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Topic: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

  1. #1

    Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I\'m sure the new Bigga Giggas organ CD is the cat\'s pajamas, but I\'m a little concerned that 128 MB of RAM is recommended for its use.

    Isn\'t one of the selling points of GSt its ability to eliminate issues of RAM and loading times that limit traditional hardware samplers?

    It seems to be a trend. XSample\'s sounds are guilty of inefficiency, as well. I do like the library very much, but it\'s huge, and takes forever to load (relatively speaking of course, compared to most other GSt libraries). Do we REALLY need all that unloopedness and massive multisampling to get a great sound? Some of my favorite sounds are translations of instruments designed for 32 MB (or smaller) hardware boxes, and they sound fabulous.

    I implore the new generation of sound developers: don\'t disregard efficiency when designing your sounds, just because GSt\'s capabilities allow you to do so. Make the extra effort and consider efficiency as a high priority. There is still a great need, even in GSt, for efficiency in samples. AT LEAST provide high-quality, lower-memory versions of your sounds.

    I don\'t want to stuff my PC with a gig of RAM just so I can load in a dozen great sounds.

    - Chris Beck

    P.S. I regularly use and greatly appreciate many of the libraries created by some of the regular contributors to this forum, and will continue to do so. Just wanted to open the topic for discussion.

    [This message has been edited by Chris Beck (edited 10-04-2000).]

  2. #2

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I agree. Does anyone know why X-sample takes so long to load? The samples don\'t take up much memory. So, I assume it\'s all of the programming (alternate programs and key switching).

  3. #3

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    Well, I suppose it\'s very tempting to make a BIIIG gig, just because it\'s possible, and maybe many of the features are not THAT important. The BG \"Sunes L100\" has all notes sampled, I suppose that we could have sampled only thirds, but than it wouldn\'t be the real thing, would it.
    What makes \"Sunes L100\" demanding on your system is not so much the fact that all notes are sampled, but that all drawbars are sampled individually. That makes 9 different layers + 2 more layers for percussion adding up to a total of 11 layers.
    When a key is pressed, you trigger 11 samples, two dies quickly (the percussion) but you still have 9 samples running. Take a chord with 5 notes = 45 samples.

    Why this then? Well, one great thing about the Hammond is that you can combine different drawbar settings to virtually unlimited combinations. This you also can do with \"Sunes L100\", an it\'s not just emulated, drawbar1 on \"Sune\'s L100\" really are a full enveloped sample of the 1:st drawbar on a Hammond.

    There are plenty of sampled hammonds out there, that have fixed settings, that is, you set a Hammond up so it sounds good, sample it, and that\'s it. We didn\'s want this CD to be just another Hammond sample, we wanted this one to be special.

    So, yes, it\'s big and yes, it\'s demanding on your system, but then again, we wanted this one to be special!

    Btw. On the cd there\'s a lite version included wich has \"only\" C#, F & A sampled/octave. It should run on a smaller system, and the full version loads under 7 sec\'s on my PC.


  4. #4

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    Hi Chris & Nick,

    Xsample presets needn\'t more time. Maybe you are always loading all presets! And the loaded programs just use as much RAM as this program as part of the gig needs!

    Open the .gig (like in explorer) and drag and drop the instrument (!) (part of the .gig!) in your Midi Path. Some more tips and hints are decript in the pdf file on our page http://www.xsample.de or on the Xsample booklet (Book). The number of Samples in every preset is written in the help-files.

    The program \".chorus pan mod\" of the rhodes (I think with 880 Samples its one of our biggest programs) need on my computer (Athlon 800, 256 MB RAM, IBM UDMA DLTA307030) about 1/4 minute, I think thats not to long. But I hve to say I have translated the gig in gig-2 Format (Just load and Save in the GigEditor 2.0).
    Xsample is one of the only libraries, that is so detailed programmed (it was a lot of work). You only need to load the preset that fits to your project. Maybe you won\'t need some of the programs, just ignore them, or kill them in the Editor, its very easy. But maybe at any time you will find any program very useful, so import the .gig from the original CD.

    Georg - Xsample

  5. #5

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I can speak to some of the issues I have run into trying to create my piano sample sets.
    While I would love to be able to achieve a better level of sound modeling with fewer samples/layers, there are several design limitations/bugs in the Gigasampler/Gigastudio which prevent some economies I would like to make.

    I have been working on the 16-layer follow-up version of my current 8-layer piano. My testing indicates that I could achieve equally satisfactory results by continuous cross-fading among 5 layers instead of switching between 8 layers. Sadly, my tests show that the Gigastudio, while providing for crossfading of layers, does not crossfade with an equal power algorithm. The resulting crossfades have undesireable amplitude abnormalities with MIDI velocity, and do not follow the desired logarithmic decrease in amplitude with velocity when the crossfade feature is employed. In fact, the amplitude often does not even behave as a monotonic function if the layer crossfade is used. This non-monotonic behavior of the Gigastudio software is unacceptable, and forces the use of additional sample layers to achieve the proper effect.

    Duplicating all of the piano sample layers in both sustain-pedal-down and sustain-pedal-up states seems a bit of a waste of disk space, and I wish that it were possible to easily model the resonance effects of the pedal-down state without the additional sample layers/dimensions. If a physical modeling engine were incorporated into the software, this might allow for significant size reductions in the instrument file sizes, as well as enabling the inclusion of a few other subtle effects not currently possible to include with sampling alone.

