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New Spitfire and Charlie Clouser collab?!

ALittleNightMusic

Former Member
He kicks ass with those drums (and the awesome loops). There is a little machine gun effect i am quite allergic for. They had it in the AR flutes they recently released too.
If you want to hear some "kick ass" programming with this, check out Christian's or Paul's videos (and of course, Charlie's walkthrough of his SAW track - though different style of programming there).

No machine gun effect I'm hearing over here (and I imagine Charlie's ears wouldn't have allowed it to go out with that).
 
If you want to hear some "kick ass" programming with this, check out Christian's or Paul's videos (and of course, Charlie's walkthrough of his SAW track - though different style of programming there).

No machine gun effect I'm hearing over here (and I imagine Charlie's ears wouldn't have allowed it to go out with that).
You don't hear it in the toms? Must be me then.
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
No machine gun effect I'm hearing over here (and I imagine Charlie's ears wouldn't have allowed it to go out with that).
Yeah, there shouldn't be any machine-gun effect when using any of the single hits patches. It is possible to restrict the number of round-robins using controls in the UI to force machine-gunning should you want this, but the default behavior for single hits patches is 9x round-robin across every dynamic layer. We recorded a minimum of 16 hits for every dynamic layer so that we could pick the best 9 of them to get the smoothest round-robin behavior.

The round-robins match VERY closely to each other, and this is on purpose - I hate hearing a little tap-dance pattern of not-very-closely-matched round-robin samples cycling around. It's always annoying to me when I can hear enough difference in tone or attack between the round-robins so that I can actually count them as they go by. To my ears they should be as close as possible to each other without actually being the same sample repeated.

Be aware that the end hits that are part of the Loops + Warps patches are just single samples with no dynamic layers or round robins, so if you're programming an actual part with those (which would be pretty awkward due to the mapping) then it is possible to trigger the same sample twice in a row, and of course this can also happen when re-triggering the Loops to create a new pattern, but that's expected and correct behavior.
 

andyhy

Member
I totally agree with Daniel James, the GUI for all the SA Player libraries definitely needs a rethink. The sounds of Hammers are great but the GUI is nowhere near comparable in terms of user-friendliness and its funerial appearance is not exactly inspiring. The @charlieclouser contribution to Hammers is superb but for me in terms of access to functions and appearance the SA GUI is a disappointment compared to say something like Heavyocity Ensemble or Damage 2. As a hobbyist I can spare the time to study the manual but if I was a working composer time is money. Just my opinion, you don't have to agree with me.
 

Evans

He/Him/His
Yeahhh, this could easily be its own forum topic with dozens of pages. The SA Player UI/UX itself is a detriment to succeeding with what are some amazing recordings.

One thing Daniel called out about 2/3 into the video that is uniquely a problem for Hammers (well, I assume also for other percussion-focused SA Player libs) is how hidden the keymapping descriptions are.

VSL does better on this with Synchron Player, given that the keyboard graphic has text above each zone that shows each zone's intent. The text is ridiculously small, but at least it exists without having to roll over it.

If it's going to be so hidden for SA Player, I'd at least like the option to remap the zones or keys to personal taste (a much bigger development effort, perhaps), as you can with Strezov's X3M instruments or Damage 2's ensemble designer.

As Daniel said, it's like Spitfire Audio does the minimum needed, Player-wise, to get a release out. That's fine if you're a SaaS company expected to continually iterate on your product. Not so for VIs that go into templates and need minimal disruption from there onward.

Obviously, Charlie himself has put a lot of thought and expertise into recordings and presentation here. But SA could have done him better.
 
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holywilly

Senior Member
One thing I like about Hammer’s keymap is the consistency, that’s a kudos. However I wish the mic positions in Spitfire plugin allows us to mute and solo instead of on and off.
@Spitfire Team should really be reading this thread.
 

