I’m not always the one behind the mics, such as this (admittedly shaky) shot from last summer’s sampling bonanza.
If you’ve seen trailers for virtual instruments with real footage of the musicians performing, you probably see a 10-second or less clip of some cool note or just some silent close-ups while some dramatic music created using the plugin months after the original session.
In reality, sampling sessions are long, slow, borderline Zen marathons of endurance, especially when alone, as is often the case in such Guerrilla-style sampling sessions as those I often run. In which case, I either see something like the above or like the image below-
Any pianist will tell you sitting at a piano for two hours is a long time… sitting at a piano for two hours playing one note at a time waiting for each note to decay is an eternity.
One of the most common issues I have with the latest line of “high quality” virtual instrument products is the lack of variety in the libraries they provide. If it is a brass library, they might give you a trombone with every articulation imaginable, but it is still only one trombone, either qualified best for one specific purpose or forcibly rounded out for many.
Not many people realize one of the greatest and most valuable methods for drying out and clearing a room- shelves loaded with books and other odds and ends. My workspace is a rough space of odds and ends, irregular shapes, nooks and crannies, and all sorts of places ideal for absorbing and dissipating sound waves. All those college textbooks, product manuals, books your parents bought you as gifts, anything… it’s ideal material to kill that room noise and give you a clear, dry tone ideal for sampling and recording, especially when coupled with good mic usage.
Happy Halloween everyone! Here’s a fun little thing for your trick-or-treating, a small collection of spooky and strange sounds recorded during our sampling and sound effects work, now for free on our website. Be sure to check it out!
In other news, I recently aquired some nice new microphones thanks to purchases of our products and donations during the Xylophone three-day “gold rush”. I’ll be using these to record some great new instruments over the next few months. I’ll also be working with Camoshark again (the guy who was behind the recording of the Dan Tranh) to do some other really awesome ethnic and unusual instruments from his huge collection. Lastly, quite a few people have really enjoyed the very first instrument I put up for free almost half a year ago, a fretless zither. I have decided to start work on making a second higher-quality fretless zither using the new microphones and all the things I have learned from making these other instruments, so keep your eyes open for updates on that!
Here’s a little teaser of the next product we have coming:
& the Versilian Studios team
We are supporting the KVR fund drive for Save the Children run by Luftrum this year by offering a few of our products and a special lifetime subscription for bidding. All proceeds from the bidding go directly to Save the Children, a charity organization, with the intent of being sent to help children in Syria. Consider checking out the massive array of items available for bidding from a variety of amazing developers and companies around the world, which we are honored to be able to list our products next to.
Here’s what we are offering:
- two bundles of all the Versilian Studio products including: Dan Tranh ($25), Xylophone ($15), Tubular Bells ($10) and Zither (free). Available in 32- or 64-bit VST + AU and Kontakt format!
- One lifetime subscription to all VS products produced now and forever!
Follow this link to the one and only official bidding thread on kvraudio.com.
In addition, note that 25% of all our profits this month will be given to the charity at the end of the month. I’ll be blogging as we make progress and with the final total! I’ll also be putting up a few special side-projects this month to encourage donations including some small but unique sound effect libraries that will be available for free or donation.
One last bit of business- anyone visiting our store might notice that you get a 10% discount if you purchase two or more items. 🙂
We are pleased to announce the release of our latest virtual instrument, a deep-sampled Dan Tranh. As far as we know, we are one of the first people in the world to sample this instrument, and the very first to really explore it fully including live tremolo, live vibrato, round robin on pretty much everything, and tons of awesome effects. Feel free to check out the product here for more information.
I’m pleased to present my latest (and also first commercial) VSTi: some deep-sampled tubular bells! 5 velocity layers, 2x Round Robin, and some good samples. Feel free to check out this page for more information, or watch the video below, which as a demo by Nimble and a demo by me.
Recently I invited two great Newgrounders and fellow composers to join the ranks of Versilian Studios, Skye Wintrest and Nimble (Jose), and they agreed to come onboard! This is a huge turning point for this little company and I hope to bring more people in as time goes by so it can function more as a collaborative organ than a lone floating cell. As part of this, I also (AGAIN) redesigned the site to get rid of the dark medieval feel and replace it with a bit more art noveau/art deco feel (I get them mixed up all the time for some reason), mainly because I’ve been playing lots of that glorious thing called Civilization V lately…
Skye specializes in ambient/electronic music and sound effect synthesis.
Jose is a fellow Finale user and specializes in all sorts of modern musical craziness from jazz to post-tonal.
Be on the look out for their music and links to their stuff showing up on the site soon, and also for possibly more people joining the team!
As always, Keep compos(ed/ing)!
P.S. Did you download my zither yet?
A bit more of my summer reading just arrived from Dover Publications!
Recently, I’ve been working with an artist on some art for the history section of the site, as well as some consulting for the design of the site. He gave me some great feedback and made some stunning header pieces, parts of which will be incorporated around the site. Above is one character he drew for the site.
The site is really starting to shape up! With the audio side of things figured out (thanks to Flash), everything is starting to fall in place. I also had a great new idea for the range diagrams to save space and give a more modern feel- a frame at the bottom of the page with tabs to see the various instruments’ ranges and other information. I ordered some books on orchestration and reference materials which I will be studying in order to get some more content and better explanations.
I have also been interviewing a variety of composers from around Newgrounds and the greater internet. There’s a whole wealth of knowledge and advice, and I can’t wait to share all this! 😀
In other news, I am still looking for anyone interested in helping out with the site. Get in contact with me (firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com) if you are willing to write, draw, play, synthesize, or research!