Batch sampling is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for years. But, even yesterday, when I brought up the concept to a fellow musician, delight was only expressed once I gave a full explanation. Initially his comments were, “Yeah, that’s pretty cool...” This led me to explain more of what it meant. Then he said, “Dude, that’s awesome!”
Why Should You Care About Batch Sampling?
Let me give you the ‘Dude’ sermon...
We all have hardware synthesizers sitting around. Even if it’s an old Casio, or some delight from the Yamaha PSR series. Now, each of us will get misty-eyed when we think of those old moments of discovery during another age of music when everything didn’t revolve around the computer, prior to looking over in the corner where this old piece of hardware now collects dust.
When directly asked about said hardware, each of us will also get giddy to talk about “...that one patch/sound we used to use all the time...”
Well, what if we could bring that patch (be it a string patch, organ, marimba, whatever) into our laptop permanently?
How Does Batch Sampling Work?
This is where programs like Redmatica’s Autosampler 2 come in. You only deal with MIDI for as long as you are interested in collecting patches from the old hardware synth, then you’re done! Sell the old keyboard when you’re done, put it in cold storage, it doesn’t matter. When you finish this procedure, what was once a signature sound of yours ‘is’ once again, and is also as portable as your laptop. It will bring a tear to your eye, trust me.
Batch sampling is where you tell Autosampler 2, “Record these keys, C-2 through C-6 individually, and then create a EXS24 patch, Reason Patch, etc, out of these recorded sounds.”
Your hardware keyboard, or sound module is connected via MIDI, with its audio going in to your sound device. Autosampler 2 literally, and painstakingly (doing this yourself sucks, trust me) records each key, loops if you tell it to, and then dumps out all the program data, zone data, etc., for you.
Let’s Roll One Together...
Setting up Autosampler 2 to capture my old synth patches was so easy that I almost questioned whether I was doing something wrong. Yet, when I went in to Reason and Logic's EXS24, everything was perfect... I was stunned. I was even using Autosampler's ‘Simple Mode’ too. You’re going to love this.
Step 1 - Make Sure To Connect the MIDI In and Out to Your Keyboard...
Midi IN and OUT is very helpful for this operation. This way you can monitor, trigger and hear everything coming from the synth. Also, make sure that you set up the audio, etc going in to Autosampler. Click the number buttons at the bottom to enable inputs.
Step 2 - Set up your Key Zones
If you select the little dots next to the high and low notes, MIDI Learn is enabled keeping you from having to manually enter each note. Nice!
Step 3 - Set Up Your Steps!
This part is really important! If you’re sampling a drum kit, turn the Note Steps down to 1. Upping the Note Steps is great if you’re doing a pad, because you don’t necessarily need all the notes in between, and it saves time. See the figure above for the Note Step slot.
Step 4 - Name Your Patch, Choose Your Format!
Don’t forget to name your patch and choose the different Sampler formats. Trust me, if you remember these, you’ll find your patch much easier, and it’s going to be pretty much perfect when you launch your sampler.
Step 5 - Press Start
Press ‘Start’ and let Autosampler do its magic. It’s actually fun to watch it do its thing. If you’re writing an article while it’s working, make sure to turn Monitor 'off'. Otherwise, you’ll get to hear every note during the autosampling process.
Finally, open up your favorite sampler and check out Autosampler 2’s work. It’s incredible. I had little to no modifications to make... And, I had even more sound ideas based off my raw, sampled patch. Incredible!
I had actually added 7 patches to my library within 30 minutes. All of which had great sentimental value to me! Try it!
Interested in learning about Redmatica's Keymap Pro software? I thought you might be!