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Loop Construction into Sampler?

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So with all these requests for a sampler that's been popping up the past week, why not just link the Loop Construction to work with your keyboard and virtual keyboards. It has half the functions of a basic sampler already. 

All that's needed from it, is to trigger it with your keyboard and the ability to drag samples in it, done - at least for now, right?

Why not go in a brand product promotion contract with Sitala? It's a free sampler. They get introduced to new clients and CbB members get's a free sampler intergraded into Cakewalk. It's a really basic sampler. 

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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Agreed, Cakewalk has already most of the code to accomplish a sample track. That would be lovely.

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On 11/21/2020 at 3:24 AM, chris.r said:

Agreed, Cakewalk has already most of the code to accomplish a sample track. That would be lovely.

It will be. 

I normally use the loop construction for minimum changes in key pitches if its like one or two notes that need to be changed. If we can get this and time stretch fixed. 

#DreamsAlwaysComeTrue.

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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On 11/20/2020 at 11:27 PM, Will_Kaydo said:

Why not go in a brand product promotion contract with Sitala? It's a free sampler.

While that's something that we're definitely open to (and say so explicitly on our website), there's also a middle path:  in a release that's coming out in a couple of days we've got tighter integration specifically with Reaper, and that's something that we're very open to expanding out to other DAWs.

If there are any Cakewalk developers that happen to be reading this and find it interesting, please get in touch with us at info@decomposer.de.  We've got an API that we're planning on opening soon that will make it possible for other hosts to integrate more deeply to Sitala (or any other plugin -- we're planning on open sourcing the code) that papers over a lot of the shortcomings of the VST format.

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10 hours ago, Scott Wheeler said:

While that's something that we're definitely open to (and say so explicitly on our website), there's also a middle path:  in a release that's coming out in a couple of days we've got tighter integration specifically with Reaper, and that's something that we're very open to expanding out to other DAWs.

If there are any Cakewalk developers that happen to be reading this and find it interesting, please get in touch with us at info@decomposer.de.  We've got an API that we're planning on opening soon that will make it possible for other hosts to integrate more deeply to Sitala (or any other plugin -- we're planning on open sourcing the code) that papers over a lot of the shortcomings of the VST format.

@Noel Borthwick Would you be interested in reaching out? 

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Thanks for checking in and telling us about this, @Scott Wheeler. The developers will be alerted, and unless they've already started work on their own sampler, I can't imagine that they wouldn't be interested in talking with you on your API.

As with ARA (which Cakewalk has always been toward the front of the herd with), the more companies that buy into these non-Steinberg standards and extensions the better.

I'm very interested in what form the integration with REAPER has taken, so I guess in a few days I should download the latest builds of both Sitala and REAPER and check it out.

For me, the minimum is dragging audio clips from Cakewalk tracks to the sampler's pads with no intermediate steps or conversions or leaving the app. If I could just do that, life would be so much simpler. If your API allows that, host applications transferring audio directly to Sitala, and it's something that others might start using, it would make for a happy land indeed.

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Among many good points of Sitala, one thing I didn't like was that it forces us to install some hidden service, not sure what it is, probably something to check for updates I assume. But it starts with Windows and takes resources, something that I always try to stay away from, so I simply didn't install it on my production desktop in an attempt of keeping the least amount of 'necessary garbage'.

The sampler itself is a nice piece of software but it doesn't allow for stretching the sample across keyboard, as far as I remember. Good for creating simple (1 velocity layer) drum kits though. Wondering if the tighter integration with Reaper does allow for swapping the samples on the fly while playback is running?

Edited by chris.r
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3 hours ago, chris.r said:

The sampler itself is a nice piece of software but it doesn't allow to stretch the sample across keyboard, as far as I remember. Good for creating simple drum kits though. Wondering if the tighter integration with Reaper does allow for swapping the samples on the fly while playback is running?

Exactly why I chose to mention it in my OP. Cakewalk could then fuse with Loop Construction with it. 

But if theres a new release dropping soon with this included it wont be necessary to add features - it can just be intergrated. 

Edited by Will_Kaydo

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I will definitely be checking this out when they update Sitala.. Its something I use all the time as it is... But Cakewalk we are still waiting for the sampler if this helps the process then so be it...😄

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2 hours ago, Xel Ohh said:

I will definitely be checking this out when they update Sitala.. Its something I use all the time as it is... But Cakewalk we are still waiting for the sampler if this helps the process then so be it...😄

It's a big gap in the feature set in today's market

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8 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

unless they've already started work on their own sampler, 

Do you know something we don't  😆😂

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3 hours ago, chris.r said:

it doesn't allow for stretching the sample across keyboard, as far as I remember.

From what I observe, the sampler market these days is split into two types: the phrase sampler/drum machine type where you drop in phrases and one shots and the type where you have sounds spread across the keyboard, using stretching and pitch shifting algorithms. The first type is usually played/programmed in a style where you trigger the individual sounds as separate elements, the second is used more like an organ, playing melodies and chords.

In my memory, this developed as a result of there being two kinds of hardware that did this. Originally the Fairlight, Mirage, etc. were the second type, but could also of course do phrases and one shots mapped to individual notes. Then later, hardware phrase samplers like the MPC came along and became immensely popular in hip hop and EDM production, doing stutters and short loops. Ambient/downtempo people like me would be lost without being able to drop in those breathy phrases and dialog samples from movies, and phrase samplers are great for that. Yes, you can do it as clips in your DAW, but lots of people like to improvise it in real time.

As we've been discussing "Cakewalk needs a sampler" in the forum, I've tried to emphasize this distinction, because some people (EDM/hip hop/rap producers) think of a "sampler" as the phrase sampler kind, and others (scoring/arrangers) think of a "sampler" as the other kind, with libraries of orchestral sounds and samples of classic synths. Since the styles of music where they are prominent can be so divergent, to the heavy users of each the "other" type may not even be on their radar, for the arranger types because Kontakt and Sampletank can be used as phrase samplers, so why bother with a dedicated one. For the EDM types, they might just use a loop for their string pads.

The second type of sampler user are correct, IMO in the position that since Kontakt and Sampletank and Zampler and the like do it so well and are industry standards, Cakewalk doesn't need one of those. Their workflow is such that they don't really need to be integrated in the same way that phrase samplers are.

For example, Mixcraft comes with both kinds of samplers, but the one I use the most is the phrase sampler. It's well integrated in that after you've made clips in a track, you can just drag and drop them onto a sampler pad, or right click and choose "send to sampler." That's huge, not having to go to the step of rendering them to audio first. Speeds up the workflow immensely. Their loop construction module also has buttons and right-click menus so that after you've got your warp slices, you can select them and send them straight to the phrase sampler. The phrase sampler has facilities for reversing, looping or one-shotting or choking on retrigger, trimming, stretching, changing pitch, applying filters, amplitude envelopes, etc.

The integrated type also use fewer system resources, because they play clips in the same way they are played in a track. They don't have to be loaded into memory separately. Although they do have the ability to drag and drop external audio files.

tl/dr: I think it's important when advocating for this feature to use the term "phrase sampler" to avoid confusion between the types.

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@Starship Krupa,

Really nice overview of samplers.  👍  Your overview gave the discussion a different perspective.  Now not only should we request a sampler but need to decide if it should be a phrase sampler or a stretch the note sampler.   I've got brain overload!  Decisions!  Decisions!  🙄

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On 12/4/2020 at 9:59 PM, Starship Krupa said:

The second type of sampler user are correct, IMO in the position that since Kontakt and Sampletank and Zampler and the like do it so well and are industry standards, Cakewalk doesn't need one of those. Their workflow is such that they don't really need to be integrated in the same way that phrase samplers are.

