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Sononym Sample Browser
Old 18th August 2018
  #1
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Sononym Sample Browser

anyone using this yet?

Sononym - Searchable Sound

Old 18th August 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 

I've been involved with the development of this software, so yes

Also looking for first impressions btw. It was pretty awesome for me to watch this video, for instance:



PS: Someone who was about to try it out asked if it would change his samples (it doesn't - would be pretty terrible if we've spent half a decade coming up with a reasonably good folder structure and naming convention).
Instead, Sononym acknowledges that these things are useful and lets you search within the audio itself.
Old 18th August 2018
  #3
GSF
Gear Addict
Brilliant idea.
Old 18th August 2018
  #4
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are there any plans to put an intelligent sample slicer in the app as even for a utility app this could be very useful?
Old 18th August 2018
  #5
Hi Danoise,

Good to see you here. Trying this out & impressed so far. Is there a way to get similarity search to search multiple libraries?

Thanks
Old 18th August 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Is there a way to get similarity search to search multiple libraries
Hi virtualpt

Not in this initial version, no. But the idea has been brought up by other people as well, and might have additional benefits that are worth investigating. For example, I just got an email from someone explaining that he had problems indexing a collection of well over 1 million sounds.
Now, that's a pretty extreme example but not unthinkable. So if there's a potential for libraries to be joined on-the-fly (one that doesn't hamper database performance too much in other, unforeseen ways), then that would definitely be a path worth following.

Quote:
are there any plans to put an intelligent sample slicer in the app
With 1.0, we chose to focus on the core strengths: classification, similarity search and GUI/workflow.
But there are many opportunities here for instrument building and destructive editing features that we hope to explore with Sononym, given the time.

We are kind of in the "gathering intel" phase right now, listening to what people have to say.
Bug fixes and the like has top priority though - we're still at 1.0
Old 18th August 2018
  #7
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hopefully there's room on your roadmap for one because the way Fxpansions Guru allowed you to slice up breaks and archive the patterns and the samples separately was a wonderful tool to have, especially the way the slicer would recognize all of the elements in a loop for you, that feature made switching out the hits in a break a breeze to experiment with.
Old 18th August 2018
  #8
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Any way to see on which sampling rate and bit depth are the files? the search engine is interesting however I really miss this feature (I know there is a filter, why not showing the sampling rate with the file name?)
Old 19th August 2018
  #9
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Quick questions and requests

1. How do you update a folder if you put a new sample set into it on your HD, does it do it automatically or do you have to reindex the whole folder again?
2. On some sounds (very few to be fair) it has got the category completely wrong, a synth pluck calling it a snare for example, how do you manually change this.
3. Please make the space bar start and stop playback.
4. The ability to hi light a section of audio in the play window and drag only that to the DAW/desktop.
5. In REX files does it show all the slices individually ?

On a general note its pretty good at what it does, my only concern and I hate to bring this up is the price, which is not outrageous but above similar products. This is only a V1 new release from a new developer and its always a worry that it will become abandoned or features not added.
Old 19th August 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David S View Post
Any way to see on which sampling rate and bit depth are the files? the search engine is interesting however I really miss this feature (I know there is a filter, why not showing the sampling rate with the file name?)
Samplerate and number of bits are among the columns that are hidden by default.
But right-click the search results table header, and you'll see something like this (note: link, as I'm not yet allowed to embed images here on the forum):
https://www.sononym.net/img/docs/son...lumns-menu.png


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsdenis View Post
Quick questions and requests

1. How do you update a folder if you put a new sample set into it on your HD, does it do it automatically or do you have to reindex the whole folder again?
2. On some sounds (very few to be fair) it has got the category completely wrong, a synth pluck calling it a snare for example, how do you manually change this.
3. Please make the space bar start and stop playback.
4. The ability to hi light a section of audio in the play window and drag only that to the DAW/desktop.
5. In REX files does it show all the slices individually ?
1. You hit refresh - right-click the library. This doesn't rescan all files, only finds the difference between your current set and the new one (so it's usually quite snappy). Down the line, we are aiming for this whole process to become automatic/unassisted, btw.

