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zircon

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It's not a plug-in. That's what's called a soundfont.

Yep

a soundfont is sort of what it sounds like. A soundfont is a collection of audio clips and a set of instructions on how to play these clips. If you want to read more on how soundfonts work, read the [ code] window below.


Soundfonts also give information to the host on whether to loop audio samples until told to stop (note off), or play them all the way through once.

Soundfonts can respond to two MIDI controls (sent from the soundfont host): note and velocity. That's all a soundfont can read. from this data (which you can think of as x and y on a graph), the soundfont host determines what sample to play when a note is played.

The Soundfont host, once it receives the audio from the soundfont file, can add effects, such as volume envelope, mono/polyphonic mode, and any effects such as chorus or delay, depending on what the soundfont host allows.

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Thanks to everyone for your help! I just have one more stupid question (sorry I'm a total novice when it comes to this stuff).

The composer of the music in

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/143144/review_page/2

Claims to have used Papelmedia_Churchorgan.sf2 as well. But his organ sounds better than the generic one I got from Papelmedia_Churchorgan.sf2. It's like listening to a 240p music on youtube and then changing it to 720p. Do he do something to improve the sound?

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Thanks to everyone for your help! I just have one more stupid question (sorry I'm a total novice when it comes to this stuff).

The composer of the music in

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/143144/review_page/2

Claims to have used Papelmedia_Churchorgan.sf2 as well. But his organ sounds better than the generic one I got from Papelmedia_Churchorgan.sf2. It's like listening to a 240p music on youtube and then changing it to 720p. Do he do something to improve the sound?

Well, for one he could have used multiple instances of Papelmedia_Churchorgan.sf2

There are plenty of effects that can make a sample sound better. Now, I'm pretty sure that the .sf2 in question was dry-sampled, which means that the recording was made in an environment with little reverb or delay/echo.

This allows the person who uses the samples can add whatever effects they want without unwanted effects layered behind it.

It's like listening to a 240p music on youtube and then changing it to 720p.
the 240p to 720p comparison you're making is simple: you're referring to the "dry" sample, which sounds raw and somewhat unnatural. the 720p sound is the effect of trying to simulate the environment you'd naturally hear the organ in. This is when reverb comes in handy. There's actually a thread about making something sound realistic. It's talking about string samples, but can apply to any samples: http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=36357

Hope this helps.

EDIT: Found some of the posts I was thinking of, I'll quote parts of them here:

I think a big part of realism with using a sample, is emulating the enviroment one would hear the instrument in. Rather than the instrument itself.
Yup, a dry instrument will sound unrealistic, cuz it's not how we are used to hearing them. Those of us with a real violin probably don't also have an anechoic chamber. :P

Just don't starting thinking that adding reverb is the cure to all realism problems. Some instruments will sound better and/or more realistic with some reverb, but the amount is crucial here. If you overdo it, the reverb will just make it sound like a fake instrument played in a big room. ;)

Edited by Anorax

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I see the first thing that came to mind when I heard the newgrounds example is already covered. By me. :D

Things like filters on individual notes (if your sf player can do that) can do a lot to alter the sound of each note, eg making the attack a little more distinct and airy, or it could be made slightly louder by a short attack and a lower sustain. See what you can do in your sf player and decide whether it's smarter to use the tools there or to use effects later in the process.

There's also eq. If you find that everything is a bit too dark, reduce the lows/mids a bit. For any part of the sound that is "too much" or "too little", use eq. Whether the eq should come before or after the reverb is up to you and the sound you want.

If you're using multiple instances of this pipe organ, some overdrive on each of them might make the notes more distinct. Just know that overdrive is a form of distortion, so it makes single notes clear and distinct (electric guitar lead), while polyphonic sources get crunchy (electric guitar chords).

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I see the first thing that came to mind when I heard the newgrounds example is already covered. By me. :D

you're welcome ;-)

But yeah, I think Rozo's covered everything. In fact, he's written a remixing guide somewhere which he needs to update *cough cough*

In fact, I probably need to take notes about what he's saying :-P

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Really just looking for the instrument name here, and if you know of any good soundbanks to get that'd help too:

Used here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUxl95mGAI as the lead

I think this might be the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onz8RH7FdSQ just processed a little less. If it's not though then it'd be nice the name of this instrument too.

Yeah I hear these a lot in music, just don't know the actual term for them..

