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Advice for Sampling

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Advice for Sampling

Postby forumuser879609 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:53 pm

I am sampling a 1,000 year old Chinese stone xylophone. Each note will have 5 velocity ranges and 5 round robins. I am sampling with four different types of mallets overall.

I have a few questions and hope some of you have experience here.

First is regarding post-production tuning. Because these samples have no semitones and are not in the 440 tuning, I will need to tune them. They have a steady tone, so it's an easy job for software. But is it best to use tuning software such as Melodyne, or better to simply use a pitch adjustment tool like what's built into Nuendo?

Also when tuning, should I choose to maintain the original duration, which may mask the fact that it was tuned? (I do already know that tuning down is advisable, and tuning up is not.)

If pitch adjusting is preferred over pitch correction software, is there any pitch adjustment plug-in which acts like a guitar tuner? It would be nice to know the exact resulting note when adjusting the settings, rather than processing and checking and going back to process again, etc.

Finally, what is the recommended file-naming regimen for all these samples?

Thanks so much for everyone's help.
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Re: Advice for Sampling

Postby desmond » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:34 pm

forumuser879609 wrote:But is it best to use tuning software such as Melodyne, or better to simply use a pitch adjustment tool like what's built into Nuendo?

I don't think it matters too much - you just need a way of identifying what the proper pitch should be. You might not even need to destructively burn tuning into the files, as you can simply use tuning offsets in each zone in whatever playback sampler you will be using, if that's what you're doing (it's not clear).

forumuser879609 wrote:Also when tuning, should I choose to maintain the original duration, which may mask the fact that it was tuned? (I do already know that tuning down is advisable, and tuning up is not.)

These are just hits right, with no looping? I don't know what the decay is, but presumably tuning adjustments will be minimal, and so they aren't going to affect the duration significantly. If it's not a problem, it's not a problem! ;)

forumuser879609 wrote:If pitch adjusting is preferred over pitch correction software, is there any pitch adjustment plug-in which acts like a guitar tuner? It would be nice to know the exact resulting note when adjusting the settings, rather than processing and checking and going back to process again, etc.

The tools I use have pitch detection built in, but with percussion instruments, sometimes it's hard to identify a pitch centre. But I'm sure you have tuner's built in to your DAW if necessary, or you could use the pitch editing tools in your DAW to identify pitch too. With a lot of these things (and yes, this comes from experience) you have to figure out the things that are required for each sampled instrument, as these things will vary and are very source-dependent. What works for one instrument may not for the next, you you get used to trying out a few approaches if you're not sure to figure out the most workable solution for your needs on an instrument-by-instrument basis.

forumuser879609 wrote:Finally, what is the recommended file-naming regimen for all these samples?

Again, I have no idea of what your intended output formats are, but there aren't really any standard naming conventions as such - just use whatever makes sense for your instrument. If you don't intend to make an instrument and are just creating a bunch of samples, then it's a good convention to burn in details from the samples into the filenames, like root pitch and so on, as it's easier to build an instrument when the user doesn't have to figure all that stuff out.

The tools I use work non-destructively on the samples until it comes time to output, and at which case it can generate new samples, with whatever naming convention I want, with whatever processing and settings burned in to the new samples if desired, so I keep a lot of flexibility, but for small one-offs, it probably doesn't matter too much in your case.
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Re: Advice for Sampling

Postby forumuser879609 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:11 pm

Thanks for that very thorough reply. Very helpful.

The reason I am considering the best file naming convention is because I hope to market the samples to virtual instrument library manufacturers. This is also why I want to thoroughly tune all samples, rather than rely on Kontact, for instance.

But as you say, I can determine a naming system if there is no standard protocol, which includes information such as root note, velocity range and round robin number.
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Re: Advice for Sampling

Postby al_diablo » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:40 pm

I'd just hazard that some users might quite like the idea of a non tuned, minimally processed version of the sounds, given that the source is such a historical instrument - so there is an argument for not tuning at all.

Out of curiosity, is this yours, or a museum piece, or something else? Fascinating project. I'd love to see pics (maybe a SOS article?!)
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Re: Advice for Sampling

Postby forumuser879609 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:01 am

I have a feeling you are going to like this answer. :-)

The instrument is from a private collection, and was appraised by the National Museum of Taiwan.

My focus for this instrument is to sample it in binaural using the Neumann KU100 microphone. There are 33 notes all together, which will form a complete 360 degree circle around the listener, in 3D binaural sound when heard over earphones.

85% of music listeners are now experiencing their music over ear phones, making binaural audio production very timely.

I have been developing a number of techniques regarding binaural audio production, and have published my research with the Audio Engineering Society. I have also presented at the AES convention in Paris, and have been invited to lecture at conventions in Dublin and Vienna (sadly, the Vienna conference was cancelled due to the covid-19 virus). Also during this covid-19 lockdown period, I recently conducted an online masterclass in binaural for a university in the Netherlands.

One primary focus of my research and development has been binaural convolution reverb, as this has been a problem when producing fully binaural multitracked music in the studio.

Check out this video for some info on that...
https://youtu.be/onuVjhZ_MWs

So this virtual instrument when it is released, will be fully binaural (although there is also a non binaural microphone involved, to allow the user to either dial down the binaural effect or bypass it entirely), and will include early and late reflection binaural convolution reverb from churches, chapels, cathedrals and very small spaces which I have gathered across Europe (including Saint Martin's Chapel, the oldest Christian Church in the English-speaking world located in Canterbury), Canada, and Asia.

That's the project, in a nutshell.
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