Since we're discussing the ideas for a sample track for Cakewalk, you may be missing a small point here. Agree there are the big samplers, Kontakt and alike, but their biggest strength is that they handle those huge commercial libraries well, allowing for multitimbrality in a single instance. But there's the other scenario where you have just a folder with bunch of samples that you'd like to audition in the context of the project and once you've found the right sample you just want to quickly create a track of it with the use of a sample track. So no need for loading of Kontakt or any other 3rd party software, just the functionality built-in the track for low resources consumption and low risk for crashes and probably most important - no going the way around for inserting extra plugins to create the track. Like here: 

The key for implementing a sample track in Cakewalk in my opinion would be not in what direction, in terms of the two types of samplers that you suggested, would it follow but how advanced would it be. Actually I would split the functionality into three user cases, one would be something you called phrase sampler for triggering and chopping samples, the second is for playing a sample across the keyboard and a third one for creating a drum kit out of a sample set. This is everything easily doable within a single concept of a simple sample track. To create an "instrument" simply drag a sample onto a predefined area and the sample would get assigned to a default key (there would have to be a virtual keyboard visible within the sample track GUI), then just drag both sides of that key to extend the range if you want to play the sample like a piano/synth, or leave the sample within a single key range and drop another sample onto another key to build a drum kit. So there are already two user cases, the last one - for phrase triggering - would come from the selectable type of sample playback, that is whether the sample is played back as one shot or in a loop mode, latch mode or not for triggering samples, etc. Any additionals like an automatic splitting at transients or time division and spreading onto a range of keys would be a bonus.

So I would advocate more for a broad range of usability but at the same time keeping that simplicity regarding built-in functions. For advanced functions we already have Kontakt and other big samplers where you can build very complicated instruments out of multiple velocity layers, round robins, effects, scripts and so much more. In Cakewalk I'd suggest going only as far as dragging a few selected samples at once to let the sample track ask if you'd like the samples to be spread across keys or add them to a single key as velocity layers. Then just simple start/end points, fades (that would serve as an envelope), tune (root note), velocity sensitivity, volume and pan would be necessary, anything more like a filter or EQ as a bonus. Make it possible to change a sample on the fly while playing along with the project and clicking another sample in the browser would be essential. And that's it.

 

Edited by chris.r
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Instead of having to manually create a sample track before dropping any samples on it, I'd vote for a dropzone somewhere on the GUI, for example in multidock in the area where the tabs are for selecting different views, but on the far right. Then after dropping any sample(s) on it, Cakewalk would create a sample track automatically. Just an idea :).

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9 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

From what I observe, the sampler market these days is split into two types: the phrase sampler/drum machine type where you drop in phrases and one shots and the type where you have sounds spread across the keyboard, using stretching and pitch shifting algorithms. The first type is usually played/programmed in a style where you trigger the individual sounds as separate elements, the second is used more like an organ, playing melodies and chords.

In my memory, this developed as a result of there being two kinds of hardware that did this. Originally the Fairlight, Mirage, etc. were the second type, but could also of course do phrases and one shots mapped to individual notes. Then later, hardware phrase samplers like the MPC came along and became immensely popular in hip hop and EDM production, doing stutters and short loops. Ambient/downtempo people like me would be lost without being able to drop in those breathy phrases and dialog samples from movies, and phrase samplers are great for that. Yes, you can do it as clips in your DAW, but lots of people like to improvise it in real time.

As we've been discussing "Cakewalk needs a sampler" in the forum, I've tried to emphasize this distinction, because some people (EDM/hip hop/rap producers) think of a "sampler" as the phrase sampler kind, and others (scoring/arrangers) think of a "sampler" as the other kind, with libraries of orchestral sounds and samples of classic synths. Since the styles of music where they are prominent can be so divergent, to the heavy users of each the "other" type may not even be on their radar, for the arranger types because Kontakt and Sampletank can be used as phrase samplers, so why bother with a dedicated one. For the EDM types, they might just use a loop for their string pads.

The second type of sampler user are correct, IMO in the position that since Kontakt and Sampletank and Zampler and the like do it so well and are industry standards, Cakewalk doesn't need one of those. Their workflow is such that they don't really need to be integrated in the same way that phrase samplers are.

