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Explaining sample based vs non #2893417
09/23/19 01:20 PM
09/23/19 01:20 PM
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KillerQueen702 Offline OP
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While researching keyboard people have told me that an instrument is either sample based or not. But what does that mean?

I understand a sample based instrument’s sounds where made from other actual instruments, but what does that mean for a non sampled instruments?

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Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893418
09/23/19 01:25 PM
09/23/19 01:25 PM
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Frédéric L Offline
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Sampled instruments use the records of each note.

Modelled Instruments use mathematical formulae where the coefficient can be tuned to match the more closely a given instrument. We can also have a set of coefficient which doesn’t try to match a real instrument (Pianoteq K2, or some Roland VPiano which try to emulate silver strings).


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893430
09/23/19 01:57 PM
09/23/19 01:57 PM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by KillerQueen702
While researching keyboard people have told me that an instrument is either sample based or not. But what does that mean?

I understand a sample based instrument’s sounds where made from other actual instruments, but what does that mean for a non sampled instruments?



Hi KillerQueen702,

This question was answered in 2010 on this forum:

sampled-vs-modelled-pianos.html

When you're thinking about posting, one very cool feature of the bing search engine is that it can search pianoworld posts better than Google can. E.g., if you type: "pianoworld" sampled versus modelled, you will get the above hit.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893443
09/23/19 02:34 PM
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For pianos, there is not a consensus for which is better. Modeled Hammond B3’s, oftener called virtual tonewheels or clonewheels are far superior to sampled ones because you get draw bars to design the sound instead of just samples of particular drawbar configurations. The same is true for virtual analog synthesizers— you can twist the knobs (physical or menu-based) to adjust the filters instead of just getting sampled configurations.

Nord offers sampled poor organs. I don’t know if it is harder to model pipe organs, but pipe organ stops are either on or off, not set at a level on a drawbar, so there is not as large a number of different permutations of configurations to sample as there is for a Hammond B3.

A Roland Jupiter-50 gives you a modeled B3, modeled virtual analog synthesizer, and sampled acoustic instruments as an example.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893450
09/23/19 03:18 PM
09/23/19 03:18 PM
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Aren’t drawbars just setting the amplifier which is put after the wheeltone pickups. This can be made by adjusting volume of samples. But the polyphony is then 9 times the number of played notes. Hopefully, there is no damper pedal.

With pipe organ, we typically have sampled organs (Hauptwerk organs take quite a lot of space) but needs a lot of polyphony since a tutti preset while trigger many samples for each note.


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Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893451
09/23/19 03:24 PM
09/23/19 03:24 PM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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A Hammond B3 has (I think) 9 or so tonewheels, each with a drawbar. It's reasonably easy to model that (with apologies to those who have to get the details right!)

Pipe organs are very tough to synthesize.

A pipe organ has many "stops". Each "stop" turns on (or off) a full set of 61 pipes (a "rank"), and the tonal character of those pipes varies with pitch. So you can't use one sample, and vary its playback speed -- you need a bunch of samples, to match the tone of each stop in each range of pitch on the keyboard. (Ignore start-up and shut-down transients, they just make things more complicated.)

These stops can be turned on _in any combination_. So when the player presses one key, the organ synth has to combine the samples of all the pipes of that pitch, in all the open stops. And when the player plays a chord, it needs to combine the samples of all the pipes for all the pitches in the chord, in all the open stops. As an extreme case, St Paul's Cathedral / London has 127 stops.

. . . "Pull out all the stops" has a very physical meaning on a pipe organ.

That's why Hauptwerk (a pipe-organ VST) is so expensive. _Lots_ of samples, requiring _lots_ of computing capacity to run.

[sorry -- I got carried away . . . ]


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893463
09/23/19 04:16 PM
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Yeah, sounds right that a B3 could just be sampled and drawbar gain implemented. There is no damper pedal. There are effects like key click and leslie effect, which is basically a carefully modeled tremolo. My previous posting was mangled by the Apple spell randomizer corrector. here is some corrected text

Nord offers sampled poor pipe organs.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: Frédéric L] #2893464
09/23/19 04:19 PM
09/23/19 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
For pianos, there is not a consensus for which is better. Modeled Hammond B3’s, oftener called virtual tonewheels or clonewheels are far superior to sampled ones because you get draw bars to design the sound instead of just samples of particular drawbar configurations.

As with pianos, there is no universal "better" when it comes to B3s. The B-5 VST from Acoustic Samples uses samples, but sounds a lot better than some emulations that don't.

Also, using samples does not mean they sampled specific drawbar configurations... as Frédéric alluded to, you can also use samples to sample each tone generator separately, so the user can still duplicate any drawbar configuration by manipulating the levels of the 9 underlying tones.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
A Roland Jupiter-50 gives you a modeled B3, modeled virtual analog synthesizer, and sampled acoustic instruments as an example.

