Sample Libraries

There are many manufacturers of sample libraries in the modern market, and in many variations, from instrument sets laid out in GM format, to specialised plugins, that are used within a host program. Orchestral sample libraries give the orchestral composer the opportunity to 'write' music within a computer, instead of trying to fit 100 plus musicians and their instruments in the studio, or living room, but if the composer wishes as realistic a playback/recording as possible, then he or she will need to do quite a bit more work than is usual, to achieve this aim.

Modern sample libraries come in various forms, but monolithic collections, that is collections that contains thousands of small recordings, including articulation variations, are still popular, as they offer the most likely opportunity for the midi composer to tweak and polish the midi project to a much greater degree. Directory management of such large libraries is essential, and using an application like LinuxSampler, which gives the user the ability to build his or her specifically designed Bank and Patch maps, makes this task much easier. At the business end of midi input, editing, and recording, Open Octave Midi is designed to use bank and patch assignments, and enable the user to create midi pieces quickly, and efficiently, switching between instrument articulations, and variations, on the fly, and as midi data events recorded in the work.

Sample libraries that come in standalone players, or plugin form often contain tools for the composer that enable the manipulation of midi data within the interface of the player or plugin. Depending on the level of reality the composer wishes to achieve in his or her recording, these applications and plugins vary in their ability to manipulate the MIDI data to a degree that is acceptable, but modern libraries have improved considerably, with enhanced options for composers to use. Many composers prefer the manual MIDI record and edit approach, as it is arguably the better method, and within Open Octave Midi, the Editor toolsets are built with this in mind, with the intention of providing the composer with the greatest opportunity to tweak and polish their work to a satisfactory standard. 

There are many resources and libraries available in today's modern composing environment, and too many to list here, so we encourage users to explore the wide range on offer, listen to demos, and where possible try out these collections. Buying a sample library is, in many cases, a sizable investment, so care should be taken when choosing. We continue to develop Open Octave Midi in a framework that seeks to provided great tools for the composer, regardless of the library, or libraries chosen. There are many fine smaller libraries on the market, modestly priced, and in many cases, suprisingly effective for writing music. Size does not always matter, and with practise and determination on the part of the composer, good results can be obtained, from modest resources.

In the up and coming Open Octave tutorial series, we plan to provide a more generic approach to midi input and editing, with the intention of teaching basic and more advanced techniques of using sample libraries and instruments, independent of manufacturer unique tools, players, or plugins, leaving the user to discern the mechanics of the knowledge gained, specific to his or her collection of libraries or instruments, and composer's toolbox.

Like any complex instrument, a sample library is at it's best when the composer, or "player" knows how to play it well..........


To read more about how sample libraries are managed in OOM, with Instrument Sets, The Conductor, and the Epic Keyswitch engine, visit our wiki manual at: