Gold Sound Database Project
Recording an instrument
What is "Gold Sound Database Project" ?
In Digital output mode, our programs need a sound
database to be loaded in order to render the instruments that are
used in a music piece.
This sound database consists of a digital recording of each
possible instrument. Overall sound quality is more or less
proportional to sound database file size.
The better quality for a given sound - the more space it takes.
Until now, we had to do a compromise between quality and size.
It resulted in three different sound databases :
GMMPBase : very short sound database, low quality (but short
enough to be downloaded)
GMWEBase : medium sound database, better quality (can still be
GMSEBase : super-extended sound database, even better quality
(but short enough to be used by very old computers with low memory
resources, and can still be downloaded using hi-speed modems or
Because computer power, memory and Hard Disk capacity go
growing, the limitations for the size of sound databases in 1995 do
not apply anymore nowadays.
It becomes now possible to think about a "Gold" database, only
oriented to sound quality, without any constraint of size.
The Gold Sound Database
More and more people use Melody/Harmony for public
performance, or export their pieces in digital format in order to
burn a CD, or simply expect the best possible sound quality. Even
the current Super-extended database sounds are packed and truncated
in order to save space.
It already provides great results, but it could become far better
with a new step in sound database quality.
Because of its size, the Gold sound database could only be
available on a separate CD-ROM, and we be sold as a separate
product, at a price below $50.
But in order to build a very large sound database that includes
a wide set of good sounds, we need... good sounds.
In fact we need the material that enables to build an instrument,
i.e. well-recorded digital samples of the instrument, playing a
single note at different pitches, without any vibrato/tremolo
effect or background noise.
The Gold Sound Database project would be a contributive project.
If you consider you are able to provide such a material for helping
us to build a sound, then you can submit it.
All contributors whose sound(s) finally take part to the Gold Sound
Database will receive a free CD-ROM of the next Gold Sound database
What do I need to record an instrument ?
You need :
Microphone quality is very important. Some instruments can be
pre-amplified (some electro-acoustic guitars, synthesizers, ...)
You can then connect them directly to your sound cart "line in"
- a microphone plugged into the "MIC" input of your sound card or
your computer. Some computers have a built-in microphone (for
example, IMacs) that can also be used. However, quality of such
microphones is often very poor.
- to ensure recording can be performed on your computer. For
example, on Windows, open the recording sound mixer, and enable
microphone recording while disabling other input sources.
- the system recording level to be well adjusted, by recording a
piece of sound with another utility (on Windows, the system
- then, if you are using the Windows version, ensure the right
digital input device is selected in "Configuration>Hardware
Other instruments own non-amplified integrated microphones
(electric guitars, ...). You can connect them directly to the "Mic"
input of your sound card.
How to prepare recording ?
Several simple rules must be followed to perform a good
- Adjust the microphone distance and location.
The microphone must be near enough not to require you to play too
loud, but must not record directly breath or instrument body
- Avoid interference.
Move the microphone away from any ambient noise source (for
example, computer fan or hard disk noise, air cooler, etc.)
- Avoid feedback.
Avoid to output the microphone on loudspeaker while recording.
Earphones usage is recommended.
- Prepare to play homogeneously
For all notes you will have to play, you must play the same power
and do not change location relatively to the microphone
Which notes to play ?
Contact us, and tell the kind of your instrument, and, if you
know them, the lower and higher note your instrument can play (for
example : from C, first octave to E, 4th octave)
We will tell you back by e-mail the list of notes to be
The tutorial below will explain how to record an instrument,
and how to send us back the result by e-mail.
Before beginning the actual recording, make a first try, in order
to check the input level. According to the kind of graphic you get
This sound is not powered enough.
Possible solutions :
- Play louder
- increase the MIC input gain
- Bring the microphone closer to your instrument
Signal is strong, and does not reach the upper and lower
Try to keep the same power and microphone location for all the
notes you have to record.
Sound "saturates", i.e. excesses the upper and lower bounds for
Possible solutions :
- Play softer
- decrease the MIC input gain
- Move the microphone away from your instrument
In order to follow the instructions in this tutorial, you need a
special music file, that you can get by clicking "Save" button