The ideal ROM sampler / rompler (question & opinion)

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RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 05 Sep 2019

In my opinion, when it comes to Romplers, I just would want to use them to compose without getting distracted by sound design (trust me, I spend most of my time designing - which I love, normally).

For features, I'd tops want basic performance things, like pitch/mod wheel and velocity, after touch, pedal <- these controlling filtering, volume/pan, and pitch. Maybe voices, an instant patch/sound switch [could switch instantly between playing styles (aka samples - think a crafted 16th note, 8th note, 4th note etc. ~ commonly at 120 BPM perhaps with auto time-stretching ~ just like switching between a marcato and a staccato for example)], and that's it. So only things that control performance, nothing more, nothing less. Nope, no ADSR (just perform with the wheel for once!), no LFO (use the pitch and mod wheel), no tweaking filter/tuning knobs (for the last time, perform!), whatsoever that alters the sample too much and clutters up the Rack Extension. Strictly performance focus and simplicity, get it? Yes, this ties hands, so as a composer, arranger and performer, you focus on what matters (no design, no engineering). I'd be hesitant about making layering possible, but... maybe.

Samples should be treated just like orchestral recordings, even if modern drums, synth sounds, etc. Every sample perfectly crafted, professionally processed and mix ready - but in a way that one should be able to make a song, not touch anything and simply be able to skip mixing, if they like the default, professional setting. (I'd rather dig a couple of instruments, drums, and sfx, each, than hundreds of samples that need work. I get it, it would take ages to process hundreds of instruments, but I think it's possible in case of say, a dozen or so.)

What if you release a note earlier than the sample? Fine, add an auto release button, but no fancy "Release" knob! Maybe the possibility to play the whole sample length with just a single key stroke.

My main question is: what's the ideal Rompler for you?

P.S. those who design sounds - I understand. Let's not make any fights, like I see in almost every rompler topic. I just want a one that locks out design and engineering, whatsoever, which is song writer oriented.

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boingy
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Post 06 Sep 2019

Kontakt. But you won't like the price.

RobC
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Post 06 Sep 2019

boingy wrote:
06 Sep 2019
Kontakt. But you won't like the price.
Seems simple and straight forward enough. However, seems a bit overkill for what I imagine. For that price, it must be packed ~ and cycling through tons of sounds is something, I feel, can take time away from the creative songwriting process. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a selection, just that: there can be too much.

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boingy
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Post 06 Sep 2019

I think I may not understand what you want!

TritoneAddiction
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Location: Sweden

Post 06 Sep 2019

The only romplers I use right now are the Mixfood Ambi Generators. I mostly think of them as nice little collections of sounds. The amount of tweakability is pretty good, not too much, not too little.
Sometimes I use a bit of Stringwerk and the ProjectSAM RE too.

When it comes to synth sounds I much rather work with normal synths instead. Synth romplers tend to sound lifeless to me, when the start of every note sounds exactly the same.

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Miguel da Wu
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Joined: 23 Mar 2015

Post 06 Sep 2019

at the rack extansion: you should test the Hydronexius Workstation ROM. Costs only 19€ and have many Sounds.

at VST: i only use reFX Nexus, it´s not cheap but it sounds great for me.

RobC
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Post 06 Sep 2019

boingy wrote:
06 Sep 2019
I think I may not understand what you want!
It's a bit difficult to explain, but most romplers with tons of samples, are far from perfectly- crafted, let alone processed. So including what I said earlier, to sum it up, I think it should be performance oriented, with less, but perfected samples. At least, that's how I would design one.

Not sure if I'd do REs, but I've been thinking about designing and engineering sounds, then building a rompler to see how it would work for me.

RobC
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Post 06 Sep 2019

TritoneAddiction wrote:
06 Sep 2019
The only romplers I use right now are the Mixfood Ambi Generators. I mostly think of them as nice little collections of sounds. The amount of tweakability is pretty good, not too much, not too little.
Sometimes I use a bit of Stringwerk and the ProjectSAM RE too.

