Versilian Community Sample Library

Link to good samples/soundfonts at http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/free_audio_data

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ssj71
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby ssj71 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:42 pm

Samulis wrote:
Hi there, Sam Gossner here- developer of VSCO 2. Just figured I'd pop in and answer a few concerns.
...


Wow, thanks for the insight of how this was created, and many many thanks for releasing it under a permissive license!
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
My plugins are Infamous! http://ssj71.github.io/infamousPlugins
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falkTX
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby falkTX » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:19 pm

ssj71 wrote:
Samulis wrote:
Hi there, Sam Gossner here- developer of VSCO 2. Just figured I'd pop in and answer a few concerns.
...


Wow, thanks for the insight of how this was created, and many many thanks for releasing it under a permissive license!


Indeed, your efforts are really appreciated!

Some people are too fast to complain sometimes, perhaps not realizing the amount of work that already went into making something.
I think they mean well, their message is just not expressed in the best way.

rghvdberg
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby rghvdberg » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:20 pm

falkTX wrote:Some people are too fast to complain sometimes, perhaps not realizing the amount of work that already went into making something.
I think they mean well, their message is just not expressed in the best way.


And some people just complain and bitch about anything.
I'm slowly learning to ignore them.

Anyway, to all who gave us these great tools, thank you so very much.

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falkTX
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby falkTX » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:36 am

Lyberta replied here, but it was getting quite off topic (as usual), so I split the topic.
See viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18358

Samulis
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby Samulis » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:43 am

falkTX wrote:Lyberta replied here, but it was getting quite off topic (as usual), so I split the topic.
See viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18358


Thanks. If anyone has any questions on-topic while I'm around, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you can reach out to me via the GitHub for the project and other "official channels". I'll try to hop back in here every few days/weeks.

I have now set up an e-mail list, in addition to the usual GitHub notifications, for anyone who wants to get notified when new content gets added (currently about weekly/twice per week). All the info on that is in the Readme on GitHub.

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Michael Willis
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby Michael Willis » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:03 pm

j_e_f_f_g wrote:
bigcat1969 wrote:phase locking the samples and cross fading between them


That's what I do in the No Budget Orchestra.


j_e_f_f_g, could you share more details about your process for phase locking the samples in No Budget Orchestra? I'm considering doing some sampling work of my own, and any advice on this subject would be very helpful.

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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby iurie » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:06 pm

Samulis wrote:If someone wants to buy the full library or any of my other commercial projects because they like what they hear, that means I can hire some musicians or contractors or buy some more equipment. If not, not a problem, enjoy the freeware and I hope it helps you make some music. I really don't know what else to say about the matter.


I am curious if creating/improving/developing this (CC0) sample library by mean of donation is possible. I know that maybe few people are interested in such things. Or maybe developing a focused good free software plugin for this and collecting donations or sell executables to finance the development & improvement of the library... because people more react/understand tangible things. So, I am wandering if this is even possible...

artofmusic
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby artofmusic » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:37 am

I've been scratching my head on this one. Why is there no paid SFZ (FULL) version of the library even though you may just target sforzando/aria player. I hate kontakt 5 never could get the demo to work in wine. However sforzando works like a charm even at 48000/64 at 2 nperiods.

Samulis
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby Samulis » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:17 am

iurie wrote:I am curious if creating/improving/developing this (CC0) sample library by mean of donation is possible. I know that maybe few people are interested in such things. Or maybe developing a focused good free software plugin for this and collecting donations or sell executables to finance the development & improvement of the library... because people more react/understand tangible things. So, I am wandering if this is even possible...


I've been thinking about this too. From my experience, donationware is rarely effective in sample libraries due to the size of the project; most people are happy to download without paying, and the few that do tend to be so few as not to sufficiently offset the costs. That's why many freeware projects are either small, distributed through mirrors or torrents, or hosted by commercial companies which can offset the cost. One consideration I had was to create an official, full-featured Kontakt version with a fancy GUI and other fluff that some people want and offer that at a flat rate as some kind of 'lifetime subscription'. Pay $25 or $50 or whatever, get lifetime updates every time we add new stuff in the Kontakt version. Any thoughts?

artofmusic wrote:I've been scratching my head on this one. Why is there no paid SFZ (FULL) version of the library even though you may just target sforzando/aria player. I hate kontakt 5 never could get the demo to work in wine. However sforzando works like a charm even at 48000/64 at 2 nperiods.


