Monday, June 26, 2017

An Orchestra - VSCO2

Note WORK IN PROGRESS. If this was a game, this would be Alpha.

Feedback is appreciated.

Imitation may or may not be the sincerest form of flattery. When I was watching videos about the new orchestral instrument that does all sorts of rhythms and sequences based on envelopes and arpeggios I wondered if I could do something like that. I don't have the scripting ability or other resources that those fine folks had and it is an excellent instrument. However with a little help from my friends, I did manage to make a chord and arp string machine. This uses Sam Gossner's great VSCO2 samples, my script from Matt McKay and a bit of advice from Evil Dragon.

When you first kick up the An Orchestra - Strings nki it should be in Chord mode in Spiccato and have the Major Chord ready to go. If you play in most of the blue notes you will get a major chord for every note. The bottom couple notes don't work quite right and the top couple just give one note. I really should make them white keys but I didn't think of that.

Anyway you can change the chord type by pressing on the Yellow keys. The C that is Green is the Major that is already in use. The C# is Minor, D is Augmented etc.. on up to the B that is the Dominate 9th. You will see the Chord type on the GUI beside the word Chord. Ain't I clever?

You will also see the words Arp OFF next to Arpeggiator. To start an arp press one of the Dark Blue keys and Arp 1, 2 or 3 will start. Press and hold a Light Blue key to get the sounds coming. If you chose Arp 1 it might take a little bit as that is the riser type arp and it builds volume over time. You can speed this up with the Mod Wheel. Going down speeds things while going up slows them down. Well unless you go to the very top when it sounds like a woodpecker on speed. Whatever Chord you last pressed the Arp will play through the notes over and over until you release the key. If you press a new Chord it won't take effect until you press another light blue key (or the same one).

All the way on the right side are the Articulations on the Red Keys, Arco Vibrato, Spicato, Tremollo, Pizzicato, Arco Vibrato Loud and Arco Vibrato Soft. The short tend to sound better on fast Arps and the long sound better on slow Arps (use the modwheel). Oh the timing is synched to your DAW to 40 beats a minute in your DAW will be a bit slower than 400 BPM.

It makes more sense if you play around with it. The display will tell you the Articulation, Chord and Arp in use. Use the Mod Wheel to change the speed of the Arps.

But what if you don't like the Arp settings? Go change them. You can change the number of steps and clicking on the white bars changes the velocity so play around it is fun. Also try Note Order I used Up which is standerd up you can choose Down, Zig-Zags or even Random and many more. When you get ones you like Save As... under some name or other and it should save your Arps.

Samples are Creative Commons 0 : Sam Gossner. This means you don't have to thank him but he is a great guy so you might anyway. Also he sells a Pro Version that I bought (and I'm notoriously cheap) that has lots more notes, velocity layers, mics and stuff then are here including 90+ instruments with lots of solo orchestral instruments and awesome weird instruments like ancient flutes and an ophicleide which is legal in all 50 states.

My Patreon Page

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Giving Patreon a try

What I'm working on...

Thanks to everyone for checking out the blog and giving the instruments a try.
If anyone would like to support old bigcat instruments I'm giving Patreon a try and we'll see how it goes, if it goes. Thanks plasterbrain and Francis for being my first two patrons! I never know if I should give last names on a public forum.

A kind of index of the blog and related blogs...

Current Project: Kontakt Instruments using Google Creative Commons Samples 

bigcat Keyboard Instruments, Piano, Organ, Electric Piano

VSCO2 Orchestra  VST & Kontakt

Big GM List of Kontakt Instruments

GM List of Standalone VST Instruments

A list of Free Instruments from all over the net - No Kontakt Required

A Blog of Free Instruments from the net, Kontakt, SFZ, VST and otherwise

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

NSI Instruments

Magenta is a Google Brain project that has created something called NSynth which seems to be extracting the audio DNA from samples and then mixing it all together in a user controllable synth. While I can't give you the synth (it is highly confusing) which will hopefully someday come out as a VST, I can apparently use the NSynth Dataset to create more traditional though possibly funky sounding instruments. So far I've done a grand total of 15 instruments but more are probably on the way as the dataset contains about 1000...

Also I'm trying out Kontakt GUI Maker. The interface is really simple, but it does have a convolution reverb which sounds much better than regular reverb. Note these are all Kontakt instruments and need Kontakt 5.6.6.

