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What's next for sample library realism?.
Last post Tue, Mar 15 2022 by Beat Kaufmann, 4 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Jan 23 2022 09:44
by JBuck
Joined on Sun, Jun 09 2019, Posts 48

Here's an idea for legato phrase realism.

When a cellist performs a breve (2 whole notes) that is all it was meant to be, a breve. It is played with a particular technique, a particular expression, a particular vibrato progression, a very specific sound. A cellist will read ahead of where he/she is and know the music before they play it. If you are into listening to classical music, then you will know just how much expression goes into a performance. The sort of expression that cannot be finessed out of a note that was only ever meant to be played as a breve.

Maybe VSL could develop a library with four different recorded note lengths to be used exclusively in a legato patch. Samples that the software intelligently selects and connects with a legato transition. This would only be for playback.

I understand that VSL has developed a legato transition recording technique where they get the players to play fast, in order to capture the realism of a transition being played at speed. Those transitions are then being crossfaded into a sustain that was performed in a different musical context. If there was a new system that could recognise an event as being  16th, 8th, 4th or semi breve, and then select the corresponding length sample. Then, not only are the legato transitions the right speed but the note it transitions into will be a 16th, 8th, 4th or semi breve performed by an expert player.

Even if we need to add the CC data to the events in order for the Synchron player to recognise which length note to play. This would be a small price to pay for the realism I believe this system would provide.

:)

Posted on Sun, Jan 23 2022 12:45
by symphonic riot
Joined on Sun, Nov 25 2018, Posts 6

I agree that there are lots of ways to improve the playback and that more such dedicated samples could clearly add realism :). Yet, I think the automatic selection you are asking for would be hard to completely implement in a sample player, since as you write a human player looks ahead and knows that a particular note is a breve, but the sample player (Synchron or Vienna Instruments pro) inherently cannot. Something like this would have to be implemented in the DAW or Notation Software, which knows how long a given note is and in which context it appears. E.g. Steinberg's Dorico already allows to automatically choose the playback depending on the note length. I am not entirely sure about Synchron libraries, but full Vienna Instruments series libraries actually already offer up to four different legato versions (slow, medium, fast and the performance trill at the highest speeds) as well as a progressive vibrato legato version you mentioned, that can be used for such very long notes.

In case you are a user of Vienna Instruments series libraries, we have implemented a similar automatic selection you are suggesting in Articulate Presets (based on VI pro's speed control, which is all that can be done at the sample player level and which uses the previous notes to predict following notes). The Cello, in particular, is included in our free demo package, so if you are by chance a user of the VI Symphonic Cube or the VI Solo Strings library, you can simply download it and check out if this is similar to what you are looking for (Articulate Presets are large and the corresponding speed-controlled legato is matrix #24, whereas the legato with progressive vibrato is #14). The automatic selection based on the note length is likewise already implemented in the Articulate Map for Dorico, which uses the current maximum of 5 versions for different note lengths, but even Dorico's selection mechanism does not allow developers to define a dedicated playback for a breve so far ... hopefully this will improve soon.

Posted on Sun, Jan 23 2022 23:54
by JBuck
Joined on Sun, Jun 09 2019, Posts 48

As I said, if the user needs to use Expression Maps or the equivalent to select either 16th, 8th, quarter note or breve, this would be a small price to pay for the realism I believe this system would provide. 

Posted on Tue, Mar 15 2022 11:15
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1763

The topic of realism in the context of samples is an interesting one. What the library manufacturers offer today is enormous. So when it comes to realism, most of the time it fails because of the users' skills. On the other hand, users demand more and more detail samples: Up and down beat samples, divisi strings, normal legato, lyrical legato, warm/cold legato, soft/hard - , sad/joyful - legato and so on.

In the end, however, most users let some note program play the samples or some utility mix the samples.
Then in the worst case this result comes out:
If the users would basically use the whole offer better, such a result would come out (more music).

I therefore believe that a next real bigger step would be to take "artificial intelligence" to help users more to better transform their compositions into real music, making better use of the technology offered today.

All the best

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
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