    Nevertheless, even with the current limitations such as these, the Gigasampler/Gigastudio allows for significantly better instrument sound realism than previous applications. Sounds which were squeezed into 32 or 128MB of RAM for hardware samplers had to make many more compromises in realism. Even though 128 or even 256MB of RAM may be required to run a 4 Gigabyte instrument from disk, I believe this is still a small price to pay for the ability to achieve instrument sound modeling accuracy with fewer compromises. Yes, it often does take an unreasonably large increase in samples/file size to achieve what might be considered a small increase in instrument sound quality and realism, but many folks believe that the increase is worth it. Disk space is getting cheaper by the day, and in my view it does not pay to sacrifice quality to save an increasingly inexpensive resource.


    Warren Trachtman http://www.wstco.com

  6. #6

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I would have to agree with IO composer,I have been into samplers since 1983 when the Ensonic mirage came out [the first sampler to come out within a price a musician could afford $1,600].
    And have been dealing with the limitations of sampling like limited memory, transposed sounds out of there natural range ,and samples recorded with low bit rates and low sample rates that sound like a cheazy AM ratio.
    And now to have a sampler that can record and playback sound with virtually no memory limitations [I said virtually not completely,you still need ram for casheing samples as they are being streamed from the hard drive],with 24 bit capability is a great thing .
    If you want small sounds get some of those chezzy soundfonts that you can down load for free and use a translater to convert to giga.

    After all said on the otherside of the coin ,I dont think this gives licence to be sloppy with a giga sample library either and not truncate the sounds were needed.

  7. #7

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    The hammond with all the drawbars is a great idea. Do the overtones combine similar to the sound of a real hammond. So if you take a hammond drawbar diagram, and translate it to your giga, will it sound the same as the hammond. Or do you just have to experiment?


  8. #8
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    San Jose, Ca, USA

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I hear in some of sample libraries that having huge of reverb-effects even in the accoustic grand piano (gigapiano), guitars, harps, etc. I don\'t know because my studio monitor (Mackie-HR) or my ears are not as good as a musician?...or that what they supposed to be? Of course I want its sampler is as DRY as possible like the Acc-Basses and Kicks, definitely should be dry! Any ideas? solution?
    Best regards,

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Burbank, CA. US of Mexico

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    I agree with you on the level that we should always economize and do more with less. That\'s my life philosophy and it\'s why I choose GStudio over a wall of E4s and an analog mixing console. However, GStudio opens up new possibilities in the world of sampled acoustic instruments (as you know). People who have been doing this for a long time have been forced to economize, but now we have a lot of freedom. For me, I interprate this new found freedom to do everything that I\'ve always imagined of doing but couldn\'t. Now, you\'d better believe I\'m going to shoot for the moon. Not only am I going to make sample libraries that kludge up a 512M PC, but I built a second PC to kludge up even further! Now that I don\'t have to buy a $4K E4 for each instrument I sample, I\'m happy to spend the money on a PC that gives me 100X the power and capacity. I sold all of my E4s and actually made some money in the process

    Compared to my extraordinarily bloated brass samples, Xsample libraries load like a SoundSprint

    How big is QLB? 5 CDs? You should be ashamed

  10. #10

    Re: Open Letter to Sound Developers re: SAMPLE BLOAT

    Chris, I share some of your sentiments, it\'s interesting that I got a real top of the line system less than a year ago specifically for music (it\'s been flawless for my purposes) and it\'s already inadequate for many GS applications. (P3-500 with 256 megs and SCSI). And as for your concern that 128 is recommended, in my experience it\'s not quite enough... GS doesn\'t seem to run short of memory gracefully and 128 really isn\'t enough for a big gig (like the east west boesendorfer) alongside a sequencer, but with 256 it runs without any problems.

    I currently \'do it all\' on 1 PC, sometimes running GS plus sequencer plus an audio recorder. This works well actually, but it\'s pretty clear that GS is the heaviest thing on this system, and I don\'t think I could get away with working the way I do with heavier gigs, so I do hope that developers continue to be concientious about how demanding their gigs are.

    On the other hand, I do love many of these big gigs, the instruments we get on GS are just so much better than anything else available. I fire up GS every day and it\'s one of my favorite tools, so at least the resources are put to good use, but it\'s a pity that I won\'t be able to take advantage of some of the latest gigs. I\'d love the big hammond I\'m sure, but I can\'t swing it on my GSampler system.

    Georg, I know about the single program trick, still even if I load 1 program only it\'s the slowest thing I own. I suspect this is due to a flaw in GSampler (hopefully addressed in GStudio?) but still it is somewhat painfull and prevents me from loading the Rhodes every day. I\'m not complaining, it\'s a great instrument, I continue to have some simply amazing sessions with it. Hey if it weren\'t excellent it wouldn\'t bother me that it\'s slow to load... As for the programming, the Xsample electric pianos are probably the only gigs that I haven\'t seen a need to go in and reprogram, if you know me that says a lot.

    LHong, if you don\'t like the sound of GigaPiano I wouldn\'t assume it\'s a problem your ears or monitors, IMO it\'s not nearly the best available for GS, fortunately we have many choices in excellent dry pianos.

    Gotta run, hope everybody is having fun!

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