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sf2 vs expander?

Hello and a Happy New Year!

Searching for good orchestral sounds to intregrate in my rock songs, I 
came across hammersound.net were I found a couple of useful instruments 
after I had filtered them out of the 1000s of free soundfonts offered 
there. However, as I found that method - searching millions of sounds 
for some dozens of good ones - satisfying, I wondered if there was a 
better way out.

So, I visited a nearby music-store where I tried some hardware expanders 
that costet up to $1000 but also had quite impressive sounds! Then, by 
chance I realized the names of the machines tested on soundfont CDs 
offered in some ebay auctions for about 1% of the hardware price.

So: What's the difference e.g. between a Proteus 2000 machine and a 
soundfont CD labeled "Proteus 2000"?

BTW, I'm gonna replace my Soundblaster by maybe a Terratec 24/96 and 
will have to use a special (hopefully free) tool in order to get my 
sf2's running. Will there be any change in the fact that I can only use 
half of my physical RAM for soundfonts? (At the moment I'm using 768 MB 
on a win98 system, but please not another discussion on win98 managing 
512+ MB...)

Thomas

0
Thomas
1/1/2004 7:36:41 PM
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"Thomas Blankenstein" <Thomas_Blankenstein@gmx.de> wrote in message
news:bt1sil$2gg1g$1@ID-42748.news.uni-berlin.de...
> Hello and a Happy New Year!
>
> Searching for good orchestral sounds to intregrate in my rock songs, I
> came across hammersound.net were I found a couple of useful instruments
> after I had filtered them out of the 1000s of free soundfonts offered
> there. However, as I found that method - searching millions of sounds
> for some dozens of good ones - satisfying, I wondered if there was a
> better way out.
>
> So, I visited a nearby music-store where I tried some hardware expanders
> that costet up to $1000 but also had quite impressive sounds! Then, by
> chance I realized the names of the machines tested on soundfont CDs
> offered in some ebay auctions for about 1% of the hardware price.
>
> So: What's the difference e.g. between a Proteus 2000 machine and a
> soundfont CD labeled "Proteus 2000"?
>
> BTW, I'm gonna replace my Soundblaster by maybe a Terratec 24/96 and
> will have to use a special (hopefully free) tool in order to get my
> sf2's running. Will there be any change in the fact that I can only use
> half of my physical RAM for soundfonts? (At the moment I'm using 768 MB
> on a win98 system, but please not another discussion on win98 managing
> 512+ MB...)
>
> Thomas


Thomas

Hi I use quite a few soundfonts myself and I suppose the value of any font
is critically realted to how well it will do the job at hand both sonically
and dynamically.

My own experience is that soundfonts of musical instruments rarely capture
the full expression available with the origional hardware. e.g. some of the
Proteus 200 pianos.

However I for one dont often use all the expression on tap so in some cases
a soundfont will sound perfect.

I have listened in particular to sound fonts derived from the Proteus 2000
piano range and my opinion is they sound less impressive and after less
flexible artistically than the origional but only just. If I didnt have a
Proteus already I would use them.

BEst N10

Hope this helps


0
N10
1/1/2004 10:56:44 PM
On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 20:36:41 +0100, Thomas Blankenstein
<Thomas_Blankenstein@gmx.de> wrote:

>Hello and a Happy New Year!
>
>Searching for good orchestral sounds to intregrate in my rock songs, I 
>came across hammersound.net were I found a couple of useful instruments 
>after I had filtered them out of the 1000s of free soundfonts offered 
>there. However, as I found that method - searching millions of sounds 
>for some dozens of good ones - satisfying, I wondered if there was a 
>better way out.
>
>So, I visited a nearby music-store where I tried some hardware expanders 
>that costet up to $1000 but also had quite impressive sounds! Then, by 
>chance I realized the names of the machines tested on soundfont CDs 
>offered in some ebay auctions for about 1% of the hardware price.
>
>So: What's the difference e.g. between a Proteus 2000 machine and a 
>soundfont CD labeled "Proteus 2000"?

  The machine is the hardware which plays the samples on the sample
CD.  Often, soundfonts are sampled from great hardware synths.  But
samples alone aren't the entire story -- the sampler used to play them
makes a difference in how they sound, and what
effects/controls/changes you can apply to them.

  The other part of hardware expanders is that they are external
boxes, easier to use in many ways on stage and even in the studio.
They do their things well, without tying up the PC.  If you need to
play many sounds at once, a single PC is going to hit limitations.
Hardware is always a nice option for expansion, cheaper than adding
several PCs to run many software synths.

  Plus the engines are often superior to those in common softsynths,
barring a lot of CPU power used to drive them.  A very fast PC with
the right sound card can do a *lot* well, but you can easily tie up
the entire system generating one sound.  A hardware synth, OTOH, does
its stuff without using the PC at all.

>BTW, I'm gonna replace my Soundblaster by maybe a Terratec 24/96 and 
>will have to use a special (hopefully free) tool in order to get my 
>sf2's running. Will there be any change in the fact that I can only use 
>half of my physical RAM for soundfonts? (At the moment I'm using 768 MB 
>on a win98 system, but please not another discussion on win98 managing 
>512+ MB...)

  Any of the software soundfont using synths can use much more memory.
Oh, and Win98 isn't going to work easily, no good WDM support so no
good use of live DXi synths, but you probably already know that.  ASIO
(VSTi) should work OK.
-- 
*-__Jeffery Jones__________|  *Starfire*   |____________________-*
** Muskego WI Access Channel 14/25 <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/mach7/>
*Starfire Design Studio* <http://www.starfiredesign.com/>
0
Jeffery
1/2/2004 4:05:26 PM
On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 20:36:41 +0100, Thomas Blankenstein
<Thomas_Blankenstein@gmx.de> wrote:


>So: What's the difference e.g. between a Proteus 2000 machine and a 
>soundfont CD labeled "Proteus 2000"?

It is quite likely that the soundfont CD just uses the raw sample data
from the Proteus, or perhaps has just sampled and looped the output of
the standard presets of the Proteus.  The real difference is that the
hardware has additonal sonic shaping circuits that your soundfont
player is unlikely to have, such as the excellent array of filters
available on the Proteus.  It is these that give real character and
depth to a sound.   Additionally, if the CD has sampled the output of
a Proteus, it is impossible that it could come close to replicating
it, unless the maker of the CD multi-sampled the instrument (more than
one sample covering the entire keyboard range pitch-wise and
velocity-wise).  

In short, the soundfont CD is likely to be a pale imitation of the
real thing, just as it would be for any instrument.
0
Noel
1/5/2004 7:27:02 AM
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