Sf2 limitation

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Sf2 limitation

Dr Mark Bugeja MD
Hi,

sf2 soundfonts are limited to 600MB. Would this be per instance ie per sf2? I think this is the case.

Therefore an organ with 3 instances of sf2 files, would increase the potential of a virtual organ to 3 x 600 = 1800MB. Correct? So one could deal with larger wav files and more samples per octave that should help improve a VPO's sound quality.

Would multiple sf2s effect or restrict use of the backends which Graham Goode developed as an alternative to Fluidsynth? I don't think so but I might be mistaken.

Regards
Mark
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Re: Sf2 limitation

Dr Mark Bugeja MD
In 2013, Panos had written this:

Panos K. Ghekas Reply | Threaded | More    
Mar 11, 2013; 7:32pm Σχετ: A Relevant Diatribe
Panos K. Ghekas
1767 posts


As midi, jOrgan for me leads the world, fact and no one can dis-agree. It's proved beyond doubt. The verdict is final.
Also leads the world in designing the user's GUI at will and on everyone's taste. Another Verdict.

It's the sound it produces with its native FS engine that I'm feeling is not so great, also using sf2 format and even with Graham's super extensions, for 2013 onwards.

Yep, we know jOrgan is a Midi Relay program, but if so, why does it have a native FS engine and LS extension?
Thus, there is sound in jOrgan and it comes along with its main folder. And of course has anything the heart desires to control other engines. But its main engine is FS. Fact.

As a musician if I don't hear HQ sound I cannot play that good and that's why I try hard to produce good sf2 files for the shared models I bring into the open.
I'm not satisfied, with the exception of Bridge model which I find it adequate, from what I hear and indeed when I play with my other two models for GO (Sant Geroni and Obresteigen) and indeed with Pitea super set full sampled and processed inch by inch.

I did an Italian too, using Jeux 1.4 (has many Italian type ranks) for jO/FS and I couldn't play more than half an hour with. Yet, processing now the Historic Italian organ sample by sample and playing so far with just two ranks and some noise FX I found my self still on this after two long hours !!

I cannot explain it more technically why, but the musician in me can and know the difference between FS/sf2 and x sampler/wav coming out sound.

Try the same x.sf2 on FS and then in LS..... In LS sounds better.

I know how many hours, days, years and hard work put in fluidsynth from its devs to bring it as it is today but I'm feeling it's not competitive and not user (= MUSICIAN) friendly, not to commercial samplers of course, but to other free ones, like Linuxsampler, Shortcircuit 1 & 2, Alchemy player, Phenome (this is not so good with only sf2 format support and only 8 midi ch but has great GUI...), TX16Wx (SUPER !) to name a few

So, I'm thinkin' and asking, as I don't know if and how is it possible, to get a VERY GOOD native engine for jOrgan??
Like TX16Wx or Linuxsampler ?
Is it hard ?
needs much knowledge?
needs collective work?
other devs involved ?
Is any particular and good and serious reason for FS to be married to jOrgan for ever?

Are we satisfied with jO/FS/sf2 combination ?
Is it up to today's standards in software organ technology ?

Memory and CPU power is not an excuse nowadays... with just 400 euros can get dual cores at 2.2GHz and 4GB ram.... it's old news these too, as now there are 6 cores and 64GB ram as top......

Many organists (I asked...), between my GBO (top jOrgan downloaded model, Bridge second, from my collection..) and Pitea original GO model, would choose Pitea.
No second thought. Why ?
Isn't GBO good ?
Hasn't got a super GUI, super midi functions ?
Lots of stops to play many works ?
Extended version ?
lots of Midi files ?
Hasn't got REAL SAMPLES inside too ?
Didn't I include 3 x sf2 files one for each division ?

It's the sound from GO engine. And the full sampled ranks. No stretch, lossless compression up to 40% and ability to load GB 3, 4 , 5 depending on how good is our OS. And this is the critical point from a musician's view.

Any instrument is made for musicians, not for technocrats and engineers, acoustic, electric, hardware or software, must please the ears of the musician first and then he/she can please the ears of the audience, at home, on concert, on recordings.
This must be the principal. Always was...

Of course there are stuff for amateurs and hobbyists, which are great for them as they do not have the same expectations and one can find many gems in there, but not up to the high standard a real musician needs, no matter if pro or not pro.

So, these thoughts lead me to the question, to which people jOrgan/Midi and jOrgan/FS appeals ?
Why jOrgan considered the third choice in software organ world today ?
Why not the first???!!

InMyVeryHumbleAndVeryPersonalOpinion we need a better native sampler engine accepting pure and uncompressed wav files too and engine's GUI/controls in REAL TIME , for our beloved jO if we want to stay in the pioneer path we did for so many years.

Best
Panos
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Re: Sf2 limitation

Aaron Laws
On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 4:55 PM, Dr Mark Bugeja MD <[hidden email]> wrote:
In 2013, Panos had written this:

Panos K. Ghekas Reply | Threaded | More
Mar 11, 2013; 7:32pm Σχετ: A Relevant Diatribe
Panos K. Ghekas
1767 posts


As midi, jOrgan for me leads the world, fact and no one can dis-agree. It's
proved beyond doubt. The verdict is final.
Also leads the world in designing the user's GUI at will and on everyone's
taste. Another Verdict.

