I've been thinking of posting this for a while and I've held off, simply because it might be one of those "unapproachable" topics like 'How do I sample like a Pro, tell me everything!' or 'What it is the meaning of life?', and so on.
In my former musical life, before I decided to compose, I was a relatively decent oboist. As such, I've made a good number of oboist friends. One of these good friends was listening to some of my 'junk' the other day, and was asking about how stuff was created with samples and all that.
Well, we finished talking and she told me she'd be happy to "record a sample library" of solo oboe and possibly solo English horn....
So, I suppose my question is, What the heck do I do next? I dunno how many purely oboe/english horn libraries there are on the market (except for the VSL French oboe)...
Steve - This might sound a little odd given that it's the question you are asking, but: what do YOU want from the product? And by that I actually don't mean in terms of articulations or tonal variations...I mean in terms of your expectations for yourself starting up as a sample library developer.
I'm guessing since you are asking the question it's something that you want to do, but I've noticed even on these pages how tough it is for people with great sampled instruments they've built to do much else but almost give them away as they don't have a route to market or deal with a distributor.
So, if it's to be a commercial venture, perhaps either look to do something pretty different from the competition (simply 'More' isn't always necessarily what gets people to put their money on the table when they've already got 'some'), or something complementary (a library that sonically matches something like the SAM brass but for your particular instruments, or one with near-zero ambience to blend with VSL). You need to come at it from the point of view of sales and work backwards: think about what it is about your library that makes it THE thing that we just absolutely need have...perhaps the sheer quantity of articulations and sound quality for your particular instrument will be your USP, or perhaps the less trodden ground of ease of playability and transparent articulation switching - an interesting example is Realguitar in terms of sheer playability - or think about which sampler gives you the flexibility to deliver a sampled instrument that you'd want to play.
At the risk of sounding at all preachy as I know nothing about you as an individual at all (and do please tell me if it comes across as preachy - Am happy to edit post!) other things to think about the amount of real time it takes to record, edit, and loop your samples, make sure you've got them safely stored and backed up on your development system, and then program them into your sampler(s) of choice, plus how much time you'll be prepared to spend providing support for your library in real terms given the real-life commitments we all have ...Then there's packaging/marketing/distribution and/or download...and If none of that's put you off then you are in business! and by the sound of it perfectly positioned to get cracking!
If it's more of a labour of love, or community project, then your timescales, product content and support commitments may well be different...
I don't know if that helps at all, but having done some software development and sales in the past, thinking about your target market at the early stages will give you an idea of how many units you could hope to sell and in terms of commercial success, that'll give you an idea of whether you'll be rich or broke if you have to spent $(insert guess) on getting to market.
If you do go ahead, then wishing you all the best - These things are always a lot of work but always a lot of fun!
and by the sound of it perfectly positioned to get cracking!
Or cracked. Unfortunately, there is also the subject of copy-protection to think about. This may be quite costly and perhaps not something a new and upcoming developer can afford. The alternative: release the library without copy-protection and be prepared to have some people steal it. Can you live with that?