Help with porting Tape Delay Piano


Apologies for the fairly detailed post - only read on if you’re interested in helping a newcomer work out whether he can help out by contributing back an EXS24 port of the Kontact version of the Tape Delay Piano…

I posted recently to try to encourage instrument contributors to include the underlying non-proprietary sample files so that the community could perhaps add to the breadth of supported players (Kontact is becoming increasingly the standard, but selfishly, I’d like instruments to be available on EXS24 as I’ve just purchased Logic Pro X and that’s included with the bundle…).

I’m dipping my toes into Samplers for the first time and thought the Tape Delay Piano might be a good test case. The samples are supplied, but the only supported instrument is Kontact.

There are some technical reasons why an instrument created on EXS24 wouldn’t be identical to the one that Christian contributed. The Kontact instrument has 4 fader knobs which blend 4 sets of underlying samples. The lack of scripting support on EXS24 means that this blending can’t be supported in a single instrument (as far as my current experience of a few hours can make out…), but I figure creating 4 separate instruments, one for each set of samples, would mean that the blending could be done at the track level by creating a separate instrument on 4 tracks which could be active at the same time and treated as a single instrument.

As I’m not able to compare with the Kontact version, I’m hoping someone can spare a few minutes to help! I have two specific requests:

  1. Is there a missing octave in the supplied samples?
    The supplied samples are intended to be mapped twice to each octave. They’re recorded so that the tape delay repeats in quavers (eight notes) at 90 BPM. This means that if you pitch up a note by a perfect fifth, the frequency increase exactly maps to triplet quavers so that, for example, the delay on the C beats in straight quavers while the G beats in triplets (neat!). The idea is that C is pitched up to G, C# to G#, D to A, etc. This all works fine, but the supplied samples are for C2, C#2, D2, D#2, etc and C4, C#4, etc. Does the Kontact version only support octaves 2 and 4, or are are the notes pitched more broadly?

  2. Help with testing
    If I create 4 instruments and post them here, would someone with Kontact be able to compare the output with the Kontact version to see if they’re fairly equivalent?

Ok, I now have four Tape Delay instruments working in EXS24, but have just encountered the realm of offsets…

I suspect some of you are enjoying watching a newcomer making all the mistakes that are no-doubt discussed in depth throughout the forum, so grab a cold one and kick back while I blunder on…

I’m seeing that C0 to B2 uses the C2-B2 octave of samples and the C3 to B5 uses the C4-B4 octave of samples.

@Sid Sweet - thanks for the info!
First time making an instrument from samples. I think I might be hooked…

I’m guessing that means that the samples outwith the supplied sample range would have he delay scaled too (i.e the C0 delay would be 4 time slower than the C2 sample?

Super useful - that means I’ll have a ‘good enough for me’ instrument as soon as I get time to add the additional octaves (probably Sunday). I still haven’t found out whether I can offset samples (there’s a bit of a lag with the more instantaneous portastudio instrument), but if not, I guess I can try to mess with the raw samples.

The audio starts with an 8000 sample offset. Also, each octave starts at C, and then repeats at G, mapped to C2 again.

Thanks again!

I know what that means technically, but have zippo experience, so not sure how to best apply the offset in EXS24. I would probably benefit from hacking about with the raw samples to snip off the leading 8K samples as an exercise in getting more familiar with audio processing…

Well, if you alter the samples, then nobody else will be able to use your exs unless they alter their samples also. Christian has a video up that shows how to make an offset in exs. I’ll see if I can find it.

I thought the instrument I supplied would contain the modified samples, but I’m completely guessing, so…

Updating the offset in EXS like you suggest would be a far better approach - I don’t want to pollute the space with a tonne of derived samples!

Well, I uploaded some SFZ versions and I just created the SFZ file that they could drop into the instrument folder as it exists. I suppose you could upload the whole thing as long as the piano book guys know that the samples are altered. Setting the offsets is quite easy. here is the video:

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Fab! I’ll check that out.

Just stumbled onto how to load multiple samples onto a single note, so looks like I’ll be creating 5 instruments: one for each flavour of tape/delay and a combined one for ease of use for those who don’t need to specifically balance the output between the individual voices.