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Topic: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

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  1. #1

    Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Here are some thoughts I have concerning these two libraries.

    Symphobia

    1) So symphobia is all about ensemble playing. I'm really confused about what is going to happen in terms of divisi here. If I load the "full orchestra" patch where the entire orchestra is playing in unison (when range allows it), and I hit two notes in the middle register, let's say a third apart, will I suddenly get the sound of two orchestras playing or is there some kind of divisi system that will divide the one orchestra into two?

    2) Let's say I have a woodwind melody with a fairly wide ambitus that I want the ensemble to play. The melody plays fine in the upper register but there is one note in the melody's lower register which triggers a bassoon and then goes back up again. The bassoon entering on that one single note only is obtrusive but I wouldn't want to change my melody line because it might mess up my counterpoint somewhere or something. How do I handle this? I guess what I'm really asking is how well the different ranges blend together? I'm hoping there will be no sudden changes in timbre when going up or down scales.

    These two questions are really two sides of the same coin. If there is no divisi system I could imagine that the sound gets really muddy and too big if I hit many notes. If on the other hand the lack of divisi is remedied by making the different instruments ranges very isolated (eg. not much blending, where one instrument stops, another starts) some melody lines will suffer when they cross the range boundaries because suddenly the melody switches to a different instrument.

    I hope this is not too confusing. I understand that if I wanted to avoid these problems I could just use any old sample library that has sampled the individual sections but I'm just interested how ProjectSAM has thought this one out.

    About True Strike 2:

    3) I've long been thinking about purchasing this library although I already own Stormdrum 1 and 2, which I actually am a bit sorry I purchased. The sound is great but playability is not. They work fine in a full mix but I would never let them play a more complex rhythm alone.
    Are the instruments in true strike sampled thoroughly enough that I could get at least a decently convincing solo performance out of, lets say a darbuka? left/right -alternations (preferably more) and velocity layers are a must.

    About the multi-format installers:

    4) Since the product ship in all formats, I'm guessing there are no advanced kontakt scripts with the kontakt versions that would enable some kind of divisi systems I mentioned or similar?

    5) Are the kontakt patches that I receive going to be editable? Especially with percussion libraries I often like to change mappings to suit my keyboard or playing style if I do something live. Sometimes kontakt patches are locked down so I can do no editing which is a bummer.

    6) Also, are the SAM libraries ever going to get occasional discounts like VSL?

  2. #2

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Since Symphobia isn't even commercially available yet, only the ProjectSAM people can help you answer many those questions. You've posed some great questions though, why not ask the developers directly?

    But, please forward their answers over to us

    -Alex

  3. #3

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    From the Musikmesse video it seems that there is no divisi system and the woodwind layering is rather abrupt. I don't think you can do much with only Symphobia but it might be a nice tool to add life to pieces done with traditional orchestral libraries.

    The sampling in both True Strikes is rather deep and more lifelike than the Stormdrums. The programming is pretty basic but you are free to edit as much as you like to. I've done combination patches to save some MIDI tracks.

  4. #4

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Quote Originally Posted by user002 View Post
    although I already own Stormdrum 1 and 2, which I actually am a bit sorry I purchased. The sound is great but playability is not. They work fine in a full mix but I would never let them play a more complex rhythm alone
    This is the way it should be. You cannot ever use a sample all by itself in a production. It must be accompanied by other instruments you add with it.

    I would much prefer a library that mixes with others, than not.
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  5. #5

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaifox View Post
    This is the way it should be. You cannot ever use a sample all by itself in a production. It must be accompanied by other instruments you add with it.

    I would much prefer a library that mixes with others, than not.
    I meant that it needs to be accompanied by other instruments to mask it's flaws (meaning stuff that gives away the fact that what you are hearing is samples and not a real drummer playing) when used with more complex stuff. Also I don't think that something that sounds good by itself automatically means that it won't fit into a mix with other stuff.