It's the sound it produces with its native FS engine that I'm feeling is not
so great, also using sf2 format and even with Graham's super extensions, for
2013 onwards.

Yep, we know jOrgan is a Midi Relay program, but if so, why does it have a
native FS engine and LS extension?
Thus, there is sound in jOrgan and it comes along with its main folder. And
of course has anything the heart desires to control other engines. But its
main engine is FS. Fact.

As a musician if I don't hear HQ sound I cannot play that good and that's
why I try hard to produce good sf2 files for the shared models I bring into
the open.
I'm not satisfied, with the exception of Bridge model which I find it
adequate, from what I hear and indeed when I play with my other two models
for GO (Sant Geroni and Obresteigen) and indeed with Pitea super set full
sampled and processed inch by inch.

I did an Italian too, using Jeux 1.4 (has many Italian type ranks) for jO/FS
and I couldn't play more than half an hour with. Yet, processing now the
Historic Italian organ sample by sample and playing so far with just two
ranks and some noise FX I found my self still on this after two long hours
!!

I cannot explain it more technically why, but the musician in me can and
know the difference between FS/sf2 and x sampler/wav coming out sound.

Try the same x.sf2 on FS and then in LS..... In LS sounds better.

I know how many hours, days, years and hard work put in fluidsynth from its
devs to bring it as it is today but I'm feeling it's not competitive and not
user (= MUSICIAN) friendly, not to commercial samplers of course, but to
other free ones, like Linuxsampler, Shortcircuit 1 & 2, Alchemy player,
Phenome (this is not so good with only sf2 format support and only 8 midi ch
but has great GUI...), TX16Wx (SUPER !) to name a few

So, I'm thinkin' and asking, as I don't know if and how is it possible, to
get a VERY GOOD native engine for jOrgan??
Like TX16Wx or Linuxsampler ?
Is it hard ?
needs much knowledge?
needs collective work?
other devs involved ?
Is any particular and good and serious reason for FS to be married to jOrgan
for ever?

Are we satisfied with jO/FS/sf2 combination ?
Is it up to today's standards in software organ technology ?

Memory and CPU power is not an excuse nowadays... with just 400 euros can
get dual cores at 2.2GHz and 4GB ram.... it's old news these too, as now
there are 6 cores and 64GB ram as top......

Many organists (I asked...), between my GBO (top jOrgan downloaded model,
Bridge second, from my collection..) and Pitea original GO model, would
choose Pitea.
No second thought. Why ?
Isn't GBO good ?
Hasn't got a super GUI, super midi functions ?
Lots of stops to play many works ?
Extended version ?
lots of Midi files ?
Hasn't got REAL SAMPLES inside too ?
Didn't I include 3 x sf2 files one for each division ?

It's the sound from GO engine. And the full sampled ranks. No stretch,
lossless compression up to 40% and ability to load GB 3, 4 , 5 depending on
how good is our OS. And this is the critical point from a musician's view.

Any instrument is made for musicians, not for technocrats and engineers,
acoustic, electric, hardware or software, must please the ears of the
musician first and then he/she can please the ears of the audience, at home,
on concert, on recordings.
This must be the principal. Always was...

Of course there are stuff for amateurs and hobbyists, which are great for
them as they do not have the same expectations and one can find many gems in
there, but not up to the high standard a real musician needs, no matter if
pro or not pro.

So, these thoughts lead me to the question, to which people jOrgan/Midi and
jOrgan/FS appeals ?
Why jOrgan considered the third choice in software organ world today ?
Why not the first???!!

InMyVeryHumbleAndVeryPersonalOpinion we need a better native sampler engine
accepting pure and uncompressed wav files too and engine's GUI/controls in
REAL TIME , for our beloved jO if we want to stay in the pioneer path we did
for so many years.

Best
Panos

Thank you for bringing this up, Dr. Bugeja. I have yet to hear the specific basis of the vilification of Fluidsynth. Not that I disagree; I haven't used anything else, but what is better about Linuxsound, etc.? Fluidsynth is free software (I'm not talking about cost), so we are free to modify it how we like. Perhaps it has to do with the releases? Maybe other software does something automatically when a note turns off that we like?

Having not used anything other than fluidsynth, so I have no feel for the "je ne sais quoi" others are experiencing, but if it could be articulated then we would have an hope of improving the situation. That improvement could take the shape of modifying fluidsynth or using a different default sound engine.

"Is any particular and good and serious reason for FS to be married to jOrgan for ever?"

My understanding is: fluidsynth is simple to set up, and creates a "good" sound. My understanding also is that it's quite easy to use a different sound generation engine if you're so inclined, but I haven't personally verified that. If there are better reasons to pick a different engine, it should be entertained. If we can get better sound with a different default setup without making it much more difficult to handle, that sounds like a great idea. But again, please articulate what is better with a different set up.

In Christ,
Aaron Laws

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Re: Sf2 limitation

Dr Mark Bugeja MD
The issue is one that needs to be tackled by developers of the software ie jOrgan. Sven has retired from this project and Jonathan had volunteered to take over however, sadly, he has done very little, if anything, tangibly towards this software despite all his reassurances and goodwill.

