Synplant sample pack/legality

HiThere187 views6 posts
  • HiThere

    Hello there,

    I want to make as much of my music Creative Commons CC0 as possible. Basically Public Domain. In order to do that, I've been avoiding samples other than the ones I create, mostly from field recordings, all-analog drum machines, and acoustic instruments.

    It's my understanding that Synplant 2 was trained to match samples given to it in genopatch and then map it to the synth's parameters. That's great for me since it wasn't trained on anyone's prior work without their consent. I love using it as an idea springboard/sound design tool but want to do right by the creator. So my questions are:

    1) If I were to take samples I legally own and run them through genopatch, could I then record the audio genopatch produces and add those into a sample pack as well? I love recording the cacophony that the genopatch preview produces after you feed it complicated samples. And the one-shots it creates would be fun to share, too.

    2) If I recorded that output, could I legally sell it? For the record, no plans to sell anything right now, just curious.

    3) If so, how would the creator feel? Is that seen the same as if I recorded a synthesizer performance/used a guitar pedal/did sound design with a VST/ etc. or is it a dick move since the tech is so new?

    Any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  • jayuhfree

    It's a new frontier and an artist's sound deserves protection from abusive copying but... if you want copyright protection in the US :

    AI programs might also infringe copyright by generating outputs that resemble existing works. Under U.S. case law, copyright owners may be able to show that such outputs infringe their copyrights if the AI program both (1) had access to their works and (2) created “substantially similar” outputs.

    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10922#:~:text=AI%20programs%20might%20also%20infringe,created%20%E2%80%9Csubstantially%20similar%E2%80%9D%20outputs.

  • Fredrik Lidström

    Thank you for the question and thank's @jayuhfree for the reply.

    It sounds like you've already understood the concept behind Genopatch and how it differs from using a sample for example.

    I'm no expert on international laws regarding audio copyrights. In the end I don't think the technical aspect wether you digitized it, compressed it with mp3, used wavetables, additive synthesis, or AI to recreate it, matter as much as the end result. If the output you have, as jayuhfree posted, is "substantially similar" to the original, and you only arrived to that sound by using the original creators work, you are most likely bound under the fair use policy. Now, legal experts, please correct me... 😁

    But if you've used Genopatch, you've probably already understood that here's one of its great powers. If you use a more complex sound, most of the time as you say, you will get something totally different, or something in the same characteristics as the original, but different enough to call it your own. From that starting point, you can also manually tweak and tune the sounds in a direction you want. It's only when you feed it simple sounds that you get a perfect copy. In these cases, it's even arguable if a sine-wave with an attack-envelope can be copyrighted and attributed to only one person in the music industry. 😉

    So to answer your original questions. It depends what you mean by "legally owning" the sample? Did you make the samples yourself? Did you buy them to use them? Under what usage terms? Are you allowed to sell and distribute the samples?

  • HiThere

    Thanks to you both for the replies, I appreciate it. That said, I'm not sure I worded my question well. I'm not worried about the initial starting sample or copycat sounds. The stuff I'm feeding Synplant 2 are things like me recording an acoustic guitar I played, foley sounds I made with a Zoom H5 and some mics, analog non-sampled-based drum synthesizers (Jomox MBase11, Vermona Kick) where I made patches on them from scratch. I know I have legal ownership of those (at least until I put them in Creative Commons, then everyone gets them).

    What I'm trying to ask is if there's anything about Synplant 2 where the output would invalidate that. It's a bit of a paranoid question. One time I spent two weeks recording the output of a PO-12 Pocket Operator to give away (both plain and run through guitar pedals), thinking it was all-analog drum synth. I was hoping people could use them in an M8 Tracker to do stuff you can't do on the original hardware. But then I read the manual and found it actually uses some samples. Since I was giving my pack away, I was technically redistributing their samples with the non-guitar-pedal tracks, which I'm not legally allowed to do. So I took the pack down. It sucked because I spent a lot of time on them and then no one got to use them. I'm just trying to avoid a similar fate here by reaching out to the creator or someone who knows more about Synplant than me. I don't want to use it for a big project and then find out "oh, actually something about the way its made means you can't make a sample pack here."

  • Fredrik Lidström

    Ah! Nice, that question is easier for me to answer with 100% certainty. 😁

    If you own a license of Synplant 2, you are allowed to do whatever you want with the output. It's, however, not allowed while in trial mode.

    You are even allowed to use factory presets in your production given that it's not used as isolated samples to simply sell content that we and our patch creators have created. But as your question is regarding your own created sounds, you're good to go!

    Sorry to hear about your PO-12 project falling apart. 😔 Use the PO-32 Tonic next time, I assure you it's 100% synthetic and you can use Microtonic to replace all sounds and make it 100% your own. 😉

  • HiThere

    Nice! That all makes sense, thank you. Just bought a license :)

    And yeah, MicroTonic would've been a better move. I actually use my PO-32 and Microtonic quite a bit with custom kits. It's so versatile it's become one of my main synths. Sits very well in a mix. :)

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