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Sample Organization and Auditioning
Old 8th February 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Question Sample Organization and Auditioning

I have an interesting issue to throw out to the forum. (At least, I think it is interesting!) It has to do with organizing samples for quick access and auditioning. I have a large sample disk collection. All of the samples have been transferred to hard disk and either converted to Giga format or Wav. I access the samples from Gigasampler on a PC or Kontakt/Halion/Reaktor/etc. on a Mac or PC. The hard disks are accessible from all computers using a local Ethernet network. I also have REX samples.

I have been struggling with how best to organize the samples so that I can quickly browse through them and audition. If I know what I want (e.g. a flute), I can use Quicksound to get to the sounds. But, if I’m auditioning more abstract sounds, it is very tedious to audition each instrument in Gigasampler or one of the other software samplers. Several of the sample companies make audio disks for browsing samples. Do any of you create audio versions of your sample disks and store them on hard disk for auditioning? How do you organize and search these audio files? Any other tricks to this?

The other question has to do with the ease of accessing samples. For example, let’s say I find an interesting sound effect from a Giga library. I want to grab a part of that effect, convert it to a REX file, and bring it into Reason or Performer or ProTools. Today, I load the Giga sample, play the sample while recording the audio in an audio editor or sequencer, edit/trim the audio using an audio editor, save the audio, load the audio into Recycle, convert to a REX file, and load the REX file. There’s got to be an easier way. Is there?

I’d like to hear if any of you have creative solutions to these issues or other ideas on organizing and auditioning samples. Thanks for your input.
Old 10th February 2003
Here for the gear
matiaslanzi's Avatar
🎧 15 years
There is a number of programs out there that will help you search and audition sounds. I usually make use of "Samplesearch" a very simple and useful program on the Mac that allows for searches and audition of them. It also allows for quick selection of a section of audio from a sound file to create a new one.
This program allows direct importing to PT as well as sample rate and format conversions.

I also keep on my desktop an application called SoundApp, this is a very cool conversion and audition program created by Apple some time ago, this application allows for audiotion of any format audio file by draging the file on top of the application's icon.

In regards of PC, I don't make use of giga as much due to the auditioning and searching fact, I use Reason, AKAI and AkSys for sample playback, all this is integrated on my ProTools computer, but I'm sure you can find interesting cataloging programs and utilitites that will allow you to maximize your searches. My sugestion is that you try downloading utilities from download.com or something like that , you'll be amazed on how useul freeware and shareware can get.

Good Luck

Matias Lanzi
Old 10th February 2003
KMR Audio
Rab's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I've never come across a truly universal and convenient sample auditioning solution. I'd say the key is to adopt an analy-retentive filing system and just be organised in how you work. I find there's only so much time I can spend "sample surfing" before I lose interest, so it's important for me that the process is as convenient as possible - this means I stand the most chance of getting to the best sound in my collection before my head turns off.

For drum sounds, I organise groups of sounds chromatically across the keyboard (ie. banks of snares, kicks etc)... this is good for programming as you can cycle a loop while flipping the sound up each time until you find something you like.

For FX, pads etc, I use Gallery's SampleSearch. For this to work well, I've split one of of my hard drives into a lot of small partitions, then take care to organise new samples on the appropriate drive ("metallic", "weird pads" etc). The big brother of this is mTools which is a full-on fileserver - mainly aimed at big FX libraries for film FX writers etc.

As mentioned earlier, for general stuff you can use SoundApp shareware... this is cool as you can make up playlists of sounds and audition them easily.

If you haven't got it already, Chicken Systems Translator is a great conversion tool if you use samples in a broad range of formats.

It's a sad fact that I probably spend as much time organising my samples as using them... which is deathly boring (), but when I'm working, I know I stand the best chance of finding the right sample in the shortest possible time - and I'm never intimidated by the thought of rifling through hundreds of snare samples!

Hope that helps.

Old 11th February 2003
On Mac's I think OSX will have easy soultions for this..


Old 27th February 2003
Lives for gear
drew's Avatar
🎧 15 years
DigiBase will do this. At least it will be enough for me.
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