ALittleNightMusic

Former Member
As Daniel said, it's like Spitfire Audio does the minimum needed, Player-wise, to get a release out. That's fine if you're a SaaS company expected to continually iterate on your product. Not so for VIs that go into templates and need minimal disruption from there overall.
Nah, I disagree there. As Charlie has mentioned in this thread and the Commercial one, Spitfire added a bunch of new functionality into the player to support his vision. Want to see the bare minimum effort? Check out JXL Perc - OT didn’t do a single thing in SINE to make it more conducive to a percussion library. Same issue with Tallin (especially for the choirs).
 

GMT

Member
I know nothing about programming or the necessary skills for creating a player, but it seems that many companies have serious problems at the outset. Play was a disaster for ages. I only tried Sine once with a freebie and didn't have much success. Spitfire's player has its own issues, at least for me. Slow loading times, cpu hungry, and for some reason, it crashes my sessions from time to time. I'm not so bothered by the gui, but I understand why some are.

Makes you appreciate how good Kontakt really is, I guess.
 

tmhuud

Brown Belt
Nah, I disagree there. As Charlie has mentioned in this thread and the Commercial one, Spitfire added a bunch of new functionality into the player to support his vision. Want to see the bare minimum effort? Check out JXL Perc - OT didn’t do a single thing in SINE to make it more conducive to a percussion library. Same issue with Tallin (especially for the choirs).
That’s a good point AND it’s curated!
 

Evans

He/Him/His
I'll concede that "bare minimum" in such strict words is (only slightly, imo) unfair for Hammers, but I'll stand by my low key rage (yes, I'm being dramatic) in respect to how rigidly SA locks themselves into the Player UI. I don't want a different UI each time, I just want a more thoughtful SA Player.

It feels like there are multiple, potential "quality of life" improvements that are obvious yet ignored in favor of some aesthetic standard they've chosen to stick with, or feel stuck with themselves.
 
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charlieclouser

Senior Member
As the years have gone by and my SSDs have filled up, I've come around to liking and preferring company-wide unified UI designs. Learn the ropes for product A, already be up to speed when product B is finished downloading.

From an artistic and design standpoint, I do admire slick and minimalist UI designs like the stuff from String Audio, but in some cases (like with my most recent purchase, Wave) I actually had to read the manual. The horror! But this shouldn't be needed. Why? Because, let's be real - a Kontakt library, any Kontakt library, is 90% a re-skin of the same handful of internal Kontakt fx modules like EQ, compression, reverb, etc. with perhaps some slick layer mixing, step sequencers, and stuff like that on top. The rest is 40-year-old sampler controls, like sample start point, velocity response curve, blah blah blah. Old hat. Even custom players like Sine, Spitfire, or Vienna are basically doing the same stuff for the most part.

So to me it feels like a bit of a waste of time to have to learn how to operate the same old, same old controls just because they've been re-skinned with a fancy new look. I actually breathe a small sigh of relief when I load up some cheap-n-cheerful Kontakt library that uses the Photosynthesis engine, because I know what it does and where to find the controls I want to grab, and I can just get down to work quickly without wondering if there's something amazing hiding behind an unfamiliar UI control. For a while there seemed to be a trend to try and make Kontakt libraries look like they could actually do more than the normal set of Kontakt fx modules, by creating uber-slick UI skins to give the illusion that something new was under the hood - which was never the case.

I'm pretty much long past the point of being inspired by the UI of a synth or library - I already know what I want to do, but where the hell is the filter envelope?!? Spitfire's EDNA engine in Kontakt still makes me groan when I load it up, but the consistency across many of their orchestral Kontakt libraries is a bit of a relief, even if the controls are microscopic on a 4k display. At lease you know at a glance what can be done and how to do it. (Just don't get me started on cyber-mechanical 3d background textures where elements look like they're clickable controls but are just part of the wallpaper....)

So I kind of like the direction that Spitfire (and others) are moving toward, which is a unified skin that can be applied to a variety of different sample content pools. I might not use HZ Strings for months (years?) at a time, but when I do it's no longer a mystery where the reverb depth control is.

