SampleTekk/Post Musical Instruments

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SampleTekk/Post Musical Instruments

Post by juliencoder » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:43 pm

I have a few of the SampleTekk/PMI libraries and here's a short review.

PMI OLD LADY (Steinway grand piano)
Loaded it in gs2 and gs3 format. Definite winner is gs3.

Features of gs2 version: enough velocity layers (10 or 12), keyrelease samples, velocity layered sustain samples and external body resonance and concert hall reverb.

Features of gs3 version: All of the above, plus keynoise, when you press the key and release it and a pedal down sample, just when you push the sustain pedal.

NOTE: If you like to use gs2, please tell Per, that you need the version with all integrated updates.

Sound: Very warm and thanks to all the features very realistic. I've played my real Steinway and this is good! It's sometimes a bit to mellow for my taste, but it can have the nice brilliant quality if you push it hard enough. :-) With the reverb added it has a very classical feeling to it. If you use other reverb or none at all, you can do almost anything with it.

Tested: GS2 since version 0.4.0, GS3 since

I used jconv for reverb and body resonance experiments.

PMI Historic Keyboards
A collection of harpsichords and a Hammerklavier. Nice presets, good controller mapping.

Format: Gigsampler 2

Features: Keyreleasesamples, MAYBE velocity layering for the Hammerklavier and two presets with keyswitching "stops".

Tested: since version 0.4.0 and the keyswitching since

Sounds: The harpsichords sound very nice. They have a clear, slender and partly baroque sound. We talk J.s. Bach and all the historic ensembles here. The french Hapsichord presets 6-9 (or 10) took some time to get used too. In contrast to the first one, which has the well-known sound of 100s of recordings, the second one is even more slender. It's almost between celtic harp and other plucked instruments from 15-17 century.

The Virginal: It has a very long release sample. I thought it was a mistake or a LinuxSampler problem, but it is meant to be that way. Very nice for simple chord accompaniment. The sound is darker, not so delicate and has a harder attack.

The Hammerklavier: I love that one. Unfortunately tuned in baroque temperament Middle A is 415Hz. I never tried, but I think you can compensate that but shifting your midi keyboard one half note up. the sound is warm and you can clearly hear the "shortcomings" of the instrument, which I appreciate a lot.

The last harpsichord (from 17 or 18 to 20) It sounds much more present then the other harpsichords. Very clear and close and it sounds bigger. A bit more modern, because of its directness.

Overall: Very good sound quality. the reverb I could have done without though. It's not too disturbing and partly not there at all. You can turn off the keyrelease samples by using your modwheel in most cases. It happens continuously, which helps you easily adjust the volume to your liking and usage. I used these instruments for some baroque music, as well as for 60s/70s music.

BOB Orchestral Brass
A collection of brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, french horn and tuba).

Format: Gigasampler 2

Features: Velocity layering (1-3 sample layers), some keyswitching presets

Tested: since LinuxSampler

Sounds: I haven't owned them for a long time. So... The sound is warm, natural (especially in the attack and sometimes release phase. There are different palying techniques for each instrument, which help you play the thing naturally with the possibilities of these instruments. All notes are only so long as the player could blow. At first I was a bit annoyed by it, but I come to see, that it forces you to play your pieces more naturally, in that you are limited to the players breath. :-) There are keyswitch presets for all instruments where you can choose between long and staccato. NOTE: I love the staccato. It's really more punchy and "naughty". :-) Of all instruments you have a and b samples, which means everything was recorded twice, so you can have a more realistic and warm ensemble. Partly I'm not too convinced, but I'll try a few more things with this.

All in all: I don't want to miss this one either.

PMI Orchestral Instruments
A collection of instruments to beat and a few effects.

The glockenspiel, Celesta and Marimba are nice. But I expected more of them. No velocity layering and they could have mapped the modwheel to an LFO on the volume, so as to imitate a good vibrato. They mapped it to LFO and the pitch (That's the effect at least). Still the overall sound is good and I'm sure it can be integrated nicely in other music. A few of the sample definitely beat my synths.
The Hackbrett is something special. I enjoyed playing it. Tried everything from music from India, to German Volksmusik to Bach. Bach is not the perfect choice, but the others a interesting and usable. It's not something freaky for the theory-loving art arranger.
The piano effects have their own flair. They're inspiring for film and radioplay music. Nails scratching strings, a prepared piano (like John Cage proposed) and very small, limited patches from one of the big pianos.

All the libraries I described here, are very valuable to me and I wouldn't want to miss them in my music. I tried them in different styles, solo and in combination and they are fabulous. Even the last small library. I say it's small and that shows in its price. I think the prices are mostly very reasonable. Also they often have some discount campaigns. Keep a look out in summer or around Christmas.

Hope that's helpful to anyone. If you're interested in demos, see the SampleTekk site, and if you don't find there, what you're interested in: Mail me ad I'll try to put something up. Also if there are questions for features, qualities I missed.

Kindest regards
debian Linux - a text based studio
Telnet can be a nice tool, if you're past the annoyence :-)

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Re: sampletekk/post musical instruments

Post by dahnielson » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:28 pm

The ones I own:

PMI Orchestral Instruments
Celesta, glockenspiel, hackbrett, marimba, vibes and some weird special effects like a prepared piano, piano scrapes and whatnot. For $15 there's no reason not to get it.

PMI Anvils & Churchbells
Just as it says: anvils and church bells. While the anvils in the free G-Town library (see this list) is sampled with lot of reverberation in a church the PMI ones are sampled more or less dry. It's probably the only church bell sample library you will need. (Are there others?) Nice addition to my sound palette, not that I will use the library very often, but for $25 (actually I got it for less with a 60% discount) it's a steal.

Black Grand
The Black Grand is a great sample library if you're looking for a Steinway D. I own both the "Medium Ambience" and the "Ambient" perspective. Note that if you buy them as direct downloads you will get them as a multi-format library and the GIG require some assembling. Unfortunately Gigedit isn't yet up to the task (it can't save GIGs that larger than 2 GB) so the extra $10 and snail mail delivery is all worth it to get the Black Grand pre-assembled on DVDs.

It's a good idea to at least buy one of the less expensive libraries from SampleTekk so that you will get discount coupon codes mailed to you whenever there's a sale. There's usually group buys during the summer and around christmas, as a loyal customer you will usually get an even greater discount the days before and after the official group buy.
Anders Dahnielson

Ardour2, Qtractor, Linuxsampler, M-AUDIO Delta 1010, Axiom 61, Korg D12, AKAI S2000, E-MU Proteus 2k, Roland R-5, Roland HP 1300e, Zoom RFX-1000, 4GB RAM x86_64 Intel Pentium Dual 1.80GHz Gentoo Linux

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