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Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:16 am

I'm at the stage where I need better instruments (called 'samples' if in computer I'm beginning to understand) and someone on here mentioned Komplete (just heard a demo on their site which is astounding)...

Any comments on Komplete or others I should look at?
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:38 am

'Samples' are simply digitised recordings. To create something like a piano many hundreds of samples will be taken of all the notes played at various velocities and these will then be played back by a 'sampler' (a bit of a misnomer these days, but there you go...), allowing you to play back the samples as part of a musical performance.

Other 'intruments' don't use samples at all - an analogue synthesiser, for example. These sounds are created electrically, or, in the case of a virtual (VST) synthesiser, generated by software.

NI Komplete is a collection of VST instruments (VSTi), including sampled and generated sound sources. Kontakt is the 'sampler' of the Komplete collection, and comes with a large collection of sampled sounds for you to use. I never bought Komplete, since I don't need all of those contents, but I do use Kontakt - and very good it is too. Don't forget that you're not limited to the sounds that come as part of the library; you can buy additional material, or create your own samples.

Kontakt is relatively easy to use, but when you want to dig deeper than the basics it reveals a tricky interface with multiple drop-down sections that I find really annoying.

Komplete comes with a solid collection of other instruments, including the very nice FM8 (an incarnation of the old Yamaha FM synths, such as the venerable DX7), the esoteric Absynth and the ho-hum (IMHO) Massive.

All of the information you need to know about Komplete is HERE.

Hope that helps! :D
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby OneWorld » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:10 pm

nerdle wrote:I'm at the stage where I need better instruments (called 'samples' if in computer I'm beginning to understand) and someone on here mentioned Komplete (just heard a demo on their site which is astounding)...

Any comments on Komplete or others I should look at?

Thought you had Halion anyway? so that would do the sampling for you and your copy of Cubase 6 will have a useful set of VST softsynths to get going with, Komplete is very good, but very complex, I wouldn't have thought it good to learn on, but if you have unlimited funds and time then indeed dunk yourself in the deep end why not
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:15 pm

Thankyou Mr Elf - I didn't really know the difference.

Cubase 6 has lots of instruments but maybe I just don't know how to use them properly...

I have so much to learn. I'll be at a Basca seminar next week - will hopefully meet a few people and find a bit of guidance there.

I really need to learn how to create glissandos and fretless guitar sounds - can't see how to do it via a keyboard at the moment....

Thank you in the meantime.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:25 pm

nerdle wrote:I really need to learn how to create glissandos and fretless guitar sounds
These are difficult to synthesise. My initial suggestion would be to get real players in to do it properly, if possible. Failing that you'll need to emulate the playing techniques with your keyboard's pitch bend and mod wheels.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:46 am

As pointed out above you should have Halion (One) in Cubase these days. It doesn't let you "sample" like the full Halion package, but it comes with a wide range of preset samples of instruments, which I think you will find useful for the moment, without the need to spend on Kontakt/Komplete yet.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:28 am

Hello
I know I have Halion but I can't find a good guitar sound - the piano sounds synthetic etc. I would like to get peices to a finished state with no need to re-work for the forseeable future. I'm a slow learner admittely but I'll soon be doing it as I'm not working and have lots of time to feed this obsession....
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:56 am

nerdle wrote:Hello
I know I have Halion but I can't find a good guitar sound - the piano sounds synthetic etc.
Much can be improved upon (I must admit that I'm no great fan of much of Halion's library), and the Kontakt library does include some excellent pianos, but I wonder if you are expecting too much. Seriously, just go and find a decent guitarist to help you - the results will be far better than anything you'll scratch up from a few samples.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 am

Guitar (among other instruments) often doesn't sound right at all as a sampled instrument. The lack of all the possible expression available in a real guitar make for a very sterile set of samples (usually).

The pianos in Halion shouldn't be too bad, but I expect it is a fairly limited sample set, whereas you can get much better dedicated piano players such as the Ivory VST among others, or whatever comes with Kontakt.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:16 pm

Thank you again
Kontakt seems one to look at.

Finding a good original tune is one thing - actully creating a beautiful polished sound is a whole new thing...
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby tacitus » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:22 pm

So which are you most interested in - composing or recording? Possibly you feel they are one and the same but as you said 'composing' in your sig I took it to mean that the composing side might be more in your line than recording songs. Personally, coming from a classical background I write pretty well everything in Sibelius, for which I have the most feeble sound set used merely to approximate the overall sound and to be able to check that the notes I've written are the ones I meant to. Therefore, for me the performance side means getting people to play what I've written - which is, I suppose, what does it for me.

If you don't do notation you'll need at least to do some sort of recording so potential performers have an idea of what you want. Given that to write music I have to sit and look at a screen or manuscript book for heaven knows how long, I can't wait to get out and perform it for real. Is the rough sketch/final performance process not viable for you?

Ultimately, I can't help thinking that the problems you have come over to me as performance problems rather than composition ones. As I say, there may be no difference in your mind, in which case this is just an old geezer rambling again. Just wondered.
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:55 pm

Hello Tacitus and thank you for being interested - no 'rumbling on' that I could hear anyway...

Without being too boring about it I've always wanted to create music. Now I'm kind of doing it and I'd love to be Lionel Bart and have someone just realise it for me but not rich enough and I like experimenting with the sounds here on my own. I find it not too hard to find original melodies and to arrange a piece - its a nightmare to knock it into a performance as I'm not a musician. I always hated sightreading and loved the aural tests.

I have no idea where this is going and even less about the music business. I'll just keep churning out nice tunes until I've got a collection worth showing off and a 'style' starts to emerge. That's my best plan right now anyway...


So far I've got 3 strong tunes, two not so great and loads of ideas. Still learning Cubase.....
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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby James Perrett » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:24 am

I think you should try hooking up with some local musicians who could do some playing on your songs. It needn't cost money - you can often work out some kind of barter arrangement and, if people enjoy playing on your songs they might even do it for free.

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Re: Samples/instruments

Postby nerdle » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:47 am

Thanks James.

I've done photos for a bass guitar session and Easter eggs for vocal crowd (personal liveaid)! The photos seem good barter currency. Are you at Beggar's Fair this year?

Kate
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