Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

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Doddsy
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Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

Post by Doddsy » 14/03/2014 - 12:25

I aim to sample one of my synths. What's the best way of going about it to get the most accurate sound. Should I just sample C2, C3 and C4. I read somewhere that actually A octaves are better than C and how many key octaves should I sample anyway? Would it be better to start at C2 and sample every third note until I get to C5?

Any ideas?

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Marcel Donné
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Re: Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

Post by Marcel Donné » 14/03/2014 - 15:34

If you want to do it right you sample each key.
If memory is short (as on most old fashioned hardware samplers) I get good results sampling the C - D# - F#- A of each octave.

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Re: Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

Post by Commie_User » 15/03/2014 - 1:21

I suppose it also depends what you've got. Each C and F should be enough for basic Casiotones and others not quite so basic, yet you can sometimes need complex sampling of each key's velocities or vibrato or entire chords.

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Re: Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

Post by Doddsy » 16/03/2014 - 9:21

Thanks for the help. I aim to sample some of my PCM modules to make a CD sound library archive and these will eventually be sampled into my Akai S2000.

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Re: Whats the best way to sample an instrument?

Post by Razmo » 04/04/2014 - 6:52

I also sample C, D#, F# and A of each octave. Doing it this way gives good results without giving you too many samples.

If you sample each and every key, you are in for a bit of work, especialy if you want to loop each of them by hand and eye.

And then remember that each sample should have the sampled note transposed both up and down... that means, that for example, the D# should span the three notes D, D# and E... not D, D# and F ... the reason is that you then only pitch shift one semitone in each direction, and it's a fact that the more you transpose a sample, the more unnatural it sounds, and any recorded modulation in the sample will change speed accordingly.

Top and bottom samples can always be extended up/down to cover the whole keyboard.

And then there is velocity... if you need to sample velocity dynamics as well, you are in for quite some samples as you'd have to multiply the amount of samples by the amount of velocity layers you need.

And a small tip, if your sampler has the ability to randomly set the start position every time you press a key:

If what you are sampling is just a synth texture, lets say you want to sample a supersaw, then you can make it much more organic if you take a portion of each sample, loop it, and truncate the start and end of the sample away, so that you only have a steady sustained texture... do this for each multisample. It will also save some memory in the process.

Now make a modulation assignment that will change the start position randomly each time a key is pressed... if you do this, each and every keypress will sound a little bit different, just as with analog freerunning oscillators, instead of the usual static onset that samples normaly provide. Now use the samplers synth functions to change attack, decay, sustain and release etc... this way you will get a more organic sound that have consistent envelope times thru the whole keyboard range. It will take a bit more work, but I assure you, that the result is better. It does not work well with sounds that are not sustained though, or have distinct attack transients necessary to the sound.
Regards, Jess D. Skov-Nielsen (Razmo).
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