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Sleetah2000

Emulating Favorite Hardware Patches

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Over the years, I've lost more the a few favorite hardware instrument patches as synth lifecycles reached failure mode.  On occasion I've seen reference to sample emulation, but I'm unfamiliar with any reasonably priced products or the process to port these samples into.  Theo only exception were VST plugins that I found for my dead EMU synths.   I still have a couple of rack synths that haven't quite bitten the dust yet. Could someone suggest a way forward to extend patch life?

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Sleetah2000 said:

Over the years, I've lost more the a few favorite hardware instrument patches as synth lifecycles reached failure mode.  On occasion I've seen reference to sample emulation, but I'm unfamiliar with any reasonably priced products or the process to port these samples into.  Theo only exception were VST plugins that I found for my dead EMU synths.   I still have a couple of rack synths that haven't quite bitten the dust yet. Could someone suggest a way forward to extend patch life?

Thanks

I use SampleRobot Pro to sample my old hardware synths. It does all the usual things like automatic loop finding etc, and has an "instrument copier" mode which allows you to define a list of patches to sample... come several hours later, and they're all done.

https://samplerobot.com/

It exports to a number of sample formats. I personally use soundfonts with SampleLord, but it'll also export as Kontakt, sfz, TX16Wx as well as a few others.

So far I've done my Roland D550, CM64 & JV1010, Korg X5DR, Kawai K1R & Yamaha TG500.

Most of my other synths have VSTi equivalents, but I've effectively now  got my hardware synth rack running in my laptop.

 

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Thanks Msmcleod.  The product description sounds just like what I was looking for on the still functioning Roland, Yamaha, and Korg devices in my rack.  I'm assuming that Roland RS-PCM  samples cannot be accessed without a corresponding working device.

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36 minutes ago, Sleetah2000 said:

Thanks Msmcleod.  The product description sounds just like what I was looking for on the still functioning Roland, Yamaha, and Korg devices in my rack.  I'm assuming that Roland RS-PCM  samples cannot be accessed without a corresponding working device.

No you can't really access them unless it's working. 

What Roland device have you got? I've got a U220 and a CM64 (basically a U110 &  MT32).

If there's any patches you particularly need, let me know. I'm crazy busy at the moment, but I'll try to put some time aside to sample them.

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6 hours ago, Max Arwood said:

Samplit 2 is a lower prices option. I like and have both. They each have their strengths. 

Can you elaborate a bit?

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18 hours ago, msmcleod said:

No you can't really access them unless it's working. 

What Roland device have you got? I've got a U220 and a CM64 (basically a U110 &  MT32).

If there's any patches you particularly need, let me know. I'm crazy busy at the moment, but I'll try to put some time aside to sample them.

I was going to ask about a couple of U110 patches.  It's been laying dormant in my rack for well over a decade.  But go figure, I plugged it in after lunch, and I think I may be able to get it to function long enough to sample a few patches.

If you ever do have an opportunity as a low priority, I would like to request S Bass 3 (MT-32:  sold it in the 90s).  I'm not sure what format to ask for, but I think sfz might be a safe bet.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.  It's exciting to look at the rack and raise the dead.

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22 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

Can you elaborate a bit?

Yes. You can make nice samples libraries with either of these. I like samplit because of its ease of use (and lower price) I have been trying to sample my vl70m-turbo. Neither program is really getting it right. Samplit set up quicker.  Sample robot is more tweakable. Msmcleod made me buy sample robot (just kidding lol!!). Still not happy with the sample set from this device  with either sampler.  Matt Traumam At Patchman is the king of this Stuff. You should listen to some of his Kontakt samples.  Wind pack 1 is great!

Here is a flute!

www.patchmanmusic.con/audio demos/kontaktwindpacks/flute01.mp3

 

Any Specific questions?

both programs are great! Both easy to set up and use. 

 

Max. Arwood

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Boy - you couldn't have picked a better time to tell me about Samplit, and Sample Robot.

The bass player from my Genesis tribute project has a real set of the original Taurus Bass Pedals, and they may be too delicate to use them on a regular basis.  He also has no protective case for them, so there is some risk there.

Anyways, I bought a shiny new set of Studio Logic Bass Pedals, but they are just a midi controller, so no Taurus sounds.  The bass player and I were already planning to sample his Taurus pedals this weekend, so I think I will take a good look at both of these programs.

Bob Bone

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On 6/26/2019 at 6:21 PM, Sleetah2000 said:

I was going to ask about a couple of U110 patches.  It's been laying dormant in my rack for well over a decade.  But go figure, I plugged it in after lunch, and I think I may be able to get it to function long enough to sample a few patches.