  6. #6

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDavis View Post
    Since Symphobia isn't even commercially available yet, only the ProjectSAM people can help you answer many those questions. You've posed some great questions though, why not ask the developers directly?

    But, please forward their answers over to us
    I personally like when people ask these questions on a forum, as opposed to privately. Understandably, some devs do not want to answer certain q's publicly, but I too am curious about the Symphobia inquiries made by the OP.

    It seems to me that Symphobia is not meant to be a replacement VSL/EWQL/whatever, but instead add to exisiting libs, and give the composer more options and different layers to work with. I too am curious about the divisi thing, but really do not think this will be a problem. I liken it to using a string section in a lib - hit one note of, say, the 1st violin sec., and you are getting 16 violins. Hit two notes (of the same patch), and you are theoretically getting 32 violins, but it doesn't sound like an additional 16 violins. It's just louder. This is what I think is going to happen w/Symphobia; I think it will be a matter of volume as opposed to multiple orchestras.

    I am surprised that you don't find SD 1 & 2 'playable'. Very playable here.

    Cheers.

  7. #7

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    From what I understand, the patches demoed in the Musikmesse video was supposed to be "show offs" of the kind of textures and playability you get from the "combined instruments" (literary, as they are sampled playing together) and just playing directly on a keyboard. While if you listen to the Symphobia demos and read the descriptions on the ProjectSAM web site you will see that they were sequenced using several tracks (6, 24 and 32) per demo for their creation.

    AFAIK, TrueStrike has both right/left hand samples for the instruments it make sense and is very deeply sampled with several velocity layers.
    Anders Dahnielson

    Ardour2, Qtractor, LinuxSampler, M-AUDIO Delta 1010, AKAI S2000, E-MU Proteus 2k, Roland JX-10, 4GB RAM Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80GHz Gentoo Linux 64 bit

  8. #8

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    I sent an email to them sometime ago asking about further information, articulation lists and received the reply that they'd be releasing further information about 50-60 days later. I sent the email on the 6th May so we're probably looking at the week after next at the earliest until we find out more...

    I think the focus of the library is on epic, large orchestrations so will be limited in terms of instruments, I'd guess there will be no divisi sections and no single instruments either (except perhaps the Tuba) and I see it being a rapid sketch tool which you can augment with the other libraries for the subtle bits and fine details.

    Regards

    Tim

  9. #9

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    Looking at the new downloadable scheme that Kirk put in place I saw combi patches. Is in it the same idea? How do they compare? Also how do they deal with the questions above?

    After I watched the video I though "wow that will be the perfect add on to Kirk's downloadable scheme" So you could use full playable instrument/section in full playable group patches, but it seems it might be already there with the combi...

  10. #10

    Re: Questions regarding Symphobia and TS2 (ProjectSAM)

    about six or seven years ago i pitched this same idea (the symphobia type of thing) to the project sam guy in an email and he just kinda sniffed at it as if 'who-would-want-someTHING-like-that-but-thanks reply.....now here it is. the value of having the whole orchestra sampled and laid out for you on a keyboard is quite useful for things other than sketching ideas. nothing beats a big orchestral tutti like one that was sampled with all the musicians playing together. obviously this is to be contrasted in a piece with smaller separate sections and solo material from other libs. i have done this sort of thing for years using the old siedlaczek ORCHESTRA sample lib (i still use it). playing chords sounds quite realistic if you voice them appropriately. also, it is my experience that 'traditional' orchestration rules don't really apply to midi virtual orchestras. for example, you play a unison passage in your horns with a nice ensemble sample you have then to switch imediately in the next to playing a three note chord with your solo samples...it seldom sounds right. the ambience never matches and other hard to pin down problems reduce the realism. particularily with the sam horns it just works better if you just use the same samples for chords and unisons. so it is with the orchestral tutti. i applaud project sam for going ahead with my idea (even though it's quite late in coming!).

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