M:S samples, kits, chains and organisation ideas

Apologies for any duplication of existing threads, I’m just trying to dump my thoughts in one place to get some feedback. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to organise/curate my samples for use in my M:S (which I’m having a lot of fun with) and here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

  1. Curating numerous one-shot drums into a single folder and batch renaming them to KIK 1, KIK 2, SNR 1, SNR 2 etc so they are easy to browse. Most sample packs use long and descriptive names but this isn’t great for the 9-character display on the M:S. Having simple naming makes it very easy to preview and experiment with different drum hit types and also easy to p-lock/change sounds “on the fly” for jamming due to the simple naming convention. You can also have different curated folders with drums for different genres/styles, if that suits you. One downside - the sample lock limit…

  2. …which can be overcome with sample chains. I started by “bouncing” 120 samples from a free trial of a sample pack into one file. This then makes it easy to set the sample length to 1 and just use the start to switch to each sound, the normal sample chain method. The downside here is that you need to remember where each type of hit is located. You can manage this by, for example, having 20 kicks, 20 snares, 20 hats, 20 claps etc to make up 120 sounds in total.

  3. A variation on point 2 - you can make “kits” by bouncing down sounds in sets of e.g. 10 sounds. If you follow a convention of having kick, snare, clap, hats, cymbals, perc and always have the same type of hit in the same postion then you could have 12 “kits” of 10 sounds and if you change the sample start by 10 then you get a whole new kit. You could also p-lock the hi-hat steps and just change those by sample start of 10 and that would bring in a new set of hat sounds. This would be handy for jamming because you have a reliable and repeatable way of changing either an entire kit or just the kick, or the snare, or the hats etc. I haven’t actually tried this yet and I literally had the idea whilst I was writing this post.

  4. Sample chains for timbral change. I’ve tried bouncing down 120 notes of a bass pluck sound with each one slightly different from the last. I’ve tried varying multiple parameters over time including filter cutoff, oscillator variation (shape, PW, whatever), distortion, env decay etc. The results have been mixed (probably my limited sound design ability) and I think that a whole chain for one sound might be too much. I’ve thought about trying the 12 sets of 10 sounds idea here as well, so I know that each 10 locations in my chain is a new synth sound. Haven’t actually done this yet, but I’m going to try. I’ve not really enjoyed trying to do sound design with single-cycle waves in the M:S. It absolutely works but because LFO target etc is stuck behind a menu it’s not as intuitive as the one-per-function front controls IMO. Your mileage may vary.

  5. Using long evolving notes with timbral change. I’ve tried bouncing down long notes with a timbral change over time like cutoff sweep, distortion sweep or whatever else you fancy. You can then use sample start and length, decay etc to create variations and use p-locks to make synth sequences. It’s actually pretty effective and I had some acid-like sounds going by using simple synth samples with low-to-high rez sweep and then p-lock the sample start.

  6. …what have you guys come up with?! I’m spending more time curating sample sets in these ways to see what works best for me - I’m primarily trying to improvise and jam techno/dance tunes without any pre-preparation aside from creating and curating the one-shots and synth samples as a separate process. I’m really curious to see how others are doing this stuff. I don’t want to have any patterns pre-made etc, I’m mainly using one pattern (8 or 16 steps) and sometimes using polymeter (varying track length on the fly) and shifting the steps with the track+level. I think there is a lot of mileage in one pattern if you get the muscle memory down and organise the samples well beforehand.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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