If you ever do have an opportunity as a low priority, I would like to request S Bass 3 (MT-32:  sold it in the 90s).  I'm not sure what format to ask for, but I think sfz might be a safe bet.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.  It's exciting to look at the rack and raise the dead.

I'll see if I can make time for this at the weekend.

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Posted (edited)

For whatever the worth, I have built up a pretty good set of legacy synth sounds, mostly as sample libraries, some as VST plugins, and sound packs for plugins.  I have:

Arturia V Collection, which has pretty good emulations of: Minimoog, ARP 2600, Modular Moog, Fairlight CMI, Synclavier, Prophet 10, Yamaha CS-80, Buchla Easel, Jupiter 8, DX-7, Solina, Oberheim Matrix-12, Oberheim SEM, Hohner Clavinet, a Rhodes, and several organs.

Native Instruments Komplete 11 Ultimate, which includes Kontakt, and FM8 (and a bunch of other stuff).  Kontakt is one of, if not THE, best samplers out there, with all kinds of available commercial AND freeware libraries, of all sorts of legacy synths.  FM8 is a frequency-modulation synth, and can directly read and process ANY of the DX-* type of SYSEX banks of sounds.  I have something like 18,000 Yamaha DX-7, DX-9, etc., factory sounds, all of which can be played through FM8.  (these SYSEX banks are freely available, and I have sent them to several different folks over the years - if interested shoot me a message).  For Kontakt, the factory-included Retro Machines MKII library includes various Taurus sounds, Mellotron sounds, a bunch of Moog sounds, OB sounds, Crumar Orchestrator, string machines, ARP Quadra, etc., and DSF makes a bunch of libraries for Kontakt - such as a huge set of sounds from the various hardware Proteus synths, as well as the EMU libraries....  I also have a great Roland D50 library, just TONS of stuff out there.

UVI makes a Legacy library for like $50, for their Workstation synth engine, with a bunch of legacy sounds, and I believe they are the makers of a Retro II library (or something like that) - with another 30 - I think - synths represented.

Korg has a Legacy series with a few synths available.  I bought the M1 soft synth from that series, and it includes every factory released sound and sound expansion card they made, AND all the sounds of the T1.

For VST plugins, I have emulations for things like the Taurus MK1 bass pedals, the ASP Pro Soloist, and the RMI Electra, and there all all kinds of freeware synths that have remarkable analog sounds.

SO - there are lots and lots of available options for picking up legacy synth emulations and sample libraries, for just about everything that has been made as a commercial synth.

If you are looking for anything specific, perhaps one of us can help you to locate it.  :)

(Edited to add that the newest Arturia V Collection - version 7, adds 3 new synths, including a Mellotron emulation that is pretty good)

Bob Bone

Edited by Robert Bone
Added a tiny bit more content

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On 7/20/2019 at 11:42 AM, msmcleod said:

@Sleetah2000 - apologies for the long delay on this. Things have been really hectic lately.

Here it is: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/Synthbass3.zip

Thanks so much for the uploaded sample.  It brings back memories, and I hope to incorporate it shortly into an old piece I worked on.  My delay in responding was no better, but I'm happy to report that I was unplugged for some less hectic distractions.  

Regarding the original question of sampling plugins, I still haven't decided between the more tweakable samplerobot pro, and the simpler less expensive samplit option.  My research corroborates the comparative descriptions, but it's still tough to tell which plugin would satisfy me in the longrun.  I'm leaning towards simpler cheaper, but would I appreciably be cheating the samples out of control and fidelity?

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6 minutes ago, Sleetah2000 said:

Thanks so much for the uploaded sample.  It brings back memories, and I hope to incorporate it shortly into an old piece I worked on.  My delay in responding was no better, but I'm happy to report that I was unplugged for some less hectic distractions.  

Regarding the original question of sampling plugins, I still haven't decided between the more tweakable samplerobot pro, and the simpler less expensive samplit option.  My research corroborates the comparative descriptions, but it's still tough to tell which plugin would satisfy me in the longrun.  I'm leaning towards simpler cheaper, but would I appreciably be cheating the samples out of control and fidelity?

I've not used Samplit, but looking at the specs, it seems to do most of what I use SampleRobot for. Samplit seems to tick all the boxes, with the noticeable exception of not being able to export to sfz. 