Hmm... are you confusing VCSL with VSCO? VSCO is the orchestra one we have a full Kontakt version; VCSL is a new thing which only publicly has SFZ format so far.

Sforzando/ARIA have a few limitations and issues which make it challenging to develop for commercially, in no particular order-
  • Lack of standardized GUI format across all players; no coherent GUI implementation or even documentation is available anywhere.
  • Poor standardization of code across all players; frequent issues from people using non-fully-supported players (especially problematic with advanced sfz scripts). Something that works fine in ARIA may not work in LinuxSampler or even cross-platform.
  • Lack of monolithic distribution options; lack of even the most rudimentary copy protection (unless licensing from Plogue: $$$).
  • No standardization of effects implementation.
  • Lack of custom sfz extensions, advanced scripting, etc. unless working directly with player manufacturer; advanced sampling features (multi-mic, true legato, advanced keyswitching) are difficult if not impossible in some cases if not properly planned out or if not using ARIA extensions.
  • Lack of powerful mapping utilities (peastman had to program one in python from scratch for this project).

For all the crap everyone (including yours truly) gives Kontakt, it really is the clear winner in terms of commercial applications for most developers until something like HISE matures enough to be a serious contender. SFZ is great, but it's not really standardized or powerful enough for a modern commercial library, even one as simple as VSCO 2 Pro. That being said, it's almost perfectly designed for something like VCSL- single mic position, not too large, highly configurable to match instrument controls desired, and best of all, completely open and user-reconfigurable.

iurie
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby iurie » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:56 am

Samulis wrote:
iurie wrote:SFZ is great, but it's not really standardized or powerful enough for a modern commercial library


Thank you for your response. How do you see a format like this?... What SFZ lacks?

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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby Samulis » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:18 am

iurie wrote:
Samulis wrote:
iurie wrote:SFZ is great, but it's not really standardized or powerful enough for a modern commercial library


Thank you for your response. How do you see a format like this?... What SFZ lacks?


I made a bulleted list of all the issues with SFZ in my last post, please see my thoughts on what SFZ lacks there.

Don't get me wrong, SFZ is fantastic, versatile, and easily the best format for freeware and replacing .sf2 just as Rene designed it, but when you get into the features that are found in most modern-day top-tier commercial sample libraries (true legato, multi-mic, built-sequencers, advanced effects, presets, modeling, standardized, advanced GUI), and those which are important to developers managing very large sample sets (robust automapping, dedicated low-CPU lossless compression scheme, custom scripting functionality, graphical development tools/SDK, monolithic delivery options, basic DRM, advanced MIDI control processing, etc.), it just can't cut it at that scale, at least for a small developer who doesn't have the money to develop internal development tools or modify the SFZ spec to their own terms (something with Plogue and Cakewalk both did quite extensively).

What is promising to be the next competitor to Kontakt in my opinion is Christoph Hart's HISE, which can or will do all of those things, but is still deep in development stage. HISE uses a system of modules, each performing different tasks. Whatever isn't already there, any developer can program their own module, so it has almost no limit to features.

SFZ on the other hand uses a series of opcodes within layered headers, like HTML document, but without any form of nesting. This was and should be intuitive, but time has not been kind to the SFZ format. These opcodes were originally standardized at a 1.0 level, with an unofficial "2.0" based on Cakewalk's changes and then some "ARIA"-specific extensions added by Plogue/Garritan. There are some custom opcodes used by certain samplers and not by others as well. Only ARIA and Sforzando cover (almost) all of the opcodes, with some Cakewalk samplers covering most and other samplers such as Linux Sampler having spotty coverage at best. This lack of standardization means one SFZ file will load perfectly on my computer in ARIA but may fail in Sforzando on Mac or LinuxSampler or Dimension or any of the other SFZ-loading samplers. Some DAWs and even hardware support SFZ, but all with limited implementation. This is all setting aside the fact that there isn't a single coherent documentation of SFZ anywhere, and even if there was, it would be full of asterisks about compatibility issues.