I cannot see any progress integrating other sound engines in place of fluidsynth in the current state of affairs. This topic has come up time and again and nothing has changed in the past 4 years to say the least. I have almost given up on jOrgan because of this lack of progress and am more inclined to focus on producing organ for GrandOrgue and Hauptwerk. Even here, processing of recorded samples has dragged on too long for my liking having had to rely on others for assistance.

Graham Goode is retiring from the project which leaves me unable to develop any more samplesets even though I do have other recorded samples awaiting processing.
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Re: Sf2 limitation

tbeck
If you read Panos' impassioned plea for a better sound engine for jOrgan, he mentions Linuxsampler. It is also open source software which runs on Windows and Linux (not sure about Apple). The LS engine can produce sound from different formats: giga, sfz, even sf2.

The interesting thing is: it's already there as a backend for jOrgan! I have been imploring disposition developers to embrace LS and produce sample sets which could compete with GrandOrgue and Hauptwerk.

If jOrgan does not move away from using fluidsynth/sf2 as the mainstay of it's sound production, it is never going to appeal to professional musicians.

I'll repeat once again, Graham Goode as produced a LS version of the Barton theater organ using the giga format. He has included instructions and the giga file which is very simple to edit to customize to your own PC. Yes, it's different from just pointing to a soundfont from fluidsynth, but it really isn't difficult to use.

Please try it! 



On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 5:40 PM, Dr Mark Bugeja MD <[hidden email]> wrote:
The issue is one that needs to be tackled by developers of the software ie
jOrgan. Sven has retired from this project and Jonathan had volunteered to
take over however, sadly, he has done very little, if anything, tangibly
towards this software despite all his reassurances and goodwill.

I cannot see any progress integrating other sound engines in place of
fluidsynth in the current state of affairs. This topic has come up time and
again and nothing has changed in the past 4 years to say the least. I have
almost given up on jOrgan because of this lack of progress and am more
inclined to focus on producing organ for GrandOrgue and Hauptwerk. Even
here, processing of recorded samples has dragged on too long for my liking
having had to rely on others for assistance.

Graham Goode is retiring from the project which leaves me unable to develop
any more samplesets even though I do have other recorded samples awaiting
processing.



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Re: Sf2 limitation

John Reimer
Administrator
In reply to this post by Aaron Laws
Aaron Laws wrote
My understanding is: fluidsynth is simple to set up, and creates a "good"
sound. My understanding also is that it's quite easy to use a different
sound generation engine if you're so inclined, but I haven't personally
verified that.
I hope you don’t mind me entering this discussion, although my reply is quite predictable given past posts, to the point that you could think that I have some personal interest in the use of Fluidsynth. That is not the case. But I do agree with Aaron.

Years ago when I first discovered jOrgan, I was happily using VST plugins as sound engines, either the sfz plugin (not to be confused with the SFZ format) or the VSTSynthFont plugin. Both were free and delivered excellent latency and sound quality. They did of course require the use of ASIO and VST hosts, and they were both intended for general musical use with sf2 soundfonts rather than specifically for VPO’s. They do suffer from one disadvantage when used with VPO’s: you can in practice have only a total of 15 presets (i.e. stops) in use at the one time. I am assuming that the percussion channel is no use to us. This limitation apparently was no problem to general music users, but it can be to us. Multiple soundfonts and plugins is an obvious solution.

I do think that Fluidsynth has a bad press on this Forum, and I don’t think it is justified, if we are referring to the QUALITY of sound it delivers rather than the CONTENT. I have on this Forum tried to press Graham Goode on this, and so far his quite detailed and very sincere answer has been (unless I have seriously misunderstood him) that Fluidsynth does not easily allow us to use multiple releases and multiple samples and other such complications.

The bottom line is that when I listen to the sounds of the VPO’s I am playing at my home console, all using Fluidsynth, I have no problem with the quality of the sound I am hearing, except for what the fairly inexpensive loudspeakers and the room acoustics are doing to it. I know that my ears are quite old, but I know that my hearing is much better than that of many people I know who are of similar age. Also, I listen very carefully to things and am extremely fussy about what sort of VPO sound pleases me. (Just ask my wife!)

Fluidsynth is extremely convenient for new users of jOrgan. For people who wish to push the boundaries with VPO’s, there are almost endless opportunities to try other approaches, either continuing to use jOrgan with its many valuable features or not continuing. By all means do so, if you are unhappy with the particular limitations Fluidsynth places upon us. But please do not cloud the issue with general, unexplained comments about “quality of sound”. If you can hear a difference, you are entitled to say so, but realise that many of us just can’t hear it.

By the way, I think that the Fluidsynth reverberation is dreadful. The only use of it which I can tolerate is with the settings arrived at by our late friend Panos: Room 0.62, Damping 0.21, Width 1 and Level 0.21. And even with Level, I choose to reduce it to 0.11. Yes, that is very little reverberation. So I also use the free Hibiki VST reverb from Freeverb 3.

John Reimer
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Re: Sf2 limitation

tbeck
John,

Do you have a problem with people developing sample sets or dispositions for jOrgan in anything other than fluidsynth? 

What you refer to as "complications" are vital aspects contributing to the quality and realism of the sound being produced. I'm glad you are happy with what you have, but is it ok for people to strive for something better? Any effort at improving jOrgan and VPOs in general should be applauded, unless you think that the pinnacle has been achieved.



