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teej813
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« on: April 21, 2004, 03:22:09 PM »

Bubba?

Before i invest $300 in a MIDI kybd, I'd like to get my pea-brain clear on something; nskit is huge, and i've only got 512 RAM. How can i create my own SF, based on nskit, but smaller?


tj
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2004, 03:28:51 PM »

Have you tried NSKit Lite? It is significantly smaller (30MB or so). However, if you use sfz, you can use the PR16 or DFD settings which will significantly reduce the amount of RAM needed. Have you tried the big NSKit on your machine? Did you have problems? If RAM is an issue and you are using your Live! card, maybe sequence with the lite version and drop in the big kit for final render.... As far as creating your own SF, do a search for Vienna SoundFont studio. It lets you build your own SFs from wav files. But beware, it can be tough to work with. I would try the lite version first.
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teej813
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2004, 03:35:31 PM »

Nope, hadn't heard of nskit Lite.  I'll DL and play with it.  Thanks!

I'm not using SFZ at this point. I'm still hopefull i can get FL doing what i need.  I really just need to take a couple hours and dedicate them to getting SF's working.  The potential is impressive, and i definately need to pursue them

Viena..  cool.  Thanks!


tj
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2004, 08:09:00 PM »

um, the nskit isn't really a soundfont, is it?  

i thought they were more like plain sample loops.  

Vienna can be used to turn sample wav loops into soundfont format, long and tedious process.  

if the nskit is available as a soundfont but too large to load on yer live card, go for either the KX drivers or the soundfont cache patch on the cometo.sblive page (there is a hack to make the older creative drivers run soundfont sizes up to half your physical ramsize anyway).  

RAM is now cheap enough to consider adding more also.  

--Mac
« Last Edit: April 21, 2004, 08:11:28 PM by Mac » Logged
Gary Batchelder
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2004, 08:14:20 PM »

They made it into a sf kit, too. The big one is nearly 200mb, the lite version is about 30, I just played it with sfz in N. Plays nice, but of course I can't get it to magically transform to a wave file so it is useful at all. Been working on this impasse for months, on and off.  
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WihanS
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2004, 05:56:40 AM »

Tj, there's some soundfont player vsti's out there (free ones) that does a magnificant job on playing soundfonts. It doesn't load them into memory either - streams it right of your HDD.

Worth thinking about when you want to render the final product.

The other thing that you can do with Vienna  is instead of creating your own soundfont, you can chop the one you've got.

If you're anything like me then you'd never use all the samples it's got in there.

Go open the sf with vienna and delete the samples you're never going to use.
Be left over with a simple kit that suits your needs.
(And like taking that walkman apart, it is always easier to take stuff out of something that's there already than to build a new one/ put it back together...)

I've done this with humongous general midi sf's as well

Cheers !

Wihan
 
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2004, 10:09:20 AM »

Quote
They made it into a sf kit, too. The big one is nearly 200mb, the lite version is about 30, I just played it with sfz in N. Plays nice, but of course I can't get it to magically transform to a wave file so it is useful at all. Been working on this impasse for months, on and off.
Gary, all you gotta do for this to work is make sure you have at least one audio track in N, even if it is blank or muted. Then, solo SFZ and do a mix down. Should work with no problems.

As for NSKit, it has always been a SF. It started out as a SF project and has only been recently that they started doing it in other sample formats. NaturalStudio also has other swell piano, bass, tympani, and a few other big SoundFonts.

Wihan, sfz is probably the player you are thinkin gof that streams from disk. Teej, you already have this, don't you?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2004, 10:12:30 AM by bubbagump » Logged

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teej813
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004, 10:39:42 AM »

Mac,
nskit comes in a few diff formats; one of which is soundfont.  It sounds great, but takes a LOT of RAM.

I've never messed with the KX drivers. hmmm.. now may be the time.

RAM prices are actually up. I've been watching them for awhile, waiting for the right time to buy a couple 512 sticks.


Gary,
From what i see, you can configure N to record the output from the Live card. That seems to be the only way to render SFs to WAVs.


Wihan,
hmmmm...  yeah, that makes sense.  Vienna, huh?  Bubba had mentioned Vienna to me a day or so ago. But i haven't had a chance to price it or DL a demo.

Thanks!


Bubba,
Oh cool.  So there IS another way to render. Thanks!

And yes, i DL's SFZ, but haven't played with it yet.  I really need to find time to do this cause I'm holding off buying a kybd until i'm sure the other pieces of the puzzle (and MIDI IS a big puzzle) are in place.


One day soon, i need to organize what i've learned and get it typed up. AudioMinds needs a MIDI section.



Thanks guys!


tj
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2004, 11:06:06 AM »

Teej, yeah, try sfz for rendering. You can drop in the big kit and do an offline., pull the wav back in and you have all of your RAM back.
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teej813
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2004, 02:10:58 PM »

Gotcha.  I hope to have time to play with this over the weekend.


tj
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2004, 07:10:02 PM »

I'll be around a bit this weekend, so PM me if you start to pull your fro out. Grin
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teej813
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2004, 09:29:59 PM »

haha..  will do, bubba.


N Rocks!    i'm not so sure about MIDI...    



tj
« Last Edit: April 23, 2004, 09:50:45 PM by teej813 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2004, 10:06:30 PM »

Midi works best if you have and play a Midi instrument.  

Midi Guitar is good, the Roland pickup and a synth box or converter is a neet way to just play in parts, even drum parts.  Sometimes I prefer playing in drum parts with the guitar and a pick one drum at a time rather than the keyboard.  Certain things you can do faster.  

