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Topic: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

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  1. #1

    Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    About ten minutes or so is all it should take to listen to the 20 short mp3 excerpts in the file: http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/listeningtest1a.zip , identify any sampled instruments in those excerpts and post feedback on what you think makes them sound sampled rather than real.

    A lack of responses will give me the impression that you are too embarrassed in case you get it mostly wrong.

    Nicholas
    p.s. listening to all 20 excerpts once end-to-end takes only 2 minutes.


  2. #2

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    >A lack of responses will give me the impression that you are too embarrassed in case you get it mostly wrong. <

    Have you received any comments privately already, Nicholas? I hope so. If not, I\'ll give it a try during the next few days, but I actually just listen from the point of view of a \"consumer\" as I do not have access to the big libraries at the moment to compare with and I don\'t have the necessary listening experience. If that is o.k., then I am your man...

    regards

    ------------------
    O.H.

  3. #3

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Hi O.H.

    Many thanks for replying. Much appreciated.

    I\'m afraid I haven\'t yet received any replies period!

    Please don\'t worry about lack of \'listening experience\'.

    I just appreciate any reasonable attempts at this listening excercise, which incidently was initially designed to encourage discussion about micing techniques for recording sampled instruments. (See the \"Orchestral Sampling Manifesto by Maarten, Thomas and Marc\" thread and the \"Today\'s listening test !\" thread).

    Please don\'t feel embarrassed if you get the answers wrong. I expect I myself would also get some wrong if I didn\'t already know the real answers.

    I hope more people have a go, and at least try and get some discussion going. Maybe I should ask what instruments in the excerpts are real and what makes them sound real rather than sampled. Phrased like this, we might get some discussion going as to the limitations of current sampling techniques.

    Best regards
    Nicholas
    p.s. Thanks again O.H.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nicholash:
    I\'m afraid I haven\'t yet received any replies period!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Classic catch-22. People with the knowledge won\'t have the time.

    Here\'s a suggestion:

    1) Pick your 10 favorite film soundtracks.
    2) Find out who recorded them
    3) Call those people...they have phones, and they\'re in the book. Ask your questions.

    Then you will know.

    What everyone will probably be totally disappointed to discover is that Franz nailed it in the other thread. For those who misses it...

    Soundrack Sessions 101

    The players show up at the studio for the session. Drink coffee, talk about the Lakers. How\'s the wife? Same old same old. There\'s the ceremonial dissing of yesterday\'s session across town, how the conductor is a hack and should have his arms removed. Discuss happy hour and who is buying the first round. Hey, you gonna eat that?

    Some room mics are up. Some section mics are up. They\'re expensive. Orchestra reads down the first section, OK, OK, roll tape, nobody screws up too badly--it\'s a keeper. Rinse and repeat. Exactly ten seconds before the session goes into overtime, the orchestra is released.

    The engineers mix what\'s there. If a section sounds too close they roll off the section mic. If it sounds too far away, they turn it up. If it sounds too dry, they dialed in some \"large hall\" on the Lex, which never moves from this single setting. If it\'s not bright enough, they crank in some EQ. The magic words are spoken (that\'s good enough), Duke Ellington is quoted, the mixes are printed, and it\'s off to happy hour.

  5. #5

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your reply and for quoting the \"Soundrack Sessions 101\" thread. It is an interesting comment.

    You say \"Classic catch-22. People with the knowledge won\'t have the time.\"

    I suppose they don\'t have the time to read messages on this forum. I suppose they don\'t have the time to download, listen to and comment on any of the many recent demos composed by others that are mentioned in this forum.

    Bruce, I notice you have taken some of your valuable time to answer quite a few posts on this forum, so I suppose it is unfair of me to expect some knowledgeable person like yourself to take ten minutes and respond with feedback on the recorded excerpts that I provided a link to. Maybe there are easier ways to stimulate a discussion on the current limitations of sampled instruments and micing techniques for recording sampled instruments. It took me more than ten minutes to read the \'Sampling Manifesto\' and listen to all the excerpts linked to within it. It is interesting to note that the \"Orchestral Sampling Manifesto by Maarten, Thomas and Marc\" thread has had 97 replies at the time of writing this message (i.e. more replies than most threads in this forum; so maybe there is some interest after all in discussing how to produce better sample libraries).

    I see that you have taken the trouble to contribute messages in 19 different threads in the Sample Libraries Discussions forum within the last couple of months. I really don\'t know how you have the time.

    Best regards
    Nicholas



  6. #6

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Nicolas,
    I admit Ilistened to the old clip but did not reply. Mostly because you were asking too much in reply (mics, mic distance, blah blah), aned the examples were just way too short. I\'ll take a crack at the new example later today when I get off the laptop and to some decent headphones/monitor system. I can guarantee that I\'ll probably be wrong with alot of my guesses. A few of the mixes sounded like they may be a blend of samples and live playing. This usually tricks my ear into thinking the instruments could all be real. In fact the only reason I may guess an instrument is a sample is because you\'re asking us to tell you which one is so I may \"listen too hard\". IMO its not whether you can tell which instrument is sampled or not, but whether a piece is \"realistic\".

