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Discussion in 'Recording' started by pandamonkey, May 25, 2003.

  1. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Where is there no forum set up to discuss the fine are of sampling alone? You know, techniques, gear, sources, secrets, whatever. I guess that it could go hand in hand with a lot of things here but I feel that it is something that could use some "special" attention!
    Just a thought,
  2. TheSoundman

    TheSoundman Active Member

    I relocated this topic from the Live Sound forum. I think this is the most logical home for it. The only sampling I ever did in live sound was from the deli tray in the performer's dressing room after the show...

    The Soundman
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Well, I'm going to send it to Nate at Keyboards and MIDI.. I think that makes the most sense.. Kurt
  4. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Sampling is pretty interesting. My background is instrument manufacturer sampling for ROMs of synths. Its a lot like a studio session except the focus is one hundred percent on the sound rather than the song or the performance.

    Different manufacturers have quite different philosophies on what they're after although, the general rule for ROM-based instruments seems to be "hyper realism" rather than a natural sound. Natural sound seems to be reserved for the big ass sample libraries. ROMplers pack a ton of sounds into a (relatively) small space so any imperfections in sound will be perceived as undesirable by the user.

    Its an interesting topic but it may not be the area of sampling the original poster was referring to.
  5. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Sometimes I think people respond just for the sake of responding!! ha ha. Let me start it off then.... Can anyone give me any general ideas of good sample sources? Be general of course.. I've been sampling older Japanese animation with robots lately. I stay away from anything local or newer as I fear the reprocussions! I heard about a guy who strickly samples the radio for his productions. Now that I've admitted how evil I am, maybe I see why sampling could be a touchy subject around here..ha ha.. One thing that I would like to know is how to catalogue my sounds better.. Does anyone here have any guidelines? I tend to catagorized things into groups like Pad sounds, Percusive hit sounds, Rythmic sounds, wind ups etc.
    an example of a sample I might have would read like this:

    Vox 13 /A- / Robowars etc..

    Vox 13 = The 13ths in a series of Vox samples
    A- = the pitch I've tuned it to
    Robowars = Source (this one was made up!)
    I find this system ok but I often get lost in a world of poorly labeled samples.. Can anyone suggest a better way?!
  6. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    What to sample depends on what you want to do with it. Based on your description of what you're currently sampling, why not get some sort of recorder and just walk around recording stuff. Conversations, traffic, birds, whatever you have where you live.

    As for organization, I do something similar for samples, audio, just about everything. I have a two character category followed by whatever pertinent meta info (date, version, what have you) a descriptive name and an extension (even on the Mac).

    I've seen manufacturers with tremendous naming schemes as there are so many samples to keep track of. They'll often put the key range, bit depth, mono/stereo info right in the name.
  7. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Whats up pandamonkey?

    Are you using a sampler? Or is it for your DAW library. I do both, but have the most fun with hardware samplers.

    My favorite is the old Ensoniq ASR-10. Pretty easy to use, fairly flexible, but no resonant filters. I've done all the usual sampling of synths, organs and loops, but creating fresh stuff is the most fun. Once took the top of a steel pot, hit it with a wooden spoon, looped it and VOILA! instant cool elec piano tone. Had more fun using a screwdriver and a soft mallet to hit it, layered the results and mucho coolo! The harder I play the harder the tone. Spent a whole week sampling the kitchen, more pots and pans, blenders, microwaves, glasses, plates, etc. All this stuff was folded, splindled, mutilated and mangled in the ASR-10 and used for the sound track of a cooking show. I still use the ladle hitting the garbage can for a kick drum sound.

    I've also done a fair amount of field recording, planes, trains automobiles, ambiances, etc.

    For spoken word, old records of childrens stories, news events, etc. are great because many of them never renewed the copyrights. Newscasters are good and sports broadcasters are terrific because they get into a rhythmic mode when they really get into a game. If you take small enough snippets and warp them enough nobody will ever be able to even guess where you got them. How about messages from your anwering machines, and my personal favorite, TELEMARKETERS! Boy have I gotten some good ones that way, especially when you work at frustrating them and making them repeat themselves over and over (and over and over......).

    Do you gig at all? Between sets turn the gain on a mic really high (after turning off the power amps!!!), keep the DAT running and pick up some of the crowd conversation. I got one by accident years ago of a guy making his moves on some babe that had us laughing so hard we wasted half a rehearsal.

    How about what Pink Floyd did for Dark Side of the Moon? They just sat over a pint with some of the people who worked in the same building as the studio. ( I've always been mad )

    Let us know how it goes!

    Uncle Bob

    Whether you think you can
    Or you think you can't
    You're absolutely right

    - Henry Ford
  8. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Uncle Bob, you rock! Thank you.
    Your stories remind me of a friend (and more experience sampler then I) who took a sledge hammer with the head wrapped tight in a towel and smashed it against an massive iron sewer pipe that was sitting in a work yard. He said that it resonated forever! I've heard that you can use non-lubricated condoms to carefully cover the heads (no pun intended) of mics for under water recordings. Does anyone know anymore about this or have any tips? To answer your question, Uncle-Bob, I don't own any hardware samplers but own and use Native Instruments, Kontakt. Do you think that there is any merit in going after hardware samplers these days?
  9. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Hardware samplers are still good for things like drums, SFX, backing vocals, etc. The nice things is, they tend to be much more stable than a computer if you intend to take them out live.

    For studio stuff though, I dunno if I'd have one. The software is good and in many ways, exceeds what a hardware sampler can do.
  10. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    What up Nate!

    Just started getting into the softsamplers, but don't want to waste the time tranfering my library to the computer. I've got hundreds of megs so it's just faster and easier to MIDI up the old ASR10. In two of the studios I freelance at they have the AKAI MPC3000. As much as I hate to admit it, the outputs just have that grungy sound you need for rap/hip-hop.

    I still love my ASR10. There's just something about making wierd loops with it that I just can't seem to get out of a softsampler. Maybe when I have more time to experiment I'll like them better. (More time? what a unique concept! Actually, if I had more time I would become more familiar with my pillow!) Hardware pieces, be they samplers, synths, whatever, seem to have very unique personalities which instruments in the virtual world don't seem to have. My old Rhodes and my Wurlitzer electric pianos just have that something special over even hardware emulations. There just seems to be something about the buzzes and rattles.

    Anyway, back to sampling.

    Pandamonkey - Sample EVERYTHING! A buddy of mine once sampled tearing a piece of paper, slowed it way down and it made a great sci-fi monster growl. Try layering stuff. I caught a show on movie sound FX and they were talking about adding excitment to a track. I forget which movie it was, but it was a fight scene on top of a train hurtling towards a tunnel. When the train entered the tunnel they added a tigers roar subliminaly in the track to enhance the suspense. It is a sound that just makes the hackles on the back of your neck stand up its so ingrained in our primal heritage. In the first Star Wars movie, the lazer gun sounds were actually the guy wires on electrical and radio towers hit with a hammer and speeded up.

    As I've said before, have fun and experiment, experiment, experiment!


    Uncle Bob

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