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Topic: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    The title says it all. In fact, does anybody know if Mr Spectrum has already done one? If that Trilogy acoustic bass is anything to go by, it would be a serious contender in the piano field.

    Just a thought,
    Aqua.

  2. #2

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    I think that there are plenty of excellent piano libraries currently available, some would say too many.

    With all due respect to Eric, do we really need another piano developer in the mix?

    I think Eric's best work comes through in libraries that explore sonic horizons that are not focused on acoustic accuracy as much as a blend of synthetic and natural sounds. Products like Distorted Reality and Atmosphere have really set a standard for this type of libraries that has been hard for anyone else to match. Just as much as I wouldn't ask Michiel Post to do an ethereal and sound designish sample library, I think Eric would be limited doing a piano library.

    But I could be completely wrong and maybe one is already in the works.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  3. #3

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    Hi

    <Quote> I think Eric's best work comes through in libraries that explore sonic horizons that are not focused on acoustic accuracy as much as a blend of synthetic and natural sounds <End Quote>

    But this is precisely my point. Personally, I am looking for something a little different, perhaps a little less purist in a piano library. I like the idea of taking a really well recorded acoustic sample set and adding a little synthetic 'magic' to increase its warmth, harmonic content, brilliance etc.

    Spectrasonics did this with their Atmosphere strings and produced something far more evocative and instantly more gratifying than the larger, more formal libraries out there imho.

    Purism can be a little bland at times ...

  4. #4

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    Quote Originally Posted by Aqua Tarkus
    But this is precisely my point. Personally, I am looking for something a little different, perhaps a little less purist in a piano library. I like the idea of taking a really well recorded acoustic sample set and adding a little synthetic 'magic' to increase its warmth, harmonic content, brilliance etc.
    GigaPiano II

  5. #5

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    I think that there are plenty of excellent piano libraries currently available, some would say too many.

    With all due respect to Eric, do we really need another piano developer in the mix?

    I think Eric's best work comes through in libraries that explore sonic horizons that are not focused on acoustic accuracy as much as a blend of synthetic and natural sounds. Products like Distorted Reality and Atmosphere have really set a standard for this type of libraries that has been hard for anyone else to match. Just as much as I wouldn't ask Michiel Post to do an ethereal and sound designish sample library, I think Eric would be limited doing a piano library.

    But I could be completely wrong and maybe one is already in the works.
    Exactly!

    OT: But im VERY curious about what tricks he has in store for Atmosphere II

  6. #6

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    Come on--let's have a lot more pianos: from Post, East-West, Vintaudio, Worra, Sonic Reality, VSounds, Coakely, Kurzweil, KSounds. The more libraries, the more the possibilities will open for us all when we sit down to play.

    Will I spend too much time researching them all and tweaking the few I can afford? Absolutely. Can I afford them all? Not at all.

    What I want, though, is a better interface: something closer to SampleTank as an interface (God, I said it), that will let me choose among twenty pianos and make basic edits and effects changes on the same screen, and let me click a button to reach a screen that will let me make more detailed edits on zones and samples.

  7. #7

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    that sounds like you are describing the Synthogy interface. At first glance it appears to be the most user friendly interface I've seen yet.

  8. #8

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    Regarding a better interface: I feel very strong for such an improvement for the current choice of piano libraries. I guess you've all received this interface design picture in some mailing list or another:

    Now this is what pianists like! A nice looking, well designed interface.
    But I do have some problems with it.
    For a starter this interfcae offers many controls that seem reaonable. But when you dig deeper into the nature of pianos you will see that the controls are way to limited to become useful and don't come close to what GigaStudio 3 offers in terms of control over the timbre, reverb, resonance, adsr times, eq, dynamics etc

    Let's follow the picture from top left to bottom right and examine the interface on functionality.
    Loading and saving instruments and presets: that was common from -say 6 years ago- when Gigasampler introduced it. In fact the current GS3 standard goes way beyond simple patches, you can create stacks of instruments with GigaPulse embedded ambience and resonance and save them together with all their plug-ins, plug-in settings and mixer settings, complete with routing and all midi assignments.
    Then the Soundboard dropdown menu with volume and on/off control. This a is nice way to show some options for sustain. Unfortunately you are stuck with the limited sets of the Ivory. GS3 does exactlty the same but is an open platform. You can create you own soundboard effects, load new models when they become available and get more control over all parameters (not just volume and on/off) but also pre-delay, panning, perspective, mix balance and combinations of microphone types.