For example, Mixcraft comes with both kinds of samplers, but the one I use the most is the phrase sampler. It's well integrated in that after you've made clips in a track, you can just drag and drop them onto a sampler pad, or right click and choose "send to sampler." That's huge, not having to go to the step of rendering them to audio first. Speeds up the workflow immensely. Their loop construction module also has buttons and right-click menus so that after you've got your warp slices, you can select them and send them straight to the phrase sampler. The phrase sampler has facilities for reversing, looping or one-shotting or choking on retrigger, trimming, stretching, changing pitch, applying filters, amplitude envelopes, etc.

The integrated type also use fewer system resources, because they play clips in the same way they are played in a track. They don't have to be loaded into memory separately. Although they do have the ability to drag and drop external audio files.

tl/dr: I think it's important when advocating for this feature to use the term "phrase sampler" to avoid confusion between the types.

A really simple Hybrid: Dropzone+Sitala. Drum Machine+"phrase sampler." 

Cakewalk already has a browser. So we dont need what kontakt and the others do with samples and folders. 

Drag and Drop, Right Click to send to Track View to replace or insert as new. Attack, Release and pitch and ability to play across all key's and send to piano roll. 8 Drumpads included with their own Output setting that links with the Console. 

Cakewalk provides reverse and effects and a great browser already. Other features can be added later. 

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I just want to keep the distinction between the two "sampler" paradigms, some people know the term applied to both types, some one or the other.

Mixcraft also has as an integrated instrument a sampler that is the type where a sample is spread across multiple piano keys.

The way they have them integrated is great, very simple, you can send audio to either of them from a clip on one of your tracks, from the media browser, from the loop constructor, or drag and drop from outside the program entirely. They have just enough tools to get their job done, you can reverse the sound, loop it, whatever, so they're not so complicated that they're intimidating, which is an issue I've had with TX16wx. It's so powerful and feature rich that I forget how to use it in between projects, so Speed Drum or Sitala for me.

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1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

so Speed Drum or Sitala for me.

Those are the only two I use daily. 

I too find TX16wx to be powerful, but it can definitely get complicated. For me simplicity is key and powerful. 

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On 12/4/2020 at 1:00 PM, Starship Krupa said:

Thanks for checking in and telling us about this, @Scott Wheeler. The developers will be alerted, and unless they've already started work on their own sampler, I can't imagine that they wouldn't be interested in talking with you on your API.

Great, thanks!

On 12/4/2020 at 1:00 PM, Starship Krupa said:

As with ARA (which Cakewalk has always been toward the front of the herd with), the more companies that buy into these non-Steinberg standards and extensions the better.

I'm very interested in what form the integration with REAPER has taken, so I guess in a few days I should download the latest builds of both Sitala and REAPER and check it out.

Reaper has a pretty extensive (though a bit craptastic) API, so it makes deeper integration possible in a lot of ways.  The things we have in the upcoming release are automatic multi-out routing, and synchronized track names (so the pad name is automatically reflected in the pad name).  We already had note names working in Reaper in our last release.

On 12/4/2020 at 1:00 PM, Starship Krupa said:

For me, the minimum is dragging audio clips from Cakewalk tracks to the sampler's pads with no intermediate steps or conversions or leaving the app. If I could just do that, life would be so much simpler. If your API allows that, host applications transferring audio directly to Sitala, and it's something that others might start using, it would make for a happy land indeed.

The planned API doesn't do that at the moment, but interestingly, you don't need to have an extension to the VST API to do that.  Reaper has a modifier that you can hold when dragging things like that that simply creates a temp file for a few seconds with that content.  I even think it should be possible to simply correctly set the encoding of the dragged content to PCM and it should be possible to get it working without any real magic (just using normal desktop drag and drop protocols), but when I went spelunking a year or two back to see if any DAWs actually did that, I didn't find any.  But that's something I'm open to exploring for future releases if we get more DAWs on board.

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On 12/4/2020 at 5:23 PM, chris.r said:

Among many good points of Sitala, one thing I didn't like was that it forces us to install some hidden service, not sure what it is, probably something to check for updates I assume. But it starts with Windows and takes resources, something that I always try to stay away from, so I simply didn't install it on my production desktop in an attempt of keeping the least amount of 'necessary garbage'.

That went away ... I think after the second alpha?  Anyway, hasn't been the case for more than a year at least.

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