If people don't like where the keyswitch controls or other stuff are in the Spitfire player, I understand. I never use key switches, so... whatever... but I get it. But I definitely understand and approve of the concept of moving toward a unified UI design. Unless the underlying engine is doing something totally radical that requires new methods of visualization and control - like granular-wavelet DNA-recombination tomfoolery - and is just a plain old sample player at heart, I actually prefer the unified UI approach.

Although I think I agree that I'd prefer conventional mute+solo switches on the Signals page of the Spitfire player...
 

Daniel James

A Nice Guy
As the years have gone by and my SSDs have filled up, I've come around to liking and preferring company-wide unified UI designs. Learn the ropes for product A, already be up to speed when product B is finished downloading.

From an artistic and design standpoint, I do admire slick and minimalist UI designs like the stuff from String Audio, but in some cases (like with my most recent purchase, Wave) I actually had to read the manual. The horror! But this shouldn't be needed. Why? Because, let's be real - a Kontakt library, any Kontakt library, is 90% a re-skin of the same handful of internal Kontakt fx modules like EQ, compression, reverb, etc. with perhaps some slick layer mixing, step sequencers, and stuff like that on top. The rest is 40-year-old sampler controls, like sample start point, velocity response curve, blah blah blah. Old hat. Even custom players like Sine, Spitfire, or Vienna are basically doing the same stuff for the most part.

So to me it feels like a bit of a waste of time to have to learn how to operate the same old, same old controls just because they've been re-skinned with a fancy new look. I actually breathe a small sigh of relief when I load up some cheap-n-cheerful Kontakt library that uses the Photosynthesis engine, because I know what it does and where to find the controls I want to grab, and I can just get down to work quickly without wondering if there's something amazing hiding behind an unfamiliar UI control. For a while there seemed to be a trend to try and make Kontakt libraries look like they could actually do more than the normal set of Kontakt fx modules, by creating uber-slick UI skins to give the illusion that something new was under the hood - which was never the case.

I'm pretty much long past the point of being inspired by the UI of a synth or library - I already know what I want to do, but where the hell is the filter envelope?!? Spitfire's EDNA engine in Kontakt still makes me groan when I load it up, but the consistency across many of their orchestral Kontakt libraries is a bit of a relief, even if the controls are microscopic on a 4k display. At lease you know at a glance what can be done and how to do it. (Just don't get me started on cyber-mechanical 3d background textures where elements look like they're clickable controls but are just part of the wallpaper....)

So I kind of like the direction that Spitfire (and others) are moving toward, which is a unified skin that can be applied to a variety of different sample content pools. I might not use HZ Strings for months (years?) at a time, but when I do it's no longer a mystery where the reverb depth control is.

If people don't like where the keyswitch controls or other stuff are in the Spitfire player, I understand. I never use key switches, so... whatever... but I get it. But I definitely understand and approve of the concept of moving toward a unified UI design. Unless the underlying engine is doing something totally radical that requires new methods of visualization and control - like granular-wavelet DNA-recombination tomfoolery - and is just a plain old sample player at heart, I actually prefer the unified UI approach.

Although I think I agree that I'd prefer conventional mute+solo switches on the Signals page of the Spitfire player...
Again mate I love and respect your work greatly but in response to this one.

Firstly we can't let our own experience and wisdom cloud our judgment when designing a product for other people. Spitfire very intentionally targets new and upcoming composers. So while we know roughly the ins and outs of how a sampler works, or general knowledge like how MIDI drums are usually laid out.....there is no guarantee that a new user will be able to work out how to even access all the content. We can't assume anything is easy to understand. The second you do someone could be confused and not like your product leading to bad word of mouth or they may miss whole aspects or features from your library that makes it unique and that you spent time on, again leaving them slightly disappointed. Whereas had you mad those elements obvious and encourage experimentation, your customer will have a better experience and be more likey to firstly purchase more from you but secondly become more invested themselves. It feels almost patronizing to type that out because its like Business 101, and I think that's why it frustraits me when I see it being dont by a team run by a marketing department. The have to know this, which makes it feel like they just dont care.

