Hey everyone welcome to Breaking Audio! My name is Dave and today I’ll be talking a bit about maintaining a sample library. Something that I’ve been messing with recently as I determined that my sample library was getting a bit too messy.  

So what i did is i made this little mock up here because my real one is very tailored towards ableton and i wanted to make one that was a little bit more generic using the same concepts just for demonstration purposes so if you’re like me you’ve probably found yourself with a folder somewhere in your computer completely filled with lots of stuff from all over the place organized in folders that like really don’t mean anything to you when you’re creating and are difficult to navigate in our folders and folders and folders deep uh wav files everywhere even with the help of the search bar you’re still filtering through lots of useless stuff that you don’t want to hear so what i did is i created myself a little library here alongside of that mess and this is organized in a very simple way the folders are not super deep and the key to it is i’ve really gone through and pre-filtered and taken out you know the best stuff and only included that in here the stuff that i like and the stuff that i know i’m going to use so as an example we can look at my drum loop library here take a look at my vinyl loops that i collect a lot of very very simple folder system and not very deep this is about it this is about as deep as it goes um so that’s only this many clicks and then i have some broad tempo ranges here um that i throw stuff into it goes higher than this but the mock-up doesn’t but uh and that’s it pre-filtered stuff i know i like it i’m organized by whether it’s electronic or acoustic or percussion or what um if we jump over to my drum sounds here you know well we look at electronic and kick and uh well 808s are electronic kicks so you know if i go through when i pull out a bunch of electronic kit kicks from my collections or wherever they are and throw them in here i probably will find that i’ll have like way too many 808 kicks so what i did is i went through and i delete all the duplicates all the lower quality stuff like you know these sound the same but this is better than that one this one sometimes you get them with like a little bit of like hiss in the background like someone used a uh you know like something some kind of subpar recording situation i guess and uh ended up with something kind of weird you know i don’t want to use that so you know i’m going to go through and only you know come up with a selection of like a nice like variety of things that’s not huge like i can’t use 500 kick drums in a folder like it’s gonna take me forever to find anything i want you know so just keep it keep it really really really trim and apply that same thinking to everything you do impulse responses is something that i i dealt with recently had a massive folder full of stuff from everywhere organized by like tax and all sorts of stuff and organized by things like you know uh churches are a good example of this like you know what the name of the church is and where it is and here’s a cool little picture of the church and i mean that’s all like appreciated and whatnot but like that’s definitely not what i’m thinking about when i’m creating so i’m going to take all those impulse responses and uh organize them by broad categories very simply so what i end up with is a folder full of you know springs that you know i’ve already gone through and filtered through and i and i know i have the stuff i like and when i pop that folder when i dive into that folder i’m gonna find the stuff that sounds great and i’m immediately like happy with the results you know instead of weeding through stuff and more importantly i don’t break the creative mode you know it’s as minimal as possible like this is three folder clicks one two three and i’m in springs and i’ve just loaded the thing into you know the i use ableton a lot the convolution you know reverb and that and then i’m just going you know i don’t have to like dig for stuff or search um some of the other things i you know some of the other folders i have are well instruments you know which i actually don’t collect that many of these days because of things like contact the libraries on there are very well organized and things are easy to get to however i do have a variety of things that are rather unique that i’ve you know found you know from wherever or even recorded myself in some cases and you know uniqueness is important to a library like this because a library like this is really intended to be your sound palette your custom toolbox you know and uh and have a level of uniqueness to it so that it’s inspiring you know everything you have in it you know you like and you know you would want to use you know so i kind of did that with every little thing i have it took some time but it was well worth it in the end um i mean the first time i tried using this i went through when i loaded up my stuff and i started playing with it i was like yes this is easy to get to okay maybe i could tweak this part of it or whatever but i did find it uh massively inspiring you know and a lot of fun and i went right to work you know right away much easier than i had been working um with new sounds i didn’t even know i had you know i didn’t even realize i had all this stuff in here um because some of it was like lost in these these just folders from wherever but um you know as you know a friend of mine recently the other day in the studio uh mentioned that he had done something like this as well and what he told me was hey man like this has become so inspiring like all my songwriting actually begins by digging around in my sample library and he had gone and collected things from the internet and you know just taken some time and like looked on splice or wherever he’s getting sounds from and just goes hey i like this kind of thing i’m gonna get more of the kind of thing i like i’m gonna go find more of that and organize and put in here and uh yeah he’s very content with what he came up with and and and so am i so uh and that’s basically the idea behind it this isn’t a groundbreaking folder system that no one’s ever thought of before it’s simple and it’s really more about the thought process behind it go through your stuff and just pick out all the best bits and put them in a very very simple shallow folder system and you’re going to be very happy about the results that’s that’s my tip on doing this and i’m going to keep my library this way forever and i’m going to maintain it and evolve it forever as well this is something that i can always have i’ve uh you know been collecting a lot of these sounds for 20 years or something and i’ve you know they i still keep them around and i keep using them as well you know as long as i can find them and that’s the important part so there’s my tip for you i hope you found that useful inspiring if you got any other suggestions let me know and have a good one