2. Great, because it's currently not possible to reassign the category... you're not the first to bring this up. It would be a simple "manual override", and not some stripped down way of training your personal neural network though ...that would be a different thing altogether.

3. It's possible to configure this, and other things affecting playback behavior, from the application Playback menu. Link to docs

4. Yes please! high up my list of priorities too. Also for launching e.g. a similarity search only on the snare of that breakbeat...

5. REX support is planned and will of course include slices. Given enough time we want to support a whole number of open source codecs and proprietary sampler/instrument formats.

Speaking of $$: I've just been sifting through the KVR database and saw just how many short-lived commercial projects that offered some kind of sample browsing functionality... *shudders*

With one of our mottoes being "Are you serious about using samples", it's my hope that we will attract the right kind of people. We just need to become synonymous with this similarity search thing and continue building on our strengths, then I'm positive we will stick around.
Old 19th August 2018
  #11
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@ danoise Thank you for your quick response, a couple more questions.

1. What is your timeline for future features ? hi lighted audio export, REX compatibility etc as discussed above.
2. I think the recategorising a false reading is important, is this a priority ? As you said a simple manual override.
3. Storing the db files in a central location as opposed to in each folder ?

On the positive side this is very well thought out already. I have not encountered any showstoppers or WTF were they thinking bits yet. Strangely I am currently demoing another similar product and this is on a par, with the exception of above points. Perhaps the GUI could be more appealing, it is functional but maybe a few more colours. Really well done to all involved and best of luck with it.
Old 19th August 2018
  #12
@ danoise

Currently doesn't follow aliases/symbolic links for subfolders when adding library on Mac. Also does not find sub-folders that begin with a number.

HTH
Paul
Old 20th August 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsdenis View Post
@ danoise Thank you for your quick response, a couple more questions.
1. It would generally work like this: found a bug? Fix ASAP. Everything else? We'll see

Because of our dedication to fixing bugs, I'd like for Sononym to have a place to publish known issues - and whether they have been fixed. This, to me, has quite a high priority.

And while I DO want to be open about things, it's also my experience that it's very difficult to set up realistic timelines. Often, a feature can appear simple enough until you start to "unfold" it. But it goes both ways, because if you tell the world that you are considering working on feature X, then it's pretty likely that you will also get some really good feedback from people - some of which might have considerable experience with exactly that thing.

As for 3, when possible I would still prefer the existing way - as long as it works, it's the better approach, because the data moves along with the files (if you were to copy or move the folder around). But both relative paths (current) and absolute paths (what you suggest) are valid approaches, so it could even be a per-library switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualpt View Post
@ danoise
Currently doesn't ...
OK, we're going to check this out ASAP. Symbolic links and special file/folder names were tested quite extensively during development, but it's possible we overlooked something.
Old 20th August 2018
  #14
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Bug

The Sononym helper app/script will stop responding midway through a scan of a folder. Have to restart app to get it working again. Also said helper uses a lot of CPU even when in normal use, sometime up to 100% of a thread. Mac 10.12.6 3.33 6core i7 MacPro
Old 20th August 2018
  #15
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Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Hi,

Just installed the demo on OSX 10.13.6 and its scanning my folders as we speak.

I’ve got a LOT of folders named “kicks”, “Snares”, “Synth”, “FX” etc

1. In Sononym every folder is a Library right?

2. If I select “Pads & Textures” will it search in all libraries?

3. Any change of adding MIDI file support?

Thanks
Old 20th August 2018
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I'm really hesitant to use this until you add some options for where the database files go. I don't want sidecar or database files being added to every folder on my sample drives. This creates a mess of the drive and also destroys last modified times by adding new files to old folders.

