The state of sample players on Linux

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TheSafePlaces
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby TheSafePlaces » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:15 pm

Oh, right, sample converters, I forgot to respond about those.

The ones you listed (and basically all the ones that exist) probably don't handle the scripting part of Kontakt, which'd reduce the benefits of conversion. And apparently Chicken Systems Translator Pro is said to be so buggy that it's has been called 'alpha software sold for money', and there is supposedly incongruence between formats advertised as supported and formats actually supported. Personally, somehow, I can't get myself to trust any sample converter...or maybe it's the lack of a 'proper' solution (sample format support on Linux or sampler software supported by the company on Linux IMHO) that irks me when I hear of them :\

As for a native converter (or alternatively a sampler for these formats) on Linux - I spoke to nilsge and kfoltman about it earlier, offering to donate for and to test such programs, and...the idea was shot down and called impossible. I guess if the devs say it, one accepts it. And that's the way the cookie crumbles. >_>

tnovelli wrote:Ok, so we could use a *polished* sampler and a sample/patchset converter. I've actually got a small start on that, so I'll bump it up on my (long) list of projects.

Here's what I have in mind: I want a sampler that lets you zoom in on the waveform (kinda like Audacity) to adjust start/end/loop points. Graphical ampeg/adsr editing would be nice. All the SFZ parameters should be editable in realtime (with GUI knobs, MIDI mapping, etc) - I shouldn't have to text-edit the SFZ and reload it. And of course it needs a quick way to assign MIDI note ranges to samples. And layers. Yep, pretty complicated; no wonder it hasn't been done yet.

Good to hear that. However...

The truth is, I kind of don't know where this sampler ends and a sample editor begins ;) And realtime GUI editing of SFZ parameters is already in the roadmap of calfbox/lisalo-qt (I think), and I suppose the rest are, too, seeing as the project is fairly ambitious.

What we need is for someone to reverse engineer the Kontakt and VSL formats and implement them in a sampler, and fast (fast, because the users need them now, not when the formats are long dead and gone (er-hem, GIG)).
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AnthonyCFox
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:21 pm

tnovelli wrote:Ok, so we could use a *polished* sampler and a sample/patchset converter. I've actually got a small start on that, so I'll bump it up on my (long) list of projects.

Here's what I have in mind: I want a sampler that lets you zoom in on the waveform (kinda like Audacity) to adjust start/end/loop points. Graphical ampeg/adsr editing would be nice. All the SFZ parameters should be editable in realtime (with GUI knobs, MIDI mapping, etc) - I shouldn't have to text-edit the SFZ and reload it. And of course it needs a quick way to assign MIDI note ranges to samples. And layers. Yep, pretty complicated; no wonder it hasn't been done yet.


NilsGey is working on an SFZ sample player (lisaloqt) if you made a sample converter that would be fantastic.

There are commercial versions: Translator http://www.samplerzone.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=28 and Extreme Sample Converter http://www.extranslator.com/ and they both have free demos if you wanted to take a look at them.

I got Translator installed with Wine but I haven't used it. I have seen comments on the Linuxsampler forum by people saying they've used it in Wine http://bb.linuxsampler.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24#p316 I haven't tried Extreme Sample Converter yet but another post from the LS forum gives it good marks running in Wine http://bb.linuxsampler.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=609
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby tux99 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:19 pm

Are the specs for these various sample formats available somewhere?

I could be interested in writing a sample format converter (don't hold your breath, I don't think I will manage to work on it before autumn at the earliest and I still have a Korg editor that is waiting to be completed) but I would need the full specs of each format to even be able to consider it.

Edit: ok I see SFZ is an open format and the spec is here:
http://www.cakewalk.com/DevXchange/article.aspx?aid=108

What about SF2 and GIG? I can't find the specs of those. Any other useful formats? Maybe the Gravis PAT format?

Personally I'm also interested in converting to SDS (MIDI sample dump standard) but I have the spec for that already.

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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:47 am

TheSafePlaces wrote:As for a native converter (or alternatively a sampler for these formats) on Linux - I spoke to nilsge and kfoltman about it earlier, offering to donate for and to test such programs, and...the idea was shot down and called impossible. I guess if the devs say it, one accepts it. And that's the way the cookie crumbles. >_>... And realtime GUI editing of SFZ parameters is already in the roadmap of calfbox/lisalo-qt (I think)


So we're looking at, one day, a user friendly way to create our own SFZ fonts from wav files and we'll be able to share the instrument maps with links to the samples. It's better than what we have, certainly, but it's still too high a hurdle for many musicians. It's hard to see how pro-audio on Linux is ever going to be but the tiniest of niches. Maybe the ever growing synth enthusiast crowd will adopt Linux. We do have synths.


