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Performing vs Programming

M0rdechai

New Member
Hi guys, 2 questions:

1. Given that I am a live piano/keys performer looking to start composing and creating backing tracks, does it make sence for me to look more toward 'performance based sample libraries' instead of / more than 'programming based sample libraries'?
I think to have the keyboard playing skills to make those work...

by 'performance based' I mean different articulations, timbres, legato styles, etc triggered by playing differently rather than using different patches. (Musical Sampling Adventure/Trailer, Caspian Brass, those kinda libraries)

Am I than missing out on to many subtle nuances and should I therefore not use these as the core of my template?


2. I now know of Embertone, Musical Sampling and Performance Samples. Any other libraries I should check if I'm looking for these kind of samples?


NB - it's just for live use and hobby stuff so I don't need it to sound studio perfect
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Hi guys, 2 questions:

1. Given that I am a live piano/keys performer looking to start composing and creating backing tracks, does it make sence for me to look more toward 'performance based sample libraries' instead of / more than 'programming based sample libraries'?
I think to have the keyboard playing skills to make those work...

by 'performance based' I mean different articulations, timbres, legato styles, etc triggered by playing differently rather than using different patches. (Musical Sampling Adventure/Trailer, Caspian Brass, those kinda libraries)

Am I than missing out on to many subtle nuances and should I therefore not use these as the core of my template?


2. I now know of Embertone, Musical Sampling and Performance Samples. Any other libraries I should check if I'm looking for these kind of samples?


NB - it's just for live use and hobby stuff so I don't need it to sound studio perfect
I like performing the samples myself. I can also play quite well, and have no problems playing the performances in live...sometimes you need to practice the key switching, and velocity triggering, but overall, I prefer it...then I can always tweak later.

The library that has excellent performance patches is Spitfire. Also depends on what instrument you are looking to perform...strings tend to have the most articulations, and some libraries have "master" patches that smartly trigger the articulation based of your speed, note length and velocity.

Another library that also has this, is Cinesamples. They allow you to customize your patch based off many variables and playing styles to trigger various articulations...some also allow the sustain pedal to trigger between short and legatos.
 

Wally Garten

Active Member
If you're at all into jazzier sounds, you might also want to check out the Screaming Trumpet by Realitone.

https://realitone.com/products/screaming-trumpet

It's very playable -- right hand plays notes, left hand switches articulations (and there's a boatload of them). I'm a terrible keyboardist and I can manage it.

The solo "Claire" woodwinds by 8dio also have a great, highly playable performance patch. And you already know about Embertone.
 

Genki

New Member
I thought of getting the upcoming Angry Brass Pro, in combo with something like Trailer Strings from Musical Sampling, to not have to use keyswitches. I've only used Oceania with the performance styled sampling and it works great there, though that library is mainly for agressive powerful stuff I'd say.
Caspian apparently has a very nice dynamic range, but I'm waiting for the introductory offer of Angry Brass Pro, to check out how that will be.

I read a review on Trailer Strings, and apparently the Adventure patches (these dont use keyswitches) are nice, but not optimal for every situation, like playing more gentle, softer melodic lines.

The performance based sampling seems to work best with fast energetic bombastic style of writing as far as I can tell, but not sure if it would do so well for smooth slower softer passages...

Maybe someone who has some of the strings from Musical Sampling could share their experience, as I'm also interested if these libraries could replace standard keyswitching libraries (considering I wouldn't mind the fact that I would lose certain articulations that can mostly only be done with keyswitching).
 

ManBitesSound

New Member
Synthology, LLC Ivory Grand Piano is great and even better I am selling the license here in the classifieds...and a bunch more
 

Saxer

Senior Member
It's good to play virtual instruments in realtime but a too pianistic approach can be a limitation too. Most orchestral instruments are monophonic. Playing polyphonic ensemble patches can sound good in some situations, in most it's the opposite.
Samplemodeling and Audiomodeling are great monophonic instruments and extremely well playable if you take controller data as seriously as the notes itself. Breath controller helps a lot.
If you are looking for good playable polyphonic instruments I'd recommend Afflatus for strings. They have really good polyphonic legato. VSL are very customizable and I use them most of the time without key switches. But you have to edit the patches a lot to get there.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Maybe someone who has some of the strings from Musical Sampling could share their experience, as I'm also interested if these libraries could replace standard keyswitching libraries (considering I wouldn't mind the fact that I would lose certain articulations that can mostly only be done with keyswitching).
Have a look at Corys reviews.
And Mike Vertas review.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
I'm not sure if there's a distinction to be made, here, between "performance based" and "programming based" libraries. As far as I see, pretty much all of the major players have good performance capabilities. Are you talking about libraries that have a lot of pre-made loop sorts of patches (like a lot of the Heavyocity content?). Or evolution type libraries? The evo libraries exist because they're doing things that really can't be performed with more cut-and-dried performance libraries with a lot of articulations.
 

