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Topic: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

  1. #1

    Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Hey, guys

    I've been thinking about starting a sample library of my own and I was wondering what y'all think is most important in a library. I am looking for ideas and suggestions for my library.
    Here are some questions to stirr your thoughts:

    Is there anything you wish you could to change about an existing library?

    Are there any commonly known bugs that you wish were fixed in a sample library?

    Is there any particular platform (giga, kontakt...) you perfer? Why?

    Any suggestions for me?



  2. #2

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Great question!

    First off, I'm a Giga-head. But Kontakt seems just as popular. There's a bigger step back to third place, and it's crowded there, as far as marketshare goes.

    The top two reasons I've dropped cash on a lib is 1) I need that class of instrument for the music that I want to do, the price isn't exhorbitant, and the value is good, or 2) there's a short-term deal that I just can't pass up, like with Group Buys.

    In the first case I want/need a given instrument or ensemble. The next question is, why one over another?

    First off, I'm a hobbyist. I've yet to drop more than $500 on any library. (Not to say that I never, ever will.) That crosses a lot of high-end stuff off my list. These libs will never pay for themselves in my case.

    Next, it needs to be Giga compatible. If not, it's a no go. I bought GPO, but I rarely use it simply because it doesn't fit my workflow, and because I want to be able to use my other collections. Until I have a separate VSTi computer, I will only buy Giga libs.

    The most important next aspect is the sound. Do the demos sound great? Is that the style of music that I want to make? I've learned that great performances by the recorded musicians is key - especially for brass libs.

    Next is the size of the lib. Does it have lots of layers and articulations? In other words, will it sound realistic, and not like the same sample over and over? Modeling or synthesis might be a good substitute. As long as I get lots of variability and expression in the sounds.

    Finally, there are the tricks. Does it have a gimmick that makes it playable? Some tricks are just fluff. Others, like nice crossfades for ensembles, are critical for some instruments. Round-robbin, legato are other proven tricks.

    Let's look at Garritan's upcoming Solo Stridivari Violin. I've already got KHSS, so a new solo violin is not at the top of my needs list. Unless he runs a deep sale, I'll probably pass - for now anyway.

    It's not a sample lib, it's a synth. I might risk that it would play alongside Giga. It's specialized, so I could probably put up with it if it doesn't play with Giga.

    Next is sound. I hope to hear more demos, but it sounds good from what I've heard.

    The Solo Violin isn't made up of discrete samples, but can create minute differences in sound. It's better than a sample library!

    And it has more tricks than you can imagine to make it playable.

    The bottom line is that I'll probably wait until more instruments are modeled this way, or if I have a project that really needs to feature the solo violin beyond what I want to (or can) program with KHSS.

    But once I need one of Gary's morphed instruments, as long as the price is in the ballpark and the demos have a great sound, I'll be buying.

    Anyway, that's how my sample buying mind works.

    One other thing. I'm more likely to buy near my birthday or Christmas. Rather than convincing my wife that I need to spend money, I just ask her to make the purchase on my behalf.


  3. #3

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Hi Chris,

    The kinds of samples that attract me are definately sampled and processed in the RAW state. I'd rather add my EQ and effects rather dealing with samples that have already been treated with desirable noice parameters and room, hall effects.

    Since I am more comfortable playing in real time, I prefer Gigastudio where Keying a sample can be easily done on the fly or added to a midi-track as one reviews the staff line. A fair sound developer will cover all other bases with other formats.

    I prefer samples form the pop to jazz genre if the right musicians can contribute their time and patience to a sound developer.

    Alan Russell
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below


  4. #4

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    This is interesting.

    May I ask what kind of lib. you want to make? Full orchestra?


  5. #5

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Right now I am using DP on a Mac with a PC running GigaStudio into the Mac. I am also using the Mach5 with Garritan Strings and GPO. I am also using EWSO Brass and winds. I have to say that I really love this set-up. GigaStudio is so easy to use and I really enjoy Garritan and the Mach5 as well. My goal is to set up and system that is lock and load so I can get to composing, and this system works for me!



  6. #6

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Quote Originally Posted by Towering Jerk
    This is interesting.

    May I ask what kind of lib. you want to make? Full orchestra?

    NO, you may NOT ask!!!!!

    Yup, full orchestra!

    I even plan for somewhat rare instruments, like an Eb alto clarinet, contralto clarinet, contrabass clarinet (I like clarinets), Eb clarinet, alto and (if I can find one) bass flute, contrabassoon, piccolo trumpet (I hope), and whatever else I can scrounge up.
    And I'm hoping to include lots of percussion. I like percussion!