When it comes to synth sounds I much rather work with normal synths instead. Synth romplers tend to sound lifeless to me, when the start of every note sounds exactly the same.
The first one is closer to what I imagined, but you know, there's a reason why I'd want a rompler to kind of force me to focus on performance and song writing. The second one's design and simplicity is appealing (similar with your 3rd example), but it seems to lack a few things, that would be definitely okay to change in case of synthesized sounds.

That's great info ~ in case I'd get into designing a rompler as a RE after all. But as well as for music making in general. Normally I'm all for perfection, but I guess not everyone would like music that's too much OCD sterile and perfectly timed, etc.
However, there are design and engineering tricks to add life, variety and randomness/imperfections back to samples. But the synth samples shouldn't be boring to begin with. Of course, there's a compromise, cause the more a sample is altered, the more likely it might need engineering later in the mix - if one wants a professional production. My base idea was that every single note is perfectly pre-processed. That DOES take a lot of time, especially in case of melodic synth sounds.

I'd probably start with doing some free refill, to see how it would work out.

RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 06 Sep 2019

Miguel da Wu wrote:
06 Sep 2019
at the rack extansion: you should test the Hydronexius Workstation ROM. Costs only 19€ and have many Sounds.

at VST: i only use reFX Nexus, it´s not cheap but it sounds great for me.
I checked them, though what I'm talking about is sort of a more simplified design, and kind of fixed samples, that are crafted to perfection.

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diminished
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Post 06 Sep 2019

Idk it sounds like you would enjoy Spitfire LABS.

RobC
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Post 07 Sep 2019

diminished wrote:
06 Sep 2019
Idk it sounds like you would enjoy Spitfire LABS.
These do look clean, but there's always something missing. However, I got some great info from people, what I was missing when it comes to a rompler design.

I guess if I want something ideal by my taste, I have to do it myself. I only wish we could release free REs without the need of a company.

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Stygian Abyss
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Joined: 17 Jun 2019

Post 07 Sep 2019

RobC, you absolutely don't need a company to release free REs. Just apply to the developers program using your name.

About romplers, being an amateur electronic musician making Goa trance (Hi, Antic604 !), ambient and old school Jean-Michel Jarre / Kebu style, I'm mostly only interested in glass or metal-based acoustic instruments and, of course, recreations of old 60's, 70's machines: I like organs, string machines and Mellotrons from Jiggery-Pokery and G-Force, and other similar recreations exist in Kontakt format.

I'd conclude by saying that I don't see any real opposition between using sample-based instruments and designing sounds. Using the powerful effects we have nowadays, one can turn the most static sample into something very different and far more interesting. As an example, Neptune's formant setting is very good at this.

RobC
Posts: 1118
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 08 Sep 2019

Stygian Abyss wrote:
07 Sep 2019
RobC, you absolutely don't need a company to release free REs. Just apply to the developers program using your name.

About romplers, being an amateur electronic musician making Goa trance (Hi, Antic604 !), ambient and old school Jean-Michel Jarre / Kebu style, I'm mostly only interested in glass or metal-based acoustic instruments and, of course, recreations of old 60's, 70's machines: I like organs, string machines and Mellotrons from Jiggery-Pokery and G-Force, and other similar recreations exist in Kontakt format.

I'd conclude by saying that I don't see any real opposition between using sample-based instruments and designing sounds. Using the powerful effects we have nowadays, one can turn the most static sample into something very different and far more interesting. As an example, Neptune's formant setting is very good at this.
Oh? Did things change? Last time, it seemed I needed to be at least a registered freelancer to be able to release even a free one. I thought I tops could develop freely. Would be pretty neat.

Many sound designers don't make use of rendering samples, and how they can take the sound further that way, cause they want to do it all live. At this point, I'm thinking about creating both special samplers that create unique rendered sample-based effects, as well as simple clean romplers, and yet again special romplers where some effects can only be achieved via pre-processing, (aka no other way than creating a flexible ROMpler ~ kind of like Malström was a ROMpler, too in a way, even if granual).

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Stygian Abyss
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Post 08 Sep 2019

I don't think things have changed, but that the explanations on PH's site are little bit confusing and have led to the common misconception that you need to have a registered business and VAT number to access the dev program. I can testify that you do not need that if you want to develop REs for your personal use or distribute free plugins. But, as any dev, what you will have to do is to accept and respect a non disclosure agreement between PH and you.

