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TUTORIAL: Organising a sample library

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Postby futures_untold » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:14 pm

Organising a sample library

Organising a sample library can take time and needs patience. It is often a chore many people wish to avoid because of the difficulty in previewing samples and creating a new system that works consistently. For a list of free sources of samples, please visit tutorial-finding-free-samples-t133155.html

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Advantages of an organised sample library include:

    1> You will save time in the middle of a session by always knowing exactly where to find specific types of samples. This makes experimenting with sound a fun and quick process.

    2> It becomes easier to find missing files for old projects. An example is finding drum samples. Once drum samples are catagorised accurately, you simply need to find the folder that contains the type of sample you are trying to relocate in the old project.

    3> Archiving newly recorded or downloaded samples becomes easier. Each type of sound in an organised sample library already has its own dedicated folder, so you simply place new samples in the relevant folders.

    4> You can back up your sample library quickly. Simply compare old and new folders by size and the amount of files contained within each folder. This tells you which folders contain new files and must be backed up.

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How long does organising a sample library take?

This depends on how many samples you have, in how many folders those samples are stored on your hard drive, and how organised you want your library to become.

My sample library is currently 12.7gb and contains 36,845 samples. It took me two whole days to preview each sample and to organise them accurately! It is for this reason I recommend using a fast previewing and organisation method.

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Tools needed for organising your sample library

    1> A sample preview program
    2> A folder utility program

While many free program like Winamp or Audacity can be used to listen to audio files, I recommend using another free program called Cockos Reaper for the following reasons.

    1> Reaper has a built in media browser called the 'media explorer' which allows you to play audio files simply by clicking on each file. This makes previewing samples very efficient and fast, saving you the time and hassle of opening the file in a program which can be slow. It also functions as a normal folder in your operating system, allowing you to copy and paste files, delete them, move them to other folders, create new folders etc.

    2> It allows you to scroll through files with your keyboard cursor keys, previewing each sample as you scroll. Again, this allows you to preview samples quickly.

    3> It gives you a visual representation of each file like a standard audio editor. This is useful for checking for spikes of clipped audio, and whether the file needs normalising or not.

    4> Reapers media explorer can both loop and tempo sync your sample without the need to load it into a project. This allows you to hear samples in the context of a project should you wish.

    5> You can perform file management tasks directly within Reapers media explorer. Tasks such as creating or deleting folders, and moving files between folders can be done quickly without having to use a separate application for the task.

    6> You can drag and drop files to and from Reapers media explorer as you would for any normal folder on your hard drive.

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An example of a logical library structure

1> I've started by placing all my files in one folder I call 'Storage' which sits on my desktop.

This way backing up all my files is easy, I simply copy the 'storage folder' onto my external HD.

2> Within the 'Storage' folder is my 'Samples' folder. The screenshots below show how I've organised the samples folder itself.

futures_untold wrote:Here is a screenshot of my main samples folder.
Image

Here is a screenshot of my drum hits folder.
Image

Here is a screenshot of my instrument samples folder.
Image

Here is a screenshot of my Piano's & Key's folder inside the instrument samples folder
Image

Here is a screenshot of my media samples folder.
Image

Here is a screenshot of the films folder inside the media samples folder.
Image


Share your sample organisation techniques below! :)

Pat
Last edited by futures_untold on Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby DZA » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:18 pm

Need to do this but cba sorting out 400gb of samples :|
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Postby futures_untold » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:23 pm

DZA wrote:400gb of samples...


Wow Image

Perhaps you need to simply delete some of them???
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Postby Echoi » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:30 pm

DZA wrote:Need to do this but cba sorting out 400gb of samples :|


:lol:

and there was me thinking my 30 odd gig of samples was somewhat excessive
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Postby legend4ry » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:34 pm

DZA needs to screenshot! I wanna see .
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Postby Abstrym » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:58 pm

DZA wrote:400gb of samples

Holy fock. Would like a screen, too.

I want to tidy up my folder since ever. But since I use FL Studio, the thought of relocating and renaming all the samples make me shudder hard.
Nice thread, btw!
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Postby Njamimars » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:20 pm

Only got 3GB :x

My sample ogganising is really worse!
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Postby Depone » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:34 pm

Good on you pat again to come up with more stuff like this!!! brilliant!

Heres my structure -

Image

(and yes i did buy all of that except the free future music ones)
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Postby gnome » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:01 pm

I don't organise my folder. I just know where to go to get what I want. Although its pure clutter lol
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Postby bokatordubstep » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:32 pm

Abstrym wrote:
DZA wrote:400gb of samples

Holy fock. Would like a screen, too.