On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 9:25 PM, John Reimer <[hidden email]> wrote:
Aaron Laws wrote
> My understanding is: fluidsynth is simple to set up, and creates a "good"
> sound. My understanding also is that it's quite easy to use a different
> sound generation engine if you're so inclined, but I haven't personally
> verified that.

I hope you don’t mind me entering this discussion, although my reply is
quite predictable given past posts, to the point that you could think that I
have some personal interest in the use of Fluidsynth. That is not the case.
But I do agree with Aaron.

Years ago when I first discovered jOrgan, I was happily using VST plugins as
sound engines, either the sfz plugin (not to be confused with the SFZ
format) or the VSTSynthFont plugin. Both were free and delivered excellent
latency and sound quality. They did of course require the use of ASIO and
VST hosts, and they were both intended for general musical use with sf2
soundfonts rather than specifically for VPO’s. They do suffer from one
disadvantage when used with VPO’s: you can in practice have only a total of
15 presets (i.e. stops) in use at the one time. I am assuming that the
percussion channel is no use to us. This limitation apparently was no
problem to general music users, but it can be to us. Multiple soundfonts and
plugins is an obvious solution.

I do think that Fluidsynth has a bad press on this Forum, and I don’t think
it is justified, if we are referring to the QUALITY of sound it delivers
rather than the CONTENT. I have on this Forum tried to press Graham Goode on
this, and so far his quite detailed and very sincere answer has been (unless
I have seriously misunderstood him) that Fluidsynth does not easily allow us
to use multiple releases and multiple samples and other such complications.

The bottom line is that when I listen to the sounds of the VPO’s I am
playing at my home console, all using Fluidsynth, I have no problem with the
quality of the sound I am hearing, except for what the fairly inexpensive
loudspeakers and the room acoustics are doing to it. I know that my ears are
quite old, but I know that my hearing is much better than that of many
people I know who are of similar age. Also, I listen very carefully to
things and am extremely fussy about what sort of VPO sound pleases me. (Just
ask my wife!)

Fluidsynth is extremely convenient for new users of jOrgan. For people who
wish to push the boundaries with VPO’s, there are almost endless
opportunities to try other approaches, either continuing to use jOrgan with
its many valuable features or not continuing. By all means do so, if you are
unhappy with the particular limitations Fluidsynth places upon us. But
please do not cloud the issue with general, unexplained comments about
“quality of sound”. If you can hear a difference, you are entitled to say
so, but realise that many of us just can’t hear it.

By the way, I think that the Fluidsynth reverberation is dreadful. The only
use of it which I can tolerate is with the settings arrived at by our late
friend Panos: Room 0.62, Damping 0.21, Width 1 and Level 0.21. And even with
Level, I choose to reduce it to 0.11. Yes, that is very little
reverberation. So I also use the free Hibiki VST reverb from Freeverb 3.

John Reimer




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Re: Sf2 limitation

John Reimer
Administrator
tbeck wrote
John,

Do you have a problem with people developing sample sets or dispositions
for jOrgan in anything other than fluidsynth?

What you refer to as "complications" are vital aspects contributing to the
quality and realism of the sound being produced.
Tom,

Of course I have no problem with that. I have always insisted in this Forum that there is room in jOrgan for all kinds of approaches and preferences, and I would apply that to the VPO world generally. The concern voiced in my post is that we be as accurate as we can be, about what we claim for this or other way of doing things.

I have no problem with Graham wanting VPO's to produce the closing transients of reed pipes, for example. The fact of the matter is that I played a pipe organ for some years before being close to one that even had a reed stop. Then one Saturday afternoon our church choir was singing a piece at a missionary society meeting at a neighbouring church. The choirmistress was really a pianist, and was going to accompany us. She asked me for advice. I saw that the organ had an Oboe 8 on the Swell, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to hear what it sounded like. I told her to play one of the verses using it, but to "close the box". She didn't. It obliterated any sound from the choir, and she didn't speak to me for at least a fortnight!  You will gather from this that I don't really miss those closing sounds of some reed pipes, when I play jOrgan VPO's. But I can understand someone else missing them.

My commitment to VPO's and to jOrgan in particular has a deep motivation. I believe that the pipe organ worldwide is in trouble, and I regard its demise, in relative terms, as a great loss. I am profoundly moved by the beauty of sound the pipe organ is capable of producing. I believe that if people can be exposed to beauty in whatever context, it may help them to get in touch with some of the most important realities in life, which I believe we are in danger of missing altogether. The VPO may just manage to maintain interest in the "real thing" if it can cheaply make available in people's homes, pipe-like sounds of high quality.

John Reimer


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Re: Sf2 limitation

BrianS
Well,

My 5c would be - getting jOrgan and GrandOrgue to get married.

Remove the GUI part of GrandOrgue, and only the the sound engine and all its capabilities.

Marry this to jOrgan.

Great solution.

Brian.
Regards,

BrianS
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Re: Sf2 limitation

Dr Mark Bugeja MD
This post was updated on .
Hi Brian,

That is exactly what I had in mind for a number of years but I could not find any software developer with sufficient knowledge to accept the undertaking. I placed my hope on Jonathan, but he never seemed to have the time to take me seriously. I did try others but had no response. I guess that no one is willing to give his expertise and time for free assuming they know what they have to do in the first place.

Having said that, Graham's fluidsynth backend seems to come close enough without having to re-invent the wheel. What I do not know is whether the fluidsynth limitation still applies to this backend which is what I started this thread with.

