Update on virtual orchestra

I have contacted Versilian Studios that releases the VSCO orchestra samples as a community edition under public domain to ask if this library can be used to develop a virtual orchestra plugin. I wasn’t sure from their site if this applies also for the case if, for example,¬† the executable of the plugin is sold.¬† Versilian Studios responded that I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Many thanks for their work to provide a free sample library, and I hope they will update it in the future.

My plan is to develop the plugin, and the goal is to be easy to use and have the necessary features. Also I want it to be visual, in the sense that every instrument to have a picture and user interactions to involve these visual aspects. This will work better from the¬†physiological and learning point of view. I’ll start purely with the user interface, because user experience is the most important here. First I’ll design in SVG the images/icons for all orchestra instruments, and for the hole orchestra. This also will give me the opportunity to learn more about orchestra instruments.

The start of the development will be after the release the current plugin I am working, a kick synthesizer. Until than maybe also new ideas about he orchestra will come.

My thoughts about virtual orchestra

Now I am working on a piece that involves almost only instruments from orchestra: violas, harp, piano, horn. I like this type of music, I like soundtrack music, that chemistry between music and film especially. Also, I like minimalist music that involves orchestra instruments and electronic sounds.

So, most of the time I need an orchestra sample library. There are some solutions for this, a soundfont library, and another is a SFZ library by VSCO. Soundfonts can be played with fluidsynth player, and there are LV2 plugins. On the other hand sfz format can be played with linuxsampler, and there is a LV2 plugin that connects a standalone separated application QSampler that manages the instruments. But anyway I meet problems with these solutions and I don’t mean with this to criticize the hard work the people are putting in these software that makes my music possible.

Soundfond library sounds good on some instruments, and not good on others. The LV2 plugins often crash or freeze, or makes Jack server not to work. You cannot control instruments parameters, in general I haven’t seen to be able to change and see effects upon changing the parameters shown. The plugins are provided in the simplest way possible. On the other hand, SFZ library (VSCO one) contains a more realistic sounds. I like very much the Upright Piano from there. Strings… they sounds different, but more realistic. The problem with linuxsampler that reads SFZ is that it crashes often, at least for me. The LV2 plugin for it creates a lot of channels for every instrument added (32 audio outputs and inputs MIDIs), so, after adding 5-6 instruments Jack servers dies. In order to add an instrument in Ardour (I am using Ardour DAW) you need to open QSampler as a separate application to add an remove instruments, change them. QSampler has its own problems and crashes too. This process of using a separate application is not productive when you compose, especially when you experiment and develop ideas.

So, at the end I feel that I need an orchestra library as LV2 plugin that is easy to use, intuitive, and to provide more features regarding the instruments. Since I have plans to compose more orchestra music, i.e to go in this direction (I don’t mean western classical music style), I have some thoughts to develop an orchestra LV2 plugin that meets my needs, of course, released as free software, i.e GPLv3. One problem with this idea is the instruments sounds. There is VSCO Community Edition sample library in WAV format that is released under the public domain license. I am thinking to make a LV2 plugin out of that library. I am investigating about this, and probably I’ll come with some updates about this.

If you have some thoughts, I’ll be glad so know them so this will help me to clarify what is to be done.

My new social piece The Dream

coverI’ve finished my new piece “The Dream” which is a little different from the themes of my chillout pieces, is has similarities to the second and the third part of “Another Day”. It is social. In “The Dream” I wanted to depict a dream of a sleeping worker…

For the first time I also tried something new, composed a fragment that reminds of orchestra music. This type of music also will be found in the next of the piece I am working now. I don’t know, but I find this combination interesting, experimenting.