Samplit supports:

  • Gigastudio / G-Player (.gig)
  • NI Kontakt (.nki)
  • Steinberg Halion (.hal)
  • Logic EXS24 (.exs)
  • Soundfont (.sf2)
  • Reason NN-XT (.sxt)

Whereas SampleRobot supports:

  • WAV [single, group (Multi-Samples)], (Loop only) [single, group (Multi-Samples)], Tascam Gigastudio, Emu Emulator X3, MOTU Machfive
  • AIFF [single, group (Multi-Samples)], (Loop only) [single, group (Multi-Samples)], Teenage Enigineering OP-1 drum map
  • (*.x7l, *.x7u) Yamaha Montage Performance as Library and User Bank
  • (*.ksc, *.kmp, *.ksf) Korg Kronos, Triton, Trinity, Pa3X, Pa4x
  • Korg Volca Sample (Audio data export via Sync socket)
  • (*.msmpl_bank) Korg microSAMPLER
  • (*.sfz) Camel Audio Alchemy and Alchemy Player , rgc:audio
  • (*.sf2) SoundFont2 , Apple Logic Pro EXS 24, Yellow Tools Independence ,  Maz Sound Tools VSampler 3, Cakewalk Dimension Pro / LE
  • Steinberg HALion 4 (*.xml, clipboard copy & paste)
  • Waldorf Blofeld (*.xml)
  • (*.sxt) Propellerhead Software Reason 6 NN-XT, NI Kontakt
  • Wusik.com Wusikstation (*.SND)
  • Cakewalk Dimension Program (*.prog)

I suspect however, like me you'll pick one or two formats and stick to them.

Samplit does however look much easier to use than SampleRobot (which has somewhat of a learning curve... I must get around to doing a tutorial!)

At the expense of muddying the waters further, I'd take a look at SampleRobot Multi-X... this is a similar price to Samplit and offers most of what SampleRobot Pro does, but without some of the advanced controller mapping. It's also limited to 16 bit (which to be honest, is all I use). Most of these old synths are less than that anyhow, e.g. MT-32 is effectively 15 bit, Kawai K1 is 12 bit.  You also get the option of upgrading to SampleRobot Pro at a later date.

FWIW SampleRobot Multi-X does everything I would need it to do. I've only got Pro because I originally bought v4 and upgraded over the years.

I never bother sampling controller information as the sampling size / time to record increases exponentially, and most sample players will provide their own options for these anyhow.

One thing that would be a deal breaker for me is the automatic recording. Although Samplit supports automatic recording, it doesn't specify whether it supports this for multiple instruments. SampleRobot has an instrument copier, so you can give it 100's of patches to go ahead and sample. Given that each instrument takes around 20 mins to sample (not including the prep time), being able to leave it running unattended for 24-36 hours while it samples a whole sound module is preferable to babysitting it every 20 mins.

Don't underestimate the prep time either... you'll need to work out (for each patch):

  • How long the sample should be
  • How many velocity layers to sample
  • How many keys to sample
  • Whether it's one shot or looped
  • Where the loop search/end should be, and what algorithm to use

... and then obviously set up your project to reflect these for each patch.

I go through each patch and scribble down notes, then transfer them to SampleRobot when I create each "project" (project = patch). I normally end up with around four of five different combinations that I can re-use over a whole sound module. In other words, I create a project for a pad sound and use this as the basis for all the pad sounds I want to sample. SampleRobot will automatically use this as a template when creating the projects, and will assign the names from a text file. I then do the same for all the one-shots (e.g. percussion), piano/guitar one-shots etc. Once all the projects are created, I start it sampling and come back a day or so later.

If I've got any issues with volume levels, I'll use SoundForge's batch process feature to increase the raw wav files by "n" db's before going into SampleRobot and exporting again.

The best advice I can give, is download the trials and try them both out.

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Posted (edited)

(1) I love this topic!  Thanks for asking the question and for the insightful answers.

(2) Can someone with experience with Roland sounds help put a few into perspective, particularly in terms of re-used/re-purposed/emulated samples across Roland families of gear? 

I have experience with: the MT-32 (and a C-64 editor!--great for sound hacking!!),  the CM-64 (as noted an MT-32 plus PCM with a single slot for the U110 family of cards), the CM-32P (the C-64 without the MT-32, just the PCM portion), the U-220 (2 cards slots, plus more PCM samples than the U-110 and allegedly better sound quality), and an M-GS64 (SoundCanvas variant, with emulated/mapped CM-64 sounds, IIRC, the Edirol softsynth (that came with Cakewalk ages ago, plus an update), and the TTS-1.