PS If you want Kontakt for 125 bucks instead of $400 this month (June 2017) go get free DrumMic'a and register it, then use it to crossgrade to Kontakt during the current sale.

NST Resources (mandatory for instruments to work, only download once)

Because the resource files are bigger than the instruments, I put them in a separate download. This makes every instrument download 90 megs smaller.
Unzip NST Resources in the same folder as the NST instruments you download (in 7-Zip use Extract Here). This will make a NST Resources folder as you see in the picture below. This folder will have 3 files, a .nkc, a .nkr.& a .png file. All NST instruments will use this one resources folder.


Acoustic Piano 00
Acoustic Piano 01
Acoustic Piano 02
Acoustic Piano 03
Acoustic Piano 04   Soundcloud Demo 
Acoustic Piano 05
Acoustic Piano 06 
Acoustic Piano 07

Electronic Keyboard 00

Acoustic Guitar 00

Electric Bass 00

Acoustic String 00
Acoustic String 01
Acoustic String 02
Acoustic String 03
Acoustic String 04

Acoustic Brass 00
Acoustic Brass 01

Acoustic Reed 00
Acoustic Reed 01
Acoustic Reed 02

Acoustic Mallet 00

Acoustic Vocal 00
Acoustic Vocal 01
Acoustic Vocal 02

License: The dataset is made available by Google Inc. under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Paper: Jesse Engel, Cinjon Resnick, Adam Roberts, Sander Dieleman, Douglas Eck, Karen Simonyan, and Mohammad Norouzi. "Neural Audio Synthesis of Musical Notes with WaveNet Autoencoders." 2017.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mihai Sorohan Choir

Vowel Ensemble Choir for SFZ

The internet has allowed for collaborations across time and distance. 

Seven years ago this thread appeared on KVRMihai Sorohan and his friends and family had created an ensemble vowel choir. I'd happily downloaded it much later and made myself my own little Kontakt version because that's what I do. Over at Scoring Central (run by the guy who created the Sonatina Orchestra) where I hang out with friends and musically gifted AIs, someone asked about free choirs and mentioned this free ensemble. Somewhere someone mentioned that it was nice but it would be nice if it sounded fuller this reminded me of the Kontakt script J's Ensemble Maker created by Jay Bacal over a decade ago. This script can multiply solo instruments by up to seven through Digital Wizardy understood by about a dozen Kontakt scripting pros in the world. So after finding a public domain piece of clipart and using the freeware GIMP graphic editor to fake a woodburned GUI look, out came the Kontakt instrument.

But folks on VSR and SC wanted an SFZ version and I don't know how to do that. Fortunately Sam Gossner the headman at Versilian Studios (the guys behind the VSCO2 Orchestra) has created and given away a free folder-to-SFZ converter and made a nice video on how to use it. So after a bit of confusion and renaming 110 files I was ready to send out the SFZ version. I just wished I knew how to make a ketswitched patch for it, but hey you can't have everything right? Then into my inbox comes a full keyswitched version from Pytchblend from KVR. And that is how using freeware, samples and help from friends a free choir is put up on a blog.

From Mihai's blog...

"The choir patch was developed by Mihai Sorohan together with Richard Osborn for Mu.Lab Multisampla and Selcuk Bor (from Symphony of Specters) for Kontakt.

Choir: Citrina - soprano & alto, Jelena - alto,Roman & Dimitri (Timohi) - tenor, Jonny Zed - tenor, Mihai - tenor & baritone"

Also from Mihai's blog are the conditions for use...

"By downloading the provided files you accept the following terms:
  • You get a personal non-exclusive non-transferable right to use the sample content as an integral part of your musical composition, in combination with other sounds, for both personal and commercial purpose. You may not use it for commercial sample libraries (put it on a CD and sell it, sell it online, etc) 
  • You may use the sample content as an integral part of your musical composition, in combination with other sounds, for both personal and commercial purpose. 
  • I don't accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liability, injury or upset caused to or suffered by you as a result of misusing this material. "

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Legato Vibrato Piano

The gang over at Vi-Control have a bizarre thread about a legato piano that started on or around April Fool's Day, VI crashed recently so its tough to say. Being a bit crazy I decided to see what would happen if I used Big Bob's WIPS scripts to create a legato piano with vibrato. It sounds pretty weird.

Instrument and Samples: Public Domain.
WIPS scripts: Copyright Robert D. Villwock 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Here is a collection of 5 toy piano type instruments.

