the full product.

    For those bonafide purchasers, not only will they have access to further extensions/additions etc. but should they really wish, they will be able to request the original raw recorded sounds (though I wouldn\'t necessarly recommend it).

    The disks will be short individual runs so that any quirks/problems, can be quickly addressed on further releases and the updates provided to those prior purchasers that need them.

    Add to all this a sensible price and the after sales backup to cater for individual purchasers desires and needs and I hope that the whole thing will be supported by the somewhat specialist users of this sort of library.

    I\'m probably barking up the wrong telegraph pole but then that\'s how I would wish it if I was buying a library.

    Regards
    C

  10. #10

    Re: A way to resolve those \'Got a bad Library blues\'

    Tom Hopkins said:
    Since you’re on the subject (even though this wasn’t specifically directed at us): The pending update for GOS will include additional tutorials explaining some of the more interesting of the original technique demos posted on the GOS site, plus a couple of new ideas. These tutorials will cover such things as the site’s opening theme, arpeggios, rapid runs, double stops, and glissandi. The explanations will include instrument lists, MIDI data files and screenshots to help the user decipher the demos
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Tom. that\'s exactly what I\'m talking about-tech support from those that understand the developer\'s intent. That will be an enormous help in deciphering the complexity of the library-there are so MANY options, which ones were designed to work together. Many, many hours will be saved by this. By the way, I wasn\'t thinking of GOS at all with these commentzx, I don\'t have your product but the degree of support I see evidence by your customer base told me you already were being helpful.

    Donimon said:
    It seems to me that in this fast-paced \'need it now generation\' many people expect everything handed to them instantly. I\'m not saying this as a cut on you at all, I sort of agree with you, however there are no \'secrets\' , getting good results come from PRACTICE of your craft. That can\'t be given in a midi file, it can be acquired by continually honing your craft. I for one, am a little turned off by all of this software coming out that makes anyone a freakin genius just by installing the software. I like that I have to work to get decent results and that I\'m not where I want to be yet soundwise. I like that I feel like I have worked hard to improve my craft over time. Asking sample developers to provide your samples, engineer your sound, produce your sound, give you all of their techniques - that\'s asking alot and I don\'t think it\'s their responsibility
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Don, you\'re missing my point. I dislike the \'do it itself\' software as much as you do. That\'s not at all what I\'m talking about. Real life example:

    My first computer was a Kim 1 single board 6502 computer with 1K RAM on board, and a six-digit seven segment display, with a 6520 (maybe 65630, it\'s been twenty years) for I/O. The manuals included the 6502 users guide (all the hex codes and a brief description) and a similar reference for the I/O chip. The actual instruction book for the Kim 1 consisted of a book that dscribed the power requirements, the boot ROM startup sequence, where and what to deposit in the reset registers to regain control of the machine and a note that said to display output on the seven degment display, you deposited the number into memory location somthing-or-other.

    No instructions on how to program, that wasn\'t considered pzrt of the program-if you didn\'t know how, why were you buying it?

    So I spent a few weeks and taught myself how to make it work, and how to code and hand-assemble 6502 machine code. But I never could get the display to show anything. I\'d put a number in the register, and nothing would happen-very frustrating.

    Then one day Dr. Dobbs published a little game for the Kim 1, written by one of the chipset\'s developers. And the code showed the display register displaying \'asteroids\' you had to dodge. And the instructions explained how a number deposited into the register would only flash for 1/60th of a second, and that you had to strobe the register over and over to make it visible. I went back and reread the manuals VERY carefully, and NOWHERE was this little bit of info published.

    This is what I\'m talking about-minimal information on what the developer was thinking when he chose to use mod wheel rather than keyswitch, the kind of information that comes with any moderately technical product. Not holding my hand, describing the product from the practical application standpoint.

    I don\'t get to try the product before I buy it, so I feel it IS the developer\'s responsibility to explain a minimal amount about his design philosophy or concept.

    Popsitive example: When I bought the Bardstown Bose, I ordered on the phone - Kip spent 15 minutes with me explaining what he thought each patch in the gig was most appropriate for. More than necessary, but it shows he understands what I\'m talking about-thanks, Kip! When I played the piano, I didn\'t always agree that this particular patch was best-suited for this effect, but I knew where it was coming from, and that let me apply it from a position of knowledge. The docs included went through the same processes, but as he said, \"Not everybody reads them...\"

    And bottom line, I\'m looking for waysw to improve customer relations, ao there are more GS customers, and more GS sample libraries, and less complaints...

    Dasher

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