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A survey of Linux audio plugins

A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jun 25, 2012 17:07 UTC (Mon) by StudioDave (guest, #84346)
In reply to: A survey of Linux audio plugins by jtc
Parent article: A survey of Linux audio plugins

Sampled sounds are available for Linux, and many sample packagers now make it clear if their formats are suitable for use by Linux sample players (see the listings at www.kvraudio.com). The GIG and SFZ formats are supported by LinuxSampler, and anything in WAV format can be used directly in most sequencers and samplers. Or perhaps I don't clearly understand your question ?


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A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jun 29, 2012 5:17 UTC (Fri) by jtc (guest, #6246) [Link]

My main point is a general one that, as far as I can tell, the high-quality samples available today of instruments (e.g., oboe, horn, violin, clarinet) that are difficult to make sound good/realistic are either not available on Linux or are not practical. Not available in the case of VST/VSTi samples; and not practical in the case of GIG samples (since, IME, linuxsampler has too many limitations to be practical) - plus with gigastudio discontinued the format will be obsolete in a few years, IMO. I'm not aware of any SFZ samples of such instruments that are high quality, but I could be wrong. (Sure there are VST samples available for Linux, but I don't think there are any of truly high quality [such as the Vienna Symphonic Library].)

I'm generalizing, due to lack of time to research this further at the moment, but I think my general impression is correct. If I'm wrong I'm happy to be corrected.

[Sorry for the late response - I just saw your reply just now.]

A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jun 29, 2012 12:20 UTC (Fri) by StudioDave (guest, #84346) [Link]

We're having a little problem with terminology. First, "VST samples" isn't precise - a VSTi plugin might *use* samples as sound sources, but as far as I know there's no VST sample format. Sampled sounds typically originate as a WAV or other high-quality soundfile format that gets wrapped into a sampler-specific format, e.g. GIG or DLS. A VST sampler plugin may well use GIG, DLS, or even WAV files directly.

Incidentally, I've read that the main developer of LinuxSampler uses the Vienna Symphonic Library. As I mentioned before, sample libraries are often usable as-is with the existing Linux samplers, provided the sample format is recognizable. So far the recognized formats seem to be GIG, SFZ, and WAV (possibly along with other formats supported by libsndfile). Btw, the Linux samplers I know of include Petri-foo, Specimen, Euphoria, and LinuxSampler.

The glaring omission in Linux-supported sample formats is the Kontakt format. I believe it has become the de facto standard for Windows-based samplers, thanks likely to the demise of Gigastudio.

Best,

dp

A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jul 2, 2012 21:52 UTC (Mon) by jtc (guest, #6246) [Link]

Thanks for the info and correction. My ignorance is showing - looks like I've misunderstood some of the details of the technology and terminology.

With this corrected understanding, I guess my main question is simply: Is my assumption that there are no high-quality orchestral samples available (and usable, in a practical sense) for Linux systems incorrect? From your response it sounds like the answer might be yes (i.e., good news - high-quality samples are available).

I find it hard to get precise information on this with google (at least without spending a lot of time, which I'm not willing to do right now). It looks like the Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) samples exist in Kontakt format - bad news, apparently, since I accept your implication that Kontakt samples cannot be used easily on Linux. It looks like VSL might also be available in DSL, which perhaps is good news - you seem to imply that DSL samples can be played on Linux. (I don't think I had heard of DSL before you mentioned it here.) Of course, there are other high-quality sample collections besides VSL. Do you know if any of these are playable on Linux, in a practical sense and, if so, where should I look? (If it matters, I use rosegarden to compose music, and I'm looking for good-sounding samples so that I can improvise [as a basis for composition] and allow the sound to inspire me [which tends to lead to good/creative musical ideas], instead of what often happens - a somewhat unpleasant and uninspiring result due to mediocre sounds.)

My question, I suppose, is pretty broad and perhaps hard to answer with the needed detail, but if you think what I'm looking for exists and can provide me with some pointers, hints, key-words, or such to help me find what I'm looking for, I'd appreciate it. (In case it matters - Windows is not an option for me - I'm allergic to it; and OSX is probably not an option either.)

Thanks!

A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jul 12, 2012 21:38 UTC (Thu) by StudioDave (guest, #84346) [Link]

I decided that I really didn't know enough about the topic, so I asked my friend Alex Stone to address the issue of a Linux-based composer using high-quality commercially-available sample libraries. I admit that I was surprised by his response, but as far as I can tell it's simply the plain unvarnished truth: If you need Kontakt-formatted sample libs you're just out of luck if you're working in Linux. Alex advised - unhappily advised, I must add - using a Windows box as a host for such libs, but that does not seem like an alternative for you. However, I recently perused a lengthy list of sample libraries for popular and other musics "not classical", and I was pleased by the number of vendors who provide plain WAV and/or AIFF files as a supported format. Not very helpful, I know, but it gets closer to the truth of the situation. I hope this reply clarifies it a little more.

Best,

dp

A survey of Linux audio plugins

Posted Jul 15, 2012 3:02 UTC (Sun) by jtc (guest, #6246) [Link]

Thanks, Dave, for taking the time to look into this. From what you said it sounds like my original assumption that there are no practical solutions for high-quality orchestral samples on Linux might be true. (Hopefully, a few years into the future, this will not be the case.) But I should probably do some more research before concluding this is so.


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