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Older sample formats

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Older sample formats

Postby DanielBeach » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:45 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the comments on my two most recent posts, which have been really helpful - I'm finally making music again!

I have some old sample collections, mainly "prosamples" CDs, which I'd love to be able to use. I used to load them up into Halion 2 (using the Import AKAI feature), but I had to do a lot of tweaking before the patches were usable, mainly due to velocity being set to 0 on all of the samples by Halion.

What would people recommend these days? Do I need to shell out on Kontakt 5, or is there something else/more obvious, which will load full AKAI or EXS24 formats, with the full mapping etc.?

Many thanks

Daniel
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby The Elf » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:05 pm

Kontakt would be my choice. It does do a good job of importing old Akai disks when required.

However, once you have the Kontakt library in your grasp I doubt you'll be wanting to mess around importing those old disks any more!
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:10 pm

The Elf wrote:Kontakt would be my choice. It does do a good job of importing old Akai disks when required.

However, once you have the Kontakt library in your grasp I doubt you'll be wanting to mess around importing those old disks any more!

My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:35 pm

True, although I do have a soft spot for some of those old Akai multi-samples, and particularly how amazing they sound considering they use such a tiny amount of RAM

I use to buy them singly on floppy disk for my Akai sampler


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Re: Older sample formats

Postby DanielBeach » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:49 pm

Thanks for the reply, guys. I love the guitar and bass from ProSamples so am keen to convert them. Kontakt is a bit out of budget though, as I have just bought a new PC and soundcard and, whilst I want to make the best tracks I can, and do work as a pro muso, the stuffI do on the computer doesn't form any part of making my living, so it's hard to justify at the moment!

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Re: Older sample formats

Postby hollowsun » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:26 pm

NI have a 50% sale on at the moment
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby hollowsun » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:37 pm

hollowsun wrote:NI have a 50% sale on at the moment
Damn! It ended yesterday
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby OneWorld » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:08 pm

There are some freeware softsamplers that do some importing, ShortCircuit comes to mind, additionally, Paax2, TX16W, HiLife Sample Player. Can't say whether they import the older Akai programs. Before I bought Kontakt, I also bought some software called Extreme Sample Convertor. That does a really good job, but I was a bit miffed with the maker/seller of the software because although his site is still 'live' he stopped answering support emails.

A free update was promised a few years ago, so far nothing. I think it is wreong to have a site selling products, promising support then ignoring emails from purchasers. That being said I think the software does the job quite well.

There is also Chickensys. I tried that as I wanted to try and convert Yamaha AxK sample programs. I downloaded the demo but it crashed again and again, I gave up with it - to be fair the software itself does seem to be the 'go to' sample convertor, it just didn't work for me.

I got into Kontakt through the back door so to speack. I got a cheap Kontakt 2 off eBay, only about £20.00 but could register it. Then NI had a sale where they were offering upgrades to K5 for about £70!!!, worth every brass scheckle too
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby hollowsun » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:55 pm

OneWorld wrote:There is also Chickensys. I tried that as I wanted to try and convert Yamaha AxK sample programs. I downloaded the demo but it crashed again and again, I gave up with it - to be fair the software itself does seem to be the 'go to' sample convertor
It's not actually - it's largely regarded as a 'runaway from' piece of software because SO many (most) people have exactly the same problems as you experienced.

CD-Extract is considerably more reliable, effective and easy to use.

But in fairness, you will never get a totally perfect conversion from any convertor because the voice architectures of the different samplers (hardware and software) are all so totally different.

+1 for Kontakt - it's ubiquitous and there is SOOOOO much library out there for it, much of it free, a lot of it very reasonably priced (and the stupidly priced expensive stuff). It's just worth buying and getting over the initial outlay for then you will have SO many sounds at your disposal - even the bundled library is pretty good (ish). It's a bloody good sampler with a pretty much modular architecture ... add different types of filter, LFOs, envelopes, effects and so on. And there's the scripting which takes it to a whole new level (although it IS complicated if you're not a coding preference).

I have no affiliation with NI, BTW - just a user - and I actually object to some of their strategies ... but it's a damned good product and just worth having.
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:09 am

I got Translator (on a Mac) and it converted my 20 odd zip disk with only the odd bank it didn't like, but that bank translated on a second run. It did my Akai CD Roms and E-Mu CD Roms too. But Hollowsun would know more about any issues there might be with it than I do.
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:11 pm

Another vote for Kontakt. It's unbeatable.

I have a feeling NI bought the ChickenSys code and built it in to Kontakt...? To attract people moving from hardware.

I do actually like older libraries, and Kontakt does a pretty good job with most formats. I'm still using a 64 Meg East West Fazioli as my main piano, for instance. I've got all of the Emu IIIx library, some gems in there. The old Siedzlazik string ensemble in Akai format is still unbeatable. Mike Pinder's Mellotron disc was only ever released in Akai and Roland format and that's gorgeous, way better than the M-Tron plugin. I guess I have a bit of sunken bias, those disks were expensive back in the day!

I even have Emulator II stuff translated from the factory libraries- torturous route: EMXP -->SoundFont--> Kontakt. Now those do come out a bit mangled sometimes, but only a bit.

Now if someone could write a translator for Fairlight disks, I'd be very happy!
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby BJG145 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:22 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:I have a feeling NI bought the ChickenSys code and built it in to Kontakt

I'd be very surprised. Awful piece of software IMHO.

+1 for CDXtract, or Awave Studio.
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:10 pm

Agreed- it promised a lot but never delivered.

Awave is the only thing that will do Ensoniq Mirage disks. That's fun...
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby desmond » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:56 pm

Unfortunately, *both* of those pieces of software have an, um, *chequered* past in terms of support, development, pricing, bugs, promises, stability, usability and so on... I'd avoid them both except out of desperation...
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:19 pm

hollowsun wrote:CD-Extract is considerably more reliable, effective and easy to use.

But in fairness, you will never get a totally perfect conversion from any convertor because the voice architectures of the different samplers (hardware and software) are all so totally different.

Having performing a lot of inter-sampler conversions over the years I totally agree with this comment of Steve's - you simply can't expect one format to sound the same as another with a completely different sub-set of functions once converted.

I still have Bernard Chavonnet's CDXtract on my PC since reviewing it way back in SOS October 2002:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct02/articles/cdxtract4.asp

As for Chicken Systems' Translator, when it works it can do so extremely well:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan02/articles/chicksys.asp

When I reviewed it back in SOS January 2002 I concluded that "It does still have some rough edges, and I initially had a few doubts about its stability, but the more I worked with it, the more I appreciated its powerful and comprehensive translation options, as well as being reassured by the rapid response of the developers to bug reports and specific conversion issues."

It can be a life-saver, and was used by Eric Persing of Spectrasonics to convert his Metamorphosis release from Roland to Akai format, but it does continue to attract more than its fair share of user grumbles on-line as well.


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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Scramble » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:34 am

Funnily enough a CD of Translator arrived in the post today, years after ChickenSys promised that they would send a CD out to users, and years after I had stopped using it. I'm expecting that 'How to Master the Yo-yo' book that I ordered when I was 12 but which never turned up to arrive next!

(I never had a problem with Translator, but I only ever used it occasionally for a few simple conversions).
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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Maestro_T » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:11 pm

"Scramble
Funnily enough a CD of Translator arrived in the post today, years after ChickenSys promised that they would send a CD out to users, and years after I had stopped using it".

Do you still happen to have this? If you're not using it, I definitely could.

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Re: Older sample formats

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:45 am

Hah! I'm still waiting for my Translator CD update after several years as well

Perhaps mine will turn up soon as well


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