Sample Library Selection and Organization

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shipwreck
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Sample Library Selection and Organization

Post by shipwreck » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:38 am

Alright everyone, I'm seeking some advice from my peers here. Some background, I've been producing with Live since 2005 and have amassed too large of a sample library, most of which I don't use.

I want to know how you guys handle your libraries. Are you going through massive folder archives, keeping every little sample and categorizing everything; if so what's your system? Or are you trimming things down and only really keeping the samples you'll use? Maybe a hybrid of both? I'm anxious to hear, I need ideas (and moral support) to get through this library and make it usable.

Best,
-alec
Ableton Certified Trainer

Alec Ness (Su Na)
Instructor at Slam Academy
http://www.alecness.com
http://www.slamacademy.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/sunabeats

shipwreck
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:44 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Sample Library Selection and Organization

Post by shipwreck » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:42 pm

Anyone?
Ableton Certified Trainer

Alec Ness (Su Na)
Instructor at Slam Academy
http://www.alecness.com
http://www.slamacademy.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/sunabeats

braduro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:03 am

Re: Sample Library Selection and Organization

Post by braduro » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:42 pm

No system. I've one dumping ground for 1-shots, and another for loops. And I've a holding folder for samples that I've bit, or extracted off the internet.
* You could use Audiofinder or smart folders with a number of saved searches and see if it catches enough to keep you satisfied? Maybe make a search for the things it's not going to find, setup as your "inbox" of sorts. Things with non-descript names, without comments or bpm, etc.
* You could batch process your samples with OS Mavericks new tagging option, and as a habit tag them upon save for samples in the future. I recommend a constrained vocabulary, and create wildcard symbols (~, /, [ etc.) to pull up a particular class of samples.
* You could say "samples be damned" and move into the world of synthesis. All those kicks? Life's too short, and you can layer synthesized and modeled hits just as well. Presets are easier to manage than samples IMO.
* You could put all the 1-shots in a single set under the instruments that you associate them with and import to the library-let it figure out where everything should go. (not really a good idea)

I wouldn't recommend an elaborate sub-folder scheme. Nor would I recommend going back to add the bpm to the file name. Some folks who dj on the boards here do that with their full tracks. Even if I'm using an auto bpm finder app and it gets the ratio of downbeats wrong, I can work with that. It's a machine, what should I expect? I'm prepared for the exceptions.

I've been in Live since 2.0, btw!

shipwreck
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:44 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Sample Library Selection and Organization

Post by shipwreck » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:43 pm

braduro wrote:No system. I've one dumping ground for 1-shots, and another for loops. And I've a holding folder for samples that I've bit, or extracted off the internet.
* You could use Audiofinder or smart folders with a number of saved searches and see if it catches enough to keep you satisfied? Maybe make a search for the things it's not going to find, setup as your "inbox" of sorts. Things with non-descript names, without comments or bpm, etc.
* You could batch process your samples with OS Mavericks new tagging option, and as a habit tag them upon save for samples in the future. I recommend a constrained vocabulary, and create wildcard symbols (~, /, [ etc.) to pull up a particular class of samples.
* You could say "samples be damned" and move into the world of synthesis. All those kicks? Life's too short, and you can layer synthesized and modeled hits just as well. Presets are easier to manage than samples IMO.
* You could put all the 1-shots in a single set under the instruments that you associate them with and import to the library-let it figure out where everything should go. (not really a good idea)

I wouldn't recommend an elaborate sub-folder scheme. Nor would I recommend going back to add the bpm to the file name. Some folks who dj on the boards here do that with their full tracks. Even if I'm using an auto bpm finder app and it gets the ratio of downbeats wrong, I can work with that. It's a machine, what should I expect? I'm prepared for the exceptions.

I've been in Live since 2.0, btw!
Hey braduro, thanks for the response man! All are good suggestions. I've had a subfolder system for a few years now and I think I am going to ditch it, like you said life's too short. I end up spending all my time browsing through 100's of kick samples :/

Maybe I'll just make a single one shot folder and put only my essential samples in that. I'm finding that with Live 9's new browser, it's easier for me to just search "kick" and browse everything rather than use my own structured library anyhow.
Ableton Certified Trainer

Alec Ness (Su Na)
Instructor at Slam Academy
http://www.alecness.com
http://www.slamacademy.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/sunabeats

braduro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:03 am

Re: Sample Library Selection and Organization

Post by braduro » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Glad I could help. Confession: I've continually been resistant to the ableton browser. I often need to decide if I'm best saving my ideas on the meta-level, clip level, the session level, etc. That's on me.
https://www.ableton.com/en/articles/fil ... y-ableton/

As you suggested, I'm also finding that I like the previews for samples in the browser itself. Just need to get a grip on the combination of preview/cue/preferences that play things in tempo/in-pitch etc.

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