Genki

New Member
I'm not sure if there's a distinction to be made, here, between "performance based" and "programming based" libraries. As far as I see, pretty much all of the major players have good performance capabilities. Are you talking about libraries that have a lot of pre-made loop sorts of patches (like a lot of the Heavyocity content?). Or evolution type libraries? The evo libraries exist because they're doing things that really can't be performed with more cut-and-dried performance libraries with a lot of articulations.
I think OP just means libraries like Performance Samples/Musical Sampling make where either they don't have any keyswitches (Performance Samples) or they have patches (Musical Sampling -> Adventure Patches) where you don't need to use keyswitches and based on how you play it will trigger different "articulations". So if you play fast short chops it will trigger staccato, and if you hold down the note, then it will trigger a marcato or sustain. I know Alex Wallbank also sort of does this with his libraries where there are Marcato patches with a Spiccato overlay you can turn on so that short notes play as spiccato and longer activate marcato.

Whereas in most other libraries to go from marcato to spiccato/staccato or sustain or whatever you need to usually use a keyswitch note.
 

cmillar

Active Member
I wouldn't want to forget about the audience...sometimes, the most expensive libraries don't cut it when played back through a stage PA system. They might be too 'pure and real' to have any sonic impact....meaning that the nuances that sound great in the studio might make the overall sound real 'thin', weak, or just 'not right'.

In my experiences, sometimes the 'lesser-name' libraries are best.

The Kirk Hunter libraries sound great in a big space, as do Chris Hein......and even (I'm serious!) some Garritan sounds.....even some Korg M1 or good old Roland samples work best live.....or Steinberg/Yamaha libraries..... and they all play real easily without having to worry about little if any key-switching at all. Just play and enjoy making music for the audience. They won't care what library you used, as long as it sound right in the musical context.
 
OP
M

M0rdechai

New Member
Hi guys, thanks for your responses.

@Genki that is indeed what I meant by 'performance samples'.
I think I have overlooked that this can (at least sort of) be achieved with Spitfire and Cinesamples and other majors libs as well (or it isn't highlighted in overviews... either way; I've missed it), so I will search for some vids on people using this functionality.
Good to know this can be done with the CSSeries. People seem to be quite hyped for them here, and as far as I can see&hear with good reason, so I was already looking into these as an option.

@cmillar totally agree. I really like the sound of the FrozenPlain, Arctic Strings for example. When I switched from using my Yamaha Motif to using a laptop for sounds, the first problem I had was: why do these sounds sound so good at home, but so crap on stage?? I gues something similar could happen with orchestral sounds, so I'll look into your suggestions.

ooh and I do like the sound of the screaming trumpet @Wally Garten. I will remember that one for when I need it. (and I probably will...)
 

SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
Hi guys, 2 questions:

1. Given that I am a live piano/keys performer looking to start composing and creating backing tracks, does it make sence for me to look more toward 'performance based sample libraries' instead of / more than 'programming based sample libraries'?
I think to have the keyboard playing skills to make those work...

by 'performance based' I mean different articulations, timbres, legato styles, etc triggered by playing differently rather than using different patches. (Musical Sampling Adventure/Trailer, Caspian Brass, those kinda libraries)

Am I than missing out on to many subtle nuances and should I therefore not use these as the core of my template?


2. I now know of Embertone, Musical Sampling and Performance Samples. Any other libraries I should check if I'm looking for these kind of samples?


NB - it's just for live use and hobby stuff so I don't need it to sound studio perfect
Aaron Venture Infinite Brass. I don't have it but might be worth a look given what you're talking about.
I have Embertone's Joshua Bell and it's brilliant.
You may also take a look at Virharmonic's Bohemian instruments (solo Vioin and Cello to date). I have Boho Violin and it's also very good. An update is supposed to be incoming soon and the price may well rise after that.
 

halfwalk

Member
Embertone Joshua Bell Violin and Herring Clarinet are pretty good when it comes to expressive performance in real time.

Sample Modeling is pretty great too, especially if you have something like TouchOSC or another way to input various CCs in real time. I personally like using an expression pedal for CC11, though a lot of people swear by breath controllers too.

I like to stack certain articulations from libraries to form a sort of "sketching patch" for writing in lines in real time. It's usually just a staccato stacked with a sustain, and I'll tweak the envelopes just a touch under the hood. I'm also toying with VI Folio in Reaper, albeit slowly, to attempt a solution at using the note lengths of a recorded MIDI performance to automatically assign articulation switches accordingly. That way, any library could, in theory, have its function shifted toward "performance" rather than "programmed" with a few clicks/scripts.
 

Cinebient

Active Member
I like a combo of both. Emotional Cello and Violin are my goto here for solo strings f.e. because you can do both very nice here.
 
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