So as a developer your attitude should never be 'they will figure it out, because I can' It should be 'How can I make sure all the cool stuff is obvious, even to those who dont even know, they dont know this feature exists as a thing' (not putting words in your mouth, just using this as an example of general attitude developers can have)

You should be making all the options and features as obvious and apparent as possible. This a tool not an art installation. I dont mind the minimalist graphics per-se.... it's more the wasted space, the hidden menus, the unlabelled options, the lack of common sampler features, that lack of information on special mappings that some patches have, or an indication on which patches use the reverse feature without me having to check a separate window for every patch.

Again I know people keep going back to 'Just read the manual', which is missing my point. We know, just by the question being publically asked so many times, that not everyone reads the manual, even when they are confused. They just don't, it may seem illogical to you who does, but we know, based on peoples on admission that they do not. So you shouldn't then continue to act and operate under the assumption they do, because to you not doing so is illogical. You can't think for other people in this manner (general statement not directed personally)

Your comment about not using HZ strings but when you do, because all the UI's are the same eventually you would figure out where the reverb was and upon coming back to HZ strings later you will now know where it is for that too.... this all assumes that customers keep investing after their first purchase. Like if someone buys this library and are underwhelmed with it, because either features that make it special were hidden off to the side or they didn't know were there, there is the possibility that they may not want to buy more, meaning they will never 'eventually find the reverb'. So would it not make more sense to make the user experience more seamless with features obvious to a first time user....increasing the possibility they will keep investing? Nothing about the Spitfire UI encourages me to explore and investigate. And when you have competing products that do make it easy to navigate and the sounds are comparable, minimalism seems a foolish soap box to stand on. Again these are tools, not art. I should never have to 'expore' or 'go on a curated adventure' to find the fucking reverb. 😂

-DJ
 
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OP
Toecutter

Toecutter

Let's end this peacefully
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As a hobbyist I can spare the time to study the manual but if I was a working composer time is money.
Yea time is money but a professional should learn their tools no matter what, it doesn't kill to read the manual, composers shouldn't be different than say a doctor who spends their whole lives buried in books and studying. Hammers isn't exactly rocket science XD But I agree that the player needs improvements and I'm grateful to Charlie for taking SF out of their comfort zone and adding custom features to the player.
 

Grizzlymv

Senior Member
that's quite nice! What I find actually funny is that I do the complete opposite process so far with the lib. I never really liked to start from a loop and change it, I usually start creating a drum pattern with the solo instruments, and then enhance it with some subtle loops the slowly join in the backdrop and evolve. But the main beat remains the pattern created with the individual drums. I find that there's some more discrete loops in this lib that fits this purpose perfectly. But some are more difficult to use in such approach, hence the reason why I hope they would eventually support half/double speed for the loops so we can get a bit of more flexibility there. Finger's crossed in a future update, but that being said, it's by no mean a showstopper. I just love this lib and it quickly became my go to one for percs!
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
Working with programmed single hits while also manipulating loops - if done correctly and well, and working towards the pattern you want instead of being forced down some side street by the content of the loop - will always produce more convincing, realistic, and lifelike results than anything that can be achieved by working with single hit sample sets alone. After 40+ years of playing, programming, and recording drums, that's my view and I'm sticking to it.

It doesn't matter if it's taking two beats of a tambourine loop and tucking it behind a programmed part, snipping out just the snare drags from a hiphop loop and hiding them behind your single hits, or taking some awesome and epic cinematic drum performance and slicing and dicing and rearranging the whole darn thing until you bend it to your will... loops are your friend. Well, mine anyway.

Sometimes it's not as simple as re-triggering chunks of loops and banging in some single hits over the top. In fact, I usually go much further than that, taking the audio of the loops into the timeline in Ableton and doing massive amounts of editing, layering, and mixing, or using ReCycle to cut the loop into slices (with its amazing FW <> BW tails) and then mapping those to a sampler... and those techniques are certainly possible with the content in Hammers. Make a dummy MIDI trigger track, bounce-in-place, and get down to work. But in terms of what's practical to package into a MIDI + Sample playback instrument, I feel we made the best choices as to how to present the content.