And ya don't have to record the whole song that way, do a couple of measures of a riff and then use cut 'n paste to extend it the required number of bars.  

Adding fills with a Midi instrument by simply recording the midi in realtime is quick and intuitive.  

--Mac
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teej813
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2004, 08:16:25 AM »

Gotcha, Mac.  I can see how creating the tracks would be easy for keyboard player or such.  But frankly, creating the tracks doesn't seem to be my problem. I know enuf keys and play enuf guitar that i have a handle on it.  It's getting the MIDI track imported into N and output to nskit that has me stumped.

One time it works, the next it doesn't.

I'm hoping to spend some time on it today.


tj
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teej813
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2004, 02:15:22 PM »

Ok..  Bubba?  You around?

I've had some success.  I've successfully imported MIDI tracks from FL into N.  I've assigned the MIDI output a couple different ways and am getting comfortable with minor editing using N.  Nskit really sounds good, and editing using the Piano roll makes it easy to dress up the drum tracks.  Specifically, drawing random volume envelopes on all tracks and (especially) opening the Snare track and moving some hits to the RimShot, LeftHand, RightHand..  whatever.. really does make the track more believable.

So, i'm pleased with what i've been able to accomplish thus far.  Thanks for all your help!

BUT...  (interesting how there's always a big butt   )...  I'm now ready to render, and i'm experiencing the same prob Gary is; how to route the output of the MIDI tracks back into N so it can record it?

Some background:
- I spent some time working with SFZ.  I was able to get sound output, but my PC wasn't stable.
- DL'd and installed the KX driver set.  I need to get back to SFZ to see if the stability issue is taken care of.
- In the meantime, I loaded nskit using the KX SoundFont Util (very easy, by the way), and I've been routing MIDI output (within N) to the nskit in this manner.

I'm pleased with the tweaking and am ready to render.  N walks me thru converting the MIDI tracks to WAVs. But I'm not yet familiar enuf with the KX mixer to know that i'm setting it up correctly.  The resultant rendered WAVs are blank.


Any ideas?


tj
« Last Edit: April 24, 2004, 02:22:13 PM by teej813 » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2004, 03:23:47 PM »

Okay, I hope I understand what you have. You have the SF loaded into your Live! card and you are using the KXDrivers? Keep in mind, what I described above to Gary is for sfz, not a Live! card.

If you are using KX, this is what you do. In N under audio options choose "WDM:kX Wave 4/5" as your record device. (It may be different for you, I have an EMU APS running kX) In the kX mixer, click on the record tab (looks like a speaker with a big red circle). In here make sure everything is at inf except for the master recording level and synth recording level which you want at max. Play back your MIDI file and be sure you have movement on the record meters in N. If the meter clips, go back into the kX mixer and in the Master tab (top left, looks like a speaker) turn down the Synth fader until clipping is under control. Now, be sure in the record VU you have stereo selected as your record mode. Be sure audio is selected as your record mode in the tool bar. Now, solo your MIDI track, rewind, and hit record. Let the song play in it's entirety. This will record a new wav file in N. You cannot do an offline mix down if you are using the Live! card. That only applies to sfz.


Also, read this thread to get the memory straight with sfz. You are probably maxing out your RAM and that is why you have stability problems. Also, set sfz's quality to 'pooish'. This will not affect the sound of NSKit, but will free up CPU.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2004, 03:42:20 PM by bubbagump » Logged

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teej813
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2004, 05:42:11 PM »

Got your message, Bubba.  I did not have instant success, but you have me closer than i was before.  I'm still working on it.


tj
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2004, 06:41:00 PM »

Ok.  Much thanks to Bubba and everyone else who's walked me thru this, I have drums!

Upgrading my Live drivers to KX seems to have solved my instabilities..  err...  my PC's instabilities (i'm still a mess   B) ).  Anyway, i've successfully rendered individual tracks for kick, snare, HH, cymbals, and tom using nskit and SFZ.

i need a drink!  


At this point, I'm taking a reality check to determine if the quality improvement is worth all the extra steps.  So i did a no-frills mix of two methods so we can compare.


1.  Tom Hicks samples:
- sequenced using FL
- rendered to seperate WAVs (kick, snare, HH, cym, toms, triangle, tamborine, sizzors)
- imported into N
- rough mixed, rendered, normalized, converted to MP3

2.  nskit:
- sequenced using FL (same project as #1)
- all tracks exported as MIDI
- imported into N
- MIDI tracks tweaked in terms of velocities and drum selection (rimshot, LH/RH, etc.)
- tracks assigned to SFZ
- nskit (full) loaded into SFZ
- rendered to seperate WAVs (kick, snare, HH, cym, toms)
- imported into new song
- imported triangle, tamborine, sizzors from FL WAVs (no SFs for these instruments)
- rough mixed, rendered, normalized, converted to MP3


So, these are NOT apple and apples; they're different samples as well as the difference that SF's bring to the table.  

- Test 1
- Test 2

No EQ, no comp..  nothing.




I NEED FOOD!

tj






psssssstt.. thanks, bubba.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2004, 08:12:26 AM by teej813 » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2004, 11:04:04 PM »

Drums by themselves always sound pretty good, suggest you mix each into a song, do the compression dance and the EQ shuffle and then evaluate which you like.  

--Mac
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2004, 02:01:43 AM »

See, that wasn't so bad... Wink But I think the SF track sounds much more natural to my ears. The other is very static and I think you can attribute this to all the same velocity. The NSKit sounds much more "live" and ambient and has a better stereo image. Good work son. Tongue
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