A sample library wiki?

Mason

Active Member
Update, June 13:
A wiki page is under construction at this link:
http://178.128.198.122/librarywiki

Made by @MatFluor.
Thank you for the great work so far and to everyone for contributing and sharing ideas.
The intention was to have something created by composers for composers. Join by sharing your creativity and ideas in this thread.


Original post:
With a general interest in sample libraries and with the ton of libraries that has been released for quite a few years now I’ve been thinking about some kind of Wikipedia page for sample libraries.

If it doesn’t exist already, wouldn’t it be cool to create one? It’s difficult to have full overview of every library and it could be fun to have more overview of those that are not longer available as well. It could include basic information as developer, year of release, producers, category, size, format, links, some kind of trivia, reception etc.

And everyone who wants can contribute to it.
 
Last edited:

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
sounds good.
i think somehting like Kvraudio.com is kinda like that? more like press release info w date but still has tons of older stuff.
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
Interesting Idea. I like what some other members did though.

Would it be good to have a "streamlined" way of entry? I would totally be down in setting something up.

Ah, I'll set something up today and reply again when it's ready to be filled
 
OP
Mason

Mason

Active Member
Interesting Idea. I like what some other members did though.

Would it be good to have a "streamlined" way of entry? I would totally be down in setting something up.

Ah, I'll set something up today and reply again when it's ready to be filled
Sounds great! I don’t have the technical knowledge to set something like that up but have had the idea for a while and absolutely willing to contribute myself.
 
OP
Mason

Mason

Active Member
sounds good.
i think somehting like Kvraudio.com is kinda like that? more like press release info w date but still has tons of older stuff.
Looks like that’s mainly a list of softsynths and plugins or perhaps i didn’t find the correct page?

Anyway I like the idea of something created by users for users, and anyone who have the time and interested can contribute.
 

DSmolken

Senior Member
Anyway I like the idea of something created by users for users, and anyone who have the time and interested can contribute.
No one has that much time, heh.

Seriously, though, Spitfire have been putting stuff in the KVR database, but seems like not everything, or at least I don't see it: https://www.kvraudio.com/developer/spitfire-audio

VSL is also kind of there, but probably not current and complete - can't find Synchron stuff for example: https://www.kvraudio.com/developer/vienna-symphonic-library-vsl

Now, KVR is a big source of traffic for me, so it's far from useless, but it does look like it's not as complete for orchestral stuff as we'd like. Seems we can't rely on every developer to want to keep the KVR database up to date and there's a gap to be filled.

I've got some practical experience with the sfzformat page which is also a Wiki, btw. I can offer some practical advice on making stuff maintainable. It's all doable, if people are gonna be OK with it starting incomplete and gradually getting better with time. Cause just entering basic data for every VSL release will add up to many hours.
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
No one has that much time, heh.

Seriously, though, Spitfire have been putting stuff in the KVR database, but seems like not everything, or at least I don't see it: https://www.kvraudio.com/developer/spitfire-audio

VSL is also kind of there, but probably not current and complete - can't find Synchron stuff for example: https://www.kvraudio.com/developer/vienna-symphonic-library-vsl

Now, KVR is a big source of traffic for me, so it's far from useless, but it does look like it's not as complete for orchestral stuff as we'd like. Seems we can't rely on every developer to want to keep the KVR database up to date and there's a gap to be filled.

I've got some practical experience with the sfzformat page which is also a Wiki, btw. I can offer some practical advice on making stuff maintainable. It's all doable, if people are gonna be OK with it starting incomplete and gradually getting better with time. Cause just entering basic data for every VSL release will add up to many hours.
I'm currently setting something up with that goal in mind. It's barebones, but usable. Taking this morning to ideally implement most things that would be useful
 

DSmolken

Senior Member
A great thing to do would be to have either an SQL database in the backend, or the pages generated from something like YAML. That would later allow for the generations of comparison tables - say you want to see all pianos released or updated in the past year, how many GB each one is, and how many mic positions it has. Doing something like that from typical Wiki pages is a giant pain, but if the data are organized like a database from the start, it becomes easy.
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
A great thing to do would be to have either an SQL database in the backend, or the pages generated from something like YAML. That would later allow for the generations of comparison tables - say you want to see all pianos released or updated in the past year, how many GB each one is, and how many mic positions it has. Doing something like that from typical Wiki pages is a giant pain, but if the data are organized like a database from the start, it becomes easy.
Yes - currently my V1 is based on a simple Dokuwiki, quick and painless to set up (with forms). There are some possibilities with that as well - I rather like a "flat file" versus database. But hey - it's V1!
 

DSmolken

Senior Member
Yeah, sfzformat started off as flat files and that's definitely the easisest way. Ended up moving stuff to a more DB-friendly format when somebody asked if we can make a big table with everything. Had we thought about it earlier, we'd have saved ourselves migrating all the info to another format, which wasn't terrible, but did take someone a couple of days of work.

