How do you organise your sample library?

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How do you organise your sample library?

Post by silentk » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:46 pm

Just wondering how people organise their various samples?
like into catarogies like: Kicks, Snares, Hi-Hats etc
Or into styles of sample, or jus your most used in one folder, everything else in an other?
whats ya preference?

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Post by martello » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:13 pm

Cubase's Mediabay does it:) all my presets, samples etc are organized by Mediabay by kicks, basses, brasses, by waves, midis etc etc etc...

Otherwise, there is a catalog directly on c called samples, where is a decent disarray :lol:
Last edited by martello on Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by tenbucc2 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:42 pm

I've been asking other people this same question for years trying to come up with a better way. i think you really have to boil things down to dealing with speed/efficiency when sorting through your stuff. I mean the whole point of organizing your samples is to find exactly what you need, semi-quickly so that it doesn't fuck up your flow. here lies the problem. organize things with too much detail and you'll be clicking through folders upon folders just so you can find one snare with the right amount crack and the longest amount of decay... put in too few levels of folders and your auditioning shit so much that you forget what you were looking for in the first place and end up settling for something else.

i think the first step should be to throw away or stow away anything that is booty samples. meaning anything low quality or shit that's been sampled to fuck and that you'll most likely never use. get rid of that shit. the less you have to wade through the better right?

the second is start from the top and use a structure that's familiar to you. This is a pain in the ass step especially if you already have shit organized half-assed. start from the top with all your synth sounds or drum sounds. if you started making music with drum machine back in the day, use something similar to that structure. make a root kit folder for 808's, 909's etc and rename all your samples so they make sense. Make seperate root folders for your one shots. seperate your bass sounds from synths then break down things from there. if you don't know what the fuck the sound is or where it comes from, either do some research or make shit up. if you start sticking everything into one folder like i do you're fucked and you're not gonna ever find shit.

if you got a gang of samples this shit could take you weeks to organize. but once you start going through shit you might get inspired by some shit you've listened to and forgot about. you really have to commit to organizing. either that or memorize all your samples :lol:

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Post by r » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:11 pm

download packs ... drag the packs into 1 map called.. samplemap

with logic you've a rly cool mediasearch thingie... so i just type hat and ill get all the hats that are in my samplemap

works for me !

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Post by djake » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:19 pm

usal catagories : kicks, hats, snares, perc & other ect...

but i dnt no if this has really helpd me as i no were everyfing is and never stumble across a random sample i just end up lookin in the same places everytime

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Post by brucifer » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:59 am

All my samples are a mess! :evil:

I was going to re-install windows and sort it out, but my DVD drive decided to stop reading CD's for some reason. So my machine is like a bomb site!

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Post by daft cunt » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:36 am

It's really important to me to have them as organized as can be. You can (you usually will) miss a lot of great samples if not.

I try to reduce the number of subfolders as much as I can.
As for drums it goes like this :
* one big folder for breaks -> 1st level of subfolders for genres (jungle, hip-hop, etc) -> usually only one more level down, named after the website, collection or album they come from.
* one big folder for drumshots -> 1st level of subfolders for each type of drum (bd, sd, etc) -> again only one more level down.

For pads, bass and things like that the 1st of level of subfolders is for the different synthesizers I've used. Inside of these subfolders I just name each sample according to the preset name and number I gave it in the synth...
Makes life so much easier.

Also, it's good from time to time to take a day to delete all the shit samples you won't ever use.

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Post by decklyn » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:01 pm

dissary or bust. i don't know what the hell is going on in my sample directory and I love it that ads suprise and chaos to the whole process.
Decklyn Dublog - Rants, Raves and Tutorials -
Mar 18th: Seba Remix

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Post by betamaxnomates » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:12 pm

Yeah, my sample library is a disaster. Keep meaning to organise it some day but by now I've become accustomed to the chaos, so I know that there's some sweet kicks somewhere in 'Copy of untitled folder' and if I go into the Pictures directory on my external drive I can find some decent hihats.

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Post by MARCHMELLOW » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:27 pm

mines CHAOS!

just gonna upgrade to anew Mac, from PC. when that comes i'm gonna make sure i do everything properly

i have a folder called 'samples' full of random samples and packs

Dub & Run Records/Phreaks of Nature/Wicky Lindows/BassPunch Records/Tsunami Audio/ Love Sick Records.

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Post by daft cunt » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:00 pm

You guys don't use the left-side of your brain too much, do you? :D

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Post by addict » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:47 pm

decklyn wrote:dissary or bust. i don't know what the hell is going on in my sample directory and I love it that ads suprise and chaos to the whole process.
i hear ya, i get new stuff all the time and the only 'sorted' folder is a fucking huge one called CUT samples which is mainly full of quotes from tv shows etc. i'ts fun thou, when a mint sample pops up that u didn't know about.

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Post by chunkie » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:12 pm

by general type eg drum, african percussion, indian percussion, chinese flute, strings etc

then by what the sound is to me eg aggressive, relaxed, distorted, acoustic

this is way as long as i know the mood of the sound i want, i can find something that fits

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Post by somejerk » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:48 am

kinda like this:

loops / breaks
bass (then breaks up into 808 / synth / etc)
pads / synths
sound packs
drums (then splits into hats / crashes / snares / kicks / etc)
random perussion
accapellas / vocals

then, since i use Ableton Live, i keep my Sampler and Instrument Combo's set up in similar folders since i have been making so many pre-sets lately.

organization is key, especially with a zillion gigabytes worth of samples. now if i could keep track of the tunes i'm working on in some way, that'd be a miracle.

