orchestra hit samples - the really bugging legal question

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:25 am

You wrote at one point that we can sample legally from analogue synths? Or did I misunderstand it? There was hope in that. Please explain.
BertKoor wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:22 pm
You may sample analog synths and distribute these samples. No problem. But with digital PCM synths it is problematic.
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KVRAF
13027 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:53 am

Yamaha MM6? That's sample-based digital, nothing analog.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_MM6
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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm

I always thought that my MM6 is anologue because it only has the analogue output and I can only record sounds from analogue output signals? But it's based on presets which are samples, yes. And that may be the problem: sample-based presets.

Bert, I just read through the complete thread from the link you gave me there:

https://freesound.org/forum/legal-help- ... stions/47/

I think I also now start to understand much better what you really meant because someone was touching upon this point: we can only record patches we make ourselves on analogue synths but we cannot just record any presets and distribute them without clearance. If I use an analogue keyboard and "sound design" a patch from scratch on it and record it I can distribute it as royalty-free for others but I cannot just record an orch hit sample from that same keyboard and distribute it as royalty-free to everybody.

I have come to a very unfortunate conclusion for now:

It would be very nice to many hobby artists who don't have much money if we could use the samples from this link:

https://freewavesamples.com/instrument/orchestra-hit

However, I think Jason maybe forgot to also clear these samples so we cannot just use them even if he thinks they are royalty-free freeware now because he himself has the sample-based instruments in his home studio and recorded them. But that's not enough and so you cannot distribute the samples like that if you don't have the license to do it. He might get into trouble if someone would sue me if I used the samples in the end. I won't do it! I think I can't use his orch hit samples after all. :?: :?: :?:

So what should I do? I'd have to buy some keyboard or vst plugin that has the orch hit samples or other very famous samples? I don't think there are any of those you could get for free which also have been cleared and licensed. Yamaha, Korg, etc. wouldn't allow for it. They want to make money first and then we could get "creative" afterwards. :?: :?: :?:

Maybe the orch hit sound isn't the best example because it's also become a General Midi sound but think of similar famous sample sounds as well.
Last edited by juno987654321 on Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:07 pm

Now I also found this from our basic kvr thread on copyright issues
(Sampling copyright issues: READ BEFORE SHARING) :

"Royalty free is something else again, it typically means you pay 1 fee"

What???
I'm even further confused. On the website it said the samples are royalty-free freeware that can just be used for free. Do I have to pay for the samples anyways??? To whom and how much?
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

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KVRAF
13027 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:33 pm

In the context of an analog synth:
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
we cannot just record any presets and distribute them without clearance
Hmmm, I think you can. There needs to be an intellectual property or sound recording to begin with. Without that (as is the case with pure analog synths) there is nothing you can infringe. An analog synth generates sounds by itself, it does not play back prerecorded material. Then there is the question: is a combination of switch & potmeter positions (the patch) intellectual property? Assume yes it is. But you're not distributing that, but only what it results in. An original recording. Sorry, I fail to see any issues. But that's just me. This is definitely a grey area.
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
If I use an analogue keyboard and "sound design" a patch from scratch on it and record it I can distribute it as royalty-free for others but I cannot just record an orch hit sample from that same keyboard and distribute it as royalty-free to everybody.
[pedantic]Keyboards that feature an orch hit sample are by definition not analog.[/pedantic]
But I get what you mean. If you use one of the basic waveforms and combine it with a resonant filter it's close enough to a traditional analog synth. The wave may internally be a sample. Minor implementation detail? Or does it classify as a recording and thus is copyright protected? No judge ever had to pass judgement about that afaik. Good luck to him btw, not an easy decision.
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
I think Jason maybe forgot to also clear these samples.
Clearing samples is what's required when publishing a piece of music containing samples of other records. That's not exactly what he did there.
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
[...] if someone would sue me if I used the samples in the end.
If... What do you think are the odds?

Scenario 1: download a sample of roland JV1080 orch hit and use that.
Scenario 2: sample the last second of Donna Summer - Last Dance and use that.

You may place your bets now!
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:07 pm
On the website it said the samples are royalty-free freeware that can just be used for free. Do I have to pay for the samples anyways??? To whom and how much?
If royalties do apply, it should be stated as such in the license.
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
[...] hobby artists [...]
For your own enjoyment you may do whatever you like. Just don't publish! Because then the legal headaches begin. Or you decide to keep under the radar and take a bit of risk.

You cannot complain about lack of source material. Every GM instrument contains orchestra hits. If you have a Mac, you have garageband which contains everything you need and more. If you have a Windows machine, there is a soundfont for GM Midi from which you may extract whatever you want.
Last edited by BertKoor on Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:29 am

BertKoor wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:33 pm
juno987654321 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:39 pm
I think Jason maybe forgot to also clear these samples.
Clearing samples is what's required when publishing a piece of music containing samples of other records. That's not exactly what he did there.
All this information is interesting, Bert, HOWEVER, I'd still like to find out if using the samples would really be legal to me which was my basic concern in the first place.
The other link you gave me very strongly suggests that in any case you need to ask for permission (maybe it's not called "clearance" then as with songs?) if you distribute preset samples that you took from sample-based (digital as you defined then) keyboards.

This is the basic question that still remains to be solved, the one that bugged me in the first place and if permission had not been granted by the manufacturers of the instruments the samples were taken from, then to me such a website would unfortunately be useless (though, of course there was a good will behind it) because I could then just sample from any songs to the same effect - just that the blame would then be on me rather than on the owners of such websites, Bert. Legally, it won't make a difference as to the status of the samples.