As I seem to recall (not 100% sure, though), the CM-64 has a cleaner version of the MT-32 sound production circuitry and a cleaner version of the U-110 sound production circuitry, comparable to the U-220. I vaguely recall thinking the Sound Canvas Samples (as found in the M-GS64 and others) were a superset of the PCM samples as found in the CM-64, U-110, U-220.

I also seem to recall that the old Edirol Softsynth (VSC, IIRC = Virtual Sound Canvas) used the same (or reworked) PCM samples (based on what I remember about using some of the sax samples). I was under the impression that these were reworked into the TTS-1.

Thanks.

Steve

Edited by MusicMan11712 (aka Dr. Steve)
to correct a typo

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8 hours ago, MusicMan11712 (aka Dr. Steve) said:

As I seem to recall (not 100% sure, though), the CM-64 has a cleaner version of the MT-32 sound production circuitry and a cleaner version of the U-110 sound production circuitry, comparable to the U-220. I vaguely recall thinking the Sound Canvas Samples (as found in the M-GS64 and others) were a superset of the PCM samples as found in the CM-64, U-110, U-220.

All of the CM series use the cleaner output circuitry, and it is comparable to the U220. The MT32 / U110 are pretty noisy.

What they didn't do however, is fix the bit quantisation issue. The LA synths are 15 bit, but shifted left in a crude attempt to make them 16 bit. The result of this is digital clipping at normal volumes once you start adding sounds. Some sounds will clip on their own unless the volume is dropped drastically (e.g. Strings 3,  which I used ALL the time). Luckily sampling has solved this issue :)

Another  difference between the MT-32 and the CM-32L / CM-64, is the CM series has the SN-U110-11 Sound Effects card built in, and mapped to the higher notes on channel 10. The CM-32L / CM64 also has twice as many PCM waveforms as the MT-32.

Apart from the cleaner output, the only difference between the U220 and the U110 is that the U220 has the SN-U110-08 (Synthesizer) and SN-U110-09 (Guitars & Keyboards) cards built in. IMO these were the best cards available, so it was a good choice to include them - some great Jupiter 8 & D50 samples on there. I was using both these cards with the CM-32P / CM-64  at least a decade before I finally got a U220.

AFIAK there's no real relationship between the Sound Canvas samples and the U series ones. To my ears they sound completely different. The only exception is maybe some of the SN-U110-11 sound effects (e.g. rain, train, machine gun etc), but even with those, some of them sound different.

The JV and XV series synths do have some D50 samples in them, which sound pretty good. 

I almost got a MGS64 at one point as it claimed to emulate the CM32L, but all it does is remap the GM sounds to the MT-32 patch list. The MGS64 is just a 64 note poly version of the Sound Canvas.

I built up quite a collection of 80's/90's Roland gear over the years: MT-32, CM-32L / CM-32P (both were sold and replaced with a CM-64), D110 (with PG-10 programmer), U220, D550, JV1010 & XV2020.

The D110 gets bad reviews for some reason, but it can sound fantastic if programmed properly. It's sounds nowhere near as good as the D50 / D550 though.

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On 6/27/2019 at 1:09 AM, Max Arwood said:

Yes. You can make nice samples libraries with either of these. I like samplit because of its ease of use (and lower price) I have been trying to sample my vl70m-turbo. Neither program is really getting it right. Samplit set up quicker.  Sample robot is more tweakable. Msmcleod made me buy sample robot (just kidding lol!!). Still not happy with the sample set from this device  with either sampler.  Matt Traumam At Patchman is the king of this Stuff. You should listen to some of his Kontakt samples.  Wind pack 1 is great!

Hey Max,

Isn't the vl70m a physical-modeling synth?

If so, it's going to be really hard to sample that... so it accurately reproduces all nuances.

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1 hour ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Hey Max,

Isn't the vl70m a physical-modeling synth?

If so, it's going to be really hard to sample that... so it accurately reproduces all nuances.

You could probably do it - that is, if you don't mind using 10GB of samples on the one instrument!

The number of samples goes up exponentially every time you add a new controller. It'll take a long time to sample, and use up a lot of disk space.

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Yeah, I'm sure you *can* do it... but it will be an elaborate process to get all articulations captured/programmed... with custom script/s controlling the switching.

That makes my tendons hurt just thinking about it.   😁  LOL  

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2 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Yeah, I'm sure you *can* do it... but it will be an elaborate process to get all articulations captured/programmed... with custom script/s controlling the switching.

That makes my tendons hurt just thinking about it.   😁  LOL  

Actually, SampleRobot does it really easily - you just add the controllers / value ranges you want to capture.... but it would be complete madness to try!

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