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Topic: Are developers getting carried away with size?

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  1. #1

    Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Hello all,

    Time for a new discussion topic. Do you guys feel like developers are getting carried away with the size of sample libraries. Don\'t get me wrong, I like to get a big bang for my buck as much as everyone else, but is more always better?

    DFH and Scarbee have raised the bar on the size of drum sample libraries into the tens of gigs....that is a lot of samples, but are they all necessary?

    Also (and I\'m not pointing any fingers here) are any of these developers inflating the size of their libraries with unnecessary layers and overlong sample tails?

    VSL and QLSO are so huge that a new hard drive (or two) should be factored in the total cost of the library.

    I guess the question that I am raising is...are we becoming overly influenced by the size of a library and are we being conditioned to not take smaller libraries as seriously?

    Let\'s not forget that a smaller and leaner library is potentially less tasking on our systems and is bound to give a better performance. Are the new offerings overly bloated?

    As much as we\'re always asking for options, do we ultimately resort to our usual favorite instruments and essentially ignore the vast majority of choices available in those mega libraries?

    I\'m just curious about people\'s thoughts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    I\'ve heard some amazing small libraries. But on the other hand, there\'s not an ounce of fat on VSL. Ditto the Dan Dean libraries, which pack a lot of velocities, all useful. I have yet to see a library that didn\'t wear its size usefully.

  3. #3

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Interesting point! Does size matter?
    If we take our first release, the White Grand, I\'d say it does.
    To be able to use 32 velocitylayers/note have made it possible to create a sampled piano that has a fantastic dynamic response.
    Could we make it smaller keeping the idea and quality? No.
    That would mean that we had to cut down on numbers of samples/octave or make te samples smaller, and even then we would talk gigabytes.

    I have a past as a programmer, and back in the good old days, (the 80\'s...), people still could put a pride into making small programs, but that had to do with computers being smaller. Then, the computer-power grew, and small code wasn\'t really interesting anymore. A piece of knowledge, how to write efficient code, disappeared, because it wasn\'t really necessary anymore.
    A long time ago, (mid-90\'s....) I had a ASR-10. I used to brag about the HUGE pianos that came with that (1.5Mb....) to my friends, and how great they sounded. And, taken in retrospect, they sounded quite nice. Recently I listened to some recordings I made using the ASR, and they still work rather good, sound wise.

    Today’s technology and PC-power makes it possible to create multisampled instrument that is extremely realistic. It isn\'t the sheer size that makes them good, it takes some clever thinking and knowledge about the instrument, samplers and studio technology.

    I\'ll be making smaller versions of the White Grand. One reason is that I want to make versions for non-streaming samplers like the ones in Reason, but also because I think it would be nice to have a smaller instrument to throw in when your PC-power runs low.
    A third reason is that it\'s challenging!
    There will be art, nki, fxp files available on the White Grand recourse page when they are done, so that all users of the White Grand can D/L and use them.

    There could be a risk in being able to make enormous multisampled instruments. It could make you a bit lazy….. Cutting down production time by leaving trailing silence on the samples instead of going through them and edit those out. Seems like a small task, but when dealing with today’s sampled instruments, we are talking about many thousands of files. On the bright side could be that shorter developing time could mean lower priced products. I think it’s up to the consumers to be aware of this and let us developers know if you find our libraries oversized in this matter.
    Knowledge of making smaller efficient samples also needed some smart thinking on how instruments work and what’s important to record. This can make the bigger sampled instruments better.

  4. #4

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    It\'s the size of the piano libs that floor me. One instrument, 88 notes, no tricky articulations, no expression of the note during it\'s sustain - simple! But with pedal up/down, infinitely held notes and more velocity layers than teeth on a shark, these things can be huge!

    Maybe they get sampled so deeply, because pianos can be replicated so darn well. Sure, they\'re not perfect, but they\'re a lot closer to reality than you can get with, say, a sax or violin.

    But don\'t listen to me when it comes to high-end piano libraries. Weak mids aside, I\'m reasonably satisfied with GigaPiano!

    Edit: I wrote the above before Worra\'s post appeared. Maybe if I get a live demo of the White Piano, I\'ll never go back to GigaPiano again. Let me know the next time you visit the US Pacific Northwest. Bring your samples. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Originally posted by JonFairhurst:

    Edit: I wrote the above before Worra\'s post appeared. Maybe if I get a live demo of the White Piano, I\'ll never go back to GigaPiano again. Let me know the next time you visit the US Pacific Northwest. Bring your samples. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I bring the samples, and you bring the beer!!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    Serioulsy, the best thing I can offer you right now is that you send me a midifile and I\'ll make a mp3 using the White Grand and send it to you!

  6. #6

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Big isn\'t automatically better, in fact I\'d rather have a small, cheaper library with good patches than a large library with some unnecessary patches. That\'s why I don\'t own any large libraries.

    The overly long 50 second release -trails are completely ridiculous. They contribute to nothing but lack of memory... It\'s irritating when you run out of memory only because the samples are unnecessarily large in size or have been layered with too many other patches.

  7. #7

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Originally posted by Worra:
    I bring the samples, and you bring the beer!!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    Serioulsy, the best thing I can offer you right now is that you send me a midifile and I\'ll make a mp3 using the White Grand and send it to you!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">We have excellent beer in the Pacific Northwest: bitters, ales, stouts, pils, wheat beers... Dogfish Head Beer is especially tasty (and strong!).

    I\'m downloading your demos over my phone line as I type. No need for me to send a MIDI file - I\'m no Chopin. And I\'ve only got GS96 now. Once I move to GS3 Orchestral, the White Piano becomes more interesting. I like bright pianos as my playing style is towards hard blues, jazz, pop and experimental. Speaking of which, making the library even bigger with strums and knocks would be cool. Jerry Goldsmith uses that on some of his scores quite well. It\'s great for film noir, suspense and horror genres. A light version of the piano is also nice, so it can be used with other samples without the need for bouncing tracks.

    A new piano hasn\'t reached the top of my want list yet - but it will, likely before the end of the year. But I\'ll still bring the beer. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Originally posted by Paulh:
    Big isn\'t automatically better, in fact I\'d rather have a small, cheaper library with good patches than a large library with some unnecessary patches. That\'s why I don\'t own any large libraries.

    The overly long 50 second release -trails are completely ridiculous. They contribute to nothing but lack of memory... It\'s irritating when you run out of memory only because the samples are unnecessarily large in size or have been layered with too many other patches.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">If you use a sampler that streams the samples, the length of the samples have no influence on how much memory they use....

  9. #9

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    I think organized, composer friendly sample bloat is fine. Much prefcer to compose than search and load articulations.

    I like DSSoundwares Orch percussion (remember that ancient library) for that. For example, They give you all orchestral cymbals in one instrument. If I\'m running out of RAM and I need to slim down they also got the cymbals cut into smaller instruments.

    But from a different angle slightly related to bloat, I\'d love to audition samples and download only what I need when i need it much like Sound Dogs.com does with sound effects.

    I wish the equivalent of iTunes for samples. 99cents for a legato Tuba. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Are developers getting carried away with size?

    Originally posted by Lee Blaske:
    Here\'s what I find amazing...

    The VSL Pro edition has 240 GB of sample content. At 10 MB per minute for 44.1k/16bit sound, I calculate that it would take 16.666 **days** of non-stop listening to audition the whole library. In my book, that\'s simply incredible.

    Lee Blaske
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The White Grand is 3.25Gb, so that\'s 5 hours and 42 minutes of pianonotes. Not bad for just a piano, huh.... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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