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Creative Commons Attribution: BeskhuCorsica_S, Poissonmort
Creative Commons Sampling Plus: Tombola
Public Domain: Taylor Sampled

This chap named pjcohen has put up some really nice drum, cowbell, harpsichord and standup acoustic bass samples. Bass is up first. To quote the gentleman.
"This standup bass was sampled using a direct pickup as well as stereo overhead mics for some room ambience. Articulations include a normal pizzicato, or finger plucked note; a stopped note as performed with the finger; a stopped note performed Bartok style; and some miscellaneous sound effects: a slide by the hand down the strings, a slap on the strings, and a knock on the wooden body of the bass. Do enjoy; feedback is welcome!"

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are placed in the Public Domain.

Sauron974 placed five Shofar samples in the public domain, "An 18" ram's horn shofar being sounded from a few feet away."

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are placed in the Public Domain.

I asked over on the Cakewalk forums for any ideas for instruments. Fleer suggested a deeply sampled pan flute which I have utterly failed to deliver, but in searching I found this really cool instrument. Made by Mr. Shoes as he explains, "I used a 3/4 in. diameter PVC tube stopped at one end and water to create all of the notes. the notes have even temperament. they may be slightly off in terms of tuning at the top end, but overall, I'd say not too much." There are 20 samples and I stretched the ends a bit so you have over 2 octaves of PVC pipe and water goodness.

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are Creative Commons Attribution: Mr. Shoes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

VSCO2 Rompler

Big thanks to VST Planet for making this video

Otto used the VSCO2 Community edition to create this award winning song. Grats Otto!

Note this needs Windows Vista or later, it won't work on XP.
The full Rompler creates a crash issue with Reaper. The individual instruments seem to work fine, so please try those instead if you use Reaper.

Well here it is the new VSCO2 Rompler. Most obviously, the look is much nicer. Thanks to Sam Gossner for hooking my up with the artwork of Simon Autenrieth. The New GUI also includes a Reverb knob. Reverb is more important as the default release times have been shortened to allow for sharper performances. Also this orchestra is recorded pretty dry, so reverb is needed to wetten it up. If you are mixing it with the Sonatina Rompler you will notice the difference as the Sonatina is wetter out of the box.

Another improvement is round robins for most of the short articulations and quick percussion hits. Also the 'Old Trombone', 'Upright 1' piano and a lite piccolo patch have been added. This takes the total of samples to over 2000 and gives 25 instruments. The strings have solo violin and double bass and small violin, viola and cello sections. Brass and woodwinds have five solo instruments each. Remember this is a chamber orchestra, so it is intended for a smaller and more intimate sound. Traditionally a chamber orchestra would be brought into the home of a rich man, maybe a noble, to entertain his family and friends. So imagine you are a medieval baron as you listen.

Thanks to Sam Gossner and his crew for this collection of samples. Take a look at the Community Edition on his site. You can find the samples, SFZ versions and much more. If you enjoy the sound you might invest in the pro edition. I did and I'm quite enjoying it. The fun exotic instruments like wooden flutes, baroque recorders and unique brass make it worth the price of admission.

Thanks to VST4Free for providing alternate hosting here.

My full blog for VST instruments.

Full Version 2 Rompler contains all the instruments below it.
Instrument Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Full Orchestra Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU

I know some countries can't access Mediafire and so the gentleman behind VST4Free has kindly agreed to provide another host for the project. This link is to the full Rompler, you can also browse bigcat instruments next to the '>' sign to get the individual instruments.

Soundcloud Demo kindly created for me by Sam.
Demo of the Harp, Res Evil 3, Res Evil Main Hall by WhiteNoiz

Creative Commons Zero: Versilian Studios / Sam Gossner
Piano and Organ sampled by Simon Dalzell of Ivy Audio
Version 2 Artwork: Simon Autenrieth

Version Two Individual Instruments

Version One Instruments. Top row is all 18 instruments and 50 articulations in one rompler.
Instrument Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Full Orchestra Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Violin Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Violin Section Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Viola Section Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Cello Section Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Double Bass Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Harp Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Trumpet Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Horn Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Tenor Trombone Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Tuba Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Flute Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Oboe Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Clarinet Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Bassoon Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Piano Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Organ Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Percussion Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
Chromatic Win 64 Win 32 Mac VST Mac AU
VSCO2 Chromatic contains the Marimba, Xylo and Glock.  

Creative Commons Zero: Versilian Studios / Sam Gossner 
Piano and Organ sampled by Simon Dalzell of Ivy Audio
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