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I’m looking for some help with the organization of samples. I don’t know what form this help should come in. My goal isn’t to be able to print out a big list (so I’m not sure if software would help), but to more easily browse my samples from inside whatever program I’m using. Maybe what I really want is example categories / directory structures from folk who use samples more than I do.

I bought a DVD burner a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been copying everything off old CD-Rs in the hopes of making a sample library I can intuitively use but so far it’s just a big heap of junk and when I’m working on a song I just don’t want to go in there because it’s hell.

Anyhow, just curious if there’s anybody out there who’s already come up with solutions for this. Thanks!

Posted on - February 14, 2004 [at] 1:41 pm by Brad
Tagged in -

7 Comments on this post

victor on Sample organization
February 14, 2004 at 5:22 pm

I use:


where bpm is ‘os’ for one-shots and key is ‘x’ for non-pitched clips




My dir structure is (typically)
– [instrument]
— Percussion
— Guitars.

But that’s just me.

JB on Sample organization
February 14, 2004 at 8:37 pm

i suggest cross-indexing. organize the samples three ways, using shortcuts or simlinks or something, alphabetically, then by “type” (pad, percussion, lead), then maybe by “style” (orchestral, retro, weird).

It would be a lot of work, but that way no matter how you want to access the samples, you have a method. If you’re just casting about for “something weird” you can just go through that batch. If you remember a specific sample, you have them alphabetically, if you are looking for the perfect lead, go right to the lead section.

I guess you could do this within each section, like, “retro-orchestral-pads”, but it doesn’t feel to me like that’s how people go looking for sounds.

I dunno if that helps at all…

Brad on Sample organization
February 14, 2004 at 9:15 pm

Simlinks would be great but the problem with those is that most (all, maybe) music apps have no idea to do with them so you can’t preview your junk on the fly at all, which is way important.

I like victor’s suggestion, organizing by source. Maybe I’m being too ambitious trying to build one huge sample library and should break it up.

I thought about this a bit more today and I think the main problem is the miscellaneous sounds. I like to collect a lot of weird little bleeps and boobs and stuff and I have a catch-all “Effects” directory that I stick that stuff in, but I don’t know how to sub-categorize the stuff in there.

Dealing with drums isn’t too bad, same with real instruments and pads and so on. Hmm. Thanks for your feedback guys

JB on Sample organization
February 15, 2004 at 1:31 pm

boob collector

davidicus on Sample organization
February 16, 2004 at 1:29 pm

there’s no acceptable way i’m aware of. i use genus/species too (like the first comment above, only tempo is becoming less significant), but once you have so many files, who has time, energy, or indentured/progeny enough to rename it all?

gigastudio’s “distributed wave” bit databases samples with metadata such as source, subject, genre, medium, and comments attached to sample files. i don’t use it, but would assume you can then search by criteria. heck, you may even be able to use iTunes creatively that way, or some other database. still requires hiring a team to assign and enter all the metadata, though.

i’ve basically decided to rely on samples architecturally very little, (generating as much as i can), and use browsing the confusing backroads as creative and stylistic spice.


Rob Davis on Sample organization
February 16, 2004 at 9:45 pm

Brad, you might want to check out – it’s a new forum (so it’s pretty dead), but a few of the guys there are VERY knowledgeable about PC recording, Cubase, Cakewalk, all of that stuff… not that you need any help. :)

Jeff on Sample organization
April 9, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Brad go to “Shareware Music Machine” Look at Soundmanger, its freeware for managing sample libraries.

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