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raymondh
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Post 08 Sep 2019

Romplers are always a tradeoff of convenience vs the perfect sounds for your production. The Rompler with the perfect piano might not have the perfect sax etc. Or it might be perfect for one mix but not another,...

An alternative approach (may or may not work for you), is to download a free or low cost GM sample pack (even soundfonts) and use that as a scratchpad for writing your music without the distraction of (1) Sound design or (2) preset-surfing through an overwhelmingly massive collection.

Then when you have the bones of your arrangement, then dedicate a block of time for replacing sounds with good ones :)

That workflow I find really good for staying on point without the distraction. It's also really good when you have monotimbral hardware synths that you have to 'print' one at a time.
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boingy
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Post 09 Sep 2019

Sounds like you should just do it, Rob. I look forwards to seeing and hearing the results!

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michal22
Posts: 203
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Poland

Post 09 Sep 2019

Some solution might be to use something like this and record audio output to Reason.
https://www.thomann.de/pl/yamaha_modx6_b_stock.htm
Simplicity and nice sounds. Good for quickly composing.
Ableton Live Suite 10 / Reason 10 / Windows 10 / Fingers - also 10 ;)

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Boombastix
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Post 09 Sep 2019

If you want to look at Romplers that try to do a finished approach, besides Nexus and Omnisphere, you have a couple of smaller guys doing more targeted versions:
https://www.studiolinked.com/
https://gospelmusicians.com/sounds-and- ... e-plugins/
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RobC
Posts: 1118
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Post 09 Sep 2019

Stygian Abyss wrote:
08 Sep 2019
I don't think things have changed, but that the explanations on PH's site are little bit confusing and have led to the common misconception that you need to have a registered business and VAT number to access the dev program. I can testify that you do not need that if you want to develop REs for your personal use or distribute free plugins. But, as any dev, what you will have to do is to accept and respect a non disclosure agreement between PH and you.
That's pretty cool to know, thanks! The more reason for me to plan ideas in Reaktor, then turn them into a RE.
raymondh wrote:
08 Sep 2019
Romplers are always a tradeoff of convenience vs the perfect sounds for your production. The Rompler with the perfect piano might not have the perfect sax etc. Or it might be perfect for one mix but not another,...

An alternative approach (may or may not work for you), is to download a free or low cost GM sample pack (even soundfonts) and use that as a scratchpad for writing your music without the distraction of (1) Sound design or (2) preset-surfing through an overwhelmingly massive collection.

Then when you have the bones of your arrangement, then dedicate a block of time for replacing sounds with good ones :)

That workflow I find really good for staying on point without the distraction. It's also really good when you have monotimbral hardware synths that you have to 'print' one at a time.
Yes, that's quite a problem to make a rompler fit as many needs as possible. Perhaps, the best way is something lighter, which focuses on a specific instrument. I saw that drum computer emulations are popular for example.

That workflow might work best. Now and then, there are some sounds that inspire to get going, though.
boingy wrote:
09 Sep 2019
Sounds like you should just do it, Rob. I look forwards to seeing and hearing the results!
I most likely will dig into it, though I heard there's a learning curve to it - but then again there was a learning curve to Reason, too. Luckily, I always grasped scripting/coding really fast, too, but the audio world got me more interested, heh.
michal22 wrote:
09 Sep 2019
Some solution might be to use something like this and record audio output to Reason.
https://www.thomann.de/pl/yamaha_modx6_b_stock.htm
Simplicity and nice sounds. Good for quickly composing.
You have no idea how long I've been looking for a hardware sampler. But they are sooo expensive, and packed with stuff I don't need. Something like Reason's samplers would be the best. I know there are App solutions these days, but it's not the same with a mobile device and a separate midi device. There's just something to all in one hardware instruments...
Boombastix wrote:
09 Sep 2019
If you want to look at Romplers that try to do a finished approach, besides Nexus and Omnisphere, you have a couple of smaller guys doing more targeted versions:
https://www.studiolinked.com/
https://gospelmusicians.com/sounds-and- ... e-plugins/
Oh, cool! I'll definitely look at these. Indies are usually more open and creative, while the big ones kind of follow a norm.

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