That doesn't mean that we'd have to be afraid when we do that in practice and as you suggest big companies today (as they calculate) won't have an interest (any more) to sue private people for trivialities as they used to do but it's still sad if we could not use the samples with good confidence and so I'd rather find a website with famous samples for download which the manufacturers explicitly did give their consent to. Do they exist or will it remain a dream because manufacturers would never give consent to that? From the vantage point of (real) justice one could easily argue that famous samples are cultural goods that should belong to everybody and Stravinsky's sample e. g. could not possibly (intrinsically somehow) belong to Yamaha or Korg only - but laws are more often biased towards the financial interests of big companies than to people's feeling of justice as it seems to me. So what about the legal status of these samples? Could they (as opposed to should they) ever be or become real freeware for the people? You gave a few other good examples of such famous samples that I'd really consider cultural free goods. As musicians we want these samples in our songs because they are part of our history and we should be allowed to freely "quote" such very famous sounds. :?:
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KVRAF
13027 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:52 am

According to US copyright law everything becomes Public Domain only 70 years after the owner has deceased. No idea how that's supposed to work when the owner is a corporation, being either immortal or defunct.

Regarding the legal status of content provided by e.g. freewavesamples.com, I think by now you know how that all works. Alas you cannot plead you weren't aware when you get dragged into a court case ;-)

Another option is to emigrate to Eritrea, Kosovo, the Marshall Islands, Palau or Palestine, there you are not bound to the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
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KVRAF
13027 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:02 pm

If you're looking for a usable collection of samples comparable to a workstation synth, then consider using a GM soundfont.

Somebody already did a lot of homework on this, a really impressive overview:
https://sites.google.com/site/strixsoun ... soundfonts
Found this page with google: "gm soundfont public domain". Especially the explanation on the bottom of the page could be useful to you. Bummer though that this inventory only states the name, not a download location. But I trust you'll be able to locate them nevertheless.

If you need just one sample from a soundfont, you can extract it with the free version of AWave Studio: https://www.fmjsoft.com/awavestudio.html
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:06 am

Thanks. I'll check them out.

Now I was thinking about a solution the other day and I actually came up with something that I can now see some guys may have already realized to some extent.
I can read about something like the "Star Dream Studios Soundfont" e. g. and it says that it's a
[v]ery large soundfonts made by Star Dream Studios and Strix. Free. GPL'd. All modifications must be licensed under GPL, however songs created with these soundfonts can be licensed under any license. Elf of Happy and Love (the creator) has made a commitment to remove all Roland or Yamaha samples from it, and not add any. These include "100% Natural/Realistic Samples" according to Elf, and is "all in one". These are split banks. Starlight Dream features Yamaha-like patches, and Super Natural Classic features Roland-like patches.
My idea was that it would be a good thing if people were to make their own sample sounds that just sound very similar to the commercial ones and distribute them freely for everyone to be used - just like we can recreate commercial synth sounds at any time and make them our own. I could see students from music departments be naturally motivated and committed to doing this in projects they run with their mentors and for the sake of learning how to analyze and play instruments in more exact ways e. g.
Now I can see that some of that has already been done but there might be some interesting popular sounds left that could still be dealt with or just be reconsidered/improved. :?:

I think apart from the prohibition to redistribute the exact raw samples (especially if ripped from the original digital ROM chips) one other and separate problem apart from that (which is definately worth mentioning here too) is simply that you couldn't just publish your stuff under the exact name of the brand which is known as the "trademark copyrights". So one would also be best advised to choose a name for the very similar sample sounds that is (just like the samples themselves) also very similar but just not exactly the same, like choosing "Thamaha's" instead of "Yamaha's", e. g.

So in total I can now see that there are some recordings of the original samples and they come in different formats like sf2 or wav and that people have distributed them as freeware. They're all not 100% legal but in practise no-one (including manufacturers themselves) would really care about this since those aren't 100% rip-offs of the original chips and so their existence is kind of tolerated by the manufacturers who honestly don't really need to worry about that. On a micro-level mere recordings will naturally be somewhat less pure than the original then, though probably not audibly so if done with proper equipment.

Anyways, if we want to use some modern remake versions of famous good old samples that may just sound the same or even better (!) and on top of that be 100% legal, there is the alternative that I now can see, to just opt for those "remakes" which in part seem to already be included on that website link that you gave there above.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

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KVRAF
30555 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:33 am

Using copyrighted samples is not illegal. Publishing music containing uncleared, copyrighted samples is a different matter. If you're really worried about the legality of using certain sounds, then don't use them. Create your own.

KVRAF
22774 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:36 am

spend the time creating and working music that here was expended on worries about legality, I say.

there was a clip in the film Atomic Blonde, of Kurt Loder at MTV asking 'Samples: art or just plagiarism?'.
good times (NB: back in those times I would grab something and make it my own. teh JackIe Gleason Orchestra, eg., never heard of my ass, I admit I never cleared 100 Marimbas does _ etc. we weren't buggin').

Appropriate it by yer own hands if afraid of reprisals, everybody has to emulate something to start out.
Live by your wits or not.

Right, why not General Midi, it'll sound appropriately cruddy for that 90s aspect.

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KVRist

Topic Starter

443 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 12:37 pm

Special thanks to Bert and enroe for the fruitful and deeper conversations in this thread.
Something good has come out of that and many informative facts about legal matters have been discussed that will be interesting to many people who would like to be informed about these matters.
This thread definately helped to resolve some confusion about legal issues people may have been puzzled about for a long time.

We as individuals are free to do as we choose BUT it could never be wrong to be well-informed and being so will also enable us to find better and more intelligent ways to deal with a legal system that more often than not sides with commercial interests and that could and should be improved in many ways as I pointed out but that luckily could always be dealt with in an upright and reflected way. Good alternative ways have in this manner been worked out after clarifying the situation.

I believe that everything has been discussed in depth, so I can hereby close this thread in good confidence.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

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