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I would like to create some sample libraries for music production. The samples will be used in samplers (Kontakt), drum samplers (Battery) and synths (Alchemy). The samples will also be used as source material and further manipulated in other programs.

My sample sources will be a mixture of hardware synthesisers, field recordings, acoustic instruments and whatever I can get my hands on.

I've quickly discovered the process is very repetitive and tedious. For example all samples need:

  • silence trimmed from beginning and end.
  • normalised to x-db.
  • renamed to something appropriate. ("Bass Synth C4.wav" instead of "Region 014.wav")
  • sampling a hardware synthesiser requires recording of X number of notes. The recordings then need to be cut into individual files.

What tools exist to minimise the repetitive aspects of making sample libraries?

  • This is borderline too broad and borderline unclear what you are asking. Can you clarify what you are looking for a bit. Are you looking for some kind of batch processing to make changes to samples in bulk? Are you looking for software that can catalog the samples for you (there are already several other questions about this), are you talking about some overall process for everything (probably too broad)? – AJ Henderson Aug 22 '14 at 6:00
  • I'm looking for tools to make the process easier. I will try to clarify my question. – Shannon Matthews Aug 22 '14 at 14:32
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I use Sox and CDP (Composers Desktop Project) for sound design work building my own libraries. These are command line tools that can be run from the windows shell or with another environment. I use Cygwin in conjunction with these tools and create scripts for different tasks that involve multiple repetitive steps. I then use exif tool for writing metadata to the samples and VBA scripts for renaming and importing relevant details into a database.

Sox in particular is a powerful tool. The learning curve can be a challenge if using command line tools is new to you but the advantages are, in my opinion, worth it.

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Like AJHenderson says, it's a bit unclear as to what exact advice you need. However I can give some general advice.

  1. It is tedious and a lot of work, especially with your first try.

  2. Things will get better after you've created a library (so start small and expand later).

  3. Think about what you really need (not what you want), this helps keeping things in a manageable scale.

  4. Use a batch process/converter whenever you can (wether it's audio or metadata).

If you could add some more information of where you feel you're losing time on tasks, we can get you better answers. Also, check out Paul Virostek: http://www.creativefieldrecording.com/books/field-recording-from-research-to-wrap/

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Keymap pro. Discontinued but very valuable. Apple bought Redmatica and buried its products (for now). We hope for a resurrection or integration into Logic X ... who knows. See some Kontakt patches made with it.

  • hi Thery, this is not a an answer but a product placement. could you elaborate more on the question? – Arnoud Traa Aug 28 '14 at 12:13
  • Yep, I use Keymap Pro. – user9827 Aug 29 '14 at 6:30
  • I'll ask again: I don't think that Shannon is interested in a particular program, they want to know how it could work for them, not just the fact that you use it. Can you elaborate on a use case that would be of benefit for shannon? – Arnoud Traa Aug 29 '14 at 15:53

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