Jupiter 50 is an example of modeled B3 that doesn't sound especially good (albeit largely because of limitations in the effects processing). Also, as it happens, all the Jupiter 50 acoustic instruments are "SuperNatural Acoustic Tones" which means they are at least partially modeled, rather than being purely sampled.

Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Aren’t drawbars just setting the amplifier which is put after the wheeltone pickups. This can be made by adjusting volume of samples. But the polyphony is then 9 times the number of played notes.

Yes, and there can also be phase issues. But there are also ways to address those things. Most Hammond clonewheels (using their VASE system) use samples, but they are phase-locked, and they do not have polyphony limitations that I am aware of. So there's no one-answer-fits-all in this discussion.

Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893476
09/23/19 05:17 PM
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Yes, the Roland Supernatural acoustic sounds include modeled post-processing. That is true of most sampled sounds today— at a minimum most sampled pianos have some looping. A few like Kronos and the Vienna philharmonic VST are large, unlooped samples. The Supernatural acoustic sounds add modeled nuances like the falls of a trumpet, and various nuances of other instruments to try to create a more realistic effect/sound.

The Jupiter-50 B3 is not as good as a Hammond or Nord but much better than sampled organs in, say a Motif. Out of the box, the Roland tonewheel builtin live sets (patches) have the Leslie amp overdrive effect set to its max value (100). You cannot assess the quality of the sound until that is set to something more reasonable (in the range of 0-50).

In general Roland missed the boat with the Jupiter-50 and Jupiter-80 by not designing the out of the box configuration so that the keyboard would demo well in a store. The configurations and possibilities are voluminous/endless and the keyboard has excellent sound. The VA synth with 128 (or 256 for the J-80) voice polyphony is phenomenal. But it is a complex architecture and user interface to learn to use.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: Sweelinck] #2893508
09/23/19 07:37 PM
09/23/19 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Yes, the Roland Supernatural acoustic sounds include modeled post-processing. That is true of most sampled sounds today— at a minimum most sampled pianos have some looping.

Oh yes, I think you and I have talked about this before, and I'm not sure exactly what you mean by post-processing. Looping is not modeling. A looped sample is still always playing a sample. Roland SuperNatural modeling has components which are synthesized, i.e. you are hearing something that was not part of a real world sample. For example, Roland SuperNatural piano as it appears in the Jupiter 50 does employ sampling, but also modeling... it synthesizes (artificially creates) the decays rather than playing a looped sample so you never hear a loop point (which Kronos addresses by playing a long unlooped sample, but that's unusual in a keyboard, as you point out); it synthesizes (artificially creates) different variations of the tone that play at different velocities (rather than playing different samples at different velocities, i.e. a single note of a Kronos piano could employ as many as as a dozen samples that trigger at different velocities; the Jupiter 50 uses only one and algorithmically extrapolates variations for all other velocities, so there is never a jump). At least that's my understanding.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The Jupiter-50 B3 is not as good as a Hammond or Nord but much better than sampled organs in, say a Motif.

Saying that the Jupiter 50 modeled organ is better than the sampled organs in a Motif is true, but is not a rationale to say that ALL modeled organs are better than ALL sample-based organs, which is not true. Hammond SK (and most if not all XK) models use samples, as does the B5 VST I mentioned, and they sound better than the Roland FA, Ferrofish B4000+, and I believe some Casios, which do not use samples for their organ sound. I think modelling is *usually* better for organs, but some sample-based systems are definitely better than some modelled systems, and there are great and not-so-great versions of both approaches.

Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893522
09/23/19 08:00 PM
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Quote

Oh yes, I think you and I have talked about this before, and I'm not sure exactly what you mean by post-processing. Looping is not modeling. A looped sample is still always playing a sample. Roland SuperNatural modeling has components which are synthesized,

You are getting into semantics whose resolution are not relevant to a keyboard purchase. Post-processing is any modification to the sound after samples are collected so that the sound is different from just playing the samples as collected. My understanding of Roland SNA is that the modeled aspects of the sound are nuances of acoustic instruments typically not captured in samples that are added. Some are clearly just after-effects. For instance if you hold down a key in a flute patch it will after a time take on a tremolo effect.

Have you actually owned a Jupiter-50? It is not an easy instrument to evaluate in 15 minutes at a store.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893525
09/23/19 08:16 PM
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I should be clear that the built in tremolo of a flute ilks touting the sound through a tremelo effect. Perhaps the distinction anotherscott is making with respect to oust-processing vs modeling is whether or not it is exposed to the user in the user interface or part of the sound engine to which the user lacks visibility. I take the fire that there are samples, and there is additional modification to the sound produced by a sample, whether or not the end user has any control over it.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: Sweelinck] #2893530
09/23/19 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck

You are getting into semantics whose resolution are not relevant to a keyboard purchase. Post-processing is any modification to the sound after samples are collected so that the sound is different from just playing the samples as collected. My understanding of Roland SNA is that the modeled aspects of the sound are nuances of acoustic instruments typically not captured in samples that are added. Some are clearly just after-effects. For instance if you hold down a key in a flute patch it will after a time take on a tremolo effect.