    Next to that we find the Release time. Why only release time? You should be able to control Attack, sustain, decay and release time and you should be able to control these with common midi sources such as keyboard position, velocity and midi controllers to change the ADSR settings freely. This is possible in all samplers and is essential in making the right sound for a specific piano.
    Adjustable keynoise is fine, but once again you are stuck with one sound. No freedom to assign other sounds, no control over release or decay of the keynoise. And we miss the pedal sound.
    Next comes timbre. For a few beginners such a primitive timbre control (going from bass to treble I presume) could work as a basic tool to change the overall quality of sound. But for the vast majority of pianists a parametric equalizer in combination with advanced steep (switchable) filters do a better job in shaping piano sounds to taste.
    Dynamic range is a comparable story. A simply slider to set an overall dynamic range is very basic and simply doubles the initial velocity scaling of a master midi keyboard. The normal implementation of dynamics is: adjustable velocity crossing points, velocity scaling (per layer), overall velocity response with velocity scaling curve and adjustable velocity for filters, adsr and amplitude.
    No comments on buffer size, voices and tuning. Only stereo perspective strikes me. Why only two choices? Why not mono or a combination of close, medium ambient (stage), ambient etc.

    Then last row: Synth layer. I feel this is a mistake. Who wants to spoil a piano sound with thin synth layer? Ok, some will want to do so but I think it should not be there.
    Then you see release samples and soft pedal samples with a simple on/off switch. Now release samples need a lot more than just switching them on or off. You need detailed control over release time, overall level, dynamic response and filtering. On/Off is a short cut that cannot work. Same for softsamples. You need to switch softsamples on and off with a hardware pedal on the floor not on the computer screen.

    For clarity: I did not play Ivory yet. Form what I have heard from the demos on the website the pianos are not ground breaking but ok. I am curious about the 32 bit story though. Why would you need 32 bit when 24 bit is giving us so many millions nuances already. Would the disadvantage of 50% extra data load be justified by better sound? I doubt it and didn't hear it in the demos.

    Why this rant? Well if you translate my comments above into a new product design a talented programmer could create a similar looking interface which gives access to all the parameters I described that are essential for pianos. It is my sincere hope that people like Eric Persing (who has access to these programming sources) will enter the arena with such an interface. The functional design could follow from my comments.
    Or you could start looking at GigaStudio, Halion and Kontakt as better products that offer all of the essential controls, although not all in one window. Sometimes they are fragmented over different screens, sometimes you need to open a separate editor to reach a parameter. But in general you get more bang for the buck when you follow a full feature sampler route.

    Pianos are the forefront of sampling technology ever since Gigasampler shipped with Gigapiano I. I believe there are many out there who would welcome a well designed interface to operate the currently available piano sample sets in more detail from a simple screen.
    I hope someone picks up the idea.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post


  9. #9

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    I couldn't agree more about the strangely missing things in the Synthogy interface--as nice as it is to look at, I'm instantly worried about an interface that doesn't let me control the ADSR envelope on a piano. (Yet I was shot down in a KVR thread a while back by someone claiming that with unlooped samples, there's no need to control the amp envelope...)

    In any case, I'd love to have more control over all the parameters in a simpler interface, too. (Didn't mean to imply that we should reduce function for a cleaner interface. Something like the VSampler interface might work: it uses buttons that function like tabs to expose the samples\velocity layers\ and envelopes for the ADSR and filters.)

  10. #10

    Re: I would love Spectrasonics to sample a piano

    I'm risking that you disagree with my comment, but there is no ADSR settings on a Steinway D. A sampled piano is supposed to be a sampled piano, what I mean is that I would not mind having an On/Off switch only as long as it sounds like that wood and metal Steinway D :-)
    I also somehow like the concept that I don't have to purchase Gigastudio just to play a particular piano library - fully understand the consequences of my decision but a pianist is not necessarily a sample developer.
    The synth layer on a sampled piano however was quite a surprise at first to me too
    best regards

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