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Release samples?


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I've seen a lot of buzz about release samples. How do they work? Unless it's fairly sophisticated, they'd sound terrible.


I have Giga but it's broken (my computer locks up if it's installed; Tascam support doesn't respond).


I do remember trying some Rhodes with release samples, but don't remember whether it was a soundfont or what, but the release samples stunk -- they were based on the key press velocity rather than the volume of the note at the time of release.


Anyone have any insight into release samples & whether they work well for certain sample sets & players?


To me, it's almost intractable, because you have two components to the sound: the vibration of the string or tine that gets damped on release, and also the sound of the damper striking that tine or string. The former is related to the current note volume. The latter is related to the release velocity. Neither is directly related to the strike velocity (unless you release very quickly).


So, what's the deal? I suspect it's overhyped and less useful than we'd think, unless we have lots of samples: k * v * a samples, where


k is the number of keys sampled

v is the number of release velocity layers

a is the number of different note amplitudes at the time of release


Perhaps release velocity isn't significant, in which case we only need k * a samples. But do any sample players choose the release sample based on the current amplitude? I doubt it.


BTW, time could be used instead of note amplitude, to achieve the same purpose. (Time between strike and release.)

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Like everything else in sampling, release samples are only an approximation of what really happens.


In the scarbee Rhodes, Kontakt version, every sample has an associated release sample. Kontakt bases the velocity of the release sample solely on the strike velocity, but the release samples are only triggered if the key is released within the first 3700ms. For this Rhodes this is a working compromise; for short notes you will have the important release sound at about the right velocity; for longer notes you just have some basic envelope, which I've never found to be a shortcoming.


I have been thinking about programming some software that would trigger release samples of the right velocity layer on the right velocity/volume. The program would first scan all samples and create a database of the sample amplitudes for every couple of milliseconds, scaled down to values between 0 and 127. It would then send out a note-on message at the right velocity when a key is released by doing a lookup with the time between strike and release.


Then I noticed my software piano's weren't actually worth the trouble and I didn't proceed with the project.


The Vintaudio Yamaha for example, has really bad release samples; they are inconsistently timed and contain all kinds of weird noices. You just don't want to hear those release samples.

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