Regards
Mark
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Re: Sf2 limitation

John M
In reply to this post by Dr Mark Bugeja MD
I have read responses to Dr. Bugeja's question, but so far I have noticed no answers to his question.  It is an answer I'd like to know, too.

Also, for what it's worth, my impression has been that the "out of the box" version of jOrgan sounds like a recording of an organ when the sound fonts are very good.  When I use multiple sound cards or a card with multiple channels, the sound is much more as if I'm playing a real organ.  This is an example that gives ten channels:   https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FCA610 Prices for external sound cards range from under $20 to $7,000 USD.  I've also seen up to 92 channels on one sound card; it was not the most expensive one, either.  

The speakers and amplifiers don't have to be expensive, either.  I have acquired most of my gear from pawn shops and rummage sales.  Generally speaking, the better the speakers, the better the sound.  Keep in mind, though, that all of this is from a musician, not an engineer.  

Have fun, everyone, but please answer Dr. Bugeja's question.

Regards to all.


John Maher

Dr Mark Bugeja MD wrote
Hi,

sf2 soundfonts are limited to 600MB. Would this be per instance ie per sf2? I think this is the case.

Therefore an organ with 3 instances of sf2 files, would increase the potential of a virtual organ to 3 x 600 = 1800MB. Correct? So one could deal with larger wav files and more samples per octave that should help improve a VPO's sound quality.

Would multiple sf2s effect or restrict use of the backends which Graham Goode developed as an alternative to Fluidsynth? I don't think so but I might be mistaken.

Regards
Mark
John Maher
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Re: Sf2 limitation

Mike Schnell
In reply to this post by Dr Mark Bugeja MD
Hi,
I have been following this thread with much interest.  As always, the improvement of jOrgan is the subject of much
thought and effort.  We have been talking lately about the quality of sound producing engines.  I wonder if the quality
of soundfonts themselves might also be a factor.  I read an article recently on sampling at 96khz, 24 bit, and it seems to make sense to me to do this.  The article is here:

http://www.keyboardmag.com/how-to/1255/should-you-record-at-96khz/48364

A quick check on the forum showed, that this subject as been addressed a few times, most
recently by our beloved Panos.  Here's what he said:

"OK, from my experience, please stick to 24bit 96000Hz !
Good rates for NR later, also good for handling the samples if you wanna do downsampling to 24/4800 or even 16/44100 for different sets (jO, GO even HW).
After good NR with Nick's app you'll end up with a basically noiseless set and be a great basis for any format. sf2 and sfz to name a few.  Do not afraid to "spend" memory. It's better to have much and then decide the less.
Also try to sample each note many times, like : one session close to the pipes.
One session up to 6meters from source and here sample each note three times :
one normal ie 6sec sustaining and then easy release till silence
one staccato (hit around 140ms) and the release and
one marcato (hit and leave key around 360ms) and the release.
Also sample : the tracker/key-pedal noise, blower noise and all draw stops and other switches.
Photos of almost everything too !  This way you'll come up with BIG files, but, you will have the whole Binns as it sounds and then the fun starts.  You can make any set you will. from the smallest to the biggest."

Just for fun I checked a soundfont I am using and found it was set to 48k. I know my soundcard (M-Audio 101LT) can go
higher, but I haven't tried setting the soundcard to 96khz to see if it works.   Perhaps if all soundfonts are recorded at
96khz, and not up-sampled, the sound might be better.  I don't know for sure since I am not a professional recording engineer, but since nobody had mentioned it, I thought I'd make the suggestion to look into it.  This desire to improve the sound might be the thing that takes jOrgan to the next level.  
Thanks,
Mike Schnell
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Re: Sf2 limitation

John Reimer
Administrator
In reply to this post by John M
John M wrote
Generally speaking, the better the speakers, the better the sound.  Keep in mind, though, that all of this is from a musician, not an engineer.  

Have fun, everyone, but please answer Dr. Bugeja's question.
John M,

I think you will find that Rick has answered Mark's question: jOrgan using multiple instances of Fluidsynth still doesn't free us from the limitation of 600 MB total in the (combined) size of our soundfont(s). I don't know whether or not the truth of that answer has been categorically established (no reflection on Rick's knowledge or his ability - rather on my ignorance!), but the answer HAS been given in this "thread". It is however, a very fragmented thread, because it seems that JohnB has so far persisted in restricting himself to using the mailing list, without learning the correct way to reply to existing posts (or in his case, emails). This faulty practice has led to a very unhelpful Forum situation, trying our patience somewhat, and meaning that you  and probably many others have missed an important contribution to the subject in hand.

I would like to reflect briefly on your earlier words in the quote I have selected from your post, and I do think I can fairly claim to to speak as both a musician AND an engineer. In the VPO world, and also, I suggest in life at large, it is not a case that "one size fits all". We all sit somewhere differently on various spectrums on almost any subject you may care to name. This is partly because of our varying experiences in life. This explains why a musician may look with disdain on the attempt to use anything but real pipes in the rendition of organ music. An engineer, on the other hand, knows all about compromise, because engineers know that it is possible to "overdesign" something to the point that it becomes uneconomic, either because people can't afford to pay for it or will choose a cheaper product, or because we are getting to the point where the world's resources are either being threatened in some way, or are not being fairly shared around.