Maybe developing a relationship with Plogue or Camel Audio and work with them to ensure that their samplers continue to work with Wine? Well, Camel Audio needs to get theirs working in Wine first...

Here's another idea: NilsGey and kfoltman could find a large distributor of wav samples (if that even exists) and sell samples through their sampler for commissions to support development. :roll:

For now I'll focus on musicianship! And pray that Amplitube 3 continues to work in Wine. :oops:
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby tnovelli » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:37 am

Allright... I played with a few more samplers... so as far as I now this is what we've got:

Fluidsynth engine & Qsynth frontend - basically just plays canned sf2's
Swami - fluidsynth frontend ... kinda what I want. Even handles layers. But only for SF2.
LinuxSampler engine
Jsampler LS frontend - java crap
Qsampler LS frontend - what I want, but clunky as hell. Supports sfz, sf2, gig. Lets you tweak params (and save sfz?)
samplv1/synthv1/drumkv1 plugins - kinda what I want, not very polished
lisaloQt+calfbox (work in progress. I haven't tried it yet)
DrMr plugin - plays Hydrogen drumkits; pretty painless
Last edited by tnovelli on Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby tnovelli » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:08 am

AnthonyCFox wrote:For now I'll focus on musicianship! And pray that Amplitube 3 continues to work in Wine. :oops:


Always a good idea! Like you, I play guitar and some other instruments... so I'm using MIDI mainly for drums, and synths where they fit. I guess I'll use drmr or drumkv1 and call it a day for now!

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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby TheSafePlaces » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:56 am

tux99 wrote:What about SF2 and GIG? I can't find the specs of those. Any other useful formats? Maybe the Gravis PAT format?

Personally I'm also interested in converting to SDS (MIDI sample dump standard) but I have the spec for that already.

I doubt if anyone wants anything to do with SF2 and GIG anymore. This is assuming you ask of them as output formats - SFZ2.0 is the way forward in that regard, SF2 and GIG are already well-supported. A player is being developed for SFZ2.0, and the input formats format everyone wants is Kontakt and VSL, and maybe EXS (although I don't see much of EXS either). Kontakt has a lot of dev docs, see the NI website. Dunno about VSL. You'll have to reverse engineer them anyway, from the sound of it - that appears to be the core of what is required here.

AnthonyCFox wrote:So we're looking at, one day, a user friendly way to create our own SFZ fonts from wav files and we'll be able to share the instrument maps with links to the samples. It's better than what we have, certainly, but it's still too high a hurdle for many musicians.

SFZs are pretty darn easy to make through text files, if only a trifle time-consuming. Sharing instrument maps for samples shouldn't be too difficult if we provide adequate, concise, computer-idiots-proof instructions. This could be a good workaround. BUT, this will only work for older Kontakt formats, not the newer ones - the sound files there are DRM'd, we can't make SFZ files to point to them. So that solution is fast running out of time. And unless we have direct support for atleast Kontakt and VSL - and ENSURE that FOSS samplers are ALWAYS up to speed in reliably supporting market/industry sampling standards, or make sure that said (proprietary) companies always release for Linux - there's no way people are going to adopt Linux for music involving sampling.

AnthonyCFox wrote:And pray that Amplitube 3 continues to work in Wine. :oops:

What, don't guitarix and/or rakarrack and/or Carla cut it? O.o
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AnthonyCFox
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:53 pm

TheSafePlaces wrote:
AnthonyCFox wrote:And pray that Amplitube 3 continues to work in Wine. :oops:

What, don't guitarix and/or rakarrack and/or Carla cut it? O.o


I'm a bit of a tone snob and Amplitube 3 is gorgeous. That it runs in Wine makes Linux a viable option for my home studio. Until I discovered it I was planning on getting Eleven Rack and going with ProTools.

