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Topic: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

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  1. #1
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    "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    There is a feature that may be of interest on the Sweetwater.com site.

    The "State of the Art: Insider's Guide to Virtual Instruments features a Panel of Industry Experts including Northern Sounds members Eric Persing, Dave Kerzner, Nick Batzdorf and yours truly (are all those guys really 'experts'? ). Craig Anderton, Jim Cooper, Roy Campanella and Mark Hiskey also join in the discussion.

    Here is the link to the feature: http://www.sweetwater.com/feature/vi...teoftheart.php

    The panel discusses where we're at with virtual instruments, the benefits of virtual instruments, standards, and where we're headed in the future. "The result is an interesting commentary on the state of the virtual instrument art, and an intriguing compass pointer toward where the state of the art will be in the near future."

    Enjoy,

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Enjoyable read.

    Of course, I can't talk about any of the things we are working on until they are ready to ship, but it's safe to say that you are going to see a lot of innovation from Spectrasonics

    When I read things like this, I get excited. I know its happening but there's always a part of me that assumes Eric Persing and crew have released RMX and are sunning it up on some beach all day long with the earnings. Probably because that's what I'd be doing. Its great to hear that their brains are ticking away daily at performing the next leap.
    Trev Parks

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    Cool Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Interesting 'window' into the "state of the art". Plainly, it would seem, software is where it's at and can only get better as we have operating systems that can support more and more gigs of RAM! (Programs have been memory hogs from day 1 -- it's hard to imagine how many things ran so successfully on the 64K Apple ][ !)
    Quote Originally Posted by T Parks
    Of course, I can't talk about any of the things we are working on until they are ready to ship, but it's safe to say that you are going to see a lot of innovation from Spectrasonics
    Hmmmmmmmmm. Why the constraint? Is that British law or something?

    Garritan announced Jazz and Big Band, solo Stradivarius violin and GPO-Advanced back in January somewhere around the time of a trade show and none of these have yet shipped (although rumor has it that Jazz and Big Band is really close and pre-orders are being taken). I'm old enough to remember when IBM used to "announce" what were called "fighting machines" (computer systems with specs that just out-bid the competition) until they were forced into signing a "consent decree" to stop doing that (based on non-delivery of many of the "announced" computers).

    I don't know what is worse: (a) NOT knowing what might be coming down the pike, or (b) being aware of announcements but then having the actual delivery be a totally uncommitted and indeterminate time.

    It would be nice to have a lot shorter lead time than 10 months between hearing about something (in the case of Jazz and Big Band) and having it on our shelves, but then again, look at the time from announcement of Giga 3 and when it arrived? (Was it really 18 months PLUS?)

    anyway ... my humble $0.02 ... KevinKauai

  4. #4

    Talking Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Quote Originally Posted by T Parks
    When I read things like this, I get excited. I know its happening but there's always a part of me that assumes Eric Persing and crew have released RMX and are sunning it up on some beach all day long with the earnings. Probably because that's what I'd be doing.
    LOL!! :-)))))

    I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that!

    Wow....

    Its great to hear that their brains are ticking away daily at performing the next leap.
    Yep...gotta use whatever we've got!

    spectrum :-)

  5. #5

    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    a Panel of Industry Experts including Northern Sounds members Eric Persing, Dave Kerzner, Nick Batzdorf and yours truly (are all those guys really 'experts'? )
    SSSHHHHHH! Don't tell anyone that my real expertise is in arguing about politics and religion in the off-topic area!

  6. #6
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    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKauai
    It would be nice to have a lot shorter lead time than 10 months between hearing about something (in the case of Jazz and Big Band) and having it on our shelves
    We announced Jazz & Big Band at Winter NAMM and expected the release to be much sooner. After all NAMM has been known to stand for "Not Available - Maybe May".

    We could have had the Jazz & Big Band library out much earlier. But one of the things that happens when you announce is that people make suggestions - and very good ones. Some wanted the inclusion of additional instruments and techniques - and we obliged. These potential user suggestions helped us make a better library - one that will be worth the wait. Also, when you are charting new territory (like a jazz collection that's never been done before), things can take longer since there is no roadmap nor others to follow.

    In the future, it would be easy to avoid making announcements until product is close to shipping. This makes sense from a competitive position and will help those who cannot wait, but then again we loose out on user input.

    Many people don't know what goes into making a sample library. One cannot make a sample library overnight (it usually takes at least 24 hours). Here's a timeline that us developers like to go by:
    12:00 Midnight - Kick-off party
    6:00 am - Concepts and planning
    6:13 - Press Release, Announce the Library at NAMM
    6:15 - Hire the musicians
    6:30 - Record
    7:00 - Edit
    8:00 - Program
    10:00 - Alpha release
    10:30 - Visit therapist
    11:00 - Beta release
    12:00 Noon - Final candidate
    1:00 pm - Build new headquarters
    2:45 - International expansion
    3:30 - Release Party
    11:59 - Launch, IPO on eBay
    And I was just going to announce the ultimate..... oh, never mind.... I really shouldn't write about any of the groundbreaking innovations we are working on until they are ready to release, but I just know people are going to be gobsmacked and utterly astounded.