You can see that I am really getting "sort of philosophical" here, apparently wandering far from the topic. My thoughts have been triggered by the very recent experience of installing GrandOrgue on my organ console laptop at home and trying to compare GO's efforts at reproducing the Balzan organ in Malta, with jOrgan's efforts. My conclusion is that there is no one answer which will totally satisfy everyone, because we all have different expectations and goals.

John Reimer
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Re: Sf2 limitation

Dr Mark Bugeja MD
In reply to this post by Mike Schnell
Hi,

What Panos was referring to is what one has to do to record good quality real pipe sounds.

When processed down to create a sampleset, one cannot expect an improvement by setting sound engines up. I record my samples at 96K but when we release the sets they are 48K. You cannot recreate the quality by setting the software to 96K. Recording at 96K merely allows the sampleset creator greater flexibility in his work.

Sets are best played at the rate established by the VPO developer.

The same can be said for photos taken. I take good quality photos - high resolution (eg 35MB each) using a good digital camera. The sharpness allows better handling of graphics but after processing, images are a fraction of the size of the originals (usually averaging few kB to a few hundred kB). If one starts with poor quality pictures, the end result is nothing short of a disaster with images being far too pixellated and out of focus with huge loss of definition. They are also enormously difficult to process.
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Re: Sf2 limitation

RoyR
   Sounds like much the same principle on which accountancy is done to 4 places of decimals but finally rounded to 2. If you used 2 all the way through a huge column of numbers the cumulative error could be way outside 2 places.


      Have fun,

            Roy.


On 19 June 2017 at 21:58, Dr Mark Bugeja MD <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

What Panos was referring to is what one has to do to record good quality
real pipe sounds.

When processed down to create a sampleset, one cannot expect an improvement
by setting sound engines up. I record my samples at 96K but when we release
the sets they are 48K. You cannot recreate the quality by setting the
software to 96K. Recording at 96K merely allows the sampleset creator
greater flexibility in his work.

Sets are best played at the rate established by the VPO developer.

The same can be said for photos taken. I take good quality photos - high
resolution (eg 35MB each) using a good digital camera. The sharpness allows
better handling of graphics but after processing, images are a fraction of
the size of the originals (usually averaging few kB to a few hundred kB). If
one starts with poor quality pictures, the end result is nothing short of a
disaster with images being far too pixellated and out of focus with huge
loss of definition. They are also enormously difficult to process.



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Re: SF2 Limitation

jbeach2646
In reply to this post by Dr Mark Bugeja MD
While I really believe that there must be an “objective reality”  regarding the comparison of quality between recorded pipes as “real samples”  and synthesized sounds, the following excerpt
was copied from the jOrgan Tutorial and does state that “This is a matter of personal opinion.”  
That said, it is hard to believe that it has been six and a half years since the tutorials were written for jOrgan.    I thought, however, that you would find this section particularly interesting
in view of our ongoing discussion on the topic.  In the second question below, it is valuable to note that the same answers to the question which was considered 6 and a half years ago
remain the answers to the question today!   
 
John Beach
 
 
 
Question: Why are jOrgan dispositions distributed with soundfonts rather than samples?
 
Answer: The world of jOrgan is bigger than just the dispositions that have been created for fluidsynth. Soundfonts are simply a way of bundling wave samples together for a sample player—in jOrgan’s case, typically the Fluidsynth soundfont player that is included as an extension for jOrgan. So, soundfonts can be synthesised sounds or real samples. Typically soundfont players (like fluidsynth) have a harder time with huge samples, so smaller sample sections are used, and wave files are also typically shared accross notes. [Graham G]
Question: Although soundfonts are much smaller, wouldn’t real samples give a higher-quality sound? Answer: This is a matter of personal opinion. In my opinion, real samples sound better than synthesized ones, although there are some wonderful exceptions. Longer samples sound better than shorter ones. A sample for each note sounds better than a sample shared across notes. Given the nature of computers and the requirements of fluidsynth and other sample players we have to make compromises for playability and share-ability,therefore stretching one wave file across 4 notes, for example, is a reasonable compromise. [Graham G] A soundfont file is simply a packaging structure for .wav files.  The quality of the samples in the soundfont package is as good as the quality of the sample files used to create the soundfont.  The issue of quality is bit density of the samples and degree of  lossy compression, regardless of whether they are individual files or packaged into a  soundfont structure.  Individual samples files versus soundfonts is not a quality of sound dimension. [Lynn]
Question: Is jOrgan capable of playing samples? Answer: jOrgan is an organ MIDI relay that has three internal Sound Extensions—fluidysnth, creative, and linuxsampler —plus the Generic Sound element that sends MIDI data out to any MIDI receiving sound source. So  jOrgan is capable of playing samples (and capable of playing real pipes too!), so long as the sample player reacts to MIDI. [Graham G] jOrgan does not play samples or soundfonts or, in fact, make any sound at all. jOrgan is a MIDI-based relay.  Its input consists of MIDI data streams and mouse clicks on a console screen.  Its output consists of one or more MIDI data streams...period. [Lynn]
Soundfonts and Sampled Sounds
Revised 11/6/2010 Revised 11/6/2010
 
Question: If jOrgan is capable of playing samples, is there any need for software such as GrandOrgue or Hauptwerk?
 