Guitarix is good, like a Peavey Rage. Amplitube 3 is like living in a Guitar Center; it makes NI's Guitar Rig sound kinda thin. I haven't tried Rakarrack + Guitarix yet but I just got a multicore machine so I'll give that a test one of these days, though I'm not holding my breath. I will give it a fair test though; I would love to use all FOSS.
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby TheSafePlaces » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:49 pm

AnthonyCFox wrote:I'm a bit of a tone snob and Amplitube 3 is gorgeous. That it runs in Wine makes Linux a viable option for my home studio. Until I discovered it I was planning on getting Eleven Rack and going with ProTools.

Guitarix is good, like a Peavey Rage. Amplitube 3 is like living in a Guitar Center; it makes NI's Guitar Rig sound kinda thin. I haven't tried Rakarrack + Guitarix yet but I just got a multicore machine so I'll give that a test one of these days, though I'm not holding my breath. I will give it a fair test though; I would love to use all FOSS.


I see :) I'm curious to know how the combination of those three compares to commercial offerings for guitar, which I've never used. I used to play electric guitar processed by rakarrack, and the staggering (IMHO) amount of sonic options it offered (in addition to the new-for-me Linux modular system) was unlike anything I had ever experienced - loved it despite the crappy interface.
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:05 pm

TheSafePlaces wrote:I used to play electric guitar processed by rakarrack, and the staggering (IMHO) amount of sonic options it offered (in addition to the new-for-me Linux modular system) was unlike anything I had ever experienced - loved it despite the crappy interface.


The one time I tried rakarrack the sound was unimpressive and it was a total cpu hog. I've been seeing comments recently about that and it seems to have been a problem with a particular package which, I believe is updated now. I'll give it a test.

EDIT: Oh, damn. I just tried rakarrack and while it is broken; what works, works well enough that I might be able to use it if it all worked properly. To do that means building it from source per the posts I've been reading on rakarrack. I've built from source before but not so often that it's a trivial thing. Oh well, might as well get on with it...
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:15 am

AnthonyCFox wrote: I've built from source before but not so often that it's a trivial thing.


Holy cow, was it ever "not trivial"; I had to learn how to patch source code! That was my first time for that. Actually, it's not that difficult but all the failed attempts to compile it and the searching for the problem was a pain. And in the end it was still broken. :(

Oh well, patching source code has been on my bucket list for a long time so I did get to do that. :roll:
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby TheSafePlaces » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:32 am

AnthonyCFox wrote:
AnthonyCFox wrote: I've built from source before but not so often that it's a trivial thing.


Holy cow, was it ever "not trivial"; I had to learn how to patch source code! That was my first time for that. Actually, it's not that difficult but all the failed attempts to compile it and the searching for the problem was a pain. And in the end it was still broken. :(

Oh well, patching source code has been on my bucket list for a long time so I did get to do that. :roll:


Good heavens. Use a sensible distro like KXStudio (or use the KX repos) already. falktx only uses those versions in the repos which are known to work without bugs/breakages. Complaints from users - he rolls back. Keyword - repos. No source compiling. :lol:
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AnthonyCFox
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby AnthonyCFox » Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:18 pm

TheSafePlaces wrote:Good heavens. Use a sensible distro like KXStudio (or use the KX repos) already. falktx only uses those versions in the repos which are known to work without bugs/breakages. Complaints from users - he rolls back. Keyword - repos. No source compiling. :lol:


I am using KxStudio. I suspect rakarrack has problems when installed on 64-bit machines.
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby TheSafePlaces » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:05 pm

AnthonyCFox wrote:I am using KxStudio. I suspect rakarrack has problems when installed on 64-bit machines.

Ow. In which case...tough. :(

And to touch on the topic a little...tux99, tnovelli - any 'status updates' on your respective ends? And is anyone else interested in lifting sampling on Linux audio out of the dump, perhaps pitching in to reverse engineer the Kontakt and VSL formats? :|
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Re: The state of sample players on Linux

Postby tux99 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:59 pm

TheSafePlaces wrote:tux99, tnovelli - any 'status updates' on your respective ends? And is anyone else interested in lifting sampling on Linux audio out of the dump, perhaps pitching in to reverse engineer the Kontakt and VSL formats? :|


Like I said I might be writing a converter (but again as I said this would be in autumn at the earliest as I have too many other things going on before then), but only for formats where the full specification is available, I have no time to reverse engineer any undocumented proprietary formats and frankly I don't see why I should support them by doing that anyway, if a vendor uses an undocumented proprietary format then as far as I'm concerned he deserves to be boycotted, not supported.


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