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Topic: making your own bell samples

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  1. #1

    making your own bell samples

    Hi all,

    Well, I finally have a nice portable recording setup (laptop, multiface, Reason, Cubase SX2, etc.) and the opportunity to record a bell choir, 4 octaves, in a nice sounding local church. I would like to record the indiviual bells, allowing to deacay naturally, and them edit them into individual samples. The thing is I have never really done anything like this before.

    My first thought is to try and convert them into soundfont files and play them in the NN-XT sampler of Reason. However, I have no idea how to do this. Is there software that will enable me to do this? I do not have access to another sampler but would consider purchasing one (ie. Kompact) if this proved easier. Any thoughts?

    Thank you and happy holidays everyone.

    John

  2. #2

    Re: making your own bell samples

    Hi Jake and thank you for the response. I do intend to record at 24 bit with a multiple mics set up at various distances.

    So if I understand, to keep them at a high bit resolution Soundfonts are not the best way to go. Also, could I use Kompact to play these samples as Kontact is a bit out of my price range for now? I have checked NI\'s web site and this seems possible.

    I hope to post the results when I am finished though it may be a while.

    All the best.

    John

  3. #3

    Re: making your own bell samples

    You can only play your sample set back in Kompakt once its been programed in Kontakt or GS. Kontakt and GS and Halion are great for mapping your samples and creating custom patches. Also, GS doesnt support 24-bit samples yet [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Rich

  4. #4

    Re: making your own bell samples

    Originally posted by Jake Johnson:
    I\'ve yet to hear bell samples that I\'ve liked. (But I\'ve only heard older demos, and never purchased a bell library). They\'re either been too distantly mic\'ed, or mic\'ed in such a way that either the strike or the overtones are missing. A problem with bells, I think--if you put a mic too close, the strike volume is going to be huge, but reducing the gain will reduce the sound of the overtones. On the other hand, mic\'ing it at a distance will create a low stike sound and a reduced sound of the overtones. Hope you\'ll record in 24 bit and keep the samples at that rate. I\'m looking forward to what you do, and hope you\'ll let us hear the results.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hi Jake, interesting post. Have you heard the demo of the handbells? ( http://www.themusicdifference.com/order/giga/demos.html ). I tried several distances when I recorded this set of handbells a few years ago and eventually settled on about 10 feet from the bells (same problem you described...the bells needed some room to \"bloom\"). Any comments on the demo? What do you like about it and not like about it? Thanks in advance :-)

    Peace, Kev

  5. #5

    Re: making your own bell samples

    You\'d have much more control over the samples in Kontakt or Giga. On the other hand, if you plan to share these files, people could load them into Kontakt or Giga on their own to convert them. Or you could do this too if you later purchase Kontakt or Giga. A soundfont just compresses the wav files. They can later be decompressed.

    In any case, after you create the wav files, be sure to store and never overwrite the raw samples, so if you do any destructive processing (noise removal, compression, etc), save the new files separately. That way, you can always go back to square one.

    I\'m working on some samples, too. And much of my work has been in moving mics around and listening to single notes, trying to find the sweet spot for hearing each sound. (I started out wanting to record everything as efficiently as possible, but I soon realied that the most important thing I could do, first, was to get the very best samples.

    I\'ve yet to hear bell samples that I\'ve liked. (But I\'ve only heard older demos, and never purchased a bell library). They\'re either been too distantly mic\'ed, or mic\'ed in such a way that either the strike or the overtones are missing. A problem with bells, I think--if you put a mic too close, the strike volume is going to be huge, but reducing the gain will reduce the sound of the overtones. On the other hand, mic\'ing it at a distance will create a low stike sound and a reduced sound of the overtones. Hope you\'ll record in 24 bit and keep the samples at that rate. I\'m looking forward to what you do, and hope you\'ll let us hear the results.

    Anyone know the wavelength of various bells? (Am I right in thinking that the mic needs to be placed at the distance that allows the wave to develop at least once. Seems like several mic placements would be great for this.

  6. #6

    Re: making your own bell samples

    (By the way, you might want to repost your question with something like \"Making your own bell samples\" in the title, since people with a lot of knowledge about recording precussion instruments and bells will be more likely to read the post...)

    All the best.

  7. #7

    Re: making your own bell samples

    Hey rich,

    Thank you for the info. I knew that Giga was not yet 24 bit, I\'ve been following the endless saga on the elusive V3.

    The information on Kompact is most helpful. So it seems Kontakt is more of interest or perhaps Halion if making samples is the desire.

    Kevin, gave your samples a listen, they sound nice.

    John

  8. #8

    Re: making your own bell samples

    Vsampler may be the best way to get your feet wet, come to think about it. The interface is faily easy to work with (a much, much better interface than Kontakt), and you can save your files as soundfonts or in the VSampler format. It would be fairly easy for you to record the bells in Cubase and drag the samples into VSampler.

    (Are you aware that you may want additional processing tools to let you manipulate the sound prior to creating the sample set? The ideal is to avoid any processing whatsoever, to give the purest, most transparent recording of each. But if you record under less than ideal circumstances, on the other hand, you sometimes may want to use a little compression to boost the signal of a pp layer or some noise reduction to get rid of hiss you may not have even noticed while you were recording.

    In any case, VSampler works as a standalone or as a VSTI. Also relatively inexpensive. You might check out the screenshots at vsampler.com. Very good way to learn your way around a softsampler.

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