I understand this means that folder paths will be hardcoded into the database and will require a rescan when they are moved but that's not nearly as important to me.
Old 21st August 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btfnk View Post
I'm really hesitant to use this until you add some options for where the database files go. I don't want sidecar or database files being added to every folder on my sample drives. This creates a mess of the drive and also destroys last modified times by adding new files to old folders.

I understand this means that folder paths will be hardcoded into the database and will require a rescan when they are moved but that's not nearly as important to me.
The db files are in the highest folder in the structure, for example I have multiple different folders in my SPLICE folder, the db files are just in the SPLICE folder not the 80 or so folders in it.
Old 21st August 2018
  #18
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Ok. Thanks. That wasn't immediately obvious as I only added a few folders to test.
Old 21st August 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btfnk View Post
Ok. Thanks. That wasn't immediately obvious as I only added a few folders to test.
I do agree with you, I would prefer 1 db file or at least that option.
Old 21st August 2018
  #20
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Already came across a folder of samples that it for some reason doesn't like. They appear to be normal .wav samples but it causes an error and stops the index.

The popup has a link to see "full log file" which doesn't seem to do anything. And it's not letting me copy the information it does show. But it looks like it's throwing an error on each of the 138 samples in this folder with the message: "This is not a valid WAV file!". They appear as normal 32bit float 44.1khz wav in all other programs and play fine.

Every time it comes to one it stops the index. When I start it again it moves on to the next, throws the same error and stops the index again. Is there a way to exclude a folder? Or do I have to hit reindex 138 times?

Last edited by btfnk; 21st August 2018 at 02:18 AM..
Old 21st August 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btfnk View Post
Already came across a folder of samples that it for some reason doesn't like. They appear to be normal .wav samples but it causes an error and stops the index.

The popup has a link to see "full log file" which doesn't seem to do anything. And it's not letting me copy the information it does show. But it looks like it's throwing an error on each of the 138 samples in this folder with the message: "This is not a valid WAV file!". They appear as normal 32bit float 44.1khz wav in all other programs and play fine.

Every time it comes to one it stops the index. When I start it again it moves on to the next, throws the same error and stops the index again. Is there a way to exclude a folder? Or do I have to hit reindex 138 times?
have you tried sending the offending files to the dev and seeing if they can work out what the issue is.... I'd be interested in their findings?
Old 21st August 2018
  #22
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Bug confirmed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsdenis View Post
Bug
The Sononym helper app/script will stop responding midway through a scan of a folder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by btfnk View Post
Already came across a folder of samples that it for some reason doesn't like. [...] causes an error and stops the index.
Indeed, somehow related to CoreAudio and only affecting OS X.
Would be great if you could send a copy of the offending files to bjorn [at] sononym.net, so we can take a closer look.

This is definitely a show-stopper for Mac users (no, we do NOT encourage you to hit reindex 138 times ) - I'll publish some info on our website as soon as we know what's going on.
Old 22nd August 2018
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Sounds good, I will send one of the files.
Old 24th August 2018
  #24
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@ btfnk (and other people using OS X) there's an update out which should fix the "indexing stops prematurely on certain files" problem.

Here's a direct link to the updated installer:
https://www.sononym.net/download/Sononym-1.0.1.dmg
Old 24th August 2018
  #25
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Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progmatic-Studios View Post
Hi,

Just installed the demo on OSX 10.13.6 and its scanning my folders as we speak.

I’ve got a LOT of folders named “kicks”, “Snares”, “Synth”, “FX” etc

1. In Sononym every folder is a Library right?

2. If I select “Pads & Textures” will it search in all libraries?

3. Any change of adding MIDI file support?

Thanks
Anyone? Thanks!
Old 25th August 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progmatic-Studios View Post
Anyone? Thanks!
> In Sononym every folder is a Library right?

Not really - a library is a single folder, but including all subfolders. So if you index your topmost sample folder, you will have access to all samples below (just look for the 'sononym.db' file, this is the tell-tale sign of a library).
And of course you can choose to index individual folders as well. It really comes down to personal preference, and perhaps, the amount of samples that you have.