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urdailywater, at least in the link below I hear a xylophone. Not sure if there's different kinds of xylophones but basically that's what it sounds like.

In the link above, it might just be a modified xylophone sound with lots of pre-delay or delay and some weird effects on it. Not sure about that though.

Xylophone is a pretty basic sound to be found in sample libraries, for example, kontakt. Many orchestral libraries include xylophone as well.

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urdailywater,

The second song is definitely vibraphone, and it sounds like it's doubled with something else playing very soft an octave up, possibly orchestral bells or crotales.

The first song features a xylophone (or actually, it sounds closer to one of those middle school baby marimba things that's sort of darker and slightly more resonant than a real xylophone... whatever those things are called) playing underneath the more prominent instrument. I have no clue what that lead instrument is though... it's metallic. Not enough "thunk" to be a kalimba, but not enough "clang" to be a carillon or any kind of church bell I've heard.

Hope that helps!

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As someone getting into trance, I'd like to know: what vst synths and effects do you people find most useful for getting that style's general sound?

Freeware stuff would be most appreciated, but I am willing to go the shareware/commercial route for stuff that's worth the trouble.

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A lot of what gives trance it's character is filters, or some other modulation over time. The build up is enhanced when you gradually "build" the sound over time. You start a chord progression with the lowest frequencies and then slowly add more and more (read: raising filter) to the sound. It teases the listener, creating tension and expectation for the "breakdown." It's what makes the drop/breakdown so fun. Play around with different effects and feel free to experiment! (Some trance-y effects to play with are modulating lowpass filters and Attack/Delay/Sustain/Release values)

Now, I'm looking for what makes this distorted piano sounding thing right here at the beginning of

. Any ideas?

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I mostly use sytrus. Just gotta remember to use a ton of effects.

Do you have a favorite or most used preset? Or do you make your own? I've made a few sytrus presets, but they mostly suck. :-?

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Do you have a favorite or most used preset? Or do you make your own? I've made a few sytrus presets, but they mostly suck. :-?

Off the top of my head, I mostly use trance pluck 2, silver saw, formant, square purity, glass bell, pulstar, oceaxe. I usually turn off sytrus' reverb and delay and use effects instead, and there's a modulator on oceaxe I turn off cause the squiggly sounds in it are annoying. I use a lot of filters and other effects though.

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Off the top of my head, I mostly use trance pluck 2, silver saw, formant, square purity, glass bell, pulstar, oceaxe. I usually turn off sytrus' reverb and delay and use effects instead, and there's a modulator on oceaxe I turn off cause the squiggly sounds in it are annoying. I use a lot of filters and other effects though.

I use Gold Saw a lot, and occasionally Platinum Saw. Square purity is nice, I'll try the others ones as well.

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Does anyone know of a good VST or soundfont or sample library for Ouds and Zournas and other ethnic instruments? (ISW does not have those)

Edited by timaeus222

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anyone know where to find bagpipe sounds or how to fashion a passable sound? its for a groovy hip hop sort of track, so it can by more electronic sounding.

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Well, the bagpipes in kontakt are alright, but you'd probably know that if you had it.

It's not a sampled sound you come across very often...never had a great bagpipe soundfont or anything.

Of course you can find a few free or cheap patches across the web, but most of those would most likely be in...kontakt format :P

There's this older vsti named knagalis...i dunno if i'd recommend it, but i remember the bagpipes being...well, bagpipes.

The trial version should be enough to sample from.

http://nusofting.liqihsynth.com/acousticmodels.html

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ah, the link seems broken D: i didnt know kontakt had a good bagpipe. i have the free trial version where you get a few basic, but nice, sounds. do you know it it would be in komplete elements ? i know i can find the disc on amazon and its a slight step up from the free version.

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Well, the bagpipes in kontakt are alright, but you'd probably know that if you had it.

It's not a sampled sound you come across very often...never had a great bagpipe soundfont or anything.

Of course you can find a few free or cheap patches across the web, but most of those would most likely be in...kontakt format :P

There's this older vsti named knagalis...i dunno if i'd recommend it, but i remember the bagpipes being...well, bagpipes.

The trial version should be enough to sample from.

http://nusofting.liqihsynth.com/acousticmodels.html

WOAH, that oud from Emm Knagalis is AWESOME. I was a bit worried there when it said "AU and VST for OSX". Then I saw the windows symbol at the top of the page. I know what I'm gonna do. Grab that VST! ;D

Edited by timaeus222

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