The end result is the soundware developer gets left to deal with all of the bugs and issues with the individual players on the market, having to sometimes change their code or work just to be compatible with this sampler or that sampler. Implementing a feature one way may work fine on my computer running ARIA, but not on another computer running another sampler. On the other hand, with a closed system like Kontakt or even something open (for now?) like HISE, the sampler developer makes the experience as close as possible across the platforms and no 3rd party "semi-compatible" samplers exist to complicate things. If I program a feature in Kontakt or HISE, it will work on any system running that version of Kontakt or HISE or later, guaranteed.

So, TL;DR- to develop a simple library like VCSL, SFZ 1.0 or even 2.0 is perfectly suitable: stable, easy to edit, easy to debug, completely open format. But, for something like a brand new 100+ GB commercial orchestral library by a big name company, it doesn't have the features needed to make the product a commercial success.

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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby iurie » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:29 am

Samulis wrote:Don't get me wrong, SFZ is fantastic...


No, I you are saying interesting and useful things. I don't get you wrong. I have some questions for myself that want to clarify, and I think people that dealt with building or using these kinds of libraries/ technology can share their thoughts.

Samulis wrote:monolithic delivery options


What do you mean by monolithic? A monolithic file format? Or you mean in general.

Samulis wrote:SFZ on the other hand uses a series of opcodes within layered headers, like HTML document, but without any form of nesting.


Nesting you mean to be able to specify properties of an "opcode" in a nested form?

Also, you mentioned about scripting, GUI etc. My question is how this can be delivered on one file? As an zipped bundle format like OpenDocument Format? Or just in one file? Samples are still separated folder? Do yo have any thought on this?

I have read people use 90GB of RAM, and expect all the instruments to be loaded in this memory... do really people go to these lengths?

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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby ssj71 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:49 pm

pardon my ignorance but does HISE offer any solution over sfz? (http://www.hise.audio/)
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
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d.healey
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby d.healey » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:42 pm

ssj71 wrote:pardon my ignorance but does HISE offer any solution over sfz? (http://www.hise.audio/)


HISE is a tool for building virtual instruments that can be exported as VSTi/AU plugins that will run on GNU/Linux, Mac, or Windows. It can create instruments that are much more sophisticated than what can be achieved with SFZ but it is also a lot more complicated and requires a lot more programming ability than SFZ.

If you are building a simple instrument then HISE would be over-kill and SFZ would be a better option. If you are building an instrument that needs to do more than SFZ can do then HISE is a better option. Different tools for different tasks.

One major problem with SFZ that has been brought up already is there is no libre SFZ player that can handle more than the most basic opcodes (and you wouldn't want you wonderful free SFZ to require a proprietary player would you...?). So the limits of SFZ are reached rather quickly.

Samulis
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Re: Versilian Community Sample Library

Postby Samulis » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:57 am

d.healey pretty much hit the nail on the head with HISE vs. SFZ. I would note that HISE is still a work-in-progress, but I know d.healey and others are actively developing products with it at this point, so it's definitely worth checking out as an alternative, especially for combining different instrument styles and getting some very unique sounds out of it. It has a different design paradigm than SFZ, so it's been taking me a particularly long time to warm up to it. :oops:

iurie wrote:What do you mean by monolithic? A monolithic file format? Or you mean in general.


Yes, to bundle all of the sample data, instructions, etc. into a single file, or at the very least, bundle all the sample data together. Some users have difficulty understanding the structure of sample libraries, and they are very easy to break if they, for example, move the patches to a different location without moving the samples. So, for smaller libraries or just to keep things together, a monolithic format would be preferred. Rene (the guy who came up with SFZ) actually mentioned monolithic format being a potential future possibility for SFZ, but to my knowledge it was not implemented.

iurie wrote:Nesting you mean to be able to specify properties of an "opcode" in a nested form?


