Osteocephalic Getting Productive with Music

May 11, 2008 - 18:05

Goals, Software, Workflow

Building a Sample Library

I love music magazines. Every few days, when I’m walking to the train station from my office, I stop at Borders in San Francisco and see if another one of my favorite music magazines has come in. I always buy them at the news stand. Yes, I really should subscribe.

Magazines like Keyboard or Electronic Musician seem to be mostly ads. UK-based magazines, on the other hand, usually have a DVD included with a ton of samples and demo software. They also have frequent special issues that cover a particular piece of software, like Reason 4. The magazines I generally buy as soon as they come out are MusicTech, ComputerMusic, and FutureMusic.

Today, on a lark, I wandered into the Palo Alto Apple store and picked up a tiny 120 GB iomega hard drive. The samples on the DVDs that come with the magazines I always buy are utterly worthless stacked as they are on a shelf in my room.

Since I don’t make my own samples and I tend to use stock instruments in my music, I decided that it would behoove me to carry around a portable sample library, since the hard drive on my computer has about 830 megabytes free. Over the years, I think I’ve purchased seven or eight large sample collections, in addition to the 50 or 60 issues of various magazines that came with sample CDs.

Might as well include the video tutorials, right? This is a really easy way to build a cheap sample library that has patches and samples that everybody else doesn’t necessarily have. Here in the United States, there aren’t too many places that stock these particular periodicals.

The steps, I’m taking:

  1. Purchase small Firewire/USB hard drive (this one’s a little bigger than my iPod).
  2. Copy the entire samples and workshop collections, one by one, onto the new drive.
  3. Carry 100+ gigabytes of samples everywhere.
  4. Prepare Grammy speech.

How do you build your sample and patch libraries?

1 Comment

Posted by
22 March 2010 @ 12pm

I create my own samples, from synthesizers or just layering and altering other peoples until they are no longer the same sound (made pads into kick drum and vice versa)… but i’ve been taking this same idea of carrying around a bunch of samples on a harddrive, right now i’m doing it with a little 2 gig flash drive (which holds only a tiny fraction of my samples) until I get around to buying a 500GB.

i make a lot of my percussion and glitch samples by getting some weird noise in a synth…. then midi mapping tons of things (filter cutoff and res, envelopes, effects, etc) to like 20 knobs…. start midi clip with one sustained note that repeats every so often…. after that, i hit record and just start turning all the knobs… once i’ve turned everything and got all the sounds i think i can get…. i go through and cut out all the little tiny cool sounds… takes a long time but I get AMAZING results (doesn’t work well for leads or bass, only percussion/glitch/sound FX)

Leave a Comment