Good old songs for sampling strings?

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
Kiiryu
KVRist
31 posts since 21 May, 2018

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm

I'm looking to make some soundfont style strings, so I'm looking for songs with isolated strings. It's fine if it's only small parts, since I'm mainly looking for sustain loops.

The tough part is finding ones where it's just a string section playing one sustained note, with maybe an octave layered at most. Cant imagine it happens much outside of introes or intentionally sparse mid sections.

AnX
KVRAF
5432 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:44 pm

Kiiryu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm
I'm looking to make some soundfont style strings
which is what, exactly?

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
24743 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:47 pm

Kiiryu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm
The tough part is finding ones where it's just a string section playing one sustained note, with maybe an octave layered at most. Cant imagine it happens much outside of introes or intentionally sparse mid sections.
Have you listened to any classical music? ;)

Kiiryu
KVRist
31 posts since 21 May, 2018

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:23 pm

AnX wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:44 pm
Kiiryu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm
I'm looking to make some soundfont style strings
which is what, exactly?
Most Soundfonts don't have enough notes mapped to keys to sound realistic. Having a low number of samples sounds fairly distinct and midi-ish, which is what I'm going for anyway.
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:47 pm
Kiiryu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm
The tough part is finding ones where it's just a string section playing one sustained note, with maybe an octave layered at most. Cant imagine it happens much outside of introes or intentionally sparse mid sections.
Have you listened to any classical music? ;)

Of course, however I'm not the sort of person who listens to the same songs on a frequent basis. It would be like asking someone to list all the movies where someone says "you can do it!" with no other audio playing at the same time. You know it exists, but it doesn't narrow down where to look much.

I listened to a few songs in my search initially, but most of the time it's playing a chord, which is no good.

Ah_Dziz
KVRAF
2670 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:20 pm

Check out some pop from the 40s to 60s. Big band type of string ensembles. You still won’t find lots of individual notes, but you will find some nice lush chords. You will also be in a pickle if you decide to release anything that uses these samples without paying the proper licensing. Anyway, I’d check out stuff produced by Phil Specter, and anything from the rat pack or their many impersonators.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

Kiiryu
KVRist
31 posts since 21 May, 2018

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:18 pm

Ah_Dziz wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:20 pm
I’d check out stuff produced by Phil Specter, and anything from the rat pack or their many impersonators.
Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm not really worried about using them for commercial stuff. (Games in my case)
Since by the time it's Eq'd and looped it would be pretty unrecognizable.

If somebody can recognize a 3 second string note loop from a 60s song in a mix I'll gladly pay them legal fees out of awe of their ear for sound.

DSmolken
KVRAF
1628 posts since 20 Sep, 2013 from Poland

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:10 am

Three seconds is actually a lot - that's more than a measure at 120 bpm. A half-second might be a lot easiser to find, which sin't enough to really loop, but you can loop that (or even a single cycle from that) and then stick some LFOs with other lengths slowly modulating pitch or EQ bands, to fake longer sustains with some timbral drift. A lot of 90s romplers with short loops used trickery like that.

If I was looking for strings from historical recordings, and wanted long isolated notes that will be long enough to loop decently, I'd look at the last notes of fiddle tunes (any non-last notes will probably be too short) and solo classical pieces. But if you want samples from old-school pop, it would take a long time to find enough samples in pop songs with orchestras. I just listened to a few intros from Polish 1920s-30s music, and even though the studio orchestras were quite small, there's always more than one instrument playing during the intros.

Easiest thing to do is take existing open-source strings and vintageify them, of course. But I guess that's too much cheating?

Kiiryu
KVRist
31 posts since 21 May, 2018

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:45 pm

DSmolken wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:10 am
Three seconds is actually a lot - that's more than a measure at 120 bpm. A half-second might be a lot easiser to find, which sin't enough to really loop, but you can loop that (or even a single cycle from that)
Well, in most cases really tiny loops are more than enough for certain styles, so it would still be fine.
Good idea about checking the end, might work.

I'm not too worried about other instruments being layered as long as they aren't playing different notes. Like a string + a flute would be fine, whereas drums or bass, not so much.

As for using open source strings...nah, takes the fun out of it. At the end of the day wanting to use something like sampled old tracks is more of a hobbyist thing for kicks. There's a lot of great string sounds out there in existing libraries.

DSmolken
KVRAF
1628 posts since 20 Sep, 2013 from Poland

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:20 pm

Yeah, if you wanna do this for kicks and are OK with this not being the most efficient way to get a retro string sound, that's totally fine. The tough thing seems to be finding songs when there's no chords being played. Either you get multiple lines of strings adding up to a chord, or a piano or something playing chords behind a violin melody line.

How would something like this be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOjsmhs7qik

Kiiryu
KVRist
31 posts since 21 May, 2018

Re: Good old songs for sampling strings?

Post Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:00 pm

DSmolken wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:20 pm
Yeah, if you wanna do this for kicks and are OK with this not being the most efficient way to get a retro string sound, that's totally fine. The tough thing seems to be finding songs when there's no chords being played. Either you get multiple lines of strings adding up to a chord, or a piano or something playing chords behind a violin melody line.

How would something like this be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOjsmhs7qik
Still a bit busy and fairly noisy, so probably not for strings at least.

Speaking of Japanese music, I was actually listening to some old sentai music from the 70s. I think it's a fairly likely place to find samples since they seemed to have very small ensembles, and very dry recordings. The soundtracks are fairly minimal sometimes since there's a lot of "moment to moment" music.

Messed around with a rough loop from a sentai ost. Still haven't found any isolated strings but I wanted to see what it would sound like at all, even with two notes in the loop.
https://soundcloud.com/kyrieru/sentai/s-1dTiM

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