    I remember I originally disagreed with Thomas about the Hi Hats being fake

    ------------------
    Really...I am an Idiot

  7. #7

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nicholash:
    I\'m afraid I haven\'t yet received any replies period!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nicholas, this may sound stupid, but I wonder if you would get more feedback posting one or two .mp3 files directly instead of a .zip file. People can then just click once and keep reading (that\'s what I do for .mp3 links in this forum). If your 20 excerpts are really short, you could bundle a few into each .mp3 file.

    Unzipping and loading each .mp3 individually isn\'t complicated, of course, but it\'s twice as many steps .

    Just an idea...

    KB

  8. #8

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Hi KingIdiot,

    Thank you very much.

    Again, please don\'t worry about getting the answers wrong. If I didn\'t know the true answers already, I would probably make some incorrect guesses myself.

    I think you are right when you say that, with a blend of samples and live playing, it can trick one\'s ear into thinking that all the instruments could be real. Did you try Jamieh\'s excerpt in his \"Another listening exercise\" thread? Despite not replying to his challenge myself (!), I also correctly guessed that the horns were fake. In that case, I thought this was so because the horns had a different recorded acoustic to my ears when compared with some of the other instruments. If I hadn\'t been listening to his excerpt critically, I probably wouldn\'t have noticed.

    I agree with you that IMHO it\'s not whether one can tell which instrument is sampled or not, but whether a piece is \'realistic\'. I think musical phrasing is important here, and the difficult to achieve \'legato\' phrasing aspects of most sampled instruments can detract from \'realism\'.

    I\'m sorry to say that the more recent smaller file contains even shorter versions of some of the excerpts. I made the smaller file because I had feedback saying that the size of the original one might put people off responding. I don\'t think it\'s necessary to \'listen too hard\' to the excerpts since most listeners probably wouldn\'t do so also.

    Thanks
    Nicholas
    p.s. Like when I say \"Hi\" to MidiDimwit, I almost feel that I\'m insulting you when I say Hi to your user name! (or if, like MidiDimwit, you get nervous about me winking -- see the \"Vote your favorite Piano\" thread!)



  9. #9

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Hi KBub,

    Thanks for your good suggestion.

    I\'ll try and follow it up fairly soon.

    Best regards
    Nicholas

  10. #10

    Re: Please can you spare ten minutes of your time?

    Nicholas,

    You\'ve gone to a lot of trouble to prepare these examples, so I\'ll take the risk of embarassing myself (I\'ve done it so many times already, what difference would one more make?).

    First, an excuse, in case I do pathetically poorly: I listened to the MP3\'s on my office computer\'s little Harman/Kardon speakers.

    Here goes:

    #1: The horn sounds sampled because there are some \"beats\" occurring. Not sure about the violin because it is largely covered by the horn.
    #2: Vibrato is realistic -- I\'ll guess this is a real instrument?
    #3: Clarinet sounds real to me.
    #4: There\'s something happening in the background here that throws me off -- I\'m inclined to say the sax sounds sampled though.
    #5: This one has a steady tone in the background that is also distracting - the flute sounds very good, but I would guess sampled.
    #6: The drums sound sampled, because they don\'t quite have the \"in your face\" quality of well recorded live drums.
    #7: Everything sounds very realistic, until the trumpet comes in -- it sounds sampled, but still very good.
    #8: Could be all real -- ?
    #9: This harpsichord seems to have a harshness you might hear with a sampled one.
    #10: This sounds real.
    #11: The sax vibrato sounds unrealistic, and therefore my guess is: sampled.
    #12: Very tough. Could be real, but I would lean toward: sampled.
    #13: Hi-hat sounds very realistic. Could be real, to my untrained ears.
    #14: The drum playing in unison with the ensemble makes it tough to hear details in the timbre of the other instruments. I\'d guess sampled, but if so, it is very good.
    #15: There\'s a \"whooshing\" sound in the background again, and I really can\'t tell on this one. I know there are really some excellent sampled pipe organs out there, and this could be one.
    #16: Again, a fairly noisy recording, and a very short clip, both of which make it very difficult to tell. My guess: sampled.
    #17: Between the 3rd and 4th second of this clip there is a low pitched resonant sound which seems unnatural. Of course this could happen because of a poorly placed mic, or some other faulty recording technique. Otherwise it all sounds pretty real.
    #18: The piano in the background sounds real, but the instrument in the foreground (clarinet, I think) could be sampled. It does sound very good, though.
    #19: Definitely a sampled piano.
    #20: The horns sound sampled on this one. The other instruments could be real, but I would guess all sampled.

    OK, when the game is over, let us know the real score (pun intended).

    Dennis Brown

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