"Experiences when working with samples"

[​work in progress]

Practical example

The following project was carried out with music students (mainly instrumentalists) who already had some experience with sequencers or notation programs. The group was given the task of creating a 30-second "finale for a fictional ACTION scene" with as little effort as possible.

Step 1

Demo material: from film scoring sound libraries

The students first took inspiration from the internet. The examples are characteristic film music sequences. 
Audio  1: Native Instruments Komplete Action Strings
Audio 2: East West Symphonic Orchestra
Audio 3: Sonivox String Collection


Step 2

sample player (free) | VST instruments | no further postprocessing

Next, the group found a free sample-oriented sequencer programme on the internet with suitable sounds from film music. Using the purely graphical interface (image below), the following sound example was created by selecting suitable sequences.


Step 3

notation program | using its sound library

The group then transcribed the music. The first step was to create a raw score with information on tempo, rhythm, key and approximate entries on melodic and harmonic progressions. The details were transferred to a music notation program and roughly completed with volume markings and articulations. The score was played back with the programme's own sounds for checking purposes and thus adapted to the original.


Evaluation of results: 

a) The result of the sample player:

The musical character, the "fat sound" and the selected instruments in the SamplePlayer were rated positively. The group liked the fact that you can make music with so little effort. Such programmes are good for collecting ideas. Tinkering was fun right from the start. The mix, which was often too 'spongy' and 'unrealistic' for the budding professional musicians, was rated less favourably.

b) The result after the transcription:

The result was judged to be an approximation, as not all sounds could be recreated. In addition, the spatial sound was not comparable to the original. Despite these drawbacks, it was concluded that the current score sounded much more transparent than the original. The sound of individual instruments could be manipulated on screen, making the sound much more nuanced. Overall, there was less experimentation and more use of the musicians' own practical musical experience.

The participants agreed that more realistic results can be achieved with higher quality software instruments. It is only the skilful use of VST controllers and Sound Sets | Expression Maps | Articulation IDs )* that gives the sound an individual character. However, the discussion also made it clear that "personal taste" plays a role and that sound is "nothing absolute". 
)* Designation depends on manufacturer