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1 <html>
2 <head>
3 <meta name="author" content="Christian Schoenebeck">
4 <title>Release Notes LinuxSampler 2.0.0</title>
5 <navpath>LinuxSampler 2.0.0</navpath>
6 <meta name="description" content="Release notes for LinuxSampler 2.0.0.">
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10 <body>
11 <h1>LinuxSampler 2.0.0</h1>
12 <p>
13 LinuxSampler 2.0.0 and friends were released on July 17th 2015.
14 Unbelievable six years have passed since the last release of LinuxSampler.
15 A load of things have changed in silence, which I want to summarize for
16 you in this article.
17 </p>
18
19 <h3>New Sampler Engines</h3>
20 <p>
21 The sampler's code base has seen substantial changes during that long
22 period. The sampler engine code base has been unified to a set of common,
23 abstract base classes which cleared the way for two new sampler engines:
24 <ol>
25 <li>The <b>SFZ2</b> format engine (.sfz).</li>
26 <li>The <b>SoundFont 2</b> format engine (.sf2).</li>
27 </ol>
28 So LinuxSampler is not limited to just the GigaStudio/Gigasampler format
29 (.gig) anymore.
30 </p>
31
32 <h3>Real-Time Instrument Scripts</h3>
33 <p>
34 Another major new feature is the brand new support for so called
35 <i>Real-Time Instrument Scripts</i>, which are small programs that may be
36 bundled with sound files to extend the sampler with custom behavior for
37 individual sounds. You may know such instrument scripts from commercial
38 software samplers. At the moment this scripting feature is yet limited to
39 the Giga format engine. <a href="instrument_scripts.html">Find out more ...</a>
40 </p>
41 <img src="../../gigedit/scripts/gigedit_script_editor.png" caption="NKSP Instrument Script Editor of Gigedit">
42
43 <h3>LSCP Shell</h3>
44 <p>
45 Also noteworthy is the new command line application <i>lscp</i>, which is
46 a text based shell for controlling the sampler from the command line,
47 providing colored output, type completion, help text while typing LSCP
48 commands and other convenient features for terminal enthusiasts who want
49 to use the sampler without GUI frontend applications.
50 <a href="lscp_shell.html">Find out more ...</a>
51 </p>
52 <img src="../../lscp_shell/lscp_shell.png" caption="LSCP Shell">
53
54 <h3>Internal Effects &amp; Extensions to LSCP</h3>
55 <p>
56 You may now also load external effects directly into the sampler. The
57 <a href="http://www.linuxsampler.org/api/draft-linuxsampler-protocol.html">LSCP network protocol</a>
58 (<a href="http://www.linuxsampler.org/api/lscp-1.7.html">v1.7</a>) has
59 been extended to
60 <a href="http://www.linuxsampler.org/api/draft-linuxsampler-protocol.html#effects">manage such effects</a>
61 respectively. Effect chains may be
62 built, and the individual sampler parts may be routed to an individual
63 position of effect chains. At this point only LADSPA plugins are supported
64 yet. However the sampler's effect subsystem uses an abstract interface,
65 which allows easy integration of other effect systems. Also new with
66 latest LSCP version is the ability to trigger MIDI CCs by LSCP command.
67 </p>
68
69 <h3>New GigaStudio format features</h3>
70 <p>
71 <img src="gigedit_imidi_rules.png">
72 You may have heard that the GigaStudio software has seen its last version
73 with GigaStudio 4. Tascam officially discontinued this product, its
74 intellectual property has been sold several times among companies and
75 there is currently no way to buy a new copy of GigaStudio anymore. However
76 the GigaStudio format is still under active development with LinuxSampler.
77 We not only added support for the latest features introduced with
78 GigaStudio 4: iMIDI rules for example which allow to trigger notes by
79 MIDI CC and allow i.e. defining a set of legato samples; for the first
80 time ever we also added our own extensions to the Giga format: one of it
81 is the previously mentioned new instrument scripting feature and a more
82 minor extension is support for various other MIDI CCs which were never
83 supported by GigaStudio before. So you can now use any MIDI CC for EG1
84 controller, EG2 controller and attenuation controller.
