symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

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symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

tom m-3
I personally believe a symphonic (and other musical instrument) sample
library might be a worthwhile acquisition.

They are an necessary ingredient in modern music creation, are
relatively cheap to create (1 million was needed to create the Vienna
Symphonic Library which is the 'top of the line') yet are extremely
expensive to purchase ($4790 for the VSL Complete Orchestral Package
http://www.ilio.com/vienna/index.html ) (Or the East West Quantum Leap
Symphonic Orchestra -
http://www.soundsonline.com/EWQLSO-Platinum-Bundle-pr-EW-155PROB1.html
lists for   $4,490.00)  Even at the lowest end of the symphonic sample
library offerings (far more limited sampling in both breadth and depth
of instruments; as well as a recording of only a small subset of each
instruments capabilities)  - the Garritan Personal Orchestra is 200$
http://www.garritan.com/

Those prices are per seat cost, so a school interested in allowing
each student in a 20 computer class to work on their own orchestration
is looking at nearly 100,000$ in sample library costs which is
obviously cost prohibitive.  (Of course I'm sure there must be school
discounts, etc. however how many schools would be willing or able to
afford even a single seat at list price?).

Providing sampling libraries would be a major enabler for the
unleashing of creativity and potential among individuals desiring to
create music across the world.  Perhaps doing for music creation what
the printing press did for reading.

Tom M.
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Re: symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

Gregory Maxwell
On 10/27/06, Tom M <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I personally believe a symphonic (and other musical instrument) sample
> library might be a worthwhile acquisition.
[snip]
> Providing sampling libraries would be a major enabler for the
> unleashing of creativity and potential among individuals desiring to
> create music across the world.  Perhaps doing for music creation what
> the printing press did for reading.

Of course, they are straight forward enough to build  that we don't
need to ask for megafunding.

There are two reasons for this:

1) because buying one is probably out of the question, as you pointed
out VSL (and most other libraries) sell for absolutely insane prices.
To buy one, we'd have to pay an amount equal to the revenue they'd
lose, not what it cost to make one.

2) because we don't need to start out making a world class library in
one step, and a lower quality library is very inexpensive to make...
we already have all of the resources we need to get started at our
disposal.

I've been toying with this sort of project on and of for a couple of
years now, but haven't bothered to sit down and do it.

I think that for right now, such a project is far enough outside of
the scope of Wikimedia that this is the wrong forum to discuss it
(really, even the Linux-sampler mailing list would be a better place).
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Re: symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

tom m-3
> Of course, they are straight forward enough to build  that we don't
> need to ask for megafunding.

They are not 'straight forward' to build due to the technical skill
required and the technical capabilities and quality of facilities
needed to do good quality samples with consistent acoustic properties.
 Most large universities could probably do so with adequate funding.

> 1) because buying one is probably out of the question, as you pointed
> out VSL (and most other libraries) sell for absolutely insane prices.
> To buy one, we'd have to pay an amount equal to the revenue they'd
> lose, not what it cost to make one.

Agreed that 'buying one' is unlikely, at least no where near the price
for which one could be created from scratch.  I suggested that 1
million in funding might be reasonable though.  So while not
'megafunding' it is certainly beyond trivial means.

> 2) because we don't need to start out making a world class library in
> one step, and a lower quality library is very inexpensive to make...
> we already have all of the resources we need to get started at our
> disposal.

I disagree for a couple of reasons - 1) you need to use the same
recording location (the same music hall needs to be used for all
sampling recording), similar microphone positioning, very high quality
microphones (your typical home studio recording isn't going to have
microphones of adequate quality to get good samples); and highly
skilled players (the skill level of home recording artists will
generally not be adequate).  It is not something you can do in a
distributed piecemeal manner and get quality results.  Also for each
instrument you will want to do all of the recordings for it in a
single sitting so that you don't get significant differences from
things like changes in humidity, or changes in the recording
environment.  The final engineering of the sound samples can be
distributed (and since a significant chunk of the cost is the
engineering of the samples after recording, collaboration can give
good savings there).


> I think that for right now, such a project is far enough outside of
> the scope of Wikimedia that this is the wrong forum to discuss it
> (really, even the Linux-sampler mailing list would be a better place).

>From the Wikimedia statement of purpose

"The goals of the foundation are to encourage the further growth and
development of open content, social software WikiWiki-based projects
(see http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki) and to provide the full
contents of those projects to the public free of charge."

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_bylaws#ARTICLE_II:_STATEMENT_OF_PURPOSE

In my opinion this is perhaps the single most significant action that
the Wikimedia Foundation could do to encourage the "further growth and
development of open content" of the musical variety and thus is right
in line with Wikimedias statement of purpose.

 Tom M.
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Re: symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

geni
On 10/28/06, Tom M <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Of course, they are straight forward enough to build  that we don't
> > need to ask for megafunding.
>
> They are not 'straight forward' to build due to the technical skill
> required and the technical capabilities and quality of facilities
> needed to do good quality samples with consistent acoustic properties.
>  Most large universities could probably do so with adequate funding.
>

In what I think was the UK goverment's education gimic before last
they came up with the idea of schools provideing community facitities.
I don't think it worked to well but one side effect was a number of
high quality recording studios were built. There are also various
music collages and the like.


--
geni
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Re: symphonic (and other) sample library was Re: Dream a little...

tom m-3
I should add that i think it would be a good idea to try and get
partnerships for such an idea to help the dollars spent go further -
perhaps partner with the Carnegie Mellon Foundation or other
foundations known for their contributions to the arts, and contact
universities to see if they would be willing to contribute some
funding.

Tom M.
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