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Topic: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

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  1. #1

    The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    I was just thinking that with the speedy genesis of computers and the marked improvements in their memory capacity and such, that we could be looking at machines that have terabytes for RAM in the distant future. That being the case, I'm assuming sample-based programs like NOTION will only sound better and better with the larger RAM that home computers will be able to have. thus, we could be looking at a notation/sample playback program that incapsulates every possible nuance of orchestral performances at our disposal.

    The thing I'm wondering about is whether NOTION will change their encoding system or performance playback system to further capture the nuances of the instruments.

    As it stands, I think the current program is remarkable at evoking many techniques quite well. I was listening to my competition piece and found that the strings when played legato really sounded good. I especially think the open G string on the violins captures the tone of that instrument really well.

    I'm both excited and anxious to see what transpires in the genesis of NOTION.

  2. #2

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    I think that there is a change coming in this area - I think synthesis will replace sampling. I don't mean FM synthesis or similar now-obsolete technolgies. But I think that there will be a shift to systems which present a database of instrument characteristics derived from the analysis of many many samples, so that you can create nuances which haven't been sampled, but will derive from the same data as every other note. 'Synful' is part of the beginning of this trend.

    Synthesis based on sample-derived databases will allow anyone to make their own sets of sounds, with one person preferring slightly brighter string tone and another emphasising depth and sonority.

    But you will be able to change the sounds throughout the score - you will be able to get the strings to play roughly and slightly out of tune in rapid passages, and horn parts will include occasional random slips where the note is missed (for added realism). Indeed, you will be able to control the timbre throughout a single note, so that you will for instance be able to start the vibrato of a note at a particular point, and control its amplitude and velocity. As you control every aspect of a note or phrase, heuristic routines will learn the kinds of sound you prefer, and will learn the kind of score you arrange or compose and will be able to adjust itself accordingly.

    Just as the irritating paper-clip in Microsoft Word asks you if you need help writing a letter, a cartoon treble clef will appear on the screen, saying "I see you are writing a Piano Concerto. . . . Choose from the following list of Piano Concerto templates and cliche phrases. . ." and a set of your favourite key-schemes will appear in a drop-down list.

    Our computers will have movement-sensitive controllers (like the new Nintendo Wii) with which we will bow, conduct, or blow to control various aspects of the performance. Orchestras, relieved of the responsibility for providing ever-larger sets of samples, can get back to playing whole pieces of music instead of single notes.

  3. #3

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker
    I think that there is a change coming in this area - I think synthesis will replace sampling. I don't mean FM synthesis or similar now-obsolete technolgies. But I think that there will be a shift to systems which present a database of instrument characteristics derived from the analysis of many many samples, so that you can create nuances which haven't been sampled, but will derive from the same data as every other note. 'Synful' is part of the beginning of this trend.

    Synthesis based on sample-derived databases will allow anyone to make their own sets of sounds, with one person preferring slightly brighter string tone and another emphasising depth and sonority.

    But you will be able to change the sounds throughout the score - you will be able to get the strings to play roughly and slightly out of tune in rapid passages, and horn parts will include occasional random slips where the note is missed (for added realism). Indeed, you will be able to control the timbre throughout a single note, so that you will for instance be able to start the vibrato of a note at a particular point, and control its amplitude and velocity. As you control every aspect of a note or phrase, heuristic routines will learn the kinds of sound you prefer, and will learn the kind of score you arrange or compose and will be able to adjust itself accordingly.

    Just as the irritating paper-clip in Microsoft Word asks you if you need help writing a letter, a cartoon treble clef will appear on the screen, saying "I see you are writing a Piano Concerto. . . . Choose from the following list of Piano Concerto templates and cliche phrases. . ." and a set of your favourite key-schemes will appear in a drop-down list.

    Our computers will have movement-sensitive controllers (like the new Nintendo Wii) with which we will bow, conduct, or blow to control various aspects of the performance. Orchestras, relieved of the responsibility for providing ever-larger sets of samples, can get back to playing whole pieces of music instead of single notes.
    Oh, boy, do we have some surprises for you guys.

  4. #4

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    All the new bells and whistles will be cool, but I also hope that the whole notion (no pun intended, lol) of getting a better digital sound out of an analogue instrument continues get better also. Nothing beats being in the room with someone playing a really fine violin, cello – of whatever for that matter. Here’s to continued progress in both directions...

