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TOPIC: Creating a harpsichord with key releases

Creating a harpsichord with key releases 2 weeks 3 days ago #1

  • Marion E. R. Edwards
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I have a bunch of samples of a harpsichord, including separate samples for the key releases.

I followed the tutorial on custom releases (one instrument not looped, one instrument looped with a release) and the soundfont works as expected in PolyPhone.

However, when I load the instrument into MuseScore, the release sample loops in its entirety. It sounds like a ticking clock!

Can anyone help me understand what I'm doing wrong? .sf2 attached.

Thank you.

~ m.e.r.e.

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Creating a harpsichord with key releases 2 weeks 3 days ago #2

  • Marion E. R. Edwards
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I think I figured out the issue.

The loop was starting at sample point 0.

MuseScore's soundfont rendering engine doesn't recognize that however.

Setting the loop start to 1 fixed the issue it seems.
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Creating a harpsichord with key releases 2 weeks 2 days ago #3

  • csw900
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I see that you have answered your own question. I have had a similar experience with releases. Fluidsynth does not recognise a loop from sample 0 to sample 1 but does recognise 0-2. There appears to be a problem with the interpretation of the .sf2 specification.

Does a real harpsichord really sound as you appear to think when a note is released quickly? Surely the strings of a harpsichord are plucked and will continue to sound without interruption (unless they are damped) when a key is released quickly.

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Creating a harpsichord with key releases 2 weeks 2 days ago #4

  • Marion E. R. Edwards
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Thank you for your response and for validating that there are quirks in the interpretation of .sf2 files. I was baffled until, on a lark, I tried changing the loop points.

As for the dampening of harpsichord strings, most instruments are regulated so that the dampeners are just above the plectrum. We don't want much if any perceivable delay between when a key is pressed and when the string is plucked, and the jacks basically hang by their dampeners. So the dampening is pretty quick!

It is, of course, possible to half-release a key and catch it before the dampener engages. I taught my teacher this trick. But is definitely the exception rather than the norm.

Then there's the complication--not accounted for in the samples I have--of a still-vibrating string interacting with the plectrum on the key's release. The norm is a faint and barely detectable buzz. I don't think it would be possible to sample this correctly however. It would require exact foreknowledge of when the key was released and when the plectrum hit the string on its return stroke.

Then again, everything we do with instrument sampling is a compromise, isn't it? :)
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Creating a harpsichord with key releases 2 weeks 1 day ago #5

  • ziyametedemircan
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You don't need to deal with release samples (they are unheard of anyway). //And yes, maybe you should give up that tiny, inaudible "pluck" sound during key-off that no one else can hear/notice except the person playing the instrument.

But you should definitely set the release time of the sound.
This is determined by the Volume Envelope Release-time setting. If a sensible value can be entered in this field, some of that feature of the instrument may imitate. Because the original timbre of the Harpsichord instrument is also in a buzz effect.
For the Harpsichord Instrument, this value will be around 0.250. // means 250ms.
You won't be able to hear the fading sound for the entire time of these 250ms. A little after half the time of the given value, the fade effect will be inaudible. So don't think of it as a much greater value than necessary.

(Due to the string vibration and thickness, this value may increase slightly on the lower strings and slightly decrease on the upper strings, but this can be ignored if the decay and sustain parameters are set correctly. Or you can try with the values I gave below in this message.)
//For testing purposes, you can also try values between 0.400 (lower strings) ~ 0.250 (mid strings) ~0.150 (higher strings).

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