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Keyboards, Modules & Hardware Synths Synthesizers, workstation keyboards, digital pianos

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Old 11th November 2008 , 02:30 AM
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Default How to sample a synth onto a NNXT.

Ah man, now I'm stuck. Can anyone help me elaborate further...I want to advise someone on how to create a sample patch of a Korg M1 piano.

1) Synths are velocity sensitive. The MIDI spec allows for any value between 0-127 to represent the velocity of the note (ie how hard you play it).
To fully (well, accurately) recreate the velocity scale, you'd have to sample the note 128 times.

2) To recreate the tonality of the synth, you have to sample ,many, many notes, and then be careful instructing the sampler as to which region of the keyboard it represents. Ideally you'd sample every key.

3) Bearing in mind the above facts, it's probably best to sample each key 6 times at different velocities (say 20,40,60,80,100 and 120)

Now, if you intend to sample it for a full-size keyboard, that's 88 keys. If you sample each key 6 times, that would require 528 seperate samples.... per patch !

If you were generous and gave each sample a length of 4 seconds, then that would work out to be 528 x 4 = 2112 seconds in total sample recording length..or around 35 minutes and 12 seconds.

Now, at cd standard recording....that would be a ludicrous amount of data to try and load into ram. But I'm guessing that if you mixed the samples for each note together to form one sample, this figure drops to 1/6 as there is only one sample that can be played per note. To further save on samples

1) You can sample every other note, and then stretch it to cover the next note in NNXT. That will cut your sample count in 1/2, therefore reducing your sample time to around 17 mins and 6 seconds.

2) You can reduce the sample time to 2 seconds. This would halve the figure above, meaning your time is down to around 8mins 30 seconds. Although if you need longer, leave it. Otherwise you will chop the decay off the sound..

3) You shouldn't really need 16 bits to capture an M1. You could go down to 12 or possibly even 8 bits and still get an accurate capture. I forget how many bits deep the M1 was..so do check, just in case it was more advanced then I think !

Even then, that leaves you with hundreds of samples to create and manage. so my advice would be to trigger the M1 via its MIDi in. Something like Cubase's piano roll would be pretty good for setting this up.
That should make getting consistent results (in terms of length and velocity) pretty easy.
Whilst recording, I'd leave a second or so gap between each midi burst to the M1. That way, your recordings will have gaps that are clearly identifiable as being silence to our sequencer. If you use the detect and strip silence function, you can then quickly start arranging your samples into sets of velocities per note.

This si where it gets a bit tricky, because I'm not sure how to go about the next bit. The NNXT can't read mutiple samples per note. So I guess you have to mix the sample for each notes together..how do you do that?

also I've noticed in existing NNXT patches, that the sample length (and file size) reduces as pitch increases. I'm guessing that this is related to the fact that as pitch increases, wavelength reduces. Therefore, the note can be sustained by looping it. Has anyone got a chart or info on a standard way of how this works and can be done?
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Old 11th November 2008 , 08:13 AM
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Use something like Sample Robot.

I would probably sample at 3 or 4 semitone intervals for a full 88 key range, however if you listen carefully to the M1 patch you want to sample, you may discover that it uses far less samples. Also you should be able to work out how many velocity layers it uses on the patch.

You may discover for example that at the extreme ends it uses far less samples per octave.

Once you have got you sample set, then you may also find that the initial work on organising samples is better done in a SoundBank2 format multi-sample tool and then imported into NN-XT for final tweaking as such tools often have a better UI for drag and drop of samples, zone selection etc. Editing a large multi-sample set in NN-XT is a bit of a pain.

Romplers (multi-sample based intruments) generally dont try to entirely re-create a instrument from the pure samples, but rather try to make the difference between samples through programming the synthesis functions (velocity response used to drive filter envelope, amp envelope etc, LFOs etc).

In the case of NN-XT, you can also cross fade between velecity zones and keyzones, however doing so may cause phasing issues dependign upon the natural of the sound being sampled.

Creating a full multi-sample set for NN-XT can be rewarding - its once of the better multi-sample players around and certainoly alot better (more flexible) than in many expensive romplers.

As a footnote, sampling presets, or unaltereed waveforms from an electronic instrument for the pure purpose of re-creating the instrument in a sampler is generally considered to be a copyright violation. Sampling your own patches however is not. Technically many of the sample libraries created for Reason fall into this category, for example that Virus indigo refill that sampled a load of factory presets from the Virus Indigo a while back. So far I am not aware of a musical instrument manufacturer that has actually persued anyone for this (as I think its quite hard to prove you ripped off a preset), and its probably very unlikely for long out of production instruments.
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Last edited by Khazul; 11th November 2008 at 08:18 AM. . <
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Old 11th November 2008 , 09:42 AM
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If it was specifically to use some M1 sounds, save yourselves the hassle and get the Korg Legacy Edition - http://www.dv247.com/invt/29951/

If you still go down the Sample Grab route, you could probably go further than sampling every other note and go for 1 every 3 or four notes. The M1 had seriously compressed and selective samples... if I recall correctly, the entire PCM ROM was 4Mb (might have been 8Mb, or that may have been the M1-EX only).

The "famous" M1 dance piano was a *very* percussive sound, so you could probably drop the sample length down even further and employee some judicious looping for the sustain and release phases of the samples. The M1 pianos were never known for their realism, and that particular "dance piano" patch was the least realistic of all.
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Old 11th November 2008 , 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Khazul View Post
Creating a full multi-sample set for NN-XT can be rewarding - its once of the better multi-sample players around and certainoly alot better (more flexible) than in many expensive romplers.

It's CPU usage is also much lower than other similar products out there.
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Old 11th November 2008 , 03:11 PM
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i agree with dave save yourself loads of hassle and time buy the korg legacy collection the m1 pianos are brilliant on there but they do sound dated theres much better piano sounds out there..the main reason the m1 piano was so popular around the 80s-90s is the fact there wasnt really many good piano sounds out there .yamaha and roland pianos were terrible fm piano emulations and the sampled pianos were good for slow classical songs but didnt have the attack and brightness needed for balleric house songs..but these days your spoiled for choice the best pianos ive used for dance music are on the refx nexus what you could do if your looking to do something on the cheap download the demo of it create a line you want to record then quickly bounce it down to audio before the demo times out lol..ive done this lots of times you can get a demo vst that may be expensive but only has 1 or 2 good sounds so create what you want /bounce then unload the vst before it times out ..
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Old 11th November 2008 , 10:17 PM
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It's not actually for me guys. Someone I know wants to do it.

Wise words from all though. Kazul, I've noticed that with certain notes in samplers stretching for an octave.
There probably would be some phasing issues with using this menthod in conjunction with fading sampled notes. Hence Why I said to same more often, rather then try to interpolate the functions of the original synth.
Although I suspect the M1 didn't sample as often as I've proposed. Looking at it's ROM cart size for every factory sound, from my maths it's a tiny amount of data compared to just one sampled patch..

The M1 pianos wer famed because of their compressed and bright sound. This made them the 'goto' option for dance, because they had a knack of cutting through mixes with less work when compared to other pianos.

I personally like the light piano from the NN19. Add compression and a tad of reverb or delay... and you're off to 90's italian disco house nirvana !
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