As good as single hit sample sets can get, no matter how many round-robins or dynamic layers you've got on tap, those samples will never overlap and interact the way real sounds do within a performance loop - whether or not this matters in context is up to the user to decide. But mixing the two programming techniques is the best path towards a realistic result. And that's why I was adamant that Hammers contain live performances edited into loops with end hits. With eight bars to work with in every performance, the chance of hearing "loopy-ness" is minimized. Beyond eight bars we might as well have just provided four-minute jam sessions as audio and let the user hack their way to a result - that's what I do when I record myself - but few customers will have the patience or skills for that.
 

José Herring

Senior Member
Reason has a new sample player that can do the above. I'm beta testing it now and it's pretty damn cool tool to use as well.

Looking forward to finding its capabilities.
 

muziksculp

Senior Member
Working with programmed single hits while also manipulating loops - if done correctly and well, and working towards the pattern you want instead of being forced down some side street by the content of the loop - will always produce more convincing, realistic, and lifelike results than anything that can be achieved by working with single hit sample sets alone. After 40+ years of playing, programming, and recording drums, that's my view and I'm sticking to it.

It doesn't matter if it's taking two beats of a tambourine loop and tucking it behind a programmed part, snipping out just the snare drags from a hiphop loop and hiding them behind your single hits, or taking some awesome and epic cinematic drum performance and slicing and dicing and rearranging the whole darn thing until you bend it to your will... loops are your friend. Well, mine anyway.

Sometimes it's not as simple as re-triggering chunks of loops and banging in some single hits over the top. In fact, I usually go much further than that, taking the audio of the loops into the timeline in Ableton and doing massive amounts of editing, layering, and mixing, or using ReCycle to cut the loop into slices (with its amazing FW <> BW tails) and then mapping those to a sampler... and those techniques are certainly possible with the content in Hammers. Make a dummy MIDI trigger track, bounce-in-place, and get down to work. But in terms of what's practical to package into a MIDI + Sample playback instrument, I feel we made the best choices as to how to present the content.

As good as single hit sample sets can get, no matter how many round-robins or dynamic layers you've got on tap, those samples will never overlap and interact the way real sounds do within a performance loop - whether or not this matters in context is up to the user to decide. But mixing the two programming techniques is the best path towards a realistic result. And that's why I was adamant that Hammers contain live performances edited into loops with end hits. With eight bars to work with in every performance, the chance of hearing "loopy-ness" is minimized. Beyond eight bars we might as well have just provided four-minute jam sessions as audio and let the user hack their way to a result - that's what I do when I record myself - but few customers will have the patience or skills for that.
OK. Thanks for your helpful feedback.

I will be flexible, and open-minded, and take your advice, and see if I can begin liking to use some loops in my rhythm tracks to get the momentum, or groove going forward, and act as a guide/backbone for the single hit samples.

I think the issue for me is going to be choosing the suitable loop for my taste, or project. I'm guessing one can also use other loops from outside of this library to kick-start things.
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
Reason has a new sample player that can do the above. I'm beta testing it now and it's pretty damn cool tool to use as well.

Looking forward to finding its capabilities.
Yeah, I saw that. It looks to be the successor to Dr. Rex or Dr. Octo-Rex, but perhaps it also integrates the slicing functionality of ReCycle as well, meaning that we don't have to go to a standalone app to slice loops. Very intriguing....

As long as it does the one thing that only ReCycle does - by doing a bit of slick frontwards-backwards crossfade-loop trickery, ReCycle can add synthetically-created tails to slices that would otherwise sound chopped short - and this is absolute magic. There's a hundred loop-slicing apps, plugins, and instruments out there but I haven't found a single one that does what ReCycle does (although if anyone knows of one, let me know!). I sure hope that the new sampler in Reason can do it....
 
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