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Topic: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

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  1. #1

    Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    I just heard a fantastic piece by Thomas Bergersen which was done entirely with samples, many of them being his own personal set, which I had to share. I'm amazed not only by how good his samples are, but how well he crafts them to make them sound alive.

    This particular track is so well done, that I do not think I would notice that it's not a real orchestra if I wasn't listening very closely. Even then, it would be very difficult if not impossible to tell. His attention to detail is phenomenal, and should give us all something to strive for to achieve in our own sequenced tracks.

    Enjoy.

    http://www.thomasbergersen.com/Thoma...27s-A-Wrap.mp3
    Warning: clicking on these links may result in spontaneous combustion.


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  2. #2

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    ---Well, it has its impressive attributes for sure, while being an incredibly over-the-top piece of bombast that I can't make myself sit through in its entirety.

    Beautiful samples and beautiful work with them, but something's happened in the recording making it harsh and semi-distorted.

    I think the thing to admire is the way he obviously treats his virtual instruments as Instruments, and not just "sounds" to trigger with moused in notes, the way so many people do and expect to hear brilliant results. The music itself, the overly layered arrangement, and the shattering rendering - those are other matters.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    ---Well, it has its impressive attributes for sure, while being an incredibly over-the-top piece of bombast that I can't make myself sit through in its entirety.
    +1 for bombast. I too had to stop listening after just a short while.
    I think it was the massive amount of clipping which hurt my ears.

    Beautiful samples and beautiful work with them, but something's happened in the recording making it harsh and semi-distorted.
    Very distorted indeed! Loaded it into Audacity and found that there's more red visible than under level samples!

    I think the thing to admire is the way he obviously treats his virtual instruments as Instruments, and not just "sounds" to trigger with moused in notes, the way so many people do and expect to hear brilliant results. The music itself, the overly layered arrangement, and the shattering rendering - those are other matters.

    Randy
    Author of MIDI tutorials at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi

  4. #4

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    serenitymusician,

    I'm pretty sure this is his own personal library set he custom designed for himself. If he did use anything else, he worked on Hollywood Strings and Hollywood Brass so he may have supplemented his own samples with those, but I can't say for sure.

    I noticed the compression as well. I'm not sure why there's so much, other than that perhaps it's just a low quality mp3 file.

    Also have to agree on the arrangement being way over the top, however I also listen to a lot of soundtracks (including for games) and could quite easily see this being used as an extended chase/fight sequence and being highly effective.

    For those who found the entire thing unbearable to listen to (which is quite understandable) I highly recommend listening from 7:30 -8:20. That 50 seconds is one of the most amazing 50 seconds I've ever heard done with samples.
    Warning: clicking on these links may result in spontaneous combustion.


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  5. #5

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael135 View Post
    I noticed the compression as well. I'm not sure why there's so much, other than that perhaps it's just a low quality mp3 file.
    Not compression, Michael, but severe digital clipping (maybe compression too?). I need to take it almost 1dB down to restore some semblance of 'normality'. (In Audacity Effects/Amplify by -1dB, it suggests -0.8)
    (Obviously a proponent of 'maximum loudness'.)

    It's a basic skill (IMHO) to understand that when converting from wav to mp3, the conversion process can create artefacts that actually amplify the signal level, and that can take them over the 0dB level if they're already maxed out. It's always a good idea to make sure the maximum level is a dB or so down from FSD before conversion.

    If this guy's responsible for much of the Hollywood Brass and Strings I'm quite surprised that he's unaware of this.

    Just my 2d.
    Regards,
    John.

    Aha, but here's a thought, maybe he didn't do the conversion.
    Author of MIDI tutorials at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi

  6. #6

    Question Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    To be very honest I'm not really impressed... it sounds sampled from the first second down to the end.

    I'm with Randy about the unnatural sound and it's the first "signature" of a sampled instrument work, then the articulations are clichè, basic and repetitive, another evidence of sampled sounds being used.

    Sound engineering is really important by the way, listen to Richard Birdsall works in EWQL Holliwood series demos... they sound fantastic... (better than this one I should say) but if you buy Holliwood series, you probably won't reach the same result after weeks and weeks of tweeking....

    Anyway listen to the live performance (e.g. on youtube) of works by J.Williams or E. Morricone, and you will recognize what's different:
    the amount of little imperfections and the variety of subtle nuances remember more of the original studio recording with live musicians (even if in concert the multitrack mix, compression and reverb are missing), than the sample library performance, which has the same overall "sound", but definitely not the same "life and soul" inside.

    I don't say it's bad: it does the job, being the job-to-be-done a rendering of cinematic feelings for trailers or videogames.

    But I think the more attonishing sampling fronteers rising the bar are elsewhere (e.g. VSL dimension strings and Samplemodelling Brass). My very humble and very personal opinion.

  7. #7
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    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    My feelings are the same as Fabio's. It sounds like samples to me after listening to a little bit. There is so much reverb and with the clipping I was fatigued after about 30 seconds.

    This kind of writing and arranging is so common these days that I have a hard time to listening to it. I prefer Randy Bowser's works! Much more variety.

    We have season tickets to the Phoenix Symphony and I've gotten used to hearing the real thing so most MIDI mockups don't fake me out. There is a fullness to the real thing that just doesn't translate to recordings.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    Well, I feel pretty foolish. Even embarrassed. I guess I wasn't listening with the ear of an engineer. I was just listening to the music. I even listened to the whole thing. Not with the volume turned up, but just listened. After all, after years of being in a band room full of loud instruments 'm used to it. I wasn't listening to compression. Hell, I hardly even know what compression is as I am such an amateur when it comes to engineering. I've barely gotten the hang of Sonar. Guess I listened with the ear of a composer first. That's what I always do. I never listened for clipped sounds. What I heard was music, technique in composition. I listened for instrumental sounds I wished I had. I guess I just wasn't paying attention to what everyone else was focusing on.

    So I deleted my post as I didn't want to look like such an idiot, saying I thought what I heard was so fantastic. Guess it wasn't. I think I will stick with composing. I'm just not that good with the other.
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  9. #9

    Exclamation Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    Hey Gary serenity!

    you aren't a fool, and what you wrote makes perfect sense to me. It definitely is a very good piece of cinematic music, pretty professional and pretty emotional.

    I speak for myself, and my comments were just about the "ultimate sampling" thread: this type of pump and circumstance being not really new in the market, and not yet strong in the realism field in my very humble opinion.

    It is strong for other point by the way, like emotional, majestic, dynamic and colourful point of view for instance, what probably you noticed and appreciated as I do.

    all the best!
    Fabio

  10. #10

    Re: Pushing the limits of sampling technology

    Gary A,

    You were listening to the "score" in a manner of speaking. I would love to read the score on this work. The craftsmanship of the orchestration is apparent through the recording. It may be a bit over the top; but many ridicule minor details when faced w/ an unachievable goal for themselves.

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