    Hawksong

  5. #5

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Windsor
    Oh, boy, do we have some surprises for you guys.
    Oh yes? - Perhaps NOTION are currently working on a set of robotic instruments, controlled from multiple USB ports, which are programmed to play various instruments. The robots will not need to practice, join a Union, have meal breaks, or complain about the unplayability of the passage. The trumpet players will be able to sustain notes for as many minutes as needed, and the percussion robot will never visit the local hostelry during the concert intermission. Bass players will not complain about the difficulty of getting their instrument into a Mini, and harpist robots will have more than four fingers on each hand - of which they will have eight.

    The robots themselves will be cheap - it's the Strad or Amati they play that will be the expensive part.

    Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    (Seriously, though - one of the things which impresses about NOTION playback is the effect of sampling Reverb as a separately controlled part of the sound. Adding reverb by digital means usually muddies the sound, but NOTION has the cleanest playback I have heard. If any of your surpises turn out as well as that has, then I'll be very eager to hear about them.)

  6. #6

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    The surprises are... well... surprises. Real ones. Like things we're working on that you may never have even conceived before. I like to think of it as, What do we think we'd be innovating in ten years? Let's do that stuff now. We've made a product that has better samples and playback and stuff, but notation is nothing new; you've seen it all before with Finale and Sibelius. NOTION will be the basis, but let's blow conventional wisdom out of the water. I know these are things a lot of companies say every day, but we want to actually do them. We want to make our customers say, "Wow", over and over again. I think our playback has done that, and will do that, but what's going to make our longtime customers fall in love with us all over again? That's what we want to be doing. I'm only speaking from my own experience here, not really for the company.

    The important thing is that we not tease or taunt our new robotic overlords, lest they melt us with their NOTION DEATH RAYS. Oh, I've said too much...

  7. #7

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Windsor
    The surprises are... well... surprises. Real ones. Like things we're working on that you may never have even conceived before. I like to think of it as, What do we think we'd be innovating in ten years? Let's do that stuff now. We've made a product that has better samples and playback and stuff, but notation is nothing new; you've seen it all before with Finale and Sibelius. NOTION will be the basis, but let's blow conventional wisdom out of the water. I know these are things a lot of companies say every day, but we want to actually do them. We want to make our customers say, "Wow", over and over again. I think our playback has done that, and will do that, but what's going to make our longtime customers fall in love with us all over again? That's what we want to be doing. I'm only speaking from my own experience here, not really for the company.

    The important thing is that we not tease or taunt our new robotic overlords, lest they melt us with their NOTION DEATH RAYS. Oh, I've said too much...
    How about MIDI export before you begin global domination.

    Then there's doing lead sheets with all the correct copyright info in the right place.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  8. #8

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Quote Originally Posted by peter269
    How about MIDI export before you begin global domination.

    Then there's doing lead sheets with all the correct copyright info in the right place.
    But if we manage the global domination, will that other stuff really matter?

    Oh, all right.

  9. #9

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Unlike Peter, I don't mind the whole Notion of global domination.

    However, while that is still in the planning stages, could one of the "battles" possibly be to include some kind of programming like Kirk Hunter uses for his Kontakt 2 libraries, which I think is called "round robin," to counter some of the basic issues - not in sound QUALITY, but in sound PLAYBACK - that are just par and parcel for ANY sample library?

    I think the main issue is related to things like the "machine gunning" effect of multiple similar notes, etc.

    When I spoke with someone at Notion a while ago about this, a workaround would be to change the next note's dynamic level by a notch, but I would concede at least one third world country (or maybe even two) if this could be done more transparently.

    "Domination" of the "unworkable to write because I have to tweak so friggin much and could I just write the music instead-"world is not something I would complain too loudly about losing.

    Notion's strongest point, IMH(or not so "h")O is that all you do is, doh! WRITE MUSIC. (A first among music programs, I would dare comment!)

    Now if the NOTION staff can help US "dominate" OUR OWN musical "world," without having to program yet sounding like we did...well, I am sure that even Peter in his selfless pedagogy wouldn't even mind.

    That's all.

    To sum up:

    FR: better playback playability so we can focus on writing and not tweaking just to get a better final product.

    - Angelic

  10. #10

    Re: The future for NOTION and current sample sound quality

    Heck, I'd be REALLY happy just to hear the notes as I put them in! I can work a lot faster that way!

    Peace

    Rikp

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