85 </p>
86
87 <h3>DAW Plugin Enhancements</h3>
88 <p>
89 The sampler's host plugins have also seen some enhancements: the LV2
90 plugin now stores and restores the sampler's overall state with the song
91 of your DAW application, the LV2 and AudioUnit plugin's outputs
92 were increased from 2 audio channels to 16 upon request by some users and
93 the VST plugin now uses the sampler's
94 <a href="http://www.linuxsampler.org/api/draft-linuxsampler-protocol.html#MIDI%20Instrument%20Mapping">MIDI instrument mapping system</a>
95 to show a list of available sounds to allow the user to switch among them.
96 And last but not least the VST plugin may also be used on Mac now.
97 </p>
98
99 <h2>Gigedit 1.0.0</h2>
100 <p>
101 <img src="gigedit_format_extension_warnings.png">
102 Also <i>Gigedit</i>, our instrument editor for the GigaStudio/Gigasampler
103 format, had been enhanced quite a lot during the last six years. As
104 mentioned above, we introduced our own extensions to the Giga format.
105 Obviously all those extensions will not work with any GigaStudio version,
106 they only work with a recent version of Gigedit and LinuxSampler. Gigedit
107 will inform you whenever you are using such kind of custom Giga format
108 extension, so that you are always aware in case your changes to sounds are
109 not cross/backward compatible with the GigaStudio software. You may also
110 disable those warnings on the settings menu.
111 </p>
112
113 <h3>Multi-Selection of Dimension Zones</h3>
114 <p>
115 Until now you were only able to edit either exactly
116 one dimension region or all dimension regions simultaneously with gigedit. With this
117 release you may now hold the Ctrl button and select a specific set of
118 dimension region zones in the dimension region selector area (on the very
119 bottom of the Gigedit window) with your mouse. All synthesis parameters you
120 then change, will all be applied to that precise set of dimension region
121 zones.
122 </p>
123 <img src="gigedit_multi_zone_selection.png" caption="Multi-zone selection with Ctrl key">
124
125 <h3>Improvements to Dimension Management</h3>
126 <p>
127 <img src="gigedit_change_dim_type.png">
128 Also managing dimensions has been improved: previously to change the
129 type of a dimension you had to delete and recreate the
130 dimension. Which was not just inconvenient, but you also had to redefine
131 your synthesis parameters from scratch. Now you can just open the
132 dimension manager dialog, double click on the displayed dimension type
133 and select another type for the respective dimension.
134 </p>
135 <p>
136 <img src="gigedit_manage_dims_all_regions.png">
137 Another great enhancement of the dimension manager is the ability to alter
138 the dimensions of all regions of an instrument at once. Previously you had
139 to do that for each region on the keyboard separately. For example to
140 delete a velocity split dimension, you had to double click on a region,
141 delete the velocity dimension with the dimension manager dialog, then
142 double click on the next region, delete the velocity dimension there as
143 well, and so on. Now you can just click on the "All Regions" check box of
144 the dimension manager, select the velocity dimension, click on "Remove"
145 and that's it. Also notice the different display style in this
146 "All Regions" mode, like shown on the screen shot left: Since you are
147 viewing the dimension properties of not just one region, but of all
148 regions of your instrument, we thought we also need to show you in case
149 individual regions differ regarding their precise dimension properties.
150 For example on the screen shot on the left you see that some regions have
151 a velocity dimension with 2 zones, whereas other regions have a velocity
152 dimension with 4 zones instead. Also there seem to be some regions which
153 have a modulation wheel dimension and other regions which do not have a
154 modulation wheel dimension at all. Same applies to the Layer dimension:
155 in this particular example not all regions do have a Layer dimension.