Have you actually owned a Jupiter-50? It is not an easy instrument to evaluate in 15 minutes at a store.

Yes, I own a Jupiter 50, and also an Integra-7, which has a much more extensive set of SuperNatural Acoustic tones and, unlike the Jupiter 50, ALSO has a huge library of straight sampled instruments (non SuperNatural, no modeling involved). Most post-processing is not modeling. Looping is not modeling. Adding effects is not modeling. Using an LFO with delay to introduce vibrato or tremolo to a sound is not modeling. These things existed for decades before Roland introduced the modeling features of SuperNatural. It may be semantics, if that's what you want to call using the right word for the right thing. ;-) Whether the terminology is relevant to a keyboard purchase is debatable (some people do seem to care whether something is sampled or modeled, others don't care as long as they like the way it sounds)... but it's definitely relevant to a discussion where the OP is specifically asking what the difference is.

That said, Roland does use SuperNatural as a catch all phrase for any sound with a modeled component to it., so for example the modeling involved in a SuperNatural Organ is very different from the modeling involved in a SuperNatural Piano. Modeling is also not always about sound, it is also about behavior, i.e. it may do something differently depending on how you play. That is, some of what Roland does means that striking the same key may produce a different sound depending on whether you strike it alone or in conjunction with another key, or based on how large an interval there was between a key and the previous note you played, etc.. IOW, there's more "intelligence" to it than simple playback of samples (with or without post processing). This is the kind of thing that you get on the Integra's SuperNatural Acoustic tones that you don't get on its straight sampled (PCM) sounds.

So for example, taking the flute you mention, if you look at the editing parameters (at least on the Integra), you can see some modeled parameters which you can take advantage of or adjust, which you would not be able to do on a straight "sample playback with looping and effects" version of a flute... i.e. you can adjust the amount of "growl", the bend lever can introduce modeled-behavior glissandos or falls (which sounds different than the typical pitch bend function), an ornamental flourish is added when you play a hard strike within a legato phrase, breath sound is adjustable, etc.

Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893573
09/24/19 12:17 AM
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Looping is not modeling.

That’s where we have a semantic difference. Looping requires establishing the dynamic level of each looped sample in sequence so that the next one has the same dynamic level of the one which is ending to stitch them together as seamlessly as possible. This is a model of the entire sound over time.

I’m also not so sure that SN pianos extend the sample with an absence of looping. I think it is possible that it uses looped samples that then have modeled features applied to smooth out the loops. Roland does not publish how they make the sound as far as I know.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: Sweelinck] #2893653
09/24/19 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote

Looping is not modeling.

That’s where we have a semantic difference. Looping requires establishing the dynamic level of each looped sample in sequence so that the next one has the same dynamic level of the one which is ending to stitch them together as seamlessly as possible. This is a model of the entire sound over time.

Looping samples has been around for about 40 years. Nobody ever called it modeling. In the context of keyboards (or VSTs), modeling essentially means to use algorithms (whether in addition to or instead of samples) to duplicate the sonic behavior of another instrument. Looping still generates its sounds from samples and not algorithms. When playing a loop, your source waveforms are still recordings.

Your use of the word modeling may be justifiable by a generic definition of what the word "model" means, i.e. "to make something that mimics something else," but it is not what it means in the context of the OP's question of sampled vs. modeled instruments. In a more generic use as yours, every keyboard "models" an acoustic piano, even if only to the extent of having a certain pattern of black and white keys. One could argue that that is technically true (i.e. how in that respect, you could technically say a Minimoog models a piano), but it is not at all helpful in understanding what modeling means in the context sampled vs. non-sampled instrument emulations.

Roland's V-Piano is entirely modeled. Roland's SuperNatural pianos use a combination of samples and modeling. Roland's other pianos of recent years (e.g. those from the XV series, Fantom series up to the one they came out with this month, pre-SuperNatural FP and RD models, etc.) are entirely sampled. (If you go back to much older Roland's, they actually pioneered a kind of modelled piano back in the days of the MKS-20.)

Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: KillerQueen702] #2893711
09/24/19 01:34 PM
09/24/19 01:34 PM
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Hi Guy's

This discussion is going tangental without covering basic piano modelling, so I thought I'd try and clarify a little for the OP---please feel free to correct me if I've got anything incorrect.

