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With completing all recording and sequencing on my next album and me regaining my enthusiasm for making new music, a complete sample library reset is in order. I’m a sample hoarder but my current setup (30-40 gigs of loops and samples in d:\music\samples\ subdirectories) has always been awful. The hierarchy’s all wrong and it sucks to browse. For a long time I’ve wanted a tagging style sample browser but I understand it’s a limited market.

But lately I’ve been using the latest beta of foobar2000 for my mp3 listening and organization. One thing I totally love about it is the facet view:


You can enter a search query or click in any of the panels (you can choose what tag you want each facet to be based on) and it narrows down the other panels based on your selection or search query. It’s really fantastic and makes it easy to explore your collection.

So a light bulb went off last night: this is exactly what I want for my samples! With some help from the foobar2000 forums I set up another copy of foobar and had it index my sample directories. Big problem: foobar saves all the metadata to the actual audio files — .WAV files don’t support genre metadata. Boned.

I’ve been scrabbling around trying to make foobar do what I want with various plugins but it’s a pain in the ass. Now I’m on to trying other media players…

Posted on - December 8, 2007 [at] 12:32 pm by Brad
Tagged in - , , , ,

7 Comments on this post

Marco Raaphorst on Sample organization
December 8, 2007 at 2:05 pm

FLAC would be perfect. It’s the same quality as WAV but smaller and more meta options.

Brad on Sample organization
December 8, 2007 at 2:37 pm

FLACs don’t work in any of the audio programs that I use as far as I know.

boolean on Sample organization
December 9, 2007 at 10:52 am

yeah, I think you want something that keeps your metadata separately. Using directory hierarchies break down pretty quickly, as you’ve discovered. The system fails when you’re trying to categorize a drum-beat that’s both dry and syncopated, for example. Unless you go around creating links or mirroring directory structures it can’t easily be done.

What do you use for sampler software? They generally have some kind of organizer, though they’re pretty limited. Workstation or recording software?

Brad on Sample organization
December 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm

I’m using Ableton Live for most of my songwriting and recording these days. Turns out FLAC _does_ work in Ableton, though I feel weird about adding compression overhead.

I just blogged about getting MediaMonkey to mostly work the way I want, it seems good so far. I seem to be on a real angry-at-hierarchical categorization bender lately. I converted WordPress to all tags instead of categories as well.

boolean on Sample organization
December 9, 2007 at 11:43 pm

nice! Yeah, I tend to use uncompressed stuff in my recording too. I’d rather spend the cycles on plugins instead of uncompression.

Glad you found something that’ll fit the bill. I did some web searches for “audio sample organizer browser” and came up with a lot of noise but nothing immediately useful.

As for ditching hierarchies, it’s starting to catch on everywhere. Lately I’ve stopped dumping things into folders on my machine (documents, for example) and just tagging the file comments. Much easier to find stuff through a unified search mechanism than hunting through directories.

Louis Lingg on Sample organization
June 18, 2013 at 4:29 am

Man, I would love to find something like this to organise my sample library. I waste so much time and sometimes I just don’t find what I want at all!
I’ve been using Aural Probe so far if that helps you out at all. But it’s far from perfect!

hypercube on Sample organization
July 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

You can take a look on my freeware (windows only) Universal Patch Finder

does not support FLAC or MP3 yet, but handle common stuff like Apple Loops or ACID Wavs

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