156 However all regions seem to have a Sample Channel (Stereo) dimension,
157 and all regions even have the same amount of zones for that particular dimension.
158 </p>
159
160 <h3>Monitoring Sample References</h3>
161 <p>
162 <img src="gigedit_sample_references.png">
163 When working on complex Giga sounds you certainly noticed that one could
164 easily get lost about which samples are exactly used by which
165 instrument or even whether a sample is actually used at all by any
166 instrument or just left orphaned and wasting disk space. This was also due
167 to the fact that the Giga format does not require unique names for
168 samples. We have worked on resolving this usability issue. In the samples
169 list view you can now read the amount of times a sample is referenced by
170 instruments of your .gig file. If a sample is not used at all, then it
171 will be shown in striking red color in the sample list view. You may also
172 right click on a sample and select "Show references...", a new
173 window appears on your screen which will show you where exactly that
174 particular sample is used by, that is by which instruments and by which
175 regions of those instruments. Also the other way around has been
176 addressed: when you now edit the synthesis parameters of a particular
177 dimension region, you may now click on the new "&lt;- Select Sample"
178 button and Gigedit automatically selects and displays the respective sample
179 in the samples list view, which you then might rename to some more
180 appropriate sample name, or you might check by which other instrument(s)
181 that sample is used by, etc. You want to get rid of all unused samples?
182 Simply right click on the samples list view and select
183 "Remove unused samples", then select "Save" from the menu and all orphaned
184 samples are gone.
185 </p>
186 <img src="gigedit_go_to_sample.png" caption="Find and select used sample">
187
188 <h3>Silent Cases</h3>
189 <p>
190 <img src="gigedit_null_sample.png">
191 You may now also remove the current sample reference from individual
192 dimension regions (assigning a so called "NULL" sample instead) by clicking on
193 the new "X" button next to the sample reference field on the "Sample" tab
194 of a dimension region; this allows you to define "silent cases", that
195 is a case where no sample should be played at all, for example this is
196 often used for very low velocity ranges of i.e. between 0 and 6.
197 </p>
198
199 <h3>Reordering Instruments</h3>
200 <p>
201 <img src="gigedit_reorder_instruments.png">
202 If you are working on .gig files with a large amount of Instruments, then
203 you might also be glad to know that you can finally also re-order the
204 instruments of a file by simply dragging the instruments around in the
205 instruments list view.
206 </p>
207
208 <h3>Combine Tool</h3>
209 <p>
210 <img src="gigedit_combine_tool.png">
211 Another handy new feature for sound designers is the new "Combine" tool,
212 which you can reach from the main menu. It allows you to select two ore
213 more instruments (by holding down the Ctrl key while selecting with mouse
214 left click) from your currently open Giga file and combine those selected
215 instruments to a new instrument. This way you may for example create
216 stunning layered sounds, or you may create velocity splits, crossfade
217 sounds by MIDI controller and much more, all with just a few clicks. This
218 may sound like a trivial task, but if you have worked on this before, you
219 certainly noticed that this was often a very time consuming and error
220 prone task before, especially with complex individual sounds which had
221 custom region ranges, custom velocity splits and much more exotic stuff
222 to take care of. The combine tool handles all such cases for you
223 automatically.
224 </p>
225
226 <h3>Improved Interaction with LinuxSampler</h3>
227 <p>
228 Last but not least, the interaction of Gigedit with LinuxSampler (in so
229 called "live mode") had been improved: When you click on the "Edit"
230 button of a channel strip in QSampler or Fantasia, Gigedit will be
231 launched with the respective instrument automatically being selected.
232 Vice versa you may now also just select another instrument with Gigedit's
233 instrument list view and LinuxSampler will automatically load and play
234 that instrument on the respective sampler part for you. So no more need
235 to switch between the Gigedit window and QSampler/Fantasia window all the
236 time while working on your sounds with Gigedit.