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Post by __________ » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:06 am

mine are all organised very nicely into four main subfolders within my samples folder

drums> breaks, hits
fx> £10 bag, sampled
other shit> £10 bag, sampled
bass> fuck all in here

'other shit' is my biggest folder, at about 8gb. contains all instruments and vocal samples etc that i've collected or recorded myself.
drums is the next biggest, about 5gb of breaks and 2gb of hits.
fx is full of film sounds and animal sounds and shit like that, some really long .wav files and weird noises.
bass is a tiny folder, i dont even sample basslines so i might as well delete it

i like to keep samples i've made or recorded separate to stuff other people have done

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Post by south3rn » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:19 am

i organize it by being so familiar and comfortable with my software that i just know where everything is without having to waste time by categorizing it

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Post by dubbeldutch » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:35 am

random shit everywhere. Desktop folder gets dumped into a folder called desktop folder with another desktop folder inside that folder, it's infinitely complicated. Thank god for Apple's spotlight and reason's good memory or else I'd never find anything.

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Post by misk » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:14 pm

South3rn wrote:i organize it by being so familiar and comfortable with my software that i just know where everything is without having to waste time by categorizing it
well look whos so gawd-damn special! :lol:

i'm constantly going through my folders to get rid of what i dont use (no reason to have 10 different 808 kits, so i only use the best one). its all about simplicity. i made a tune yesterday, and its almost done. took me an hour and it was all done with like 4 samples on my powerbook. i'd just deleted everything off the PB except for one little folder. it was fun, and it came out great!

simplify simplify simplify!

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Post by bze » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:29 pm

I did have a well organized, neat sample library once but it has grown into huge chaotic mess of cuts, edits, glitches, unknown folder paths diving into the depths of hard drive, weird sounds I've never heard, hundreds of strange samplings, duplicates etc.

Take advice youngsters, keep those samples in order.

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Post by justin roche » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:56 pm

a number of years a go, when I first started. I used to use an Akai Sampler with floppy disks and eventually Zip disks.

I also used Akai Mesa Sample Editor to edit the samples that were held within the sampler.

Often, when I brought a sample cd or did my own recordings, I had to use the manual record function on the sampler to create a sample.

I also usually had to set up my own programs and manipulate the sample using the onboard features.

Akai samplers were polyphonic and multi-timbrel, and were capable of making multi programs of between 1 and 32 programs called multi's.
The multi's also held information of how the samples in each program were routed (via output, filters and effects) and what modes or selections were chosen for effects, outputs etc.

Anyway, after each session, all this information usually had to be saved somewhere. My usual procedure was to save the samples for the tune that I was working on onto either floppy disks (usually several), or ZIP disks.

This was a laborious process and was also very difficult to organize, especially if I had been chilling out while making music (fuck, somedays, I was so out of it, i didn't know the difference between my ass or elbow).

Eventually, I started to get my head together and work out a more methodical process.

First came Akai Mesa, which was ok but pretty awkward to use.
Then soft samplers and sample librarians were invented.
I think the first ones were probably introduced by digi design.
Sample Cell. However, at that point, Protools was not available to the budget studio owner.

You had to buy at least several grand £GBP for even a basic Protools set up including DSP hardware.
This was also essential as the computers at the time weren't fast enough to run the highly demanding software of today.

Anyway, eventually products came on the market for soft sequencers such as Cubase, Logic, Digital Performer etc.

2 most notable ones were Halion and Kontact.
I brought Kontact as soon as it came out, and have never looked back in terms of sampling needs.
It kicks my old akai's ass in terms of ease of use.

It allows me to create programs easily, using the visual user interface, and it has more features that my old akai ever had.

Anyway, with the advent of this new cutting edge and ground breaking software and, the advent of more powerful computers that were capable of running such programs, I was able to get my act together with regards to my approach to production methodology.

One aspect of my production methodology that I developed was the way I organized my samples.

This was really important, as I remember countless situations where I had lost a good tune because I could not find the samples on one of those crappy ZIP disks.

You wont believe how frustrating it is, to have worked on a tune for several hours, even days, only to return to it a week or so later and not be able to find any of your original work.

All that time lost.

So, what I eventually did was create a master hard drive just for my sample collection.

This sample collection has one master folder labeled "samples".
Each sample CD that I have ever brought is cut up, made into programs and saved in that master folder. Also, any sounds that I have recorded or designed myself that have been turned into samples are also saved into this master folder.

In terms of easy access for sounds for a project.
What I do, before a project, is this:

I go through all the samples on my hard drive, from start to finish, and audition all the samples to see if they could be useful for the project I am working on.

This takes ages, however, by the time I am finished, I should have a really good palette to work from.

I then organize the chosen sounds into categories, ie. kick, snare, hats etc.

I then make programs for these in Kontact.
And load up as many as possible, in instances of Kontact.

One I have finished, I am then prepared for the writing stage.

During writing, if I have chosen the sounds I need, I usually get rid of the sounds I do not need in order to save time and processing power.

Also, to prepare for the eventual mix down process.

To me, this is the way.
The Do (way) of Music Production.

And as many of you will know, when you have worked on a tune using one of these soft samplers in a soft sequencer, all your samples and amendments are saved in the sequencer file.

So, nothing gets lost, and the original sample library stays in tact.


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