And in this particular case, I think the ability to generate a comparison table based on search results and with selectable columns would be very useful to people. We obviously don't need to be able to do that right away, but setting up the data in a way that will make it easier in the future is, not necessarily the right way to do it, but something to consider.
 

MarcusD

Active Member
This is a really cool idea!! Could also include stories about the developers, how they founded the business and info about the individuals responsible for putting the products together (if they're ok with it).
 

Garry

Senior Member
What a great idea! Would love to see something like this.

I have a suggestion to add to it: how about we upload to this wiki, about 5-6 standard short passages of around 16-20 bars (saved in all standard DAW formats) to cover different styles, and then each library on the wiki could have a file in which those passages are played using that library. It would make it easy to directly compare the sound of each library across different playing styles, and allow people to decide which suits them best, and how different each of them are. Reading about a library is one thing, but to really decide for yourself, you need to hear it, and to do that comparatively, it ideally needs to be based on the same material.

Some time ago, I organized a blind shootout for strings, and Saxer contributed a midi file with passages that people used to create a version using different libraries - this could be a good starting point (though more could be added if people want to see additional styles). This could be used for strings, and we could quickly create something similar for brass, woods and percussion (with lines suited to those instruments rather than the strings passages), and others (piano, guitars, etc) could be added as and when people see a need. Also, no need to have just 1 version per library (as different contributors will have different skill levels, and a poor version may reflect more on the individual than the library): there could be several contributions by anyone who wants to upload it. Perhaps these could even allow ratings, so that you could quickly see which are the best representations of a library to listen to. You could then quickly compare the best rated version of library X vs library Y, and make your decision as to which you prefer.

Would this be a useful addition to the wiki?
 

d.healey

Music Monkey
saved in all standard DAW formats
Good idea but a MIDI file should be the minimum requirement because everyone can use that no-matter what software they're working in.

The wiki should be publicly editable (I don't think KVR's database is). Could VI-Control host it @creativeforge ?
 

Garry

Senior Member
Good idea but a MIDI file should be the minimum requirement because everyone can use that no-matter what software they're working in.

The wiki should be publicly editable (I don't think KVR's database is). Could VI-Control host it @creativeforge ?
Yes, you're right, that should also be included, but was thinking of the DAW format additionally, because then all additional programming, is available and visible.
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
So yeah - I put one Library as example in.

I think it's easier to go with a database backend - especially due to search and changes. Now I hacked an essential "proof of concept" together which can be a nice jumping off point to create the proper thing around it.

On the MIDI files and Developer bios in that sense: I would aim the wiki more at a Knowledge base rather than an additional marketing platform. So to speak - a wiki by composers for composers, rather than developers. They would of course be encouraged to put their stuff in as well - but whole "Marketing speeches" are I think not the good thing to have. Same with reviews in my opinion. I could talk to Don Bodin to link his reviews in - but I think I'd rather keep it "sterile", down to the facts.

With the MIDI files or project files it's a similar situation - it works nicely here in forum context. But it comes down to "does the guy using the MIDI-File just putting it in and be done" or "massages the MIDI a bit to get the proper sound out" - often exactly those question make or break a library - can sound utterly horrible out of the box with minimal CC, or glorious with massaging (and still not FX). That's certainly a point to consider and think about.
 

angeruroth

Active Member
I like the idea.
@MatFluor Nice first step! (or second ;) )
About the audio files, I think good AND bad demos are important to understand how easy/hard is to use a lib, and how much time it requires to get something good out of it.
Anyway, I'm guessing the space required for naked demos would be huge.

Maybe fields like "massaging needed (0-10)" would be helpful, 'tho that would require consensus (like the polls).
 

d.healey

Music Monkey
On the MIDI files and Developer bios in that sense: I would aim the wiki more at a Knowledge base rather than an additional marketing platform. So to speak - a wiki by composers for composers, rather than developers. They would of course be encouraged to put their stuff in as well - but whole "Marketing speeches" are I think not the good thing to have. Same with reviews in my opinion. I could talk to Don Bodin to link his reviews in - but I think I'd rather keep it "sterile", down to the facts.
This makes a lot of sense and there should probably be some editorial guidelines. Wikipedia for example does not permit first hand research to be published and this is probably a good rule for a sample library wiki, otherwise it will be overrun with user opinions and developer marketing. It should stick to the facts, citations from independent videos and articles should be permitted as well as references to official user guides and videos. MIDI and DAW files are probably still relevant since they can be assessed objectively by the person who opens them but audio files shouldn't be used since there is no way to know what processing has been applied and this would be an easy thing for someone to manipulate to their own advantage.