I want to tidy up my folder since ever. But since I use FL Studio, the thought of relocating and renaming all the samples make me shudder hard.
Nice thread, btw!



dont trip holmes, go ahead and organize your shit, just be careful renaming things.

in FL go to "Options" > "File Settings". where you see all of the little slots with a picture of a file next to them, click on the file next to the next open slot, then just browse and select your main samples folder.
this will set it up to scan this folder for missing samples every time you open a project.

blammo :)
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Postby silentk » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:01 pm

I've always had a bit of a problem with whether or not to keep sample packs whole, or just go through them taking out what you want, organise them into your own specific folders and delete the rest of the crap you dont want
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Postby Depone » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:08 pm

silentk wrote:I've always had a bit of a problem with whether or not to keep sample packs whole, or just go through them taking out what you want, organise them into your own specific folders and delete the rest of the crap you dont want


I do both! but dont delete the 'crap'
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Postby silentk » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:33 pm

Depone wrote:
silentk wrote:I've always had a bit of a problem with whether or not to keep sample packs whole, or just go through them taking out what you want, organise them into your own specific folders and delete the rest of the crap you dont want


I do both! but dont delete the 'crap'


By crap i just mean, when you find a pack thats like 1 gazillion snare hits, and you download it, and it's just like, i never have to time to go through every single sample and check them out, then i feel bad for never using it, and develop a massive complex about living such an un-fulfilling life and go cry in a corner whilst hugging my knees and rocking back and forth.......
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Postby djake » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:09 pm

i organized mine a few years back, not as accrute as futures untold.....but now that ive been using it for so many years, i know exactly where everything is.
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Postby Depone » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:35 pm

silentk wrote:
Depone wrote:
silentk wrote:I've always had a bit of a problem with whether or not to keep sample packs whole, or just go through them taking out what you want, organise them into your own specific folders and delete the rest of the crap you dont want


I do both! but dont delete the 'crap'


By crap i just mean, when you find a pack thats like 1 gazillion snare hits, and you download it, and it's just like, i never have to time to go through every single sample and check them out, then i feel bad for never using it, and develop a massive complex about living such an un-fulfilling life and go cry in a corner whilst hugging my knees and rocking back and forth.......


Yeah yeah totally. Especially true when i used to collect future music samples, tons of crap and the odd nice sample.
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Postby futures_untold » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:37 pm

The Future Music sample CD's always had really awful vocal samples of peope shouting 'Chutnyfama!' or 'ooooooh yeeeaahhh'. :lol:
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Postby silentk » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:40 pm

lol i was listening to them just the other day looking for some nice vocals to mess with, it's like trying to find needle in a bleedin haystack sometimes gettin something good out of those packs
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Postby DZA » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:47 pm

:lol: :lol:

Image
jackmaster wrote:you went in with this mix.
.onelove. wrote:There needs to be a DZA app on iPhone just for id'ing old Grime tracks.

https://soundcloud.com/slevarance/core-civil-war-ft-jamakabi-slevarance-remix-2012-lost-project-file
http://soundcloud.com/keepitgully http://www.mixcloud.com/slevarance/
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Postby Abstrym » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:25 am

bokatordubstep wrote:
Abstrym wrote:
DZA wrote:400gb of samples

Holy fock. Would like a screen, too.

I want to tidy up my folder since ever. But since I use FL Studio, the thought of relocating and renaming all the samples make me shudder hard.
Nice thread, btw!



dont trip holmes, go ahead and organize your shit, just be careful renaming things.

in FL go to "Options" > "File Settings". where you see all of the little slots with a picture of a file next to them, click on the file next to the next open slot, then just browse and select your main samples folder.
this will set it up to scan this folder for missing samples every time you open a project.

blammo :)

I know that, but sadly, it won't work when I rename the sample :S
Another problem is, that I really can't figure out what kind of structure makes sense for me to use (because some samples aren't easy to categorize and I don't want to rip samplepacks apart). Need to figure something out, soon...
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Postby futures_untold » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:29 am

I started by ordering all the easy to catagorise samples.

Then I listened to the 'other' samples and tried my best to catagorise them too.

What kinds of sounds are you having difficulty in catagorising? (Maybe we can help identify a heading for them)...

As for ripping sample packs apart, you could simply have one folder for all your sample packs.
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