Instrument sampling tips

The market is big, the differences among libraries, too. Discuss which libraries are your digital gold, and which ones are better left in stores.
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:16 pm

Instrument sampling tips

Post by luisgarrido » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:30 am

Hi, there!

For one of my music projects I need a sample library of an Orff Schulwerk orchestra. I have googled for one but nothing pops up, so I am willing to produce my own one, it will be also a good testbed for qgiged (which, incidentally, I don't think I will be able to finish this summer as I had planned, :unsurprised bummer: .)

It won't really be all that great because I can't take the instruments to a studio, so I have to record them in the school they are stored.

As (mediocre, low-budget) recording gear I have:

- An Edirol UA-25 interface, with two I/O channels with phantom, able to record at 48 KHz / 24 bit (it can do 96 KHz but not bidirectionally because of USB 1.1 limitations, anyway considering the noisy environment 48/24 is more than good enough.)

- Two AKG C3000B, which is a nice enough affordable all-around mike, jack of all trades, master of none, not the most faithful mic out there.

My plan is to find the most noise-free room at the school, pad things around with whatever I can find there (cushions, towels, etc.) to make it as anechoic-ish as possible and use as close miking as possible to minimize noise and room colouring (I like my samples dry so they can sit comfortably in any mix.) Perhaps partially surround the mikes with a half cylinder of sound-proof foam (25 cm diameter) to improve directivity and noise/reverb rejection.

I want to use one of the mikes for the actual close up mono recording and other at a fixed gain and fixed distance from the recording spot to use it as a loudness reference, so I can calibrate and balance the instruments' relative loudness in the library.

For post-processing I only consider to apply a slight low-pass filtering to clean up the noise at the upper side of the spectrum, any noise-reduction software I have tried just butchers the sample beyond recognition.

I'd like to think I have solid theoretical knowledge but find myself sorely lacking in field experience as sound engineer, so I'd welcome any pearls of wisdom you guys care to share.

Offers of internet bandwidth are also very welcome. I am willing to share anything, from the raw ardour session to the finished gig.



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