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Old 10-13-2010, 01:36 PM   #1
Completely Clueless
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Question Any software with a library of sampled musical instruments?


Hi all,

I just wondered if there is any software for Linux which enables a self-standing PC with no external hardware to generate sounds respectably close to genuine musical instruments such as piano, guitar, organ, harpsichord and so on. For example, is there something you can load-up which will enable you to press (say) a 'n' on the PC keyboard and get an A-flat sampled from a Steinway concert grand with the appropriate attack, sustain and whatnot of the real thing? I mean like you can with a proper digital piano? I know it would be real tough to play anything but the simplest pieces on a computer keyboard, but I'm just curious, as I know such stuff is available for Windows.
THanks, CC.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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Perhaps http://lmms.sourceforge.net/ fits your palette.

It can be compared to Fruity Loops (FL Studio) on Windows.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
Perhaps http://lmms.sourceforge.net/ fits your palette.

It can be compared to Fruity Loops (FL Studio) on Windows.
I downloaded a copy and it looks good at first sight, but I can't get a peep out of it, plus it's all in a clumsy, obsolete language (German) plus I have not been able to enter a single note into it. The drawback that it's all in foreign precludes me RTFM.

Apart from the above it's great.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Completely Clueless View Post
an A-flat sampled from a Steinway concert grand with the appropriate attack, sustain and whatnot of the real thing?
Creating sounds would require a sampler. Not the honorable thing to do but back in the days when I used Scream Tracker and Fasttracker II I used to rip samples from songs at http://modarchive.org/ (Yes! It's still there!). Not that you would need that as there's (still) loads and loads of instruments / sample / loops site on the 'net as a search would show:
http://modarchive.org/
http://slib.soundex.co.uk/index.php (classical instruments)
http://www.pdsounds.org/library_usersort (natural, FX, etc)
http://soundsource.servus.at/index.php (natural, FX, etc)
http://www.freesound.org/packsView.php (sample packs)
http://ccmixter.org/view/media/samples/browse
http://rekkerd.org/loops/ (sample archive, separate downloads)
http://www.gwinternet.com/music/ft2/links.htm (check the Tunes & Samples section)
http://www.dmoz.org/Arts/Music/Sound...les_and_Loops/
http://www.squidoo.com/freesounds (check down at Creative Commons Licensed Sounds).

* Note google://samples+sounds+loops will mostly return the commercially sold equivalent of crappucino.
 
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Completely Clueless View Post
I downloaded a copy and it looks good at first sight, but I can't get a peep out of it, plus it's all in a clumsy, obsolete language (German) plus I have not been able to enter a single note into it. The drawback that it's all in foreign precludes me RTFM.

Apart from the above it's great.
It's in English for me (see screenshot of documentation)... Maybe you should look into what country you're coming in from if you're using a proxy.

Here's a link to the documentation...
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
 
Old 10-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
It's in English for me (see screenshot of documentation)... Maybe you should look into what country you're coming in from if you're using a proxy.

Here's a link to the documentation...
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Yes, I am currently in Germany. I travel quite a lot overseas and get this problem all the time. It's very annoying. Some sites are very good and you click on your flag and get the software in your own language, but others try to be clever by selecting the language pack corresponding to your IPA without asking first. The sensible thing would be to give the user a choice like, "We have detected that you are in Timbuktu. Would you like your trial version in Timbuktuian? Or select another language?"

As for the program you suggested, it does look promising. But before I try to resolve the outstanding issues I have with it, just one question: it is polyphonic, isn't it? I mean, you can have notes overlaying other notes at the same time up to a certain limit? Please excuse if this is a dumb question. I have been known to ask them.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Completely Clueless View Post
it is polyphonic, isn't it? I mean, you can have notes overlaying other notes at the same time up to a certain limit? Please excuse if this is a dumb question. I have been known to ask them.
If you're asking if it can handle two simultaneous notes at the same time to create a harmonic then yes it can. Otherwise I'm not sure of your question.

Listen to the sample music for it and you'll hear what it is capable of...
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/demos.php

There's also a user shared repository of songs.

This Chiptune is one of my favorite user created songs.

If you ask how to use this software I'm afraid I will be no use to you. I've never used this software to create music. I've only obsessively listened to the songs on their site because I thought they were cool.

Last edited by sag47; 10-14-2010 at 09:10 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
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Well just as I got about this far I discovered I blown up my soundcard, which is very annoying. Now this laptop sounds like there's a blowfly inside of it. So totally impossible to judge the qualities of your proposals, gentlemen. I wonder how easy it is to replace a laptop soundcard? Perhaps I shall make that the subject of a future post. Funny, I only bought a brand new one two days ago for my desktop. You can't win in this life, I reckon.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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I wonder if it's even possible to replace a soundcard on most laptops? I'd have thought they were mainly on-board, soldered to the motherboard.. But I haven't had a modern laptop apart in some time.

Maybe dumb, but: any chance just the speaker(s) are shot, and not the card itself? Have you tried playing through phones or external speakers?
 
Old 10-14-2010, 01:43 PM   #10
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Grapefruitgirl makes a good point. It could more likely be your speakers. In any case if you decide to take apart your laptop be sure to follow these points. It's not a howto but things to keep in mind when doing the job.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 05:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for the valid suggestions, but no, it IS completely shot to bits. No output from the phones at all and only one external speaker is working (the one with the blowfly). Reason for the failure must be something to do with this pre-amp I plugged into the mic socket to up the audio level. It's worked perfectly well before many times, but this time something went wrong big time. Must have been an accidental overdose of input power. You would thought these days all manufacturers would routinely put two fast diodes in shunt anti-polarity across the input terminals to protect the soundcard from too high signal levels. Obviously this one didn't. I really must stop asuming things. I have been warned about it before. :/
 
Old 10-15-2010, 02:17 AM   #12
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Having slept on it, I am going to try one last thing and re-load the last image I made of this laptop. I can't believe what I did would cause physical damage; it is a possibility worth exploring that the sound controller software has just been 'upset' by the unusual input levels and permanently flipped out. A bug in it, perhaps. We shall see when I next get a bit of time to spare...
 
  


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