Having shed my ageing rack of Akais and Emus last month and finally moved to Gigastudio I thought I\'d pop in and join the fun. A friend pointed me to this forum and said it was filled with a mixture of developers and musicians who, combined, formed a rock of solid knowledge about the product. I\'ve scoured the archives and was pleased to find he was absolutely right. Great fun - and a great product!
I would be interested to know how accomplished many of the composers/performers are in this forum. I say this because I\'ve noticed, listening to a few giga dominated demos here and a lot of others elsewhere, that there is a very wide gulf between believable impersonations of orchestras and rather less succesful ones, caused I suspect by a substantial difference in performing ability. I personally grow very tired of, say, piano demos that are so quantised and dynamically bland that every ounce of expression is sucked out of a great set of samples.
I first started thinking about it a while back when I heard a piece that had been performed almost entirely on an old Emulator II that sounded really very impressive for its day. In fact is that the piece was far more expressive and believable than a lot of recent demos that I hear using considerably more advanced sample libraries. Not that the old dinosaur\'s sound libraries could pull off the rich Garritan string sound, but there was something far more vibrant and alive to the piece, and it was because of the quality of musicianship.
Because of the 8-bit/17khz (or thereabouts) of the EMU, the recording wasn\'t particularly bright compared to today\'s crystal clear sound, but I can\'t say it bothered me too much. It was good enough in its day for the soundtrack it was used in.
I know the composer of the piece well and he and I share the same belief that realtime performance aided first and foremost by accomplished musicality is possibly the most important aspect in mocking-up to make the piece spring to life.
How do composers in this forum approach the actual performance of, say, orchestral mock-ups?. Is every instrument played in real time part by part with sweaty fingers gliding across the mod wheel (or similar!) or does a lot of copying go on to duplicate already performed parts - say horns and cellos?.
What real-time controllers do people use with gigastudio to effect, say, the vibrato in flute samples or increase the dynamics from pp to ff. Does anybody else love the breath controller?. And many more questions that I can\'t think of right now!.......
There is always a big concern about the quality of recording with sample libraries (rightly so of course) but how many people are concerned with the quality of performance when they listen to sountracks/demos etc?.
Several things to keep in mind. One is that this new technology is finnally bringing great sounds and power that was not affordable just a few years ago. Only accomplished composers could justify the expense of anything even remotely close to the Giga libraries and technology. So, true, a few hobbyists and inexperienced composers are now on board and thier demos will get better with experience. Another very important thing is that many of people are way too buisy to flesh out any demos since they are not getting paid to do them. All they can do is rush something together in their spare time to show off some of their new sounds. If you want to hear some good stuff, check out the demos on the Garritan strings site and of course the Vienna orchestra samples website. (of course there is my www.davidgovett.com site too but the demos are a bit aged at this point. (The too buisy syndrome)
It can really take a few days to really flesh out a decent mockup unless you have a stack of Giga machines on hand and even then, it\'s not an overnight thing. As for me, I finnally have some paying music work coming up so I should be able to update my resume and demos with quality stuff using the latest libraries and gear and a lot more time.
Last but not least, some of the bigger composers have been using samples for mockups that don\'t have to be completely convincing since they will use a full orchestra later. They really don\'t have the time to tweak their mockups to be as realistic as they could potentially be.
These are all potential reasons for the wide array of convincing MIDI orchestrations out there.
The king of sampled orchestras at this point is probably Jeremy Soul with his immense talent and a bank of Giga machines. (I\'m catching up with him though)
A friend of mine still operates with an e-mu and gets better results than with giga. Why? Simply because of the better envelope control of hardware machines, as well as simple functions like assinging filter modulation to the volume controler. These two things alone keep me looking for a good softsampler, which doesn\'t seem to exist at this time... Of course when I say that, people say I\'m negative and this kind of stuff, but truly I\'m optimistic that Tascam will fix their product, or that a really complete program will see the day soon so that we who want full sonic control of our samples will be satisfied! Kontakt seems promising, we\'ll see when they have fixed the nameless bugs of the first version...
Truly it\'s a question of what one wishes to do with their mock-ups. Personally, I plan to use some sampled stuff on my records, so I spend thousands of hours to reach the quality I want. For someone who just want to have an aproximate idea of how an orchestration will sound, then filtering and envelopes are not as important as they are for me, who want to use it in professional productions...
This forum is a nice place to stay informed about many aspects of the exploding world of sampling...