I am sure, if you have been making music for a while, that you have heard of Tom Cosm. He is a legend in the Ableton arena and lately he has been blowing minds with his programming ability. His newest invention is just awesome… and free… and awesome! **repeated for emphasis**.
If you have ever set out to resample a hardware synth, or a soft synth patch, you know the process can be quite tedious. You have to make individual MIDI notes, play the notes, record them, chop them, export them, name them, import them….
In fact, it is so tedious many people that sample instruments use the rule of 3, for that reason and others, of course. Which means they only sample every 3 semitones and just use a sampler’s transposition functionality to fill in the gaps. External Resampler automates the process, making resampling every note of a hardware or virtual synth extremely easy.
It is a standalone program and freely available for both Mac and Windows. You don’t need Ableton or Max to run the application. https://gumroad.com/l/gjVM
I was so excited when I saw the introduction video that I downloaded it immediately and set out to start making sampler instruments in Ableton Live from all my complicated multi VSTi instrument racks. That’s where I ran into a little snag, but it would seem that is only because I was trying to use the device a bit differently than it was designed for.
It turns out having the “External” Resampler work internally requires a bit of virtual routing by means of a virtual MIDI port and a virtual audio line. Those allow Live, or whichever DAW you are using, and the External Resampler to communicate and function together as if Live were a piece of hardware.
I was novice at these things so I reached out to Tom Cosm, and he was quick to reply with what was needed.
After getting the two programs communicating, I ran into only one little bug. It seems that the semitone interval setting initial state is +0, which led to the device just looping the first note of the patch I was trying to sample. However, there is a quick and easy workaround. Just simply move the interval knob. Move it above +1 and then back down to +1, if +1 is the interval you want and the device will be set correctly.
Beyond the few minutes it took to get things routed and working the External Resampler is incredible. Just enough settings to make sure each sample is done right without any clipping and just few enough not to be daunting to a new user.
You have the normal velocity, sustain, and release settings for the MIDI notes that will trigger the patch. There is a sample delay parameter if you find any clipping to the being of samples being exported. You can choose the folder where the samples will be deposited and, of course, the ability to give the set a unique name.
Another useful aspect is that as the device renders the samples each will have the note value (C3, C#3, D3) added to the end of the samples’ titles. This saves even more time from not having to rename each new render individually!
In conclusion, after the very minor setback of the virtual routing—which is only an issue if you are trying to use it internally instead of externally plus unaware of the process—and the very small bug that is easy to fix, I would say this is just an incredible device. Whether you are planning to make back-ups of your favorite hardware synth patches or sampler instruments from your VSTi this is guaranteed to speed up your process by a lot!!
Pros: Time saver, free, extremely useful for the task it was designed for.
Cons: Virtual routing programs for those that don’t already have them.