NKS Quality Control

JesterMgee
JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

So it's a given that when users make NKS presets there will be issues with the quality/consistency of things like tagging, often making a bit of a mess and it's sometimes difficult to pick up on this especially given the broken way the tagging in KK works these days (not removing old unused/inaccurate tags even after being fixed)

However, there are some mistakes I often see in official NKS libraries which are suppose to go through some kind of quality control I would think. Just a quick few examples off the bat:

Example 1: Native Instruments Hybrid Keys:

There should not be a "Pads" character

Example 2: Native Instruments Hybrid Keys:


Again, should not be a "Piano" character and no such character / type exists for just "Keys".

Example 3: Native Instruments Hybrid Keys (again and again...):

Synth should be "Synthetic" tho personally i would love to have seen Synthetic as just Synth but meh... Plucks should just be Pluck...

Whoever checked/compiled Hybrid Keys must have done so at 4:58 on a Friday afternoon.

Example 4: Native instruments MassiveX

Sweeps & Swells is a category, not a Type

"Best of"?

Example 5: Arturia

The lower case "release" places this in a new tag

Example 6: KV331 Synthmaster

"Top" is not a tag I know of...

Nor is Lick...

That is just a quick example, there are more examples but CBF going through everything and I notice this during the cleanup of my own mistakes in tagging which are evident in the tags displayed.

Just thought I would bring this up since it may be showing a drop in quality control when it comes to checking these libraries, and it's honestly not a huge task given the official NKS pool is still pretty small. Anyone who actually sues it and looks in the NKS tag browser will see the mistakes for sure.

Another one that is already known but still irksome is this:


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Comments

  • Vagus
    Vagus Member Posts: 393 Pro
    edited January 2023

    So I have two points on this:

    1) top is actually a character used in a few libaries, the latest one I have outside of Synthmaster, is Audierre Zone.

    2) I would actually advise NI to utilze the community more to beta test 3rd party for NKS compatibility, and structure. I've contacted three or four 3rd party manufacturers with basic issues such as missing previews (sometimes, entire instruments), missing or unencoded .nkis for fully NKS compatible libraries in the last 12 months (Try loading Init- Lunaris 2 in KK or Maschine, for instance.)

    While I appreciate there's actually a good outflow of NKS compatible instruments at present, if they're all going thourgh an approval process with one or two people on a small team, there's a very easy way to fix the issues with tagging, and those I've mentioned above; just get some community members to beta test them in return for NFR codes (which NI can produce unlimited quantities of as zero cost). Presto, much bigger compatibility testing team.

    One further thing to add.

    NKS FX - there is no logical reason to not have previews for FX that are NKS compatible. Having tested this, it's a software choce not to play previews for NKS FX plugins - it wouldn't be too difficult to export these previews from a DAW (I've done it), to showcase how each FX preset sounds; the preview just isn't played by KK/Maschine.

    There is still so much unfulfilled potential in this format.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

    "Top" means nothing to me and is not part of the NKS tagging standard as I have understood, never seen it used on anything since the last 1.5 tagging update was rolled out, what does "Top" even mean?

    Personally, FX previews would be a waste of time IMO. I know some will say "at least you get a sense of the effect" but not ion context. Effects are usually quick to load because they are smaller in size and dont need to buffer samples and such so to load an effect takes as much time as it does to listen to a 4 second preview and can be done easily while a project plays. That's how I usually work, tho I dont use FX within KK at all, works out to be WAY more efficient in resources and usability having FX loaded onto tracks direct as cores can be better assigned and you can have both the instrument + effect open, something not possible in KK.

    Main point is some of the review process that should happen appears to not be happening lately. Trying to clean tagging to find I cannot fix the ones that are in official files is a little annoying.