    Gary Garritan

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    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    I didn't mean to single you out, Gary -- other than you have been very ambitious and open about your 2005 plans. I totally agree with you that listening to "other voices" and suggestions as a product is developing. But there's always "Release 1.1" and I would think that it in the increasingly competitive samples library market "time to market" would be a distinct advantage.

    I think a lot of folks (including me) would have been [i]very[/v] happy with "Release 1.0" of Jazz and Big Band delivered (say) in June with a "Release 1.1" kicker coming in October or even December. If you delivered the "basics" in Release 1.0, I'd even spring for a "Update fee" for "Release 1.1" (though you have been extremely generous in the HUGE improvements to GPO that you brought out for the shocking update price of $.00!).

    So when was that IPO? Do I need to be on a "friends and family" list?

    KevinKauai

  8. #8

    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    We could have had the Jazz & Big Band library out much earlier. But one of the things that happens when you announce is that people make suggestions - and very good ones. Some wanted the inclusion of additional instruments and techniques - and we obliged. These potential user suggestions helped us make a better library - one that will be worth the wait. Also, when you are charting new territory (like a jazz collection that's never been done before), things can take longer since there is no roadmap nor others to follow.

    In the future, it would be easy to avoid making announcements until product is close to shipping. This makes sense from a competitive position and will help those who cannot wait, but then again we loose out on user input.

    Gary Garritan
    As yet I don't have any of your products, although I am sorely tempted by the Jazz & Big Band library. However I totally understand your sentiments about sample library recording and release. I think that there is no answer to the "announcement followed by the long wait" or the "spring it on everyone by surprise" dilemma. Whatever you do, some people will be unhappy. If you take too long to release something, then it may be a better product, but the complaints will be that you can't keep to your deadlines. If you announce it when it is ready to ship then people will complain that you are not in touch with the user base, because it doesn't do A or B, or that you have missed some "really important" articulation or instrument.

    FWIW, as someone with no financial investment in your products at all (although I have recommended them to others), I don't care how you announce and release things. If I have survived up to now without a product, I can survive a few more months without it, After all you can't miss what you've never had......!

    D

  9. #9
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    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    In the future, it would be easy to avoid making announcements until product is close to shipping. This makes sense from a competitive position and will help those who cannot wait, but then again we loose out on user input...
    Gary Garritan
    I must agree here.

    When I was but a young stud at Berklee , hardware samplers had just arrived, and an 8 bit Ensoniq Mirage sampled piano (sampled about every major3rd for .75 seconds and then looped) was the greatest miracle ever to drop on music land. A Kurzweil was something no one could afford. We could only drool at the demo models in the music store, and talk turkey to the lucky bastard that spent all the day playing it – and getting paid for it! As new samples and more powerful samplers came along, our pallets were greatly enlarged.

    But I remember a discussion I had with some other students at the time. The general consensus was that there were 3 main instruments that samplers would have a very difficult time replicating to any convincing level. They were Piano, Electric Guitar, and Saxophone. Although, we knew that disk drive space would increase, we figured that this would simply store huge amounts of sample data that would load into vast amounts of RAM (But we sure didn’t foresee kernel-level disk streaming or DFD). By our estimates back then, the practical benefits would simply be that every note on a piano (for example), could be sampled and would have the full, natural decay – perhaps even multiple velocity levels – but man! That would take some serious RAM!

    Today, with DFD, IR, convolution, and scripting, the piano has been pretty much conquered in my opinion. – One down…

    Guitar – too many possible articulations, sound combinations, and too much expression (arguably more than a violin). With amp sims such as NI Guitar Rig, and Amplitube, the sound combinations are sure getting close. The articulations are there (mostly), and the expression is there via midi manipulation and clever Giga Imidi rules and Kontakt 2 scripts. Two down…

    Leaving…that dang sax, man! If you sample a sax note and play it back on a sampler – it sounds like crap and nothing like a sax – why? Because so much of what a sax is, is what is being blown into it (again, arguably more so than other brass/woodwind instruments). Apart from this, it also suffers from all of the same difficulties that the piano and electric guitar have had.
    Performance is the key to the sax. A good jazz sax player blows with almost the same percussive dynamics that a drummer would use on a snare drum. This changes the character and tone of the instrument completely. I think people will find that they key to well done sax parts on a sampler is dynamics, dynamics, dynamics! A sax can be mellow, dirty, or steamy…and it’s not all in articulation selections.
    Is this nut finally cracked too? From what I heard from a very early demonstration (back in February), of JaBB, I think they may have nailed it. In a room full of people blowing horns of various types in the hall at the TEMC in San Antonio, the Garritan horns fit right in.

    I wish I could find a more tactful way of saying this, but it took some real nuts to try and tackle such an ambitious product as a Jazz and Big Band library. Sure, I was drooling (more than usual). I wanted it NOW! But Gary is right, with user input, more time to refine and experiment, I am happy that it was announced when it was. Good things are always worth the wait.



    …2112
    P.S.
    a Panel of Industry Experts including Northern Sounds members Eric Persing, Dave Kerzner, Nick Batzdorf and yours truly
    3 guys and the Ape! Does Starbucks have Banannas?
    No worries Nick, we all know that you are an expert on everything.
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  10. #10

    Re: "VI State of the Art": Panel discusses Virtual Instruments at Sweetwater

    When I was but a young stud at Berklee
    Unless you're gay, your studliness wasn't much use there.


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