    So that's my planned lib. I might add the sax family, but I'm still debating it. (These are all just plans) I am also planning on doing all instruments solo--strings, winds, brass, everything. I'm sort of strealing Gary Garritan's idea, but I thought of it before him.............honest!

    So that's my planned library.

    This is all great stuff, so just keep on posting!!!


  7. #7

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    I look for number of articulations (the more the better), variations of timbre, musicality (totally unquantifiable/subjective), good documentation, keyswitching.

    I use the EXS24.

  8. #8

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bouhalassa
    I look for number of articulations (the more the better), variations of timbre, musicality (totally unquantifiable/subjective), good documentation, keyswitching.

    I use the EXS24.
    I'm trying to get as many articulations as I can, especially in the strings. I was hoping to keep all articulations on one instrument using keyswitches and various controlls.
    Some libraries, like Garritan Orchestral Strings, have every articulation imaginable, but I was thinking of taking a different approach. I was going to have a couple of controlls, which, when used right, will simulate all of the imaginable articulations.

    Do you guys happen to know any efficient controll structures?

    I was going to do velocity controlling the attack crispness (lower velocity=sort of a fade in, higher velocity=a sharp crisp attack) the mod wheel dynamic, the sustain for legato (again I'm working off of Garritan) viberato depth via one of the controls, mutes trills tremlos pizz and sound fx via KS.
    Does this sound efficient to y'all?

    Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


  9. #9

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?


    It's posts like that, that happen when you only get 6 hours of sleep each week. :-p

    Chris, good luck with your project. It's tons of work - but you will cherish the results forever, and there is NOTHING cooler than writing your music with *your* sample library!
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

  10. #10

    Re: Poll: What do you look for in a sample library?

    I took some time to think about this actually, and here's what I came up with. What I look for with any sample lib is (in order of importance to me):

    1. Even-ness in sound quality, in character of tones and notes, velocity response and EQ. I want "flat" stuff to change myself, not pre-made unique-ness. (I prefer "the Roland sound" over more unique sounding stuff). If an instrument sounds great, but not even over the dynamical and tonal range, then I usually don't use it.

    2. Big sounding sounds, meaning "in your face" (close miking), wide as "over the entire stereo spectrum" and dry. You can still get the sounds narrow (in stereo width), distant sounding and wet by editing the audio channel it is sent through, but it is much more difficult (and time consuming) to get a narrow (mono-like), wet and distant sound to sound the opposite way. I hate too much recorded ambience. To me, that is like saying "A string section can only play on a large stage in a concert hall, but nowhere else" which is BS. I want to be able to use the violin section to create the sound of 10 nine year old girls playing violin as a section for the first time in their life, in a concrete room, as well as a section of pros in albert hall and everything in between. I also listen carefully for true stereo effect and no phase distortion and variations in phase perception. I'm actually surprised how many of the top-of-the-line libs that displays bad phase effects in their samples.

    3. Possibility of using the sounds both as both single instruments and ensembles participants, and the instrument should sound equally real and alive in both contexts - not better in one and less better in the other. If this means lowering the quality of the instrument as a solo instrument (as an example) then I would rather take that, than have the instrument sound far better as ensemble participant than solo instrument or vice versa.

    4. Good changes over velocity range. And gradual crossfading samples over velocitys levels - or the possibility to use it as an option. If not crossfaded, then at least 8 layers with smooooth crossovers.

    5. A common control concept. All manual or midi control over the options in the sounds should be should trigger the same change in all sample "patches" and the effect should be linear and to the same amount for all patches. And please do NOT make the user dependant on a separate application to use and trigger the sample patches, I hate that.

    I want to forget how I'm doing it. I just want it going. If I would be riding a bike and at the same time thinking "How the heck can I balance like this on two ½ inch rubber surfaces in 10 mph .. " then I would crash, or at least not enjoying the ride or be as efficient. I want to do, not think about how to achieve it.

    6. Articulation changing and control options made for efficient working pace and intuitive ease. I strongly vote for sticking to keyswitches for articulation change and one common midi control for dynamics control in all articulations. Keyswitching like this is only possible if you provide the entire library of articulations for a single instrument or section as one single sample patch. Otherwise you have to load each articulation or groups of separate articulations into separate midi channels, which makes it alot less intuitive.
    Also, no prerecorded runs, cresc's, dims, sfz's or whatever. No loops. Just notes. Phrases and loops and stuff breaks intuitiveness from using just notes.

    7. Sample patches should be compliant to GM/GS standard midi control conventions as much as possible. When I use mod wheel I want vibrato, when I use pitch weel I want pitch change and when I use expression control I want volume level change. If not, there should be a clear and present reason why not, as an alternative.

    That's my (not so humble ) list of test criterias when I try new things
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

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