From: steve conrad <lemuel_houyhnhnm@ya...> - 2005-11-25 23:08:32
One respect in which soundfonts are a poor model of a
guitar is in that guitars are capable of making a lot
more different sounds than most instruments.
No matter how hard you bang on a piano, it still makes
more or less the same sound. Some change in the
dynamic spectrum, but still a piano sound for all
that. A piano soundfont can be made by the fairly
straightforward approach of sampling various keys hit
at a different velocities and combining these to form
a velocity layered font.
A guitar, on the other hand, has a range of sounds
varying from the plunky sound of a string plucked too
hard, to the pitchless percussive sound of a fully
muted string, with, of course, a whole bunch of normal
notes at varying velocities in between. There ijs also
a lot of tonal control available simply by choosing
where along the length of the string to pluck.
Guitarists tend to use this variety of sounds without
much concious effort while creators of soundfonts tend
to ignore them. This explains in large part why
soundfonts are an especially poor imitation of
So, if you're planning to make a guitar soundfont, my
advice is to plan on making a large number of velocity
layers ranging from a fully muffled string for the
lowest, then heavily palm muted, lightly palm muted, a
few layers of regular notes, and an overplucked
fretslapping note for the max velocity. This will at
least begin to approximate the way real players use
the available dynamic range of the instument.
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From: D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre <rosegarden.trumpeter@gm...> - 2005-11-26 04:32:33
On Friday 25 November 2005 06:08 pm, steve conrad wrote:
> notes at varying velocities in between. There ijs also
> a lot of tonal control available simply by choosing
> where along the length of the string to pluck.
Or whether to play this F on this string or that one or that one, or even what
kind of pick, or no pick, you use.
Yeah, guitars kick ass, don't they? And that isn't even getting into the
different possibilities you have using a 12-string vs. 6, nylon vs. steel,
dreadnaught vs. jumbo, humbuckers vs. single coil, effects up the wazoo vs.
clean, Marshall vs. Fender amp, etc. etc. etc.. The guitar gives you a lot
of a lot of mileage out of the same basic user interface. Without resorting
to synth stuff, the keyboard interface isn't nearly as flexible.
Now that you mention it, perhaps this is why I have always thought the piano
was a rather drab and boring instrument. I've never been able to get excited
about it, and I have used the term "monochromatic" to describe piano music.
Nothing sounds worse than Bach piano reductions. Bleah. (Although,
curiously, I don't feel that way about the harpsichord, and the harpsichord
is arguably even more monochromatic and limited than the piano.)
I guess, in fairness, it isn't that the keyboard interface doesn't offer as
many possibilities. You have organs big and small, pipe and Hammond, pianos,
electric pianos, harpsichords, clavichords, other miscellany I'm overlooking,
etc. It's just a lot harder to pack several dozen flavors of tone color in
the trunk of your car. :) (Without resorting to synths, remember. There's
no point making that comparison because you can play a flute with a piano
keyboard, or play it with a MIDI guitar, and neither one of them actually
sounds like a flute to a flute player.)
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan <dmmcintyr@...>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621