  • Eight4aWish
    Eight4aWish Member Posts: 52 Helper
    edited January 2023

    I agree with everything you say here. I find it frustrating that NI don’t follow the precedents they set for themselves. “Best of” really annoys. I copy the offending NI presets into the user folder for re tagging. I also routinely rebuild the database to get rid of the tags made redundant by this. I have toyed with exploring using AI to listen in and suggest tags for new presets. The available AI products that do auto tagging based on sound analysis (as opposed to reading the file names of samples) seem to struggle outside of drum samples so I am guessing this might not work well enough - certainly no match for the ears of Freelance SoundLabs.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,469 Expert
    edited August 2023

    Yeah 'best of' is a dumb category, and it also pisses me off that they have allowed some genres to creep into the character tags like - if hip-hop and trap are 'characters' then you might as well add any genre - bluesy is also a character by that standard. The standard control is poor - for example there are now 'Plucked String' and 'Plucked Strings' and even 'multi-fx', 'reverb' and 'delay' in instrument Types and 'Kits' when there is already a drum category that covers this, and somehow 'Lead', 'Keys' and 'Guitar' have snuck into Character tags when these are already Types and 'Sample based' is in there twice. It's getting to be a real mess

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru

    Tagging is an archaic and clumsy way to assist in finding/categorizing sounds.

    It needs to be replaced.

    Once upon a time, phone lines looked like this:


  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,469 Expert
    edited August 2023

    It's more efficient than the archaic method still used by most devs which is either to have sub banks (Bass, Lead etc) which means things can't be a bit of both, or using prefixes (BASS - This patch, LEAD - That patch). You have yet to convince you have a better alternative. At least tags allow for a degree of nuance around describing presets (also bear in mind we are talking about presets not sounds).

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru

    Assuming within an NKS2 environment that every preset HAS a sound in its preview (and that it is easy for users to make their own previews too)

    Spectral and time domain analysis of these preset previews can be done by AI/ML by "objective" algorithms to yield search results that do not require any sort of committed tagging.

    Users could create a list of their own favorite "text prompts" to seek any sort of sound or effect they are wanting to find.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,469 Expert
    edited August 2023

    Yes I know you have suggested this many times, I just do not believe it would be reliable enough to replace tagging and as I said these are presets not sounds. The sound a preset makes depends a lot on how you play it, the preview only gives you a very limited snapshot of what a preset may sound like under standardised conditions (ie the same range of midi notes, no velocity, aftertouch or expression). Analysis of a sound would tell the AI very little about the architecture of the patch, whether it is additive or sample based, whether it is processed or not, whether it is monophonic. As an add-on feature I would not be opposed, but not as a replacement (Omnisphere has a 'sounds like' tool for similar sounds to one you like but it still has tags - too many imho but that's another topic)

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru

    From the quote:

    the preview only gives you a very limited snapshot of what a preset may sound like under standardised conditions (ie the same range of midi notes, no velocity, aftertouch or expression). Analysis of a sound would tell the AI very little about the architecture of the patch, whether it is additive or sample based, whether it is processed or not, whether it is monophonic

    A NKS 2.0 environment could have metadata about the patch's instrument & available parameters to share with the AI/MI analysis when those architecture factors are of interest to the user's search.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,469 Expert

    A NKS 2.0 environment could have metadata about the patch's instrument & available parameters 

    Yeah but that’s what tags are so what you’re saying is the system would still need user editable tags of some sort for it to work, I don’t disagree.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru
    edited August 2023

    There would not be tags assigned in any fixed way, and the archaic monster list of inconsistent types and characters would be gone.

    Just like all those old individual phone lines circa 1910 in the photo

  • Reefius
    Reefius Member Posts: 238 Pro

    I never saw the point of using NKS for FX so I never use it. Even presets for FX are pointless most of the time, because no 2 songs will ever need the exact same settings.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru

    Having presets for time-based effect and previews based on a pallet of short percussive triggers would be handy. Any this flexible, user guided, AI/ML analysis would work nicely for this too.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,469 Expert
    edited August 2023

    It would be a lot better if it actually had an fx version and you could save multi patches of synth and fx (making it more of a super instrument like Kore 2 was)

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,237 Guru
    edited August 2023

    Yes.. KK3 becoming an even more capable tool for users to have a personalized "DAW agnostic" portfolio of instrument presets with/without FX would be an excellent path forward.

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