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Topic: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

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  1. #1

    Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    I've been spending time trying to get more intimate with the sample libraries I already own, and I realized that with the bar being raised so much in the last few years, it's really hard to use sample libraries that don't have all the current technology/programming--they appear very clumsy in comparison. So I was thinking, what are your personal standard when it comes to buying a new library? What features must it have so you won't feel cheated?

    For me, I would say:

    Alternation/Randomize for repeated notes - This one is a huge one for me. I can't stand patches without it anymore after having used ones with it. It just does so much for the natural and organic feel of your playing.

    Portamento/slide - This one is a huge headache for me. So many instruments can benefit from having it, but so few libraries actually have this feature. With it, new life could be given to old samples, without it, samples become static.

    Velocity switching - Almost all instruments change timbre as the volume changes--velocity switching (along with filter modulation) is absolutely necessary to capture that nuance.

    MOD wheel controlled patches (velocity, vibrato, filter..etc) - It's the ONE controller than almost everyone has readily available, yet so many sample libraries don't use it. I don't understand why.

    4 velocity layers minimum - Any less and the patch starts to sound very limited. Drums in particular need this as the timbre of drums changes so much with the amount of force you apply.

    Basic effects built into sample player (if it has its own player), for at least a preview of how patches sound with effects while you are composing/jamming--even if you don't use them for the finalized recording.

  2. #2

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    I think that anything I buy from here on out has to follow the VSL/Garritan models of musically useful real time playability in some form or another. At this point given the choice between just using a patch from a Roland keyboard that simply does what it does, real sounding or not, and a fancy sample lib that I have to spend 3 hours sorting articulations to get "realistic" results I'm playing the Roland. Garittan's Strad and the new VSL VI (which I can't afford at this point) are about what I want to be doing- playing music. I'm sick of being a programmer.

  3. #3

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    1. It must sound great.

    2. It must be a sample set I don't already have. I can't even count how many pianos there are out there and still more are being made.

    - G

  4. #4

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    Just give me a library of a friggin' stopped SOLO horn with a variety of articulations then I am happy already oh my god!

    Sorry that isn't really a "feature", couldn't resist though.

    Cheers,
    Frankie
    Dell Precision T3500 (Xeon W3520, 12GB RAM) / Windows 7 x64 / Sonar 8 / VE Pro / WIVI 2.3 / Kontakt 4 / G-Player 1.2

  5. #5
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    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    - The more samples per note the better ! (layers x alternates x articulations)

    - BUT : Good playability ! I don't like programming, I like to record "almost live" midi perf. Some library are more designed than others to be playable (I prefer handy switches of few good articulations + mod wheel than a pletora of unusable programmable choices)

    Well, it's not a "feature", but I would add :
    - Library carefully developped / adapted for the sampler I use.
    Samplers are not really interoperable, even for basic features (eg : volume/velocity modulation behavior, release management), and to often library are developed in one main sampler and too quickly translated into another. This bother me.

  6. #6

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    What you said Lunatique.

    Realism through variety and transparent playability. How many varieties of legato are there? (retorical question) We need them all! Long slides, short slides, no slide, slurring though (or to) any interval, harmonics, lip variations.

    Sections that have random variety within them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    Playability is #1.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    I wouldn't say "demand" as much as desire, however...

    What I have found is that the effectiveness of any sampling session and product is tied completely to the taste, musicality, and effectiveness of the producer as a musical thinker.

    If the producer has little idea about the behavioral aspects of the instruments he's sampling, it is very difficult for that producer to put something on the market which works. Many examples of this exist in orchestral instruments, where the producer just simply doesn't understand the intricacies of orchestral playing and puts out a product which cannot very effectively represent them.

    Playability is crucial to me. However, I find that playability is only a little related to automated velocity switching. For me, the greater failures in playability have always been behavioral again...

    For example, keyboard entry. There are two sets of expectations that must be satisfied. Say I am programming a trumpet. Not only must I get a full expressive range in the session, but I must also take into consideration good, healthy keyboard technique, and do some cross-examination of expectations. For a given behavioral result on the PIANO, what is the physical gesture a good player makes? Then, for the equivalent behavioral result on TRUMPET, how does that physical gesture--on piano--manifest in an EXPECTED behavior from the sampled instrument.

    Seems obvious, but in so many cases this very basic construct is missing.

    Layers>>>>>>> MORE MORE MORE

    Four layers is not enough to represent anything, especially an orchestral sound.

    I would say that eight layers is not enough.

    The minimum layer count I have found to be effective for representing a piano's behavior is sixteen. TBO, with 32, is better...the best so far. Michel's new Hybrids have 20 layers, I believe, and they're also very timbrally expressive...a pleasure to play. Predictable outcomes are what makes playability.

    When you get fewer layers than that, you break that model of "keyboard expectation equals predictable (insert instrument here) expectation."

    And without that, you no longer have playability.

  9. #9

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Layers>>>>>>> MORE MORE MORE

    Four layers is not enough to represent anything, especially an orchestral sound.
    ABSOLUTELY!!! Dead on.

    If the VSL Cube was adding 8 velocity layers per instrument I'd pay full price for it.

    It's time for Worra to do an orchestra!
    32 velocity layers per instrument !
    I will start saving for the 10 extra computers I'd need and the few terrabytes of storage.
    But it would be cool!

  10. #10

    Re: Features you DEMAND from new generation of sample libraries?

    What Bruce said-- the more layering the better. An instrument's timbre is what keeps us listening to scores over and over, EVEN if in all actuality the score may not be that great.

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