Answer: GrandOrgue and Hauptwerk are sample player software applications that specialize in low latency wave file reproduction. In my opinion, neither application has the versatility and ease of disposition creation that jOrgan has. Their wave reproduction is, however, generally better than the jOrgan extensions available at this time. My preference would be to have the low latency audio engine of GrandOrgue made available as a jOrgan extension. Until that time I use jOrgan with fluidsynth in Linux—which has much lower latencies than Windows—and jOrgan controlling GrandOrgue in Windows. [Graham G] Hauptwerk does indeed produce sound.  If you want one software package that both operates as a MIDI-based relay and produces sound, Hauptwerk is probably the best—and the most expensive.  As stated above, jOrgan does not produce sound, so in order to have its MIDI output rendered to audio you would need an auxiliary sound rendering software package—such as Fluidsynth, SFZ, GSO3, or any other MIDI-driven sample player—or a MIDI-driven hardware device like a Sound Blaster audio card or an external MIDI-driven sound module.  Because Hauptwerk is more involved in the actual rendering of the sound, it is able to produce some unique articulations that are presently not possible with jOrgan and a separate MIDI-driven sound module, whether hardware or software. [Lynn]
Question: Which is better for soundfonts: sampled sounds or synthesized sounds? Answer: Soundfonts can be synthesized sounds or real sampled sounds. [GrahamG] SoundFonts offer a unique entrance to the world of sound creation, while the available wave sample sets are nothing more or less than the result of a carefully placed mike set and cassette recorder. Thus such wave sets provide an artificial imitation of the creative impulse of real organ builders with no provision for personal creativity. [Bernd] It all depends whether your main interest is to simulate a particular real organ as closely as possible, or simply to create a pleasant sound. [Roy] Sampled and Synthesized Sounds
Index.1
Index

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Re: SF2 Limitation

Aaron Laws
On Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 6:07 PM, John Beach <[hidden email]> wrote:
While I really believe that there must be an “objective reality”  regarding the comparison of quality between recorded pipes as “real samples”  and synthesized sounds, the following excerpt
was copied from the jOrgan Tutorial and does state that “This is a matter of personal opinion.”  
That said, it is hard to believe that it has been six and a half years since the tutorials were written for jOrgan.    I thought, however, that you would find this section particularly interesting
in view of our ongoing discussion on the topic.  In the second question below, it is valuable to note that the same answers to the question which was considered 6 and a half years ago
remain the answers to the question today!   
 
John Beach
 
 
 
Question: Why are jOrgan dispositions distributed with soundfonts rather than samples?
 
Answer: The world of jOrgan is bigger than just the dispositions that have been created for fluidsynth. Soundfonts are simply a way of bundling wave samples together for a sample player—in jOrgan’s case, typically the Fluidsynth soundfont player that is included as an extension for jOrgan. So, soundfonts can be synthesised sounds or real samples. Typically soundfont players (like fluidsynth) have a harder time with huge samples, so smaller sample sections are used, and wave files are also typically shared accross notes. [Graham G]
Question: Although soundfonts are much smaller, wouldn’t real samples give a higher-quality sound?


It seems there is some conflation between soundfonts and synthesized sounds. The answer to this question (just above), for instance would be, "Soundfonts commonly consist of real samples.", right? If the question were, "Although synthesized soundfonts are much smaller...", it would be legitimate.

In Christ,
Aaron Laws

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Re: SF2 Limitation

jbeach2646
Aaron said, “It seems there is some conflation between soundfonts and synthesized sounds. The answer to this question (just above), for instance would be, "Soundfonts commonly consist of real samples.", right? If the question were, "Although synthesized soundfonts are much smaller...", it would be legitimate.”
 
 
Actually, the first soundfonts which were packaged with the Creative Labs soundcards were General Midi and were all recorded , real, orchestral instruments, sampled in several octaves.  There were also special soundfonts which included collections of ethnic instruments from around the world.  I have belonged to several organ forums as well as the former theatre organ soundfont user’s group, on yahoogroups.com, which is now defunct.  That group used real, recorded, pipe organ soundfonts, but switched over to gigasampler format, which was so successful, that the soundfont user’s group went dead.
I have made and used synthesized sounds because they were what was available.  I live in an area where pipe organs are a rarity.
 
Apparently, gigasampler is not compatible with jOrgan because no one has ever suggested using it.
 
Regarding the size of soundfonts, I don’t know what the size of a soundfont with real, recorded pipe sounds would have to be.  On average, what the wave file size per note would have to be and how many
per octave, per stop,  would determine the size of the soundfont. 
 
With synthesized sounds, I have had soundfonts which were 1/10th second long and 6 soundfonts containing 400 stops were less than 17 Megabytes.  I have since resynthesized all stops and
each wave file is 4 seconds long.  The same soundfonts total 93 Megabytes.  If I had to give an opinion on whether there is a noticeable difference in sound quality.  Honestly, I can’t say. 
 
The stops I find most difficult to replicate are diapasons.  They are the ones with which I am always least satisfied.  A principal is fundamental and it must be good.  I find that synthesizing
principals using Hammond Drawbar registration recipes produces harshness—”cornet” timbers---which I don’t hear in real pipes.  I think the use of frequency cutoff with those same synthesized
principals reduces or eliminates the harshness.  A good pipe organ can be listened to for hours without getting obnoxious or monotonous.  The best, synthesized principal leaves out the upper
harmonics above 2’ and sounds like a full flute rather than a string.  This is a matter of personal taste, of course.
 