237 </p>
238
239 <h2>QSampler 0.3.0</h2>
240 <p>
241 <img src="qsampler_sf2_selection.png">
242 As new sampler formats made it into LinuxSampler, this was also addressed
243 with QSampler. The sound selection dialog now also enumerates the sounds
244 of a selected SoundFont file. And to ease switching between sounds, you
245 may now click on the name of the current instrument of a channel strip,
246 a list will popup that alows you to quickly switch to another sound,
247 without having to open the channel strip's detailed part dialog.
248 </p>
249 <img src="qsampler_quick_switch.png" caption="Drop down list for fast switching between instruments">
250
251 <h3>Suppressing Error Popups</h3>
252 <p>
253 In the past, error message dialogs frequently popped up on the screen.
254 Most of them were just telling unuseful messages, even if the overall
255 operation with the sampler was working correctly. There is now an "ignore"
256 check box attached to those error message dialogs, which allow you to
257 suppress most of the annoying error messages.
258 </p>
259
260 <h3>Improved Mac Support</h3>
261 <p>
262 Recently we created a convenient installer for Mac OS X, which
263 conveniently installs all our software components on your Mac. So that
264 includes the stand-alone version of the LinuxSampler backend, VST and
265 AudioUnit plugin version of the sampler, "Fantasia" and "QSampler" frontends,
266 our instrument editor "Gigedit", the LSCP shell and various other command
267 line tools. You may also choose only some of them to be installed.
268 </p>
269 <img src="http://download.linuxsampler.org/pix/screenshots/mac_installer_1.jpg">
270 <p>
271 Using the sampler has also been improved on Mac. Before you first had to
272 launch the LinuxSampler backend separately and then launch QSampler.
273 Sometimes the sampler backend even had to be killed explicitly. Now
274 you can just click on the QSampler icon and it will automatically spawn
275 the sampler backend for you and shows its output on QSampler's integrated
276 terminal section. When you quit QSampler, it will also stop the sampler backend
277 for you automatically (you may tell QSampler to keep the sampler running in the background).
278 </p>
279
280 <h2>libgig 4.0.0</h2>
281 <p>
282 Our fundamental file access C++ library
283 <a href="http://download.linuxsampler.org/doc/libgig/api/">libgig</a>
284 is now more than just a supporter of the GigaStudio/Gigasampler file
285 format. New file formats have been added and are now bundled with libgig:
286 <ol>
287 <li>
288 <a href="http://download.linuxsampler.org/doc/libgig/api/namespaceKorg.html">
289 Classes for KORG's sample based instrument files
290 </a> (.KSF, .KMP).
291 </li>
292 <li>
293 <a href="http://download.linuxsampler.org/doc/libgig/api/namespacesf2.html">
294 Classes for SoundFont v2 files
295 </a> (.sf2).
296 </li>
297 <li>
298 <a href="http://download.linuxsampler.org/doc/libgig/api/classResource.html">
299 Classes for AKAI sampler data.
300 </a>
301 </li>
302 </ol>
303 Please note that there is currently no support for KORG's .PCG file format
304 yet. That's because this file format changes a lot and is not only
305 dependent to the precise KORG keyboard model, but also to the precise OS
306 version on the same model. And since basic conversion can also be done by
307 just accessing the .KSF and .KMP files (sample data, loop informations),
308 the current C++ classes should be sufficient for many tasks. Adding
309 support for KORG's .PCG files is not planned at the moment.
310 </p>
311 <p>
312 Besides those major changes, a load of convenient methods have been added to
313 the existing libgig classes to reduce the overall effort working with all
314 those file formats with software applications based on libgig.
315 </p>
316 <p>
317 Various command line tools have been added to libgig, which allow to
318 dump, correct, extract and convert sounds between those various file formats.
319 Refer to the individual <i>man pages</i> for details about how to use
320 those new command line tools. As you can see, the ground had been prepared
321 for further new sampler engines with LinuxSampler to come.
322 </p>
323
324 </body>
325 </html>

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