Linux sampler projects, was Re: [linux-audio-user] Some music made with Linux

Mark Knecht markknecht at
Sun Feb 22 14:42:35 EST 2004

On Sun, 2004-02-22 at 08:44, Dave Phillips wrote:
> Greetings:
>   Interesting discussion. I'll bet the apparent differences of opinion 
> would be better handled over a few pints instead of over the wires.

Hell yes! Things here that sound like differences wouldn't even raise an
eyebrow in a bar discussion. 

>   It might be a far more valuable discussion if we all agreed upon what 
> we think a software sampler should be doing. I've owned a number of 
> hardware samplers, so I should expect at least the following features in 
> one made entirely of software :
>     Raw sample editing (envelopes, tuning, signal processing)
>     Full MIDI implementation (responsive to full range controllers, 
> controller mapping, SPMTE/MTC support)
>     Realtime parameter adjustments (filter cutoff frequency, tuning)
>     Flexible audio output routing (stereo, individual channels a la 
> Hydrogen)
>     Flexible keyboard mapping & layering (velocity zones & switching, 
> overlapping sample layers)

Let me add - 'Compatibility with existing libraries that people have
spent thousands of dollars on'. If a sampler won't play them then people
have problems. (I see at the end you raised this point)

>   I'd like to read what others here think should go into the design of a 
> software sampler. I've looked over the specs of Gigasampler but have 
> never used it: is anyone on this list familiar with its features ?

I own it and use if almost daily. I currently have about 17GB of
GigaSampler libraries.

Keep in mind that GSt handles up to 64 instruments at the same time. You
have a limit to how many notes can be played, but no limit about how
many notes come from each instrument. 

I've also used Kontakt, Battery and Halion a bit.

>  If 
> so, which of its features should be introduced into Pete's or anyone 
> else's Linux sampler ?

My thought is that there is a lot of room for a sampler player like
Pete's in my life, most especially for samples that don't require much 
additional real-time processing. Drum sets, for instance. I have some
great drum samples and just want to set up a GM drum device. I do this
in GEdit for GSt. Specimen could be great for that. It's lightweight and
probably very efficient. All I need is for it to possibly allow relative
sample volumes into the mix so I can get a reasonable level between the
samples. That would be a great tool.

Please keep in mind that disk streaming is a requirement for certian
libraries. My two good pianos are both >1.5GB worth of wave files.
That's not going into DRAM any time soon.

Beyond that, take the idea of micing a real drum set. Maybe I'm used to
4 mics - 2 overheads, a front kic and a low snare. Pretty standard.
However I promise you that all 4 mics pick up the snare.  Taking a
program like Specimen to the level where it can 'create' four outputs
with relative levels and timing of all the drums in the set could be
pretty cool. That's what adds to a real drum sound in the studio and I
don't get enough of that from simple wave file playback.

Just a dream.

- Mark

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