Wednesday, October 21, 2020

SOUNDWARE: Project Zompler. FREE Rompler Sound Collection for Beat/Synapse Audio Zampler. Part 1. Keyboards.


I recently put together a blog post entitled 'The Ultimate Freeware Computer Music Setup' in which I chose some of the best freeware in every instrument category to form a powerful computer music production 'suite' for zero money. 
You can check it out here:

Probably the most problematic category was that of the 'Rompler'. An instrument covering all the sort of 'everyday' sounds that get used regularly in songs and tracks. Things like pianos, electric pianos, basses, drums, some orchestral strings like violins, brass and woodwind such as trumpets and flutes. Those kind of things. 

The best I could come up with was IKMultimedia's Sampletank 4 CS, and whilst it had some reasonably good quality sounds, there were only 50 and there also seems to be some debate as to whether it is really free. When I downloaded it, it mentioned a 180 day trial licence.  

So to put this situation right, over the next few weeks I'm going to delve into my collection of instrument samples, turn them into files that Zampler can read and then tweak them using Zamplers powerful synth parameters and effects, then save them as Zampler (.fxb) files. The collection will then build into a really nice sounding freeware 'rompler'. 

Zampler is a freeware VST instrument, perfect for our needs, and you can get your copy from the link below:

It's 32 or 64 bit and available for PC and Mac, so it has wide ranging compatibility. It was built by Synapse-Audio for Beat magazine and bears more than a passing resemblance to Synapse's original version of DUNE their monster selling wavetable synth. It doesn't quite have the synth power of DUNE but it's still a capable sampler/synth with multimode filtering, three LFO's, lots of modulation options and an arpeggiator. 

When developing the collection I will see if I can stick quite closely to the General MIDI (GM1) sound ordering protocol. Don't really know how relevant General MIDI is these days but and I don't know for sure yet whether this will be possible, but I can try. 

I reckon we'll do 16 instrument parts with 8 patches in each collection plus 2 drum 'parts'. So we'll built a collection of 128 instruments plus drums in 18 parts. 

Part 1 is already done with 8 piano/keyboard instruments and I think these sound pretty good. I wouldn't expect 'state of the art' here, I'm developing a lot of sounds and most of them are developed from older sound files some of which are relatively small. But with some tweaking here and there and use of Zamplers synth parameters and effects, I think I've come up with something pretty respectable. Certainly good enough for beginners, students, and for demos, and perhaps beyond. Don't forget, it was only a few years ago that these sounds were considered top notch and appearing on records everywhere. 

Of course, you can use the synth and effects parameters to tweak the instruments
yourself for your own purposes and application. 

So check back regularly for more 'parts' as they become available, or like/follow my Facebook Page for regular updates on this, and all my soundware projects.

Zompler Part One Download:

Just 'right click' the Piano - E-Piano folder and select download. Then just load the .fxb files into Zampler as required. 
Please note: the associated sample and soundfont files are nested within the folder. These must there or your .fxb patch files won't load correctly. 


The information contained within this blog post is offered on an informal basis and is correct to the best of my knowledge. I accept no responsibility for outcomes arising from the mis/interpretation or use of this information and/or associated download files. Always download files via security/scanning software. 

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