Monday, June 26, 2017

An Orchestra - VSCO2

VSCO 2 Community Homepage for Samples, SFZ and more.

Well I believe I have worked the bugs out of the String Section. This pack includes 857 samples in the forms of a complete String Section, Solo Violin, Violin Section, Viola Section, Cello Section, Solo Contrabass and Harp. There are 23 nki patches. The basic nki for each instrument or section uses R.D.Villwock aka Big Bob's WIPs scripts for fake round robin on the longs and legato. The Modwheel nki does modwheel crossfading thanks to Nils Liberg's script. The Ensemble nki lets you crank up to 7 time more instruments, though it is set at 3 and too many might sound a bit odd. Jay Bacal wrote the Ensemble script.

As a rule of thumb the instruments have two velocity layers and are sampled about every third note. The shorts usually have two round robins. The articulations include Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato, Pizzicato and single layer Arco Vibrato Loud and Soft.

What makes this release unique compared to the first Kontakt version are the modwheel xfades, the ensembles and the three arp and chord scripts using the full string section.

When you first kick up the An Orchestra - Strings nki it should be in Chord mode in Spiccato and have the Major Chord ready to go. If you play in most of the blue notes you will get a major chord for every note. You can change the chord type by pressing on the Yellow keys. The C that is Green is the Major that is already in use. The C# is Minor, D is Augmented etc.. on up to the B that is the Dominate 9th. You will see the Chord type on the GUI beside the word Chord. 

You will also see the words Arp OFF next to Arpeggiator. To start an arp press one of the Dark Blue keys and Arp 1, 2 or 3 will start. Press and hold a Light Blue key to get the sounds coming. If you chose Arp 1 it might take a little bit as that is the riser type arp and it builds volume over time. You can speed this up with the Mod Wheel. Going down speeds things while going up slows them down. Well unless you go to the very top when it sounds like a woodpecker on speed. Whatever Chord you last pressed the Arp will play through the notes over and over until you release the key. If you press a new Chord it won't take effect until you press another light blue key (or the same one).

All the way on the right side are the Articulations on the Red Keys, Arco Vibrato, Spicato, Tremollo, Pizzicato, Arco Vibrato Loud and Arco Vibrato Soft. The short tend to sound better on fast Arps and the long sound better on slow Arps (use the modwheel). Oh the timing is synched to your DAW to 40 beats a minute in your DAW will be a bit slower than 400 BPM. It makes more sense if you play around with it. The display will tell you the Articulation, Chord and Arp in use. Use the Mod Wheel to change the speed of the Arps.

But what if you don't like the Arp settings? Go change them. You can change the number of steps and clicking on the white bars changes the velocity so play around it is fun. Also try Note Order I used Up which is standard up you can choose Down, Zig-Zags or even Random and many more. When you get ones you like Save As... under some name or other and it should save your Arps.

The Chord Progression.nki is similar but it has the I, ii, iii, IV, V, iv & vii chords in the Major scales. Again you can go for chords or arps. This might be an interesting songwriting tool.

The Arps 4 Hold scripts doesn't use chords instead each note you press is remembered and played by the arp until you press that note again. It can remember at least 24 notes, maybe more. So you can create your own melodies or long risers or such (but a note can't repeat).
Feedback is appreciated.

This uses Sam Gossner's great VSCO2 samples, my script from Matt McKay and a bit of advice from Evil Dragon. Note the name VSCO 2 is used to give attribution to the sampling project from which these samples were taken. It doesn't imply any form of endorsement.

Samples are Creative Commons 0 : Sam Gossner. This means you don't have to thank him but he is a great guy so you might anyway. Also he sells a Pro Version that I bought (and I'm notoriously cheap) that has lots more notes, velocity layers, mics and stuff then are here including 90+ instruments with lots of solo orchestral instruments and awesome weird instruments like ancient flutes and an ophicleide which is legal in all 50 states.

My Patreon Page

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Giving Patreon a try

What I'm working on...

Thanks to everyone for checking out the blog and giving the instruments a try.
If anyone would like to support old bigcat instruments I'm giving Patreon a try and we'll see how it goes, if it goes. Thanks plasterbrain and Francis for being my first two patrons! I never know if I should give last names on a public forum.

A kind of index of the blog and related blogs...

Current Project: Kontakt Instruments using Google Creative Commons Samples 

bigcat Keyboard Instruments, Piano, Organ, Electric Piano

VSCO2 Orchestra  VST & Kontakt

Big GM List of Kontakt Instruments

GM List of Standalone VST Instruments

A list of Free Instruments from all over the net - No Kontakt Required

A Blog of Free Instruments from the net, Kontakt, SFZ, VST and otherwise

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

NSI Instruments

Magenta is a Google Brain project that has created something called NSynth which seems to be extracting the audio DNA from samples and then mixing it all together in a user controllable synth. While I can't give you the synth (it is highly confusing) which will hopefully someday come out as a VST, I can apparently use the NSynth Dataset to create more traditional though possibly funky sounding instruments. So far I've done a grand total of 24 instruments but more are probably on the way as the dataset contains about 1000...

Also I'm trying out Kontakt GUI Maker. The interface is really simple, but it does have a convolution reverb which sounds much better than regular reverb. Note these are all Kontakt instruments and need Kontakt 5.6.6.

A think the best way to distribute these are as complete packs of roughly 10 to 15 instruments each in 400 meg or so zip files. Just unzip in your chosen directory and they are ready to be used in Kontakt. Just drag the .nki file into Kontakt or locate them in Kontakt's 'File' Tab.

Acoustic Keyboards        Volume 1
Soundcloud Demo

Acoustic Brass                Volume 1

License: The dataset is made available by Google Inc. under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Paper: Jesse Engel, Cinjon Resnick, Adam Roberts, Sander Dieleman, Douglas Eck, Karen Simonyan, and Mohammad Norouzi. "Neural Audio Synthesis of Musical Notes with WaveNet Autoencoders." 2017.