opensource sample lib format

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opensource sample lib format

Postby Alex » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:42 am

While the LS team are going full steam on implementing the next wave of excellent features, i propose a discussion for LS users.

It's apparent from what i've read recently across the interlink that LS is taking a great step forward introducing multiple engine formats. There's been some enthusiastic discussion across fora i've read about the ability to select the engine of choice in LS, and i add my enthusiasm for such an approach.

So, how do users feel about an opensource sample lib format?

We've using proprietary formats at the moment, and i think that it may be time to consider a truly opensource format.

something like "1st violins.osf" (osf being our opensource format, which includes the "best of" drawn from existing formats.)
We already have gigedit as a useful tool to manipulate and create gig files, so what about something like "openedit", as a defined opensource sample lib editor?

what's the view on this from users?

Alex.
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby dahnielson » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:51 am

I'm just curious...

In what way can SFZ be considered proprietary, other than it was originally created by rgc:audio (now Cakewalk)?

- anyone are free to use it
- there is no licensing agreement
- the specification is open
- it's expandable

What is it an open source sample lib format would be able to do that SFZ can't?

Just to be clear, with SFZ you will have a definition file called e.g. 1st_violin.sfz, a regular text file that can be edited in any text editor, and a sample pool of .wav files.
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby Alex » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:06 am

Ok, i've read a bit more about SFZ, and apart from the fact that roland now owns cakewalk, i can't find any licensing documentation.

I don't know much at all about the format, as i was a soundfont kinda fella for some years.

Does SFZ have hard disk streaming capability, like .GIG?

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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby dakylla » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:44 pm

hi there,

yes, i think it does.
you can get more info about sfz here : http://www.cakewalk.com/DevXchange/sfz.asp
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby typewriter » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:35 pm

It has diskstreaming and as far as I know it can do all the stuff VSl needed the performance Tool for within the file by scripting.

While this is really neat - I doubt that anyone will put effort in sample instruments that use all this features. Especially since SFZ has no copy protection (same with any open format, I guess). You could also buy GPO by Garritan and use the included Aria player which is a perfect SFZ Player for little money and support for all plattforms including RTAS.

In my opinion it would make more sense to make LS and Gigedit perfect instead of going in a new direction. There is little missing to make it par to Kontakt especially in the 64bit version. Improving the AU or A Mac VSTi version would also make sense
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby ccherrett » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:47 pm

typewriter wrote:It has diskstreaming and as far as I know it can do all the stuff VSl needed the performance Tool for within the file by scripting.

While this is really neat - I doubt that anyone will put effort in sample instruments that use all this features. Especially since SFZ has no copy protection (same with any open format, I guess). You could also buy GPO by Garritan and use the included Aria player which is a perfect SFZ Player for little money and support for all plattforms including RTAS.

In my opinion it would make more sense to make LS and Gigedit perfect instead of going in a new direction. There is little missing to make it par to Kontakt especially in the 64bit version. Improving the AU or A Mac VSTi version would also make sense


On the other hand I have the entire Performance Set from VSL. It would be interesting to see if it could be converted and have SFZ do what the performance tool was doing. Then I could use those samples again. Right now I will not use the performance tool. It is very limiting to my setup.
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby dahnielson » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:20 am

SFZ is just a definition file format that can be read by a sample player. Exactly what that sample player can and can't do is up to the creator of said sample player. Since streaming samples from disk is one of the things LinuxSampler does good, obviously, our implementation stream samples from disk.

As to licensing: No license agreement is necessary. This is what the SFZ v.1 spec states:

The goal behind the sfz format is to provide a free, simple, minimalistic and expandable format to arrange, distribute and use audio samples with the highest possible quality and the highest possible performance flexibility. [...] Soundware, software and hardware developers can create, use and distribute the sfz format files for free, for either free or commercial applications.


Please read my documentation of SFZ v.2. I've really poured my heart into making it the most complete document on the format publicly available. It is still incomplete and there's some SFZ v.1 opcodes that I've marked as deprecated in it that will be supported by LinuxSampler.
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby dahnielson » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:32 am

typewriter wrote:While this is really neat - I doubt that anyone will put effort in sample instruments that use all this features. Especially since SFZ has no copy protection (same with any open format, I guess). You could also buy GPO by Garritan and use the included Aria player which is a perfect SFZ Player for little money and support for all plattforms including RTAS.


There are developers who release sampled instruments for Kontakt and EXS24 with sample pools as WAV/AIFF files. Those can easily be converted by the community. The great thing is that the converted SFZ files can be passed around freely since you need to get the orgininal instrument and the samples from the developer anyway to use it.

When it comes to developers who worry about copy protection, let's be frank: They're not interested in us, so we are not interested in them. There's still lot of sample developers that release libs that can be converted to SFZ (and hopefully start to release instruments in the format themselves once there's momentum).

And because of ARIA we should roll over and die?

typewriter wrote:In my opinion it would make more sense to make LS and Gigedit perfect instead of going in a new direction. There is little missing to make it par to Kontakt especially in the 64bit version. Improving the AU or A Mac VSTi version would also make sense


But the GIG format is so limited when it comes to programming instruments. What's missing to make LinuxSampler par to Kontakt is SFZ. In SFZ you can have a note trigger any number of samples and crossfade between them in any way (just like in Kontakt). In GIG you can only trigger one layer of main samples to crossfade between and trigger an optional release sample.

So if you want to e.g. crossfade between say p-mf-f dynamic samples and crossfade between vibrato and non-vibrato samples at the same time, you need to hop through hoops if you try doing it with GIG (I've written about it it in another thread), while SFZ makes it a piece of cake (a cakewalk!?). Not forget about implementing legato, or even a true legato, instrument, in GIG you need something external like performance tool, in SFZ you can implement it direcly in the definition file.
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby ccherrett » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:15 pm

dahnielson wrote:Not forget about implementing legato, or even a true legato, instrument, in GIG you need something external like performance tool, in SFZ you can implement it direcly in the definition file.


OK. Let's talk about how to do that for real. I would love to convert my performance set from VSL over. So what needs to happen? Do I have to first find a gig to sfz converter, then write the scripts to deal with the legatos and repetition modes?
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Re: opensource sample lib format

Postby dahnielson » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:57 pm

ccherrett wrote:
dahnielson wrote:Not forget about implementing legato, or even a true legato, instrument, in GIG you need something external like performance tool, in SFZ you can implement it direcly in the definition file.


OK. Let's talk about how to do that for real. I would love to convert my performance set from VSL over. So what needs to happen? Do I have to first find a gig to sfz converter, then write the scripts to deal with the legatos and repetition modes?


You need to extract the samples from the .gig file, e.g. you can use gigextract that ships with libgig to do that. Next you author a SFZ definition file in you favorite text editor (or write a script file to generate it) to use the extracted samples. Regions containing the start of a new note need the trigger= opcode set to "attack" (the default), legato samples without the attack bit need the trigger= opcode set to "legato", and if it's true legato we're implementing, need the sw_previous= opcode set to indicate what the previous note should have been to trigger the region.

I'm going to write more about it in the future when I have time to play around and help Grigor develop the SFZ engine.
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