John Beach
 
   

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Re: SF2 Limitation

RoyR
   Hi, John,

                  I'm on shaky ground here but I seem to recall the samples generated by Giga can be read by Qsampler in Linux. Presumably it could be made the output of a Generic Sound in jOrgan???



      Have fun,

            Roy.


On 26 June 2017 at 22:54, John Beach <[hidden email]> wrote:
Aaron said, “It seems there is some conflation between soundfonts and synthesized sounds. The answer to this question (just above), for instance would be, "Soundfonts commonly consist of real samples.", right? If the question were, "Although synthesized soundfonts are much smaller...", it would be legitimate.”
 
 
Actually, the first soundfonts which were packaged with the Creative Labs soundcards were General Midi and were all recorded , real, orchestral instruments, sampled in several octaves.  There were also special soundfonts which included collections of ethnic instruments from around the world.  I have belonged to several organ forums as well as the former theatre organ soundfont user’s group, on yahoogroups.com, which is now defunct.  That group used real, recorded, pipe organ soundfonts, but switched over to gigasampler format, which was so successful, that the soundfont user’s group went dead.
I have made and used synthesized sounds because they were what was available.  I live in an area where pipe organs are a rarity.
 
Apparently, gigasampler is not compatible with jOrgan because no one has ever suggested using it.
 
Regarding the size of soundfonts, I don’t know what the size of a soundfont with real, recorded pipe sounds would have to be.  On average, what the wave file size per note would have to be and how many
per octave, per stop,  would determine the size of the soundfont. 
 
With synthesized sounds, I have had soundfonts which were 1/10th second long and 6 soundfonts containing 400 stops were less than 17 Megabytes.  I have since resynthesized all stops and
each wave file is 4 seconds long.  The same soundfonts total 93 Megabytes.  If I had to give an opinion on whether there is a noticeable difference in sound quality.  Honestly, I can’t say. 
 
The stops I find most difficult to replicate are diapasons.  They are the ones with which I am always least satisfied.  A principal is fundamental and it must be good.  I find that synthesizing
principals using Hammond Drawbar registration recipes produces harshness—”cornet” timbers---which I don’t hear in real pipes.  I think the use of frequency cutoff with those same synthesized
principals reduces or eliminates the harshness.  A good pipe organ can be listened to for hours without getting obnoxious or monotonous.  The best, synthesized principal leaves out the upper
harmonics above 2’ and sounds like a full flute rather than a string.  This is a matter of personal taste, of course.
 
John Beach
 
   

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Re: SF2 Limitation

tbeck
Giga format can be played by linuxsampler, and there is already an existing disposition for it. Please see Graham Goode's Barton organ.

I have mentioned this repeatedly.

On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 6:07 PM, Roy Radford <[hidden email]> wrote:
   Hi, John,

                  I'm on shaky ground here but I seem to recall the samples generated by Giga can be read by Qsampler in Linux. Presumably it could be made the output of a Generic Sound in jOrgan???



      Have fun,

            Roy.


On 26 June 2017 at 22:54, John Beach <[hidden email]> wrote:
Aaron said, “It seems there is some conflation between soundfonts and synthesized sounds. The answer to this question (just above), for instance would be, "Soundfonts commonly consist of real samples.", right? If the question were, "Although synthesized soundfonts are much smaller...", it would be legitimate.”
 
 
Actually, the first soundfonts which were packaged with the Creative Labs soundcards were General Midi and were all recorded , real, orchestral instruments, sampled in several octaves.  There were also special soundfonts which included collections of ethnic instruments from around the world.  I have belonged to several organ forums as well as the former theatre organ soundfont user’s group, on yahoogroups.com, which is now defunct.  That group used real, recorded, pipe organ soundfonts, but switched over to gigasampler format, which was so successful, that the soundfont user’s group went dead.
I have made and used synthesized sounds because they were what was available.  I live in an area where pipe organs are a rarity.
 
Apparently, gigasampler is not compatible with jOrgan because no one has ever suggested using it.
 
Regarding the size of soundfonts, I don’t know what the size of a soundfont with real, recorded pipe sounds would have to be.  On average, what the wave file size per note would have to be and how many
per octave, per stop,  would determine the size of the soundfont. 
 
With synthesized sounds, I have had soundfonts which were 1/10th second long and 6 soundfonts containing 400 stops were less than 17 Megabytes.  I have since resynthesized all stops and
each wave file is 4 seconds long.  The same soundfonts total 93 Megabytes.  If I had to give an opinion on whether there is a noticeable difference in sound quality.  Honestly, I can’t say. 
 
The stops I find most difficult to replicate are diapasons.  They are the ones with which I am always least satisfied.  A principal is fundamental and it must be good.  I find that synthesizing
principals using Hammond Drawbar registration recipes produces harshness—”cornet” timbers---which I don’t hear in real pipes.  I think the use of frequency cutoff with those same synthesized
principals reduces or eliminates the harshness.  A good pipe organ can be listened to for hours without getting obnoxious or monotonous.  The best, synthesized principal leaves out the upper
harmonics above 2’ and sounds like a full flute rather than a string.  This is a matter of personal taste, of course.
 
John Beach
 
   

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