No, I am referring to the ability to nest regions within regions, which is a result of SFZ not having closing statements for headers (such as '</region>'). For example, a SFZ file may have this structure:

Code: Select all

-> Control (only can contain some special opcodes)
     -> Group (e.g. 'Vibrato Sustain')
          -> Region
          -> Region
          -> Region
          -> ...
     -> Group (e.g. 'Non-Vibrato Sustain')
          -> Region
          -> Region
          -> Region
          -> ...
etc.


But you can't have this in a SFZ:

Code: Select all

-> Control (only can contain some special opcodes)
     -> Group (e.g. 'Vibrato Sustain')
          -> Group (e.g. 'Round Robin 1')
               -> Region
               -> Region
               -> Region
               -> ...
          -> Group (e.g. 'Round Robin 2')
               -> Region
               -> Region
               -> Region
               -> ...
     -> Group (e.g. 'Non-Vibrato Sustain')
etc.

i.e. you cannot 'nest' a group within a group, because as soon as you declare a new <group>, the parser automatically assumes you just closed the preceding group with a </group>. (if you actually were to write '</group>' in a SFZ, you'd get a syntax error when you went to load the file)

ARIA engine gave a small "fix" to this by adding <Global> header, which can be used to apply settings to multiple groups. This way you can organize things like round robins a bit easier with less wasted extra code, but it's still a weakness of SFZ. It makes SFZ faster to write and a little smaller in disk space, though, which is not a bad trade-off.

Note that SFZ headers inherit from their parent headers, that's why I visually nested <region>'s within <group>'s above. To reduce extra code, you can put an opcode that is standard to all regions in a group header before the regions begin. However, what if you have many groups which all should have the same opcode or two? That's where <global> comes in- to provide opcodes to groups within.

(extra side-note, note that even though they inherit, they only inherit if the opcode doesn't appear, so a <region> with a 'volume=' opcode will not inherit the 'volume=' from their <group>)

iurie wrote:Also, you mentioned about scripting, GUI etc. My question is how this can be delivered on one file? As an zipped bundle format like OpenDocument Format? Or just in one file? Samples are still separated folder? Do yo have any thought on this?


Kontakt uses a separate 'resources' folder to contain all non-sound assets for a project, or bundles it into a .nkr. Either is perfectly valid. The issue here is rather that SFZ doesn't even have documentation for GUI creation because although ARIA and Sforzando support GUIs, they're closed source. Similarly, adding scripting functionality to SFZ would be a lot of work, and would also require either an open source or very well documented format. Kontakt has its own scripting language, HISE uses a few standard high-level languages but alters them to the task.

Consider a comparison: SFZ is like a .txt file while Kontakt and HISE are like .pdf. You can open a .pdf on any computer in the world running Adobe Acrobat and it will look visually near-identical, with characters in the exact same place, colored and hinted the same way. But, a .txt file will look different in every text editor as they each have different fonts, sizes, word wrap rules, kerning, line spacing, etc. Kontakt, HISE, PLAYER, Maize, etc. all promise a universal end result, while SFZ cannot- I would argue it's the same reason why people don't write giant pieces of software in BASIC.

iurie wrote:I have read people use 90GB of RAM, and expect all the instruments to be loaded in this memory... do really people go to these lengths?


Well, there are people who do things like that (most I typically hear of is about 64 GB, but some very wealthy folks probably have upwards of 128 GB). However, almost everyone uses DFD streaming to greatly reduce the amount of RAM necessary to use their instruments, and with the random read speeds of SSD's compared to traditional hard drives being so powerful, it's almost silly to load samples completely into RAM when, at that price, you could just keep your samples on a bank of SSD's.

Besides, within the next decade, we're probably going to start seeing a shift away from massive sample libraries to neural-network powered modelling systems, which will be much more CPU-bound. Massive sample libraries are just too expensive to produce- hiring dozens of musicians for hundreds if not thousands of hours is financially inherently unstable in a market of heavy competition and continually decreasing product differentiation. Even as saturated and bursting as the market of composers is, there is a limit and eventually it will be reached; there will be a day when a dev goes whole-hog on a massive library, puts it out, and gets little interest. Consider all the warning signs: extreme discounts, large bundles, transition to subscription models to capture more markets, lack of product differentiation, development of increasingly esoteric and specific products, sometimes to lackluster results.


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