1) Modelling: the use of mathematical algorithms without the use of a recorded sample in order to generate the sound entirely via the mathematical modelling of various component parts of the instrument.

2) Sampling: the use of recorded sample from an actual acoustic instrument whereby all kinds of software algorithms can be applied to give the illusion of an acoustic instrument.

3) Hybrid sampling/modelling: the use of mathematical algorithms to model specific aspects of an acoustic piano such as (and primarily) string resonance i.e., in addition to the sampling approach, in order to overcome some of the limitations of the sampling methodology.

There are only a handful instruments that currently use pure modelling to source sound for instrument patches:
1) Roland digital pianos
2) The Physis piano (one of the few that models epianos too)
3) Korg SV1 (models epianos, not piano) + same tech in other Korg models but without the tube amp.
4) Roland VR series combo organs, originally the VR-09 (models organ)
5) Viscount church organs (model pipe organ)
6) Pianoteq (model many percussion instruments and epianos in addition to pianos)
7) Various cruder versions of piano modelling in VST land (pianoteq beats hands down)
8) Roland digital drum kits
9) The Crumar 7
----and there are probably more


Other aspects of this issue relating to piano:

What's also useful with regard to pure piano modelling is that over-time, the complexity of the algorithms and the power of the hardware are improving, leading to a better tone---the main downside to early piano modelling! It is a continuing technology race between hybrid sampling/modelling and pure modelling.

Probably, as time passes, more components of modelling might enter the sampling approach if they turn out to gel with the sampling strategy and improve results.

Concurrently with the rise of modelling, sampling methods have been improving also---in a variety of ways---such that currently there is still a great deal of competition. The emergency of multi-gigabyte piano VSTi's (Virtual Studio Technology instrument) e.g., in which software on a computer can provide/replace the sound to a hardware digital piano have vastly improved in the last decade. Many believe them superior to hardware instruments like a digital piano. These have become more popular with the release of the Kawai VPC1, a virtual piano controller which you can pair with VSTi's without having to pay for lots of sounds and functionality in many digital pianos.


Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: Doug M.] #2893731
09/24/19 02:56 PM
09/24/19 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
There are only a handful instruments that currently use pure modelling to source sound for instrument patches:
1) Roland digital pianos

As I mentioned, Roland uses all these technologies in their piano sounds... modeling, sampling, and hybrid, depending on which Roland you're looking at.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
3) Korg SV1 (models epianos, not piano) + same tech in other Korg models but without the tube amp.

The SV1 epianos are sampled, though the effects are modeled (i.e. to emulate the specific characteristics of some famous classic pedals and amps). You're probably thinking of the EP1 electric pianos in the Korg Kronos, Grandstage, and Vox Continental, which are either entirely modeled or hybrid modeled/sampled, I'm not sure. But the SV1 does not use the same tech.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
4) Roland VR series combo organs, originally the VR-09 (models organ)

A number of companies model the drawbar organs besides Roland... Crumar Mojo, Nord Organ/Electro/Stage series, HX3, Viscount (pretty sure), Korg (the CX3 engine in the EP1 models listed above as well as in the dedicated CX3 made earlier this century), I think Kurzweil in their KB3 mode of their workstations and stage pianos, Hammond in the XK5, and some others.

There are also a number of "virtual analog" synths that lack analog oscillators, but model them algorithmically (rather than using samples of them).

Re: Explaining sample based vs non [Re: anotherscott] #2893734
09/24/19 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Doug M.
There are only a handful instruments that currently use pure modelling to source sound for instrument patches:
1) Roland digital pianos

As I mentioned, Roland uses all these technologies in their piano sounds... modeling, sampling, and hybrid, depending on which Roland you're looking at.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
3) Korg SV1 (models epianos, not piano) + same tech in other Korg models but without the tube amp.

The SV1 epianos are sampled, though the effects are modeled (i.e. to emulate the specific characteristics of some famous classic pedals and amps). You're probably thinking of the EP1 electric pianos in the Korg Kronos, Grandstage, and Vox Continental, which are either entirely modeled or hybrid modeled/sampled, I'm not sure. But the SV1 does not use the same tech.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
4) Roland VR series combo organs, originally the VR-09 (models organ)

A number of companies model the drawbar organs besides Roland... Crumar Mojo, Nord Organ/Electro/Stage series, HX3, Viscount (pretty sure), Korg (the CX3 engine in the EP1 models listed above as well as in the dedicated CX3 made earlier this century), I think Kurzweil in their KB3 mode of their workstations and stage pianos, Hammond in the XK5, and some others.

There are also a number of "virtual analog" synths that lack analog oscillators, but model them algorithmically (rather than using samples of them).






Hi AnotherScott,

Thanks for the reply, the 3rd and 4th above was all news to me and good to know 😀.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand

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