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airbrush
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Joined: 11/30/2012 - 05:00
pcmPreset Construction

        When multisampling an instrument, how far can one stretch one sample across the keyboard before they start degrading?

        Also, I was trying to make a sample the other day, I noticed that some of the tones in the sample changed over time.

If I chop a sample into one cycle as the video shows, the resulting sound is too .... dead?  How do you handle this?

Oh, and I really, really like caustic. :)

Thanks

James

 

Rej - Dev
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:52
How far can you stretch a

How far can you stretch a sample: depends on the sample and what it represents. Typically, I've found samples that represent "real" instruments" tend to need  closer ranges as out ear is used to hearing what they really sound like. Synthetic sounds can be stretched a bit more because we have no other reference for them...like you said, the more harmonics are in a sample, the more you'll notice when it gets stretched. That's because when instruments change notes they don't change all their frequencies, just the first or second harmonics. (same for human voice, which is why a pitched up voice sounds fake and Autotune sounds better)

Choosing loop points for a sample is an art in itself I think. My trick so far is to pick the looping points are far apart as possible without the sound changing so much across the loop that you notice, you can sometimes pinpoint this just by looking at the waveform, but mostly it's trial an error.

 

 

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
Having done things like this

Having done things like this on various platforms and synth workstations for either studio work or live gig on the road, I can tell you that in the end, your ears will tell you if it sounds right or not.

In the 90's when sampling became the "new thing" in modern music, hardware boxes were seriously limited in RAM for recorded content, so many tricks and limitations had to be employed to get something useable.... alot of this resulted in single-shot recordings that could essentially be played on an entire keyboard, which worked great during the short-lived hardcore and rave era..... however it got boring, and hardware and computer power got better, and multi-sampling became more mainstream, offering greater flexibility and more "natural" sounding instruments.

Then getting into the early 2000's you get into GigaSampling, where platforms such as NI's Kontakt and Battery and other VST-based systems, opened the floodgates to sampling instruments and drums in stunning quality and dozens of layers, resulting in project files in the hundreds of MB's to over a GB....

So to get back to your main question, as to stretching a single sample accross a wide range will do different things, and much of it is not good.

The sonic character of that sound will change drastically as you go up or down on the keyboard.... playing upwards will cause the sound to get louder and seriously shrill in the high end, causing unwanted distortion and clipping in your  mix; while playing lower on the keyboard causes the sonic character of the sound to become quite dull and very muddy if not completely lost in your mix, and some fundamental frequencies may again cause unwanted distortion and clipping.

But if you still like that single-shot type sound and want to use it somehow in Caustic, there is a way to successfully make it work and PLAYABLE without the frustration of sonic and balance issues in your mix.   I have created a few PCMSynth presets all from a Single Sample, but employed some tricks and additional processing to be able to multi-sample-map it accross the keyboard, and the end result yields a well-balanced sound from the lowest end of the keyboard to the highest end of the keyboard.

Most modern synths and workstations and yes even VSTi's suffer from this problem even in their multi-sample libraries, which unfortunately cause many balance issues, and frustrate soundguys at live gigs or recordings.  I've run sound and recordings for live and studio performances and have learned to listen carefully to what and how the keyboard players are playing and on what gear they are playing on (Korg vs. Roland etc... have distinct sonic properites in their stock outputs) and compensate live on the mixer following them as they perform.  I know those keyboards and their stock sounds and what happens when you play certain sounds etc... and they are tough cookies to control in a mix.

My presets that I offer for this app, takes that frustration out of the equation, but taking the exrta steps to achieve or maintain balance accross the PCMSynth keyboard for many presets I create, be it pads, or leads, or strange unearthly sounds, or even pocketkits (natural recorded kits) so that when you download and use them, you can simply drop it in the synth and go make music.  I've gotten many emails from users that were pleased with how easy it was to load up a sound and not have to mess with anything, but enjoy making music with minimal stress and frustration.

For starters, and the easiest way I can tell you to set up a single sample is this:

Load up the sample into Slot 1:Key range   C4 to D#4    Volume = 80  (for lowest note for your sample)

Load up the same sample into Slot 2:Key range  E4 to G4   Volume =72

Load up the same sample into Slot 3:Key range  G#4 to B4   Volume = 66

Load up the same sample into Slot 4:Key range  C5 to D#5   Volume  =60

The volume settings listed above are not absolute and can be tweaked at any time, let your ears tell you if the higher notes need tamed more than the lower notes, and go from there.

If you want to learn more of how I really do it... -- Contact Me HERE --  and I'll clue you in...   This issue addresses one of my oddball audio theories that gets me laughed at and mocked, but I know I'm right, and I've proved it many times over the years.

Hope this helps, sorry for the readers digest....   cool

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
+1 Rej, on the Trial and

+1 Rej, on the Trial and Error on looping..... I've spent HOURS trying to get one loop to sound good enough to use...... and then realize I have 19 more on that preset to go!   angry

airbrush
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Joined: 11/30/2012 - 05:00
Wow guys, thanks for the tips

Wow guys, thanks for the tips!.
jblann1: I have some of your presets and they are the bomb. I like how you put more than one instrument in the pcm to make caustic seem like it has more tracks (slots?) . I think the sound quality of your offerings are superb. The only
"problem" I see is that there are so many choices that it's hard to quit tinkering with the song and finalize the track. That is one problem that is my fault, but I'm happy to have it. :)

Rej: I was using the TSAR technique to split samples, so it's good to know I was on the right track. I'm kinda new to this whole "electronic" music stuff. I have tried a lot of different DAWs and trackers, but Caustic is the 2nd one that I have used that seems like it was made for music junkies like me. Most other DAWs seem to be made for computer junkies. The other DAW that I liked was Live.
My brother kept telling me about Caustic but I didn't hear it. Then one day he pulls up Big Beards' Dubstep Demo on youtube and handed me the headphones. Un-F'n-believable. I went straight iff and dl'ed the demo. Two days latter I bought it. This was my first ever Android app purchase and I've had this.phone for over a year. :) Thank you so much for this kick-ass app.
James

Andrulian
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Joined: 05/11/2012 - 08:54
Thanks J, some really useful

Thanks J, some really useful tips.

I've made quite a few sounds in a number of different vst's and found these sorts of issues, I think you sorted one of mine for someone which had differing length notes. (I'll contact you separately as I'd like to know what you did)

It definitely depends on the type of sound like Rej says, some sounds are fine with 2 or 3 notes an octave whilst I've made others that needed 7 (all the white notes) as the sound changed frequency so much it was unusable a tone above the root note.

I've not really used loop points much, think I should to try and keep the pcmsynth file size down though I tend to only load the notes i need so I can use more than one sound per machine.

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
It's all good.... some

It's all good.... some samples, you can get away with stretching them, some that have been heavily processed or poorly recorded or instruments that have chamber qualities to them (acoustic guitar or violin or certain guitar amps with a real boxy tone vocals etc....) are not going to sound good stretching very far maybe even above a whole note....

Depends on the effect you're trying to achieve on your song,  your ears will tell you if it sounds good or not.  Do your own thing, think outside of the box, and you'll develop your own bag of tricks and make your own unique sound.

Like I said, hit me offline, I'll give you some pointers... always happy to help.   cool