Subject: RE: [linux-audio-user] The Open Loop Library, a few questions
From: Mark Knecht (mknecht_AT_controlnet.com)
Date: Fri Dec 20 2002 - 17:29:09 EET
I'm glad to see someone interested in taking up this area of operation.
The use of prerecorded sounds, whether one-shots or loops will, I think, be
of a lot of value. I'm also glad to see that you're getting lots of
responses. That's pretty key also.
I've read through the other responses that have come in so far. Let me
add a couple of things that I don't think have been covered yet.
1) There are lots of places on the web today that offer samples and loops
for sale. You might want to look at some of them just to see how they
present their offerings. Your #2 below reminds me a lot of WizooSounds.
(http://www.wizoosounds.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/wizoosounds) Note the menus
on the left side of the page. You can buy for GigaSampler, Halion, etc. or
just loop libraries, based on what you're looking for. Yu can play small
bits of the sounds. I've purchased stuff here and been pretty happy with
their service. Obviously we're not talking about a Linux for-sale site in
your case, but they have a pretty good presentation model, I think. I can
provide you with other sites if you need them. A less sophisticated model
might be something like the free site Worra's Place (www.worrasplace.com)
Worra offers nice (and free!) gig files for the GigaSampler and GigaStudio
communities. The web site offers very little in terms of understanding the
sound before you download it.
2) In my experience in Acid, the hard part is not finding 'Drum loops at the
right tempo', but rather finding the right loops that can go together a make
a natural sounding piece of music. Taking drums as an example, if I'm
working at 142BPM, it's not difficult to find loops that are drums at
142BPM. What's difficult is figuring out how to use them. Which loops are
main rhythms? Which loops are fills? Which loops are breaks? Which loops are
best for intros or endings? When you start listening to these loops, do the
kick patterns, or the beat the snare is used on, actually stay consistent
from loop to loop and work together?
It's very easy to become a loop packrat, but then not be able to figure
out where the right loop is to actually do the music.
Along these lines I long for an app that can take rhythm loops and
somehow arrange them, under my guidance, into a song. The more you work with
loops, the more you'll understand this problem. (If you don't already.) I
was pretty attracted (in concept anyway) to a rhythm generator in the Jazz
sequencer. In that tool you could tell it you wanted a kick on 2 and 4, and
how to build fills and what not, but I get to bogged down in programming and
don't do music when I use it. Too bad.
This idea is attractive to me though. Can you do something new in terms
of how loops are categorized? Can you understand where the kick is? Where
the snare is? Can you then 'suggest' loops that might work together for
preview? This is where I think the next step in using this stuff has got to
3) As for loop storage format, something standard and natively usable in
whatever app is preferable. Wave probably works for the most apps today, but
anything that's common should suffice.
4) Last, it's really important that the library doesn't get corrupted with
stuff that shouldn't be there. Worra has had problems with people submitting
for-sale gig files and saying they were free and open. I could supply you
with lots of loops that I've purchased and corrupt your library. This might
also put you at risk of some liability or suit. I wouldn't want to see that.
Anyway, I'll be here to talk about is and use it as you develop your
ideas. Good luck!
[mailto:linux-audio-user-admin_AT_music.columbia.edu]On Behalf Of Darren
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 9:06 PM
Subject: [linux-audio-user] The Open Loop Library, a few questions
After some considerable thought as to the best way to organize such a
library, as well as what a project such as this will do to my free
time, I have a few ideas and questions to present to the list.
I'll start with the easy one first.
1) What exactly would this library hold? There's no need for this to be
restricted to loops. It could also contain other "musical raw
material", such as sample sets and softsynth patches. In that case,
calling it the Open Loop Library makes little sense. What else do you
think would work? Open Music Library? Sounds like it's a repository for
music, not for raw components. The upshot to the Open Loop Library name
is that the domain openloops.org is available. It also makes a good
working name for now.
Really, that was the main question, and it brings part of the proposal
with it. I would like to design and build a web service to act as a
library for loops, sample sets, and patches. Here are some thought on
the overall design.
1) The top level hierarchy would be (obviously enough) "Samples",
"Loops", and "Patches".
2) Below "Samples", the categorization would go something like
"Keyboards", "Brass", "Woodwinds", "Synth Leads", "Pads", "Strings"...
Well, you get the idea.
3) Below "Patches", would basically be the same kind of broad
categories as with samples.
Now, "Loops" is where things get fun. I've been thinking about Mr.
Knecht's comments on building an elegant organization system, which is
something that Acid itself apparently lacks. I think an extensive
metadata system is the best way to accomplish this.
Every loop would have attached to it:
a) Time signature
c) Key (If applicable. Drum loops, for example, would not need this.)
d) Creator's name
e) Instrument(s) (This one is tricky, since there are so many
instruments in the world. It would need to be a free-text field, which
means misspellings could be a problem. Possible solutions?)
f) Loop or one-shot (Not everything meant for a loop-based composition
program need be an actual loop. Drum fills and cymbal hits come
immediately to mind.)
g) Style (This one creates some issues, due to how subjective it can
h) Comments (A free text field the creator of the loop can use to
attach whatever additional info they feel it needs.)
i) A million other things I can't think of at the moment. :)
One problem that needs to be solved is how to attach these kinds of
metadata to a loop. Also, another thing to consider are loop sets.
Thinking about the architecture for the web app itself led me to think
about how CPAN works, at least from a user perspective. I would set up
a central index server, which could then redirect clients to the
appropriate mirror to grab a file when a request is made. This also
brings up the idea of a client that could be built that would talk to
the servers from the user's machine. This client could be used to
maintain the organization of all the loops the user chooses to
download. This can be thought about after the main system is up and
As for hosting, I have a good lead on a local colo facility. I have
some other projects I need to host anyway.
I apologize for the long email. Hopefully, this will start the ball
rolling, and if all goes well, it won't crush me when I try to catch it.
who is hoping this hair-brained scheme doesn't spawn another mailing
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