> If I select “Pads & Textures” will it search in all libraries?

Yes, it will search in all the _folders_ in that library (see above ). But not across libraries - at least not yet.
Luckily, the category filter (and other filters) are preserved as you switch between libraries.

> Any change of adding MIDI file support?

Sononym is pretty smart when dealing with samples and short melodic phrases, but not really geared towards music as such. Are you looking for it to render a MIDI file and present it as a waveform?
Old 25th August 2018
  #27
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Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danoise View Post
> In Sononym every folder is a Library right?

Not really - a library is a single folder, but including all subfolders. So if you index your topmost sample folder, you will have access to all samples below (just look for the 'sononym.db' file, this is the tell-tale sign of a library).
And of course you can choose to index individual folders as well. It really comes down to personal preference, and perhaps, the amount of samples that you have.
OK I will try to scan the main sample folder, containing a LOT of subfolders and about 170Gb of samples. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by danoise View Post
> Any change of adding MIDI file support?

Sononym is pretty smart when dealing with samples and short melodic phrases, but not really geared towards music as such. Are you looking for it to render a MIDI file and present it as a waveform?
No it does not have to render a MIDI file, just previewing it with a build in piano for example. I use AudioFinder for this. It can preview audio samples and MIDI files. If Sononym can ad this feature it will definitely replace AudioFinder for me
Old 25th August 2018
  #28
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@ danoise : I'm just have some problems with the similarity search!
On the homepage we can find small explanations about Overall, Spectrum, Timbe, Pitch and Amplitude,
but I'm still struggling with it when finding the right samples.
What is meant by "...but is more concerned with the temporal quality" (for Spectrum) ?
And can someone explain "Timbre" in more detail? Maybe with an example?

E.g. I want to find a similar sample of a dark Techno kickdrum: What would be the best "Aspect Dial"? Use of Spectrum (60%) and Pitch (40%) ?
Or better Overall = 100%
Same with vocals!
Sorry, but this is an absolut mysterium for me!
Maybe someone can do a video-tutorial for us? This would help much!
Cheers
Old 27th August 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinhouse View Post
@ danoise What is meant by "...but is more concerned with the temporal quality" (for Spectrum) ?
Temporal quality is referring to the development of the audio over time (temporal = time).
An obvious example would be a wailing police siren (NY style). if you were to search for similar sounds, the pitch would be very characteristic due to the strong change over time.

And this is true for the other aspects too - apart from Overall, which is more of a "black box of things that works really well". Our secret sauce, so to speak

So the Spectrum aspect is indeed concerned with time, as are Pitch, Amplitude and Timbre.

Timbre, by the way, is the hardest one to explain. As we have defined it, the timbre is referring to the distribution of harmonic partials as well as other characteristic features (e.g. noisiness).

In your particular case (a dark kickdrum) there would actually not be many overtones present - mostly a strong sine, and some transient at the start. For this reason, Timbre would most likely not be that relevant - I would mainly crank up the Overall, Spectrum and possibly, Amplitude to look for matches.

PS: Oh, and regarding video tutorial - yes, absolutely. We're looking to produce exactly that - a more in-depth description of the similarity search
Old 1st September 2018
  #30
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I've tried this on a library of around 100k percussion samples on a NAS.

One thing the developers should add is the ability to move or shadow the database to local storage such as an SSD. Similarity searches on the NAS-based database take forever and were practically unusable. But moving it to a local SSD using a symbolic link is much, much faster - but that's not very manageable for multiple libraries.

However, I'm finding the app's view of "similarity" to not be that great. It's in the ballpark - give it a hi-hat and it will find high-pitched noisy things with a short decay but the sounds with high overall similarity are quite different sonically and tend to lose out to a search on a decently tagged library in something more conventional. The ability to add user tags might help with overall management IMO as, right now, I'd probably have to use it alongside Samplism or Audiofinder.

I think Sononym shows promise and the idea is good but it's not quite right, right now.
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